I feel an odd sense of relief now that 2018 is now behind us. It was a tumultuous year in general. I had no luck on the job front, and I had difficulty financially. Then there was the stark realization I spent too much time optimizing my website and the store, and not enough time creating. I get the feeling it was punishing me for having fun during Christmas in 2017.
Here is to 2019! I am a little nervous but the odd numbered years have been treating me better than the even numbered ones as of late. I have a lot of plans provided I do not mess them up.
My Big Update
My main project today was a long time coming. When I graduated from college in December 2013 my mom got me a sweet graduation present. I got a heavy metal and tempered glass studio table! I was saying for a long time I wanted a light table. With some ingenuity I should be able to make it work as a lightbox.
So, I plan on spending 2019 drafting SWMaC 2, practicing more with traditional media, and working on the animation studies again. I wanted to work on markers and watercolor again, however I didn’t have a dedicated clean and flat surface.
I like that it is in front of a window for natural lighting. Right now I am saving up for a webcam and mount for live drawing! There is $25 to go. I am going to upgrade my RAM after the rent and bills dust settles. My friends will likely take me to Micro Center. From there I can dedicate some remainder to this.
2019 Year Goals
I’m not quite sure how to quantify my goals. My Evolving Pre-order stuff (my illustration lineup) will be completely turned over by this time in 2020. I am going to try making a backlog, because I know me, of comic material It will probably be a weekly or twice a week update schedule. I also want to get through a couple requests or potential commissions, and maybe get some others. I’m not concerned about a follower count, but I would like a few more really interactive ones.
Looking forward to a new roaring 20s! Hopefully no economic crash at the end of it… Bring on the electro-jazz!
Today’s post deals with the special finishes I want for some prints in my shop. Before we get to it I do have a couple small updates.
I’m holding a 4th of July sale! With the code happy4th18 orders $10 or more get 25% off. That is my biggest discount ever! The coupon counts towards the entire store, which includes preorder and clearance items. The sale goes through July 8th.
Starting yesterday orders over $20 now qualify for free shipping. It also works with coupons, but the amount may need to be post discount.
I added a little new art recently. When things calm down it’s going to be a continuous thing.
Aside from that I am still trying to complete a gallery piece. I also have a book cover to work on, and my friends’ movie blog (plug!). Then back to comics.
Did you know I have a mailing list? Click here to subscribe to it! You’ll get a special sign up coupon, and a birthday coupon. I may only send an email out once every week or, two. There will also be sale or coupon notifications within 24 hours of it starting.
My eventual goal for prints, Artist Alley, and the shop is to print from home. I felt I’d save a lot of time or wait, and money doing so. I want to be able to print thumbnails for color control. Work is done in RGB and I always have the worst time converting to CMYK. If I had a dedicated profile it would probably be doable. It’s my biggest hurdle printing from digital files.
I’ve read about using pdf files instead of jpgs. Have people done this and had success? I think I did it once and it may have gone better.
I may make the equipment a Patreon goal. I’m hoping when I reach it I’d have the capacity to warrant printing from home.
I do have a few specific prints to talk about today, as well.
The only special plan I really had for Icy Glare was a special holographic overlay. I’m having a hard time finding it. I’m sure I have the know how, but I lack the equipment to do it myself.
The two finishes I had in mind were either snow flurries or a frosted window. I was always fascinated by frosted windows and their crazy patterns as a kid. I tried to achieve some of that with the border. Since I know it can be done, I’d want the overlays to reflect in cool colors only.
Other than that I was wondering about silver ink or foil on the embroidery of Helena’s obi.
One of my main pieces and my online avatar. I actually had some of these effects in mind while I was making the print. It has two main components: the chrysanthemums of the kimono and the negative space.
If I were ever to make the kimono the chrysanthemum flowers on it would be lined in gold foil. I want to create this in the print. A friend of mine (plug!) brought in gold foil for me to try, but we had a sizing issue with the fine lines.
What I decided on for a base was a coating of bronze ink. I decided on Dr. Ph Martin’s Iridescent Bronze. The idea was to loosely scratch some on in random areas. Before it dried I would rag some off (hopefully without smudging). I wanted it to be a little textured as well. Another friend of mine suggested gold nail glitter for that. I may mix gold with copper for the warmer tone I want to achieve. It’s very fine so I think it will work.
The biggest headache I’ve had is how I would achieve the pearlescent effect of the negative space. I was looking at Perfect Pearls shimmer spray, but it seems to be sold out on Amazon. They came out with an alternative called Dylusions Shimmer Spray, which could work. My final thought was glitter infused mica powder, provided it would work as a light spray.
My only gripe is not having these in front of me to experiment.
The main challenge may be the risk of ruining the print. I used Catprint for the first batch. I’m not sure what type they use. I may be able to minimize risk avoiding alcohol or other solvents, and too heavy of application.
Future Print Finishes or Other Options
I’ve been looking into foil and special papers. I have already done a few with felt texture paper. I know Catprint also has shimmer papers in white or cream. I’ve also been looking at metal prints, pearlescents, wall scrolls, and puzzles. I’ve been bookmarking recommendations which I can include later.
I feel like I’m trying to achieve something that may be hard to do at the small scale level.
Thoughts or suggestions? I feel like I’m making this much harder than it needs to be. I’m also curious about the demand for these special finishes.
When I do have my solution I will write another post detailing my finds or process.
I also wanted to get into casting. One idea I had was Mr. Snail magnets or ornaments. I also had an idea for Triune portrait coasters or medallions.
The blog will return with: My PC Build
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A lot has been going on including more job hunting and a possible move next month.
Right as of now I’m focusing my efforts on the long put-off work for Comics vs Art II. I got Normal Rockwell’s Soda Jerk. For my rendition I was hoping to make a goofy scene with some of the Nox characters.
When I can get back to my regularly scheduled programming animation practice, more pin-ups and illustrations, and the self-referential webcomic are back on! I have been working on more drawings and sketches for my queue. I plan on using Twitch.
The last big announcement is that prints of some of my new work are coming!!! They will be available on my Storenvy and a new Tictail store. I also made a new product of just the bookmarks to make the shipping fairer.
Soon holographic paper (on select prints), 3D anaglyphic (on select prints), edits, and other sized will become available!
I got to hang out with the wonderful, and wonderfully talented, Elentori a while back. I got to use her Cintiq for a bit. When I finished the drawing and got the colors in, she did a good chunk of correcting and shading. I finished it at home.
This was the result:
The other night I did a spontaneous stream that went for about 3 hours. I took a small break about 2/3 of the way through to walk and make tea. I drew another OC, Reya. I’m going to off-screen or in another stream do corrections and finish it up.
She’s already red-lined. Well, green-lined in this case.
I’m hoping to keep this going, especially with what I plan to get for my tax return. 😉
If I can finally get around to doing it, I will also finally get started on ‘So We’re Making a Comic! – Trying to get A(head)’! My writer for ‘Syrens’ and myself have been discussing things we can do with the story to give it more character. He’s suggesting a steampunk world. It would change the tone I think, but I think a cannon AU would be fun instead.
First, I want to share my condolences with anybody from France, and especially Paris, after the events of Friday. I hope that you can stand tall and proud as recovery slowly begins.
On the creative front:
I’m trying to do at least one creative thing a day. This could include doing some practice sketches or painting ideas, actual drawings or paintings, or writing. I’m currently writing a novel version of Syrens so my friend and writer has something to work with based on my original vision and his feedback.
I’m also hoping to start a script or page layouts for the SWMaC stream of consciousness comic soon. I don’t know if I’ll have much time for things till after Christmas. I hope to start something early in 2016. I do foresee at least one, or even two, recurring stories which may get reprinted as standalone things if there’s demand for it,
I’ve also finally gotten progress done on the commission. The people and the foreground have a lot of detail, but the surrounding area is very sketchy.
I’m hoping to start my gaming channel again soon. I’ve been having issues getting footage to work on my arthritic laptop (it does what it can). However, my mom will be coming down for Thanksgiving and she should be bringing my desktop down to me. There’s an issue of wi-fi or similar way of getting a connection, though. I think I can connect two together and string them very carefully with command hooks to the third floor.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get in another post before Thanksgiving. So, I hope it’s alright to wish everyone an early Happy Thanksgiving!!!
I think I may have rushed this, or it’s good it took me so little time. This spontaneous sketch has become what the next images will show.
I should really take more progress/process shots…
Ta-da! A cell shaded work! This almost looks like it belongs in Maison Ikkoku or Bubblegum Crisis or something. xD I was thinking of hanging on to the line art for whenever I get to this girl’s story in the whatever-I-feel-like sequel to SWMaC!
You can check out a new sketch on my deviantArt or my patreon page! If you are a patron of at least $5 a month the clean line art will be available for practice.
I’m also doing studies for a commission. I want to take my time on it since it is for a close friend of the family. I’m going to dig around for some larger paper tomorrow for the final drawing. It will be colored digitally.
Ohayocon is in a matter of weeks and I’m getting excited. Still a lot to prepare for but I’m sure I’ll be done in time. Something that got started this year I appreciate is a map of the artists!
I’ll have my usual post-con sale on my store. I’ve also recently created a Patreon page. I’m seeking monthly support so I can work towards supporting myself fully on my artwork. It works kind of like a subscription or an ongoing kickstarter. Patronage comes with rewards like first looks, access to WIPs or FAQs, and free postcards, prints, or posters.
Aside from Ohayocon I’m working on finding some employment. I had an internship interview yesterday and I’m talking with a recruiter tomorrow about a temporary graphic design contract. I’ve been doing a lot more applying i hopes I start 2015 employed.
I’ll close this here. I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and will have a Happy New Year!
October is upon us and I am excited for fall despite my current circumstances. I love the fresh smell mixed with leaves that wafts through the air. Cocoa and sweaters are back in fashion. Spooky movies come out and you don’t feel out of place watching them. Pumpkins and Thanksgiving! Yes, I enjoy a pumpkin spice latte from time to time myself. I am sad to see the trees become bare later on, but it makes us closer to Christmas.
I am one of those special snowflakes that are not particularly fond of Halloween. As a kid I loved dressing up and begging for my pumpkin of candy. I still love Jack-O-Lanterns since it gives me the chance to be creative and I love candlelight. Yet, I think it’s because so many people go overboard, or what happens to Halloween as people reach college age that steers me away from it. It’s also hard to celebrate holidays when you have other matters on the mind.
I’m still job hunting, but prospects are coming. I am still hoping to get back to Columbus, but I must go where I get offered a job. One of my dogs is also battling a lesion while the older one is having difficulty walking from time to time.
All that aside I’d like to talk about some of my future plans with my art and other projects.
The site– If you haven’t seen yet I updated the background and the color scheme for fall. I added donation tools to the front and added my email addresses to the footer.
The portfolio is about to see a major overhaul. I’m ditching the deviantArt provided one and creating my own. Projects will be separated by school, paid, personal, and art. I’m hoping I can make it pop quite a bit and what I’ll learn can carry over to the main site. Something I wanted to do with the original design was a hover function where the button background would show a random piece of artwork from a set. Maybe be able to do it with some js and .gif’s.
Art– I’m starting to create some original work that is related to music set themes instead of any of my original stories. Some day they may overlap. I select a set of related music due to one thing or another, and make a set based on what I picture while I listen to it. I’m working on one set now, with three loosely planned out with another one to three to do.
I also have a digital painting in the works!
All that’s left to do on it is some final brush work to clean up details, proportions, extra lighting, or mismatched areas. Then I’ll work on a background for it. Not sure what to do just yet.
I’m also going to try getting back to 3D modeling. Maybe some things may become available for print.
Some other art may be coming soon that go along with the story projects. Speaking of which…
Story Projects– Syrens might be starting before the year is over. I’m going to try developing some back story and relaying it to my writer buddy who’s helping. I also need to work on concept art and get in touch with the military assistant about what to use and what not to use. For that I’m going to give detailed character backgrounds and weapon preferences after I check everything with the writer. We’re not sure what year it will take place except it’s the near future.
Triune might be getting some small or full-length games of it’s main story or extended universe. I’m currently trying to teach myself RPG Maker after it’s been on my computer for months. Art that will come with this include sprites, objects, and character art for concept and speaking. Full 3D in Unity is also an option. I’m still trying to find time for historical research and editing on the story. I feel there are a lot of kinks I want to make work or change as little as possible.
I’m still itching to do some story for Nox Aeternitatis. I’m hoping to be able to start it some time next year but I want a good chunk ready to go before the Black Night arc finishes. I’m looking over the character designs again and hopefully making some finalization.
Youtube– I’m going to try a let’s play channel! A lot of people are suggesting to start with Five Nights at Freddy’s. Other thoughts for channel openers include The Cursed Forest (with translation), Ib, Witch’s House, Dread Out, Amenesia, or Yume Nikki. I plan on eventually doing most or all of those. Your suggestions or opinions are highly appreciated!
Sorry about the length of this one. Thanks for reading!
A BIG break for me once I get more info from the commissioner!
I’ve been meaning to get back to personal work, too. I haven’t touched this one in a while, but I hope to whittle a little bit more from it soon:
This is a bit different from the original design that I had going. There has been numerous fixes on the hands. The kimono of the woman in the painting was originally pink and red. What should stand out the most is the kimono of my character. This was her original design…
and I always felt it needed a bit more. I think adding the clouds were a nice touch, though I may lighting them a little when I get the chance to go back in. I tried sketching it up with marker, and I plan to eventually scan that in and post it. I feel the clouds give the snow I put in a bit more of a chance to stand out, and I think adds to the woodblock print look I was going for originally.
What do you think?
I think the other big update is that I discovered Patreon. It’s a wonderful site where creators of varied content can get people to patron their work, or subscribe in a sense, to help the creator keep doing what they’re doing. My creator page, where you can donate to help me with creation, is here. I’m hoping if I can get donations it’ll be enough to help with my student loans, or be able to actually start some of my story projects.