When-digo

Whenever I am told that my art style is “super cute” I think of things like this and ask myself “Is it really?” because I am capable of drawing some creepy stuff. I used to challenge myself to creep out my professors in school ^^;;

It was inevitable that I do something for Hannibal after watching the first season. The Wendigo freaks me out, ergo I had to draw it and make it more freakish. Eventually I’ll do something more. I have been playing with the idea of doing episode summary comics, or illustration for each episode (like a title card poster thing).

Posted at June 20, 2014 10:08 pm | Tagged Art, Sketchbook

New Format!

Hello and welcome from the past!

I am writing this in the past to tell the future that the site is back up and running! Break over, and things will get back to normal as usual on Sunday. If you’re reading this blog on the site, then you’ll notice that everything is different! If you’re reading on a RSS, then go to the site and look around! There is a spiffy new format which I just adore. I finally broke down and put some money into it, instead of torturing myself trying to get the WP code to do things myself.

Was it the lazy way? Maybe. Was it the efficient way? You bet. Because I can now stop wasting my time fooling with the WP code and get back to the important stuff, like creating new art. By this time, everything should be up and running perfectly, so take a look around the site. There’s no new art yet (sorry), but there is new organization, and some things that I have been meaning to put up, but had been waiting until a new format was finished (like the Western AU project and a page dedicated to illoLifeRPG). There are a few little behind the scenes things that need to be tended to, but that won’t impede on the site experience– and can be done in small  chunks (and might be held off until I am back in the States).

Speaking of which! June 6th was the official marker point for me having only two months left in Japan! Time has flown by, and as much as I am sad to go, I am so happy to be going home, I can’t even express it. To have a bed again. And air conditioning. And Sonic’s Cherry Limeades. Priorities man. Priorities. These last two months will be crazy, but I’m going to make it a priority to keep updating things on the blog, even if I have to write from the past again, like I am doing now. Also once I am back in the States, I’m going to be looking into a few affiliates programs, so fair warning that some small advertisements are coming. But like seriously small ones. I can’t stand lots of ads, so I wouldn’t ask my readers to stand them either. I’m also eying Patreon, but I do not think I am ready for that quite yet.

So, to review: New site; regular updates start up again on Sunday; I’ll be back in the States in August; I am a fool for Sonic Limeades; and I’m looking into affiliate programs.

Onward!!

Posted at June 13, 2014 11:03 pm | Tagged Art, Design, Social Media

Sketchbook habits

Every artist has them. Some draw on both sides of the paper, others don’t. Some tear out every page of the sketchbook until it’s a cover and a back, some treasure every wholesome piece. Some use sketchbooks only for planning, others use them to bring ideas into full fruition.

My sketchbook habits have been the same since college. I buy Strathmore, recycled, 9 x 12. Before I do anything, on the inside cover, I write the date that the book was started. Then, on the cover I put stickers, so I can ID the sketchbook on site. If I have time, I’ll even collage the cover. I then rip out the first two pages and throw them away, because it’s become a ritual for me that the first two drawings in my sketchbooks will suck, so if I just rip the paper out to begin with, I forgo having those two sucky drawings. Yeah, I dunno either. I also tear pages out of my sketchbook like crazy, because I will do finals in the sketchbook. Even though I’ve been told a million times not to. I can’t help it, I like the teeth on the Strathmore paper.

I bring this up, because starting this week, I have a new sketchbook. That isn’t a Strathmore. What’s more, its smaller. And hardback. I bought a Moleskine. Strathmore is next to impossible to find here in Japan, so I thought I would get something more portable and sturdy. Something I can take around with me and use when I’m on the go, because the 9 x 12 book doesn’t really lend itself well to traveling. We’ll see how this little Moleskine experiment goes, I suppose. I’ve bought them before, in the much cheaper paperback versions, and have had varying experiences with them. The one I purchased this time is for sketching, specifically, and the paper is much thicker. But because it is a bound book, I’m having to go against my set sketchbook habits. Hopefully, this is a good thing. I’m looking forward to experimenting in this new format.

Please share some of your sketchbook habits in the comments. I love to read about what others do with theirs.

Sorry this week’s entry was a short one. I am hella sick, and sitting up and focusing on typing is kind of the last thing I want to do right now ^^;;

Posted at March 19, 2014 7:33 pm | Tagged Artist's Ennui, Writing

Killing Creativity

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the internet killed at least some of my creativity. Well, maybe a specific kind? Hm, it’s hard to explain.

Back in the days before I had internet, I would fill sketchbooks and sketchbooks of original characters, be it illustrative art or character designs, whatever. I was thrilled to make illustrations with my own characters, despite the fact that a lot of them were modeled after Takeuchi Naoko’s artbooks– but what do you want? I was in middle school and just wanted to be Takeuchi-sensei. I have books upon books back in the States, most of which that are falling apart, full of elaborate pencil renderings which slowly evolved into watercolors (because, along with Takeuchi-sensei, I also wanted to be all of CLAMP). I don’t look at that time spent with shame. Because of it. I leaped way ahead in learning how to use watercolors, and got a head start on pencil rendering.

And then the internet happened.

Or, more specifically, the internet happened and then I went to my first anime convention, where I saw my first art show. I witnessed that people didn’t care about original character artwork, they cared about fanart. And ever since then, I’ve been fighting an uphill battle. You see, somewhere between then and me joining DA, I got it into my head that the only way I would get fans was to draw fanart. Then, and only then, could I post my insanely brilliant [blatant] Sailor Moon ripoff… or whatever story I was working on that the moment, and I would be covered in glory! But until that, only fanart would get eyes on my work. Much like when I first went to SCAD, I thought since I got As in my classes, entry into the comic word must have been guaranteed!

I have a habit of putting the cart before the horse. It’s one of my more debilitating character flaws. Living in Japan has made this crystal clear to me.

But this week I kind of saw the light. I’m still sick, so I spent the weekend meditating, drawing, and looking at some art online. I’ve always been hesitant to make original character stuff, because I think no one cares. But is that really true? I’ve gotten attached to other creators OCs very easily. The art just has to be engaging, tell a good story– which is easier said then done, but IS possible. My friend Nen has made her living making beautiful watercolors of her original characters. And they are amazing. But I’ve never seen secure with myself enough to try to delve into it head first.

I saw so many beautiful illustrations this weekend, all original characters. And I started to get jealous that all these people are just producing what they want, not asking for fans by doing fanart, just creating, and people are drawn to it. it’s not about the hits, faves, or whatnot. That stuff is fleeting. Once a fad is over, it’s over. People find new things to be fans about, and they no longer care about that other thing.

Trying to cater to the masses be damned. I’m finished with it all. To quote Cartman, “I’ll do what I want!” Does that mean I’ll never do fanart again? No. I know I will. But I need to take this leap!

I also pretty much shut down my presence on DA. It’s been a drain on me since the beginning– instead of comparing my art to other artists to see where I should improve (which is what you SHOULD do), I was comparing stats and trying to figure out what to draw next to get more eyes on my profile. It hasn’t been healthy for me in so many ways, and I’m ready to let it go. I thought about updating my pixiv account instead, but it’s just the same mess in another language. Tumblr is where I’ll be posting new stuff as it happens, with the pick of the crop being posted here. Tumblr is okay for me, but I still have the same problem of seeing how many notes a piece got. I just need to let it go.

Do what I want, create striking images, and things will happen.

But, the most importantly, I need to create art for me, not for others. Once I can do that successfully, I know things will start to fall into place.

Posted at February 19, 2014 8:17 pm | Tagged Artist's Ennui, Writing