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As most of you who follow this blog are aware, I've been living with my family for the past couple of years in order to help caretake full time for my grandmother, who has Alzheimer's disease.  It's been insanely stressful, and not only because of the caretaking duty.  I haven't spoken publicly about my family, and I hesitate to do so here, but I will say that this household has been the cause of a large amount of stress.  

I've put a lot of thought into whether I should stay or go.  Any way you look at it, it's not an easy decision to make.  I will say that some of the issues I've had with my family (not my grandmother's condition) are the primary reason that I've finally decided.  It's necessary, for my own mental health and well-being.  I've been verging on a total emotional collapse for longer than I'd like to admit, and I need to get away for my sanity's sake.

So, I'll be, if all goes well, returning to California to live and work where I did before I came here.  The place wasn't perfect by any means, but it became home after living there on and off for several years.

That means that I'll once again be working a full time paid job.  Well, I should say, a part-to-full-time job, as hours vary-- it's a resort, and like most resorts, has busy seasons and slow seasons.  This does not mean that I'm giving up on the artwork in any way, shape, or fashion.  I will continue taking commissions and creating crowdfunded pieces.  I will likely not be able to do Free Sketch Day on a regular basis, but I might be able to set aside a day every now and again to gather prompt requests and work on them over a period of time.  The internet at the resort is... less than reliable, and has limited bandwidth, but it resets once a week.  I'll post updates and such on those days.  

That being said, though, I may need a small break from the art while I get acclimated to Cali again.  A week or two in which I can just be, disappearing into the forest and remembering who I am.  Because I've sort of forgotten.

I still have five portraits to complete, which I will do before I leave.  I've nearly completed the big double-character half-body portrait; just needs a few finishing touches which I will put in today.  The others are all normal head-and-shoulders pieces, so they shouldn't take quite as long.

I've been slipping back and forth between feelings of guilt and immense relief over my decision to leave.

The manager of the resort is out this week, but I will call him up at the beginning of next week and hopefully have a date set for return. 
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So, I've decided that it'd be best to view the caretaking thing as an unpaid full-time job, because of the sheer number of hours that is required of me.  I've only had one day this week to work on the art, which makes me glad that I took the time to do as much as I did.  I might be able to do a little work today, but tomorrow will be taken up from about six in the morning until ten at night.

As much as I love my family and want to help, it is frustrating, especially since the artwork is my only source of income right now.  I even considered leaving to return to California (I've been told I have a job up there at the resort that was my home and workplace for several years, whenever I want to return), but decided against it when my family said that they needed me here to help out, at least until they can get some sort of funded care for her sorted.

So, wish me luck in this balancing act!   
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So after almost a month of struggling to create artwork every time I had time to sit down and attempt to work on projects, I finally had a wonderfully smooth day with few interruptions and ACTUAL DRAWINGNESS.

I did rough line art for all-- read it, ya'll, ALL-- of the outstanding character portraits.  All in one day.

I'm gonna post them here because, well, I'm so happy that I actually got something done without, you know, erasing it five thousand times or getting dragged away two minutes after beginning work, that I could scream.

Fair warning-- these images are still very rough.  They need a lot of work.  But I completed stage one of portraiture and kicked serious ass today, so you all get to see them.

If Photobucket ever finishes uploading them, that is.



Several unfinished drawings beneath cut. )

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Hello, all!  I'm whisking by here to leave a short little update before hitting those very, very late character portraits.

These last few weeks have been difficult.  I've spent the majority of my days caretaking (which I'm sure you all are sick of hearing about for now, and so I won't go into too much detail).  The evenings have seen me struggling with character portraits, drawing and redrawing and redrawing things until I was cross eyed.  Unfortunately, a side effect of stress for me is that nothing I create looks right to me, so artwork tends to be like treading upwater.

I'm trying really, really hard to beat that funk this week.  I warmed up today by starting on a sketch of Taylor Kitsch as John Carter.  It got off to a bumpy start, and I'll finish it up later, but it got my drawing muscles revved up enough to start on the next character portrait on the agenda.  It actually seems to be going rather smoothly so far!  (I really hope I didn't just jinx myself by writing that.)

In other news, I have a few ideas that I may be implementing with this blog in the next few months.  I want to get caught up and find my working rhythm again before adding projects and/or events to the list, though.
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And, another week is upon us!

As I've been dealing with a lot of family-caretaker issues this week, with both my grandmother and my brother, I've gotten behind on the portraits, so I am going to exclusively devote this week to catching up on them.  So, no Free Sketch Days this week.  Hopefully I will be able to hold it next week.

I'll try not to leave too much radio silence here, but I don't usually like to post in-progress images of the portraits for reasons not entirely defined in my head.  So I'll probably be posting images as I complete them.  And I might do some work on the crowdfunding pieces, but only if I start to catch up on the portraits, which are first priority.  


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So [livejournal.com profile] ariestess held a "Free Microfic Day" yesterday, and I left the prompt, "Multi-dimensional traveler, a cost to traveling, life-changing.  Where is home?"

She wrote this hilarious little fic.  

My favorite line:  "And I swear to all that is holy, if you mention fanfiction, I will cut a bitch.  I got caught in this weird causality loop that had me cycling through-- Damn it! Where's a knife?"  

Go, read!!  
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[livejournal.com profile] ariestessis doing a Free Microfic Day at her blog!  The theme is "Beginnings, Renewals, and Transformations." I left the prompt "Multi-dimensional traveler, a cost to traveling, life-changing.  Where is home?"  Looking forward to seeing what she comes up with.
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[livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith held a Poetry Fishbowl yesterday.  Go, check out her blog and read some of the wonderful poems in various genres that have been released!  She also has a list of unsold poetry that is currently available for sponsorship.
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So, over the past two days, I've done some work on the three crowdfunding pieces I have currently in production, as well as the Prize Drawing piece.  

As I mentioned previously, I've finished "Starcrossed."  


I did the flat colors for "Trickster."




I worked on the background cliffs in the waterfall painting. 


And, I did the inks on "Firespirit."  This is being done for the winner of the last prize drawing, and will be available to the general public.




All three of these crowdfunded pieces are still open for funding!  U.S. Contributors who contribute $3 or more will receive a complimentary print of the image they helped to fund from Zazzle, and all contributors will receive a full-sized image download.  (Size of print depends on amount of contribution; sizes start at 4x6.)  Once a piece is fully funded, the full sized image will be released to the public.

Current funding stats are as follows:

"Starcrossed": $4 of $40
"Trickster": $0 of $40
Waterfall painting (as yet untitled):  $0 of $100


If you would like to contribute to any or all of these projects, click the "Tip Jar" icon, which will take you to PayPal.  Please be sure to leave me a message to let me know who you are and what you're contributing to, so I can be sure to send you your perks!






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So, today, I'm caretaking for my grandmother.  I hope to be able to do a little artwork this evening, and maybe post some updates.  

But at the moment, I don't have my Wacom hooked up, and my laptop battery is starting to get a bit low, so I thought I'd do a post where everyone can pimp their own projects.  So drop by and leave project descriptions, pictures, excerpts, whatever you like in the comments!  Free advertising!  Have at it!
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So, I'd been procrastinating on "Starcrossed" because, well, I was working on other things and it was really promising to be a quick project.  

I decided to go ahead and finish it up tonight.  It's not really a digital-ink-and-color piece, but I'm offering it for $40 anyway since it was a very quick digital painting.  

Here's a small, watermarked preview.  If it is fully funded, it will be released to the general public as a free, full size, high resolution download.  Any contributors will also receive a download, and U.S. contributors who contribute $3 and over will receive a complimentary print (size depends on contribution amount).



Funding currently stands at $4 of $40.

If you would like to contribute to this project, please click the "Tip Jar" icon below, which will take you to PayPal.




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This is my current backlog list, as of 3/5/12.

CHARACTER PORTRAITS
(In order of request)
1) [livejournal.com profile] timelord1: Maeve Kennock 
2) [livejournal.com profile] just_the_ash:  Moraiwë and Angamarth/double portrait
3) [livejournal.com profile] timelord1:  Roghrid
4)[livejournal.com profile] timelord1: Raichior
5)[livejournal.com profile] erigeneia:  Naia
6)[livejournal.com profile] dulcinbradbury:  Aileann

CROWDFUNDED PROJECTS BASED ON FSD SKETCHES


EDIT:  "Starcrossed" is now complete, but is still open for crowdfunding!  Go to the link provided to see a preview and help to fund the project for release (full size and high resolution) to the public.

MISCELLANEOUS:
1)  Color character illustration for Portrait Adoption. (Not showing because I am very dissatisfied with it right now)
2)  Prize Drawing Winner Artwork (for [livejournal.com profile] minor_architect)




Meh.  I've been rather lax with the crowdfunded pieces.  Might devote a day or two this week to focus on them.

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Good Monday morning, all.  How is everyone?

After some thought, I've decided that Free Sketch Days will be a bi-weekly event.  I just need certain weeks to play catch-up, and now especially that it's a two-day event, I'm getting behind on other things.  So, Free Sketch Days will be next week on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Be sure to make a note of it and tell your friends!  

This week is going to be dedicated to catching up on the numerous projects I have in production.  I'm going to update my backlog list and post it later today to get a feel of what I need to focus on, and make goal sets for each day so I can be all productive and stuff.  And I'll be posting updates of the crowdfunding pieces, and the prize drawing piece, as I'm able.  I also have a decent handful of character portraits in production that I may post progress images on. 

I just downloaded some day planner software.  Assuming it works, maybe it'll help me keep things more organized.  Who knows?

But anyway, do stay tuned for update posts and various stages of artwork!

Mini Update

Mar. 1st, 2012 10:58 am
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So, I'm open again for discounted portrait commissions.  Drop by this week's landing page to leave your order, and I'll add it to the queue!

Today, my artistic focus will go toward finishing the handful of sketches from this week's Free Sketch Day.  I'm having a lot of fun with this batch.  It is a lot less stressful to spread them out over a few days as well, rather than trying to get to all the sketches at once, which really hurt the quality of the sketches I think.  14+ sketches in a single day, interspersed with everything else I'm having to deal with these days, is a LOT.

So, as I mentioned previously, I've been keeping a Tumblr blog, all dedicated to my journey of habitat and habit unfuckery.  In other words, I'm trying really hard to stop being a lazy slob.  And you know what?  It's starting to work!  I still have a long ways to go, in getting the environment around myself situated in a decent manner, but I'm actually making progress, and it feels wonderful.  So, if you're on Tumblr, feel free to follow.  I'm not a huge fan of Tumblr as a blog platform for a number of reasons, but I'm doing this blog mostly as a self-motivator and less as a social thing, so it works fine.  If it inspires you or encourages you to start shifting things in your own habitat, though, I'd love to know!

 


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Have an original role playing character, or an original fiction character that you would like to see realized in a drawing?  

I am once again open for character portrait commissions!  These will be head-and-shoulders portraits.  Black and white portraits are only $5!  

Color options are also available during Portrait Days at heavy discount-- see below cut for more information.


Click to read more info; please read it all before putting in your request! )


Some examples from previous Character Portrait Days--click to enlarge





Discounted Character Portraits-- click dropdown menu to select




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Closed for prompts now, and done with sketches for today-- I will finish up the last five tomorrow and the next day in between other projects and Life stuff.  Thanks for participating, everyone!  Hope to see you next time!
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Good morning, folks.  

I haven't even gotten dressed yet, let alone had my first coffee, but just want to drop a reminder to say that, yes, Free Sketch Day is still open!  I'll be attacking the prompts I didn't get to yesterday, and will be continuing to add prompts to the list until tonight at ten p.m. Central. So if you haven't yet left a prompt, it just takes a minute!  You get a free sketch!  I'm trying to get to these in a somewhat more balanced fashion than I was previously (as opposed to trying to cram every single sketch into a single day), so I'll be getting to a handful of prompts a day.  But I will definitely get to each and every one of you! 
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EDIT 2:  I'm now closed for prompts.  Thanks for participating, everyone!  I will be working on the remainder of the sketches as I have time tomorrow and possibly Friday.  I should have the lot of em completed by the end of the week.  

EDIT:  Thank you to everyone for your prompts!  I will be getting to the rest of you who commented tomorrow (I may do another sketch or two tonight, but mostly I'll save them for tomorrow because I want to make sure I give each sketch a good amount of attention).  Hope everyone has a good night.


Good morning, friends list, visitors, and lurkers! Once again, it is Tuesday, which means that it is the weekly Free Sketch Day that I host on this blog.

This is the new, revamped Free Sketch Day.  There are loads of new tip incentives both collectively and individually, and some new rules.  Please be sure to read everything detailed below!

Free Sketch Day is now a two day event!  From 10 a.m. Tuesday until 10 p.m. Wednesday, I will be taking one word prompts.

FSD will always be free of the obligation to pay, however, I am going to be instating a number of new tip incentives both collectively and individually, as detailed below.


Current Tip Tally: $20

Tip tally amounts (collective tips):

$0-- Everyone gets one free sketch based on a one word prompt.
$25- Everyone either gets 2 sketches based on one word prompts, or 1 digitally inked sketch based on a prompt.
$50-- Everyone gets 2 digitally inked sketches based on one word prompts.
$200-- 1 out of the 2 digitally inked sketches for each prompter will be fully colorized.
$300-- Everyone gets 2 digitally inked and colorized sketches.
Individual tipper incentives (Please take note that I can only ship in the US at this time.  If you live in another country, I will be able to send you a download, but I just can't afford to send out prints that will cost $13 or more to ship):
$3- $10-- One 6x4 unframed Photo Print of your choice and a high res download.
$11- $30-- Two 6x4 unframed Photo Prints of your choice, or one 10x8 unframed Photo Print and high res downloads.
$31- $80-- Two 10x8 unframed Photo Prints and high res downloads.
$81 and up -- One 10x8 Framed and Matted Photo Print (standard frame, standard matte) and high res downloads.
(Images may be resized or cropped to fit the print sizes)

A few important notes:

1)  I'm going to stop taking fan art prompts, or interpreting prompts as fan art, just to be legally safe.

2)  If you leave a prompt, I would be very grateful if you spread the word about FSD in whatever way seems best to you.  I'm not going to make it a requirement, but more people visiting FSD means a greater likelihood that everyone will be getting color sketches!  

3)  I'm not going to be creating artwork in real time anymore, as I'm going to be holding this over a two-day period.  I will, however, get to each request in a reasonable amount of time (which will vary depending on whether or not it is a quick sketch, a digitally inked sketch, or a color sketch).  

Also, once a month, I will hold a prize drawing for one piece of free digitally inked and colorized artwork based on the FSD prompt of the winner's choice.  January's winner was [livejournal.com profile] minor_architect, who will be receiving this illustration when completed:
 

And that's about it. Have at it!







Some sketches from previous FSDs

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"Trickster" has been inked!

Click the thumbnail to go to the landing page for current crowdfunding projects, which links to the full sized images currently in production.

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Attention, Internetz:

I has a Tumblr.

I know, I never thought I'd use it either.  I've already got too many blog-things.  Fact is, I've had this one for some time now, and have only gravitated back to Tumblr recently to read the "Unfuck Your Habitat" blog, recently mentioned by [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onnawho is also embarking on a journey to take control of her environment.

I was inspired.  So I made a post about it.  I can't promise there will be more posts than this, but who knows, there may well be!

So, yeah.  Feel free to follow, stalk, rustle the bushes, whatever floats your boats.  (Unless you're actually honestly creepy, in which case I have a very useful flame thrower nearby.  Okay, not really.  Actually, yes, I do.)

I'm going to make a valiant attempt to have some artistic updates to post later today.

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