Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Inktober! (I haven't been updating!!!)

Okay, I'm NOT gonna add ALL of them I've been working on the last month on here, but from now on I'll ACTUALLY make updates!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Stitching Butterflies is Far from Finished

I completed the Stitching Butterflies book dummy... or so I thought.

Turns out there is a contest out there for illustrators not agented or published who are writing stories about diversity.

I'm entering of course! SB is all about two girls with diverse backgrounds, two different points of views and different interactions with the world. These interactions clash until they realize they are more similar they than thought.

Do I think I'll win? No, I don't, but I'm sure going to make sure that I try my very best and I make SB the best I can make it.

 These three images never seem to go away
or be completed. I want to make them perfect
but I need to move on (I need 6 completed pages!) So my next three I must do in a short amount of time. Everything MUST look SPLENDID, fantastic, it's gotta be a like a delicious cake where all the ingredients as a whole make people want to consume my cake. This is the next one I'm completing. I hope I can do this fairly quickly!

And in other news, I'm trying to complete a book dummy for Hello Robot by completing Dani Duck's book dummy challenge. Oh yeah, it's also INKTOBER and next month NaNoWriMo and the last Tomi competition is due in December.

I have a lot of projects...THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

So, Let's Go!

Lately I've been stumped on the many projects I've buried myself under (what else is new, eh?) and created what is known as a "writer's block" or "creative block." Some authors and creatives debate on wether this "creative block" exists. In these SCBWI conference notes, one author, Pam Muñoz Ryan, says there is no such thing as a writers block. On the other hand, Neal Shusterman on the same note page says writers block is very real. 

Is this creative block real? How does one overcome this wall blocking the way to the land of creativity and success? 

Well I for sure don't know... BUT...

Here's what I've been up to to help me through it, even if I'm doing everything to procrastinate:

  • Read some topic related books to get my mind reeling. Favorites at the moment: Pete the Cat series, Where the Wild Things Are, Millions of Cats, How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, and Dragons Love Tacos. 
  • Yeah, I read articles about Picture books too... Tara Lazar always has some good stuff. 
  • Jot down ideas even if they're lame. This can also apply to the PiBoIdMo challenge as well as NaNoWriMo.
  • Work on something other than my stories, like this postcard contest piece!
  • Work on one Picture book at a time. WORK ON ONE PICTURE BOOK AT A TIME. Should I say it again. ONE PB A TIME. <3 This is probably the most important one of all haha.
  • And, since I'm working on Nightlander continuously, I've decided to focus on character building until November for NaNoWriMo. ONE CHARACTER AT A TIME. 
And that's it! Personally, I don't believe in a creative block necessarily. I do however believe in a creative meltdown, consisting of a list of procrastinations/reasons why the creative force should pause because of "real life worries" (day job, bills, health, dealing with the "real world") Indecisiveness can also pause the creative force (what project will be more successful? Which project won't waste my time?) 

The only way is to power through. So, let's go!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Critique from Lorraine Owen and the Organisation!

Stitching Butterflies got a critique!

To sum up the critique, I need to work on my tone/color and drawing a lot more.

They seemed to like the Lily piece more, and I would agree.

The Stella piece needs more work, particularly I think with big Stella I need to draw it again (haHA!)

Overall, very helpful. I will say that I want to keep my color palate. I don't think that children's books must be radiating with color and brightness and I want to keep my palate. Work on darks and lights? Yes. Work on drawing? Yes. I'll make sure to practice these but I like my palate and I want to stick with it.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Postcard in Progress!

The Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia SCBWI has a post card contest each year. This year's theme is From Dreaming to Doing. 

This is my take on that theme. 

I've never entered the postcard contest before so this is my first time. Will I have a chance? Ehh, maybe. I see this more of a chance to perhaps make a portfolio piece, or even just an activity that's not my own personal project. 

This is the original sketch (after a few thumbnails.)

The image below is a digital color sketch. After working on it, I see I need to go back to the drawing and re-work the fish in the back ground along with the underwater city background.

I have until october (I think? Got to check that...) to complete this piece.

Better get to working!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Completed 2nd Draft of Book Dummy

Drum roll please...



Okay, got too excited. I've never thought of how to write the sound of a drum roll...

Anyway, the 2nd draft of Stitching Butterflies book dummy is complete! Does it need tweaking still? Oh yes. Definitely, but I'm not going to let the incompleteness of a book dummy get me down. In fact it's better to not have fully fleshed out details sometimes with a book dummy. Fully prepared manuscript? Yes. Full, completed illustrations? Yes, but not the dummy. The agent or publisher might think you don't intend to change anything which isn't so as many things should be changed in the process.

Alright, so long SB for a little while! I've gotta start working on Lues and Sues. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Dummy Update

Another post on this, really? Will I ever finish this thing? (HAHAHAHA...ha)

Anyway, the book dummy saga continues. I'm nearing the end of my second SB draft with it being critiqued (with most of the ones critiquing being confused) and have to say that my type of writing is very comic book-esque as a lot of the time I use only dialogue and onomatopoeia.

I don't want to change because the manuscript is a little confusing without the illustrations!

So for me this dummy is extremely important for Stitching Butterflies. I wrote about it on the wordpress. You can find some helpful links in there, as well as here and here. In fact, subscribing to these blogs help too.

Some pieces! Part of the reason this blog exists lies in the idea that an artist has to fail over and over and over again just to get what they want inside their heads on paper.  Still, that may not even happen.

Can I get what I want SB to be on paper? 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Last Post was a Lie, ALL LIES

I need to step back a bit; perspective challenge will be started AFTER my book dummy.

I wanted to do this kinda challenge to myself and then I realized I was already getting buried alive by projects. Look at this list man!:

  1. Stitching butterflies- I have the manuscript getting critiqued this week or the next, plus I have to re-draw the book dummy AND still have to finish Stella's illustration. 
  2. Lues and Sues- yep, wrote another manuscript and now editing it. I wrote this one called Lue's Place, but it was missing serval things. I put it away for a year and one day I work I was suddenly writing a rhyme on a piece of scrap drawdown paper that began Lues and Sues. Oi.
  3. Nightlander Oil Painting- and nightlander in general as it is an on going novel/comic that is now getting oil paintings because I wan to do a comic in oils and oh boy oh boy, JUST KEEP ON ADDIND TO THE PILE.
  4. Critique group- I'm in a new critique group and we critique one manuscript a week.
  5. Blogs/monday reviews- I'm writing a PB review every monday on my wordpress, which means it'll take the entire week to write unless I do everything last minute and pull an old review out. Oi. 
  6. With Friends Like Us- Oh yes, another PB manuscript. WHY. You know, I have the notebook to write ideas down, it's just when a story pops up into my head it takes over.
  7. Oh Yeah, Hello Robot is another PB- oh well, this is my life.
  8. ANNND Work, the day job as quality control for inks, no need to elaborate this is takes time out of the day.
I should complete AT LEAST Stitching Butterflies before adding another project. Maybe I can edit Lues and Sues/start illustrating while SB is getting critiqued. 

I'm pretty sure this happens to illustrators/writers all the time though. I know an oil painter tends to start five oils paintings and complete them as they go. Same idea with stories. 

They're all jumbled. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

I've Been Busy...and I'm Starting a Thing and it's Day 1

I need to practice my drawing skills.


That means back to the basics and I'm talking specifically perspective.

Take a look at these:

They are both extremely flat and while I love working this way (I have another oil painting in progress) I need more depth in my bigger works, more specifically for all the worlds NL involves. 

I think working on perspective will help with my picture book illustrations as well.

Here is the first perspective drill. 

Got to keep pushing. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Quick NL Update!

I almost feel like I'm running a marathon because of all the different projects I'm trying to complete (ehh maybe it's because of the large red eye I just finished...

But anyway, I began painting Nightlander in oils, which is what I've been wanting to do for the past two months and never got the courage to just do it.

I'm making a larger painting on this canvas below. All I'm waiting for now is the rabbit skin glue to come in the mail and I'll finish prepping this home made stretcher/canvas!

In the meantime, I've started two smaller ones.

The idea is to paint the comic as an installation in my studio. I like these quick, messy oil paintings and the mixed media aspect of this comic just suits me and it. I'm going to keep at this, writing on sticky notes, making digital paintings, oils, and installation comics until I get this story the way I want it. 

Just Looking Back...

Looking back at SB, remembering that I've been working on this picture book for little over a year, I see a dramatic change in the character design for Lily.

Here's how the first two characters began:

The change begins here. I just had this vision of adorable little girl with pigtails trailing behind her as she creates her dreams. Lily is a wilder character than Stella who likes things neat, a bit orderly, and pretty. 

I have a feeling that SB will go through more change as I get closer to finishing. I've also posted this change on my wordpress because it makes me wonder how many changes the books I'm studying went through. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Book Dummy update!!!

Working on Stella piece. I'M MOVING SLUG PACE ON THIS ONE.
At least I'm moving, even if it's slow. Perhaps I'm moving so sluggity slug slow because I'm trying to match the previous Lily piece and making sure that everything is consistent.

I still could get a move on it though...
Another positive thing about yesterday was I kinda figured out the last page spread of the dummy here.

Still needs a WHOLE HECK OF A LOT OF WORK (the perspective of those buildings are god awful) but it is better than what I had before!

Moral of story...eh, PROGRESS and maybe slow and steady wins the race?

Updates! Updates! Updates!

Nightlander has done a bit of an explosion. Here, I'll show you...

I've been creating many shadow monsters that I'm now calling hybrids. These particular ones just happen to represent My two main characters, Chel and Fran. Their original shadows look like these...

Eventually I'll add more of the manuscript on here, but in the mean time I'm working on the image below. 

This one might take awhile.
I've also been working on SB, I will make an update on it later today perhaps. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Nightlander Update

Here are some of the chat chat 
girls and their shadows.

I'll have the Laylaworm on here too.

Soon I'll add Layla to this bunch.

Anyway, just a character design update!