2017: Looking Back and a Look Ahead

2017 was a wild ride, wasn’t it? I mean…creatively. Along with the inevitable creative slumps here and there, I can comfortably say I’ve learned and done some new things.

This year I’ve done/learned/picked up:

A few more tables!

Oh, a bit of this and a bit of that…

Ok. Just TWO tables, but that’s two more than I imagine I’d do. Both tables were smaller crowds or smaller-trafficked due to them being either in malls where artist alley tables aren’t on many shoppers’ radar or the first of a type of con. Either way, there was always much to learn in terms of the type of shoppers and what’s popular at certain venues. Took me a while to learn that Pokemon is very much popular as it was years ago.

Started a web comic!

Don’t mess with the Ess

No more what-ifs or other hesitations – I just went and did it. Didn’t care if it’s terrible – I just needed to get off my butt and start drawing…digitally. And to give the Clip Studio Paint and Surface Pro some mileage! I felt I wasn’t using both tools to their full potential as well as putting the ideas in my head to pen and paper. I’m a true believer of learning while doing and I definitely feel like I’m learning with each comic. It’s definitely a good exercise and gives me a sense of a schedule. I also feel like I’m developing my OC more even if all of her weekly stories are limited to four panels. Either way – I hope you’ll come by to read them!

Drew Inktober as a comic story

For the prompt “underwater”

I couldn’t say no to participating in Inktober. Not only did I follow the official prompts, but I centered them around a comic that was almost an origin story for my take on Snow White. This idea I borrowed from a friend of mine who did this last year with the prompts. I found this to be a pretty cool exercise in coming up with a story where each comic centered on a single word and to look at the words from different angles. I might want to do this next year.

Started using the sewing machine!

Yeah, sew?

Nya!

I don’t know why I was so afraid of using a sewing machine. In my eyes it was a thing of wonder and terror – all those dials, numbers, and…how the heck do I thread this thing?! But I started small…and soon I was confident to sew better plush! Actually, I’m still starting small. Better machine this time, but same plush.

Met new artists and made new friends in Drawing Meats

The Meet of MEATs

Each year I’ve met and befriended some awesome artists in our bi-monthly MEATup. This year was no exception. Here’s to a new year of more drawing and, hopefully, new friends!

Became a workshop coach

I took the initiative to meet the folks who opened the new local art studio in my town. After a few chats, I became a workshop coach for sketch cards and greeting cards! Admittedly, it’s a little slow, but even inspiring a small group is a lot of fun.

Creative Goals for 2018

Improve my Etsy page

This is my goal EVERY year. I’m owning up to the slump in sales – I haven’t been pushing it as much as I should. As much as I love making fan art and fan crafts, I really want to move on to making originals. Which leads me into….

Making a name for myself

So I’ve started building this with my webcomic. Fan art is a great way to draw people in with something familiar and I hope I can draw their eyes to my original content.

Improve plush-making

Since I’m a bit more confident with the sewing machine, I’d love to start making better plush. So I’ve JUST mentioned that I want to do more original content…but I may have to experiment with making bigger versions of the fan plush I’ve made. Maybe a Kylo Ren plush you’d want to hug….or choke.

Improve sewing, in general

Toward the end of the year I actually tried to make a few zipper pouches. I still have much to learn despite pouches being one of the more simpler projects. From there, I’d love to print fabric with my own art and make zipper pouches from them.

Improve drawing, in general

There’s ALWAYS much to learn in any creative endeavor. I could definitely kick myself in the pants more to draw hands better.

Take commissions and not be afraid to sell my art

I’ve done very few commissions but trades are hardly ever a problem. So why am I so hesitant to take commissions? Folks will often tell me my art is pretty neat, but even that doesn’t give me enough confidence to draw something by request. That’s something I need to step up on.

Continue everything, improve everything

Everything I’ve done this year and beyond, I definitely want to keep going and get better.

Let’s keep drawing, painting, crafting, writing, and learning into the new year. Thanks to everyone who have been and continue to support me – I definitely want to give back with my best.

While we wait for 2017 to end, come talk to me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook! And, if you enjoy what I do, come by my Ko-fi page!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Advertisements

Inktober 2017 – Reflection

We did it! We made it to the end of Inktober with a drawing every day! And, even if you didn’t and are still catching up to this day – that’s def okay too. Heck, I might even dive into NaNoWriMo mid November. But anyway…

This Inktober, I added another layer of challenges alongside restricting myself to inks and the prompts. As mentioned in my last post, I stole the idea of creating a storyย  about my take on Snow “Essie” White where each comic was based off of the prompts.

It definitely challenged me to broaden what is usually drawn with prompts as well as draw poses and settings I hardly – if ever- drawn. Like backgrounds, horse carriages, inns, and sandwich-stealing bears.

It was all fine and dandy until I got to “Fat”. One minute, Essie was chasing a cub who stole her sandwich. The next minute….

Fat geese and mysterious trees. They go together, right?

And to segue into “Graceful”, well, I had to keep the goose.

Graceful dancing fat geese – faded away into myth and legend.

What with my story taking place in a land of fantasy, it was very easy, and very fun to add in a comic with a Skyrim setting:

“Let’s sate that appetite, hm?”

Oh gah! Foreshortening?! I did what I could.

A daily comic was a good exercise for me in both drawing and storytelling. Then I entertained the idea of making daily comics…erm… Welp, until I’m super comfy drawing digitally, I’ll keep my comic weekly.

However, I did start to feel more comfortable just drawing comics. Admittedly, I struggle making my weekly installations! I want to say that the prompts definitely helped.

Another good and kind of bad/sad thing is that several of my pens have been given good use to the point of fraying and running dry! Yay? Guess who has to hit up the art shops again. Damn.

I hope you followed along on my Twitter and Instagram! There were tons of great Inktober drawings that make me eternally jealous. But I am very happy with what I accomplished. I’m quite proud of my silly comic that I may even post them on Webtoons or Tapastic so it’s easier to read.

Until then, take a look at my Instagram to check out all of my Inktober comics!

How did you do this year?

Inktober – the Almost Halfway Progress

How’s everyone’s Inktober going?

Thanks for nothin’!

I think I’m doing pretty good…not perfect, but so far, I’ve been posting something daily.ย  More than once, sometimes!

As mentioned in my previous post, my plan was to, not only use the official Inktober prompt list, but to draw a little comic each day – each one connecting into a story for my character based on Snow White.

Show her what you think of that apple!

So far, I haven’t run into any snags coming up with a comic to fit in with each prompt…but the later half…not going to lie, I’m scratching my head over it. But that’s all part of the fun and challenge, right?

Oh geeze…

But OF COURSE, Star Wars just HAD to come out with a new trailer and everything else that’s making my imagination go 10,000 MPH. There was NO WAY I’m not going to squeeze in some inked Star Wars fan art.

Round 1…FIGHT!

Let’s get to it! Just…what, 18 more days?

Hope you’ll follow Essie’s Inktober story in my Instagram and Twitter!

 

The Spongy Apple

I mentioned earlier that I was rethinking my creative goals this year – either to learn a new skill, improve what I already know, or contemplate on that gas station salad I dared myself to eat.

Well, if you’ve been following along on Instagram or Twitter, I’ve recently been posting a weekly comic. Yay! Great!

What’s not so great, in my mind – is that they’re scattered all over the place. So after sort of asking around (aka got two replies), I decided to compile them on Line Wetbtoons! Yay! I know many of you have been scouring the deep crevices of the interwebs to find them all…now you’re in luck.

If you’ve been following the short comics – maybe you’ve noticed some minor improvements – namely the font. I so wished I asked about fonts earlier.

Yikes.

I’ve even gone around to giving the comic a name, since…I think I had to when uploading to Webtoons.

Presenting – The Spongy Apple!

The meaning is much deeper than this.

It’s still a learning process for me. Hell, I’m STILL learning all the ways of Clip Studio Paint (which I highly recommend for folks looking for a low-cost, but very robust art app).

But what I’m liking about a page like Webtoons is knowing people really are looking at it. Pretty encouraging!

I’ve still got a ways to go…much to learn. But it’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to do and, whether it’s daily or weekly – sharing something that I create regularly feels quite fulfilling.

Anyhow – if you visit my comic on Webtoons – please subscribe! And if they make you laugh, I could sure use a pick-me-up!

 

Tone it down

In my continued quest to use up the supplies I already have, my dailies – for the past month or so, have mostly been in one of my toned sketchbooks.

“I like you, Tombo! I like you as much as I am hungry for instant noodles!”

So they’ve been mostly sketched, inked…maybe a touch-up with white colored pencil or gel pen. Or, on the rare occasion, maybe an actual marker.

Kweh.

I find stickers and washi tape look particularly good on toned paper!

Donut stickers, courtesy of the temptress that is the Daiso store.

Other than trying to fill up these sketchbooks (I maaaaaay have a few I’ve bought compulsively during sales)…let’s just say some of my markers have been drying up…

I’ve definitely been enjoying just drawing with pencil and ink – and the toned paper gives it a nice antique-y look. It also forces me to vary line weights, so there’s that – there’s always room to learn and try something new.

“I’ll be in your drawing. Cassian said I had to.”

Well, sure, I could stock up on these markers – but, again, I want to stay the course on this quest. Two more toned sketchbooks to go!

And I still have my watercolors, so color in my drawings are still in the picture.

These are just a few of my toned sketchbook doodles – head on over to my Instagram and Twitter for more! And…if you’ve been enjoying my drawings, come visit my Ko-fi page!

I’ll just take a drip coffee. Or a mocha. I like mochas.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Comics n’ Coffee

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about my next steps in my creative journey: Do I want to try a new skill like game development or do I want to improve what skills I’ve already learned? Because my mind can never sit still for a few minutes and I can be easily inspired when I see some sort of creative tool – I thought I could do BOTH.

Welp, let’s just say I got as far as jotting down as many notes for a visual novel idea. That’s currently on ice.

So I went back to something I haven’t done regularly in a while…post a comic! As is my habit, I scribble messy little comics for my own personal amusement, never to be seen by anyone else but me.

Convincing myself to just not care if they’re not perfect, I finally decided to polish these up and share them. Not too long ago, I posted the first comic! So far, I’ve been doing good on the weekly part.

Um, this is in no way…uh, ripping off of Empire Strikes Back or anything.

These comics not only feature my take on Snow White, but I get a little help with the stories using Rory’s Story Cubes. I praise these so much, seriously! I highly recommend them for anyone – particularly artists who need help getting out of those pesky blocks.

Snake eyes!

I post these weekly – catch them on my Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook! I’m everywhere!

Oh, and if you enjoy my doodles and crafts, I would love a coffee!

You smile, we all smile!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

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?