Nano Day 2: Practically a Disaster.

Since my goal for the month is 160k, my daily goal is a little over 5k. I managed that yesterday, but that was a weekend.

Today was Monday. Continue reading

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Whoops…

So maybe like… 7 months have passed since I last posted here. And there’s a bunch of reasons, but whatever. I know what they are, and since I’m pretty much the only one here, it’s all gravy!

But I’m back! Sort of? Less for the comic stuff, and more for just like… a place to blather on about whatever. So what’s today’s topic? NaNoWriMo!

What’s NaNoWriMo, or nano? It’s National Novel Writing Month, and it takes place all of November! You’re tasked to write 50,000 words in November, or 1667 words every day!

SO I’m doing that. But my goal is 160k words this month. Which breaks down to 5333.33333333333 words every day. I like to get a buffer of words in on the first couple of days (last year the first was a saturday, which was AWESOME. sunday as day 1 is less awesome.), so i hoped to get 10k words done yesterday.

I got… 5700. So, a day’s worth at least! But no buffer. Which means that if I miss a day, I have to MAKE IT UP LATER. Which isn’t easy. It’s easier to get the buffer before you get to the nitty gritty and fatigue.

But oh well, I guess! Too late now! I’m determined to catch up, and then GO PAST what my daily goals are for the rest of the week. I NEED to catch that lag up!

On another note, my region is doing a Hogwarts House Cup for nano! Your words = house points, and I’m a PROUD HUFFLEPUFF. So I can’t shame my House! Hopefully my inner rabid potterhead will prevent me from doing so.

Art Update Monday – Design Choices Can Haunt You.

Well, maybe that’s a bit harsh. But my design of Narí (and really any of the Deshulí) has some consequences. Light blue or cream freckles on otherwise dark skinned people is difficult to do!

I spent the whole weekend playing Heroes of the Storm (whoops) or pondering how exactly I would get the freckles to show on my characters.

venukah teaserAs you can see in the teaser, Narí’s freckles are pretty much non-existent. They’re “there”, but you can’t see them at all!

Plus her hair isn’t dark enough.

So how would I fix that?? If I had a few markers I’d lay down a base color and then do the rest with colored pencil, which looks AMAZING if you ask me.

But I don’t have any markers! I want some so bad, ugh.

Anyway! What DO I have that I can use to lay down a base?

Watercolors! Of course, I’ll be causing a bit of warping to my paper, or going through my meager supply of watercolor paper like I had infinite sheets.

2015-03-30 13.25.01But it was worth a test anyway, right? Tik’s coloring came out really well, so I’m not as worried about him.

The first test was too dark (look at those creepy eye holes). But it was closer to the base I’d need for her hair. Still not dark enough, though. Maybe I just need to use darker colored pencils I don’t know.

I also tested some blue watercolor and a tiny brush for her freckles, and that was ok but not awesome.

2015-03-30 13.25.09Then I tried a lighter base, and accidentally grabbed my darkest brown instead of one of the others, so it got a bit messed up for Narí. It’d work for someone else, though, of course.

I also tested the blue on it, and it showed up even less! Granted, I made the blue a bit lighter since it was too dark the first time.

2015-03-30 13.25.24The third face test I skipped the freckles test and also leaving any space for the eyes and mouth. Because LAZY. XD

It came out better, and probably what I’d consider “good enough” with what I’ve got to work with. If I had the paper supply to just watercolor the whole thing all day every day, I would!

2015-03-30 13.25.15I also double checked Tik’s coloring, and then tested my white gelly roll pen on it for scale highlights.

Darn thing came out pretty much perfect. It’s funny how the part I thought would be harder actually ended up easier.

I spent more time thinking (after hitting the daily experience cap in Heroes of the Storm eheheh) about the coloring, and trying to not be sad about my lack of markers. I can be such a baby.

Then I remembered I have frickin Photoshop. I also know how to separate my linework from the background and make it all fancy and on a transparent layer.

doodle spock colorSo I popped Doodle Spock into PS (it’s one of my few ink only drawings), and colored him really quickly. It took me maybe 20 minutes total? Including getting the image all transparent and whatever.

Look at that adorable bastard. I’m sure coloring would have be a ton easier with a pen tablet, but I didn’t want to hassle with getting it onto my VivoTab Note and playing with it there.

I sort of like the mostly flat colors, though. Minimal shadows, blah blah blah.

freckles testPlus I can guarantee that the coloring is the way I want it, and I can make the friggin freckles actually APPEAR THE RIGHT COLOR AND BE VISIBLE.

So I did a little test, of course, and PERFECT! The colors aren’t right, but I’ll need to take some time to find the right ones (base & shadow for Narí’s skin and hair and Tik’s hair, and I think three colors for Tik’s skin, and I’ll probably use the freckle brush for scale shimmer).

Camp Nano starts THIS WEDNESDAY, so I’m really starting to get prepped! I actually feel a lot more calm and prepared now that I’ve decided to color digitally instead of traditionally. I looooove traditional coloring, but the I can’t feasibly do the one I’m actually good at indefinitely!

This Design Wednesday I’ll probably be testing coloring on my tablet, because it has a PEN so I may be able to get some details? But I don’t have a fancy freckle brush for it! AAHH WHAT DO?! I could swap between the two? Maybe? Idk! I’ll test it!

How is that a Design Wednesday thing? Well, coloring is part of character design, duuuh. And since I’m barreling toward actually posting this stupid comic, I gotta get all the kinks worked out! And it’s always more fun to post about my frustrations 😉

Cry Day Friday – Why Having a Buffer is a Good Idea

Most of my posts here on the blog are written the night before or the day I post them. Currently only Friday’s posts could be written well ahead of time and queued up.

I realized exactly how crappy that was this week! I mean, I have days I don’t want to do anything, or I want to do something else or whatever, but it’s rare when I’m totally unable to do the things I normally do.

So I learned that I will need a pretty big buffer for my comic!

What is a buffer? Well, it’s a number of posts/comics/pages/whatever that you have pre-prepared to post so that you’re not making the current one right before it’s set to go up. It give leeway when you’re struggling with things, or there’s an emergency, or you’re out of town or whatever. It helps prevent a disruption of content, and it’s a pretty awesome thing.

How much buffer should you have? The safest bet would be a month’s worth, or about 8-10 if you post content more often. But at least 4 is good if you don’t post more than twice a week. I’d personally lean towards two weeks of buffer if posting daily, because you can eat into a buffer really quickly.

Buffers help if you’re having a bad day, too. If you’re careful to always make it back up, then you can have a day or two off from actively creating your content. It’s easy to abuse your buffer, so thinking of it as more of an emergency thing than a free day might help.

How can I get a good buffer now that I’m already in the middle of creating content? Well, the easiest way is to make two pieces of content instead of one whenever you make new content. I’ll use my own blog as an example: When I make my Design Wednesday post, I’ll queue or publish it and then write up my CDF post for that week. Then when I would normally write that week’s CDF, I’ll write it for next week and one for the week after.

Of course, there will come a point where my Design Wednesday posts are pre-written and queued, when I’m not as actively designing everything, and just creating some things here and there.

Some ways to help your productivity with the extra work would be using National Novel Writing Month in November to fill out or create a buffer. Nanowrimo also has smaller events in the summer, one of which starts April 1st. I hope to personally use this time to edit my scripts and get at least two pages a week drawn and colored. Currently I’m planning on only posting a comic once a week, so by doing two a week I’ll have an extra four pages drawn and colored and ready to post. As long as I keep up doing twice as many as I need, I’ll keep a buffer or will be able to recoup my buffer with minimal effort.

Why would I use Nanowrimo to make a buffer? Isn’t that for novels? Well, yes it is, but you can do whatever you want. A lot of people do! Bloggers, graphic novelists, comic artists, whatever. You’re bound to find at least one person doing the same thing as you. And Nano has a really great atmosphere that helps to pump you up and get you excited. You get arbitrary yet public rewards for doing whatever you’re doing, and for a lot of people that’s a great way to get stuff done.

Why do you have this tagged “organization”? Because having a buffer helps you stay organized of course. How does it do that? By giving you some wiggle room for the little (and big!) things that come up in life. Planning your life down to the second is impossible, and not the best idea. If you have a buffer then you can roll with more punches, and not have to worry about not getting your work done. Your work is already done, and as long as you continue to do it ahead of time, you can check it off your list and move on to the next thing!

Now the real question is: Will I, the very unorganized and absent-minded author of this blog, keep my buffer? AND be able to create and keep a buffer for this here blog? We’ll just have to wait and find out!

See you Monday!

Art Update Monday – Getting Cold Feet

So this weekend was a little busy, and the update will be a bit short. I’ll talk about that in a minute.

venukah teaserI drew and colored (after sketching out a couple thumbnails) a little teaser image for my comic with the date that I’ll be officially posting it!

Narí’s coloring didn’t come out too well, and her freckles are totally invisible. Tik came out pretty well, though! I’m pretty happy with that.

I was scared to make her hair too dark, but it ended up not dark enough! That’s what I get I guess lol. I don’t know what to do about her freckles, though! They’re supposed to be a light blue, but the only way I can think of getting them to show up would be digitally or by coloring with paint.

Maybe something like copics would work? I can’t get any of those without like selling my organs, so there’s no way for me to test LOL. Maybe a gel pen? I have a white one, but they do have them in other colors of course.

Can’t get one of those, either XD

2015-03-22 21.17.35Here are the thumbs I did, sorry the pic sucks! They’re really tiny, and pretty much the same as the finished version anyway. I just changed a little placement and took out “coming”.

2015-03-22 21.17.53

LOL i messed up tik’s mouth in the little doodle. narí looks like she’s annoyed with me. SORRY. GOSH.

I also made a little color swatch thing so that I can just grab the same colors every time without having to worry about getting the wrong ones. Gotta keep shit all consistent, right?! I’ll just be using more of the darker brown than I had before for Narí’s hair.

Anyway, I didn’t get too much else done! It took me a couple hours just to do the teaser pic, and then my roommate found out her mother died and we’ve been really busy with that.

And that’s why I don’t have too much for this update! It’s so terrible, and I don’t know what to do for her. But I’m doing all I can think of, and I hope it’s helping her a little. Everything is weird and awkward and sad, and we’re spending more time together because she doesn’t want to be alone.

I’m sorry for the small update! At least it’s not late 😉

OH THE TITLE: I’m sure you’re like “but what about the cold feet?!” Yeah that’s because I read a tooooooon of comics, and they all start out looking so awesome, and being so funny or interesting, and I feel like I have a TERRIBLE IDEA, and that I can’t do it justice. Super bad nerves! I’ll either get over it, or I won’t! HA. /headdesk

Cry Day Friday – Why Can’t I Do All the Crafts?

I loooove creating things. I really really do. It’s fun, it keeps my hands busy when I’m reading or watching a show, and I’m making stuff.

And with loving creating things comes wanting to have all of the tools needed to create all of the things. All of them lol.

I want to learn to make jewelry, and sculpt clay, and make poseable stuffed animals. I want to paint ball jointed dolls, and make my own stickers, and try out blacksmithing! I want to make costumes and every day clothing, and I want to be able to use any drawing or coloring or painting medium on a whim. I want to knit and crochet, and embroider, and etch glass. And needle felting!

But all of these things are expensive, and I don’t know if I’d be good at any of them! More than likely, I would enjoy all of those avenues of crafting, but I don’t think I’d get to be too good at any one thing. Which would mean some wasted money on tools for skills I just don’t have the time to get good at.

Luckily for me, I don’t tend to have a lot of spare money. Around Christmas time and tax return time sure, but other than that we just don’t have any extra to spend on some silly little hobby my crafty heart wants to try. But that breaks my heart a little!

I dream of having a huge room with a ton of storage, and the tools to make anything I want. And of course along with that, I want all the time in the world to learn how to do everything I want to do. XD

So, how do I narrow down the things I want to do?

Mostly by how much I want to do them, and how much it costs to do it. Drawing is pretty cheap, technically, as all you need is a pencil and some paper. Writing is the same. I slowly built up some more drawing tools, and some painting ones.

Currently my love for my comic characters eclipses most other things I want to do or try, so I also tend to write down things I’d like to make in regards to the comic. It hasn’t even been posted yet and I’ve already been thinking of merchandise things! But most of it is just stuff I want for myself lol.

I also like to get some of the energy out by pretending I can in fact get some things for whatever crafty pursuit. I go and look up the materials and tools, and add them to a secret wishlist, or write them down somewhere. And then I feel better and go about my life as usual.

I’d like for the crafts I do/want to do to pay for themselves or even bring in more than they cost so that I could use the money to pay other bills. But the potential for income still isn’t enough for me to spend money I don’t have on all of the things I want.

I don’t know what else to say! I’m still a huge mess when it comes to wanting to try all the things, and haven’t found a way to stop that urge. But maybe I never can? Maybe I’m just doomed to always want to at least try every form of creation I can get my hands on.

Design Wednesday – Oh God More Dragons?! And Some Script Talk.

Yes, more dragons. And some more scenery! I can’t stop with these thumbnails. Well, I can, but I really like doing them and keep thinking of things to map out with them. I didn’t paint them this time, though, because lazy. Mixing the paint the right shade takes a bit of time, and I’d rather wait this time until I draw out the other two or three that I need. Continue reading

Art Update Monday, or I Finally Designed a Dragon.

Well, sort of. There’s just the one, but it’s more than zero, right?!?! The larger versions I don’t HAVE to show, but since they’ll actually be USING the smaller “personal” sized ones, I actually have to show that LOL.

2015-03-16 13.50.46

ain’t it adorbs?

I also did one more thumbnail of the front of the bakery, because I was really feeling that greyscale thing.

It was actually a bit harder than the others. And I think it came out a bit lighter. It’s hard to replicate the colors with watercolor, since i can’t really make and then save a bigger batch.

I don’t think I could feasibly do that if I had ink, either, so I guess that doesn’t matter! I’d need to buy a couple empty jars on top of the ink itself to make washes.

Designing the dragon wasn’t really easy, and I didn’t make it easier at all by refusing to look up any tutorials on them to get some tips. I was all “nooo I want it to be original! I can’t use a tutorial!” Which is dumb.

Like, SUPER dumb.

2015-03-16 13.51.15

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

SO this is my first attempt, and it totally looks like a dinosaur that a five year old drew.

And I just drew it outright, because who needs foundations amirite?! I am such an idiot -_-

THEN I decided to try a four-legged one, instead of two-legged, because maybe the ride would be smoother? IDK, but I thought why not!

2015-03-16 13.50.59

look at that cute little cartoon me i did!

This was the first attempt, and it’s not HORRIBLE because it’s slightly better than that last thing. But it doesn’t look good at all?

The full body bit sort of looks like an alligator, which is neato I guess. I don’t hate the idea, but the execution is the worst. Seeing it now, the more stout body could translate well to the larger size needed for the “bus” version, which at its core is going to look quite a bit different from the personal and family versions.

The dragons are related, of course, but related like different breeds of dogs or horses are. So differences in appearance is totally fine. I mean, look at the difference between a mastiff and a pug!

Anyway, I continued to draw really BAD designs and then gave up for a bit. I took no photos of these abominations, because they’re all scribbled out like that malformed raptor thing.

Buuuuuuuuuuuut I finally LOOKED UP SOME TUTORIALS. Sheesh. You’d think I’d know better by now! HOW many times have I done this? Like a hundred? *sigh* An idiot, am I.

2015-03-16 13.51.23

also, look at my cozy and fluffy giraffe jammies.

And look! Isn’t it cute? The legs are a bit thin, but overall it’s perfect! I also need to adjust the seat size a bit, but whatever. To imagine the size of the “family” one, ignore the head of the person there for size comparison!

And maybe it’d be a little longer. The saddle thing would attach around the neck and twice around the torso, with a strap down the middle (like a T strap, only it’s more like two E’s back to back). And of course a bit of magic keeping it on.

The horns and colors would be different between “breeds” and regions, but overall they’d be quite similar.

So do you like it?!?! I do! It’s a bit dinosaur-y, but I like it! I need to now design the little one, but I think I can use this and tweak it? Oh I’d need two designs for him! CRAP. But that’s not for a little bit.

I don’t think I’ll be able to start posting next week like I was hoping. I need to figure out what I’ll be drawing the pages in and also need to fix my scanner. I don’t think taking pictures would really do the trick LOL.

Also, I forgot it’s almost Camp Nanowrimo time! That starts April 1st, and I think I’ll either revise my scripts (they need it), or if I’ve already started posting by then or have several scripts already revised, then I’ll try and get a bunch of them done.

Cry Day Friday – Art Block!

So today’s post was going to be all text, but that’s boring! I decided instead to add some HILARIOUS OLD ART. When I say old, though, I don’t mean “Oh I was ten when I drew this.” I didn’t draw much back in the day, due to multiple people I looked up to telling me I should just stop because wow was I terrible. No, these are from like 2013 or early 2014. I think one good thing to starting out so late is that I’m not having to learn some things, because I’ve had a lot of experience with that or something similar already.

ANYWAY! Enough about that, on with the actual post! Continue reading