I think I brought the futon with me when I moved up from Baltimore to Manhattan. I had a studio apartment in Baltimore. My furniture consisted of my futon couch, a computer desk, a drafting table and a chair that could be wheeled back and forth between the two.

My first NY apartment was a 1-bedroom railroad apartment on the upper east side of Manhattan that my brother, his classmate and I rented it from my mom’s cousin. Half the kitchen had been converted into a lofted, 4-foot/11-foot bedroom. This was where I slept. My brother and his classmate had bunkbeds in the front room. After our first year, My brother got an opportunity to study in Spain for a year while staying with my father’s family. My then girlfriend moved in a few months before his departure, and she got to share my tiny bedroom during that time.

In 2003, I drew her for my thesis project in graduate school while she laid on the futon in our living room. I was exploring how interactive layouts and content-based design could create specific and unique reading experiences in digital comics. My pencil drawing was made using the blind contour technique, where I looked at my subject, but not the paper I was drawing on. I later looked at the paper while rendering the image in ink.

In 2011, I cut out my drawing and attached it to anther piece of paper using white paint, giving the drawing a light coat as well. I also added some extra lines in ink. And then in 2015, I added color.