Wednesday, July 25, 2012

RTW: Reincarnation or Regeneration?

I haven't participated in Roadtrip Wednesday in a long time, but I happened to catch the prompt today and I just had to get on board. Being a former roleplay junkie, this question is something I've thought about more than once. When I was a kid I made believe I was other people all the time. Now I write about other people and go along for the ride.

This week's prompt: If you could be reincarnated as any fictional character, which would it be?

(Hold on to your hats folks!) If I could be any fictional character (tv and movies included) why not be a legend?

And so:

 The Doctor

Why not?

Sure, there's the perpetual loneliness, the incredible weight of responsibility, eventually losing those you love. But there's also the travel, the companions, other races you get to meet, and the sheer uncanny ability to always come out on top. He's a protector, I'm a protector. People don't question him (if they know what's good for them). He's larger than life and just the mention of his name sets villains trembling in their metal boots (kind of like Batman).

Now, if I had to choose a character who wasn't quite as renowned, I'd either choose Lydia Deetz (from the cartoon Beetlejuice) or Tiffany Aching from Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series. Lydia because she has the most amazing imaginary friend ever, and Tiffany because she's a powerful witch with a good head on her shoulders. I absolutely love Tiffany. The fact a troupe of feegles follows her around doesn't hurt either.

 
Who would you choose?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shelf Envy

My new job is about to make my brain explode. And I'll tell you why.

Working with books all day, shelving YA novels, watching people check out YA novels and hearing people asking for recommendations of YA novels, I'm sometimes at my wit's end. I want to see my novel on those shelves, hear my novel in topics of conversation, but I'm still in the query trenches.

It's like asking a person on a diet to give you the best recipe for bbq ribs. Or even more appropriate, it's like asking a woman who's desperate to have children what she thinks of your beautiful baby girl - and then asking her to hold the baby while you go to the bathroom.

Anyone who's ever wanted something very badly has probably been through this - especially when they're reminded of that something they want every day.

I love my new job. I love it like a kid would love working in a candy store. I just feel my creative clock ticking. So, I'm curious. Has anyone else ever felt like this? What do you do to ease the discomfort of 'shelf envy'?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Illustrative Influences: Elfquest

I've been rediscovering the comic that embedded itself in my mind when I was a kid, and became one of the biggest influences on my illustration style: Wendy and Richard Pini's Elfquest.


My older brother introduced me to this comic (and supervised the reading of it) when I was eleven or twelve. It's stayed in my mind, reflected in my own style, ever since. I've absorbed many influences through the years - Brian Froud, Gerald Brom, Tim Burton, Kazuya Minekura - but Wendy's style will always be the first to make an impression. Later, when I discovered she was influenced by anime and manga, it all made perfect sense.


Jakin 2007
Silvan 2007











 

I've gone through phases with my illustration style - the big-head phase, the too-skinny anime phase, the long torso phase, but through them all a few elements have stayed strong and similar. My characters usually have large slanted eyes and very pronounced facial features, lean builds, and elfin qualities.

I credit Wendy for inspiring a lot of this, though it was also due to Brian Froud.

My style will continue evolving, changing and adapting, but I won't ever lose my love for fine-featured characters with elf-like builds.

What's one of your creative influences? 

Silvan 2009
Strawman 2011



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cotton Candy Achieved!

Today might've been even better than yesterday! (For one thing, I got the biggest cotton candy bag they had and ate half of it after I came home.) It was my second day drawing kids' portraits at the county fair. Not as hot as yesterday, but gross enough to be included in that lineup.

Today I did something different and the people did something different. There were decidedly more grownups sitting for me today than yesterday. That was something. I got to draw some amazing faces. Also, I included my website address on my drawings. This way if they like me they can find me again. And I do wish they would find me again!

Some of the kids from yesterday were back, two of which I drew a second time. More boys sat for me today. They were handsome and the girls were pretty, and dainty. A few of them reminded me of fairies. It's interesting how I really can see in them the young men and women they'll become someday. Interesting and kind of spooky, as if my drawing pad can glimpse into the future.

The kids were loads of fun, just like yesterday. I had a small group of admirers who returned after I'd drawn them to watch me draw others. Sometimes I think there was more laughing (and trying very hard not to) than there was drawing going on. All of our faces hurt from smiling. And every time they smiled, their faces changed and I got to see them light up one by one like Christmas lights. This included the grownups.

And the grownups, they became kids again. Ladies smiled and years fell away. Gentlemen became kings and princes. I peeled back troubles and age with my pencil and saw a whole other world underneath. I could tell as soon as they sat down if I loved their face, and I loved so many faces!

Even though I had to leave and return to the library, I won't forget any of those faces. I'm glad I can finally attach names to some of them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Inspired Tuesdays: Young Fair Faces

the loli-loving artist at work
Today I spent five hours in a sweaty pole-barn at the county fair drawing pictures of children's faces. And it was bliss. I work for my local library and we have a booth set up in the sweaty pole-barn to get new patrons interested in the services the library offers. We had two fans pointed on us and I still melted into a runny popsicle by the end of the day.

But! Back to the children. I was amazed how many lined up, wanting to sit for me! And I had such fun drawing them. I commented on their hair, their eyebrows, their pretty smiles, even their abundance or sprinkling of freckles (when they had them). I gabbed at them about the fair, about what they wanted to be when they grew up, about how the drawing was looking. I dropped little tidbits about how to draw people's faces, including terminology such as 'three-quarter view' and 'profile'.

The last little girl I had was interested in drawing and I let her add finishing touches to her own portrait with a 9B pure graphite pencil that I'd only taken out once that day. Drawing her was a joy since she looked and acted like a character from a fairy story (namely Snow White). The 9B was for her incredibly dark hair.

Although the library is 'giving back' to our community for their support, I felt like the one who'd won out. Rewarding doesn't even begin to describe it. I won't be forgetting any of these kids' faces anytime soon - or how great they made me feel by the end of the day!



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Not So Little Dream

In roughly a week and a half my work schedule will be stable and I can blog regularly again. But until then I thought I'd share a little dream of mine with you.

See this magazine? --->

It's Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art

I hope to be in it (before I'm 35).

Spectrum is a juried art contest that gets printed and published as a magazine. Only the best of the best in contemporary fantasy and science fiction (and strange, unusual, and ethereal) art get in. We're talking names like Frank Frazetta, Gerald Brom and Michael Whelan.

I've gazed at this magazine's glossy pages and admired the art that's been selected since I was young and the dream was always a hazy thing. Now I've decided I want to make it a reality.

The artists for this year's edition of Spectrum have already been selected, so I have at least  six months before I can submit for the next issue. In that time, I'm going to polish my skills to a high shine and see if I can produce something worthy of a place in Spectrum. Wish me luck!
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