Saturday, May 14, 2016

Overwhelmed Much?

I caught a cold and was laid up for an entire week.

All my prep time? Gone. My dayjob stuff? Not late for once, but it takes a priority now.

I managed to make this Mother's Day card for my aunt right before I decided that I should hole up in bed with a "Tiny House" marathon on TV.
 Cut file from Silhouette, color is Dylusions spray.
That break ended up lasting for about five days. The only good thing was that I was able to work on one of my books in bed. The idea was to make two cards at once, but that wasn't meant to be. I had to send the one card that afternoon and the other could wait until the morning of Mother's Day. A few days later, I crawled out of bed to make this card for my mother.

Cut file from Silhouette, color is Dylusions spray, poorly edged with Distress ink
When I started to feel better, I looked at the calendar and realized when my dayjob projects are due. I had to hit the ground running on some work here.

Melville's Moby Dick adapted by Chabouté
Ever since I updated my version on InDesign, the internal dictionary is now randomly hyphenating words so I have to really watch what happens when I move the edges of text frames. I mean. seriously, "unders-tanding"? If anybody can tell me how to fix this, please let me know!

Fate/Zero #3 by Gen Urobuchi and Shinjirō
When I took a small break, I went into my hobby room and saw I still had some of these left undone.
These still need to be domed.
 I am officially overwhelmed and seriously doubt I can have stuff ready for the next Frankenstein's Swap Meet next week. Color me a little bummed. These are pictures of stuff I've actually done. There's so much swimming in my head. Some things percolate to the top and go under just as quickly and others stay long enough for me to capture it. Needless to say, I have a to-do list that's as long as two arms and part of a leg. The things that keep surfacing is calligraphy and small illustrations as ACEOs. I just have to get these two books lettered before I can work on those things. Hopefully when I AM finished, they won't bubble under to be replaced by something else (Cardmaking! Decal cutting! Pop-ups! Paper circuits! Dioramas!).

Sunday, May 01, 2016


While I work, I have a browser window open to Pinterest to poke around while my computer processes files, etc. I stumbled across Dawn Nicole and her online art-lettering group class thing. There's a lot of moving parts and I haven't quite got it figured out, but she has a monthly challenge group on Facebook and Instagram (‪#‎DNDChallenge‬) and I just happened upon it on the last week of April. Here's my first entry for the group.

This took me far longer than I had planned and it was killing me. I woulda been able to knock this out in acrylic, but watercolor is so not my thing and I labored over it. I couldn't control the saturation like I wanted.  re-applying a stroke when the paint is still wet results in the pigment spreading. (duh) After a while I gave up, found a broken colored pencil and outlined the flower for definition. The entire process was kinda painful.

The background was pre-primed with Distress mini pads. I'm new to stamping and I don't understand how people can get such juicy colors from them. I was pretty certain my mini-pads were dried out until I heard they should be stored upside down. I tried that for a few weeks, came back to them and hoped for the best. They were wetter than before, but it would take a lot of effort to color a tag with these. So now I'm not sure if I need to re-ink them or buy the larger, normal sized pads. On the other hand, the background worked nicely with this sketch.
If anybody reading this can tell me has any experience with wet or dry mini-pads, I'd love to hear from you!

I've been doing the Artist's Way Morning Pages without skipping so far. Which is pretty incredible since I left for Seattle when I started! They've helped me focus a lot and I've seen little things kinda come together here and there. I haven't done any of the exercises though. I'm sure they're rather important, but I'd much rather apply energy to projects than to sitting and thinking. I already do that for those Pages.

Of course I find out about the latest #100daychallenge one month into it.

This is another thing I'm working on. I did the initial resin pour about a month ago, but finally got my act together and put together the inclusions.
I can't decide whether they'll be pendants or magnets. I guess I'll have more of an idea once they come out of the molds.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Back from Seattle

I'm one week back from Seattle for Emerald City Comic Con. The timing was bad for me because taxes and late work, but hey, what can ya do?

I've found a group doing "Artist's Way" and I thought I'd give it another shot. Maybe being in a sorta group would be inspiring. At the very least there'd be other people to talk to if I needed it. For the record, I quit last time because of the one-two punch of "shadow artist" and the exercises getting a bit on the dopey side.

I managed to do some sketching at ECCC. It took this long for me to scan them because once I got home, I had to hit the ground running with work and finishing those taxes.

This was done at the park adjacent to the convention center, where all the cosplayers hang out. There were actually a bunch of other people around this guy, but I thought he was the most interesting person in that corner.

...While waiting for food at Dragonfish.

The W hotel in Seattle doesn't really have a proper lobby. It's a bar. And it was weird. And sometimes oontzy.

I have way too much on my plate right now and not enough time to get it done. I got two books to letter and my plan was to get some crafts made for the next comic swap in late May. I just took a peek at my crafting area and aiyiyi, I gotta pick up after myself before I get started!

I'm also hoping to post more here. But between the Morning Pages and scanning/posting images, it takes a lot of time! lol

Monday, March 07, 2016

Fussing, not much Doing

Been quiet lately since day job work rolled in.

Here's what it looks like:

(Wandering Island ©Kenji Tsuruta 2011)

Meanwhile I'm going nuts trying to figure out what kinds of crafty things I can sell at the local comic book swap meet. I'm going to try something new and it may not work out, but oh well. The swap meet being two weeks is adding to some pressure, but then again, it's a deadline to motivate me.

In other crafting, I tried some Prisme paints and that didn't go too well. For whatever reason the paint didn't bubble. It threw a wrench in my plans and I promptly avoided the craft room for a week.

When things don't go as planned, I tend to run away, but I also spend that time evaluating and making a plan B. Well, I figured that maybe the paint wasn't warm enough and I put them in my pocket all day before using them again. It's not looking like cold paint is the problem either. :sigh:

In more positive news, I finally found an online art course that inspired me! Looking to jumpstart my creative juices, I've been poking around for some free courses. I was really excited about one on creative lettering for journals and was disappointed that it was basically links to a series of videos that talked about a paid course the person is offering. The instructor didn't offer anything free as promised. I was disillusioned (and wanted my 45 minutes back).

So when I saw the Strathmore Paper course on journaling, I was a little skeptical, but figured, why not? Holymoly, it was inspiring! The instructor reminded me of some of my classmates from art school and captured the energy I'm trying to get back. The first thing he did was trick out his sketchbook with a blotter/bookmark that doubled as a pen holder. He also super-thinned acrylic paint to make it easier to prime pages with. I've been struggling to lay down the acrylic with the right consistency and this might solve some of my problems.

Anyway, if this sounds like your cup of tea, definitely check it out. You have to register, but it's free.

Now I gotta find jars to make acrylic wash with...

Friday, February 26, 2016

So. Many. Product Photos.

...and they're all so-so. 

I've been trying to get my etsy started* and I've been struggling with taking decent product shots. Historically I've never been the best photographer.

I have one of those fold-up light box setups, but I can't seem to work with it too well. Also, the plastic that holds the lamps has cracked in a few places so they kinda point to just one angle. I've had to wait for a sunny day to shoot these. I've also found that mica shift is kinda hard to capture too.

So when the sun came yesterday morning, I took a BUNCH of random photos. Now that it's raining I've been sitting here processing photos. This is not my idea of fun.

I should be working on my next Face or that Thing I keep thinking I'm gonna do for March.

*As of this posting, it's not open yet, but if you're interested its:

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Faces #8 and #9

Compared to Face #1, I can feel myself loosening up.
I feel like I cheated a bit for this challenge because 1) Not a face a day and 2)Not so experimental. On the other hand, I'm regaining my confidence and I'm seeing now that if I just draw more often (and preferably on a consistent basis), I'll see improvement.

So wasn't really up for the Challenge, but I'm really happy that I participated!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Face #7 (29 faces challenge)

I think this now puts me ahead of the whopping three entries from last year. But I still have some catching up to do!

Face #6 (29Faces Challenge)

I don't know why, but I really like this one.

.05 Micron pen on gesso/acrylic paint on sketchbook paper.