This is an image that makes me think I had some idea for a story that involved the bar Sweet Ups. I drew the shelves and bottles on location, the bar may or may not have had a television set, and then added my brother, who was wearing my GAP jacket. I’m pretty sure this was drawn in 2004.
A year out of graduate school, I found that many of the connections I had made there were leaving the city. When I was unable to find regular work as a freelance web designer, a family friend gave me an opportunity to do textile design. It was very meditative work, which was great, and I got to work alone in the back office of the company’s Manhattan showroom.
A year later, I was also re-designing the packaging for all of their home goods products. My boss didn’t understand why it look longer for me to design something in Illustrator than it did for someone to apparently do something similar in Word, but thankfully the buyers’ positive feedback made my case for me. But it wasn’t enough. When I returned from my first vacation, I found that my boss had moved my computer, etc. to the office in Hackensack, NJ. She didn’t trust me to work unsupervised, which is funny now, knowing that she later went to jail for embezzlement. Anyway, my 30-minute commute to work had turned into a 1.5-hour commute. My co-workers were nice, but I didn’t care for how we were managed. Everyone was expected to do whatever the boss asked them to do, whether it was within their job description or not. I started mentoring freelance textile designers and meeting with clients as part of the sales team. When my boss refused to compensate me for the additional responsibilities I was given, I started looking for a new job.
It took 6 months, but I found a job as an interactive web designer at a small ad agency in Manhattan. Fast forward 2 years and it was time to move on again. I wanted to make more money and found similar job at a big agency in Manhattan, making micro sites and animating banner ads. By this time, I had a better understanding of the freelance market and after 2 more years, I decided to give freelancing another go so I could focus more of my time on writing and drawing new comics.
I started with Martian Debut. The soccer players were drawn in 2010 for panel art. I self-published the comic that year. In 2011, these images were combined into a collage. Paint was added in 2015.