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

Dumping a Dragon, Manga, Sun-Walking, Writing Journey

a triumph

Early last week I reached the long-awaited point in Dumping a Dragon where, after initially riding the high of creating Sivarthis’s dragon self, I always anticipated hitting a creative wall. And indeed, whether I damned myself to that by expecting it or not, I hit a wall.

I ended my first meet cute/flashback and had NO IDEA how to ease into the next segment. I tried four or five or twelve things. I wrote out a script. I sketched thumbnails. And every time I tried a page, it felt flat and lame.

Finally while watching the latest season of the Great British Baking Show, I started inking a page without much confidence…until I added the background.

This. Damn. Mountain.

Fixed. Everything.

Honestly, not only am I SUPER proud of that in terms of being a scenery image I’m usually pretty weak at, I’m super proud that it became the first page to get everything moving again. Even though I rewrote dialogue and tweaked panels until my eyes bled, and I asked for advice before immediately rejecting it, I am proud of how it turned out. The colors, the composition, most importantly the fact that I shamelessly magicked Sivarthis into looking a bit different, a bit more manageable, and having him allude to the fact that he could just change his size at will so that he can fit into frames with Noelia, haha.

Plus, this way ends up keeping the story following the novella more closely than the alternate way I had contemplated doing this scene.

Oh yeah, of course when I had hit my wall I was also preparing Sun-Walking for a witchy friend of mine to read. Which meant, though I didn’t need to, that I reread the ENTIRE 145k thing on my weekend off. I literally accomplished nothing new. Just reread Sun-Walking. More. God I love that project so much. After my witchy friend finishes it and we make adjustments to it, I think I’m going to have my dad find some publishers to pitch it to again. I’m finally ready.

Art!, Sun-Walking, Writing!

beg

 

The rewrites of Sun-Walking have been going well. ^_^

 

There are a few awkward places here and there, so far mostly in Wind-Running, where I’m not sure if I should take pieces totally out or rework them entirely still, but Wind-Running is definitely better than it was at its birth.

This was a new addition to a scene in there that I’ve been really stuck on since then today.

 

I just finished “Daughters of the Storm” by Kim Wilkins and it was the best book I’ve read in ages. Unfortunately, much like the last few books I’ve read except for “The Hazel Wood,” it hit me with a surprise THIS IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES! in about the last 20 pages. I just don’t like being tricked. It wasn’t indicated anywhere on it that it was going to be a series. Most things wrapped up except for two arcs so I was like sweet okay and then it slams me with a “AND NOW IT’S TIME TO DO THIS” and “AND NOW THIS DRAMA” and I’m like ………………….. at what point do I just have to accept that series are a part of fantasy and I need to just read them anyway. Probably at the point when I get a new bookshelf. :/

Sun-Walking, Writing Journey, Writing!

i saw your face & hands covered in sun

I resolved while talking to some patients a few days ago that I would take some time off from video games to focus on producing art. It helped that on Sunday I got to buy 3 books for my birthday on a trip out with my parents and husband. So all I’ve been doing on my “weekend” is reading, creating, sleeping, and chores. Good times. The only shame is that I’m not into coffee right now. *tear*

Anyway, so Sunday night on my way home from work I got seriously into “Don’t Take the Money” by Bleachers, and as I was sitting at my art desk Monday morning wondering what to draw, I got a vision from the line

Till I saw your face and hands covered in sun and then
I think I understand

and I was like OOH what if I did shafts of sun/shadow on LUCY BECAUSE LIGHT AND STUFF

Needless to say, when I tried the “shafts” part it looked very harsh, bruise-like, and stupid, so it evolved into a more straightfoward light source but with some still fabulous, layered shading and tone transitions. I had her have like this shawl thing draped over one shoulder originally that the more I tried to work with the more I was like -___- I hate, so eventually I was like … this piece is nothing except risk after risk, so I sliced off her whole shoulder and went for some good ol’ fashioned taping a fresh sheet of paper under the rip. I ended up loooving the kind of abstract, sunset shape of her shoulder in the new part.

I find myself very stuck on Sun-Walking. Lucienne feels like my quiet, best friend of a conscience, making me brave and anchored. I put myself to sleep by drifting off into Helios and Agaar. It’s peaceful, it’s centered. It’s a whole world, with a fearsome, loving couple at its helm. I wish I knew what to do with my persistent passion for this project. I keep rereading the manuscript. It’s good. It’s really solid. It’s worth coming back to again and again, and at this point it doesn’t even need any major revisions. So like, at what point do I just gather myself and send off some queries again? I don’t know. The world has become so sacred to me I almost don’t dare to try to push it into the public eye. I don’t want it violated by anyone. At the moment then I suppose I’m just very happy to have Helios and Lucienne to slip away with in the middle of the night, and to be able to continue to draw inspiration from all the themes of the book.

Art!, Holiday Drawings, Original Characters, Sun-Walking

sing-songy valentines drawings

Yet again, some 4 years later, I somehow ended up accidentally using Lee and Lucy for a Valentine’s drawing. Probably regret Levi’s hat. He’s not a hat kind of guy apparently. Not that it looks bad, it just makes him look so un-Levi-like. I fucking love both their cute little faces. And Lucienne’s glorious thick Tangled-esque braid. Friendly reminder that Lucy and Lee have reminded me of Rapunzel and Flynn ever since I saw the movie in theaters when I was first writing it eight fucking years ago per IMDB.

Used a surface blur this time around to soften the grainy familiarity of colored pencils. And nod to Levi’s “SW” hat.

Hopefully now that I finally put the lyrics from that one song into a drawing I’ll stop being so ridiculous about it.

Art!, Sun-Walking, Writing!

BACK TO SUN-WALKING!

A few weeks ago I had been in this habit of just reading through Sun-Walking when I was bored, like, for a few hours at a time. And I had been paging through Wind-Running and redoing a few scenes at a time before I suddenly realized I felt totally ready to FINALLY tear that whole middle segment out and REWRITE THE WHOLE THING!

Because that’s my life.

It’s weird though because I never feel more peaceful than when I’m immersed in one of my worlds. I hate how much I like it, haha.

Regardless, I think this draft is going WAY better. It’s all a bit more mature than when I wrote it as a grumpy college kid. And I want to stay true to my original intention with Sun-Walking to finish it again this time around and start sending out some casual queries.

Needless to say I’ve been doodling the shit out of my favorite power couple so here’s a dump.

I finally managed a grayscale of them being adorable! Definitely not the piece I’d had floating around in my head all week, but I’m happy with it. I finally wrote a mushy scene in Wind-Running that I really enjoyed.

Levi and his sarcastic looks gaaaaah.

Aww Lucy’s pastiness got sunburned and Lee’s all like man.

This super video gamey vector image – I frickin love the colors, right?

Just a doodle of Lee, colored, ’cause after that grayscale I was all like … I do know how to get his skintone right, right?

I haven’t even given Lucy this job at the restaurant with Lee yet and I’m not even sure I like it, but this was pretty funny. LEE LOOKS SO CUTE

A sketch from when I was first picking up momentum during this rewrite.

Art!, Original Characters, Sun-Walking

summer palette

If only it weren’t so perfectly transparent when it’s summertime and I start using pale yellow in ALL my pictures, hah. I bet you my color choices are actually seasonal though. Cool blues or dark reds for winter, warm pale yellows for summer, and sometimes heather pink.

It’s teaching season right now and I’m in Bloomington about to teach 3 kids Comic Book Design for the rest of the week, and then next week I’m doing my second week of the summer with my Super Stories bunch. That’s gonna be super nice after my first week because I have nine students instead of 16. But MARY DON’T FORGET TO CALL MIA OKAY

I very halfheartedly started a story idea based on the kind of element magic I’ve always wanted to do and on my super complicated relationship with one of my students. I have a scene and a half written. I love the first scene, and then I’m not sure how to move it forward.

ANYWAY

I did this drawing during the last day of my class last week when my kids were busily at work and I was really bored. Not gonna lie, I kind of all but forgot about Manga Studio until I was showing my kids how it worked, and then in the process I figured out how to close a bunch of menus and naturally got super into it again. I wanted to draw Micah but blond hair looked better with this color palette. DOESN’T HIS PIZZA LOOK DEFRICKINGLICIOUS

I was feeling sleepy and content Sunday morning, and I’d been reading Sun-Walking over again a few weeks ago and it had me on a bit of a Lucy/Lee bender. I love them so so so much. They’re so fierce and stubborn and tender at the same time. I love how much Lucy gets humbled in the last part of the book after building and building up till she can’t really keep up with herself anymore. I think it’s kind of a coming of age novel in that Lucy takes a risk and then grows into her choices and the realization that while she made herself better, it’s not the only way.

That’s it. Time to teach!

Art!, Cadence, Other Peoples' Work!, Redefining Evil, Sun-Walking

bang bang (there goes your heart)

After my recent (No) Trouble piece I started thinking about how awesome all of the super “girl power” songs have been lately. The next day the guy on the radio was all like “There have been some females on the radio lately who are just ON FIRE” and I was like HELL YEAH so then I came home and watched the music video for “Bang Bang!” (Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, and Jessie J). I just started doodling and as soon as I did Cirrus’s pointer finger I ran with the idea and made my most powerful women into a drawing. I kept sketchy black lines and colored sketchy style, including shading. Weirdly I’m super into how the black lines ended up looking over the super pastel color scheme. I also love Cirrus’s star shirt. The writing on the bottom ended up being subtle enough to kind of create a nice solid background and I loved the little hearts I spontaneously added.


Started doodling waiting for my boyfriend to get home because we’re both so hipster and easy to draw and this was something he said to me last week and then I added terrible hashtags and giggle.

I took this picture of my boyfriend cuddling with his giant cat a long time ago and had lofty aspirations to turn it into a super fancy drawing and then I spent 5 minutes on this.

nsp peeps

Speaking of him, I made some promotional art for the podcast that he does with his brothers/dude friend and they’re all super funny while they dick around with video games so go watch them be derps.
 

Art!, Real People, Ryan & Me, Sun-Walking

longer days

I’m sure I’ve said it in here somewhere that I realized I do more art when it’s warmer than during the winter. It’s technically spring even though it’s snowing but it is currently raining, so I’m getting right into it. I’ve done two traditional ink paintings that I’m totally in love with in the past few weeks, and I’ve been putsing with Stealing from Raquildis and I’ve gotten over half a page done (…that’s a bigger accomplishment than it sounds). I’ve also done a bunch of art for work-related things like TNMT for my students or like turning my coworker into a super adorable chibi.


It’s hard not to describe this picture without sounding sappy because of who inspired it. What was the most interesting about was only using two colors (blue and yellow) and creating such a range of tones anyway. To be fair, I used both my blue inks so they were actually really different colors. My favorite parts ended up being the watered down drips on the right. And weirdly the contours on his face; they always draw my eye. That and the swoop of his bangs. The hand got way out of control and I tried too hard to correct it though. I actually did the piece in two phases, which is pretty unusual for me because usually I just do it in one shot and consider it untouchable after that. I was expecting to fix the hand but felt no compulsion to do so when I came back for it, so it’ll be one of those things I don’t really mention unless someone notices it, because it’s more likely just in my head. Looking at it now I kind of wish I didn’t mark off the side of his face on the yellow side of the image because it may have been more dreamlike, but I remember struggling with it not having a boundary.


I should probably get a better picture than this of the canvas. I think it’s scaled down since I cropped the photo on my phone. But it’s also blurry because I rushed to take the picture too. This was a really profound piece for me, but I’ve already kind of talked about it too much so that I don’t have a strong desire to write about all of it here. One thing that didn’t come through in this photo (I’d totally get up and go take another one but my cat’s draped across my lap) is how great the depth of the paper bits looks when they’re glued on but, like, the top one there isn’t all the way glued down. Also the bottom corner is super metallic and you can’t tell. I love how most of the edges are within the canvas rather than bleeding right up to the end of the canvas, but it kind of makes the work seem poppy.

This piece ended up being a bit of a declaration of self, and surprisingly I would say two weeks or something later the message still resonates with me; I haven’t stopped this conversation with myself. I wanted to ask myself if I could still be myself when I’m with someone else. And I wanted to ask myself if it was still okay to have weaknesses, or to feel emotions that are new to me without letting them destroy my own integrity. The answer is yes, I’ve found, but when I was doing this, I left the question unanswered via the scraps of typewriter paper, which ask over and over again: are you sure?

cuddles

This one is super old and I finished it a long time ago but I haven’t been super proactive about getting things up on my blog. My boyfriend’s cat is the size of a small horse and he’s very aggressively cuddly so he’s not often allowed in the bedroom with us. But on this particular morning we let him in and he could not believe that he got to be with us. He was sprawled between us or on me or in someone’s face the whole time and it was super precious.
I wanted to see what the sketchy coloring style would look like because my new tablet allows for a lot more scratchy lines than my old one. I do like it but I’m not sure how much.

fierce-like-her

This came before the purple painting up there. I always turn to Lucienne when I want to be stronger. Her abs look great, and I love the bright red lines that add highlights.

song

So I hate to brag about a gift (for my precious coworker’s birthday) because that just seems like the epitome of arrogance, but this piece was kind of a big old “look what I can do” for me. The last time I drew in a chibi style was in the 8th grade and I used colored pencils and printer paper for it. I remember in my days of scrolling through stock anime photos and staring at the shading on those beautiful drawings and feeling like I could never achieve that. There’s nothing perfect about this picture by any means, but setting out with a goal of making this picture look as froofy and adorable as possible – and kind of sort of accomplishing that feat – made me feel like I’m now the artist I would have wanted to become. It’s not like I’m gonna work on “honing down” my skills as a chibi artist but I love feeling like I could basically draw anything I wanted and end up happy with the product. There’s something to be said for now having the tools to do something like this. Of course I wouldn’t be able to do this traditionally. But I can also do epic stuff traditionally. Like, to humble myself a bit I just need to remind myself that I didn’t get into Uptown so clearly I have not risen as far as I could. But in terms of what I longed to be when I was a kid drawing pictures, it’s pretty cool to have gotten here.
That being said, the flowers totally suck hahaha.