just a cute micah + a then and now

I was starting to realize how that fancy Micah painting I did earlier this year looks good (kind of awkward though), but isn’t really comparable to other Micah portraits I’ve done over the years. So I endeavored to make a more anime style one that compared better thinking it would take several days plus, but…I did it in like a few hours. It’s super hecking cute. That’s all I have to post about, but I am kind of working on some other nostalgia rot of Andrew+Micah+Ingrid+Lucy how they used to be versus how they appear in Lilydale. I just haven’t gotten it to a satisfying point yet.

I did it! But the final product is just Micah and Andy haha.

lilydale dump – it’s brainrot at this point

Yeah so it’s been done for like six weeks at this point but I still can’t get out of the Lilydale brain rot. I did two revisions myself and now my dad has it! And so far his comments have been totally what it’s needed.

I have a good feeling about this project.
Even my supervisor asked about it yesterday haha.

So it’s me so I’ve always toyed with the idea of illustrations in my work and I was thinking how much I usually like it when content I like has candids of the characters. And I realized the likelihood of the characters taking photos of each other on their phones is pretty high, so I did a bunch of sketches to varying degrees of completion around this.

I did this one yesterday during a session and I can’t even. I want to eat him. Cutie.
I designed the chest piece Micah gets at the end of Lilydale specifically to put it into this picture.
Also I find it delightful because Ingrid, Lucy, and Micah. Hearts.
Lucienne is an absolute goblin in this book.
Micah and Arwen <3
Micah’s spiritual encounter with a bobcat. It’s after he takes a piss in the woods.
Mother. I was working on this stupid image for weeks and it’s still not finished. It’s very…creamy? I don’t know if I love the lack of texture haha. WHO AM I I’ve always hated texture tehehe.

I suppose I need to acknowledge in writing how OBSESSED I am with Micah right now. I’ve been on a two month All Time Low kick because Alex’s vocals match Micah’s voice and a lot of the tone in a lot of his songs is very Micah. Fortunately they’re songs I’ve heard after the fact so I know I didn’t accidentally inject them into Micah haha.
But yeah, and fortunately this book would be published with my last name VanAlstine so people don’t start going Micah Stillwater…Mary Stewart…are they…the same
Because yes, and no.

Oh yeah so I got really into mandalas after I discovered the symmetry tool, only the funny part about them is I’m not proud of any of them after the fact. Except this juicy orange.

IT’S FINISHED! (lilydale)

I can’t believe it! Three weeks later, I’m done with Lilydale. It rounded out around 45,000 words.

I think it’s my favorite conjunction of characters forming new relationships. I literally didn’t bother coming up with any new characters except for Sam and Micah’s evil faerie mom. Micah and Ingrid are half-siblings now. Ingrid and Andrew both slept with Erik, but he’s dead for the whole story haha. Lucienne met Ingrid in Lilydale and kind of likes her? But it’s very understated. She’s a badass archer. Also Micah/Julian’s cat Fadil is a fun throwback to that being Julian’s original name, back when he was Andrew/Bakura’s adopted kid he found in Egypt. bahahaa

Micah and Andrew basically don’t have any relationship problems for most of the story cuz I’d say the main theme ends up being Micah’s identity crisis. Andrew isn’t asked to change a whole lot mostly because he started with a very mild animosity with faeries but as soon as Ingrid and Andrew realized Erik fucked them both up, the get past it.

So I have a lot of WIPs for Lilydale art and rather than waiting to post about this being done I was just going to post them all now.

I probably also have to make a page in My Mental Breakdown pretty soon too.

I worked super hard on the two portraits below to make into a sticker. This kissing one took like 5 minutes and it’s one of my favorite illustrations in a long time.
Micah looks a bit awkward and wide and I have a different idea for his tattoo but I love his colors.
I’m still not really sure what I don’t like about this one. I think Micah’s hand and bouquet are the best part.
Bonding over mental health crises before they bone ๐Ÿ˜€ Ryan will never forget when I kept struggling with Micah’s closest arm and said it looked like a loaf of bread.
The fabulous four, all looking quite sexy if I say so myself
This was supposed to be super dynamic and whatnot but I kept not quite nailing the body positioning I wanted, but his face is so beautifully shaded it’s not a total waste. I’ve been trying to work on an epic cover? or something but remain stuck on wanting it to kind of look like that but not super.
Lucy is a smug, sexual, reckless sonofabitch and it’s a lot of fun. Also ft my trans boy Sam who is based on a 12yo client I have and I told the client lol
Had to go on Pinterest for men’s fashion since Micah likes dressing nice
Andrew gets very nervous out in the wild
I painted the Smith Ave bridge to try to use as a background in one of the portraits up there but it all got covered up ha. My son was super excited about this though as he calls it “the Ronan Bridge.”

So one of my other 12yos saw the kissing picture as my phone background and asked if I was going to post my story anywhere. Honestly it got me thinking, once I finish some revisions, just to put it out in the world myself and see what comes back.

I don’t know.

We’ll see.

Regardless, I’m really happy with how this story worked out. I think it does faeries justice, and it honors everyone’s histories as characters. Except Erik, who was pretty much a dog.

lilydale!

After trying and failing to read like 3 different books I finally decided it was time to put into action my do-over for Andrew and Micah to fall in love. When Ryan was reading Code: Compromised he was really bothered by the teacher/student dynamic (he doesn’t understand it like I do) so I resolved at that point to give them another go, and I knew I wanted to do a story about the Fae.

So I had this brainfart two weeks ago to set the story in Saint Paul because the Lilydale bluffs by my house are SOOOO magical so two weeks later I’m 35 pages/10,000 words in to my first story in 2 years and my first written story in 4.

I got to work on this painting on and off during telehealth sessions so it rose to a much higher level of completion than my work sometimes does.

goldfinches redraw + miscellaneous

One of my old pictures of me and Ryan came up on my Timehop and given the change in our lives, and general aging, I wanted to go a good old fashioned redraw. What keeps stunning me is the difference in lineart clarity. I also got the wings more accurate to goldfinches. And of course more accurate now to Ryan’s and my passionate love…of sleep. We love sleep. Sleep is amazing.

Peep Ronan singing on the baby monitor, and Bilbo with wings.

Here’s some other miscellaneous drawings from the last little bit.

fuckin Danny
my favorite dude from mermay, which i loosely participated in
one of my pretty early girls from mermay

20 years? and others

I was working on my new layout when I remembered my first picture of Myoku Atem was done in 2002 2003, meaning this year that Micah is 20 years old next year.

[edit] This felt incorrect because IT wAS inCORrect
Micah’s 20 next year so I can save my emotions for next year. I mean, he’s still super old, but not double decades yet.

I got pretty emotional, managed to tell a few teenage clients about him that week, drew a banger of a Micah picture on my splurge of an iPad Pro, and had a hard time moving on.

He’s got the bi flag pin, an Agaar keychain even though he’s technically not in Sun-Walking since I flipped his gender (although, I suppose if I were writing it now, Betsy would probably be trans female), a Squeaky keyring, a vampire keyring, Bartimaeus, a Nikkei patch, and a Millennium Puzzle pin. He’s also got a sharpie sticking out of his pocket because for a while he was a weird sharpie artist in middle school. I did forget to add something from Cadence like I’d planned, but alas.
I have spinning around in my head an idea to get a tattoo of Micah.
I was enjoying the yellow and navy color palette.
Did this during a telehealth session, don’t tell.

Oooookay so, Our Flag Means Death. NGGGHH wow. We watched it on a whim because Rhys Darby is a long time good New Zealand actor from Flight of the Conchords and voice acting in Bob’s Burgers and a werewolf in What We Do in the Shadows so we know and love him. And Taika. Oh Taika. We are very much snoots about Taika as we watched the original WWDitS movie, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and Jojo Rabbit before he rose to prominence in the admittedly fabulous role he plays in Thor: Ragnarok. We were a little worried he was going the route of Peter Jackson until Our Flag Means Death happened. I at first thought that he was writing too but it turns out he just signed on to play Blackbeard and that’s it.

And oh…dear…god. Never so fast after finishing something have I leapt on my tablet and furiously began making fanart. We literally finished the show two days after the last episodes dropped so there just wasn’t enough on the internet to satiate me yet. But after immediately following Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi on Instagram I realized many people feel the same as I did about it, including the guys themselves. Ryan rates my reaction to this show in my top 2 fangirl moments and possibly I’d say it beat out the moment at the Breaking Benjamin concert when Adam Gontier showed up. I was hoping the moment would happen and IT DID and it was SO SO SWEET

Also the character designs on the show are *chef’s kiss* and there’s a nonbinary actor who portrays a nonbinary pirate after they get found out as AFAB.

Ryan was like “ok those smoldering eyes” and I was like YES THAT’S WHAT DOES IT ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ *cries*
turned this into a sticker because I wanted one in my stash of redbubble stickers I was waiting to print and there weren’t any from anyone else I liked yet.

pushing

iโ€™ve really been pushing my envelope for at once being comfortable with the quality of work i produce and continuing to try to achieve the style i want.here is some evidence of such.

first lineless airbrushing piece ive been proud enough about to sign haha.
my valentines doodle

chill doodles aplenty

I have had a refreshing turn of art this month, putting less pressure on myself, having more fun, getting more done. Any night I pick up my tablet I seem to be able to turn out three or four portraits of varying levels of completion. They’re not all great, but I’m still excited my productivity is increased.

Watching Steven Universe with Ronan again gets me all celestial. Or, more celestial than usual.
Texture and unusual color choices for me (read: green)
foxy!
art for the full moon
Ever since I watched Arcane I want to layer on pops of color to everything but it never looks as good as I want it to