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 !

Sketchbook Exclusive- Fairy Tales

Hey guys! Bea here, ready to share more arts with you– and in this case, more old sketches for Illustrations I hope to make very soon!

Introducing– the Twisted Fairy Tales sketches!

TinkerbellPeterpanLike many young girls, I was introduced to fairytales through Disney– with some of my favorite films being The LIttle Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast  and Peter pan.  But, when I got older, the neat little happy endings in movies stopped working for me as much, so you can imagine how fascinated I was when I realized that the original tale to many of these stories were a lot darker than the Disney versions. So– about five years ago, I decided I wanted to do a series of illustrations focusing on the dark side of some of these fairytales, by either reinventing them in my own way, or paying homage to the originals.

That said, lets take a look at the first sketch! Tinkerbell and Peterpan.This sketch is very old, so I don’t know exactly what was going on in my head when I drew it lol, but I can say it’s a concept I want to finish and what comes to mind now when I see it. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to be “forever young”. The young want to stay beautiful and the old long for the days of their youth, as it were. But, life can be tragic in the real world, and eventually the “fairy dust” looses its effect. At least that’s what happened to Pan here.

Speaking of staying beautiful–Snow White

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This sketch doesn’t follow the same format as many of the others you’ll see, but one thing that is highly emphasized in Disney princess movies is, well… beauty. But, what happens when those princesses start to lose their good looks? In a weird way, I always thought of the wicked queen and Snow white herself as kinda the same person. Of course we never get to see the evil queen in her young days, but, the mirror suggests that she was fairest at one point, right? Like, maybe once upon a time she was beautiful–  sweet and innocent too, and if that were the case, I bet she got a lot of attention for it, much like Snow White does. But, she couldn’t stay young forever, so she kind of sold her soul to find ways to get back what she lost, and became wicked and bitter in the process. Whose to say, The even queen isn’t a…reflection of what Snow White could become? And if so, what measures would Snow White take in a modern day to keep her youthful looks?

Taking a step back, after seeing Snow White and the Huntsman, I tried to see Snow White from a different angle.

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Some of you may know it, but in this version of the story, Snow White fights the queen and wins…but all the same, I still see the two as kinda one person– at least in spirit.  Wouldn’t killing the queen, in essence, make her un-pure? What if, in shedding the queen’s blood, that darkness passes on to her…what if all of this is some game on the mirror’s part? Either way, Snow White is an interesting one because I can entertain so many ideas with it!

The last one I’ll share with you today is the sketches I did for Little Mermaid– 3 in total, which kinda tells the story of the different approaches I was going at it from. You’ll have to forgive the roughness of the first one cuz i was experimenting with a different medium lol

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This was my first little mermaid sketch, which  i decided to be as traditional as possible with it, showing that mermaids, though beautiful, weren’t as innocent as Ariel, so, instead of loving a man, she preyed upon one. This concept was a bit too straight forward, so I took another approach–

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If you’re not familiar with the original story of the Little Mermaid, when the Prince falls in love and marries the other woman, the mermaid is given a choice. She could either stab the prince, and let his blood fall on her feet or fin, breaking her bond to the witch, allowing her to return to the sea with her sisters, oooooooor, turn to sea foam and basically die. In the original verson, The mermaid chooses to spare the Prince’s life, because she loves him too much to shed his blood. In this one, the mermaid makes the opposite choice and her sisters are all there rooting for. Why Did I do this? Well, mermaid are sirens– and I wanted to combine their true nature with the love story. So in essence, instead of dying, The mermaid becomes what she was born to be. She becomes like her sisters.

goldfish23Ironically the two sketches kinda tell a story. In this version,the little mermaid, whose heart has been blackened, sits in the sunken ruins of the creatures she once loved, which could, quite possibly be the ruins of a ship that fell due to her and her sisters luring songs.

I know it seems a trend, considering the princesses all seem to get black hearts, but I can’t help it. I find the dark side interesting >_< Besides, I heard they have cookies!

Anyway, these were just early sketches of my 3 strongest concepts from the series. I do intend to tackle Red Riding Hood, and Alice in Wonderland, among others, when the ideas come for them.

Either way, I hope you liked this post, as you got to see some of the sketches I’ve kept hidden away for the most part!  More to come soon 😀 Till next time, Enjoy!