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!

 

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!

Because I FELT like it

I made a thing doing a thing I didn’t think I was going to do anymore. After ridding my living space of nearly everything that had to do with it…it hooked me back in.

All because of a current obsession that isn’t Skyrim or Middle Earth.

For the pasts two months, I’ve temporarily left the land of the Nords, Elves, and Dragons to venture into  land of sorta-Nords, Elves, and….Dragons.

Anyhoo, to get to the point – I made a little felt plush of Dragon Age: Inquisition character – Cullen Rutherford:

To work?

If you look closely, you can see the lip scar. *cough*

Earlier on, I doodled some plush ideas. Oftentimes, when I’m really obsessed with something all these creative things run through my head on how to really get it out of my system. I hesitated at first because – 1. all my felt stuff I gave to a friend thinking I’d never touch them again and 2. Ugh, sewing? Again?

But since I was kinda encouraged by, like, 2 people and I happened to be at a store that sold crafting materials, AND I had the time I went ahead and bought the felt and began the labor.

The design and technique largely stemmed from the Aranzi Aranzo plushes I used to make. Differences are, other than this not being a rabbit, bunny, or Totoro was that there are stuffed limbs, hair, and NO French knots. No way I was tackling that again.

The fun part was designing the character in felt plush form. The actual character’s outfit has lots of lovely details that, in felt plush form had to be simplified or left out – especially if he won’t be any larger than the palm of my hand. Sewing all these things together was a bit of a challenge because of the size and thickness of the felt.

Check out the first run:

Please, Inquisitor. Don't trap me under a pile of tampons.

Please, Inquisitor. Don’t trap me under a pile of tampons.

Eh, not bad, huh? I’m quite proud of the hair – especially adding that little Dib curl. But the pièce de résistance was the fur collar…which I wasn’t too hot about on the first run. While the shop I was in had tons of felt, there wasn’t much for a fur look. Maybe some feathers, but…eh wrong color. I settled with some woolen felt which I struggled in taming and shaping. So this little guy had to make do with a woolen collar that kind of looked more like a piece of dreadlock around his neck.

I was content with the finished plush, but not entirely happy. I had to get into the mind of someone obsessed with details. I thought of Etsy-worthy crafts, cosplayers, and plush makers. It was time to get some actual faux fur.

His coat needed some work as well. Gingerly, I took apart his coat to tighten up some of the stitches – including the “gold” trim. He even got the belt he should have had in the first place with a neater cord.

"This is ridiculous"

“This is ridiculous”

And – TA DAA! Chibi Cullen gets real (faux) fur for his lovely collar.

To work?

To work?

IMG_2254

Ahem, my eyes are up…oh wait.

Very happy with Chibi Cullen 2.0. However, I still need to work on how to sew the head onto the body better so that it doesn’t look so stitchy.

Now this little guy’s neat and pretty for more adventures hiding behind bottles of various condiments in grocery stores.

Soon...

Soon…