Reflecting on the Crunchy

Welp! I can add another notch to my Artist Alley experience with Crunchyroll Expo. In short – my sales were fair, but I had a lot of fun as I did with the year I was doing Fanime. I met some fabulous artists – even some I’ve been following ’round the interwebs – so I had some slight star-struck moments.

Why yes, we ARE artists!

Though my friend and were a bit  more prepared setup-wise, we did still feel like amateurs. Because – WOW, if you’ve been to any Artist Alley, you know there are some impressive displays! But this time, we had a good stock on variety and I thought our table looked pretty good.

The fun part.

Oh, a bit of this and a bit of that…

The crowd itself seemed a bit more mellow than I expected, but perhaps that can be attributed to this being the first con from Crunchyroll. That did give my tablemate/pal and I some time to peruse the rest of the convention.

Not shown: Me doing a Skyrim merchant impression

The Exhibitor’s hall was cool, but I was absolutely more impressed with Artist Alley! It was a very humbling, but also learning experience – I’d chat with a few of the fellow artists, get some tips on printing, supplies, setup, and just generally praise their work because holy cow…there are just some AMAZING pieces out there!

This being my third tabling experience – I’m still ever a rookie learning the ropes. Do I want to do this again? Absolutely.

But until my next table, I’ll continue to improve my work and hope to keep in touch with the fellow artists I’ve met!

No, THIS is the fun part. Taking EVERYTHING down. Sigh…

If you weren’t able to come say hi at Crunchyroll Expo, I’m always on Twitter and Instagram!

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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

 

Strike a Pose

Did I mention that I was at Fanime? And that I needed to up my game afterward?

One of my first steps at that was improving my ever-childish drawing style. But they can definitely use some better poses. So, with the one thing I bought from the Fanime dealer’s room (and, really I could have bought this at a Kinokuniya shop…but I was hesitant at the time) – a drawing reference book with all sorts of poses, I got to work…

Girl or boy, they're all doing these poses.

Girl or boy, they’re all doing these poses.

…just recently.

Going back to my #DoodleADay project I did a few years back, I began a 100 day project: #PoseADay where I sketch out a pose from that book, or, basically any pose if I happen to run through the entire thing.

IMG_0639

The drawings aren’t finished pieces – rather, they’re messy doodles from my sketch book.

C'mon, you knew Kylo was going to be in this.

C’mon, you knew Kylo was going to be in this.

At the moment, I’m at 10 (or 11, if I finish one before I publish this!). I’m not doing too bad!

IMG_0656

Having a little counter actually keeps me a bit more motivated – much like the 365 Doodle A Day.

And that’s the roundup for the first few of my current project!

Keep up with my pose drawings on my Twitter! I won’t bite :)

Fanime’d

Hey folks! I can finally come up for air here!

If you’ve seen me around Twitter and Instagram – I obviously haven’t been inactive. Along with my Daily Doodles, I was scrambling to get stuff together for…wait for it…my first con!

Of COURSE you need a Gold Bikini Kylo sticker!

Of COURSE you need a Gold Bikini Kylo sticker!

We're gonna need a bigger display to show off our awesomeness.

We’re gonna need a bigger display to show off our awesomeness.

And what better opportunity to dip my feet in the crazy waters of Artist Alley-dom than at Fanime a few weeks back!

Our booth babes

Our booth babes

"That commissioned Sailor Mars. It belongs to ME."

“That commissioned Sailor Mars. It belongs to ME.”

In all – I had a blast. I definitely had so much fun engaging with folks who stopped by  to talk about things we love to geek over as well as the stuff I was selling. My friend and fellow artist who I shared the table with, not only is she amazingly talented, but she was a ton of fun to hang out with. It was particularly cool to watch her work on commissions – her work is awesome! Though it was her second Fanime, it was a learning experience for both of us. We DEFINITELY want to do this again next year.

Some may call this junk, me, I call them treasures.

Some may call this junk, me, I call them treasures.

Just passing the time.

Just passing the time.

I’ve also learned a lot from the fellow artists from neighboring tables – tips on what’s best to sell, best ways to make items, and how to make your table look super cool. We’re going to up our game, for sure!

Who knows – I may find myself at another Artist Alley table sooner than next year. Now…to start churning out some buttons…

If you’re interested in what I’ve sold at Fanime- I’ve put together a few cute packages of sketch card prints and stickers on my Etsy. Come by and check them out!

Pushing Plushies

Remember those little plushies I’ve been taking everywhere with me like an overgrown kid?

The eyeliner's in there. And now, you'll buy it for me.

The eyeliner’s in there. And now, you’ll buy it for me.

Does that look like a muffin to you, MATT?!

Does that look like a muffin to you, MATT?!

Welp, now I’m sharing the love- on my own Etsy page!

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do – to make cute, geeky crafts and, if others enjoy them – they can take them home too! They’re hand-stitched and made to order – so each one is special.

The pocket-sized plushes currently available are unmasked Kylo Ren and his alter-ego Matt The Radar Technician. Head on over and take a look – and…if you like any of them, bring them home – AND – take them with you on your everyday adventures!

They’re portable, adorable, and photogenic – if there’s one thing these pocket-sized guys love is to have their pics taken.

Come on by my shop and check up often – I plan to add other types of plushies, sketch cards, and other wonderfully nerdy things!

I talk a lot about these things on my Twitter. Come chat with me!