Monday Evening Post

What is it Like to be an Artist?

Sketch1psd

This was a question that came up earlier in the week when Justin and I went to the gym to check out a membership and ran into someone he knows. As It turned out, this simple question lead to a rather broad discussion about what it means to us, why we do it, what our goals are, and the reality of those goals– annnd it seemed like a great conversation to bring here.

I can’t speak for every artist- so most of what I say comes from my own experience and the experiences of others I know personally, but I’m fairly certain that artists may find some commonality here as I address each question. So, lets get started!

1. So when did you start drawing?

Every artist has an origin story, but….I’ve always been kinda weirded out by this question. Sure I can say, since forever, but it doesn’t probe any deeper than that. The better question is– What was the spark that started you off because it brings you back to a point and time in your life when everything kinda…changed. The answer that follows is much richer and truer to how an artist got started. It could have been their love and admiration for something that inspired them, be it games, anime, comics, movies, fashion, books, or even a particular franchise. Maybe it runs in the family and the artist was next in line to pick it up. For others it may be a form of self expression, their voice in the world…or even a quiet escape from hurt and pain… Whatever their spark, much like a signature, you can almost always see a hint of it, in their work.

2. So why do you do it?

If the answer is– because I love to, it’s what I’m passionate about– a common question/statement that follows in my experience and in some of my friends experience is– “The Starving artist– all about the passion and not about the money”
Lets be real– Money is important– it puts a roof over our heads and food on the table. As much as we love to draw, we also have to make a living, and what better way to do it, than by doing something you love. Justin said it better though- “The term starving artist is kind of outdated. Although it’s a different and pretty difficult road to take, it’s very possible to make a good living as an artist. There are a lot of artists who made a lot of money throughout history. But the mainstream culture likes to romanticize the idea of artists sacrificing everything for the passion. The reality is much different than that. It’s similar to musicians and athletes except it’s a career that can last. I mean your not going to make millions off a single deal , in most cases, but you can make a good living off what you dreamed of when you were a kid, and when drawing was just a fun hobby.”

3. This isn’t a question I’ve run into, but I think it deserved a spot on this list- “Were your family/friends supportive of your dreams?”

The answers for this one can go annnny which way, to be honest, but it brings us back to the concept of the starving artist. Because being an artist has this stigma, and because it’s not a profession you go into to become rich, a lot of times, an artist finds themselves without support, or being steered in the direction of careers that are more “promising”. Friends’ I’ve found to be the most supportive, because they’re with you no matter what you choose to do with your life. Parents, on the other hand, have more concern for your well-being in the long term because they want you to succeed and be prosperous– while their hearts are in the right place, an unsupportive parent or authoritative figure can easily crush a dream by shooting it down, because of the stigma. I personally have had a lot of support, but in a weird way, some of my friends have been a problem in the past because they see what I do as more of a hobby, aka, something I do for fun that doesn’t require a lot of effort. The problem with this is, they end up holding me back, because they don’t see what I do as being important. What it comes down to is, the people in your life need to understand your passion. They need to understand what it means to you, especially if it’s more than just a hobby, but also a means by which you earn a living, and in doing so they can choose to either respect it, support it, or get out the way. Sounds a bit aggressive, lol, but that’s how much it means to some of us.

4. So what are your goals?

Hey, I wanna be the next Norman Rockwell! Go big or go home right! Right? Ever heard the term “You see the glory but don’t know the story?” I’m guilty of fantasizing, and I’m confident enough to say that most of us are, lol! But the reality is, we can’t all be superstars. Does that make this a hopeless cause? Not in the least.
We had this thing at the college I attended, where at the end of the year we’d have portfolio reviews. You’d bring in all your best work for the year and be privately critiqued and graded on your progress by the lead instructors of your major. The last time I was critiqued, which was years ago, I was given a high score and told that I have a lot of potential. But then the instructor took me aside and quietly said “There are a lot of artists out there, who have just as much potential– and who can do what you do, and better. But that’s not what you want to think about. Instead, focus on what makes YOUR art special. What can you bring to the market, that makes you stand out?
I had an idea– but finding out what it was truly was, and honing it, that was the goal, because it doesn’t matter as much what type of style you choose to work in, or how refined your skill, what matters most is what makes you stand out.

5. lastly, what sort of art do you do, what goes into making it, and what do you hope to receive from it?

Okay, lol I’m going to get all artsy fartsy and say something cool, because I want to, and be all poetic about it n stuff! Ready? Here goes!
When you look at a person’s work, like a coin, there’s two sides. There’s one you see, and one not so much. Most people see the head– aka, the end result, the pretty picture on the wall in all it’s glamor! Unless that’s just not the artists style, but you get the idea. The other side of the coin, the tail, is the labor…the long hours, and often sleepless nights, money spent, and mounting frustrations of problems that had to be overcome… in addition to a combination of thought, and emotion, aka, blood, sweat and tears. So to answer the question, an artists work can take many forms, be it illustration, animation, ect, but at it’s core, an artists work is the fruit of their passions, and inspirations, whatever they may be, and the fruit of their labor.
A lot goes into an artist’s work, before they bring it center stage, and it doesn’t always come easy, even if it looks like it does. Likewise, for all the effort we put forth, to express our ideas, having our work be seen, acknowledged, appreciated and/or supported means a lot, and that’s what we hope to receive.

Again, with all that I’ve said, I don’t speak for everyone; this is simply a reflection of my own experiences and observations and talks I’ve had with fellow artists. In a addition though, reflecting on questions like these have given me a lot to think about, like my desire to support other artists, either through Patreon or Feature posts, and about finding ways that I can personally give back to the art community.

One step at a time though 🙂 I haven’t decided on a solid schedule yet, but after giving this much thought, Thursday I will be my first attempt at a feature post, Where I’ve chosen five artists I wish to showcase on my blog. Not only do I intend to feature there work, but I hope to share in what way their art has influenced me, or inspired me, with the hopes that you too may be inspired by their works. In the meantime, if you have some advice, suggestions, send me a word!

Took me longer to write this post than I thought, but, I hope you got something from it– Till next time, Enjoy!

Monday Evening Post

I’ll be honest, I’m not the neatest person in the world. As much as I try to stay organized, things always get a bit chaotic, eventually. To my friends who know me, yeah my room gets junky sometimes but I knows where everything is!!

The same can be said for the many, many, art folders I have stored all over my computer. Like, I accumulate more stuff on my computer than I know what to do with sometimes, and it gets to a point where I have to spend a day trying to sort everything out to bring order back to my humble workspace. While this is annoying to me, even though I have no one to blame but myself,  it’s always interesting when I dig up art that I’ve done and completely forgot about–especially when some of it has never really seen the light of day.

This post is dedicated to some of those. And there’s one thing that all of these have in common. FAN ART!

Now in addition to my first confession in this post, I’m also the sort of person who likes to hide my “failures”  For example, if I’m cooking dinner, and I burn it– You’ll never know, because it’ll be in the trash before you suspect anything, and I’ll be asking for dinner out!

Same goes with my art.  Artists are truly their own worst critics– me especially. If something doesn’t come out the way I want it too, even if I’ve put in a ton of hours on it, it often joins it’s predecessors in the graveyard called the trash box. Because of this, I’ve spent years not showing any work at all, even though I’ve been drawing, simply because I’m unsatisfied with it.  This is not a habit I want to keep, so when I started this blog, I accepted the fact that I’ve got a lot of growing, and a lot of learning to do, and committed to the idea of sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.

With that said, lets start with the first drawing, where Sailor Moon meets Star Trek!

SailorTrek

I love love love looooove Sailor Moon- Sailor Jupiter being my favorite!  and I love love looooove Star Trek.   For some reason, I decided to try and combine the two? This was a sketch on it’s way to a full illustration but unfortunately never made it beyond that due to some issues I had with anatomy. It’s been about two years since I started this and I doubt I’ll have the time to ever bring this idea into full fruition, but I really had a lot of fun trying to imagine the sailor scouts in a different way.

Onto our next entry– Post Apocalyptic Scooby Doo!

I don’t think I mentioned it before, but I’m a huge fan of things post apocalyptic, especially Zambies….and yes, I am a Walking Dead fan o.o This sketch had nothing to do with Zambies, but I wanted to draw grittier versions of the Scooby crew.

ScoobyThis actually came straight from my little sketch book. From right to left, it’s Daphne, Velma, and Fred….I ran out of space when it came to Shaggy and Scooby, and just never got around to it again. This one, however, I do plan on bringing to life some day, with the Shaggs and Scoobs included!

For the last entry in this post, a series of hand painted sketch cards, I did of characters from the Lady Death comic book.

LadyDeath

These were commissioned by Moonstone Comics, and the first one, made it as a premium card, which only 3 were selected amongst the artists that participated. These were quite difficult to do– considering there was no room for error. I had six cards to paint, and… all I was given was six cards >_<, which was a scary thought considering I rarely work in traditional mediums. But with much planning, all the cards turned out great, with a mix of acrylic, color pencils and marker.

That’s all the art I have for today! But, good news. The portfolio link you see up top? It will be updated soon, with a real portfolio, which I have been designing as a book, featuring all my newest arts! All prep work for the San Diego Comicon. Also, stay tuned as I’ll be posting new arts later in the week, before the next Monday Post.

Till next time, Enjoy!

Monday Evening Post

Window to the Past

Post PrincessI’ve heard it said before, that if you’re trying to find your dream job or career, just think of the the things you enjoy doing and you might find that the answer to your question, is closer to you than you think. I’ve loved drawing for as long as I can remember, even so, this was a delima for me for years, because, though I love drawing, I had no idea where I fit in or what market I wanted to appeal to…It’s only recently in the past two years that I came to the decision that I want to do splash illustration, and be a concept artist– specializing in character design.

Here’s the interesting part. I decided to dig around in some of my archives, looking back on the drawings I did, going as far back as elementary school…and immediately I noticed something. All I kept finding was character design, and splash-like illustration surrounding those characters. Some of them even included horribly written descriptions about who these characters were.

All these years, I’ve been searching for where I belong in the art world, and only by looking back do I realize I already had the answer…Flash forward, I’m doing exactly what I loved to do when I was little, and even better, I can see where I started, and compare it to where I am now.

Concept2
This window is a collection of some of my earlier drawings, oldest to newest between my years in elementary school through to high school. Compared to the drawing on the left, I’ve come a long way.

Now about the drawing on the left, it is a rough concept for a character I designed recently, named the Post Apocalyptic Princess, and she’s part of the splash illustration hinted in my banner, that I’ll be sharing with you guys later on in the week, so, there will be more about her and the project she was a part of, between now and the Thursday Evening Post.

All that said, if you were like me, wondering what you want to do for a living, trying to find your niche– maybe a journey to the past, will give you some insight on what you want to do with your future 🙂
As always, Enjoy!

Monday Evening Post

Get to Know Bea

Bea

I don’t know if it’s because I come off gender neutral online, but I have been mistaken for a guy many times. While I love me some mens, I’m not one of them 😛  So, for those who don’t know, this is me, Bea!

I’m a pleasantly plump, though a bit plumper in real life, black girl with freckles and glasses… and yes, I am a bit of a nerd according to my friends, and PROUD OF IT!

My hair is a big bundle of sisterlocks, that on a bad day looks like a lion’s mane, and I try to never leave the house without wearing the two bracelets my sister made for me. They’re like my good luck charms!

I’m am introvert– though I try to be more outgoing, I sometimes I fail >_< tragically, but I’m an optimist.  I pick myself up, learn from my mistakes and try again in hopes of a better outcome.  I’m also stubborn, as several friends have mentioned, and I agree 😀  I know who I am, what I believe, and I’m full opinions, but I don’t let pride get in the way of seeing other points of view. For that reason, my friend also mentioned that I am reasonable, when I’m stubborn. Like every human though, I do have my flaws, and I don’t shy away from admitting them.

Overall, I’m simple girl, and I find joy in simple things. Best things in life are free, kinda person, which in my opinion can be summed up in good company. And that’s me!

This drawing actually came about because I was asked to draw myself in the uniform of the House I would attend if I were in Harry Potter. Because I only saw the first film (simply because my attention span is so short, sitting through 3 hours can be agony for me) I did not know what I was doing… The first draft , I showed my friend Zygona, and was like “Look, it’s me in Harry Potta’s uniform!”  and her response was ” You just made up colors didn’t you..?”

I replied with a very shameful “……yeeeees”

So, the ever resourceful Zygona, pulled up a quiz, so that I could know what house i would belong in based on my personality. I got House Hufflepuff

For those of you who care to read– this is my test result

“You are nice, aren’t you? The kind of nice that takes an active role in civic affairs. The kind of nice that picks up litter off the sidewalk and puts it in the trash. You and your fellow housemates are the sort of reliable, trustworthy people who would spend their own birthdays manning a soup kitchen and joining a protest march, before settling down to a communal meal in which everyone has brought a lovingly-prepared dish.
In short, you’re the best friend anyone could ever hope for, and sometimes—in your quieter moments—that leads you to feel a little let down by other people who don’t meet those same lofty standards. It’s not nice to think poorly of your friends, of course, and you do understand their points of view, but a little more consideration would sometimes be nice. “

So with Zygona’s help, I re-drew my uniform and fixed my colors, and there you have it. Bea, of Hufflepuff! I now must honor Zygona by binge watching all the Harry Potter films.

Anywho, it’s a pleasure sharing this with you! til next time, Enjoy!