Imagining Forms: A Zine


According to Wikipedia, a zine is defined as follows,

“A zine (/ˈziːn/ ZEEN; an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is most commonly a small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier.”

Zine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Why a Zine? 

I wanted to create a product that people could grab at a low cost, but included lots of images in one place.  There is something about a zine that says, “I want to share this with you, so I made these myself. . . by hand.” It is personal.  This set of work was created with a specific aesthetic and style in mind.  The following description is printed on the inside cover and informs the viewer where my inspiration was drawn from.


Visual Development for A Frolicsome Imagination

Inspired by the great mid-century color stylists of the Walt Disney Company such as Mary Blair, Eyvind Earle, and Walt Peregoy … to background painters for Hanna-Barbera such as Art Lozzi and Fernando Montealegre … to contemporary visual development artists such as Lorelay Bové and the painting techniques of Scott Wills.  My aim with this work is to imagine the type of forms that would inhabit the world of my characters.  Through experimentation and play, these forms were developed to evoke a child-like wonder and whimsical feel.


The works included in this zine can be seen here.

Here are some links to the artists listed above. Please take a look!


Mary Blair

Eyvind Earle

Walt Peregoy

Here is a fantastic article from Cartoon Brew on Walt Peregoy. 

Walt Peregoy, ’101 Dalmatians’ Color Stylist, RIP,” by, AMID AMIDI

John Kricfalusi has been blogging for nearly a decade and has shared a wealth of information, for which I am truly thankful. Here are some links form John K.

Art Lozzi

Fernando Montealegre

See also

Lorelay Bové

Scott Wills Painting Demo

*Scott Wills

*Link from John K giving props to Drake Brodahl for his work collecting info on Scott’s work.  Thanks, John and Drake.

Imagining Forms zine design is a firm “nod” to Aaron Draplin and Jim Coudal for their “Field Notes” memo book.  Check them out.

The awesome tape on the spine is from, MT.

Imagining Forms and Oobleck

Over the summer of 2013, I made some new discoveries that would continue to push my body of work to a new level.  I listened to a presentation titled, An Evening with Frank Stella, given by Frank Stella at the Toledo Museum of Art in April of 2007 that motivated me to create variations on a theme.  For me this theme was my imagined plant forms.  Stella urged his audience to watch out for three enemies of art: representation, reproduction, and recreation ( I was motivated by his explanation of his variations on a square, in which he drew many different variations on a common theme.

Variations on a Theme Sketch

I began to explore and create a new plant form based on the geodesic dome at EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World.  The form also resembles an organic mushroom.

Plant Portrait Study 3 Gouache on Illustration Board
Plant Portrait Study 1
Gouache on Illustration Board

The oil painting on canvas, #1 Plant Portrait, became the first of the Plant Portraits series.

Plant Portrait 3
Plant Portrait 1

This new discovery has genuinely advanced my process of creating imagined and invented plant forms. 

Continuing in my discovery, a colleague, Bud Schultz, introduced me to a material known as oobleck, or a non-Newtonian fluid.  Upon further research, I discovered that this fluid is used in cymatics, or the visualization of sound waves.  The process in which I used to create fluid-like organic forms can be seen here. On my digital camera, I captured the fluid moving to the sounds of music played through a subwoofer. 


Oobleck Detail
Oobleck Detail

After the images were taken, I then cut out specific forms in Adobe Photoshop that would make an interesting plant form as I added other invented components to the oobleck form.  The result was a very free form, organic component to the visual language that I have already begun to create.

Oobleck Form Selection
Oobleck Form Selection
Oobleck Ideation
Oobleck Ideation

I made five small color study paintings using gouache on illustration board. #1 Plant Portrait Study, #2 Plant Portrait Study, #3 Plant Portrait Study, #4 Plant Portrait Study, and #5 Plant Portrait Study.  These works can be seen here.

Plant Portrait Study 1 Gouache on Illustration Board
Plant Portrait Study 2
Gouache on Illustration Board

It has been very exciting to see how I can use these new plant forms within my body of work.

Looking back to the botanical art that I had studied and incorporated in, Dreamer, (which can be seen here) I knew that I wanted to use the “plant portrait” concept, with a neutral background for each image.  The oobleck forms make up the remaining oil paintings in the Plant Portrait series.  #2 Plant Portrait, #3 Plant Portrait,  #4 Plant Portrait, and #5 Plant Portrait.  The plant forms in this series become the ‘main characters’ that may be used in future fantasy landscape outside of this body of work.

Plant Portrait 2
Plant Portrait 2

For more Plant Portraits based on Oobleck forms check out my gallery here.

*This Blog Post is an excerpt taken from my Graduate Thesis, A Frolicsome Imagination.


Stella, Frank. (Speaker). (2011). An Evening with Frank Stella. [Video].

Retrieved from

Check out this page for further examples of non-Newtonian fluids from wikipedia.

Also Check out this awesome segment from Discovery of oobleck in slow motion on youtube.