Monday Evening Post- HellChild

Hey guys! Bea here

I battle quite often, with what I should say or what I should share in my blog posts. On one hand, I want to be raw, and honest about the things I go through and experience as a striving artist, while on the other, I don’t want to down the mood. I mean, it’s a lot easier to put on a front and pretend that making art is all rainbow and sunshine lol!

In my life, though, I’ve come to value honesty more than anything, and I wish to express that here by being unafraid to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. That said, the honest truth is this:  Being an artist is hard work. Not only can we be our own worst critics, but I’ve seen doubt cripple many young talents, so severely that it has swayed them from their passions.

Part of the reason I suffer from doubt is because I question sometimes if I’ll ever be as great as the artists I admire. I mean it’s so easy to look at someone who seems to be better off than you, and assume they’ve got the golden ticket! But it was only until recently that I’ve spoken with some of those artists, only to learn that we’re in the same boat– both trying to be better versions of ourselves while striving to be successful in what we do. In other words, I realized I wasn’t alone.

Sometimes, the difference between overcoming doubt is knowing that you’re not alone in your struggle– that those whom you look up to, had to fight through the same things to find their own success.

That bring us to today’s Sketch Card- Hellchild

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Grimm Fairy Tales: Angelica Blackstone

One of the things I love about doing sketch cards is that I get to pick who I want to draw from a pool of characters, and typically I always go for the characters I think would either be really fun to draw or those that I feel I can resonate with. In this case, I chose one that I resonate with.

“ANGELICA BLACKSTONE is half-Greek god, half-vampire, and she’s pissed! When she is brought back from the dead and given a new lease on life by monster hunter Liesel Van Helsing, Angelica joins a gang of Viking vampire junkies living in the underbelly of New York City. But she has a hell of an ax to grind with her absentee father, Hades, who she blames for her death. All hell is about to break loose! “

– Zenescope

First thing’s first, I like the greek god’s, I dig vampires, and I love strong female characters who can fight! I’m inspired when I draw them because I’m reminded that sometimes what it takes to succeed in what you love doing is to fight through the odds and win against your own inner demons, which is ironically what this character does.

Of all the cards, I think this one represents my passion, to not let doubt win, and to always be a better version of myself with each passing year, and I express that, not only in the character I chose but also in the choice of color and pose.

That’s it for today! That leaves us with 2 more sketch cards in the lineup. Anyway, I hope you liked this post, and as always, till next time, Enjoy!

 

 

 

Monday Morning Post: Confidence in the Face of Doubt

Hey guys! Bea here!

One of the most terrifying games for me, as a child, was Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, because there was never a game that had made me feel so utterly helpless against the oncoming threat, Nemesis himself.

For those of you who never played Resident Evil 3, the Nemesis is this monstrous creature, that throughout most of the game, whenever he appeared, the best option was always to run, or slow him down so you could. You could try to fight the monster, buuuuut

The chances of it ending in your favor were zero >_<.

Nemesis was an unstoppable force– and when he was coming after you, nothing could stand in his way. No doors and no windows could stop him. The only way out was to run and make it to the next checkpoint, losing him, before he could catch up to you.

Though the Nemesis in the game is a fictional character, I firmly believe that the concept is real in most people’s lives. He may come in the form of a bad habit, depression,  or even doubt- hunting you down and crippling you in the most inopportune times. Naturally, when most people encounter their Nemesis, they feel helpless… It seems easier to run than to fight because the odds are more likely in your favor… right?

Despite the odds that the main character of the game was up against… even as every encounter with the nemesis became more frightening than the last, she never just gave up. **Spoiler alert** At the end of the last boss fight against the Nemesis, you’re left with two choices:  Exterminate the Monster, or Ignore it and Evacuate **End of Spoiler**

My nemesis is Doubt. If I don’t keep it in check, or stomp it out, it can convince me that I’m not good enough. That I’m not experienced enough, or qualified enough. That I’m broken because of all the abuses I’ve suffered and that I shouldn’t even try. Some of my closest friends battle with doubt too. If we’re not careful, and we allow doubt to win, we can close the same doors that others have opened for us- shooting down opportunities, in favor of our excuses.

Choosing to fight the monster, in this case, doubt–or ignore it, can literally be the difference between success or failure BEFORE you’ve even given yourself a chance at either.

So when Steven came to me and asked me to illustrate the covers of comics I shared in the previous post,  there was a moment when I doubted myself and wanted to say no, because I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough, even though it’s obvious he believed that I was. Otherwise, why ask me?

Looking back, I’m glad I chose to fight my Nemesis that day. If I hadn’t, I would have shut the door on myself, and would have never eliminated the lack of experience as an excuse…

And I would not be sharing one of these with you today!

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Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood

Though I believe it works to my credit, I’m one of those people who has a haaard time being simple, when it comes to my work. That, and I’m a borderline perfectionist. Taking those two things into consideration, even though the space on the sketch cards is limited– It’s difficult for me to simply do an artistic portraiture. Instead, I want to create a card-sized comic book cover, in full detail =_=.

I am annoyed somewhat, by my own incessant need to get crazy with the details, while being a perfectionist about it.  But I have to say, of all the cards this one turned out to be my favorite in terms of composition, which I put a lot of thought into.

Many don’t know this about my work, but I do a lot of planning and research prior to putting pen to paper. Even with simple sketch cards, a great deal of time is spent trying to find the right pose, the right angle, the right reference images, the right colors, ETC. Though I’ve gotten pretty good at finding what I need, sometimes the process can be very daunting or frustrating when I can’t get things to look the way I want them to. It’s at these times, that my old Nemesis “Mr. Doubt” comes to pay me a visit…

want to find out what happens next? Stay tuned for the next episode of The Young and the Restless Bea: Doubt’s Return!

lol Anyway, I’d like to thank you for reading, and I hope you look forward to the next Monday Morning Post. As always, till next time, enjoy!

 

 

 

 

A Wise Man Once Told Me…

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A few years back, I was introduced to Yullie, through my publisher. I can honestly say he’s a man with a wealth of wisdom, but unlike some, he has the experience to back it up. I only met with him a few times, for the purpose of creating a book of his quotes, but unfortunately, in the midsts of his travels, and me moving, we lost contact.

It just so happened that as I was browsing through my work, I stumbled upon 3 rough drawings I did for him, illustrating some of his quotes. I didn’t know what happened to Yullie, but the original quote he reserved for this illustration– about being thankful for the people who enter your life,  ironically illustrates how things have gone between us.

I learned a lot from Yullie in our brief exchange and was very relieved to find out that he’s okay, after locating his old contact information and getting in touch.  I don’t know if we’ll get to finish the book,  but I certainly hope so. In the meantime, I look forward to sharing the other two illustrations with you all.

So yeah! a very brief, and random post from yours truly! I hope you liked it, and as always, till next time, Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Post: Winning , Even When you Don’t

Hey guys! Bea here

Odd title I’m sure, but I’m going somewhere with it.

I’ve entered many contests. Some I had low expectation of winning because the odds seemed too high, only to win first place– and some I fully expected to win, only to lose, ironically, lol. Regardless of who wins or loses in a contest, I firmly believe that anyone who works hard, deserves a chance to shine, even if that person isn’t me.

The true reward, as I’ve always seen it, has been the lessons learned by taking the challenge, and giving it my all, and the exposure that comes with it, no matter where I place. It’s this type of mentality, that I believe encourages healthy winning, and healthy losing– because you can celebrate, no matter if things ended in your favor or someone elses.

But what does that have to do with the sketch cards I’ll be sharing over the next couple of weeks? Well, some of my best clients, came through the contests I’ve entered– including the ones I lost, specifically the ones from Deviantart.

Deviantart, is a great resource for artists, especially the contests that they host themselves. Not only are they challenging,  and typically have good judges– but the rewards are some of the best that I’ve seen, AND, the greatest part about it is that they’re public! That means you can see every entry as soon as it’s entered– ALL of them, however many thousands there may be. The ones with the highest views and favorites, populate at the top of the feed, which works well for anyone who enters because you have constant exposure, throughout the duration of the contest. If you just so happen to become a finalist– you get even more exposure, and if you become a winner– consider the flood of people visiting your page to be part of the reward, because you’re going to be featured not just with the list of winners, but often times, on different parts of the website itself.

Now it’s not hard to imagine, that with all that exposure, regardless of if you win,  there may still be a handful of people, or more, who decide they’d like to work with you. Steven L Frank, the commissioner of the sketch cards, just so happened to be one of those people.

Before I go into the sketch card of the day, I’d like to share a few of my entries from Deviantart contests, that helped me get discovered.

Dr. Pepper Land (Finalist)dr__pepperland_by_liol-d3dh3vn

Square Soft’s Fantasy Earth Zero (1st Place)fez__flame_sorceress_by_liol

Scott Pilgrim: 8th Evil Ex (Finalist)billly_herbit__8th_evil_ex_by_liol-d2xw8x0

 

Steven noticed my work, when I was listed as the winner of the Fantasy Earth Zero contest. Though I hadn’t had prior experience doing comic covers– he liked my work, and very kindly gave me a shot.

In order, this is a collection of all the covers, and sketch cards I’ve done, for Steven, prior to the current set.

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I do intent to briefly go into more detail about these covers, and the learning process I went through, but it’s time to share the sketch card of the day!

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Grimm Fairy Tales: Teacher Sela

Bear in mind that sketch cards are small– roughly just a bit bigger than business cards– so the quality isn’t as sharp, considering all the cards were hand painted .

Sela was one of the more difficult cards to do as well. For some reason, when I got to her, the markers I was using were partially dried out, and others had bled. That’s the sucky thing about traditional art though– sometimes it can be so unforgiving and you just have to roll with what you have or start over, annnd I wasn’t starting over lol!

As we go forward, into the next Monday Morning Post,   I’ll be featuring the third Sketch Card in the lineup, and going into detail about some of the covers I did for Steven, and the struggles, strides, and lessons I learned in the process.  So, Stay tuned!

thank you for reading, I hope you liked this post, and as always, till next time, Enjoy !

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Post: The Early Days

Hey guys! Bea here!

Since much of the work I’ll be sharing over the next couple of months is commission-based, I figure, what better way to start off the Monday Morning Post, than by going into how I got started as an artist, the choices I made, good and bad, that led me to some of the people I work with today. And of course, there will be the added exposition on the artwork itself 😀

Now, I’m not that old, but I remember the early days of the internet, when you had to use dial up. There was no google, no major search engines– no blogs. But for what it did have, it opened my eyes to a world of wonder and information, beyond anything I had known before.

As I explored the world wide web, I found a wealth of artwork in various styles and forms. I was fascinated! I wanted to know where the art came from, the titles they were attached to– how I could find more of it! My searches lead me to titles like Gen 13, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Witchblade, Danger girl, and many others. But there was one comic that I grew to love so much that it made me want to become an artist myself…

I love Turner’s art– his composition, choice of colors–everything! We had no comic stores near us, and google maps was non-existent, as far as I knew, but somehow my mom managed to find a comic store almost a 30 minute drive away from home, and after my first visit, I was hooked!

I collected anything that had Turner’s name on it, but my fascination did not end there.  I had to find out how they did it– specifically, how comics were colored, so I could do it too. That’s when I discovered Photoshop!

Early middle school, I’d say, I began using Photoshop to experiment with digital art. At that time, it was not a very common art form. In fact, I was nearly disqualified in some of the art contests I entered, because I was the only one using the medium, and the judges couldn’t decide if it could be considered”real” art, if there was no hard original. Far cry from today, where digital art is practically a staple in the art community, lol.

I came to rely on digital art a lot. Considering art stores were few and far between, and supplies were expensive, being able to explore different styles digitally worked well for me, and helped me to make my first steps into the world of comic book art.

That brings us to the Illustration of the day!
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Grimm Fairy Tales: Mad Hatter

This is a traditional piece: One of five sketch cards that I’ll be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks from Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales (Medium- Watercolor, Marker, and Color Pencil)

Steven L Frank, purveyor of premium sketch cards, as well as comic books, art books, and gig posters, who also works with Zenescope, is one of the first people to really give me a shot as an artist in comics- bringing me one step closer to an age old dream of mine, to be like the late, great, Michael Turner.

Because I want to keep things short and sweet with these posts, next Monday, Ill not only be sharing another sketch card from the collection, and but I’ll also go into how Steve and I met, and some of the moves I made, which benefited me in the long run.

Anyway, thank you for reading– I hope you liked this post, and as always, till next time, Enjoy !