VIDEO Comic Page Inking

Hello, everyone! We’re quickly approaching the end of August, and nearing the end of chapter 1 of my comic! I’m working like a crazy person on chapter 2, and I thought I’d share a brief look into how I ink a page. Enjoy!

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VIDEO July Vlog + Studio Tour

Where did July go?? It’s been a crazy summer so far, but I’ve really been enjoying myself and getting tons of work done! In this video I’ll share what I’ve been up to, and a brief tour of my workspace!

Writing My Own Magnolia Story

I’ve been listening to The Magnolia Story audiobook lately, and Chip freaks me out. Not even kidding.

Most recently, I listened to a chapter where Chip describes how he would avoid getting “too comfortable”, and keep looking for ways to shake things up in his life. Personally, I’ve grown up with a different attitude: my approach is to always strive towards something steadfast and reliable. I actively try to get comfortable in life, and find ways to avoid change. Needless to say, while listening to this story, I spent a lot of time thinking “Chip, you’re crazy!!”

Of course, Joanna often voiced the same opinion, so it’s not like I’m abnormally clingy to comfort. Continue reading “Writing My Own Magnolia Story”

Visual Library: A Vocabulary of Pictures

I’ve been trying to identify and correct bad habits I have as an artist. “And correct” is kind of the important part, and it’s the part I usually forget. I am generally pretty quick to point out (to myself and a few “lucky” others) what I’ve done wrong in a drawing, but I generally “fix” it by hoping that I don’t do it again. This is probably the negative side effect of being out of the art classroom… no one’s there to make me figure out answers. Sigh.

But anyways, I’ve been trying to do better. One thing I want to work on is my visual library. What does this mean exactly?

cassatt-01It’s just like learning a new language or simply new vocabulary from your own language. You have to hear the word, then you repeat it, then you have to write it a few times, and then it finally sticks. That’s how you learn words, and with art and creative writing, it’s not really any different. If you want to get better at drawing people, you study and draw people. If you want to get better at writing mysteries, you read and write mysteries. It really is that simple.

You put out what you take in.

I’m going to improve (and increase) what I take in! I’m deliberately going to try to build my visual library! I’m probably going to drink more coffee!

And that brings me to the new plan for this blog! I thought this whole “visual library” thing might be a cool theme. This could be a place where I can post the artwork I’m taking in, and the notes I’m making in the process, and my visual studies based on my notes. I want to blog this for two main reasons: because I know it’ll help me be more accountable, and also because I think it’ll be helpful to other artists. To start with, I’m trying to improve my color theory by
studying Impressionists (such as the piece above, by Mary Cassatt.) I used to not like impressionism, because it wasn’t In_the_boxrealistic (I was THAT person), but as I got more and more interested in digital painting, the more I felt drawn to impressionism. I really liked the way they could do SO MUCH with so few marks! You can see an entire form, but if you get closer, you realize that there aren’t really any sharp details. The sophistication is in the color, I think, and the mark making. If you can make juuuuust the right mark, with juuuust the right color, then it gets a big job done.

To make a long(ish) blog short, I’m going to conduct an art crash-course for myself, and I’m going to share it with you all!

I hope you all enjoy (and benefit from) the ride!

“That’s Amateur Talk”

ReneI was very maturely whining about a “lack of inspiration” on Facebook. I usually don’t, but whatever. I’m only a human being deprived of sleep.

So there I was, complaining. Then a friend of mine, author of “Adventures in My Petticoat“, very kindly commented:

“That’s amateur talk.”

Why, yes, I do believe it is. And a light bulb came on.

Being an amateur artist while pretending to be professional is one of the most depressing states of being I can imagine. It’s when you tell people you’re an artist, and you study art, and you call the part of your room with your computer your “studio.” But it’s also when you just draw when you “feel like it”, and when you daydream about being “discovered”, and you fantasize about the day when you’ll be asked to speak at conventions. Professionals do this too. But the difference is that professionals also strive towards these dreams and fantasies. Professionals make a serious effort towards changing “somedays” into reality.

I was a pretend professional for many years (and I still slip into that mode sometimes.) Depressing is the only way to describe it. You’re constantly thinking about what might be, while trying hard to ignore what is. In the end, I was confused, frustrated, tired, and totally out of steam. It takes a lot of strength to pull yourself out of a rut like that, because it means establishing new habits and new ways of thinking about life. Wow. Talk about challenging.

But I just want to say that it’s worth it. Really, truly. The feeling of confidence that comes with working for something… the feeling of relief that comes when a task is completed…

The feeling of pursuing your dreams is waaaayyyyy cooler than the feeling of wishing for dreams to come true.

It’s time to stop hoping and start making.

I may or may not say that to myself every single day, almost every hour. It helps me remember what it’s like to be aimless.

Also: Go home, winter, you’re drunk.