I started seriously hiking again for the first time in nearly a decade. I moved to Lancaster, PA in early June, and I’ve been getting to know the region by exploring the different trails. Day hikes are great for getting started, but I wanted to go backpacking for an extended period of solitude in nature. Challenging myself physically and mentally while getting away from it all was important to me. Plus, there just isn’t a ton to do right now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. A friend recommended I explore Michaux State Forest, a large forest a tad west of Gettysburg and about a 90 minute drive from Lancaster.
Browsing the trails, I found an ideal route for a single night of camping. For ease of preparation and ease on my body, I thought it best to not overdo the length of the trip. The Appalachian Trail goes through through Caledonia State Park, located within Michaux State Forest, and is about 10 miles north of Tumbling Run Shelter, a rest stop along the A.T. Perfect for my first solo backpacking trip, so with that and the dates decided, I began to prepare for the trip.
A handful of early illustrations and comic strips from the personal finance zine I’ve been making
I’ve been focused on making my zine Intentional Finance. It’s been an enjoyable project to work on and a fun change of pace from fiction comic creating. I recently finished laying out all of the text, so I’ve been drawing a bunch of comics and illustrations to go supplement the writing.
When I was really into drawing spaceships last year, I took some time to paint with watercolor a bit. It’s challenging but a lot of fun. The resulting texture is interesting, and it’s fun mixing colors.
I definitely intend to do more with watercolor in the future.
Information about my next project, a zine about personal finance
A big interest of mine is personal finance. It’s something I started learning about in earnest six years ago and started really diving into over the past two years. I find it really fun and empowering to learn, think, and talk about finance. So I’ve been working on a zine called Intentional Finance. It’s a simple guide to improving one’s relationship with money.
It is a bit of a departure from the sci-fi and fantasy comics work I’ve been focused on in recent years, but I’m quite excited about it. The premise is simple:
What if a book about personal finance was an art project?
I was in a creative rut in August 2018. My confidence was low after abandoning a project that didn’t work out. I kept doodling, but I didn’t have the burning passion I normally do. I was reading the sci-fi novel Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie during a trip to visit family and absolutely loving it. So I started doodling spaceships in my sketchbook. It was like something unlocked, and I was back to my old creative self.
The doodling of those initial spaceships led me to try to draw 100 ships throughout the month of September. I ended up only drawing 50 because I then did Inktober in October. While I didn’t make it to 100 ships, it was still a success in my mind because it was fun and sparked creativity.
Why I decided to redo my hand lettering with a font
As I have been wrapping up Lost Ship, I began to worry about the legibility of the lettering in the comic. My lettering has improved over the last year, but some of it is a little rocky.
So I decided to re-letter the comic with a font. It’s incredibly important to me that people can read the comic. While the lettering lost a bit of character in the move to being a font, I believe it’s a worthwhile change because it’s much easier to read.