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.

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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.

Some post-scheduling info and random housekeeping goodies. (Pls read)

First of all, as you all may have noticed, I’m back to posting at least somewhat regularly on the blog. (Huzzah!)

Why was I away so long? Well, long story short, life happened.
I got really busy with work, relationship, and some general adulting – as well as having my desktop bite the dust. I replaced it a few months later, but my new one was giving me fits for a while, and well… it was a bit of a mess.
That’s all more or less straightened out now, though, so we’re back with new and improved art! (Huzzah again!)

Scheduling:
Because not posting for so long has created a sizeable backlog of stuff you all won’t have seen yet, I’ve decided to set up a posting schedule to help manage and organize all the content I want to put up.
This will also, ideally, help keep me on track with posting, so there won’t be so many long lags between posts going forward.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

Mondays and Fridays – The latest and greatest stuff I have for you -if any- hot off the tablet/scanner. These will be more sporadic posts as I finish things. Subscribe to the blog if you’d like to be notified when these go up.

Tuesdays and Thursdays –Inktobers! I did some pretty strong Inktober drawings, if I do say so myself, and I wanted to give each one room to shine. For now, I’m just doing my 2016 drawings, but since I didn’t participate in any of the previous years, I may go back and retroactively do them too; since the prompts are really fun to work with. When/if I run out of Inktober goodies, I will post an update to the schedule, so you know what to expect to see and when. Stay tuned for more on this as it develops.

Wednesdays –  For now, this will be the backlogged work that was created without any particular theme in mind. If I drew a fairy for fun two months ago, this is the day she’ll show up. These posts will be suspended once the baglog is caught up, and I will try to announce when that happens.

Saturdays and Sundays – No plans for these days just yet, and I’m honestly not sure if I can generate content fast enough to post more than 3-4 days a week anyway. That said, I do still have some series that I haven’t finished yet, and they might need their own timeslot as I pick them up again, which could potentially be weekends… Stay tuned for updates on this as I figure it out.

Blog Housekeeping:

Merch:
Sometime soon, I plan to update my Society 6 shop with lots of new work and new items. (The store is even more out of date than my blog, embarassingly enough). If you enjoy my work and you’d like to wear it, drink out of it, shower behind it, and/or hang it on your wall, keep your eyes peeled for the ‘my store has been updated’ announcement that will be coming once I’ve made all the additions and edits I want to do.
Also, it’d warm the cockles of my artsy little heart to see people wearing/enjoying my work – so if you do buy something, I’d love to see a photo of you with it! Please comment on the blog or drop me a message with a photo of you enjoying the artwork. With your permission, I will post these on the blog, so everyone can see how cool you look 😀

Requests/commissions:
As I’ve said before, I’m always accepting commissions, and my rates are reasonable.
If you’d like something drawn up/designed for you, be it a character, fan art, a portrait, an illustration, a greeting card, or maybe even a wedding invitation, send me a message and let’s see if we can make it happen.

I also periodically put out the call for suggestions that people would like to see me draw. For example: I’m always open to Cool Chicks from History suggestions, either officially from the Tumblr group or just some cool women that you’d like to see commemorated in art.
While won’t garuntee to do every suggestion that I get on any given call, I’ll try to work as many of them as I can into the posting schedule.
Also, please note that suggested drawings are not something I charge for, since they’re just a suggestion, there’s not a due date, and the person making the suggestion doesn’t have any editorial power over the image. Suggestors do not get a file of the finished artwork based on their suggestion, but they will be tagged on the related post when it goes up and given credit for their suggestion.

I also accept requests for work that benefits good causes; such as to raise awareness for a social issue, or to benefit a charity. If you’d like to get something done to benefit a cause or charity, but you don’t have much money, talk to me. I offer some very substantial discounts on my work, for worth causes .
-Disclaimer: I reserve the right to decide what I consider a ‘worthy cause’, at my sole discretion.

Comments/likes/reblogs

I love, love, love getting feedback on my work. Comments are always greatly appreciated, because it means you took the time out of your day to say something about a piece you enjoyed, and that means a lot. Seeing that people are looking at and enjoying the work that I’m putting out really motivates me to create more content for you all, and encourages me to keep working on and improving my skills.
If you really enjoy a post and you can take a few moments to leave your thoughts on it, know that you’re making this artist’s day in the process 🙂


 

That’s all the news for now – artwork will be back on Tuesday.
Thanks for sticking around, and I hope you enjoy what’s on the way!

Summer Dreaming

coverimgconcept1-16

Ah…. summer time.
I had music on the brain, working on Pirate Swing ’17, and decided I wanted to update my FB cover photo (prooooobably should’ve looked up the accurate proportions first. Oops.) This is the result. I’m very proud that I didn’t use any reference for this, and the people still look like people and not terrifying sausage demons.

I realize it’s been roughly FOREVER since I’ve posted, and even then it was a bit sporadic, and I appologize to those of you who’ve been waiting for work. Real life has been keeping me busy and tired and it’s kept me from posting as much as I’d have liked.

I DO have a backlog of work that I’ll be posting soon, so you shouldn’t have to be disappointed in me THAT much longer 😀

 

Enjoy, and I’ll be seeing you folks around 🙂

Doodle Dump 2015

One last post to close out the year, here’s a bunch of decent looking doodles from my tablet exploration.

More finished images and spiffy stand-alone sketches will be coming in the new year, so stay tuned 🙂


 

face

I’m not sure who this girl is, but I liked how she came out 🙂


 

annoyed woman

Random irritated lady is randomly irritated.


 

turkeyday

This was my Thanksgiving greeting that I sent to my family and coworkers in November. I thought it came out pretty nicely, personally 🙂

 


 

See y’all in 2016 😀

16022-illustration-of-champagne-glasses-pv

Nightmare Before Christmas – Jack and Sally’s kids

Just for fun, since I was on a bit of a Nightmare Before Christmas kick around Halloween, I decided to try my hand at designing a kid for Jack and Sally. That resulted in Polly, the girl on the left.

sally jack baby

Polly is built from part of a skeleton that her parents found and the rest is made up of rags using Sally’s expert seamstressing skills. Her hairbow has Jack’s skeleton grin in the center and her dress is a combination of Sally’s dress fabric and a version of Jack’s coat. The clasp on the coat is a jack-o-lantern.

Since I was having so much fun with Polly, I moved on to Albert, the second kid (in the middle). They had fewer bones left to work with when they built Albert, so they substituted a big lumpy pumpkin and some pumpkin vines for most of his body and gave him the jawbone and spine from the skeleton. His bow tie has Sally’s face in the middle and his hair is made of red yarn.

Last, because these things work best in threes, is Winston, the baby on the right. Winston is supported by a ribcage (the last of the bones left) and is basically a jack-o-lantern ghost with a rag-doll blankee for a body. His mouth is a zipper that opens and shuts whenever he wants to talk or eat. Winston is shy and likes to stay close to his parents and sibs when he can, and tends to hide behind them around strangers. He hovers a few feet off the ground at all times.

I may yet build full model sheets of these little folks and flesh out their accessories and backstories more, but for now, this is what I have.

Gargoyle Portraits

Back in September I decided, just for funsies, to start another Gargoyle portrait while I had a little bit of time on my lunch break, and had a lot of fun with her.
Of course, Emmy had to join me for my rooftop sit 😀

gargyoyleSelfie2015-darksky

After I showed it to Jason, he wanted to do one too, but had even less free time than I did, so while I was visiting him one Sunday afternoon, I drew one of him to go with mine 😀JasonGargoyle2015-noshd

Nothing to see here, just another commuter on their way to work.

Otters!

Whew, it HAS been a long time. Sorry to leave you all hanging for so long, but I’ve been busy as can be for months now, with work, ze boyfriend, moving, and all sorts of other stuff. (And since it’s a hassle to post from my tablet and my desktop was being difficult and buggy, I just didn’t post for quite some while, rather than fight with them.)

A quick status update before I give you some sweet pictoral goodness (and my best efforts to start updating more regularly again):

I still work at Bellevue College and so far I still really like my job. I am still dating Jason, and we recently rented our first place together (hence the moving).


 

otters

I drew these little otters to look like me and Jason, and my cat Emmy (the little grey one in the middle) because otters are adorable and we’re huge dorks that squee over otters pretty regularly.


 

And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about my friend portraits or my celebrity portraits, I just have a zillion things I really want to work on and a very small amount of free time to do it all in. I will totally be getting back on both projects soon, but life has been nuts lately. I anticipate slightly less chaos starting in January. Patience is appreciated 🙂

See y’all soon 🙂