New Format!

14.06.13-001Hello 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!!

The Art of Housekeeping Art

It’s almost May now. We’ve started the three month countdown to when I will be back in the states, and actively seeking artist work. Because of this, I’m starting the search now, and I’ve run into a few issues when applying for things. Mainly, I have to give them a specific page for my illustration portfolio, instead of just a straight up address, because I want them to see my work, and not my blog first. Which is fine, unless it’s someone who’s looking for both comic and illustration examples, because SURPRISE! it’s two different pages on my site. And that’s not as streamlined as I want it to be. I spent an hour or so yesterday looking at sites of artists that I admire, and while I like the straight to blog idea for sites, I understand the need to get straight to the art as well. I guess I will hook my site back up to Tumblr, and have the blog posts go to there and here, and ulgh! CHOICES!

Not only that, but I haven’t updated my portfolio page since… November? I need to get on this. And not only that, but there’s a consistant problem with my portfiolio– backgrounds, which are things I love to work on, haven’t really been represented in anything new I’ve done. I’ve been background lazy because here in Japan I’m without my usual arsenal of perspective tools. I really should be playing that up in my portolfio, because it’s something that I actually love to do and wouldn’t mind getting work for (note the perspective nerd glasses I had on during the redraw).

I spent my last four day weekend sketching and prepping a new painting to work on this next four day weekend (Sunday’s sketch), but I’m now putting myself to task to get this portfolio and navigation problem solved during this week, and if it spills into the weekend, so be it. This is important stuff that I have to solve, and quickly.

To keep myself accountable, here’s my to-do list. And I’m setting a May 11th deadline on this:

  1. Change front page to my portfolio. Period. Move the blog to a secondary page, and get over it.
  2. Update the portfolio. Get the stuff that is super old OUT. Get the pieces that aren’t strong OUT. Get it down to 10 pieces!
  3. Sketch out a header because omg Aja it’s been like two months since you said you’d put one up omg.
  4. Add contact info to all the pages (this will coincide with the header)
  5. Update About Page
  6. Take down the tutorial page for now, start writing down ideas for tutorials to do when I return back to the states (or sooner!)

I’ve also been contemplating putting my stuff back on DA. I’m still not sure though. I like Tumblr’s format a lot better and there are things about DA that still give me a bad taste in my mouth. But at the moment, I have two Tumblrs, a personal one and an art one. Should I combine them? The idea before in separating them was so that people didn’t have to see my billions of Marvel shipping reblogs, but is that really a problem now? I’m following so many comic pros, and well they post pro and personal (fandom) things. CHOICES! If I do combine them, I’ll have to do a LOT of editing on my main account. SO MUCH DELETING.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Things are going to be shifting quickly. I’m going to have to put my professional hat on and stop spazzing out (as much) online, I guess.

If you didn’t notice, Sunday started the new posting schedule! it will be as follows:

Sketch Sunday
Writing Wednesday
Free Friday?? … Yeah it’s kind of lame, I’m working on it… how about Fascinating Fridays?

So please check out all the new pretty sketches that will be posted on Sundays. Eventually, probably once I’m back in the States, Saturdays and Sundays might be events (like going back to the livestreaming on the weekends like I did two years ago), but my laptop here can’t manage the new livestream format.

Happy Birthday!

happy-anniversaryAjamandtoast.net is officially one year old today! Wooo!

Although thinking about the fact that I’ve been using WordPress for a full year now and I’m only just now understanding just how powerful it is, and what you can do with it, kind of boggles my mind…

A lot has happened in the past year, both personally and artistically. I’ve remained in Japan, somehow overcoming both a Japanese Summer and Winter (not easy feats!); completed two drawing boot-camps, so to speak, and am now treading a life-changing art challenge; finally learned to draw 100% digital on my tablet; made progress in developing my own style and my own sense of self in my art; made some kick-ass friends… it’s been great. I hope to continue to grow exponentially in the next year. The next few months will be perilous indeed, with me preparing to return to the states, and to bust into freelance illustration once I’m home–but I’m looking forward to the challenge. And of course, I fully intend to share the journey with you all. That’s the fun part, right?

Looking back on the past year’s entries, let me know what you’ve liked, what you haven’t liked, what you want to see more of, or just what you want to see in general. My ears are open. (Ew, that sounds gross…)

It’s warming to my heart to see all of the recent support coming in along with the illoLifeRPG project. I love all of you! Let’s have an awesome second year together! Look forward to some facelifts, revamps, and more content than you can shake a stick at. (Why you would be wanting to be shaking a stick at content, is beyond me, but you know what I mean ^^;;)

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

The Patience of Virtue

Well here we go! After what seems like months of being in limbo, ajamandtoast.net is finally up and running! I’m actually running this entire site using WordPress, which is a first for me. I’ve been trying to learn WP for years, and it’s always been really daunting eraiyahfor me. Anyone who has followed me for any amount of time, knows that I am pretty literate with HTML language. I’ve been making my own website formats for, well, over ten years is all I will admit. I’ve learned html, shtml, and some css and div stuff– but still WP boggles my mind. I think it’s because of things that I know the code for when typing by hand, is really hard to figure out how to do in WP.

It’s all php things that go right over my head and I spend hours trying to figure out how to do something that would take me two seconds in html. BUT I AM TRYING MY BEST. For now, please be patient with my very bare bones format until I figure out customization. I’m going through WP lessons online right now, so hopefully it won’t take me too long to get a hold of it. It’s like I’m in my computer class in high school all over again!

I felt a twinge of sadness when I closed the samuraihoney.net host account today. The URL will redirect you here, so please update your bookmarks!

My goal is to update this blog twice a week. I’m aiming for Mondays and Thursdays, but I’m not sure yet. My schedule at work is about to change at the end of this month, and then I’ll be able to make a solid schedule. I’ll be writing about art ennui, movie storytelling and visuals, things that inspire me artistically, Japan insanity, and, of course, the big announcement– THE WEBCOMIC. Yep. It’s finally happening. I’m only in the planning stages at the moment, but my goal is to have a webcomic ready for launch by the end of the year! I’ve been wanting to draw this comic for years and now I am finally ready to jump in and do it. So please join me in all the hair pulling, all-nighter, coffee driven insomnia comic making in the following months! I’ll explain my process and techniques when it comes to writing, character design, page composition, post, you know– all that good stuff! So, welcome! And please excuse the dust for a little while ^_^