2013 has been quite a year! I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have to work in a field that I love and to put more of my favorite pictures and ideas into the world.

Here are a few project highlights from the year:

RoughCoverLife, the Universe and Everything

This was my third year as an invited speaker and panelist at the sci-fi/fantasy symposium, Life, the Universe & Everything.

I had a blast talking about some of my all-time favorite subjects: making comics, drawing pictures, writing stories and creating artwork.

I was also invited to create the program book’s cover, featuring an ink illustration of a space traveler with a dragon and a hologram (a taste of things to come?).

Watch for more panels on comics, writing and art at LTUE in February 2014!


Comics Workshops

Some of my favorite times of the year have been when I’ve gotten to visit with elementary, junior high and high school students to talk about comics.

This year we made choose-your-own-adventure comics, one page pass-along comics, origami comics, and single panel gags.

I was happy to run workshops and presentations at schools, libraries, bookstores, festivals, conferences, book clubs and community centers all across Utah.

I even got to run my own five-day comics workshop at Higher Ground Learning, where we made comics for three hours a day!

Higher Ground Learning have invited me back to teach a summer comics course in 2014, so watch this blog and the Higher Ground Learning website for more info!


gTar Print

GTar is an ingenious ingenious “fully digital guitar that makes it easy for anybody to play music, regardless of experience.” All you have to do is dock your iPhone in the body, load up the gTar app, and an array of interactive LEDs along the fretboard will show you how to play. Pretty cool!

I was invited to make a limited edition print featuring the gTar and I came up with this 18″ x 24″ illustration, silkscreened on 100lb French paper with archival ink.

G̶e̶t̶  ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶  ̶o̶w̶n̶  ̶p̶r̶i̶n̶t̶  ̶h̶e̶r̶e̶!̶  SOLD OUT

Find out more about the gTar and how you can get your own fully digital guitar at incidentgtar.com.

The Adventures of William Worm _0011_14

William Worm

The Adventures of William Worm is a 32-page multilingual children’s comic book, written by Pat Alvarado and illustrated by Jess Smart Smiley (that’s me!). William is a hard-working worm that lives with his cousins and spends his time building and repairing tunnels. When William gets caught up in a series of dangerous disasters, he begins to question his life as a tunnel engineer. Whether your child reads in English or Spanish, or just enjoys a good story, The Adventures of William Worm is fun for the whole family.


Tour Poster for John-Ross Boyce and His Troubles

For those of you who have been following this blog, you’re probably familiar with the band John-Ross Boyce and His Troubles. The Utah-based Gutter/Country band has been getting a lot of attention over the last year–especially for their famously energetic live shows–and they spent some of 2013 on tour!

I count myself lucky to have made a few concert posters for the group, as well as their band logoalbum artwork, and even a Christmas card. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to make a poster for their 2013 Pacific Northwest tour.


Check out this one-page bicycle comic I made for SLUG Magazine as part of National Bike Month. (A big thanks to Ricky for the opportunity!)



Matt Moses is making a big noise in the indie comics scene with his Hic + Hoc titles. The comics publisher has been making the rounds at various festivals and conventions, as well as book stores and comic shops for author and artist signings. Hic + Hoc makes everything they do all about the comics–perhaps better than any other publisher that I’ve seen.


Matt asked me to make a temporary tattoo for Hic + Hoc and (of course) I leaped at the opportunity. I’m not sure how many tattoos he has left, but Matt says “Send me a dollah and I’ll mail you a bunch. Or better yet buy a Hic & Hoc comic (or one of the great comics I’m distributing) and I’ll fill up the envelope with ‘em!”

4804476_10515959-frm715bl01_b  4805264_9420471-frm118bl01_b


I’m happy to now offer prints in the shop! Get “The Kiss” or “Gator Goes for a Stroll” (above) as a Gallery quality Giclée print on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. Custom trimmed with 1″ border for framing.

I’m also offering my “Wolverine is the Snikt” print (below), if you’re into that sort of thing.



I Painted Two Giant Murals and They Look Like This

After 200 hours of planning, priming and painting, Provo City celebrated the new murals along the Provo River Trail with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Joined by dozens of good friends and family, we heard a few words from Provo city mayor John Curtis and council members Kay van Buren and Gary Winterton.

Following our city leaders, I cut the tunnel ribbon with the largest pair of scissors I’ve ever seen and the murals were officially opened to the public!

Read and see more about the murals here and here.






I Made a Look-n-Find Book and It Looks Like This!

Rumpus on the Run: A Monster Look-n-Find Book is filled with spooky-fun and cutesy-quirky monsters in 10 full-color imaginative scenes. (You can think of the book as  Where’s Waldo,  but with family-friendly monsters.)








BRING IT ON, 2014!

Thanks so much for all of your support and for following my blog. Here’s to a bright 2014 for us all!


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