Nice to meet you. I’m Chapel Orahamm or Katherine Thornton-Gibson – call me either, I’ll respond to both. I chose them after all. Might break it down for you if you’re interested. Chapel and Katherine both connote purity. Katherine and Orahamm also deal with rivers. Thornton-Gibson is a town of thorns and a gibber’s son. There ya go. I also will respond to she/her/he/him interchangeably. Call me they if you want.PAN & PAN. I’m pretty easy about the pronouns.
I’m an author and artist here on the internets. I have an Instagram account over at chapel_orahamm if you feel like following my art journey. You can also follow me over on Twitter if you want to get bombarded with lots of writing crap. That’s up to you. Here’s where you can find me there: @ThorntonGibsonK. That’s sort of it for my social media accounts. I have a youtube channel, but I don’t create videos, so the best you’ll find there is a bunch of music playlists I’ve created while working on my art and my books. Here it is anyway if you’re curious: Katherine Thornton-Gibson.
I do go into the origin of this image I use as me on most of my social media accounts that you can read here: Real Talking About Low Level Body Dismorphia.
I’ve been drawing since I was able to get my hands on crayons and markers back when I could toddle. My folks like to remind me of the many times daycare and early childhood teachers would come to them and tell them about my art antics. I was slow, meticulous, hated coloring outside the lines and got upset at other kids who scribbled. I also had a penchant for incorporating lots of detail. Now, was I any good? Please, I was a kid. Hell no. Elementary school drove me crazy when they’d bring out the macaroni and paste. I was never much of one to get behind collages or anything involving scissors and glue. Give me a block of copy paper and a few mechanical pencils with decent erasers and I’ll be happy for days. Charcoal is fun, but messy. Paints are interesting, but I don’t find them easy to work with, and therefore don’t practice enough. I will not go near oil pastels…omg texture and smell overload.
I had taught myself enough art that come high school I was sort of left to my own devices in art class, if not helping the teacher with the other students. When you’re in 9th grade trying to teach 12th graders how to draw something outside of stick figures…yeah, that doesn’t really go down well. Looking back on my art from then…eee. It was not that great. Sure, I got the idea of shadowing down, but mastering it had not happened. I still don’t see how any teacher would say I was good enough to no longer need instruction.
It was about early elementary to middle school time frame when I started learning the principles of writing and found I enjoyed it more then my fellow student. I hadn’t quite stepped into writing stories for myself yet though. For the most part my teachers just had a habit of making us write short three paragraph stories that incorporated our spelling words in them. Some of my books started out with me trying to learn new languages (see Polaris Skies) or working toward my GRE to apply for a Masters degree. I don’t remember which of my stories I did that with. I want to say Life of a Librarian.
A friend of mine in middle school knew I liked to read a lot (when I say a lot, I outpaced everyone else by 5 to 1 on the number of books I’d read. I almost wiped out the entire stock of the middle school library between 7th and 8th grade). So, he asked me if I’d give his book that he was working on a read. It was middle school. I don’t remember anymore what it was about, but it was the first time someone had trusted me with their soul. It let me know it was okay to let the world inside me out and that someone out there would value it too.
Hence, I started writing. My first story was The Doubloons. I started working on it in 8th grade, all by hand on sheets of paper and pencil. Then I moved on to typing it. My mom was a great typist and sat me down in 4th grade and taught me how. I can never thank her enough for that skill. It wasn’t until my first year in college that I finished it. I now cringe when I read it though. It’s so much horny teenage hormone laced drivel it’s painful. I should rewrite it at some point. It was my launching point though for the Kavordian Library. Polaris Skies was an offshoot from The Doubloons that I started in my Junior year dealing in the origin of the Polaris Brotherhood who establish the Fiws on Chima. It sort of got waylaid though. Same with The Toy Keeper. Those were all developed around the same time. It wasn’t until after I graduated college though that I was more fully able to dedicate brain space to writing and developing my world.
One would think with my interest in art and writing that I would have gone to get a fine arts degree or be an English major. Can I say that I hate grammar work? I did take a history of English course though and found that enjoyable. Actually, I have a different passion that went hand in hand with my art during high school and has continued since. I love anime and manga. I also enjoy history and doing academic research. Initially I went to a college back east to get a degree in Asian Studies with a minor in Japanese. Due to a bad relationship melt down, I ended up moving back to a college that didn’t have an Asian Studies degree. I applied for Hospitality to establish a Bed and Breakfast. That morphed rather quickly over to Geology so that I could become a Paleontologist. Due to a mismanagement in their system, I wasn’t going to be able to take all the classes I needed in order to make the summer camps (read pre-requisites) that I had to take in a certain period of time to graduate. I ended up leaving Geology to get an interdisciplinary degree in Liberal Arts with focus in Art History and History and a minor in Sociology seeing as I already had most of my credit hours in those complete. I tried my best to take every Asian History and Asian Arts History course the college offered. So, in the end, I sort of ended up with an Asian Studies degree, though the one I originally started out trying to get had more focus on business. Oh well.
In the end of all of this, I did at least create one decent research paper. My profs told me to go get it published in an academic journal. It took me six years after finishing college to finally obtain that goal, but I did! I also gave a presentation on the topic at the academic conference the journal was associated with. I haven’t had access to enough academic material to continue doing research like that, but I loved it when I did. I have a fixation on Ukiyo-e and it’s influence on the Impressionists, the publishing industry in Japan, and the creation of manga as modern art. That’s where Ukiyo-e, WWII, and Walt Disney: The Influences on Tezuka Osamu’s Development of the Modern World of Anime and Manga came from. I can also admit that I don’t care for his art style. Gasp. Heretic. Sacrilege. Blasphemy. Yeah yeah, pipe down. You can do research on stuff you don’t like just as much as things you like. How else do you think you get better at drawing hands and feet? I digress.
I am now in a weird place of wanting to put my books up on e-reader or even physically publish them, but I’m not about to do that until I get at least someone telling me the stories are somewhat good. Authors thrive on reviews, and I’m still waiting on mine. Beta-read please? I’ve played around with the idea of making webcomics too. So, some of my chapters have art scenes in them that you’ll find strewn about. I still have difficulty with backgrounds and color balance. I need to push harder to actually get a couple panels put together. For now the blog works fairly well for incorporating images into my writings. Also, I’ve discovered hover text, which makes it easier for me to put in languages and their meanings into the books that I would otherwise have to footnote in a physical book. I love the hover text option better.
That’s most of what I do. Other questions? I’m feeling kind of “50 Get To Know Me Questions.” If you want random crap about me, here you go, otherwise, the About Me section kind of gives you the gist of who I am and what I do here on Kavordian Library.
1. Are you named after someone: Yes…ish? Katherine is from Katharine Hepburn. Chapel is from a romance novel called Be Mine Tonight.
2. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? I hope. I’m extremely hermit-like in nature. I have no problem joining friends if they invite me to stuff, but I very rarely extend invitations because I perpetually feel like I’m in the way or intruding. I won’t step out of my comfort zone and just randomly text someone. Twitter has been a good challenge for me to actually step out of my zone and start interacting.
3. What’s the first thing I notice about someone? General body proportions, followed by smaller details – hair, eyes, skin condition, finger width, clothing choices, teeth, voice tone, body language…It goes from: how do you occupy space to how can I draw you, to can I make a character out of you, to are you a good protagonist, or are you an antagonist I want to use for murder scenes in my books?
4. What’s your Zodiac sign? Do you believe in it? Greek Zodiac: Pisces. Chinese Zodiac: Metal Horse. Do I believe it? Nope, but I know it for these random questions.
5. How tall are you? Tall enough to not be short, short enough to not be tall enough.
6. What do I want to be when I grow up? Who said anything about me needing to grow up? You don’t have to grow up as long as you pay your bills and are nice to other people. At least, that’s my mentality about this whole adulting business.
7. What was your favorite subject in high school? – Art. I got to do whatever I wanted in class because I was beyond the teacher’s scope and I didn’t abuse the privilege.
8. What was your least favorite subject in high school? – Math. I have discalcula, so when you mix letters and numbers together it all goes screwy in my brain and I lose track of what’s a number and what’s a letter. Trig wasn’t too bad, but Calculus was evil.
9. What sports have you played? I did Tae Kwon Do for a couple years in high school and joined up with the Karate Club in college until I had to have knee surgery, then I got banned from it.
10. Do you play any musical instruments? I used to play mandolin and I taught myself how to play guitar over the course of a summer. I haven’t taken the time since to work on it. Sort of got busy with other life things.
11. Do you speak more than one language? No…I wish. I was tutored in Chinese when I was 14. I took a semester of it in high school along with two semesters of Spanish. I did take two semesters of Japanese in college. I’ve been working through Duolingo to continue learning Japanese, French, Spanish and Irish. I have a slight interest in learning Croatian for the sake of the glendwellers in Polaris Skies, but it’s not pressing.
12. What is your favorite music genre? That entirely depends on everything. If I’m stuck with the regular radio station in the car pop and alt-rock. If I have access to youtube there is a lot of remix nightcore and edm.
13. Fashion sense, got any? I know enough to make most things match. It depends on where my spectrum lies that day. Cargoes, waffle weaves, slacks, white button ups, and ties (if I could find that dang tie. I know I put it somewhere.) are a life staple until it flips and then its 40s style daydresses and slouched suspender on trousers. I’m too short and wide to pull of a decent trench coat, but I’d be pretty good with a slimmed down visual kei. I’ll rock winged eyeliner, but I look like a massacred raccoon if I line my under-lids. I’m a fan of converse, vans, ballet flats, and bare feet. I’d take an awesome pair of black leather combat boots if I could find a pair comfortable enough.
14. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? I think I established that with the “would you be your own friend” question. I am so much an introvert it’s painful.
15. Do you cook and are you any good at it? I’m the cook for the house, so I have to at least make the food passable. I’m also a super-taster…so I can tell when it tastes like utter crap. I suck at American style cooking like casseroles and hamburgers. Tell me to go make stir-fry, pho, or udon and I’m a happy camper though. Don’t ask me to bake. It’ll burn.
16. What type of pet did you want as a kid? I wanted a bird when I was a kid. I wanted one of the smaller parrot type birds that you could teach to whistle songs. Still sort of do, but I have a better understanding now that they need a lot more space then just the little cage that is their nest. I’m not partial to the idea of having bird poop all over my house at this point.
17. Do you have any pets now? I have two cats, a dog that thinks it’s a cat, twelve chickens and five ducks. I did finally get my birds, though they stay outside where their poop can help make my lawn look less brown. I had bees for a while, but I didn’t have the hive set up quite right and they ended up dying off after a very bad rain storm.
18. Do you like games? I have a game group that I join up with about once or twice a month. I enjoy Cards Against Humanity and Battle Wizards when there are too many people in the group to play board games. If we have a smaller group meet up, I enjoy visually attractive games like Mysterium and Tokaido. Letters from White Chapel is a fun game of invisible chess. If someone’s DM’ing, I enjoy playing D&D, Pathfinder and Shadowrun. I tried DM’ing a My Little Pony game. I don’t know how people DM and was not good at that. I want to give it another go at some point. Videogames? Love Boarderlands and Kingdom Hearts.
19. What’s your favorite quote? Patience is a virtue. I use it way too frequently in daily life for it not to be a favorite.
20. Are you left or right handed? Right handed. I can use my left hand, but I wouldn’t qualify it as ambidextrous.
21. If money was no object, what would you get on your next birthday? Fully paid for enrollment in Adobe studios for Photoshop, Illustrator, and Animate.
22. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Honestly – left over beef and broccoli stir fry. I’m not a big fan of sausage, biscuits, gravy, cereal, pancakes, eggs, cheese, etc. when it comes to breakfast. I like savory over sweet and prefer miso soup over milk.
23. What is one physical thing you don’t like about yourself? I’m not partial to what I look like overall. It’s not what I feel I look like in my head. I don’t like having body dismorphia, but thankfully I am not self destructive about it. If I had to be really particular – I don’t like needing glasses.
24. What is one physical thing you do like about yourself? I like my eye color. That’s one of the things I wouldn’t change about me.
25. Do you have siblings? Nope. Only child. I got all the attention.
26. Favorite food? Favorite food genre is East Asian. Favorite food specifically? Uh…Singapore Street Noodles.
27. Do you like bright colors? Sparingly. I’m not partial to just pastel and sepia pallets, but dayglow is an in-moderation thing to me.
28. Are you afraid of the dark? Not until there are weird noises, then I’m not a fan of it. Now, I will say, I’m not a fan of basements or second floors when I’m the only one in the house. That holds true whether it’s midnight or midday though.
29. Which smell do you like the most? Patchouli with sandalwood.
30. Favorite dessert? Did you say lemon? I’m partial to lemon meringues, lemon bars, lemonheads, etc. etc. That and anise flavored stuff – black licorice and the like.
31. Favorite alcohol? That’s between absinthe diluted with simple syrup and lemon mixed into sweet tea and St. Germain straight. I am a serious lightweight though…so my shot glass can last the next two days, thanks.
32. Favorite non-alcoholic beverage? Rat Bastard Rootbeer
33. What is your favorite color? Burgundy followed closely by olive green. Sometimes mint and baby pink.
34. Favorite writers.
35. Hobby you’d like to take up? Rock Climbing, Pole Fitness, Aerial/Gymnastics, creating EDM
36. Favorite flower? White Irises and Madame A. Meilland Roses
37. Do you like poetry? No, not really. I am amused by it sometimes when it sounds profound rather than cheesy, but it’s not a passion.
38. Favorite cartoon from childhood? All the variations of scooby do excluding the scrappy series and the kids version where everyone’s elementary age.
39. Top 10 Favorite Anime?
40. Top 10 Favorite Books
41. Top 10 Favorite Movies
42. Top Songs
43. Top 10 places I want to see in my lifetime
44. Favorite body part to draw – shoulders or fingers. I like to draw the curvature of the back where the shoulder blends into the upper arm.
45. What do you miss most about being a kid? Someone else cooked. I hate dealing with food.
46. What is the first thing you bought with your own money? I’m counting this as money I earned from my first real job (I worked as a holiday sales associate for Restoration Hardware during college) – I bought the dvd set of Ouran High School Host Club.
47. Favorite Actor/Actress? Carey Grant and Katharine Hepburn
48. Favorite Fairytale? Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
49. Favorite ice cream flavor – peppermint from Brahms followed shortly by mint chocolate chip.
50. Favorite Time of the Day – Golden hour, morning or evening. I do like doing photography and golden hour gives you some great haloing and shadows to play with.
© 2019 Chapel Orahamm AKA Katherine Thornton-Gibson. All Rights Reserved. See side bar for more details.