It’s been a long string of weeks since I’ve posted any content up on Benjamite. Some of that’s due to a busy professional season; some of it’s due to increased commitments within my church and community. Neither of those are bad things, but they’ve refined my notion of what I want to post online and how.
This blog initially started as a home for thoughts and essays about my personal life, and was specifically targeted at college friends. (We actually started a nice little network of blogs so that we could make long updates and keep in touch.) Last year, I transitioned it into a home for my comics and design work, but the more I think about it, this blog takes some time and care to maintain– and there’s not much of a comics or design community on WordPress. At least, not right now.
So I’ve started a new blog– one that’s smack in the middle of a vibrant online space where lots of folks share the interests I’m trying to cultivate. And I’m inviting you to join me.
It’s called Hipogram, over at Tumblr, and it’s a comics-focused site where you’ll be able to find all of my current pen-and-ink type work (along with some short ideas on other comics I’m mulling over). It’s quick to update, easy to stay on top of, and it’s an area where, frankly, I can communicate the Gospel through my words and actions to a community that’s unfamiliar with it.
In the meantime, this blog will stay up as an archive. Nothing’s going to be hidden or shut down.
I’m excited for this new venue. Come check it out!
My Brand New Blog
As mentioned a few months ago, my ongoing illustration work with Pine Cove Christian Camps yielded some cool fruit this year: the opportunity to do comic pages. Here are the finished single-page stories I did for their Base Camps Bible Studies. (You can see the rough drafts here– most of which are pretty different from the final versions!)
For the past couple of months, my church’s media department has been working on a way to do short documentary-style videos. We do a lot of interview and announcement pieces, but we’re still new at creating something that tells a story. We had a recent success with a piece on a local cancer survivor, but that one had a long gestation period– something like six months. After airing it during a recent sermon, we decided to turn our next video around in six weeks.
Fortunately, our team was up to the task. After getting direction from our pastor on what kind of story he wanted, we set to work lining up interviews, planning questions, and envisioning shots. I sat in the producer’s chair for this one, and I feel almost inordinately proud of the result.
That being said, let me introduce you to Jason: a triathlete and former Marine. We interviewed him and his running partner, Kyle, to find out how triathlon-level discipline meshes with spiritual life. Take a look.
Music credit: “A Walk” by Tycho.
May is apparently the time when we change gears at the church. Major events wind down as families plan for vacations and summer sports, which requires less design and communication from my department. That means my responsibilities have shifted more toward short-form video production– which I intend to post more about soon– and away from pure graphics work.
Still, here’re a few bits and pieces from the past month that I’ve had a hand in:
Shirt design for our volunteer thank-you party.
A mockup of the same.
Artwork for one of the more popular (and messy!) events our children’s ministry puts on.
Preliminary art for a camp t-shirt.
And once again, the Interfaith Directory ad from earlier this month!
I recently updated the “Portfolio” section of the site. Click on over for a look at some of my professional work from the past 6 months, including some pages I haven’t yet posted to the blog!
I visited a local event called ComicPalooza this weekend, which was great fun. It was a decently-sized comics convention: plenty to do and see, a healthy amount of distributors, a good mix of artists and smaller publishers, and lots of opportunities to meet and connect with other folks who are passionate about making comics.
It also offered some great opportunities to get feedback on my work, which I haven’t had so far. I mean, friends and family have always given me encouraging input, but it’s nice to have some strangers who do the same thing tell you exactly how your boo-boo might stink.
Basically, I’m leaving the weekend feeling energized and grateful, and like I’m part of a larger community of comics-makers, instead of just a guy doodling pages on an island.
I got into the graphics game by learning to create images– not by manipulating them. It’s anachronistic of me– most of our modern marketing and advertising, et al, is dependent on photography and the adjustment thereof. So I’m wading into those waters slowly.
Chris Spooner helped. He’s a designer I came across who offers some very savvy tutorials, one of which concerned how to make your photos look like they were fished out of an old Polaroid camera (or for short, “Instagram”).
So in the past few weeks, whenever I’ve had to do photo-oriented designs, I’ve relied heavily on Chris’s advice. I may be behind the times on the retro-analog craze, but I’ll be darned if I don’t wear myself out catching up!
Ad for The Woodlands Interfaith 2012 directory. Photography by Jordan Bradley; top banner by Vince Mims.
Rack card for a school supply drive; photo courtesy of Tia Plum.