cats – then & now

On my husband’s birthday my Timehop was like 4 years in a row of fanart of the two of us and then when I was on my laptop working on his toast card, I fell down the rabbit hole of our whole folder of fanart and found this gem.


You can always tell how far along we were in our relationship based in part on how many tattoos we had, and definitely on the tone of the drawing. Am I still trying to impress him with being all cutesy but also, fancy pro art? We were probably actually really struggling at the time so I’m going to write encouraging things on art for us in hopes we will somehow be led to believe it? Yes, this one was probably the latter, haha. And without really knowing to what extent I would get into it, I decided this particular one needed a reprise.

And…voila.

I think I ended up spending two or three days on this one? I really really love it, except in the earlier draft I was snoozing with a little o mouth and that was why my eyes were closed. Now I look much more peaceful than I am, but we can pretend it’s general exhaustion, which is usually accurate.

I think my favorite part is the tiny kitty prints in my belly. And also Ryan’s silky smooth looking skin.

In other news, today marks 100 days until the due date for our little dude! Whether he comes that day, or hopefully before, or hopefully not after, 100 days until the day we were told about months ago when we really weren’t sure what to expect on this pregnancy journey (we’re still not).

After my semester ended and my daily digital drawings project came to a close, I felt a little void and wanted some new motivation to keep doing art regularly. So Ryan suggested another 100 days project like before our wedding, only this one would be up until our baby (should be) born. Since it’s following a fairly specific and limited project from the semester, I decided my only rule for this project is that I do a drawing more or less daily. Whether it’s an ongoing painting, a doodle in the margins of my school notes, or an unrelated cat comic like today, I’m marking the days until this baby is due by just being creative. I think I want to write the baby a note each day, but I don’t know if I’ve figured out how to document that quite yet. I’ll write today’s note, and then figure out how to tack it to the drawing when I have a full day off tomorrow.

That’s all I got! The cat comic I did today is posted on my art Insta account!

this stage in pregnancy

You know it’s really hard going into it to wrap your head around what you can expect throughout the whole course of being pregnant. 40 weeks is a long time. You grow a baby over the course of most of a year. And since I got pregnant right before the new year, it really is the cornerstone of the whole year of 2019 for me.

There’s a lot of moments to enjoy, and it’s great having so many people surrounding me to support me and listen and take care of me (usually anyway). My husband has been amazing x infinity hands down, patiently yelling at me when I complain about my daily changing body, planning activities for us after our son is born, and not giving me too much shit when I want to eat disgusting amounts of food (this week’s legacy was a double cheeseburger with a large shake – from a SECOND fast food restaurant).

But there are also lots of moments, more so right now that I’m looking pregnant, I’m feeling my son move everyday, and the summer is quickly flying by to where my son is coming in just about 3 months…where I’m just pretty scared.

Things should be feeling MORE real by now, and they probably honestly are…which is what makes them so scary. With the internet, and just…people giving you unsolicited opinions literally at all times in all situations, there are just a lot of big scary things that can happen to a baby. They probably WON’T, but when all you’re doing is waiting and waiting, it’s hard not to imagine many worst case scenarios sprinkled into the good daydreaming.

Obviously you can’t spend nine months in a state of perpetual excitement and optimism. Obviously there are days when I feel sorry for myself for gaining weight, or being sore, or having an anterior placenta. Unfortunately, those have been most days for me at the moment. I can’t help it. I’m naturally anxious when I’m waiting for things, and when people ask me how I am I feel guilty that I’m basically perfectly normal right now honestly. We got a lot of preparation for baby out of the way a month or more ago, and a lot of it is going to wait a month or so until the baby showers start happening.

The good news, and always, always, always the bottom line is that the only person I’m really in this together with is my husband. Always just him. Nothing else, or anybody else really matters, ultimately.

And luckily for me, my husband is AWESOME. He patiently yells at me when my self-esteem gets low (it’s almost always low right now), he doesn’t judge me when I get whiny, and he is so totally up for being a dad. What it comes down to is just putting one foot in front of the other, doing life together on the days when everything feels normal, and fighting through the days that feel terrible and scary because all I can do is wait and I’m hormonal and scared and frustrated.

I can only hope our little boy grows up with my husband’s calm in his head, and his deeply loving nature.

k, /endsap

other dailies (don’t worry this project is almost over)

This lovely very graphic artsy painting of Solveig and Lucy. Very glowy. Puts a lot of my earlier efforts to make pieces like this to shame, that’s for sure.
Antihero Solaris. Not really happy with this one compositionally, he’s very wooden.

This was in the same week as the above three where my only motivation to do art was to use past characters. I really really like this one though. It was a fun sketch where the colors still added to the final product.
This was a funny juxtaposition after I’d spent a day trying to sculpt this mermaid like a painting and then I looked at it the next day and I was like this is fucking nasty so I started over and did a lot more linework and dark colors and creepy faces and I was like …of course this worked.
This week I went from having gained basically nothing for my whole pregnancy to gaining about 6lbs and I took it REALLY hard. And everyone’s like yeah but you’re pregnant and I’m like that doesn’t undo years of psychological trauma surrounding my weight. Also, it annoys me that basically anything and everything I do people claim it’s because I’m pregnant. Like wanting to nap or wanting a lot of ice cream. I’m like heeeeeeeey so being pregnant is not my exclusive identity, I was a lazy fatty this whole time! 😀 And it doesn’t make me feel any less guilty when I do eat a shitload of something. It’s still eating poorly. Whether I’m growing a child or not.
This morning I looked at some old drawings of Andrew and Danny and Micah and decided to do a quick Andrew sketch. And as I was putting the streaks in his hair I’m like “am I thinking silver or gray?” and then I was like “LOL WHITE OBVIOUSLY, LIKE BAKURA LOLOLLOOLOLOL” and then I knew I had to post it on my blog.

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.

belly problems

Okay so I must have officially crossed the threshold in the last few days – or else somehow wearing looser clothing has inspired MORE focus on my bump than two weeks ago when I was rocking my new ruched shirts – but I don’t know, EVERYONE has been all about my bump and it’s…really hard.

I’ve spent many, many, many years being self conscious about my belly. I have pictures of me on the cusp of puberty where my tummy already stuck out past my (very barely there) boobs and I remember how I slowly started to hate that.

Looking back on what I expected my pregnancy to be like before my cyst, it was simpler – I was excited to just finally say “yes I’m pregnant” when asked about my large belly. And not necessarily notice a significant physical change. So when the cyst was gone, and I got the chance to experience a more natural bump progression (don’t get me wrong, I in no way suddenly became flat-stomached), I guess I was just…not prepared for people to want to notice my stomach.

And comment on it.

And touch it.

This week, looking probably more pregnant than I’ve wrapped my head around, I’ve caught myself being SUPER self-conscious about my stomach and trying to hide it like I used to.

It’s something I want to try really hard to work on because it does make me sad – I finally have a baby bump and I’m anxious about it most of the time when I’m in public.

I guess only practice will help though.

more dailies!

Obviously since I’m doing this daily drawing project…you know, daily, most of the time it’s been all I’ve done that day. And while I probably didn’t fully take advantage of my time at home as much in terms of art (I was, admittedly, a bit busy with finally celebrating my pregnancy *very late*, and midterms, and you know, healing), I got a few good, full illustrations or else some funny comics or good process images.

On my last weekday off a few days ago before I started work again yesterday I randomly wanted to draw a cute girl in sakura blossoms. Shani/Lucy is always my go to cute girl and it always makes it easier for me to invest in a drawing if it’s someone I “know.’

So I spent most of Friday between getting lunch with my awesome husband painting this. My focus has been pushing myself in digital painting, lessening my dependence on bold line art, and trying new shading methods. It was fun? if not not entirely successful to try the dappled lighting. It was definitely more successful in my head and the rest of the piece is stronger than that lighting, but again, the point of these daily drawings is to push my skills and sometimes that means trying something new even if it’s not spectacular. Overall, anyway, I really like it! The details of the blossoms in front of her are perrrrrrrrf
This was another exercise in not depending on line art. One thing that’s been helping with that is to color over a sketch instead of under. Technically speaking there isn’t any “line art” in this one at all; the lines are all also shading! Also I love her eyelashes?
After doing some sloppy ugly hand-paneled comics a few days during this project it occurred to me I am fully capable of using Manga Studio’s comic-making tools. So this Scribbles comic looks WAY more sophisticated than it has any right to be depicting my weird kitten’s spaz mode.
On the flip side, here’s an ugly picture of my grumpy burned marshmallow cat being ungrateful for all the money and effort that’s gone into her this week. Ryan asked if I was drawing her as a boy. I guess that’s my cue that I made her too chunky and not curvy enough. But it’s not my fault (I mean it is a bit) that Snowball got fat.

reprise (but delayed)

It’s been a slow week and a half of recovery since my laparoscopy – mostly my energy level and concentration seem to be the last to recover. My incisions look tiny and great and Baby is sounding as strong as ever (it’s a few weeks before I get to see them again, but I consider myself lucky to have gotten to see them at 12 and 13 weeks, even though it was because of the surgery).

Tonight I get to find out if we’re having a boy or a girl, so expect a follow up post about that! It’s gonna be a weird balance for…I mean the rest of my life to keep some of my energy on OCs and art projects and Emotia drawings and also knowing that I will become increasingly obsessed with my child as time goes by.

Anyway, probably over a full week ago now, this familiar drawing showed up on my Timehop…FROM A DECADE AGO.

God, you mean I’ve been drawing these three idiots on a computer for AT LEAST 10 years? What is my life? (It’s great. My life is great.)

I always loved that image though; it was kind of the launch into my digital art not being creepy and terrifying as it was when it started.

And I’m a sucker for a good kick of nostalgia, so I decided it was time to redraw it.

But, that’s kind of where my mention of my concentration and energy levels came in. For the first 5 days or so after surgery, I couldn’t sit at my desk that long before my back and/or stomach ached. And even when I was in bed, I seemed to be drifting in and out of a bit of a fever dream state. Really, the whole first week after surgery feels very vague and dreamlike.

But I plugged away at it, kind of cheating and using my progress on it for three or four of my daily digital art works. The line art and paint splatters came pretty quickly but as per usual I dragged my feet on coloring and subsequently shading. I’ve still been trying to refine my airbrush shading but it felt kinda gross on this one (granted, looking above there are about 4 spots on the original with some cell shading and it’s otherwise flat), so I had to add some vector shading today to finish it off.

I at once like the paint mess more and less. I like this one because you can kind of see the narrative for how the paint fight started. But since I went that route there’s a lot less random splats and stuff.

Of course the all look older now too, and only Andrew has his gross baby ponytail anymore (I’m going to blame his hippie age). Danny’s black rose tattoo still looks stupid, but maybe a bit less so.

Do you like my lame attempt to pretend to do a background? Hey, I think it adds dimension.

checking in

Hooray! My surgery is over – it’s been 6 days already! – and baby is sounding as sturdy as ever in me. I’m 14 weeks and 1 day today! We bought our first onesie over the weekend (my blessed mom gave me a boxful of baby things at 5 weeks when we told them. I’m looking forward to investigating that again now that I’m not dreading the wait to a “safe” time).

And Saturday afternoon, we finally became social media official!

I would say sadly the image itself went a little under-appreciated. I could have posted a onesie with a cat in the picture and people would have given it the same attention. But it’s fine, I think it turned out super cute. And I actually totally redid it; I had a draft done for weeks and then restarted on Thursday. Understandably this turned out wwaaaayyyy better. I’m getting some airbrush shading practice in after avoiding it for most of the beginning of my digital art days. Between this, and buying some stuff, I’m finally starting to believe this is all real!

And the last, but certainly not least dramatic thing…my cyst is out. I lost 10lbs. I look pretty different (except when baby starts to get me all bloated). The more I’ve thought about, the more I realize I’m not “shocked” per se because, like, there was a part of my brain I think this whole time that knew something was wrong with my stomach, and knew this is what I was always supposed to look like. When I pined after a body type, it wasn’t stick thin or big boobs it was just…me, minus the cyst. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t think I have fully conceptualized what I look like. I’ve gotten no photos and I can’t wear anything tight yet because it hurts my incisions. And tomorrow I have to take the steri strips off it; that’s like phase 3 (the last phase) of healing and I’m sure it’ll result in a new type of discomfort for a day or a few.

As expected, the most difficult part to figure out about, honestly, a lot of it is the combination of baby vs. cyst. I just hit the 2nd trimester and any time now baby’s gonna be popping out of my pelvis. So, what’s left of my belly, is it baby? Is it flab? Is it, as my husband insists, leftover skin from the sudden absence of a 10lb, foot-long cyst? I’m not gonna know for pretty much a year. I’m glad the cyst is gone, but it’s bittersweet that I don’t know how to enjoy how I look now or how long I’ll even look this way.

more dailies

Shoot, just saw I didn’t color her labret piercing. I’ve been trying to draw tasty looking frappuccinos for ages and I think this one finally looks enticing. I like the blue/purple/pink shadows on her skin.
Was feeling pissy Friday night so I made a pissy Micah sketch. And then tried to do a lame background.
Wednesday night I spent a while on this while Ryan was playing video games. I’d been wanting to do like a “slice” of light on someone and when I’d tried it in the past it kind of got away from me. So this one was super successful in that sense. I’ve been trying to use airbrush shading a lot more and I have mixed feelings about it; I had to add some paintbrush texture shading to offset how blurry it made everything look.

I just also like how symbolic this one feels in terms of where I’m at right now. I feel very bleak and in the dark but there’s a definite light to focus on in the future. It’s just faraway and uncertain.

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.