02 January 2012

2011 - in retrospect

Okay, time for some reviewing of the past 12 months of my life.
I'm kinda not looking forward to it, though...
This year have been filled with work, and it was fun, don't get me wrong on that, but I didn't get to do all the things I wanted to do, in the time I put up for my self. Well, let's start with looking over the events of this year.

Milestones of 2011:

  • I started the year with finishing the illustrations of Fly Sol, Fly!, the second of four in the children book series Häxfolket by Jo Salmson and Bonnier Carlsen (big Swedish publisher of childrens books). It was easier to work with the second book, compared to the first, because now we had settled how the characters and everything should be portrayed.

  • While Fly Sol, Fly! was going to the printers, I had a month to work on other stuff of my own before starting with the third book. Perfect timing, because Nosebleed Studio's 5 Years Jubilee Anthology was in the making, and I had my quota of 50 pages to fill! (>_<)
    So I finally started drawing the Circus manga idea that I had developed with the editor at Japanese manga magazine Ribbon that I met in Spring 2010 when I visited the country.

    The one shot manga of 32 pages
    was finished for the deadline the 1st of March.

  • But because I made Circus Romantique for the rookie competition in Ribbon magazine, I had a maximal page count of 32. So I still had another 18 pages to make to the anthology. My sister Catarina and our Nosebleed camrade Joakim Waller met up and had a 24-hour marathon session, at which the story and final drawings (before inking) for Bad Boy was made. It's a short story about Alice's two dogs, Charlie and Nebel. Sadly Charlie left us later that year.

    Rest in peace, dear Charlie, you were loved by many and will be missed forever~

  • During Fall 2010 and Winter 2011, I had a chair and a table at the comic art studio Seriestudion in Malmö. I wanted to have a real workspace, away from home, but it didn't really work that well... Frankly, I was too lazy to get my bum over there when I have a private workspace at home, with everything I need. Also, we had a little family X-mas present in january: a kitten!

    Hilda is her name, and with her around I never want to
    leave my home! So I quit my
    Seriestudion-workplace in March
    to become a
    full time shut-in, hahaha...

  • Then the terrible earth quake happened in Japan. TOKYOPOP in Germany took action, and got us artists involved in an auction of original art. The money was sent to an organization that helped out in the aftermaths of the disaster.

  • Spring arrived with a big bang! Not only did I have the sketches and illustrations for Magiska Krafter (the third in the Häxfolket series) to do, but also finishing the work as the editor of Swedish Comic Sin 2. This year the project had over 20 participants and the book reached 400 pages! So cool!!

  • And so the touring around the country began! First stop was in March: book signings at SF-bokhandeln in Stockholm and selling our books and fanzines at OkashiiCon in Malmö. April was mostly work (illustrations for Magiska Krafter) but May held Small Press Expo in Stockholm. In June, we went to UppCon in Uppsala and B.L.Y.G. in Stockholm. Last but not least, a book signing at SF-bokhandeln in Gothenburg in July.

    Nosebleed Studio's 5 Years Jubilee Anthology
    was a real hit at both SPX and UppCon!

  • July was calmer, less work and even some vacation with my fathers family in Portugal. Fun and nice with some time off~

  • As soon as I returned home, work gathered... First and foremost the illustrations for Folket Som Försvann, the last of four books in the Häxfolket series. The Fall was also filled with conventions to attend, such as Danish GenkiCon in August, Gothenburg Book Fair in September, Malmö comic festival ISV in October and Danish J-popCon in November.

    I signed the third book in the Häxfolket series
    at the Gothenburg Book Fair.

  • During the Fall, I also worked at libraries and schools as comic art and manga teacher. I usually don't have time for doing that, but some things is hard to say no to. I held workshops at libraries in Kristianstad and Lund, and in Jönköping at their film festival - which was loads of fun!
    I also got the honor to teach at Malmö Högskola (college) for a week in September, and at Serieskolan (Comic Art School) in Malmö in November. It was awesome!!
    I really like teaching comic art, so when I one day feel like I have fullfilled my own need of attention, I will probably try to get my hands on a good spot somewhere as a teacher, and use my achieved contacts and experiences to make aspiring artists reach high!

  • Finally, in October, I did the last touches on the illustrations for the fourth book of Häxfolket, and thus finalized this one year project! Phew, nice! Don't get me wrong, I loved working with the books, and the editor and author and everyone did a fantastic job. I learned so much, and it also earned me a good pay. But I was also glad to finally be able to return to making comics, which feels like my true habitat.

  • So after 1,5 year of delays, I could finally finish the Japanese verion of Circus Romantique and send it off to Ribbon. It feels almost like this project had a "slow pace" button pushed all the way through. Everything went painfully slow!! It was so frustrating!

    But as soon as it was sent for Japan, it feelt like a big burden was lifted of my shoulders.
    I got it in on time for a deadline, and thus got the results in December: not a first place (of course, it was my first time) but a runner-up spot, and a feature in the end of February's issue 2012!! OMG!!! I was thrilled!
    Just like the TOKYOPOP contract in December 2009, this was a perfect X-mas gift for me! These are the kind of achievements that makes me strive higher and higher each time!

  • In December, I immediately started working on three new projects of mine:
    ★ a new short story for Ribbon called Hooked On You (that will also be a part of Nosebleed Studio's next anthology) ~ Layout sketches done for 32 pages
    ★ a short sidestory to A Song For Elise/Ein Lied für Elise, my Boys Love manga (the short story will be published in an anthology with other Nordic BL-artists) ~ 12 pages inked and partly finished
    ★ a longer and epic fantasy shojo manga about a sword princess, that I want to pitch for TOKYOPOP in 2012 ~ Layout sketches for chapter 1 done, 40 pages

So, that was my 2011!
Well, now that I look back at it, I am kinda pleased with it all. I did do loads of stuff, all in all 58 manga pages and over 300 illustraions! Three printed books, two anthologies and even a little extra victory with the coming feature in Ribbon.

But I feel frustrated over how slow it all went. I wanted to make even more manga this year... I guess the reason to me feeling a little down is because I have been longing to get back to making comics.
What am I doing here waisting time?!?

Let's make manga!!!


  1. Kommer ni till Uppcon iår också? :D

  2. Japp, såklart!
    Jag har lagt till en tour-lista över de konvent vi/jag kommer till under 2012! Kan tillkomma fler efter hand!

  3. Hi! I'm a comics artist too,
    your artworks are really beautiful, I like them!! :) I follow you..
    Bye bye! :3

  4. Wow, thanks alot, SaRiNa!
    You got a very cute and nice style, I like it! I'm glad you follow me, I'll check yours too, even though it's in Italian. Good luck with your work!