Sketchy Business

I’ve been pretty good with resisting the temptations of buying art supplies. Sort of.

Okay, I REALLY needed new pencil leads and lining pens. But that’s besides the point.

As far as sketchbooks, I’ve been pretty fortunate to have received them as gifts or freebies and I have a pretty good supply to keep me busy for a while. Some of these sketchbooks…aren’t originally sketchbooks. Rather, lined notebooks, outdated datebooks. And, in my quest to use up what I already have, I’ve been pairing these with regular ol’ ballpoint pens.

Won’t lie – I do sketch in pencil first then go over with pen.

I’ve discovered that doodling with this pairing – as a friend mentioned – is quite freeing. There’s no pressure of drawing something perfect, hey, it’s lined, go wild! Just the motions of sketching with a ballpoint pen is cathartic as well.

The only reason I played Final Fantasy VII

Sometimes it’s just nice to take a break from the obligations of lining and coloring.

Rivaling the strongest woman in the world

Usually I like going this route when I can’t think of what to draw with color. Sometimes I just like the results of my warm-up doodles!

Big, puffy sleeves. I can’t resist drawing them.

Do you like doodling on any kind of surface, whether they’re lined, squared, or dated? Or are you more of a strictly unlined surface kind of sketcher?

 

Well-traveled doodles

Welp. I’m back from my lengthy holiday!

And, if you happened to have followed along my Twitter and Instagram – I definitely kept myself drawing when I could. Oh,  there were plenty of down-times. Luckily, I was well-supplied this time with my super portable watercolor set.

Here’s a run-down of a few of my overseas doodles:

A day after I landed and remembering what day of the week it actually was there, I dabbled in my watercolors to draw Sailor ChibiUsa.

The jet lag was real.

The wifi I had was quite spotty, but I was able to see some live-tweets on the Star Wars Celebration that was going on…basically in the past while I sat…IN THE FUTURE! I mean, I HAD to draw something Star Wars related. And, because… Carrie Fisher.

She’ll save our skins.

But sometimes…I just didn’t feel like bringing out the watercolors. Sometimes I just wanted to scribble.

That’s…supposed to be Elsa back there.

As mentioned previously, I’ve been sketching in lined notebooks and out-dated datebooks – mainly because it saves me a bit of money on buying sketchbooks, and also it gives these things some good use.

Sometimes a stupid fan-art comic idea comes around and I won’t rest until I draw it.

Deleted scene from The Force Awakens. You saw it here first!

And I’m quite happy that the tiny notepad I drew that in is FINALLY filled! If you’re curious how this scribbly comic goes, check it out on my Instagram.

So I’m finally back home and, boy, am I glad to be back with the rest of my art and craft supplies!

Do you keep your creative juices flowing when you’re on vacation?

Well-traveled supplies

Looks like I’ll be traveling in less than a day. And we’re not talking about a road trip or a short flight down south – this is traveling across the planet and staying there for nearly a month!

So what does someone like me take along to create with on my travels?

Well, learning from my other lengthy trip a few years back, I’m definitely taking along my watercolor set. Last trip, while fun, had me go a little nuts that I didn’t have much to color with.

Sure, there are plenty of places where I can grab some colorful pens and neat pencils, but – as I’ve mentioned earlier – I’m trying VERY hard to use up what I have.

On to what I’m packing – keeping in mind, that I’m staying with family and that I’m sure I’ll have a lot of down-time. Still, I try to stay as minimal as possible, I’m still traveling, right?

I’ll need a lightbox, right?! That’s portable.

The no brainers, of course – pencils, pens, refills, eraser, ruler. And, have I mentioned how much I love this watercolor set? I’m so happy to take this with me this time around.

A watercolor pad and…an out-dated datebook?!

Oh eff yeah, Star Wars…

…wait. 2015, what?

No biggie – this is all for doodles and sketches. I’ve been making use of ruled notebooks like these I’ve acquired (usually as gifts, freebies) this way. I say, when it comes to sketching, paper is paper! And this is a Star Wars Moleskine – I’m definitely not complaining.

And, with downtime, artist blocks are inevitable. So I’m taking a few more reinforcements with me.

It’s dangerous to go uninspired…take this!

I think I’m all set for the next few weeks. Other than the obvious sketchbook and pencils/pens, what do you take on your travels?

As always – my doodles and musings will be posted on my Twitter and Instagram!

Water You Waiting For?

I’ve made a vow. A difficult vow.

A vow I’ll likely break the next time I step into an art supply store.

Dammit.

I vowed to only use the art supplies I already have…and RESIST *cries* giving in to temptation should I step into a Michael’s..or Flax…or peruse on the Blick’s site…

Which leads me to the set of watercolors I’ve, sometimes, put aside in favor of my markers. For the past few weeks I’ve come back to them and even bought a new watercolor pad.

Used a coupon at Michael’s. A justified purchase.

OK that didn’t count – I NEEDED that pad to use my watercolors!

Also – during the past two weeks, a pal and I gave ourselves themes to work on for our future art table adventures. So it was killing two birds with one stone for me.

A few weeks ago – we made ourselves draw Pokemon. Easy enough? Eh…a bit of a challenge when it’s something I don’t normally draw. But it was good practice all the same!

The cute route is a family-friendly route, right?

Week after – a Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki week – because…face it, those characters are forever.

When in doubt…TOTORO.

Chibi Totoro: NOPE

I want to say I’m improving, and I think I am. All I can say, it’s just fun. I like to think of this set of watercolors as having an unlimited palette of water-based markers.

Of course – my only gripe is the bit of waiting in between laying down color to dry. Otherwise – I love the blending and layering.

Next: Ren Eboshi

The Good: I’m putting mileage on this watercolor set. I’m seeing some improvements – aka – I’m a bit more patient between color applications.

The Bad: It’s got me looking at watercolor supplies which I…don’t…don’t…need! But WANT!

Is there a watercolor set or brand you favor?

Follow along my watercoloring adventures on my Twitter and Instagram!

 

Turning the Tables

That time came around to registering for Fanime’s Artist Alley – and since my pal and I had a lot of fun last time, we jumped for the chance again….

…welp, no dice this time. BUT – that didn’t stop us from poking around for other events to set up shop. So this year…

..we can check off the Japan Town’s Mini Art Mart off our tabling experience. This past weekend, my pal and I took the opportunity to sell our art. The Mini Art Mart is a small, monthly event for artists around the Bay Area to set up shop in one of the malls in San Francisco’s Japan Center.

Pretty nifty since paying for a table is quite cheap and the location isn’t so far.

Me, I call them treasures...

Me, I call them treasures…

Taking our learnings from Fanime – we made some buttons and a few other small, instantly-enjoyable goodies.

A bit of this, and a bit of that...

A bit of this, and a bit of that…

Of course, we definitely expected a much different crowd – after all, these tables set up in the middle of a mall aren’t exactly the main objectives of shoppers and diners – unlike the attendees of a con.

Just what you see here...

Matt the Radar Tech is still relevant…right? RIGHT?!

Tourists, families, weekenders, diners – were the typical folks who perused by our tables. I had low sales expectations (though, I miraculously broke even!) but I enjoyed it just as much – the engagement with folks who stop by to the observation and people-watching.

It was another learning experience – and I’ve taken some notes on what to do better for this particular event as well as cons. Would I still do this particular event again? Who knows – I definitely want to look into snagging a table when Japan Town holds anime or Jrock related festivals. After all – my observations and notes have to go to some good use!

One thing’s for sure…I’ve got A LOT to catch up on with Pokemon. You mean there are other games past Blue and Red?! :P

 

ROGUE. Scarif’s where you find it.

My creative objectives have been been going…at a sloth’s pace.

But it’s going!

There was NO WAY I wasn’t going to be drawing some Rogue One fan art after seeing it several times since its opening night. And, I admit, I came in with neutral expectations. What with my social media feeds, obviously I…thought it was OK.

I mean…

Oh who am I kidding! Leading up to opening night I was already drawing Jyn Erso – and even more so after watching the movie.

Tip to the officers on Scarif- disable that "guest" network. You're welcome.

Tip to the officers on Scarif- disable that “guest” network. You’re welcome.

This year is also the year I break into this shmancy little leather-bound sketchbook. Told myself I’m going to fill it up…because…what else am I going to do with it? Get in there, Chirrut. Even if you were colored with bargain markers (I was warned that shmancy paper is an ink-sucker).

Are you kidding?! I'm colored with cheap markers!

Are you kidding?! I’m colored with cheap markers!

But, oh, do the better ones look oh-so-good.

It's not a problem if your makers don't dry up.

It’s not a problem if your makers don’t dry up.

Since we’re using supplies I haven’t used or used much, I’ve pulled out the watercolors.

Make 24 colors feel like 100.

Make 24 colors feel like 100.

What were the chances that I’d draw any other droid that isn’t BB-8?!

It's high.

It’s high.

There was no way I was going to pass up getting in on the ROUGUE ONE gags.

Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's stolen from Scarif.

Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s stolen from Scarif.

If you couldn’t tell already – Jyn Erso seriously took over my Star Wars drawing obsession. Sorry Kylo. Haha, just kidding.

High fashion or the battlefield...

The Last Jedi…picked for softball.

Want to see me be one with the Force? Come on by my Instagram and Twitter!

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Oh 2016. How many of us wish you were over already with you depriving us of our favorite celebrities (RIP Carrie Fisher) and bestowing us some crazy conversation topics with family during the holidays (*cough*Election*cough*).

I asked myself a moment ago how I’ve grown as an artist this year, and thought – did I even grow at all? And I did – in ways that have slipped past me for whatever reason. I’ve been patting myself on the back with my accomplishments – small victories for me!

This year I’ve…

Made more plushies!

Plushie Matt the Radar Tech isn't picky about which pastries he deprives you of.

Plushie Matt the Radar Tech isn’t picky about which pastries he deprives you of.

Where else would Plushie Kylo Ren shop?

Where else would Plushie Kylo Ren shop?

I don’t know how this didn’t pop up when going over my accomplishments. So my plushie repertoire isn’t huge, but it has grown and I’ve solved lots of tiny plushie problems. Such as…discovering paint pens! Oh geeze, how I wish I got one a long time ago.

So who poses first? You pose first? Or I pose first?

So who poses first? You pose first? Or I pose first?

And by the holidays my love for sewing these things rekindled (I admit, there was a bit of a lull) and I made some new plush – including Poe Dameron and an Imperial Stormtrooper.

Opened an Etsy store!

With my obsessions driving me to make plushies, I eventually convinced myself to try selling them on on Etsy. I was surprised I made some sales! Will I continue – absolutely.

Had a table at a convention!

Your life needs more bikini Kylo.

Your life needs more bikini Kylo.

This was something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m so happy I tried it. Did I mention how much I loved it? My expectations of selling were really low, but I loved the engagement with con attendants and meeting fellow artists. I definitely want to do this again! Sadly, my friend and I were rejected for next year’s Fanime, but we’re gonna try our hand at other events. Hope to see some of you when we snag a table!

Draw. Draw. Draw!

Prompt #7: Lost BB-8 holds the key to a lost hermit

Prompt #7: Lost
BB-8 holds the key to a lost hermit

Prompt #9: Broken If only she let that squirrel alone...

Prompt #9: Broken
If only she let that squirrel alone…

Hourly comics, Inktober, and Daily Doodles (even if I’ve been slacking some days) – I’ve kept my drawing arm moving however much I could. The little artist community on Instagram is always fun and I’ve made some lovely trades with some lovely and talented folks who I’m so glad to have met.

Cosplay!

Ok, so this Rey outfit was more for Halloween (and wearing to Rogue One’s opening night), but I did get a tiny taste of putting together a costume. Most pieces were bought, but I did pat myself on the back for putting the belt  and (with a little help) getting the long scarf/wrap done.

Grew a community

Alongside my fellow artist pals, we kept our regular Drawing Meats MEATup going throughout the year. We’ve met and befriended some amazing new artists. You’ll bet we’ll be continuing this tradition through all of next year and years ahead.

What’s ahead in 2017?

Along with continuing the above there are lots of crafting ideas swimming through my mind that I want to try. One is playing around with resin to make some cool jewelry, the other – finally getting around to learning how to use a sewing machine. As for my Etsy  and possible tables – I definitely will work on making new items such as stickers, buttons, and more plushies! Who knows, maybe I’ll even try NaNoWriMo.

What are your creative resolutions for 2017 and beyond?

Have a safe New Year, everyone. And keep on creating!