Etsy Love

 "If you want to sell your handmade items, Etsy is a great option for an online shop," advises artist Jaye Frisina. "My best advice would be to take good photos of your work, write detailed descriptions of each one, and follow the instructions on the site for creating your shop. There is a tremendous amount of help offered through their blog, called The Storque; just follow the seller links."

Comic Relief

"There are many comics that I often turn to for inspiration and distraction," shares artist Jaye Frisina, "like Queen & Country, Kabuki, Ex Machina, and Powers. I grew up loving everything that had to do with Batman, and I continue to follow what is going on in the various Batman books. There are also certain creators I follow, and I buy their stuff no matter what the title is, like Tim Sale, Mike Mignola, Alex Maleev, and Jae Lee. You can find collected comic books in most major bookstores now, but I tend to shop at New England Comics, because they have a more varied and thorough collection."

Practice Makes Perfect

For all you wannabe artists out there, artist Jaye Frisina recommends that you "do something creative every single day — draw, paint, sketch, take photos, glue stuff together, whatever. Study the human figure, and practice drawing it in different poses. Do these two things, and you cannot help but improve and start looking at the world around you in a whole new way."

Field Trip!

Need to get out of the studio? Artist Jaye Frisina loves going to Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. "It is a beautiful landscape, with long meandering footpaths, thousands of trees, and a wide variety of monuments. There are also a few buildings built in the mid 1800s that offer great details for drawings. Every season there is so visually different; I highly recommend it for anyone."

Personal Faves

 When asked to name her favorite artists, Jaye Frisina responds, "It's tough to narrow it down, but I'll give it  a shot... Min-Woo Hyung is a Korean artist who created a graphic novel series called Priest. He draws extremely sharp black-and-white scenes, and if I were stuck on a deserted island, I would be happy if I had just one volume of his work with me. The most influential pen-and-ink artists for me are Erté (the fashion designer, famous for his Harper's Bazaar illustrations in the '20s and '30s), and Ed Gorey (the edgy cartoonist who brought us The Gashlycrumb Tinies and The Doubtful Guest, among others). As for the masters, I love Manet for his use of light and shadow to create soft edges in striking visuals, and Rodin for his sculpted musculature and vivid emotional expression."

Scribble her proud

When Jaye Frisina was growing up, art was no mere rainy-day activity. It was a calling that compelled her to scribble, sketch, and create on any canvas that stood in her way — beginning with hidden doodles in spots like the inside of a drawer and progressing to murals on the walls, the furniture, and even the pet cat in her family’s home in Lexington. 

In most households, this would warrant a life-sentence time out and an embargo on all art supplies, but Jaye’s parents did something different: they moved her into another bedroom that had a walk-in closet, which would become her very first atelier. Paint in here, and only here, she was told. And so she did, adding to it for years, until every nook and cranny was blanketed with her designs. 

As a young adult, Jaye never imagined that her talent could lead to a viable career option, so she did the practical thing and became a building manager — until 2001, when she began entering art contests for fun. And fun it was, but when some big-time kudos started rolling in, Jaye realized that it could be even more.  

Cue Thirteenth Story (named to honor the elusive missing floor of superstitious skyscrapers), her online gallery of illustrations and poster art. Working with her simple, bold, eye-catching aesthetic, Jaye is taking this opportunity to challenge herself by experimenting with new dimensions and composites of text and images. In 2008, she launched a delightfully witty ninja cartoon dubbed Fin, the book version of which is due to hit stores this fall.

The stroke of her pen doesn’t stop there, though, because she just signed her first contract with a London-based company that plans to mass-produce her designs on posters and T-shirts. Thanks to a passion that can’t be tamed, there’s no closet big enough for Jaye now.