Friday, January 23, 2015

Carolyn Belefski - Nominee for Best of D.C.

I am nominated again for Washington City Paper's Best of D.C. Readers Poll in the category of "Best Visual Artist." Last year, as well as the year before, I got runner-up. Let's see if we can beat that. It only takes a couple seconds to vote. I'd appreciate if everyone took a moment to vote. Thank you!

The poll closes March 11 at 11:59PM EDT

Carolyn Belefski has been nominated for Best Visual Artist
Carolyn Belefski is the writer and artist of the comic strip Curls at She is constantly improving her skills and touring the east coast appearing at comic conventions and art shows.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Charlie Hebdo - A Call To Arms

I was having hope for 2015 to be a good year, but the first major news story of the year is terrorizing.

Yesterday was a terrible day for cartoonists, satirists, writers, and journalists around the world. The attack on Charlie Hebdo publication headquarters killed several people in France. 

After meeting several political cartoonists back in 2011, I was aware that many cartoonists are targeted everyday for their voice. I was aware that Charlie Hebdo was targeted before and, sadly, I'm not surprised this tragedy has happened. I like to live in a land of endless rainbows and bubble tea, but the world outside my protective bubble is a messed up place.

These days you never know who you will offend. My wish is that cartoons and articles open up dialogue about issues and real verbal discussion arises. Killing is not the answer. Let's solve our problems with art. You can have a gun or you can have a pencil.

Violence is weakness. Art is power. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Recap: Curls Studio's Year of 2014

Wow. I can't believe 2014 is over and we've recently rang in 2015. Last year was pretty crazy and ended so quickly. I wanted to highlight some of 2014's best moments. 

Overall this 2014 brought us around 16 full days exhibiting at comic conventions. I did elect to cut back on some tour dates this year and concentrate on work, but looking at the list now it seems we only took out one that required travel and expanded to shows that are closer to the homebase.

2014 TOUR

FEB 13-28 • cARToons Exhibit at UDC
MAR 8 • Smudge! Expo
APR 18-20 • Awesome Con DC
MAY 3 • Free Comic Book Day Big Planet Comics 
MAY 10 • ANS Sci-Fi & Comic-Con
MAY 17 • Gaithersburg Book Festival
MAY 31 • Cartoonists Draw Blood
JUL 20 • SuperNoVa Comicon
JUL 26 • Signing at Fantom Comics
SEP 5-7 • Baltimore Comic-Con 
SEP 13-14 • Small Press Expo 
OCT 9-12 • New York Comic Con 
OCT 18 • Annapolis Comic-Con 
OCT 22 • Design & Doodle Workshop

The main highlights for me in 2014 included:

• Fun energy at Awesome Con DC in April

• Being voted (for the second year in a row) as runner-up for Best Visual Artist by Washington City Paper readers

• Taking part in the second "Cartoonists Draw Blood" blood drive with the American Red Cross at Seekers Church in May

• Having a published Adventure Time #29 cover

• Editing issues #8 and #9 of Magic Bullet, Washington, DC's comics newspaper

• I now have Instagram and Vine

• New York Comic-Con was our biggest and most successful show ever

• Asked to lead the Design & Doodle Workshop during DC Design Week

• Amber Love and I will have a comic in RISE: Comics Against Bullying, geared to be distributed free by organizations such as GLAAD, Stand for the Silent, and Prism Comics

The Carolyn & Joe Show podcast also recorded a new episode for each week of 2014 and we now have over 300 episodes

My goals for 2015 are to focus and not get distracted by outside forces (see 2015 New Year's Resolutions from Panel Patter and Pals). I hope to be more active in social media because I spent a full year not posting to any outlet during weekdays because of a demanding job. I'm still working full-time, but I now have more freedom to think and contribute to the world and plan to use that liberty. Thanks for keeping up with Curls Studio and our activities. 

I hope you had a great holiday season and let's see each other in 2015 and beyond!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Illustrations for NASW ACI

Earlier this year I worked on a freelance design project with Anne Likes Red. I was contacted to create and illustrate several characters for a postcard set, animated promotional video, and trade show display for NASW Assurance Services, Inc. focusing on professional liability insurance for social workers.

Watch the animated film here:

Let's Work Together!

If you are interested in my illustration and/or design skills, please email Carolyn Belefski at View my portfolio:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween 2014

Hi Spooks! 

Thanks for reading Curls. Use hashtag #CurlsTrickOrTreat on social media to receive special treats from Curls. It's like digitally ringing my door bell.



 Subscribe to Curls!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

RISE: Comics Against Bullying Kickstarter

There is a Kickstarter anthology project that I am a part of called RISE: Comics Against Bullying, which ends in 5 days. As of this writing, the project is funded a bit over 75%. 

This comics series dealing with bullying is geared to be distributed free by organizations such as GLAAD, Stand for the Silent, and Prism Comics.

The story I am illustrating is written by Amber Love. It’s about the consequences of teens who feel they are mature enough to take nude selfies and the damage it does to one girl and her loved ones.

There are several other artists and writers to check out as well who are working on this project with their own stories.

To find out more, please read Amber's blog post about the project and pledge towards the Kickstarter to make it become a reality.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recap: Design & Doodle Workshop

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, I led the Design & Doodle Workshop during DC Design Week. The event was hosted by AIGA DC, General Assembly, and DC Fem Tech. Only 25 people could attend and the registration sold out in less than a day. Even the wait list was sold out, so I knew the attendees were paying close attention to the design community and that means people are craving this type of creativity. 

After introductions, I talked about doodling techniques and showed the attendees some warm up hand exercises to get loose. I have two main hand exercises – one I call finger taps and the other is more wrist based I call CM Punk. Oftentimes, I believe designers are stiff and it's an experience I've had to overcome and am constantly working on. Not only are we sitting at desks for ten hours a day staring at a screen, but we sometimes work under rigid guidelines and dun dun dun... the horrible (not so horrible) grid!

Only one of the attendees had decided to draw digitally, but the others brought their own supplies of drawing tools and paper. After our decision about drawing, I learned that there was some interest in drawing apps, but most people felt like drawing with physical objects was the way to go. I mostly do linework on paper, then scan, and color digitally with a tablet. 

A few years ago I did a project called Sketch Before Sleep where I drew each night for 365 days. All of those sketches were done digitally. I showed a film clip of all the Sketch Before Sleep sketches. I had not shown the film since 2011 at the GV Expo, but it's now available online here.

The two prompts I gave at Design & Doodle were selecting two words from my "Inspiration Owl" and showing the vintage novelty doodle pad from David Jablow's Do It Yourself Doodler Project. Free issues of Magic Bullet #9 and postcards promoting my comic strip "Curls" were given out as well.

The rest of the evening was spent doodling and several of the attendees showed me their sketches and had one-on-one talks with me about their drawing skills. It was great to meet some new faces and also recap with Anthony and Mila from the AIGA board. Thanks to everyone who attended the event.

More photos can be found on the Curls Studio Facebook page.