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 story  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?

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!

 

Limitations and Lolitas

I was on such a good posting streak…then I left the country…for vacation, that is!

I meant to have one more post before flying off to another time zone. But you can see how well that worked out.

Anyway, I’m back in the US of A and I’m definitely back to posting. But if you’ve caught my Instagram or Twitter feed on the right, you may have caught some Daily Doodles I’ve done throughout my trip. Because of missing a day or two, I might have fallen short. I was also limited to a few pens and pencils – had to save some luggage space and I was hoping to find some deals on fancy markers (I didn’t, sadly).

The past two and a half weeks had my dailies be scribbled in my sketchbook with ballpoints, mech colored pencils, and a few colorful pens.

The Unflushables.

The Unflushables.

 

FUS RO Duhhhh....

FUS RO Duhhhh….

Experiment 626. Ready to eff up your ice cream and coconut cake.

Experiment 626. Ready to eff up your ice cream and coconut cake.

I fared pretty well with the limited palette, but I have to say I’m really glad to be back home with the rest of my art supplies!

First order of business was to finish up an OC  (Original Character) challenge for the Drawing Meats crew. It’s pretty straight-forward: draw an artist’s original character in your style. For our first, we were tasked to draw Kamiko, from This Mortal Coil.

Kamiko The Obsessive Compulsive Cleanaholic

Kamiko The Obsessive Compulsive Cleanaholic

For extra credit, we were to draw her in the theme of spring cleaning. I nearly went the route of turning Kamiko into a Dragonborn to shout the messes away which would have been pretty epic, but I made a sharp U turn and turned a few corners to go the JTHM route. Channeling my best Jhonen Vasquez, I had Kamiko posed as Johnny The Homicidal Maniac from the first issue cover – complete with cleaning supplies lined up on the wall. How else would she clean up the blood stains?

Lastly – our Drawing Meats MEATups are going well! If you love to draw and happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area, come join! Meetups are quite regular – about every two weeks.

Our next meetup will be this Sunday, June 7 at 2PM in San Carlos. Swing on by here to see the details.

Hope to MEAT some new artists!

Sweet MEATup

Sweets and (Drawing) Meats

Sweets and (Drawing) Meats

Sweet! This past Sunday, us folks in Drawing Meats had another meetup in sunny Redwood City. A small, but good turnout – even a new artist has joined us this time!

Don't talk. Drawing.

Don’t talk. Drawing.

A round of trifold doodles, six panel comics and an illustration jam were among the activities we did.

But is she single?

But is she single?

Based on a true story.

Based on a true story.

We didn’t do an illustration jam the last time – it’s somewhat similar to the six-panel comic, except each artist adds their contribution to a single scene. And there wasn’t a heart-racing time limit! I think. But here’s the epic result:

Only Superpup has the power to intervene.

Only Superpup has the power to intervene.

Hope you’ll come by the Drawing Meats page to check out all of the trifolds and six panel comics!

A few other things we started for this and future meetups – we’ve also started inviting local artists to join either on our Facebook group page or Meetups.com. We’d LOVE to see more artists join and offer some fun, inspiring ideas as well as places to hold meetups.

If you’re not around the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to attend artist meetups – check out Meetups.com to find local groups or start your own! There’s no such thing as too much drawing :D.

The Snow White you wished you sorta knew

If you’ve noticed the doodles I share on my channels, there’s a lot of fanart.

As far as original material – there’s a few Squire Thorn comics. For my sort-of-not-fanart material I’ve been drawing my re-imaginings of Snow White. Combining Grimm’s stories: Snow White and Snow White & Rose Red, I’ve re-imagined the princess as a runaway rogue, hanging out with the dwarves and her cousin, the shieldmaiden Rose Red.

Let's hunt some apple thieves.

Let’s hunt some apple thieves.

You have my sword, and flaming red hair.

You have my sword, and flaming red hair.

It all started from a random doodle:

She's almost a shaky, sheepish voice away from a lawsuit.

She’s almost a shaky, sheepish voice away from a lawsuit.

She later evolved into looking a bit like a hunter princess in light armor and wielding a bow. The doodle below  was from a few years back. Talking to animals skill is not required, but a plus.

Archery Skill Level Up!

Archery Skill Level Up!

I’ve been drawing her more often – adding more bits of personality to her and her cousin. From a few of the captioned doodles, she’s a bit of a fun-loving romantic, in love with the stories she reads while loving a life without the responsibility her unlikable step-mother has taken ruling the kingdom.

"*sigh* If only there were more butts..."

“*sigh* If only there were more butts…”

Ideas of my reimaginings are in bits and pieces – some illustrated, some waiting to be doodled. The beginning’s how it always starts – mean and jealous step-mom queen, dead biological parents, and dwarves. I thought up of some epic graphic-novel type story with all the blood, guts, and plot twists…and then, recently, I bumped it down to an idea of funny strips. I figure Snow White’s story has been done many a-time with betrayals, grief, and all that fun stuff – girl needs some slapstick and a banana peel for a stupid prince to slip and fall gracefully onto his face.

But the queen’s still after her heart, though.

Says the girl who has no visible butt and belly jiggle.

Says the girl who has no visible butt and belly jiggle.

Follow along Snow White’s hilarious adventures on my Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr!

Meating of doodles, stickers, and the end of #DoodleADay

Drawing Meat-up

A gathering of Drawing Meats happened this past Sunday. For me, it was my first meetup – for most, it was a first meetup after a long hiatus. Many of us know each other from working at the same company at some point.

Moments before drawing some despicable comics.

Moments before drawing some despicable comics.

Before any of these meetups, my first impression was that it was a group of artists sitting around, doodling, bouncing some ideas, and chatting it up over coffee.  I wasn’t wholly wrong – we also took part in a few drawing activities. I vaguely heard about these being mentioned before the meetup so it was a little unexpected!

One of the activities we did was a collaborative six-panel comic. As best as I could describe, each artist draws the first panel and passes it along to the next artist who will draw the next and so on until the last is filled. Each panel is limited to 3 minutes to be finished. The results? Take a look at this one:

Kitties, communism, and war - all part of a complete breakfast.

Kitties, communism, and war – all part of a complete breakfast.

If you’re looking for robo bunnies and alien ice cream, take a look at the rest of the six-panel comics here.

The second collaborative activity of the meetup wasn’t so much time-limited, but resulted in just as hilarious, yet dark results! What the heck am I talking about? Trifold doodles, of course!

STICKERS!

Did I tell you yet? My stickers came in! I got them sooner than expected. They turned out quite well.

I know that look...you have stickers on your mind.

I know that look…you have stickers on your mind.

IMG_2139

Mmyep. They stick. To things. Neat!

The circle is now complete…

This past Tuesday (March 10)  the 365/365 drawing of my #DoodleADay project was posted! Whew, what a journey. Patting myself on the back for actually keeping this up for a whole year – stuff like travel and being out all day can easily make me miss a doodle. But anyhoo how’s about we look back…

My first doodle was a really messy drawing of a Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare Peashooter. Yeesh. My only goal really was just to keep the pencil moving. Crap drawing? Stick figure? Same thing? Done and done.

It's recognizable, right?

It’s recognizable, right?

I thought it appropriate to close the loop with another Peashooter – in color!

The ultimate zombie repellant and highly-recommended by landscapers.

The ultimate zombie repellant and highly-recommended by landscapers.

It’s a great project to see personal style growth. I’ve seen some improvements, slight changes in style, preferences in media – and opportunities to improve in places that yet to be worked on. I find that my favorite medium to use are pen, markers, and, when sketching – blue or red Verithins.

Thanks so much to everyone who has followed me on my personal project! So what happens now?

More daily doodling of course! This time I will be tagging these with #DailyDoodles with no particular counter. Come follow along on my Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr!

I hope I’ve inspired a few who may have artists’ block :)

Happy Doodling!