me and those big old waves, rollin’ in

Dear Internet,

Perhaps one of these days I will be able to update this blog without prefacing each post with a shame-faced apology for lack of timely updates. But today is not that day! So, here I am, in all my blushing-too-easily glory, sorry for not being a more regular poster. 

Some quick updates about my life: I moved! Well, I guess I am technically still in the process of moving, but for the past month, I have been hanging my hat at a lovely queer collective house with five lovely roommates. Yes, five! It’s a very big house, and it does not feel crowded to me. I never thought I’d go back to collective living, but I’m so glad I did. Conversations around the kitchen table, the sweet sounds of roommates singing in the shower, and two mischievous cats prowling the hallways have brought an unexpected amount of joy into what has been an otherwise rather tough month. 

Plus, I have a wonderful neighbour who lives a mere five minutes away:

 

tom comic

This is a little two-panelled illustration of my friend Tom, who I have only known since November, but who is already one of my favourite human beings. Tom writes beautiful things and will do pretty much anything for a laugh, including bowling over your attempts to switch the conversation topic while he builds momentum from a previous joke (this is both infuriating and very funny). Today, we hung out to work independently (but side-by-side) on projects and listen to Arthur Russell and Brian Eno. I whipped up this little drawing while he did actual real-person work. The detail panel (top) is of Tom’s very beautiful altar. 

I am currently working on a behemoth of a story (not drawing! but there will be accompanying illustrations because who am i kidding) AND a little comic about (surprise surprise) feelings. I hope to share some of that process with y’all very soon. 

Until next embarrassed apology,

xoxo

clara bee

I see all kinds of things when I look at you

Hi again, internet,

I am in a weirdly productive groove these days. My winter survival strategy is listening to Paul Baribeau‘s Grand Ledge on repeat, drinking way too much coffee and root beer, and being the busiest bee. Some days, it’s like “Oof, my heart!”, but on others, it’s like “Yeah yeah yeah keep doing all the stuff and making all the things!”

Here is a portrait I did last night at my kitchen table:

spongecore
This is my lovely co-conspirator Jeff, who you might know as Finn if you have read Radio Antarctica V. Jeff is a kind-faced, soft-spoken dude who takes his coffee with 18% cream and a veritable fuck-tonne of brown sugar. Jeff would like to be given a bunch of kale over a bouquet of flowers. He takes pictures and plays guitars and blushes easily. I like Jeff a whole lot!

do the work

I drew this picture rather sloppily this morning, also at my kitchen table, while my new & wonderful friend Mariel was over for a work-date. Mostly we drank coffee and giggled and swapped secrets. Mariel is a special, lovely human who I’m so lucky to be getting to know! Anyway, this picture is a reminder to myself to keep workin’ and writin’ and drawin’. It can be a reminder to you, too, if you like.

Until next time, lovelies,

xoxo

clara bee

more hand lettering & self-talk

Hello, my darling internet,

After my last post, I figured y’all could use something a little more posi (knuckle tattos: MORE POSI), so here’s a little something I just did at my kitchen table while my friend Carly worked away on her zine. She’s still in my kitchen right now! Zining! What a dreamy life I live.

dream date

Untitled (Dream Date), 2013

There are actually maybe a few people who could be considered dream dates in my life, but I’m definitely one of ‘em. In the words of Margaret Cho, I’m the one that I want! Maybe you should consider being the one that you want, too? Go on and take yourself out for a milkshake. Take yourself for a three-hour date to the library. Go for a walk at midnight and giggle and listen to pop punk. Hold your own hand & bask in the glory of your own good company.

xoxo,
clara bee

ruinin’ my internet reputation, one hand-lettered sign at a time!

Dear internet,

I’m really liking this trend on tumblr that could basically be described as “rude things in nice packages”. Lately, I’ve been feeling a lot of feels – tapering off of psych meds will do this to you – and have decided to channel my rage into a series of text illustrations. Here’s the first:

take a moment
Untitled (Let’s All Take A Moment)

Yours ragefully; goofily,

clara bee

xoxo

excuse me? heart?

Hey y’all,

Not a lot to say; just wanted to show you a little drawing I whipped up based on *mutters* a vague facebook status I made this week.

Yeah. I’m that guy.

on in thereFor inquiring minds who need to know, the status was:

Are you ever like, “Excuse me? Heart? What’s going on in there, yo?”

Now you know what I look like (mostly) naked. If you didn’t already.

xoxo,
clara bee

some sort of mash; or bash.

A…monster mash?

Happy Halloween, y’all!  If you’re into that kind of thing. Today I hung out with my homequeer Maranda Elizabeth, which was lovely. We drank coffee, read, wrote, drew, dreamed & schemed on their bed, surrounded by their cats (Amélie & Lily-Biscuit), tarot decks, and zines. Then we traipsed over to The Gem for snacks and they gave me a quick but magical tarot reading while we listened to 1, 000, 000 Halloween novelty songs. Uhmazing.

My snack was served on a doily, which naturally I decided to draw on:

 

be vulnerable or go away

 

 

So, this is basically my new motto. Maranda and I were talking about vulnerability and how important yet undervalued it is. Honestly, you can probably figure out what I mean by this, so I won’t go on and on. But, to sum up: no pain without vulnerability, but also no magic. And the magic’s what we’re after, right?

xoxo
clara bee

You Look Around & Then I’m Gooooooooone

The past few months have involved so much drawing, and so little posts of said drawings! So, I’m gonna try to catch y’all up on some of the funnest projects I worked on this summer/early autumn.

One of the things I like doing best is designing pretty much anything for bands. Have you ever been in a band, readers? What an exhilarating, thrilling thing. I credit playing violin in a super pretentious post-punk band when I was 16 as my official entry into teenagehood rebellion. The first time I ever drank beer was sharing a pitcher of complimentary Great Western Pilsner with my bandmates as payment for a show. Oh, Saskatchewan! Playing in a band also made me more confident & strengthened my non-musical creative resolves. I miss playing music and would really love to do it again!

So naturally, I was pretty thrilled when my friend Shira Mario asked me to design a t-shirt for the band they drum for, Forty Whacks (you should go to that link immediately and listen to my favourite track, “Back to Olympia”, which is NOT a Rancid cover).  I spent a day listening to their demo and making little thumbnail drawings of various images that their giddy pop-punk flooded my head & heart with. In the end, I came up with three rough designs, and Shira and their bandmates chose the one they liked best, which I then prettied up.

forty whacks first edit small sizeI wanted something that looked a little raw and sketchy, but remained high-contrast & t-shirt-friendly. The above is what I came up with, and I think it’s pretty fun.

Hopefully, I will be sporting a t-shirt bearing this image fairly soon, and I can show you how the image translated to fabric. Until then, lovelies!

You’ve got my back in the city.

Hey y’all – I’m here yet again, rather sheepishly scuffing my toe and apologizing for a lack of updates. Hi! Hello! How are you?

Let’s just jump right into it. Jenna Brager is an amazing artist, a total babe, and a deadly phD candidate who I somehow tricked into being my friend when we met last year at the Chicago Zine Fest. At the end of September, I visited her for a week and witnessed just how incredible her work is and how she’s a super tough academic turbo-babe that Gets Shit Done. I used the word babe twice. Is that okay?

Anyway, because I’m a flaky odd-job-jill/freelancer, I spent most of my week across the kitchen table from Jenna, drawing little vignettes of our days together while she read thousands of pages of theory and planned the class she teaches and put on amazing leather pencil skirts to go to school (seriously, the woman has style).

Here are three of these little vignettes – I have more, and will post them soon – which I think are kind of cute:

NJ comic 1

(Here we are at Highline Park in New York City, where Jenna picked me up, unwashed and smelly from a 12 hour bus ride. We ate pizza for breakfast.)

NJ comic 2

(On the second day, I made pretzels for the first time ever while Jenna was teaching, and we ate so many pretzels, omg.)

NJ comic 3(On the third day we ran through this charming little park and then fed baby deer and their parents at a forestry farm/petting zoo in New Brunswick.)

Now I’m home and new things are happening and I’m trying to reorder my life and maybe go to school again and WHOA. I’m working for a few friends, part-time gigs, and drawing lots. Making new friends and meeting new giggly co-conspirators. Things are great.

xo,
clara bee

open for business!

Hi again, pals! Look, a timely update!

I just wanted to let y’all know that I finally got around to opening an Etsy shop. You can buy my zines, buttons, and hand-embroidered patches now!  Stuff like this:

pinky promise

I’ll be updating the store soon with more zines and handicrafts. And I’ll be updating here, too, with some portraits I’ve been workin’ on!

xoxo,

clara bee

the best summer ever

‘Scuse my absence, friends. I know, I know: here I am wandering back to my blog after months and months, like a drunken uncle you thought had left the wedding but actually just went to pee against a wall and is now back and ready to make an embarrassing speech.

Um, that sentence got away from me a little bit.

A lot has happened since I last updated, the most exciting of which I will share with you now: I quit my job. Oh man, I was so full of anxiety about quitting, so sure that I’d feel guilty or bad, but here I am two months later with zero regrets. Admittedly, I’m gonna have to start hustling a little more, as the trickle of my savings slows to a halt, but honestly, I can’t imagine being happier and healthier. The Clara Bee of 60 days ago compared with the Clara Bee of today is a pale imitation; nay, an imposter.

I want to tell you all about my new life, and I will, but for now, lookit this little comic I made months ago and never uploaded:

chicago comic

This ridic little thing was supposed to be in an awesome comp zine that the Chicago Zine Fest organizers put together, but alas, I missed the deadline due to having NO INTERNET FOR 3.5 WEEKS (more on that never; I JUST WANT TO FORGETTTT).

Pallies, I’ll do my v. best to update on a more regular basis. I’ve spent the last two months drawing every day and have a lot to show for it! I’m excited to share with you.

xoxo,
clara bee