Music Inside

Dancing in my head - 2018 - PS v1-finished

Short version: I present to you, the feeling of being swept away by music.

The longer version is: this is what I feel when I hear certain music, regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. It picks me up and carries me away, and I’m usually dancing up a storm inside my head.
(In this case, it’s me sitting quietly in the cafeteria at work, doing my best to just eat in peace, rather than put on a show.)

In case it was a mystery to anyone: this is one reason I love dancing so much. Dance lets me give some form to this feeling and ride that high for real. (Who needs drugs when I can farm my own endorphins with some good music and a decent floor? :D)

Good music and good dancing… nothing on earth quite like it.

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How do I say goodbye?

Gpa Photo trace

Another pretty personal one…

As I mentioned earlier, my Grandpa passed away over Xmas, and it’s been hard to deal with. For a while, it just didn’t really sink in. Then I bawled my eyes out for days. Then it didn’t feel real, so I tried not to think about it.
Every now and then, it hits me again and I just kind of… come apart. Looking at the photo in this image was one of those times, and when I realized I didn’t want to look at what was an incredibly important memory for me, because it hurt too much, I decided that I needed to do more than look at it. I had to draw it. I had to really absorb it and stop being afraid to face this… so I did.

I admit, I’m crying all over my keyboard right now, but I think it’s good crying. It’s helping.

I guess this is me making peace with saying goodbye to someone I really loved. He was a big foundation of my childhood, and a good chunk of my adult life, and while I didn’t see him very often over the last few years, what with living across the country, we were still close. I’m really going to miss him, and I think it’s going to hit me hard this summer when I go home to visit and he isn’t there.

I know I’m lucky. I had a good relationship with my grandparents, and I got to have them in my life a long time.

So, thank you, Grandpa. For being awesome, and being there for me. We miss you. We love you.

State of the Blog – Where the Hell Has the Chibi Sketcher Been?!

So, some of you may be wondering WTF happened to me. I disappeared for almost a year with not a single post in that time, and I had originally said I’d be back in the summer. What gives?!

Well… life decided that it would be entertaining to kick the crap out of me for a while, but it’s paying off now, so I guess I can’t complain too hard 😀

The short version goes like this:

My day  job quite literally doubled in February – I was doing my work and the work of a manger that had retired. Fast-forward 7 months, and I was still at it, but I was getting frustrated and exhausted. I hit a finite deadline in August, because I just couldn’t do both jobs with the big fall rush coming up – it physically wasn’t possible.
Around that same time, my relationship ended while I was still living with my (now) ex, and I got a job offer at a bigger school for better pay and benefits. Obviously, I took the job, but I still had to deal with the effects of the breakup, moving, and preparing to leave my old job and start my new one all at the same time.

I started my new job in October, right around the time I moved into a new place. (New place is great, after several furniture changes.)
I really liked my new manager and was getting settled in pretty well when my manager suddenly got promoted and had to leave for a new position. (Unlucky timing for me, but I’m super happy for him that he got it.) That left me to hold down the fort alone while we sorted out getting another person for the shop, which should be happening next month. Given it’s normally a 2-person operation, it’s been intense keeping up on everything. Just like my previous job situation, I’ve had no time or brains left to draw by the time I get home.

I’m hoping that once we get our second person in place and settled in, things will settle down in a big way, and I’ll be able to reliably get back to drawing pretty things to post here again. (One can dream)

On top of everything else, my grandpa passed away over the holidays. We were pretty close, and while it wasn’t a total surprise (he was 91 and had some pretty serious health problems), it came at simultaneously the best and worst time possible for me. Having already been under a lot of stress with just life in general for the last several months, I hadn’t been expecting to spend my Xmas break in mourning. Much as that sucked though… it was perfectly timed for the family to all be there with him during his last few days, and to attend the impromptu wake that was held right after he passed.
It’s still a little raw right now, having just happened a few weeks back … but at least he’s not in any pain anymore, and he was surrounded by people that loved him, right up to the end.

And there’s politics. Not even touching that one right now.


On a positive note, my life is definitely starting to trend upward at this point, coming off of all that mess.
I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection and a lot of dancing, both of which are really helping recenter me and get me moving forward. Plus a lot of time petting and spoiling my adorable little fluff-ball doesn’t hurt.

I’m tired, a little tattered on the edges, and it’s been one hell of a year… but I’m optimistic that good things are on the horizon from here. Here’s hoping I’m right.

Giselle Gargoyle – Character Design

giselle gargoyle

Answering the age-old question (from all the way back in 2007) of what Giselle from Enchanted would look like as a Gargoyle. The answer is… kind of adorable, actually.

For now, this is more of a character study, just working out the basic look of everything, but at some point, I do plan to do a full-body  illustration of this little lady (and possibly her lawyer-love, if I have time).

The top left is obviously a head-shot, the top right is the dress design, adjusted for a gargoyle (need to do a back view too, but I’m out of time for tonight). The bottom left is a bracelet that goes over her bicep (like Demona from the original show) and the bottom right is Giselle petting Pip. In other news, hands are hard to draw.

As was the case the LAST time I posted something, my day-job is eating my brain, since I’m running a two-person shop alone until next month, so no guarantees that I’ll be able to post regularly  for a while yet. (I know, I know, I’m sorry!) BUT at least after that things should calm down and become much more manageable again. (Ideally that’ll translate to more art going up, but we’ll just have to see what happens.)

If you have thoughts, please share them! I love getting feedback, even if it’s (constructive) criticism.


Hiatus

I’m sorry to do this, but I have to put the blog back on hiatus for a few months. My day job doubled in February (I am totally not kidding about this) and left me with no time to do art at work and no energy to art with when I get home. I had hoped things would have quieted down before now, but they haven’t and I don’t want to leave you all hanging wondering wtf happened to me.
Things should settle down around May/June, but until then, I don’t have much to post and February and March already ate the buffer of posts I was using to stay ahead.

I will be back as soon as I can. Better. Stronger. Hopefully more financially stable.
Your patience is appreciated while I deal with this crazy mess. 🙂

Inktober Witches 10 – Wicked Witch

inktober-witch-wicked-scan

Because taking prompts literally is incredibly boring 😀
Some of these prompts are obviously steering you towards such uninteresting results  Why draw a normal pointy-hatted cackling witch when you can draw a kick-ass rollar-derby witch instead?

This lovely lady is definitely going to see some Photoshop love later, but for now, here she is 🙂

Her derby name is Wicked Witch, and yes, her real name is Glenda. Because I’m a dork 😀

Inktober Witches 9 – Lolita

inktober-witch-lolita-scan

As background: While I’m passingly familiar with lolita fasion, I had to do a lot of research to get the look down, and while I was looking I noticed a pattern. Most of the poses I found were bland ‘kick up one foot and try to look adorable’ poses (aka: cheesecake). Frankly, I didn’t want to do anything that boring and just draw someone in a fluffy dress posing and trying to be cute.(Honestly, what would be the point? You can find about 100000000 photos and at least as many deviant-art posts of that exact thing all over the internet.)
SO, instead this pose is based off an American Ninja Warrior contestant scaling a wall… because I can. 😀

This is Tiffany. Tiffany REALLY likes to stay in shape and push her body to its limits – and she really really likes getting dressed up in floofy, lacy, cutesy outfits. She really gets a kick out of doing things like this while in full lolita dress, just to blow tourists’ minds. Tiffany has an entire Pintrist board that is nothing but photos of her doing insane stunts in her outfits, posted by people who happened to be nearby at the time.
She also dresses up her raven familiar, Mimi, because if there’s anything Tiffany’s more passionate about than absurd feats of human fitness, it’s fashion and proper accessorizing.


 

And, since I promised my FB followers that I’d put up some in-progress images from this one, here you go!

Here’s the original sketch of the pose, just getting the walls and the braced position right:

inktober-gymnast-roughsketchscan

This is the more refined version with the raven added in, a basic poster layout, and roughed in clothes:inktober-witches-lolita-sketch-scan

The finished linework, before shading/touch-ups were added:inktober-witches-lolita-scan1

And then the finished piece:

inktober-witch-lolita-scan

Tiffany here will definitely be getting full-color photoshop treatment later, as will most of my ladies.

 

Inktober Witches 8 – Blood Witch

inktober-witches-bloodwitch-scan

(The prompt just said ‘blood witch’. It didn’t specify what she was -doing- with the blood.)

Yasmine donates regularly, and since she’s a blood-witch, (here meaning she has blood-based magical abilities) she can change her blood-type to pretty much whatever she wants, so she can always give what hospitals need the most. All the nurses in her city now know her on sight and send her handwritten cards for every holiday.