2015.

 

Gahh…

I’m truly upset at myself for letting two months go by without an update.  It’s not like I haven’t been drawing.

Um, here’s a WIP for now (And boy, I’ve sure got a crapload of ‘em.):

 

 

If it looks “tracey” it’s because I drew and re-drew that sketch over a billion times.  It’s a look I like, as long as it’s honestly done.  Like, if this were a traced photo or something…nuh-uh.  Cheeeeating.  But I’ll trace over and re-draw my own works ’til the cows come home.

But I digress.

A webcomic I’d been following for, like, four years just ended its run recently.  It’s not like I was a huge fan of it – the comic had its share of problems – but I respected the artistry and work ethic behind it.

The fact that they just ENDED it (prematurely, mid storyline!) – I dunno, it’s kind of given me the much-needed-kick-in-the-butt to get going on my own work.  It’s like, what am I waiting for?  My comic will never be perfect in the beginning, and if I keep putting it off it’ll never, ever happen.

It’s a good way to start off the year I guess.  Hopeful.  Motivated.  Hopefully, I’ll keep this motivation going full-steam.

Line Boys

 

Ok, ok, it’s another WIP…But it’s progress!

 

 

If there’s anything I need to get better about doing when it comes to digital art, it’s refining my lines before I go to color. So I’m kind of proud of these lines. They aren’t perfect, but they are much more “finished” than my lines tend to be when I do digital works.

The-guy-on-the-left’s eyes are still totally bugging me, though…

Scribblin’ New Year’s!

Happy belated New Year’s, old blog ‘o mine!

 

I haven’t abandoned you, I promise!  I’m drawing more than ever, actually.   Sketching almost every night – notebooks of sketches! Creatively, I’m getting closer to where I want to be.

 

If things keep going this way there may be some sequential works in the near future!

 

Anyway, here’s some very rough sketches of an OC of mine:

 

 

‘Til next time, blog!

Scribble and a Ref Pic Rant

 

I’m fighting off a nasty chest cold.  I must have some scraps lying around…

 

Ah, here’s a no ref pic Paint Tool Sai doodle.

 

 

I swear, I used to draw James Iha, selfies, and Pee-wee Herman all the time and all my realish-animu people come out looking like some amalgam of that.

 

While on the subject of ref pics, though, I will say this:  I need to use them more.

 

Believe me when I say that I am in no way trying to act superior when I note that I haven’t used a ref.  If I’m messing around, it’s just easier not to.  And, to be honest, I feel weird using refs that aren’t 100% my own.

 

On the flip side, I don’t think one should rely so heavily on refs.  It’s good to use them, yes, but if you fail to credit your refs or just full-on trace them and pass them off as your original work this is a problem.  This appears to be a very common practice with young artists these days.  On tumblr alone, I see countless tracings and photomanips each day – with no credits or mentions given, just deceptively passed off as original works.  With the adulation some of these artists get from their followers, it’s easy to see why they do it.

 

It’s a practice that I find as revolting as musicians who use samples and pass it off as their original music.

 

Tracing another’s work in private for the practice?  That’s fine.  Just don’t go posting that shit on the internet later and claiming it as your original work.  Same thing goes for copies of photographs that you didn’t take.  Credit that shit.

 

TL;DR, had to get that off my chest, though.

 

So yeah, if I’m messing around, it is just easier (and lazier of me) to go at it “free.”  Wow, did I really just quote Free!  Iwatobi Swim Club!? 

 

Not sure if I’ll ever really “finish” this, because I like me some sketchy no-frills digital doodles sometimes.

Reflections

 

 

Here’s a quick WIP:  A Paint Tool Sai doodle (no ref pic, just messin’ around) before I get into some serious TL;DR.

 

 

I didn’t go to art school.  I was accepted to several – Rhode Island School of Design, Ringling, Montserrat, etc. – but as the time grew nearer I chickened out and kinda lost it.

 

Art had been my identity all throughout my school years.  What would I do if I pursued it and failed? I was used to being a big fish in a small pond when it came to drawing, but could I handle being the worst artist in the room at a major art college?

 

My 18-year-old self decided that, no, I couldn’t. And after a three-day nervous breakdown I made my decision:  I’d go pursue a normal degree at a normal college and that was that.

 

I never really stopped drawing, no, but I stopped trying and I stopped challenging myself.  I dabbled in new mediums from time to time, but never really bothered to learn them properly and hence, I stagnated.  I don’t think I finished a thing in at least a five year span outside of the occasional digital doodle.

 

And then I had my first adult relationship.  Unfortunately, this relationship was with an emotional abuser who was also a part of every other facet of my life (school, job, he even lived in the same neighborhood).  There was no escaping this man –  and his constant back and forth with me took a toll on my emotional and my physical health.

 

Art?  There was no time for it.

 

For nearly three years I was in a downward spiral.  I’d dropped to almost 90 pounds from the stress.

 

Eventually, I dug myself out of that abyss.  I cut the negative people out of my life, removed myself from the toxic environment, and avoided any further interactions with the people affiliated or otherwise involved.  I, for all intents and purposes, had to become a self-imposed social outcast but it’s likely what saved my life.

 

And as I crawled out from the darkness, there was art. In a strange serendipitous development, I found myself in a paid art position at my new job.  I was now actively challenging myself, trying out crazy new mediums, and improving different skills every day.

 

Who’d have thought?

 

I used to think that if I wasn’t a successful artist at 22 that I should just give it up, but from watching my own journey (and the journeys of others) I’ve realized that it’s never too late. There is no age on art.  There is no right or wrong path to take.

 

Just looking at how I’ve improved over the last year is proof enough of this for me.

 

Well, anyway, I just felt like sharing. :)

WIP IT GOOD.

Blog ain’t dead, I’ve just been hella busy.

 

Work hasn’t slowed down at all. I’m still producing stuff every day – it just seems a bit redundant to post every bit of it.  At this point, I’ve more-or-less found my groove, and my work has transitioned to a place I’m happy with. I’m sure I’ll post stuff from time to time, it just won’t be as frequent.

 

Now for something I haven’t posted in a while (mostly to not jinx myself from never finishing it): A work in progress!

 

 

I’m determined to really, like, learn to do digital art in Photoshop. Forserious this time. Over half the battle of digital painting is dedicating the time and energy to it. I do learn a lot and I do improve every time I attempt one of these…But it’s so tedious.

 

It’s like masturbation with no finish. You could go forever and never get it where you want.

 

Like, I look at this WIP and I’m like, “Wow, I’m learning techniques I had no idea existed last year, and there are a lot of things I really like about this, but now I want to redraw the face for the eighth time and oh man are the limbs too long, maybe I should try this filter…” and it goes on and on.

 

Sometimes – especially when we’re talking about anime fan art –  there comes a point where you’ve just gotta let it go and finish the stupid thing.  You can do better on the next one.  Ultimately, there are some things I like about this, and there are some things I hate about this, but dammit, if I don’t finish it I’ll never move on.

 

Anyway this is a fan art of my favorite character from Neon Genesis Evangelion and I hope to finish it by the end of the year, lol.

Back

 

Today was, officially, our first day back in business after everything that went down last week.

 

Though I had nearly a full week off, the motivation to finish stuff just wasn’t there. Even for someone as jaded as me – whose seen her share of tragedy – this week was tough. Days off were spent very much on edge, watching…and waiting.

 

That first day back was surreal:  Boylston St., which had been roped off as a crime scene since the bombing on Marathon Monday, was finally being opened to workers and residents. With local media filming us, we were “signed in” at the HCC (where Anime Boston is held each year) – IDs checked, bags searched, the whole nine. Public safety officials gathered us into a huge conference room, where we were instructed to wait for our inspector who would then escort us to our store.

 

We were let back into an establishment that had been frozen in that exact moment of time. My art supplies strewn about, just as I’d left them; the calendar I so obsessively mark off still had the 15th of April uncrossed.

 

The day was spent getting everything cleaned and ready – it was an exhausting, but exhilarating day. I think many of us, self included, realized yesterday how much we truly missed the place and how much we actually do love our city.

 

Yes, this very-much non-sentimental person freely admits to feeling misty on more than one occasion that day.

 

Today we opened to the public. Not much art done, but I returned to “Paul,” and fixed some things that were irking me.

 

Still far from done:

 

And, yes, I realize words are spelled wrong. My paint marker decided to explode when I sketched out the “e.”