Nikkei, Original Characters, Other Peoples' Work!

comforting nostalgia (mostly)

Hi! December has been flying by, and I got really sick which is really stressful. So most of the energy I’ve been putting into art has been into nostalgia, not really breaking any comfort zones or anything.

I just realized I only gave Micah one glowing eyeliner eye which annoys me, but such is the result when you do one offs like this.
The gang visits me for therapy. Danny doesn’t believe in therapy.

So then a few weeks ago I fell down the Nikkei rabbit hole because as soon as I realized Micah was bi I realized NikkeixMicah made WAY more sense than him and Shani. He only ever would have seen Shani as a dorky little sister which is fair because Shani was the most annoying.

nikkei this kind of recklessness is why you die of disease
i had a hard time with Nik’s hair because since I’ve updated Micah’s it’s basically what Niks used to be, so I had to play up the fauxhawk vibe
ok but this would be the cutest part of having a catboyfriend.

All right and then pivot, to prepare for the second long awaited second season of the Witcher, we re watched the first for the third time. And I finally had the speed to grab my iPad during this scene and put out some cuteness of mom and dad Yen and Geralt.

Art!, Comics, Nikkei, Original Characters

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.
Cadence, Dumping a Dragon, Emotional Breakdowns, Manga, Nikkei, Original Characters, Rebels

page 50

Well, the time has come! I just completed the 50th page of Dumping a Dragon.

To celebrate, I thought I’d pull out my shelf of self-written manga and go on a walk through the 50th page of my other stories! :3 Nostalgia, here we come!

Ah, but first, a spontaneous group photo of me and my 50 pagers!

hehe I kinda forgot to add Siv or Lia at first and I was like “…Lia’s just gonna make the layout uglier” (moody-ass Micah was hard enough to fit in on the right over there, hence his awkwardly reaching in front of Erik lol), so I was like …oh duh, Siv will fit in if he’s a dragon and he looks like a FUCKING MANIAC and I fucking adore it hahahaha
Volume 2 of Cadence when Solimin goes to hell and almost dies! Around 2008.
Volume 1 of Cadence, I love Soli chilling with Leaky haha. Around 2008.
Part of the rewrite of Redefining Evil. Rewrite took place around 2008. What a prolific year for my manga-making.

A good demonstration of crazy Erik. I’M NOT A F***ING NAZI. Rebels remains one of my favorite stories. Unique, isolated characters – it’s very much a bottle manga, attractive page designs, and very concise. And I also remember I came very close to never finishing it. Done around 2006.
This one made me tear up laughing. I submitted a 10 or so page segment of volume 1 of Nikkei to a manga competition. Eripmav is very happy to be falling from approx. 5 feet. This has got to be from around 2003 or so.
If you squint REALLY hard you can see Myoku taking his shirt off because I was a middle schooler and TEEHEEHEE ABS. Probably around 2005.
Don’t tell anyone I uploaded the 50th page of DaD.

Oh my gosh I almost forgot! All those ancient scans are only possible because my husband insisted on upgrading my flatbed scanner. Purely by chance, he ended up getting the latest version of the same scanner as I’ve had since my art inception. Thanks best husband ever!

In additional tech information, after fearing my laptop harddrive was failing due to the fact that any time I so much as put my hands too abruptly on the keyboard it would LITERALLY BLUESCREEN, we opened it up to see if it was something we could replace and…that seemed to settle it back into place, and no more bluescreening! I will be very sad the day this ancient laptop finally sleeps for good.

Art!, Myoku Needs a Tag, Nikkei

marker drawings of old people

And by old, of course, I mean my old-ass Nikkei characters. Last night as I was sketching out ideas for full digital drawings, I suddenly decided to draw Myoku and Nikkei together. Then, I went on Amazon and bought a huge set of alcohol-based Copic marker knockoffs for $40. So I purposely held out on blogging until tonight so I could color my Nikkei and Myo drawing with my new markers!

I llooooooveee how it turned out. These colors are so vivid it’s actually the first time I didn’t have to adjust the color levels after I scanned it. Obviously figuring out if or how I can shade will be a bit of a trial period but other than that I was able to achieve all the wacky colors these guys have always been using only markers. I think these markers would be great too with a larger-scale surface that would benefit from getting the chisel tip into larger but more detailed spaces. The possibilities are endless!

I’m working hard to try to push my way through some creative roadblocks for the last project I started writing a while ago. I may not be producing much but I’ll never give up on trying.


OH yeah the only other noteworthy art I’ve done is on my flight home from California, actually.

The week I was in California with my friends was the longest I’d been away from me and Ryan’s cats since before I ever met him. I desperately, painfully missed my Snowball cuddles – it was kind of pathetic. By the time we were flying home, I’d spent all week drawing whatever I could think of; I’d listened to all my music too many times; and I’d read too much of my books to want to do any of those things for the 3.5 hours on the plane. So I decided I had to draw something that would be as time-consuming as it possibly could. That ended up being a full shaded sketch followed by a full shaded BALLPOINT PEN drawing. And sadly it still only took me maybe just over 30 minutes. The amount of attention I got for this was, as usual, ranging from hilarious to annoying. At one point I accidentally flipped my pen out of my hand and the mini-Ryan sitting next to him had to pick it up for me because Ryan had had no idea what’d happened. Then the flight attendant was all omg I can only draw stick figures and I’m like -____- stop with that line everybody, holy crap, sorry you haven’t tried.
And, the best part about this is that this is in fact exactly what happened approximately 5 minutes after I climbed into bed when we got home from the airport. ^_^ I love my crazy cat lady life.

Art!, Emotional Breakdowns, Manga, Nikkei

half a lifetime ago


I can’t believe it’s been 13 years since Cinnamin died, and since I wrote Nikkei. That’s literally half my lifetime ago. There are a lot of things about my life that have changed but in a big part I’m still very much the same dopey, nostalgic, passionate, artsy little nerd I’ve always been. A part of me though wishes I could be still writing my first-ever graphic novel all over again, and that I could have the lack of self-doubt I’ve developed as an adult. In a lot of ways I think my self-esteem was better then than it is now. But I do think he looks like a total stud. Not a seventeen year old stud, but a total stud.

It does make me happy that he and two other characters from Nikkei were still around to be written in my last story. Maybe not as leads, but they were there. That’s why I know I’m such a nostalgic piece of shit haha.

Art!, Manga, Nikkei

various and sundry doodles

My time off from work so far hasn’t given me quite as much room for creative springing as I would have hoped. I’ve done a few things and have a few others in the works, but this is still the first year that having free time hasn’t meant automatically a huge influx of art.

this is the WORK IN PROGRESS of my next conceptualized emotia piece, which is about WAITING. Fucking waiting. I started this when I had just set up an interview for a possible job and in light of the fact that I would love to work in a school but I can’t afford two months of unemployment, so I went for what kind of feels like my Plan C.
I tried unsuccessfully for a while to do my waiting girl in the similar style to “Exhume” but the block shading was looking really dumb and I really liked the sketch lineart I’d done. I would just need to figure out something for the white space at the bottom of the canvas, and a way to make the gears look more finished than my slap of color currently made them look.


and then I got impatient working on the waiting piece (see what’s happening) and today felt like another day where I really needed to calm the hell down but just COULDN’T (but yesterday when I dispelled my energy via biking, I went too far and my knee still feels like it’s got broken glass stuck inside), because I’m so sick of everything being a matter of WAITING FOR IT TO HAPPEN. Seriously, I started thinking of how many moments I actually feel “present” for and I find I think I’m someone who tends to look forward rather than focusing on what’s around me.


And then I’m a couple days late, but on 7/26/14 it was 10 years since Cinnamin died and catalyzed the ending to Nikkei, my first graphic novel. As the years have passed I’ve felt less and less intensely about my old fluffy kitty, but marking a decade still felt kind of important. This graphic novel started my art journey and it was what made 8th grade so fabulous. Nikkei and Shani are still really interesting as a pair, very Rain/Machika (did I read that before or after I wrote Nikkei?).
This piece I did in like 15 minutes and I felt like going more “soap opera” style of image, because after all Nikkei was super depressing and Nikkei himself was super depressed for most of the story.

Aaaaand 7 months with this adorable guy, so naturally I turned us into a cheesy anime couple. Pulling out the colored pencils after a really really really long time was pretty fun. But the shape of our fingers makes more of a Batman style heart.

Art!, Nikkei


So I must have seen the date on my phone and I jumped because suddenly it’s that date I’ve been recognizing since I was an overly dramatic 13-year-old girl writing her first graphic novel. And since I just finished a project, that classic old nostalgia’s flooding in.

In fact, it’s a little funny this year because everything that Nikkei began in my life is sort of…sorted out. Sorted out, and still alive. I’ve got three stories off in the cyberspace of publisher’s queues, and I’m likely going to be exhibiting my artwork in my first professional art crawl, and I’ve got a degree and I’ve got a future and Nikkei threw me into my life as I know it.

This little Nikkei doodle looks almost exactly like the sketch I did two years ago on this day, so I started drawing a more complicated piece and then I was like THIS ISN’T FUN JUST STOP NOW

Art!, Nikkei, Other Peoples' Work!, Unface, Writing!

bunches and bunches!

Okay, since I’m angry at myself for interrupting my writing flow to write in here, I’m going to be succinct.

My new project’s going GREAT — I just hit 30 pages (ds). Because of all the parts of my own life I’m putting into it, it’s essentially writing itself. At the rate I’m going, it’s going to start off very short like Catcher did, around 100 pages. But that means I’m keeping the story simple, and that usually means I’m telling it better.

Also, I’ve been more creative in the last week or so than in the last few months combined. I bought myself a bunch of fancy watercolor-related items with my gift card from the art show, but I haven’t dove into those yet because I haven’t had the time.

I’ve been busy mostly producing digital stuff. I am continuing to experiment with satisfying digital styles, and my latest revelation is that I can sketch digitally too. I have never ever liked clean lines — I’ve admired them, but they’ve never resonated with me in my own work. Letting that rule go working digitally has helped a lot. I sketched Ashlyn from “Unface” and then recently did Micah and Ingrid, my power couple, when I was busy trying not to do any work for finals. Then with an urge to re-create the My Mental Breakdown part of my website, I did a pretty lovely little piece with Nikkei and Shani. I might still intend to do 9 of them for all my stories, but this was pretty laborious but it did itself. So we’ll see where my whims take me.
I’ve also been experimenting with limited color palettes — sticking with a tone and making the characters adapt to it, instead of going with what they would wear. It’s just a way to see how cohesive I can make my work, and maybe I’m trying to avoid my tendency to use the primary colors starkly and that’s it.

In addition to being very creative, I’ve also gotten the time FINALLY to get back into reading. I was planning on purchasing a simple, powerful little e-reader with e-ink technology because that’s the only way I would seriously enjoy reading a book on a screen, and I wanted something simple to bring with me to NZ. So I got one this weekend and have since gotten 100 pages into George R. R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones,” 40 pages into Katherine Howe’s “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” (a title I got from searching “related to” Susanne Clark’s “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell”), and 85 pages into Charles de Lint’s “The Painted Boy.” The lattermost is really exciting for me because Charles de Lint is probably the single most nostalgic fantasy writer I know. I’ve been reading him almost since I first got into fantasy and his books continue to pull me in with a violent passion. It’s reassuring to read his work because I remember how much I like reading: sometimes, school makes it feel like a chore and I forget that I love escaping into fiction.

Anyway, picture dump!




Art!, Emotional Breakdowns, Nikkei, Redefining Evil, Sun-Walking, Writing!

girls with flowers

whoa, wordpress facelift! all right then. i can deal.
anyway, was sketching. find myself repulsed by the idea of penning/colored penciling things, so in this case i settled for a pencil sketch with digital colors /lazy
i decided that lucienne, cirrus and ingrid would really get along.
it wasn’t until was contemplating coloring this that i realized with dismay that all three girls are white. more than that, two out of three of these girls are not only white, they are ABNORMALLY white. i lose some cultural coolness points with that one.



a. idk what the hell happened to cirrus’ eyes. they used to be the correct shape.
b. why doesn’t white gel pen actually work the way i want it to
c. olive green colored pencils are not olive green
d. ughughugh i murdered ingrid’s usually gorgeous tresses in so many ways
e. wtf lucienne what happened to your mouth
f. i loath the way i have to adjust the shit out of traditional pieces because colored pencils are too grainy or the scanner washes out the saturation
g. oh GOSH why doesn’t traditional produce the kind of results as digital ): i am a traitor to my own arguments
h & lastly. i shouldn’t even point out that i worked on these lines and colors over two days. but that digital one, which honestly looks better…30 minutes. tops. ):