Things have been crazy with my current illustration job for Assailant Comics, but I was able to do Hourlies for Feb. 1!
LARGE SIDE NOTE: The Transitions Anthology is currently on Kickstarter, and I've got a short story in it! The book uses short stories to follow the cycle of the seasons, and is in full color. Please check it out if that sounds interesting to you!!
I won't go making new year's resolutions about updating this blog more often. Hopefully, if I actually stick to my other resolutions, I'll be less overwhelmed and stressed and more posts will be made anyway.
So from me, Matt, and the grumpy cat, HAVE A GREAT 2014. :D
Sigh. Welp, I’ve done it again – I have a very bad
habit of biting on more work than I can feasibly chew, which leads to
getting stressed out, not enough sleep, making myself sick, and in the
long run producing less and inferior work because of it all. Obviously,
this is rather stupid on my part; I seem to get into it every couple
years, though the event of getting married last year admittedly has made
this time a completely new situation to learn.
At least I’ve got one thing regularly updating, my Cats Talking Words comic:
…Because I have a backlog that I’d built up over the past couple years. I actually took my update schedule down from Monday-Wednesday-Friday to just Monday-Wednesday, because I don’t want to use up my whole backlog and fall behind on that too (like I need another thing to stress about. Har).
have come up with a hopeful solution for this issue, to try and get my
full-time job, life and freelance work back in balance. Admittedly a
LOT of it depends on my own hard-assing abilities, which are meager at
best. My resolution is to, in 2014, not take on any new clients unless
the jobs pertain to visual storytelling (comics, illustration or
storyboarding); and unless I have met the clients personally. And I
will not take on any work, even paid, out of pity for the customer in
question (usually because they need something in a rush, which is most
often a recipe for disaster). I have already made the resolution to not
take on any more logo or general design jobs, excluding anything
pertaining to music. My reasoning:
have a fairly good list of past clientele for a single artist, and any
projects that they come up with for me in 2014 will be more than enough
(hopefully they don’t all come up with something at once).
I WANT to work on is visual storytelling. If I get an offer for
illustration, comics, etc. from a new client that piques my interest
enough, I MIGHT take it - based on availability.
rule of meeting new clients in person helps me to gauge their
commitment to the project (had too many past clients who turned out to
be less committed than me).
have made myself miserable working with bad clients on design projects
that I don’t give a flying flip about, and would like at least a
temporary reprieve. I need to work on things that I can actually show
later as an example of my visual storytelling skills.
MUST have time to actually work on one of my own projects, which has
sat dormant as a complete script for nearly two years and is driving me
exception of allowing music-related design work is because: I love
music. Musicians tend to have more knowledge about visual art/design,
and are fun to work with. Design for music-related things often includes
use of my drawing abilities. And, a lot of my former clients are
the rub here often comes down to my ability (bad, but getting better)
to say no. I don’t disparage myself for being a nice person, but in
this regard I am entirely TOO NICE. Taking jobs out of “pity”, because I
am the sole “artist friend” and the job is paid needs to stop. My
rule used to be “only paid work” to weed out volunteering, which worked
for awhile, but even that wasn’t a narrow enough rule. Even if it’s
paid, it isn’t worth the time if the work isn’t a representation of what
I want to do in the future, and ruins my evenings and weekends with bad
stress in the meanwhile. (Also, the last-minute design-only clients
have tended to be the most clueless and difficult to work with).
need to be MUCH more frugal with allotting my time, as I am
exceptionally bad at gauging how long some projects could possibly
take. There is a lot working against me, including (a lot of) defects
in myself, but I really REALLY want 2014 to be better than 2013. I will
endeavor to do this, and make my artistic career balance better with my
full-time job and home/hippie/husband duties. (ALLITERATION, TA!)
CONCLUSION and ALSO: I MUST have time to draw from my own imagination,
work on my own projects, and MUST have time to go out and draw from
life, or my skill lapses and suffers for want of practice. I have
little to no time for any of these things now, and my freelance work
suffers, as well as my mental calm. And it causes everything else to
am sorry for this ramble, but really… I just needed to get these
thoughts down in writing, both to remind myself of my decision, and to
remind myself of how miserable I’m getting now, and that in order to
keep myself out of this state I need to be much more strict with
allowing work to encroach on the little free time I have. And so,
another cycle of work-life-learn begins.
It’s only a tumblr, but for this project I think that works just fine. You may remember some of my Talking Cats posts on this blog in the past. Now that I’ve completed nearly 100 of them, I really wanted to start posting them in earnest, but didn’t want this blog to become cluttered. The purpose of this blog is to give an overview of all of my artistic goings-on, so I won’t be hosting any ongoing comics here. This is the green room of the Wingéd Elf Girl. ;)
I started the Cats Talking Words tumbler a few weeks ago and update it every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12am. The cat comics are appropriate for all ages (unlike some of the content on this blog, haha) so feel free to direct any inquisitive children or old folks to it. Hopefully they won’t be too confused.
This was a REALLY fun project. I enjoy working with musicians a lot, and have done several album designs, but this is my first concert/tour poster design. Bart had a lot of cool ideas that I was able to incorporate, and I. Love. How. This. Project. Turned. Out. I made several other concepts for this poster, these are some favorites (sketched traditionally ink/pencil/watercolor pencil with some digital enhancements/text):
One goal was to make use of the negative space of the paper, to make that space intentional, since Bart would be printing these himself without trimming. I had a lot of other ideas for the poster's palette, too, which were a LOT of fun because Bart wanted it to be somewhere along the lines of a COLOR ASSAULT, which I rather enjoy making... :)
UPDATE 2013-04-16: I got a question from @DannyMonzilloabout which parts of the poster are traditional and which are digital, and figuratively smacked myself in the face because I had originally intended to talk a bit about that but forgot in my sleepiness. In the final design, the drawing of Bart's face and the background illustration of someone getting shot were drawn traditionally with ink, and integrated digitally. There is supposed to be nothing flat in the design, so I went traditional for these elements to get the texture of a brush in.
There are also several textures (photos/scans) layered in, which I got from my own homemade texture archive and these STELLAR people: lostandtaken and Simply Textures!
Here's a PRO TIP: Bart wanted some secondary imagery in the background of the poster, something you'd notice on a second look. Hence, the illustration of someone getting shot layered in like a texture in the largest dark-blue part of the final design, around Bart's face. Here's a section of the raw scan:
Looks pretty funky, huh? You can even see the seam where I had to tape on another piece of paper. But there's a method to the messy odd-colored madness: I used the select color range tool in Photoshop to pull the black sections and the green sections out of this drawing onto their own separate layers, and then manipulate their color independently. You can use any second color, I just had a brush pen with green ink on hand. I used this trick a bit in the drawings of Nick and Eli previously. MY SECRET IS OUT! Hope someone's able to put this method to use in their own situation, it's VERY useful for digitally integrating hand-made elements. :)
IN OTHER NEWS. I'm currently working on illustrating a comic book issue for the indie series "The End" by Shawn Murphy, which is really kicking my butt... HOWEVER, it's coming along nicely and I hope to finish it within the next 3-4 weeks so I have time to prepare for HEROESCON!!!