Women and Fandom and me

On March 30th, I was fortunate enough to be a panelist at McNally Robinson for Women & Fandom, a tie-in to the launch of The Secret Loves of Geek Girls by Bedside Press. Hope Nicholson brought together a varied group of women in Winnipeg’s fan community, and I had a great time hearing about their experiences and responding to questions from the audience. I wanted to get in a few more notes and plugs but we all ran out of time (and I had talked way too much already), so I wrote them up. 1. It’s okay to have a day job if you want to be a creative, and that day job can even help you. I was lucky enough to work in media, which gave me a lot of opportunities for networking and promotions. I’ve also had the…

Instagram sketching

Instagram it up

I’ve used Instagram only as a throwaway tool for testing things for other folks. I’m not too keen on reducing life to a photograph, personally. However, I do a ton of sketching and creative work I’d rather not post here, but would still like to share so people can see some of my techniques and tools and other creative endeavors. For the most part, my Instagram feed will include sketches, in-progress pieces, comic scripts, photography, costume building, sculpting, woodworking, and some delightful arts and crafts. So please feel free to follow @jamieisfeld and enjoy!

The power of paper: paper comics versus digital

Despite my digital background, I’m a big fan of paper these days. Namely, books: comic collections, graphic novels, and manga. The tactile sensation of a comic is one of its most enjoyable features. In fact, this is probably why I didn’t think I liked comics for many, many years: I hated the western style of a 32-page, flimsy paper product. When I was a kid, I would pore over Far Side collections and trade paperbacks scrounged from yard sales, but completely avoid the outputs of Marvel and DC. It just didn’t feel right: the books were the wrong size in my hands, the paper was too thin, they were floppy and awful and easy to crease. Manga volumes were revolutionary for me once I moved to a big city and could finally start discovering them: they felt good to read.…

Coping with Copics

I never, ever expected to be a marker person. When I was younger, we didn’t have a lot of money for art supplies, so I turned to the infinite canvas of digital work very early on. But like many kids, I started out with cheap pencils and markers on paper, and eventually a need for a natural medium to execute commissions at conventions drove me to try out Copic markers. I didn’t love Copics that much at first. Lacking the patience for physical media, I only used them every once in a while, and rarely pulled them out when not at a convention. After slowly building up my collection as I needed “just one more” to finish different stickers and characters, I started to feel the power. Sketch by Sketch, I amassed an army. Other than a box of Ciaos…

Rough drafts of comic pages

Writing for comics: scripts, sketches and storyboards

Other than a few brief forays into comics as a younger artist – mostly the newspaper-style, though some western comics were attempted – I’ve been scared of writing them for years. Why? It’s unlike writing anything else I’ve done before. In either professional or personal capacity, I’ve done short stories, novels, novellas, short-form news stories and long-form editorials. I’ve written technical manuals, how-tos, choose-your-own-adventures, poetry, video game plots, stage plays and video scripts. I’ve done storyboarding for commercials and short films. Writing wasn’t scary, of course: writing comics was. I was petrified of the idea of them, actually. Comics are “written” in images and compositions and assumptions; they have a dialect all their own. When in the planning stages, how do you do that? Do you draw them out first? Do you write it like a stage play? Poring over…