Gallery Update #6

Added a new section– Just below the Gaia section with 4 new works.

Love for Every Shade

For those who don’t know, I am an African American woman, who works out of Detroit Michigan, and I have a fondness, and love for diversity. I love meeting, and getting to know people from different cultures, backgrounds, and walks of life–and in a lot of ways, it shows in my work.

This section will be different from most, in that it is a collection of some of my more ethnically diverse works. Many of these illustrations were commissioned by clients who are local to me, who I’ve met in person, and or have been supporting me since I was in high school, just starting out.

What I love about many of their books that I’ve had the honor of working on, is that most of the time, the moral of the story is to celebrate who you are– no matter your shade

Like with my Gaia arts– I’ll be adding about 2 images a day, till this section is populated, so, enjoy!

 

Monday Morning Post- Old vs New pt 1

Hey Guys! Bea here!

This post was actually intended for Monday, but I’m apparently still having some issues with WordPress, as my original draft of this didn’t save. So! Here’s for round two! (man it sucks trying to rethink what you already wrote >_<! Just the ultimate brain fart is  what I’m left with right now.)

Anyway, originally this post was going to be completely about all the books I’ve done with Ms. Perry, but since this is coming late, I decided to do something a bit more interesting. Now I’ve been working with Ms. Hunter, doing Children’s books for well over ten years now, and naturally, my style has changed a bit with each title as I’ve sought to find ways to more effectively put my ideas onto paper, and improve my process.

So, I decided to do a little experiment, by comparing the old with the new. Not just the shifts in my style between the work I’ve done for Ms. Perry, but to go back and reflect on my earliest work, which I myself haven’t seen in over ten years. Now if imma be honest, some of it is pretty cringeworthy for me, lol, so, here goes!

My first children’s book ever was called Tim the Cat, by Roland Hansen, which was done back in 2007.

 

PanColFrontCov.jpg

 

A somewhat sad, but cute story about a kitten that was abandoned at a junk yard because of the white patch on his nose, that distinguished him from the rest of his litter. It is while Tim is at the junkyard, that he ends up meeting a crew of junkyard rats, who are surprised to find a cat that doesn’t hate them.

So in a strange twist of fate, little Tim is taken in and raised by the rats, until finally he left and found a  home in the company of a kind woman and her husband who found him on the street.

There’s a lot more to Tim’s story– how has to adjust to life as an actual cat, while living with other cats, and how in a weird way, his time with the rat’s taught him bravery against seemingly unbeatable odds.

There’s a lot that I can appreciate about this book. A story about being the odd one out, but using it to your advantage.  Reflecting on my work, there’s a lot I like about my old style, and obviously areas I see that I’ve improved. I mean this was back in the day when I did more traditional artwork. I like the roughness it had, which is something I try to keep in my digital work.

Now for the sequel! TIMMYCOV.jpg

I burst out laughing when I saw this again! Because I’m like, whoa, wait, what the hell happened to Timmy! When you go years without following up on a story you’ve read and come back to it, it’s like looking at it with fresh eyes, and boy did I! I had to friggen re-read the story because I had completely forgotten what it was about.

Basically, to make a long story short, Timmy became a gansta! From the words of Timmy himself:

“Hello, my name is Tim the Cat. Maybe you read my story about how I became a hero and everyone loved me. Well, I have a different kind of tale to tell today.

I went from not having any friends to everyone wanting to be my friend. That was extra special to me because of some things that happened to me when I was a kitten. First, I didn’t have a dad, I only had a mom. Then a very mean man took me far, far away and dropped me off at the dump. I grew up very sad and sometimes mad about what had happened to me.

As time went by, the other cats still liked me but didn’t treat me like the big hero. I missed that feeling. Since there weren’t any more dogs coming into our yard to scare, I decided to try something else. I decided to cause trouble!

That’s right, I thought that if I did that everyone would look at me and talk about me again.
I became very good at being bad!”

I’m just kidding about the gangsta part, but, he got into some mess!

But of course, Timmy couldn’t’ be gangsta forever.  Like most kids, sometimes being a bit too playful has some humbling consequences, when the game goes to far, and someone gets hurt.

As I mentioned earlier, my style tends to shift between books. In this case,  I do miss some aspects of the first one– the watercolory- crosshatching of the traditional mediums. In this case, I experimented with digital and traditional. Not only that, I went for more dynamic angles and was able to show more depth in my work. The main downside to it is, working this way was still very new to me, and it feels rough, not so much in a way that I like.

There’s still a few more books to share before I get back to Ms. Perry, but  I think I’ll call it a day for now, to keep this post from going on for too long.

I do hope you liked this post though, even though it’s a  break from my norm 🙂 And as always, till next time, Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Post: Close to Home

Hey Guys, Bea here!

Since last month was pretty much dedicated to showing some of the work I’ve done in the area of comics/sketch cards, for the next few weeks I’ll be sharing work that I’ve done locally, not only for the authors I’ve done work for, but also little things I did for friends and family! So, with this batch of posts, you can expect a lot of children’s book art and things of the sort.

That said, let’s get into it!

One thing I like to do when promoting my work is to also give credit to those who hire me– if they’re up to it of course!  Fortunately, many of them are, and this is just one of the ways I show my support.

Starting off, I’d like to share some of the work I’ve done for Ms. Latashia Perry.

fruit1.jpg

This is actually an interior illustration from her book “Skin Like Mine” that I illustrated and put her title on– again to her credit.

Little backstory, I’ve worked in the area of books and children’s books since my days in high school. Through a friend’s parent, I had my first book deal, if I can even call it that now >_<. She happened to be working with a local publisher, whom I refer to as Ms. Hunter, and the rest has been history.

I was very rusty when I started out, or rather, I didn’t have any experience at all, but Ms. Hunter took me under her wing, gave me an opportunity, opened many doors, and challenged me to be better. In many ways, she and I see our relationship as that of mother and daughter. She pretty much raised me into the artist I am today, instilling many of the values I have, and she’s not afraid to scold me when I make mistakes, and I respect her for it!

Even as my career has expanded past the work that Ms. Hunter channels to me, much of it to her credit, I still work with her, lending my services to local authors, many of them who are just starting out, and making their way.

Ms. Latashia Perry is one of those creative individuals, and I take great pride in working with her because I enjoy the message in her content, which has larger been about self-acceptance.

So these next two weeks are going to be dedicated to you Ms. Perry, as I’m sure you’ll be reading this. I want to share the impact your books have had on me as an artist, and the message I’ve gathered behind each one.

Thank you guys for reading! I hope you Liked this post, the story shall continue, and as always, till next time, enjoy!

 

 

 

Monday Evening Post- Double Trouble

Hey Guys! Bea here!

Got a little behind with last week’s post, but that’s okay because this one is going to be doubly special as I’ll be sharing with you both of the remaining sketch cards from this set, and some bonus stuff for your viewing pleasure!

Hellsing.jpg

Grimm Fairy Tales: Hellsing

DarkQueen.jpg

Grimm Fairy Tales: Dark Queen

This post is briefer than most, but one thing that I truly enjoy about doing these sketch cards is that it gave me the challenge of getting back to my roots. Before I had digital, the two mediums I used the most were marker and color pencil.

Overall, I’m very happy that I was able to return to using those same mediums without feeling that I’d lost the skill. In fact, I think digital may have helped me transition back, to traditional, in some ways.

As an added bonus, I decided to include a full spread of all the sketch cards, and the line art for them.

ZenescopeCards.jpeg

ZenescopeCards-ink.jpeg

(Right click- to view image to see in full resolution)

Since I’ve been working on quite a few projects, I’ll be sharing those artworks over the next couple of weeks, in a form of mini series– So stay tuned!

Hope you liked this post, and as always, till next time, Enjoy!

A Wise Man Once Told Me…

ThankYou.jpg

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.

StevenComics.jpg

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!

Sela.jpg

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!
hatter1

sketchcards

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 !