Friday, December 13, 2013


NYC: A Comic Book Tour
It began at the end of summer: I was away (you might recall) fiercely regressing and spending way too many sunny days reading comics. It began while looking at a map similar to this, I said to my brother, "The only thing I know about Hell's Kitchen involves Daredevil," to which he replied, "That's all there is to know about Hell's Kitchen." And then pointing somewhere Midtown he said, "Baxter building is here," or maybe it was "Daily Bugle," but the point is, by the end of the conversation I was looking rather like this:
go on....

It was going to be an epic collection filled with super-headquarters, living quarters and maybe even, uh, battle quarters around New York City! And then I put the idea on the shelf for 4 months. I mean, it was daunting collecting information about multiple universes, with multiple timelines and histories to figure out. I was asking for a massive nerd war over canon vs retcon. Plus the map in my head/heart had no stylistic relation to the vintage themes I had already. But I just couldn't help it -- with my penchant for imperfection and extensive internetting, this map was surely inevitable.

A little disclaimer: I only used locations I could get an address or at least a Neighborhood to pinpoint. There are many cases where a hero will just be "in Manhattan," and I did not want to simply place a dot anywhere. While most locations are fairly accurate (from at least one story line), I did have to guess a few times (namely Yorick and Stark Westchester). And one day, someone with a geekier heart than I will confront me at a show with startling news of a highly important and obvious figure I neglected to add to the map*, to which I will smile, acknowledge defeat, and inwardly thank Photoshop for making the world fabulous. But until then, you will have to deal with what I have.

So this is my last piece for 2013. Hopefully over the holidays I will work on something to dazzle you all, but most likely that will not happen until the scary unknown of 2014 (if ever). I hope you all enjoy a lovely and graceful finish to this year!

Kaz/Awk out

*Give me a direct and important home base for Spawn and I will put it on the damn map. But until then, Manhattan is just too general.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

'Tis (kind of) the Season


A Holiday post right after the Halloween one? That is simply revolting consumer madness, right? Unfortunately, friends, this is just what I have been working on. The business boot-camp e-mails I receive (from too many places) are laying on the Christmas pressure, and now we have fallen into the capitalism wasteland here at Awkward Affections. Yes, I still cringe when I see Christmas decorations looming in the opposite aisle from the Halloween costumes, but now, I do so with shame.

Perhaps you will forgive me when you realize most of these cards are more winter oriented than holiday. This could be due to the fact that it was October when I was making them (and I wasn't yet in the jolly spirit) or it could be because I prefer using blue.
snowflakes are fractals
Blue adorable/odd characters on their awkward holiday excursions, and blue strange/enthusiastic snowflakes that say it like it is. We have the blue Snow Queen of course (you might remember from last post), and blue Snowman from the previous holiday season, but then we come to something that was truly inevitable and entirely obvious.
Christmas is Coming
It had to be done

Santa on the iron throne might be taking a turn from my normal card style, but I think something unsettling needed to be thrown in with the exuberance of my latest manifestations. I blame the lingering effects of Halloween, but most likely, all the cheer was making me uncomfortable.

So there it is. An early peek at a the holiday madness that we are trying to put off for just another few weeks. Perhaps this will be the last themed post, perhaps the rest of the year will be entirely candy canes and dapper anthropomorphic reindeer. Only time (and my constantly erratic whims) will tell.

As this post sits awkwardly across the blog aisle from Halloween, just know, my dear friends, that I grumble with you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Awkward's aPOPcathery

Halloween is next week (!) and though I might be a little behind on my own costume, I have been working hard revamping my booth setup for Awk's next show. Black Market SF has titled this event "Night of the Living," so that is clearly a sign to go weird and halloween-y (right?). Awkward Affections may be a little thematically disjointed (bright pop cynicism thrown in with old vintage styles and packaged in hot pink and gold). I have never been great about sticking with a branded theme (call it art kid defiance) but I am making this booth costume tie everything together. I am calling it "aPOPcathery," hoping to blend the vintage weirdness of a witchy/apothecary with (pop) bright colors and bubbly letters. Part of this process is making props that are odd but also fun: there will be hot pink pumpkins, cloche jars containing illustrated oddities and some vials filled with the anatomical remains from my studies (unicorn hairs, phoenix tears, etc).

Here is a quick peek at how I am turning my portfolio books into creepy old leather bound props! I enjoyed this process if you want to learn more.

I used cardboard and measured out the front, back and spine from the book I was covering. You might want to give yourself a extra little room to be sure. This is a ghetto bookbinding shortcut here.

use a strip of paper to bind the pieces together (allowing room for the book to close)

Then crumple brown paper to get a crinkled, leather look

Cover your cardboard entirely with glue and press the crinkled paper down. On the inside you can fold the corners like a present. 
Paint the paper with acrylics: I used purples, reds, burnt sienna and umber
Once the paint is dry, seal with Mod Podge (or another finish)
I added flaps on the inside to slip my Itoya portfolio in and not ruin the actual book

And voila! (ooo)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Factual Friday

Fact 1: 

This month shall be named Batober for my extensive (yet, unintentional) Batman themed birthday week.
1. In my house, "Bat-Napkin" must be sung in key of the Transformers theme 2. you can see Batphone in the reflection of Batring*
 Re-watching Batman the Animated Series, I realize:
i.   ThatShowWas. Heavy.
ii.   I can only watch it in the afternoon (like old times)
iii.   I am almost positive that half of my proclivity for psychoanalysis is because of Batman.

Fact 2:

I get a little disproportionately giddy about pens (writing pens. Drawing pens is a whole other bag of nonsense).

Fact 3:

I am not a writer. I say this because much of my job is responding to/constructing client e-mails (and, uh, blogging, though you wouldn't know it). The problem is, writing (and anything not art-related) requires switching from "Art Brain" to "Everything Else Brain," which is like taking a steam engine from cold to full power just to get to the next town over. Once the switch is made, I process what I want to say, write an introduction, then pace in frustration after every other word (plus, some internet stuff). Actually, if you write to me, expect my side of the process work like this:

This post was meant for Wednesday, but due to my writing affliction, we have it way past working hours on Friday. "Factual Friday" works much better as a title anyway (and lists are so much easier than that full sentence crap).

*saying it before Mikey

Thursday, September 26, 2013

About Freaking Time

The Shire Map

Needless to say, this map was inevitable and a long time coming. You might assume, sweet readers, that I only make maps because I want them. Well... then, you'd be right. I wanted to make a Middle Earth map for a long time, but the problem was, there were many "Lonely Mountains" and "Realm of Middle Earth" maps in  commercial circulation, and they are done quite wonderfully, in my perspective. So why reiterate something that ain't broke, right? Finally, it hit me at a Lord of the Rings party (whatever, what do your friends do?) you aren't having Mordor Morsels or Gondor Gimlets. No, you want to Shire it up, because that's where the Middle Earth party is at, folks! Staring at the looming, geometric border of Mordor all day could be a bummer, so why not balance that out with the Hobbits and discover just how many places are named after those crazy Tooks.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fantastic Friday

This week was busy like Jawas after a Droid factory collapse. Yet, looking back on the new listings, I'm finding little to dazzle you with, fair readers. It is amazing how maintaining the business end takes a whallop of time. So here is everything else I have been up to:

First, here is a belated (but necessary) THANK YOU to all of the fabulous people who came out to Urban Air Market this past Sunday. It is difficult to not spend all my money at these events, but fortunately I am stuck behind my booth most of the time.
Stand up straight and stop being so awkward with your hands!

Also, I am pleased to say Awkward Affections prints can now be found at Local Take in SF Castro! This may be a small hurdle (of many), but surreal and exciting nonetheless. 

In other news, the fabulous Sepia Puppy is having a Blogiversary giveaway! You can check out the cool prizes and maybe even score an Awk cuddlefish. Check it!:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wizard Wednesday

A quickie: The standing desk

Once upon a time, I took a tour of Dreamworks and discovered the beauty of the motorized workstation. I witnessed an army of fit, limber artists happily standing at their desks for work*. Ever since that fateful day, I writhed in sedentary agony: knees creaking,  rump ever flattening, just dreaming of a standing desk for which to do my work.

If you are like me, sweet readers, you tend to be overly self-reliant with a weighty practicality that does not let you spend over $1000 on superfluous furniture (or perhaps, anything). So, stubbornly, I made my own for under $100.

And so can you!
It is so simple, you'll laugh at my tutorial, but this will save you the supply research. (And you can be amused that I used a power tool).

What you need

1. Two short, 40" bookcases. I got mine from Target
2. A 2 feet x 4 feet x 3/4inch plywood from any builders supply
3. A drill (who-owns-one-anyway?) and screws

Face the book cases parallel, in the direction you want the shelves. I have mine facing inward because I do not have much space surrounding the desk to get to the storage area. (You might not like having to crawl under the desk every time you need something, but personally, it makes me feel like I'm going to Narnia). The bookshelves should be about 25 inches apart. Place your plywood on top and drill that sucker in.


- 29" bar stool should your idealism begins to fail after a few hours (as mine did)
- Wood stain (probably shouldn't be optional if you, unlike me, have actual class)

Not only is it a desk, but also a space saving home for my endless amount of books, comics, and reference material (+ hidey-hole)

My smarter half (Mr. Awk) was worried about the stability of this structure, but desk is pretty solid. Just don't like, put your refrigerator on top of it, ok?

And that is it. If this lazy art kid could manage it, I am sure you can too.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Musings

Awkward Affections is a little over a year old now. There is no official anniversary, so I give a mental high five about three times a year:  Etsy opening date (January 2012), registration as a business with the BOE (August 2012- more of a "pay your taxes slap" than a high five. Incidentally that is still under kaz by kaz) and my first time as a vendor (October 2012). The business stuff may not be solid yet (I like to think of it in pudding stasis), hell I am still finding my old logos all over the office, but last week I finally came full circle on an old design. Lameasaur2012 was, well lame, but not in the way it was supposed to be. So much has changed in a year, and the lamea-rehash is my own personal commemoration.
lameasaur 2012

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What not to do

this is a picture...kinda goes with the word vomit you will be reading

This isn't finished.
But I have no plans on finishing it. Honestly, I had no plans for this drawing in the first place, and whatever intentions I did have, they were along the lines of 'muted grays with a touch of red' (cue airy hand wave). You can see how well that turned out. So, maybe I should just forgo planning, but drawing without thumbnails (or a general vision?) is an art school no-no. Ever since graduating, I have been trying to re-learn my own way of going about this art stuff. It is kind of  how a black belt has to go back and test through all the old belts in order to complete training (except...nothing like, at all).
The purpose of this was:
1. a break from self-assigned work, and 
2. an excuse to listen to a rather extensive list of audiobooks. 
So now it is for you to suffer, dear readers. This was intended to be sketch vomit of one of my characters, yet, now I am seeing lot of Neil influence that reminds me more of his stories than my own (and yes, we are clearly on a first name basis.) 

In other news, I have some more cards! 

Now I am off to re-shoot some of the old merch.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In which I explain absolutely nothing

hogwarts, hogwarts, hoggy hoggy hogwarts
What do you mean it has been a month since the last post? I have no idea what you are talking about. I'm sure no one (not blood related) even noticed, but out of obligation I must explain.

I have been away.


Because I went to Hogwarts. Drank at the Hog's Head. Stole the sorting hat and hid in the castle crying with the other 8-year-olds until their parents made us leave.

But out of duty, I returned  (they told me I didn't have enough experience to work the Butterbeer concession...) Of course, that was worth it after working two fabulous SF shows, where I met some even more fabulous people. 
UAMI'm a dork
Urban Air Market held their debut show in the Pier 70 warehouse near Dogpatch. I was a little worried at first, not knowing what to expect in space and turnout. But to be honest, it is now one of my favorite venues. I mean seriously, it was a giant, gritty abandoned warehouse! It was so large I couldn't even hear the bands playing from the wee end of the building. And did I mention the people were fabulous? I must say, there are some 16 year olds floating around that have no right to be as cool and collected as they are. Where is the bumbling awkwardness I amstillgrowingoutof remember? These kids are rocking the geeky-chic in ways we old farts could only live in fantasy (while we sat alone on Friday nights watching X-Men re-runs...)

But I digress.
This was also Indie Mart's last show, and I will miss that team terribly. Almost a year ago, Indie Mart's Christmas Speakeasy venue was my first real show (after APE). They took a chance on a scattered, wants-to-do-it-all, craft show newb, and I learned what a great show could really be. I am super sad to see them go, but I am glad I made it in time to see the glory days. I am still a craft show newb, but we are starting to get there.

Hopefully, now you are thoroughly dazzled with pictures not to notice the lack of anything relatively interesting in this post. As always, I promise better things to come.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Oh, hello July

Summer is the time for imagination, exploration, taking shortcuts and scenic routes. A few weeks ago I received a custom order for a map of Neverland, and it turned out to be the perfect July project: pirate ships, mermaids, secret hideouts and adventures. If this spirit of nostalgia and determination-not-to-grow-up isn't an appropriate complement to Awkward Affections, I don't know what is!

On that note, if I ever grow up, I want to be this lady, taking my awesome cane-sword and self-driving moped to Comic-Con (which, incidentally, may be the first time I make it to SDCC). There, I will harass The Youth about not being able to read script and what life was like before the internet.

But what was I saying? Oh, progress photos:

So, my fellow Lost Boys and Girls, make sure you enjoy the rest of summer like you used to! (Unless you live in the Bay Area, and you'll just have to imagine what it'll be like in October).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Speakeasy Recap

 First off, I would like to thank all of the superstars for coming out to Speakeasy on Sunday! We cant do it without you highly motivated and adventurous patrons. Besides, can my awkwardness exit without anyone there to see it? (Yes, actually, but alone it lacks my internal flood of horror).

Let me just say, I love Speakeasy. I had half a mind to abandon my table and hang out in their new taproom, but Pancake gave me that magical yet patronizing glare, so I succumbed to responsibility.

For once, I had extra time after setup so I was able to take pictures before the event began. Now you can enjoy my creepy-stalker-cellphone-pictures.

Pretend I am standing in that center void...
Sometime during the event (about 2 beers in) I saw a little fur ball weave through the crowd. Being (responsibly) tethered to my table, I waited, foamed at the mouth and Jedi willed the owner to wander in my vicinity. Eventually, it worked.

I present Dostoevsky the Bunny (and Pancake's ass):
This is not the rabbit you are looking for...
Luckily, I resisted the urge to hide Dostoevsky in my purse and flee (I blame Pancake).

The only other fur ball was a tenacious black cat who wandered the brewery and stole chairs from vendors. As my phone camera is an underachiever, and the cat was black, the only image I have is rather underwhelming. But she was cute and her belly swung when she walked. You'll just have to believe me.

All in all, the day was a success! With nothing else to say, here are the last blurry show pictures:



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

There ain't no gettin' off of this train we on

Final Fantasy VII World Map

It isn't hard to get me prancing gleefully back into the arms of nostalgia, but with all the E3 buzz going on, it seems to be happening more than ever. (Strange that discussing the future only make me regress...) Final Fantasy VII (perhaps the only reason we ever got a PlayStation) was probably the first time game graphics really blew me away. This might be hard to believe nowadays -but lets just say that game progress over the past 16 years is enough to make one feel supremely old. (I wonder if this how our grandparents felt when televisions were brought into the home and movies were made in color? Probably not. That was pretty monumental.) We might pine and scorn all over the new changes in the gaming industry, and that's fine. But once and a while, let's remember what it was like to be awed all those years ago.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A sneak peek (Help us geeky love, you're our only hope)

Some of you may not know this, but I do love a fancy shindig. I may be reading too much Austen, (or "in the era of steam" novels), and this could just be an excuse to purchase an alarmingly excessive outfit, but there is something wonderful about a truly schwank event (like formal invitations, ballroom drama and judging the hell out of someone's taffeta.)

I may disagree with a lot about weddings, but it does seem to be the last great social shindig for normal folk (I say "normal" because watching watching Revenge has taught me not normal people seem to have formal shindigs for just about everything). In order to live vicariously through someone else's really expensive theme party, I got into making invitations. Like, really into it. So, without further rambling...

Lord of the Rings:

Lord of the Rings Wedding Invitations
One love to rule them all, amirite? (I could only fit so many puns into the set itself, but I could keep going...)

I may have stolen this idea. When my older brother got married (the sibling who took the "natural-ability-to-draw" gene) he drew an homage to this comic cover. Ever since, I have been mulling over the comic book invitation. This invite originally began as a cover, but eventually it progressed into a last page/cliffhanger comic scene. It may be fitting since "Save the dates" are sort of cliffhangers themselves (all the "dropped a bomb" excitement with no information and months in between when anything new happens).

My favorite Dia de  los Muertos figure has always been the wedding couple. I have seen a few Muertos themed weddings and I think they are just down right super. So, you know, this happened.


What began as "steam" gradually turned into something of a World's Fair/turn of the century idea. This is still a work in progress, so something of the steam variety might turn up, but currently, I am in no mood to draw gears.

I think a space theme will certainly be next. In the meantime, I will be fishing around my pool of geeky love puns to help me choose between Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who. Then again, I might just put it to a vote. Then again, I might just go with video games instead...Regardless, I am open to suggestions.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Space & Time

Well, I drew the Tardis & Doctor Who

You knew it just a matter of time until I came around to this print. Hey, these things have to come naturally right? After a week of Star Trek fan-girling and Doctor Who "research" I am developing something of a space obsession...

Hell, I even made a space-scarf:
Oh, Pinterest. The things you make me do.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

(I promise better things next time)

I make no excuses for the past week of radio silence, but tinkering with the behind the scenes business upkeep has given me very little to show for the experience. While I have been obsessively Frankensteining the Awkward Affections website, that experience has been an unpleasant battle between frustration,  agony, and a fleeting, yet vicious pride once I get something to actually work. Personally, I find it easier to draw with oven mitts.

As CSS has given me more time with my left brain than I am comfortable with, I have only a weekend's worth of bad, unfinished drawings and this lackluster post.

But before I fall back into the void, I will leave you with only one terrible drawing, the promise of a slightly better designed website, and a list of things I have been geeking and squeeing over this week:

 1. The new Riddick Trailer- whatever, it could be a verbatim Pitch Black, I would still want to see it. (Bones and Starbuck?!)

2. This gallery of phenomenal embroidery in the Game of Thrones costumes. (As I am obsessed with "The Art of..." books, this will have to supplant my need for a GoT concept book.)

 3. Ok, it's a song about the periodic table (still stuck in my head), but I loved it, if not only because it brings me back to the glory days of The Animaniacs.

And now it is time to go back to mutilating my brand!

EDIT: Ok, there are a few new things I failed to mention. One being this "I miss you" card

 ...which was my solution to sending creepy pix messages like these to your loved ones:

(my life is an endless source of awkwardness).