Everything Isn’t Everything

Derrick White

“Underneath my outside face, there’s a face that none can see. A little less smiley, a little less sure but a whole lot more like me.” — Shel Silverstein.

Art has given me almost everything in my life. An outlet for my mental health struggles, a sense of pride, and a solid group of friends and peers I never thought I would have. Honestly, I have met nearly all my friends from them sitting next to me while I am drawing and us sparking up a conversation. Art has provided me a life I did not know existed and I am so happy for it,” states local artist and comic creator, Jasey Beddingfield. Comics is an art method used to express concepts with images, often combined with text or other visual material. Comics characteristically use the form of a sequence of panels. Written narration, as well as textual devices such as speech balloons and captions, indicate dialogue, sound effects, or other information.

“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.” ― Shel Silverstein.

Jasey has been working, semi-professionally, as an artist and an illustrator and comics creator for a couple of years. She has been self-publishing her own original comics and selling them along with prints of her artwork and handmade things like whacky buttons, pins, and keychains while also collaborating with local screen printers to get her designs on things like t-shirts and koozies. Beddingfield elaborates, “I was the co-curator of a local zine (a small-circulation, handmade and self-published work of original art or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced by using a Xerox machine) called ARTPARTY featuring local artists from all over the East Texas area and centered on a specific theme for each issue. I have also traveled all over Texas and the surrounding states selling my works at comic and zine fairs. Those have always been my favorite to participate in and get inspired by others in the same industry as me. It sucks that with COVID last year, they were all cancelled.”

“There is a voice inside of you, that whispers all day long, ‘I feel this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.’ No teacher, preacher, parent, friend, or wise man can decide what’s right for you – just listen to the voice that speaks inside.” ― Shel Silverstein.

Jasey’s comic artwork is inventive, personal, self-deprecating, and engaging. Her line work is both fun and beautiful. Her situational panels are easy to associate with and connect with viewers through the everyday activities and anxieties of real life. The artist explains, “Currently most of my work is comic-based. I have always enjoyed the pacing comics give in making the viewer stop and look at a situation more closely. Details brushed over in text can be put in the spotlight. When people read my comics, I hope they feel a connection to those small moments. I am simple, a number two pencil, micron pens, and India ink are the materials I use to create. Traditional has always worked best for me. I like physical. Something about liking the feeling of a pencil in my hand and seeing something come to life. I still scan in my artwork and refine in Photoshop, but I try to do as much traditionally as I can.”

“Draw a crazy picture, write a nutty poem, sing a mumble-gumble song, whistle through your comb. Do a loony-goony dance ‘cross the kitchen floor, put something silly in the world that ain’t been there before.” ― Shel Silverstein. 

Jasey remembers, “Since the first grade I have had it in my head I wanted to be a ‘draw-er’, drawing on the backs of my schoolwork pages and making paper dolls of my classmates. But it was not until about 2014, I started trying to sell my works. I had a permanent booth spot at the resale job I was working at Gifts of Grace in Longview. I was selling ceramic coffee cups and plates I had found and drawn on and my first mini-comic about a boy who broke my 17-year-old heart. I really enjoyed drawing in the comic-style and slowly found others online who were creating comics in a similar style, so I kept doing it. Perfecting my style and figuring out what I wanted to say with my work.” She concludes, “Life in general can be frustrating which makes it hard to concentrate on an illustration or comic project. Regardless of how much of a pain in the rear it is to keep myself going, I do it. I still enjoy the heck out of it.” 

“I will not play at tug o’ war. I’d rather play at hug o’ war, where everyone hugs, instead of tugs. Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug. Where everyone kisses and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.” ― Shel Silverstein. 

Jasey credits Shel Silverstein (American writer, poet, cartoonist, and songwriter) as being her biggest inspiration, as shown in one of her latest comics. Jasey’s mom had given her a bunch of his poetry books when she was little, and she says she obsessed over them. She states, “His loose ink drawings paired with his silly humor and wit, 100% made me the person and artist I am today.” 

“Anything is possible. Anything can be.” ― Shel Silverstein

Jasey works curating comics and poetry zines from local artists and selling them in Downtown Longview at Books and Barrels (206 North Center Street, Longview, TX 75601). Stop by Books and Barrels and say hello to Jasey, check out all they have to offer, find something you like, and pick something up. 

You can find out more about the art and comics of Jasey Beddingfield on Etsy – ShopJaseyB or on Instagram at jaseyb_comics.