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!

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Inktober – Are you IN?

Heck yeah I’M IN!

I’m so excited! I’m so….SCARED!

Don’t know about you, but I’m HYPED for Inktober! No other reason other than loving the challenge of limitations, interpreting prompts, and forcing myself to use up what tools I bought out of compulsion.

I’m always partial to toned paper, but this time I may switch back and forth between this shmancy leather-bound fancy-paper sketchbook and this toned sketchpad I got at good ol’ Daiso.

As for drawing tools – I’m def one of those who will sketch something in pencil, then line it. Inks will be laid down using any of my usuals here, as well as dabbling with one of these inky brush pens, a fudegokochi pen, and – possibly – one of these nibbed pens I got as a gift.

Makes me regret getting rid of all the gel pens I had ages ago…

And, of course, a white gel pen to add in those little touches! Maybe a touch of the sparkly ones because sparkles.

With this year’s official Inktober prompts, I might go about it telling a story with my own character – similar, if not stealing the idea a friend did last year.

We all know this will all end with a giant pool of melted cheese.

Or I just might go willy nilly with bits of fan art mixed in. Or both, who knows!

Will you be taking part in Inktober?

I’ll be posting and tagging my Inktober doodles all over Twitter and Instagram – come follow and chat with me!

 

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?

 

Getting Inked

It was time I get Inked-tobered this year.

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For the most part of this month, I partially ditched the markers to give some love to the pens. Though…I’m still a bit puzzled with the rules of Inktober – markers have ink…do they count?

Either way – the drawings this month have been dominated by the mighty pens – even those neat little Sharpies and Sarasa I’d compulsively buy. So it’s really my attempt at using up these things.

Round em’ up:

Tea is at 4. Don't bother knocking.

Tea is at 4. Don’t bother knocking.

Marshmallows are harmless, right?

Marshmallows are harmless, right?

Noticeably, I’ve been using the toned sketchpad – thought I’d take advantage of the toned background to sort of minimize the need to color in anything. Plus – I also snagged a white gel pen along the way. They look really neat on toned paper.

Captain Phasma of Tarth

Captain Phasma of Tarth

Remember how I mentioned “partially ditched the markers”? Mmyep. Maybe two colors max – greys, a red or blue.

I have this unwritten rule that every 10 drawings must include Totoro.

I have this unwritten rule that every 10 drawings must include Totoro.

Running theme other than using pens? Seems I fancy drawing Studio Ghibli characters in pen.

I almost went for the blood-soaked version.

I almost went for the blood-soaked version.

Walking soot that live off of sugar - totally not unusual.

Walking soot that live off of sugar – totally not unusual.

Come see more of my Inktober drawings on my Instagram or Twitter!

Have you been participating in Inktober too?

 

Trade me yours….

…and I’ll trade you mine.

Seriously! I’m down for some good ol’ art trades.

If you’ve seen my Instagram or Twitter – particularly when I share any of my ATCs (art trading cards), I’m always calling out that they’re available for trade!

Depending on the order, this can be seen as the animals Minmay slaughtered for dinner.

Depending on the order, this can be seen as the animals Minmay slaughtered for dinner.

So let’s do this!

The theme was... Ferelden stew.

The theme was… Ferelden stew.

See any doodle – ATC or regular drawing that interests you and you’d like to trade for a piece of your artwork? Hit me up!

A Sticky Situation

The awesome thing about where I live – access to a ton of places to get all kinds of craft supplies, sometimes for cheap.

The bad thing – I’m often tempted to buy said craft supplies. Often at a place called Daiso that’s no more than a 10 minute drive from me.

And, one of the many things from Daiso, is the latest thing I’ve been stuck on is washi tape (hyuk hyuk!).

Put a cute pattern on almost anything and I'll likely want it.

Put a cute pattern on almost anything and I’ll likely want it.

First time I ran into these cool things was at a Maido shop downtown – lots of these had traditional Japanese patterns – all lovely, and I had to buy a roll! Only…I had no idea what to do with it other than making greeting cards.

Fast forward a year or two and an Instagram account later and I spot an artist doing some amazing things with the tape that I never even thought of doing.

Inspired, I bought a few other rolls and tried that method. Oh…I tried.

“I’m not getting paid enough for this..”

Not exactly the turnout I expected. So the tape was put aside for a while.

I REALLY wanted to incorporate this tape that was piling up – but I wanted to color my drawings more with marker than to fill the gaps with them. And, plus, I have no sense of style. My drawings would have the same 3 patterns for clothing – no matter what the setting. Sci-fi? Cherry blossom suit. Fantasy? Postage stamp gown!

So just recently, I gave these rolls the perfect role and they’ll be STICKING to it.

Couldn't slice an onion in 15 seconds? Your meal has FAILED.

Couldn’t slice an onion in 15 seconds? Your meal has FAILED.

This tape is applied similarly to those correction white-out tapes. Pretty handy . What with the food pattern I had a bit of a running theme of characters eating or drinking.

A little bourbon for that tea?

A little bourbon for that tea?

The actual washi tape was a bit more tricky to apply as  background. My first mistake was sticking it DIRECTLY onto the drawing – and, as sticky things will do, it stuck onto them and I had to gingerly peel it off after cutting away the excess.

*Is secretly amused that Rio thinks he's sleeping with two different women*

*Is secretly amused that Rio thinks he’s sleeping with two different women*

Pretty sure other artists use washi the same way. And I had to figure out the method without having a character’s face be ripped off by a pattern of flowers.

“No one must know that this smutty novel also has pictures!”

And then – what? Wax paper? Of course! This is what they use, right? Either way it works perfectly – I could lay a piece over the drawing, stick the tape on, slice out the extra, and peel it away without wrecking the drawing!

From some movie...Star...something.

From some movie…Star…something.

Still needs a bit more work, but now my drawings have interesting backgrounds! I’m loving washi tape much more!

Take a look at my other doodles with washi tape backgrounds on my Instagram.

Know what else is cool about this stuff? You don’t even have to go anywhere fancy to find them – the latest roll I got was from Target! I think I even saw a pretty good selection at a Staples.

Do you use washi tape? Where do you stick it?

Art that gets me wet (sorta)

I want to talk about my on and off again relationship with my watercolor set.

It's not you, it's me.

It’s not you, it’s me.

We had our awkward moments. Then I thought we were getting serious.

Then markers came in so…we decided to take a “break”

Then we kind of ran into each other and did some catching up.

I don’t know. This is getting complicated. One day, it feels like, yeah…this is the ONE.

And then we don’t talk to each other for days.

We are still talking about watercolors, right?

Man, I love this set. I don’t use it as much s I’d love to – I’m getting there. Seeing other artists out there using watercolors for their manga-esque pieces really inspired me to pull out the set more often.

Water you wading for?

Water you wading for?

Sounds cheesy, but it really is like having an entire set of water-based markers….with all the fun of mixing and watering down to get that color you need.

Snow White with a cosmetically-challenged apple.

Snow White with a cosmetically-challenged apple.

I learn the hard way – very often- that watercolor is something that requires patience. A LOT of patience. I love the layering of tones – but waiting a bit for the previous layer to dry can get me antsy. Being too impatient just results in blotchy bleeding and me drowning my sorrows in an entire bag of Cheetos.

 

"Please draw me a dreamy handsome companion soon!"

“Please draw me a dreamy handsome companion soon!”

Still, though, I love the results. They’re particularly fun to use when making greeting cards and ATC (artist trading cards). Probably because I like to work on smaller surfaces!

MAOW!

MAOW!

"You, me, and some Ferelden stew. What do you say?"

“You, me, and some Ferelden stew. What do you say?”

If you’re curious about this particular set – it’s called the Sakura Koi Pocket Field Sketch Box. It’s crazy handy and, for people who like to have their stuff strewn about like me – cleanup is hardly cleanup.

Did I mention TRADE? I DID, didn’t I? If you’re interested in a trade of art things, come chat with me!