I've made Duct Tape wallets before, and my last one finally got so grimy my husband insisted I replace it. So I tried something slightly different, using the same basic construction. I took some of my library comic strip art and reformatted it to be the right size and dimensions. After printing in color on photo paper, I laminated it with Contact Paper. Using a combo of clear packing tape and some Duct Tape, I made the wallet you see below.
     There are tutorials/patterns all over the internet. Here are a few:

(Ignore my fat Slovak fingers)
Open, with the exterior showing
The interior
     I used some old discarded library checkout cards to make interior pockets. One of them is from a book called NOBODY ELSE HAS TO KNOW by Ingrid Tomey, and the other is from TROUBLE ON THE TRACKS by Donna Jo Napoli.

The inside and interior are lined with plaid Duct Tape
The library checkout cards form pockets to stash stuff behind, plus there's a clear plastic pocket OVER them, so you can slip something like your Drivers License (or public library card) into it!
Do it!

     Next time, I plan to make one using the actual cover of a discarded paperback novel. The exterior would look like this:

     I like how cheesy that cover is. Of course I'd remove the remains of that barcode label.


     This is just some in-progress stuff on my art table right now. I liked the juxtaposition of things. I love the fun mess of the process, when you've got all this stuff out and you're still trying to figure out which things to use, which elements to edit out, but for the time being it looks crazy and exciting.

     I'm doing illustrations for a friend's book, plus I'm getting ready to do some artwork for a group show in May (gallery999), so naturally I had to get sidetracked and do some weird stuff that has nothing to do with either of those things.
     First I gave a makeover to a scuffed-up brown outdoor bunny using glitter paint and spray paint:
He is now an indoor bunny.

The pattern on his back allows him to hide, entirely camouflaged, in my art room.

     And then I drew this doodle:


     Saturday night my husband and I drove up to Chinatown in L.A. with our good friend Matt for the "release party" of a group art project I participated in. "Box of Books Vol.5" was organized by Darin Klein & Friends. (Darin's a curator at L.A.'s Hammer Museum)
     20 creators were each asked to make 100 copies of a little reversible booklet using 11"x17" paper and a clever cutting and folding technique. Subject matter was totally up to the creators.
The Weirdling Woods (I sign each one by hand in magical silver ink)
     I chose to use this opportunity to work with a project I've been noodling with for years. An illustrated children's fantasy story called The Weirdling Woods.
The Weirdling Woods, page 3
     That's all you get, as far as a peek at The Weirdling Woods. I'll be selling them online for $5 each through my Etsy shop: HERE. (Give me until about 11/7/'12 to get it listed, por favor)

Sales table, people, a dog...

More people, and that freeloader dog is still there... (I don't think it even purchased Box of Books Vol.5)

Upstairs zine room, looking down on main floor of exhibit hall

Anthony amid art

The foyer of the facility was draped with black ribbons, a visual theme that was carried throughout the place.

DOODLE-DOO : a random work doodle

"Registration Beast," #2 pencil on notebook paper, by Tommy Kovac 
     Today was the second day of registration for the new school year, in which I'm stuck standing at my library counter all day initialing paperwork crap, taking library and textbook fine money, handing out library donation flyers, and selling combination locks for their stupid book lockers. It was pretty busy, but occasionally there was a brief lull in which I had to occupy myself.


          This week is agonizingly slow, dragging by legless and nearly dehydrated. It's finals week for the students, so the library has been either frenziedly busy (before, between, and after classes) or eerily silent.
          At my psychiatrist's office yesterday, I confided that I could feel my brain trying to get anxious and fixated negatively on some things lately, but so far I've been self-aware enough to nip that in the bud. Thanks to the drugs. I made a point to insist that I felt the drugs were still working, because I'm not ready to have my dosages increased, or to be put on something more heavy-duty. But I felt it was important to lay a little groundwork of honesty, in case I grow increasingly spazzy, and need to have my prescriptions tweaked.
          The fact that I don't have a publisher yet for my illustrated children's middle-grade fantasy novel makes me feel un-anchored and nervous. I've only written 5 or 6 chapters of it, and only submitted it to (and been rejected by) one publisher. I know I should relax and just enjoy working on it. I've been wanting to shift gears from comics & graphic novels to something more... "novelly" for years now. But my brain doesn't do well without clear deadlines and agreements.
          Maybe I should go straight home and work really hard on it. Maybe I should put my energy into exercising, eating less, and trying to lose some weight. I am 40 now, after all. Maybe I should put my energy into some potentially "fine art" type of creativity. There's (potentially) more money in that, from what I've seen. Why be constrained by the format of a book at all? Sometimes it's hard to tell if I feel like writing, or drawing. And when I definitely feel like writing, part of me wants to work on the children's novel, and another part of me wants to write something for adults, like a full-on horror novel, or something more complex and harder to fit into a simplified category.
          Maybe I just need a nap.
          But then I remember that I got a notice from the IRS about a minor tax discrepancy from my 2010 taxes. I need to figure that out, in case I need to file a correction. The notice I received didn't give a deadline, though, so it's easy to procrastinate, especially something confusing like taxes.
          My mom was kind enough to give me an awesome industrial-type pin-back button (badge) maker for Christmas. It's a small press with metal pieces and a lever. I should make a bunch of buttons and try to sell them on Etsy, or at conventions and stuff. Maybe THAT'S what I should do this evening. I've made some buttons already, of course, but not enough to start selling.
          Maybe I DO need more drugs. Why can't I let myself just relax, take a nap, read, watch some TV? Is that really so terrible?
          But I also have this painting project I started, then abandoned temporarily for button-making. The painting project involves a big metal Medieval shield that hangs on the wall. I've already spray-painted it black and painted a weird blue animal face over what used to be a coat-of-arms. I've been planning to add some Martha Stewart glitter paint to it. The bottles are lined up eagerly on my drafting table: blue, amethyst, and green.
          HOLY CRAP the choir next door to the library is singing "Send In the Clowns." What have I done to deserve that?
          Anyway, maybe I just need to drink more often. Oh- and then lately it's been really grim because the Librarian I work with found out that her husband has terminal lung cancer. It's awful beyond words, and I feel terrible for both of them. Of course she didn't want everyone to know right away because she didn't want to have to talk about it all the time. But people have started finding out and coming in to commiserate. And asking ME about it. Even on Facebook. So I'm trying to keep my mind off mortality, but it's been difficult.
          I thought of a great band name: "Diarrhea Envy." Get it? Like "penis envy," only with diarrhea...? No?