Saturday, August 28, 2010

Packing it in for the move

Let's make it official! No more bloggery until I'm in Savannah. (And maybe not until I've settled in a bit.)

I move Wednesday and I've fallen WAY behind in packing. Time to concede that I won't be getting any art done in the next few days. I have packed nearly all of my art supplies to remove any distraction I may have. It sucks and makes me feel bad, but the attempt at juggling only resulted in me doing a bad job across the board. Let's see if a refocused approach will get these tables cleared and bags packed. Three days left to pack and so much to do. Holy heck. It doesn't help that all I want to do right now is sleeeeeeeeeeep.

This whole moving thing is crazy. We're not even certain HOW my stuff is going to get to Savannah yet. I'm leaving that up to the family. They can figure it out! All I know is I'll pack as much key stuff as possible into my tiny, tiny Corolla. The rest will be transported by my brother, so I have to assume there's a high chance of it being consumed in a fiery wreck. I'm also not sure about what furniture is coming to me. As of now, the futon and bed are going to stay here so worthless bro has furniture and can deadbeat in style. This means new stuff for me! I think they want me to help pick it out, but I really don't care! As long as it's decent, I'm happy. Just show up at my door Thursday or Friday with a bed and futon. I don't want to worry about that right now! It's probably not the wisest approach to go the "surprise me!" method, but that's how I roll. The time for careful planning is over. PANIC PACKING IS IN!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another sketchbook defeated!

These sketches aren't fancy, but they are significant as they are the final sketches to fit in the latest sketchbook. It's always a good day when I finish one of these buggers!

Usually, I like to go and do a "best of the rest" and share some sketches that didn't make the blog, but there wasn't much for this one. Most of this book was already-seen prep sketches for comics and commissions, with some character grinding mixed in. By "grinding" I mean I pick a character and draw them over and over with increased speed to test my muscle memory. It's good practice, but the results aren't really publishable.

In the end, there were very little "for the heck of it" sketches in this one, which is both good and bad. Good: It means I've been working on the main stuff instead. Bad: Without those sketches, this blog suffers. (I assume I will have more sketch time once this stressful move is done. Plus, the school thing will force me to sketch!)

I do need to get into the habit of sketching again. It's always good to get an hour of drawing in a day, and I used to do that and more! What changed? Well, focus shifted to the BIG STUFF. If I'm comicking every day, I might not be sketching too. A better balance must be achieved.

Now, if I'm sketching, that's almost a bad sign because I'm not being actively productive. Sketching has turned into something I use to burn off nervous energy. If I can't get my brain in order to do something productive, I will pull out the sketchbook and try to whip myself into shape. The crazier I get, the more sketches are made! Thus, me saying that I'm already four pages into the new sketchbook should be taken as a bad sign. I AM SUPPOSED TO BE DOING A BILLION OTHER THINGS RIGHT NOW! I move in less than a week and I'm doing studies on Bud's ears? Priorities, Chrispy!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Grrl Power

Ta-dah! I finished something! (Pending approval, of course.) It only took a MONTH longer than normal. Obviously, this was due to the move/grad school panic - and commission man knew it would be delayed going in - but I still feel bad it took this long.

Now I move on to the long-term Dionne/Autumn commission. I'd like to get it done before I move, so that gives me a week to finish it. NO MORE EXCUSES, CHRISPY!

On west coast time, I'm good!

Bad: Missed the midnight deadline. Good: Because I was working a commission! This bugger is taking far longer than expected. Colored pencil takes time. Having to use several layers of colored pencil for each section increases the time fivefold! This is why shading is evil! I'm never doing it again! Ok, so it's not just shading. I also don't have a good variety of brown pencils, so Suzette requires a lot of blending. (I went out and bought a ton of gray pencils though, so any Yvette/Max commissions are covered now!) Hey, she did come out looking nice, though! I wish I had time to finish up the background and lettering areas, but bedtime comes too soon.

No promises on finishing this tomorrow! While it will be nice to get one commission out of the way - if only so I can officially pack my art supplies away - I have plans. It all depends on if I can get a good night's sleep tonight. Those things are hard to come by!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This page is the key to the future. Maybe.

Yes, yes, I know I should be working on commissions today. I finally got my comic buffer large enough to cover my move and that means the only art things holding me back ARE those commission. BUT, there is one complication: I AM A ZOMBIE! I pulled an all-nighter last night to help reset my wayward sleep schedule and that means I am completely worthless today. This is bad news on many fronts, as I had lots of errands to run today too. Oh well, THAT'S WHY WE HAVE TOMORROW!

So anyway, I had to do *something* today to kill time while I wait to collapse at a suitable hour. At one point I chose to take out my weariness on the sketchbook. It just so happens that the current Precocious arc's scripting is hung up on Yvette's entrance. I could go a few directions with it. The *fun* route involves dragging her entrance out over a few days, but I'm getting very paranoid about how long this arc is taking to develop. (Things move so slow when only going MWF!) The efficient route is to just plop Yvette in there over the course of one strip. The compromise route is to make the extra strips into vote incentives, I guess. Point is, while I debated my pacing I began drawing Yvettes.

As I draw, I start thinking about other plot points and how the arc is going to play out. Right now, it's wide open. I know where it's all going, but I'm uncertain as to how long it will take to get there. Obviously, I've been taking my dear sweet time so far - and something tells me it's pissing people off. This pacing works when it's daily, allowing me to see all the sights as I go, but when three strips take a week I HAVE TO MOVE FASTER. Right?

When I have some difficulty with the sketching, I realize I have to nail down at least one important plot point. I go through all the permutations that had been in my mind before and I reject them all. So I look at one sketch, think about what it takes to make it possible, and ideas start to form. INSPIRATION! Suddenly a throwaway gag has turned into a plot point! Ideas are pouring out of my pencil as I jot strip idea after strip idea down. At the end of the session, I have potentially added a MONTH to the length of this arc, assuming MWF updating. Even better, this plot point provides the perfect transition to the NEXT arc. Victory!

Or is it? I love this new plot point (in my weary brain dead state, at least) but wasn't the point of sitting down to script to MAKE THINGS MOVE FASTER? This drags the birthday party out for potentially another month! What do I do? This plot point isn't *needed* to advance things, but it could have great long-term payout. On the other hand, I don't have anything solidly scripted for the main party, so I could just gloss over THAT in a "I can't believe it was so uneventful" letdown way. That's totally lame, but it could save a few awkward weeks.

The plan right now is to use the little free time I have over the next two weeks to script as many party strips as I can, so I can sort through and pick the best of the best when it's time to produce again. (It could potentially give me some bonus vote incentive strips as well!) The arc might still take forever to finish, but I'm hoping people won't mind if the comedy increases. Granted, I have no idea what you guys actually like, as my favorites and your favorites rarely coincide. Ahhh, I don't know! I'm so scared of losing everyone with my MWF update schedule, I second guess every strip!

Ugh, I'm rambling because I'm so tired. At least I'm blogging. I might even blog again tomorrow! With commission progress. (OH GOD I HOPE SO.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

The new equality

Matthew Dawson, my former colorist, offered to fix up my poster with his immense coloring/composition talents. Looks better, doesn't it?

Of course, now I have a predicament. How can I offer this image as a donation incentive now if someone else worked on it? I'll have to buy him out!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Here is a digital mock-up of the Suzette commission. Soon to be available in poster format? I'm rather pleased with how this came out. I did my best to imitate the original Rosie the Riveter design.

If I want to make mini-prints of this, I'll have to play with the format a bit, but there's potential there. Don't know *when* the playtime will come, but at least I have all I need there in a Photoshop file!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The slow process of packing

Behold: Minimal progress!

I am slowly packing up things for my move to Savannah, and it's driving me mad. THIS is why I haven't had much to show here as of late. The more I "clean" the bigger the mess becomes! I have to pull everything out first, before I can start putting things away. It's also been a sobering reminder that I AM A GODDAMN SLOB. So. Much. Trash.

I have a few weeks left to finish sorting through 15 years of memories and crap. Wheeeee.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Power to the progress!

See! I haven't forgotten my commissions! I have just become VERY VERY SLOW at getting them done. Blame the stress of a life in transition. This is the month I need to pull myself up from lazyland and become the Savannah production dynamo! For some reason, getting back into my old rhythm has taken far longer than expected, but it'll happen. I've got 30 days to pull it together and knock everything out. THIS CAN BE DONE!

So here we have the ink version of Suzette as Rosie the Riveter, ready to receive her coloring. If approved, the next step is to figure out what nifty saying will accompany her and how it will fit into the composition. Any ideas?