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Freelance Dance! - Lucy Knisley — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lucy Knisley


Freelance Dance! [Jan. 29th, 2012|09:34 pm]
This last month has been a flurry of freelance projects for me. I love freelance illustration-- it's a challenge and a chance to try new things and look critically at my own work, while (usually) making enough money to pay my bills and support my comics work. But at the same time, multiple deadlines can play havoc with my sleep and stress levels.

From the point of view of the artist, online voting-based art contests aren't the greatest. We deserve to be paid fairly for our work and appreciated for its merit, not made to directly compete with one another for the popular vote. But certain contests are just too irresistible-- they can be good for publicity and to generate excitement about your work, and sometimes the prizes are quite nice.

After this long couple of months of chipping away at a big stack of freelance work,* I'm still only paying my bills. Sometimes I think it might be nice to earn something besides money, so that I wouldn't feel guilty spending my earnings on some frivolous purchase. Like... SHOES. What? I'm a girl. Deal with it, yo.

So for the next three days, my ad will be up for voting on the Fluevog website. The prize is $1000 in SHOES. Seriously. So if you like my ad and you'd like to help me skip around my studio in a few new shoesies, please take a minute and vote for my ad!
Thank you.


*Here's a big ol' preview of a few of the freelance jobs I did in the last month or so:

This is the cover to a three-page Rip Van Winkle adaptation that I made for Scholastic's Scope Magazine.

Rip Cover

Along with the three comic pages and this cover, there were also three spot illustrations to accompany this assignment. It was a piece that taught kids about adapting scripts for various mediums. A cool project.

It was fun to draw this legend of the Hudson River-- I grew up not far from the river, and this was a popular story for kids in the Hudson Valley. I'm not exactly certain what sort of morality accompanies this tale-- much like the other famous Hudson story, "The Headless Horseman," you're not sure what lesson to take away from the tale. Other than the obvious, "Be afraid of the woods." Thaaat didn't really work with me-- I used to pretend to be Rip Van Winkle asleep on the wooded hill near my house all the time. I'd wander back down to my house after an hour or so, amazed at the advances in technology that had occurred while I slept for 20 years! My goodness, this machine just... Forms play-dough shapes!? What an amazing future we live in!

I'm really excited to be doing a couple stories for the new Adventure Time comic series! These aren't out yet, so I'll just give you a taste:


This was REALLY FUN to draw, but harder than I expected. It's one thing to write for my own characters, and another to write for someone else's characters who I adore so much. The next story I hope to do is all scripted and penciled already-- It's about Fionna and Cake.

An old community theater friend of mine from my teen years is now managing the bookstores owned by her family in upstate New York; Oblong Books and Music. (You can read all about her, and the awesome stores in this article!) Every time I'm visiting my mom in my home-town, I visit the store, usually leaving with a stack of amazing recommendations from Suzanna (she's especially good at recommending Young Adult titles, which are my unabashed favorite type of reading).

Anyway, the store is wonderful-- great support for local authors and an amazingly flourishing small business. I was talking with Suzie the last time she was in the city for a book show, and we started talking about how many amazing artists and authors she has in her back-yard, devoted to the store and grateful for its support of their own work, and how she should take advantage of that fact by commissioning some promo bookmarks. So I made one!

Oblong Bookmark

I'm excited to see the bookmarks in person (it's gonna have a spot gloss!) for the next time I go upstate to get my book fix.

This was half of a 2-part illustration I did for a Time Out Chicago article about talking to your tween about tough issues. This was a fun one, because they gave me a limited color palette to work with.

Illustration for Time Out Chicago
(The signature is not part of the original illustration)

This was actually a freelance job from last year, but the program didn't launch until recently. It's the Illinois Library Association's summer reading program. Their theme this year is "Reading is So Delicious," so my work on food comics made for a good match. This is the poster for the adult summer reading program:

You can buy a poster of this image to help benefit the Library Association at their website! Along with the fabulous kids' program poster by Chris Eliopoulos, and some scratch & sniff stickers and temporary tattoos that I designed. It's a pretty big deal for me that, for the first time, my art is scented.

Not strictly freelance work, but here are some of the little portraits I made for holiday presents for friends and family. I made 32 of these in total (32!), and they were pretty fun. I got to stalk the crap out of my friends' fb photos to do this.

Holiday Portraits

This is a little watercolor I did of Melvil Dewey, based off of an Insomniasketch I'd made of him a while before. This is just one of the little doodles I made while waiting for my brain to shut up and go to sleep. It was a fun challenge, because all photos of MD are in B/W, so I had to really invent the colors. Apparently he was kind-of a weird dude, but I have love for the DDSystem anyway. And plus, I love a man who can use his forehead as a drive-in-movie screen.


My dad's very nice girlfriend recently helped him clean out his storage unit, where she stumbled on his old home-movie tapes. She kindly sent them out to be transferred to digital files, so we could see the footage for the first time ever! The camera broke long ago, but I was an only child, so there are a lot of tapes. It's a very concentrated documentation of my life from the age of around 6 months to 4 years. After finishing work late at night, I'd sort through the video files and see back in time. I ended up picking out some of my favorite footage and posting it on my Flickr. I was... Well, I'm pretty much the same. Here's one of my faves:


I made myself a birthday comic a couple weeks ago. Didja see it already?!

It's been a long month. I turned 27, did a bunch of work (both freelance and a bunch of Relish colors), inadvertently reoriented my sleep schedule to be completely ridiculous, even squeezed in some social time (do awkward internet first-dates count? I did those too). I'm a little wiped out today, so I didn't get much done. But it's been nice to do some doodling and take it easy for a Sunday.

Not every day can be super-productive.
Next week is Hourly Comic Day. I'm gonna do my best!


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[User Picture]From: jaymarcy
2012-01-30 03:18 am (UTC)
wow! In the first scene of that video your Mom appears in ,I swear to God I saw your face!!Woah...
It's cool to see the stuff you've been working on freelance wise.It's one thing to read about it on Twitter, but a whole other to view the work.
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[User Picture]From: jaymarcy
2012-01-30 03:19 am (UTC)
Oh yeah,VOTED!!
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-01-31 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Jay!
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[User Picture]From: tristan_crane
2012-01-30 04:59 am (UTC)


You tots deserve $1000 worth of fluevog shoes.

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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-01-31 07:17 pm (UTC)

Re: Voted!

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[User Picture]From: stevegreen
2012-01-30 05:14 am (UTC)
Done, and done. You're currently well in the lead.

ps. The younger you appears to have some face on her chocolate.

Edited at 2012-01-30 05:18 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-01-31 07:15 pm (UTC)
Not for long! LICK LICK LICK
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[User Picture]From: adam_0oo
2012-01-30 05:14 am (UTC)
Daniel Pinkwater said his cat always sit right behind him when he wrote.

I voted!

I love reading while I eat!
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-01-31 07:16 pm (UTC)
Kitty lumbar support is very effective for posture.
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[User Picture]From: frustratedpilot
2012-01-30 05:51 am (UTC)
The version of Rip Van Winkle I remember had him partying with strangers and drinking too much of the libations, which is why he slept for so long. So the moral was "be careful that you don't just drink something a stranger hands you" (all the more apt in this age of Roofie Micky Finns) and "make sure that if you do drink too much somebody sober can take you back to your home safe".

As for Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, I wasn't too clear on that one either. My first exposure to that was the Disney cartoon on TV. I was probably too young to grasp it.
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-01-31 07:15 pm (UTC)
In the version I knew, it was Henry Hudson and his pals in weird ghost-kinda forms, and he drinks their ghost wine. I wasn't exactly sure how to take that.
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[User Picture]From: missaprilnash
2012-01-30 06:27 am (UTC)


What a post! Thank you for sharing everything you've been working on! You're a very busy lady! I hope you win the shoes - I think you deserve something nice! And please think about drawing awkward Internet first date comics - god knows we've (I've) had the same... :-S xxx
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-01-31 07:14 pm (UTC)

Re: Wowza!

Oh jeez, that is a dangerous game. Awkward internet first dates are usually better not dwelt upon. But I'll think about it...
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[User Picture]From: piratecore
2012-01-30 06:55 am (UTC)
Voted for you! Best of luck, I really hope you win!!

And the illustration work is looking fantastic, as usual!
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-01-31 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks Rosemary!
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[User Picture]From: loolica
2012-01-30 06:58 pm (UTC)
That video is adorable, not least because you can hear your mom scrambling eggs at the end.

In a funny coincidence I just took possession of a pair of Fluevogs that were delivered to my door not two hours ago. I Voted!
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[User Picture]From: sandor_baci
2012-01-30 10:14 pm (UTC)
Vote cast, and yes, for YOU.

Your art is so wonderfully approachable... I tell you this because I think that this is a GOOD THING.
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From: (Anonymous)
2012-01-30 09:40 pm (UTC)

Reading is Delicious

Would you have any objection to my using your Reading is Delicious design as a wallpaper on my workroom terminal at the library?
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-01-31 07:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Reading is Delicious

Not at all! Go ahead.
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[User Picture]From: curlyqhead
2012-01-31 03:02 am (UTC)
Hahahahahha ARE YOOOOU watching Sherlock in the last drawing?
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-01-31 04:01 am (UTC)
I AM. Actually it's safe to assume that I'm usually watching Sherlock at any given hour.
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From: (Anonymous)
2012-01-31 07:08 pm (UTC)
I see dat Cumberbatch. Dontchoo think I dont see dat Cumberbatch you be sneakin' in, child.
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[User Picture]From: lucylou
2012-01-31 07:12 pm (UTC)
ha ha haaaaaa sneakybatch
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[User Picture]From: bougieman
2012-02-01 01:03 am (UTC)
Yours is easily the BESSSSST
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[User Picture]From: sucre_brun
2012-02-01 03:19 am (UTC)
My ESL teacher in high school used it as a tool to give us writing assignments.
I find your illustration a lot more fun than the cold pictures I remember from the magazine.

Also, thank you for sharing your work, it is always inspiring!
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From: missglen
2012-02-02 06:41 pm (UTC)
"reading is so delicious" is great. i wish i could buy one here in berlin. and i like your thick cat.
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