Where do you get your ideas?
I know that the more information (good, bad, ugly, silly, verbal, visual, audible) you take in, the more good ideas you can generate—and iteration is key to figuring anything out. I read a lot of obscure books (so that I am thinking of things not everyone else is) and am constantly jotting down phrases and formats that tickle my brain. Ideas come from everywhere, and being open to taking in the universe means I can put more ideas back out. And if you’re ever short of ideas, nothing beats tumbling down a Wikipedia rabbit hole.
How tall are you?
I’m 5’7” without shoes and my mechanical, laser-eyed exoskeleton.
What programs do you use to make your art?
I’ve tried most of the drawing apps but paper and ink just feel right. I am a very messy artist and tend to have ink of some sort on my hands and face at all times. I draw most things by hand, then scan (I use an Epson) and adjust the images in Photoshop. On occasion, I’ll sketch a lot and then build out my ideas in illustrator, just to make them look more “professional” (scare quotes) and give myself an extra edit.
Will you illustrate my white paper/website/book/other thing?
I’m game to help you bring your ideas to inky life, but be warned: I only do this for money. The clients who are the most fun to work with are the clients who are vibrating with excitement about their own work. That energy is infectious and motivating.
How has the Internet changed since you started your work?
In 2006, everyone was proudly themselves. Novetly and authenticity were currency. Now, everyone seems frightened into being part of a camp. Conformity and tribalism are currencies. I miss RSS as tool for discovery. I miss individuals who aren’t wearing algorithms like armor. Which leads me to the next question:
Will you be my pen pal?
I have a few dozen pen pals (via email) and enjoy their friendship more than you can know. So yes. Of course. Always.
Do you host studio visits?
If you’re a curator or are just curious, I’m happy to meet with you (virtually or in person) and show you what I’m working on. I’m anchored in Seattle (Pacific Time), for Zoom or Skpye time zone scheduling.
What is your Myers Briggs/Hogwarts House/Zodiac Sign?
I draw darkly humorous chart cartoons. So, obviously, I’m an INTP Slytherin Cancer. That might explain my MBA/MFA combo, too. I like to plot my own, odd forms of world domination with my back against the wall of any small room I’m sipping black coffee in. When I meet a person who shares my goals, I’m an effectively instigating sidekick. I give hauntingly intense pep talks and could care less who gets credit for the work that shifts the axis of the world.
Can you come talk at my school/office/conference?
If I have the time and you are not a murderer but are someone who can cover my expenses, sure. I’m usually called in to talk about creativity and visual communication, but I can build conversations around any industry because all industries thrive when the people who build them are able to be curious and clever. I also do live cartooning of events, capturing what speakers say in graphic cartoon-form.
What’s your mother’s maiden name?
Not today, Satan.
Will you blurb my book?
Send it on over. Writers need to support each other in any possible way. I will verbally gush over your work as helpfully as I can. And if a chart summarizing your idea will help you sell and promote it, know that I have pens and paper at your service. Team Maker, forever. Unless you’re obviously evil: then I’ll ignore your future missives.
Why don’t you allow comments on your sites anymore?
Because I have seen more than enough pictures of troll-genitals. They all look the same: emotionally stunted.
I’m a student and I need to interview an author for my class. Can I ask you some questions?
Feel free to cut and paste from this page. It’ll be our secret and you’ll get an A.
Can I have some of your hair?
I don’t know why this is a question I keep getting asked, but no. Go to therapy.
What are your preferred pronouns?
She/Her, but expressed with the gravitas and respect allotted automatically to He/Him. I usually just go by Jess.
Did you really do all of this work yourself?
Yes. Thanks so much for asking, Sir.
Are you really from Ohio?
Yep. High fives to the coven of subversive librarians at Taylor Memorial Library in Cuyahoga Falls. Those amazing ladies taught me everything.