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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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?

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!

Doodling into the New Year

2015 has been a great year for me – particularly in the creative department. All I can say is that I’ve grown so much creatively this year – from drawing daily, connecting with fellow artists to trade, and trying new media!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me including fellow artists who I hope to continue to share and trade with in the New Year.

Let’s continue to make amazing things that make people smile and inspire each other in 2016!

YIPEEE!

YIPEEE!

I like em’ small

In case you haven’t noticed – I like em’ small.

Sometimes smaller than the 2.5 x 3.5 inch sketch cards I’ve been drawing on lately .

Because I’ve been a bit of a penny-pincher these days, I’ve been cutting my own artist trading cards – which results in uneven sized cards AND little scraps of leftover paper.

I GUESS I could just recycle the scraps. OR I could draw some cutesy doodles like this.

Don't bother knocking.

Don’t bother knocking.

Or this

A doodle fit for a scoundrel

A doodle fit for a scoundrel

Originally, I was saving these scraps to brush up on  watercolor (hyuk hyuk!)

IMG_4492

But when I started doing trades – I took to these scraps to add some cute, doodly extras to the sketch cards as a nice surprise for the other artist.

*Insert over-recited Commander Shepard line*

*Insert over-recited Commander Shepard line*

Sometimes I end up taking a lot more time than I thought I would drawing on just ONE of these things. But sometimes I go free and easy and end up making something really silly.

Another over-recited Bioware line. Usually by me.

Another over-recited Bioware line. Usually by me.

I have a lot of fun drawing these – something a little extra for someone else to collect! They make cute bookmarks or piece to pin up.

If ever you trade art with me – you just might find a cute doodly surprise!

What else have I been drawing on these scraps or regular sketch cards? Check them out on my Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and now Facebook!

Doing it Digitally Pt 2

You might have remembered a few months back that I got a new laptop (or laplet, or tabtop, whichever the Surface Pro is categorized) AND I also got Manga Studio.

You may also remember how willy nilly I went trying to figure out how to draw with the software.

E for EFFORT! Or E for Eww.

E for EFFORT! Or E for Eww.

But Manga Studio and I are slowly becoming chums. We’ll probably texting each other wacky gifs sometime soon if it goes any further.

The tips and tutorials have been super helpful. And, as with any activity – the more I drew with it, the better I saw my drawings improve. And did I mention VECTOR LAYERS ARE WONDROUS?! They’re quite a gift to a messy scribbler like me.

Behold!

No one must know about the flask of booze hidden in this book

No one must know about the flask of booze hidden in this book

Not too bad a job, methinks. But then there’s the shading part – which , in some tutorials seems to work perfectly for more manga styles. I’ve tried them a few times but I wasn’t feeling it.

So – more toying around it was.

He's smiling until he's forced into a life of crammed living conditions and non-stop battles.

He’s smiling until he’s forced into a life of crammed living conditions and non-stop battles.

Ah yes, not perfect, but it’s much better for this style.

Though – admittedly, my biggest weakness in drawing and coloring in Manga/Clip Studio is creating something on the fly. That is – if you follow my Instagram or Tumblr – you’ll notice these images I’ve drawn before with traditional media. It really does help me to have a guide to draw over.

So, like many other artists – my creative process using this software will always involve using good ol’ pencil and paper.

Speaking of re-drawing my doodles..

New Fallout 4 mod, didn't you hear?

New Fallout 4 mod, didn’t you hear?

Not only did I re-draw this guy, but I even tried to mimic the Vault Boy image where he’s in that circle. And more shading!

Patting myself on the back, but still, I need much more practice.  Not too bad an effort, yeah?

Do you prefer drawing with art software or traditional media? Or both?

Want to see more of my digital and traditional doodles? Come chat with me on Twitter or Instagram!

 

Trade Me Yours (Part 2)

Looks like all my pleading and whining got me some trades!

Maybe "FREE BURRITOS" would have sweetened the deal and got more responses.

Maybe “FREE BURRITOS” would have sweetened the deal and got more responses.

It’s so fun to get something in the mail that 1. isn’t a bill and 2. something that’s unique and JUST for you!

On the giving end – I find it very motivating to draw something unique, usually one of a kind for a fellow artist. If I haven’t mentioned this before – I favor drawing on smaller surfaces so these 2.5 x 3.5 inch cards are perfect.

Don't tell anyone - it's a teaser for the next Smash Bros game. You didn't hear that from me.

Don’t tell anyone – it’s a teaser for the next Smash Bros game. You didn’t hear that from me.

Though…it can be hard to part with a sketch card – that’s when I have to remember to either scan or take a REALLY good pic of it before sending it off :P.

The last thing a ginormous spider sees before being on the receiving end.

The last thing a ginormous spider sees before being on the receiving end.

I’m loving the growth of the trading community – the support/curating each others’ works – one of the most fun things I’ve ever experienced in the creative world. Even cooler – trading gets you the coolest art collection. Mine’s slowly growing, and I always love to look through them – take out your tissues, because – each one of these feels very special!

HUGE thanks to all the super cool artists who have traded with me so far. Come by my Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr to see what I’ve received from them – and give them a follow while you’re at it :)

So, what are you doing tonight? Want to trade?