Facts behind the fiction.

I have finished my project that I mentioned in a previous post, and now that it’s done, I feel extremely bored. This is bad, especially considering the brand new copy of Mario Kart 8 that is sitting about five feet away from me.
Anyway, due to this boredom, and partially due to the fact that I am about to post the project on DeviantART, I decided to write a little blog entry to talk a bit about the project and explain how I did some of the things I did… You know, in case anyone is interested in the process.

“Howdju du dat?”
I spent a few weeks thinking very hard about how I wanted to execute this project. Originally, I wanted to do it in the form of a teenage girl’s scrap book. I quickly trashed this idea when I realized the following:

  • I am very, very bad at scrap booking stuff.
  • It’s harder to get into the character’s mind through something as impersonal as a scrap book.

But a plain journal just wasn’t going to cut it. It would be far too boring and probably pretty tl;dr for most people. Not only that, but I prefer for my work to be fairly vague instead of direct and straightforward. I like to bury things and let the reader figure it out for themselves.
Last Christmas, I got pretty much nothing in the way of gifts, which is one of those things you get to look forward to when you grow up. (Trust me, you get used to it.) But my brother, being the generous guy he is, gave me one of his gifts that he didn’t really want, which happened to be something called a “Visual Journal Kit.” It came with a really lame DVD that I didn’t actually watch and yada yada, this story detour is taking too long, but basically, I decided maybe I’d try something like that.
Cool story, bro.

Okay, but the pictures. All of the photos in this project were my own actual photos that I took myself with an actual camera. A lot of the disfigured photos are old pictures of people who I no longer remember. I needed photos, and since I could pick them up and no longer recognize who I was looking at, they had no sentimental value to me. Still, to protect their identity (and also, of course, to add creepy effect), I made sure to obscure all of the faces in various ways, mostly by melting the photo.
Fun Fact: Never attempt this technique with an old fashioned Polaroid photo. The stench will haunt you in your nightmares for the next twenty years.
And speaking of the Polaroids, I’m not going to tell you exactly how I did them (yay for trade secrets!), but I will say that I do have an old Polaroid One Step. I bought it from a Goodwill, for probably about $10, which seems like a steal until you take into account the fact that it is pretty busted. Whatever mechanism inside that is supposed to squish out the developer solution and spread it across the photo paper doesn’t really do a very good job, but it was passable up until the third Polaroid in this project when it conveniently actually did stop working properly. It fit in perfectly with everything else, so I just ran with it.

The creative process.
Writing something like this involves just kind of letting my brain shut down and do its own thing… But not too much, otherwise I just end up drawing frilly bits and writing butts on everything. If I can get into the perfect state between fully conscious and just kind of… there? Then I can spend a long time just letting the psychobabble flow freely.

How it ties into my real life.
None of the people or events in this story are real. However, personal experience does play at least a minor role in just about any artist’s work. In my case, it’s two main things: The amusement park and the mental hospital.
When I was fifteen, I was sent to a mental hospital over a huge misunderstanding involving me being angry at someone (who overreacted and called the cops) and the police finding an empty Zoloft bottle (which didn’t even belong to me and was empty because the prescription needed a refill). In general, it was an incredibly stupid chain of events. But the time I spent there wasn’t completely useless. It gave me a lot of insight into what these sorts of places are like from an insider’s perspective, including all their ridiculous rules, and yes- most of them are actually rules. They take your shoelaces so you can’t hang yourself. They keep pointy things away from you unless you’re supervised, so you can’t stab yourself. And if you want anything with caffeine, your doctor must approve it.
In short, it sucks.
As far as the amusement park goes, well… It is, or at least it was a real park until it really did close eight years ago in the wake of a certain hurricane. It was a place I spent a lot of time as a child, and being one of the few things I can clearly remember from my past, was very dear to my heart. The sad part is that I didn’t find out what happened to it until eight years later when I finally decided to take a vacation back to my hometown, and when I did find out, it was almost traumatic for me. It felt like an old friend had died, only I found out eight years too late.
The hurricane that killed it was the same hurricane that rearranged my life and landed me in my current home in the armpit of the earth.
Anyway, the photos I used were real photos of a real amusement park that really is abandoned.

Flipping through, I can’t really think of anything else to say about it, but as always, don’t be afraid to ask me questions if you have any. As long as you’re not a jerk and your question is legitimate, I will always take the time to answer you.

Speak No Evil?

It has been about six months, and I have not really had a whole lot of contact with certain people from certain production companies, so I’m certainly uncertain whether I’m allowed to mention things or not, but hopefully the worst that can happen is they find my blog and tell me to remove this post, so…

News for your eyeballs:
In December of 2013, I was contacted by a production company who was very interested in making a motion picture adaptation of Lisa, and I agreed to climb on board with this. For the last six months, I’ve been working with (or rather waiting on, for the most part) a screen writer on an outline, which I finally got to read about a month ago. I’m fairly sure that I’m not at liberty to breathe a single word about that, but I will say, he did a fairly good job, though he did change the characters up quite a bit, which… I can understand, I guess, because that’s how Hollywood works.
So needless to say, it won’t really be an exact copy of the thing I wrote, but it should at least include the notebook, which will make it obvious enough that it’s based off my work. Yay.

In other news, I am currently working on another visual story that is quite a bit different from Lisa and Tyler. (Also, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have used the name Tyler, because people keep associating it with Fight Club, which had nothing at all to even do with my decision to use that name.)
The new story is from the perspective of a much older person- someone about my age who knowingly has issues, but just doesn’t quite understand the gravity of said issues. Supposing that they are actually issues, and not something more. As much fun as I had making Lisa and Tyler, I am having worlds more fun with the new project, so I hope that you will like it as much, even though it lacks the endearing childhood innocence of the other two. They were gems, but after awhile, that theme gets a bit old and overused, so I’ve gotta come up with new ways to make visually disturbing artwork.

Trust me. It’ll be good.

Anyway, that’s all for now, so let that one sit on your lobes for awhile, and in the meantime, summer is the best time of year for a nice, refreshing glass of brain juice!



Famous Actress reads lines from The Pink Backpack

As I was browsing the internet, I came across someone who had created a narration of my story and actually held auditions for voice actors, completely unbeknownst to me. I decided to get in touch with him/her and see if (s)he wouldn’t mind crediting me, which (s)he agreed to do. But in addition, (s)he informed me that, after the deadline was finished and the project was complete, (s)he received an audition from Ashlyn Selich– a professional actress.

Unfortunately, Turdpress is a twit who doesn’t like to let you imbed videos without paying them money.

I wasn’t sure if it was okay for me to post this. But I figured it’s my work she’s reading from, so who can complain?

What ever happened to Lisa? Your questions, answered.

Ever since my visual short story went viral on the internet, I’ve been contacted by dozens and dozens of people with questions, a lot of which are pretty much the same. I don’t have a problem responding to curious fans, but with the questions becoming more frequent and my life taking a turn for the busier, I thought it would be a lot easier to create a page where a lot of these questions can be answered. Still, if you don’t see your question here, feel free to contact me and let me know, so I can add it to the list.

Before I start, I will say that there is a book for sale, which not only answers these questions, but also contains bonus material such as a very cool pin-up poster and the otherwise unreleased visual short story “Lisa’s Diary,” which gives a lot of insight into many of the questions that people have about Lisa herself. I will encourage anyone who supports my work to please show your support by purchasing a copy. If you would like a signed copy with a bonus pin, you can go through my Etsy Shop instead.

At last, without further ado, let’s begin the Q’s and A’s.

Q: Who or what is Lisa? Is she a ghost, a demon, or perhaps an alter ego?
A: This question could be best answered by reading “Lisa’s Diary,” which is included in the full color art book as mentioned above. The best I can say without spoiling anything is that Lisa is the ghost, or spirit of a 15-year-old girl who had a very dark life.

Q: Is the story based off of actual events that occurred in your real life?
A: I used to tell people to believe whatever made them more comfortable, but since then, I’ve written more of these visual stories, so it’s become pretty obvious that it’s all a work of fiction, although I did have a second grade teacher named Mrs. Digman.

Q: Why does the journal look so realistic, as though an actual child drew it?
A: Since I’m predominately right-handed, anything done with my left hand tends to come out looking rather childish, so I decided to just write and draw the entire thing with my off-hand.

Q: What inspired you to create such a thing?
A: In short- lack of sleep, a trip to Walmart, and a conveniently placed primary journal next to a box of crayons.

Q: Is it supposed to be implied that Lisa killed Ms. Monroe and the little girl’s father?
A: Yep. And once again (so not advertising my book or anything), “Lisa’s Diary” actually gives a bit of insight into why she feels that certain people should be… shall we say, “taken care of.”

Q: Does the little girl have a name?
A: Nope. I decided to leave that detail out because I wanted readers to be able to put themselves or someone close into her shoes. And it worked! I’ve read through so many comments where plenty of terrified moms would tag their friends and say “What if [my child] did something like this!?”

Q: Why is it called “The Pink Backpack?”
A: The first time I released it on the internet, I posted anonymously in a paranormal forum, claiming that I had found it in a random pink backpack I picked up somewhere. Some time later, unbeknownst to me, the silly thing actually went viral and I found out that people were calling it “The Pink Backpack,” or “Little Pink Backpack.” I figured it had more of a ring to it than “The Story of Lisa,” so I went ahead and adopted the name.

I hope this was helpful. Remember, you are more than welcome to contact me if you have a question that wasn’t answered on this list. I also really appreciate the fans who have used their time and talent to make fan art for me, so if you or someone you know has made one, please do link me so that I can feature it  in my blog.