Lilydale, Myoku Needs a Tag, Original Characters, Sun-Walking, Writing Journey, Writing!

more heartwood doodles

I’m revising Superior and added a scene where Micah makes Ingrid and Lucienne go to Target to get gifts for the Folk and…doodles ensued

And okay so when I was writing the original draft I kept debating whether or not Micah and Lucienne would kiss/have a thing/briefly be together and I opted for this awkward Trial scene where Lucienne tricks Micah into thinking they slept together, but I ended up squeezing another scene in in its place and Micah ends up in Lilydale

So I talked it through with, you know, my monogamous partner, and ended up deciding one one kiss between them

and

GOSH THEY’RE A GOOD LOOKING COUPLE WTF

what a weird little world this trilogy exists in

Emotional Breakdowns, Lilydale, MicahxAndrew, Original Characters, Writing Journey

superior

Well…the worst case scenario has happened. My dad planted the idea in me to turn Lilydale into a series and…well, that’s working out.

So that’s most of the art that I’ve been doing lately, but honestly what art could I possibly need to do ever again tbh, they’re perfect

And THEN…I was getting underway with it and the anthem band for MicahxAndrew, All Time Low, released a new single and IT. IS. A SPIRITUAL. EXPERIENCE for me.

I literally told Ryan that the fact that this song came out while much of the plot of this second one was planned and the new single matched the theme PRECISELY…like something about that is so unreal and implausible that…that’s the shit that moves me.

So here’s an image dump of illustrations since I started Superior.

Don’t worry, this part of their story is only TWO OUTTA THREE hehe

Maybe, probably. We’ll see haha.

Micah’s sad and angry in this one, ft. Sleepwalking lyrics
Andrew on a snowmobile is an image Micah and I mutually find very sexy. But we know how I feel about drawing machines. Anyway, more Sleepwalking lyrics.
This one I did at the tail end of Lilydale and I 100% imagine this is engagement photos for them.
This was initially supposed to be an Inktober prompt but it did not remain on theme, but I loooove the vivid colors and the sketchtasticness
Ingrid goes full mom mode in Superior
Here’s an amusing and super awkward now v then for Micah and Ingrid but now she’s taller than him as a faerie
HHHH I’m choking
Another tail end of Lilydale one, SO KAWAII KYAAAA
Inktober prompt “empty” from Micah’s drunken night out

Art!, Lilydale, MicahxAndrew, Original Characters, Writing Journey, Writing!

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 😀 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.

Art!, Emotional Breakdowns, Error, Manga, MicahxAndrew, Myoku Needs a Tag, Original Characters, Writing Journey

quarantine/riots/manga DONE

Shocking all of us, I FUCKIN FINISHED Code: Compromised (best name I could come up with). It rounded out at 298 pages, infuriatingly. Haha. It’s not super high quality, overall I’d say though the images are better and more artful and obviously more skilled than when I was 18, realistically the paneling and bubbles are about like they were when I was a teenager.

I think the concept was super solid and the plot was really tightly knit, not trying to do too much, and the development of Micah and Andrew’s relationship was really tender and balanced (even if it oogs my husband out because Andrew’s older than Micah, sorry, I have my kinks, if you can even call “age difference” that…the teacher/student thing maybe, but age is shrugs.)

I go back and forth on whether I want to plunge into a “real” draft of it but I know I’d want to use my computer tablet for that, and having the time to do that seems like a distant dream.

I have to give an invisible blog shout out to All Time Low for their new album Wake Up Sunshine literally being the anthem for this whole story. It was fun to use a really old band’s new work to create my first new work in a really long time. I haven’t figured out how to best document like, I don’t know, the growth of these two since they came around in middle school. I know soon I want to add a page for this story to My Mental Breakdown but that’s another thing I have a hard time imagining squeezing into my stupid adult life.

The weirdest part about this project is that I’m really happy I finished a story but it was almost physically painful how obsessed, compelled I felt to work on this. At times in the last few months I was neglecting not only my child but my husband too and that was…weird. Writing feels like its cost has increased greatly since I was a carefree high school student. And the funny thing is that I don’t even feel “wowed” by this project’s quality, but if I’d put out 298 quality pages I think I’d be dead now.

So, more resolution on this project to come, but in the meantime, IT REALLY IS DONE! wow!

Here’s some art!

One of my favorite lines from ATL – “cause I’m not too far, and you’re my favorite place.”
GLOWY SMOOCHY
Hands down my favorite page in the whole thing, and the upside down bi flag was coincidental; its’ a sunrise too hahaha. IT’S SO CUTE THOUGH GODDAMN

i had my headphones on and my husband just texted me from the living room that i was breathing very heavily, i guess these guys make me pretty hot haha
After musing on the accidental bi flag in the last page I threw this together today. I realized it is actually Pride month. But most people are keeping their mouths shut about it since there’s not going to be a Pride festival right now and the country has been literally up in flames for the last two weeks. So I think they’re realizing their Pride is not…super appropriate in light of Black people being murdered by the police. Yeah, current events in the captions of anime boys hugging!
k so apparently Harry Styles revolutionized the fashion world and like, the song that he was wearing a crop top in is some 70s trash garbage, but I thought Micah would be excited at the opportunity to wear a crop top, so I did this haha.

Lastly I wanted a statement to live on my blog forever about recent events. A lot of white people are having potentially their first encounters with white guilt so Black Lives Matter is currently a very trendy slogan to get behind, in addition to many white people stating for the first time that they’re mad about racism. As someone who went through their teens blissfully unaware of the diversity around them, before stepping into a very whitewashed community for a year, before stepping deliberately back into a diverse neighborhood in South Minneapolis without fully grasping how I was still contributing to systemized racism and also basking in my white privilege, who then read Counseling the Culturally Diverse by David Sue, who then felt super guilty for glamorizing diversity and being a bit exhibitionist about diversity in my art, who has then backed off from pretending like I have a place to speak about or be part of the Black community, who has then come to some sense of peace about things, who has now realized many people did not go through all this…I have done a lot of smh at the white community around me, well-meaning as they are.

Many of my friends, Black and white alike, were in the cities protesting following the murder of a Black man, George Floyd, by a white fucker of a police officer who is now being charged by our amazing Keith Ellison for second and third degree murder. Riots ravaged my nearby city. Shit got destroyed. Uncle Hugo’s was burned to the ground. I was…quiet, withdrawn and depressed, wanting to flee the country as snapshots from apocalyptic games, movies, books flashed in my head, thinking about my innocent albeit white male son growing up in a crumbling country. Since then it seems like there is some really important systemic change that’s beginning to happen, and a lot of organizations, like BLM, have received amazing charity funding that they’ve been scrounging for for ages. And I’m really glad for that. But I know with most traumatic events, the people who weren’t “hurt” by it will move on with their lives. And I wanted to make a statement and a commitment to not forget that I always have and always will support powerful movements like Black Lives Matter. And I am committed to raising my white male child to make this world a better place for his Black brothers and sisters, to know that he has privilege, to encourage him to use it to improve the lives of those who have less privilege than him.

On this blog, Black Lives always have, and always will Matter.

Art!, Error, Manga, MicahxAndrew, Myoku Needs a Tag, Original Characters, Writing Journey

i’m obsessed (but it’s still unnamed)

So suddenly the coding manga I’ve been writing has amassed 156 pages and I’m about 70% done with the story. It feels really amazing but also kind of…weird because, while the story looks actually quite similar in quality to my high school writings, this one really feels like the very compelling rough draft of something I’m going to go back through before long and write in the quality of Dumping a Dragon.

Andrew and Micah THRILL AND DELIGHT ME, I love them as a couple so much. It honestly makes SO much sense and their personalities perfectly complement each other.

The story stays SO MUCH SMALLER than the other manga I’ve attempted to do and feels much more intimate, manageable, and fleshed out because of that. Really the only thing I need to refine during the final version will be the presentation of the Codeys and Scripts but that’ll be easier when I’m not writing the whole thing in a notetaking app haha.

I also made doodle sketches for all the chapters since they’re sorted by chapter in my app so here are those!

I’ve also been absentmindedly doodling them in between chapters whenever I briefly lose my flow, like I used to.

Here’s me and Andy and Micah planning to dye Andrew’s hair since I actually do his hair down in quite a few scenes but it basically ends up looking like my current hair haha.
Aaaaaaaaaand my precious refined baby lovely picture I did last week. It’s featuring lyrics by All Time Low, who I listened to in 9th grade but came out with a new album in April that I stumbled across in Amazon music and fell in love with. And I got to use my shiny brushes in ProCreate. And shiny colorful shading. <3
Art!, Error, Manga, MicahxAndrew, Myoku Needs a Tag, Original Characters, Writing Journey

it still doesn’t have a name

So I can’t believe it somehow got overlooked in my blog – I think initially I was probably  a little embarrassed – but I’ve been kicking around a new idea for a novel/graphic novel for months that finally just kinda, I don’t know, took off on its own. I was really into the idea of writing boyxboy love for the first time after I realized I have trouble writing a functional, blossoming hetero relationship because I’m no longer trying to fill my own void for romance. Plus it felt very appropriate to hook Micah and Andrew up. And Danny made a brief appearance where he then died like usual haha.

Anyway the idea has always felt super solid (started from reading A Sorcery of Thorns btw) and I was just hung up on the visuals, so I was just like who cares and I did something to keep moving and now that I’m entering drama/sexy territory I’m just kind of flying into it. I’m also excited about the idea of writing out the rough draft and figuring out an iPad program or something to refine it once it’s all written down.

As it’s progressing it’s definitely turned out a bit spookier than I expected but like, in a cool way I guess!

this is from like december before I had started trying this project as a graphic novel again. I kept Micah’s blue hair but I gave him a fresher style and I love it, it’s a good contrast to Andrew’s hair which I usually draw down like Howl/Haku now (which unfortunately is the same length as my hair and thus sometimes he just looks like me. Haha. Old problems never go away.)

I have way more doodles and whatnot on my ipad but I just can’t bring myself to blog on my ipad especially since I’ll never ever get an ipad keyboard. I have so many physical keyboards! I cannot abandon my actual PCs even though Ryan bought me airpods yesterday and I haven’t stopped using them since. >.>

Art!, Emotional Breakdowns, Holiday Drawings, Ronan, Writing Journey

the end of a decade

New Years is my favorite. I would say this one looks the most different but I haven’t ever prioritized staying up until “the ball drops” as much as I have always prioritized reflection, which I have spent lots of time doing the last few days.

And today when I was bored at work I put this together!

Enjoy the visual walk down memory lane.

I think it’s definitely a bit easier to put this together since my blog has been up for almost an entire decade haha.

Also here is my visual mantra for 2020.


And some other doods.

Art!, Original Characters, Writing Journey

baby run away with me

Click for full version! Oh yeah, I forgot about Micah’s very very very veiled Nikkei reference. I gave him a striped cat tattoo haha.

This was my weekend project for my daily art. The image literally dropped itself into my head on my drive home from work on Friday listening to the radio when that Khaled x Halsey song was playing for some weird reason. I hung onto it long enough to get home and start sketching it and the whole thing kind of completed itself from there.

I am getting SUPER comfortable, apparently, painting without lines – thanks mostly to all the daily drawings I’ve been doing since February! It’s pretty great, and I’m really happy with how they turned out. Literally my main question was “wtf couple do I used?” and nobody really spoke to me so I had to kind of go with more my aesthetic right now, which was Noelia and Micah for some reason.

I’m finding at least in the preview size of this that a lot of the glorious details of this are lost – not a common problem for me; I found myself working at 60-100% a lot of the time especially toward the end when I was just adding details like jewelry and of course all the raindrops.

Even after spending quite a few drawings experimenting with other brushes I find the best brush for painting is still just dropping the opacity on a pen brush. I don’t end up liking the fuzzy cloudiness of pencils I also can’t make as dark as I want them to be. I just kept shifting between 20-70% opacity and a lot of color droppering and it did everything I needed it to.

Even when you compare it to like this first “painting” I did back in February you can tell a lot of that hesitance and awkwardness about doing shading that’s stronger than lines has gone away.


In fact, I had originally added some light lines over their faces to add some structure but ended up working them back into the painting as I moved on. Pretty crazy. Very grateful to really really feel some muscle development from all the days I’ve been working with my tablet.

And even if I don’t feel like that, at least I don’t make stuff like this anymore! 😀

remains one of the scariest pieces of work I’ve ever completed, look at Lacy, what color is that?? ha

Hehehehehehhehehe

That is all. I was going to dump some of the other good dailies I’ve done in the last month but I feel like I’ll save that for another post soon.

Art!, Redefining Evil, Writing Journey

dailies “behavior change” project

So one of my classes for this spring semester is called Learning & Behavioral Change and, surprise, it involves a behavioral change project! Our professor wants us to essentially use the skills we learn in class to develop a new habit/break a bad habit. And of course a bunch of his examples are like, weight loss, diet, etc., and I’m like, well I don’t foresee that going well as I get increasingly pregnant. Some of the non-negative examples were like, write a journal daily and meditate daily. So I was like well…I already journal enough, and I don’t really want to try meditation.

And then I was like !!!! I’ve been feeling distant from my art life lately, why don’t I do a DAILY DRAWING?!?!

I figured it wasn’t quite specific enough to just do a drawing since I could do sketch or computer and it would be difficult to keep them all together then. And like also, my digital tools are spectacular and I kind of never feel like I fully utilize my $800 display tablet.

Sooo, a digital drawing a day! And then I have to write a paper about it.

The good news is it’ll keep my blog busy, so here’s some of my favorites.

Used a reference?!?! What?!?! Cool.
Practicing some different brushes/actual painting.
So I never liked Fall Out Boy’s “Champion” that much but the line “if I can live through this / I can do anything” had really been speaking to me since I found out about my cyst. I listened to it 5x in a row on my drive to work this week and got this flash of Ingrid looking pissed off and fierce as hell with these lyrics. Ryan asked if he should be concerned but Ingrid is typically covered in blood haha.
Art!, Comics, Dumping a Dragon, Holiday Drawings, Other Peoples' Work!, Writing Journey

holiday vibez

Christmas arrives in five days! I have three days of work before a planned week off at home with Ryan, including an overnight stay in Duluth. Similarly, I finished my first semester at Saint Thomas yesterday and I was excitedly biding my time until today when I could make an OC Christmas card.

At first I wanted to do a feature of an old crew but I decided I needed to honor the fact that I am STILL working on Dumping a Dragon, despite a few weeks in the last few months when I was thinking it was dying. I’m almost at 50 pages actually (which will be celebrated by a separate blog post). I was sure that just like Cadence, DaD was going to die right around 45 pages, and right at the part of the story I expected it to.

Making no promises about its future, I feel very proud of myself and humbled by my inspirations that I haven’t stopped working on it. Taking breaks is totally allowable and not indicative, apparently, of its certain doom.

I find myself regularly daydreaming about Siv and Noelia when certain songs come on, etc., and I’m finally going to reward myself in a few short pages of doing yet another flashback to fonder times for them, so I get to finally draw human Siv.

Anyway, of course it’s human Siv who graces this year’s Christmas card, but I think Noelia kinda steals the adorableness show in this one. Only I would totally wear Siv’s ominous YOU BETTER WATCH OUT Christmas sweater.

Noelia is supposed to look like she’s wearing crushed velvet. Limited success I would say.

Into the Spider-Verse

Another blogworthy event is that last night I saw “Into the Spider-Verse” and it was AMAZING. It made me glad for reading the first few issues of Miles Morales back when I was in college; I feel like it gives me some serious nerd cred now, haha. And Nick Miller as a pudgy grown up Spider-man was fantastic in every way.

Image result for into the spider verse

I feel like the movie paid such homage to comic books in a way I never thought I’d see; it got me at once jealous and emotional, haha. Since it’s just hit theaters there aren’t any good screenshots to demonstrate what I’m talking about. But the film regularly overlaid their handsome CGI with comic elements including yellow-background narrative text, motion lines, and sound effects. I even cried a few times! In the first few moments of the film I was like “um Miles is supposed to biracial” (because his mom presented as African American) and then she yells at him in Spanish and I was like “…oh good!” haha. There are also some noteworthy voice actors in it which I was proud of myself for recognizing.

And it was great that Miles spends the first 75% of the movie kinda failing. He doesn’t immediately gain control of his super-powers; he doesn’t even immediately believe in himself. 

Oh, also, I will say the big screen did nothing to add interest or appeal to Spider-Gwen for me. She’s as boring, generic, and Trying Too Hard as she ever has been (and her ballet flats were really stupid.)

Anyway, I was glad I got to usher in a short break from school and responsibilities with such a good comic book film! Aaaugh! 

Also my husband and I are big dorks and I love him so much because we always laugh loudly at the same fucking things and I’m sure everyone in the theater hated us, but I don’t care and I love us. SO. MUCH.

I can’t wait till after Christmas so I can finally post my new art of us. Only that also means I have to make cat art since Scribbles isn’t in it. *tear*