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Posts Tagged ‘little cardboard rectangles’

I would show what I've been working on, but, you know, NDAs and whatnot.

I would show what I’ve actually been working on, but, you know, NDAs and whatnot.

Work has been keeping me busy, which means less blogging, of course, but I thought I would interrupted my deadline-imposed blog exile for a couple of advertisements.

First, my nautical fantasy The Voyage to Ruin, chock-full of pirates, airships, swashbuckling, ancient sea gods, dragons, magicians, and countries named after food, is now only $2.99 at Smashwords and on Amazon. I am informed it is available on Google Play as well, but since my dashboard there won’t give me a link nor where to find one, probably easier to go to one of the other places. If I ever do get a Google link, I will share it. [ETA: A helpful and keen-eyed reader discovered the Google Books link for me.  A glass of rum with you, sir!] Two dollars and ninety-nine cents! It is an excellent price for over 100,000 words of intrigue, sorcery, fisticuffs, sea battles, and even a hint of romance. There is no kitchen sink included, only because none of the main characters ever set foot inside a kitchen, and ships lack such amenities anyway.

And second, TeePublic is holding its monthly sitewide sale. Like the gentleman who, when he had a little money, bought books, when I have a little spare time I draw Thor. Some of those Thor-related designs can be purchased on shirts at my TeePublic shop, and I would take it as a kindness if you would go and check them out. There is also a Last Unicorn design, for those who remember that movie with fondness.

Colorful shirts for your torso!

Colorful shirts for your torso!

This concludes our advertisement interruption; we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Oh, and happy Thorsday! 😀

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Happycrow blogged about his “spare time” list, and that got me thinking about what I would like to do in that elusive thing called “spare time.”

Ha. Ha. Ha.

My goal for the new year was to be done done done with sketchcards so I could focus on other things: like moving into comic book pencilling, finish my novel (and start on the next one!), actually get paid a living wage for the work I do … you know, crazy stuff like that.  SPELLCASTERS was going to be my last set, for realsies.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Because I am weak willed and have trouble saying no (and some of the things I wasn’t saying “no” to are really cool gigs), now I’m looking at June before I am done done done.  Late June.

Here's what's on my desk right now.  That's not counting all the stuff that's drawn but not yet inked or colored.  Oy vey!

Here’s what’s on my desk right now. That’s not counting all the stuff that’s drawn but not yet inked or colored. Oy vey!

But what would I be doing, if I weren’t breaking my heart, mind, soul and body over a drawing table in the wee hours of the night (because daytime is kid time)?

  • Finish Steel Butterfly
  • Redo the bathroom
  • Brush up on my animation skills
  • Get my concealed carry license
  • Learn basic car care, so that I can do the maintenance on my Dad’s car myself
  • Gardening!  Lots and lots of gardening.  I am thinking: roses everywhere!  (Sidenote: the house down the street just took out all their rosebushes.  What were they thinking?!)
  • Get in shape
  • Work on personal art
  • Learn how to make bread
  • Learn to play the mandolin

The list goes on and on, but you get the idea.  Some of this stuff is just me dreaming, but some of it is going to happen.  Just.  You know.  Not till after June.

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luxuraSort of…

Back in late 2010/early 2011, when I was working on the Vampress Luxura trading card set for The Sketch Card Studio, all the artists were asked to fill out a little questionnaire that would be used to help promote the set.  Well, the set came out a long time ago, but most of the interviews never materialized.  However, Kirk Lindo, creator of Luxura and a really lovely guy, just posted my interview on his site.  If you’re interested, you can sail on over there and get a snapshot of two-years-ago me.

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2012 was a pretty jam-packed year for sketch cards*,  my busiest yet.

*A sketch card is a special kind of trading card; instead of using pre-printed artwork, the art is drawn directly on the card stock, and the finished cards are randomly inserted into trading card packs.

Nevermore Alice

(Marty and Boo)

Nevermore AliceMy main memory of this set was working very fast, late at night, marathoning Jericho on my mini-DVD player while the kiddo slept. It was the first official set where I tried out inking with colors instead of black; it worked really well, and gave me confidence to try out the technique on other, bigger sets.

Classic Myth

(Perna Studios)

Classic MythologyBasically the opposite of Nevermore Alice; instead of going forward in the dynamic, animated look that seems to be my wheelhouse, I tried for a more painted, “artsy” look, with very mixed results.  I really long, even now, to be able to create beautiful paintings, and maybe at some point when I’m not completely swamped, exhausted, overwhelmed (a constant state of existence since October 9, 2010) I can take the time to learn how to do it properly.  Even though I wasn’t happy with my cards, though, a lot of other people seemed to be.

Marvel’s Greatest Heroes

(Rittenhouse Archives)

AvengersI wasn’t going to do this set, believing I didn’t have time, but the Art Director bargained with me, and I agreed.  I’m so glad I did!  This was the most fun on a card set I’d had in a long time: note the colored lines and minimal, cartoony shading are back.  I really challenged myself to do beautiful art and more detailed backgrounds, and it mostly paid off.

Contenporary Pinups

(Galan’s Sketchcards)

Contemporary PinupsFor whatever reason, I decided to be all feminist and rebellious on this set, and even though it’s called “Pinups,” most of my cards are pretty far from pinup-y.

Red Sonja & Warlord of Mars

(Breygent Marketing)

breygentThese two are inextricably linked in my mind, because I did them at the same time, and they were completely different.  This was another I was invited to do by the AD, and being a huge fan of both John Carter and Red Sonja, I said yes in a heartbeat.  The card stock on Sonja was pretty … interesting, which required me to adjust the way I was working.  On Warlord I again wanted to try something different, a little more pulp-influenced, but once again being self-taught in the medium kind of tripped me up, and I’m not sure they’re as cool as I wanted them to be.

Nevermore Alice: Flux

(Marty and Boo’s Cards)

fluxI never say no to Boo when he asks me to draw for him; his designs are so clean and fun, and his pulpy, over-the-top worlds are fun to play in.

DC New 52

(Cryptozoic)

DC New 52A number of firsts for me: first time drawing DC characters, first time working for Cryptozoic: a great company to work for, btw.  I hope to do more jobs for them in the future.  This set was a blast.

Island Dreams

(Marty and Boo)

Island DreamsA set for charity that I dashed off in a bit of a rush in between other projects.

Marvel Premier

(Upper Deck)

Marvel PremierUpper Deck was the first card company I ever worked for, back in 2008, and I was flattered to be invited to work on this set, an experiment in sketch cards of sorts.  The card stock was a beast that sucked up all the ink out of my markers, and the double-sided cards took about three times as long as I had anticipated.  The work was brutal, I was exhausted and burning out on the whole thing…

And then my dad died.

This is the card I was working on when I got the news.

This is the card I was working on when I got the news.

I took a week to deal with things, comfort my grandma, arrange the funeral, all that stuff.  I returned home thinking I’d throw myself into my work as a way of dealing with my own grief (and get the work done in time for the already-impossible-before-I-took-a-week-off deadline), but it was only about 50% effective, because any waning enthusiasm I’d had for the project had been thoroughly extinguished.

I think, objectively, I probably did a pretty good job anyway; you can’t tell by looking that I thoroughly did not give a damn.

Batman: The Legend

(Cryptozoic)

Batman the LegendBy contrast, this set might just have saved my sanity.  I had initially said no (even though I really really wanted to do it), because of the Marvel Premier deadline, but about a week later I emailed the AD back and begged to be let back on it.  I’m so glad I did.  After the hell of MP, Batman was a fresh breeze from heaven.  I only had about a week, maybe two, but the work went so sweetly, and somehow, drawing angsty superheroes in a decaying metropolis was a balm to my spirit.

Nevermore Alice: Eat Me, Drink Me

(Marty and Boo)

NMA: Eat MeAnother quickie for Boo; the cards were meant to be handed out at a UK comic convention.

Britannia

(Marty and Boo)

BritanniaBritannia is Boo’s answer to Captain America; incarnated in many worlds and times, she fights to protect Britain–sort of like Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion.  This was a fun set, because I got to play with lots of different designs and styles.

Bombshells

(Badaxe Studios)

BombshellThis was a set, again, that I passed on because the timing didn’t work out for me; the initial deadline for base art was September, and I definitely had neither time nor energy back then, but circumstances made the AD push the deadline back, which worked out great for me, if not so great for him.

Spellcasters

(Perna Studios)

SpellcastersI’m working on this right now, staring burnout in the face but determined to finish all my commitments.  I actually had the chance to collaborate with the lovely and talented Lynne Anderson, which was such a blessing, as her enthusiasm helped rekindle my own.

Commissions

Femforce PuzzlesOne of the downsides of working on so many official sets was having little to no time to fulfill all the commission orders I got.  Thankfully the people who commission me are patient and kind, and willing to wait.  Next year I’m going to get all the commissions done, which will make me–and them–much happier.

In 2013 I am going to scale back the number of card sets I work on (I keep saying, “this is the last one!” and then another really cool set comes up that I can’t say no to), because I really haven’t had a break at all since March (funerals don’t count).  I’m glad I worked on all these sets; each one has been a learning experience in its way, and doing that much drawing has helped me get better and better at my art.  In the year to come I’d like to transition into comic books, I’d like to finish Steel Butterfly at last, I’d like to do something other than draw on little 2.5 x 3.5-inch rectangles.  I’m glad 2012 is over, and I’m looking forward to what 2013 brings.

How about you guys?

Anything cool coming up in 2013 that you’re really looking forward to?  Any goals or projects you’d like to get under way?

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