A Look Back at 2015

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2016 marks a new year for all sorts of shit. So here’s my reflection. I only chose a few images for every month, but I definitely made more. Anyhow…

2015 artA
January: furiously doing conventions to earn enough money to satisfy me for
Emerald City Comic Con
February: Reminiscing over Monty’s legacy, I drew a comic about it. And then finished my Street Fighter comic. Then started another comic.
March: Finishing up some pages and heading off to Emerald City Comic Con. I learned a lot of things there, and my perspective of my future drastically changed.
April: Internet harassers changed my life. I could barely draw. From this point, I stopped tabling, and felt ashamed to go to a lot of conventions.
May: Since I wasn’t tabling, I stopped stressing over which fanart I should make for the next convention, and draw fanart of series I personally liked, no matter how obscure. Oh, and practicing coloring technique.2015 artB
June: More practice. If you take out the color, the drawings look the same as the ones in January btw. So it was just color experimentation and methods here.
July: I remade some old drawings, and I used to love drawing chibis. Of course, because I wasn’t selling at artist alley, I didn’t really have incentive to post many. I guess I changed my mind. Then I went bonkers and made a crap ton after that.
August: Preorders for two anthologies and keychains came up around this time. Really crunching that stuff. I can’t really post the anthology stuff because that’d screw up the whole point of buying the thing in the first place =_=’
September: WORLD TRIGGER AHHHHH!!!!
This was when my twitter was flooded about World Trigger. I’m so sorry you guys…it’s just that the series is so great. This was also the time when I decided to try Crunchyroll’s ‘Fanart Friday’ series, and draw a weekly fanart of the theme (and trying to do obscure series/characters). You’ll notice from this month, the fanart is a bit harder to recognize. 2015 artC
October: I started experimenting different stuff. The Sio Ogura anthology came out, along with my keychains. Bob Ross streams on Twitch.tv are amazing.
November: I got a watercolor set and I really wanted to do more Sumi-e like artwork. Suddenly my art looked a lot simpler. Indivisible had a kickstarter and I tried my best to advertise it. I made a TON of chibis this month.
December: I finally got the parts to make custom nendoroids for my own enjoyment (yay another hobby!). I was incredibly generous this month, with a ton of handmade gifts, christmas cards, and other stuff.

__
2015 marks the year that I was harassed on the internet by strangers and anonymous, and I saw others get harassed as well. I also learned that although Artist Alley is very fun and friendly in real life, it’s incredibly hostile on the internet. I feel like tabling outside the state now.

Regarding the universe outside of mine, I am very disappointed in many people who have decided to make extra time to harass other artists and their work. You can’t draw some girls because their breasts don’t fit your standards of ‘normal’? Or the fanart isn’t representing the character’s original design enough? Even saw a petition to keep one artist from selling certain goods because it’s against their personal beliefs.

I’d like to defend a lot of these people, but I learned this year that anyone who decides to be a prominent speaker and defend someone (even themselves) will get shot down so badly on the internet. People on the internet are incredibly oversensitive these days, I’m probably offending someone reading this about being offended right now.

If it’s one thing I can pick up from 2015 that will guide me through 2016, it’s that blocking people and facebook groups that have way too much drama, arguments, trolling, and hate really helped me a lot.

Anyways, do you think I improved? Got any tips for me for this year? Critique? Anything you want to see me draw? Feel free to leave a comment.

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Arquebeous Dance: A Sio Ogura Fan Anthology

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So I’m walking out of conventions for a while to work on this project, which is called ‘Arquebeous Dance’. It is a fan-tribute anthology for a series called Nobunagun by Masato Hisa, which has a VERY small fanbase, but very dedicated fans nonetheless. Which is why I decided to join this project and contribute a small comic for it.

The project is dedicated to Nobunagun:

You can check the anime out here, but I recommend skipping episode six and seven when watching the first time around, which are filler episodes.

Also, you can’t deny this is an awesome opening for an anime:

[You can read chapter 1 and the three most recent chapters in the manga here]

Anyways, a large reason for participating in this project was that the manga isn’t sold in America! A friend lent the Japanese volumes to me, but even though I can’t read anything, I just look at the illustrations over and over to understand (although my friend does clarify some things for me). So I hope, when I finish this project, some of you would be interested in spreading the word around, and if there’s enough of a fanbase, some company might consider translating it :D

Arquebeous Dance is a fan anthology that revolves around the main character SIo Ogura. Since the anime was accurate enough to cut off at around volume 4, I decided to make my comic the branch between what happens at the very end of the volume, and what happens in the beginning of the next volume. That way, it’s not quite a spoiler, but a bridge to understand what the outcome for the future of the series will lead to.

These will be the only two ‘preview pages’ of the nine-ten page comic, but I will also be including 4koma comics, and other illustrations in it too!

(comic is right to left, and no text)

set1_finalA set2aIf you’d like to participate, please check out our tumblr for more information on guidelines, deadlines, and contacting us to be on the list! Deadline for open call of artists is June 1, but completion of art is in September! Also, please only participate if you’re a fan of the series. When you pour your heart into something you love, the work always shows, and we want our anthology to be all about that! Support the series, support Masato Hisa!

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Preview for Cogs Con

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Today’s not an article about ‘Angry Artist Alley’. Nope, need a break. Since I’m going to a convention myself this Saturday.

I’m going to a very small convention called Cogs Con in Sunnyvale this Saturday. You probably won’t go, but I wonder if people know how much time and work we stick on a single piece.

I noticed my incredible lack of imagination and skills of drawing anything that fits into the anime category. As my business was terrible the last few times I did this, my hopes aren’t really up at all. But just doing it will bring me back into the swing of it all for Big WOW when it gets CRAZY.

Anyhow, my little chibi thingies have changed a LOT. But I kinda like this even more simplified style. My favorite drawings I do are stick figure representations, but I don’t think anyone would be interested in that. So, being low on bristol paper three days before the convention, I took out my ‘manga trading cards’. I got them for free and because of all the words and lines on it I never touched it. But I found my way around that issue, so here’s a little hint:

04242013067

 

And if you didn’t know, a few months ago I threw a fit, took out a pair of scissors and cut up my old prints. So I started over, but all I could do were two images. The other pics are postcard prints. I wonder if people actually know how much time is spent on these things when they ask you to do a commission. Anyhow, here’s the marker process:

Finished pieces:

Matoko In Markers

 The Little Red Riding Hood

 

So stop by to check my table out! I have a new colored tablecloth, an actual stand, and I wonder what else!

***Bay Area Artists Unite is a art group located in the Bay Area. All books are limited print and contributed by various artists in the Bay Area every year. To take part in the yearly anthology, please go to www.baau.org and visit the ‘About’ link. Currently, they’re in need for some contributing artists, so if you’d like to contribute, they’re very open to it. You can purchase the following limited-print books here too:

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And you thought Copics could only do one thing?

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Ah, I was once given the question ‘why don’t you use watercolors instead?’
Well, I mean they’re cheaper and can do a lot too, but I guess the only answer I have for that is ‘because it’s different’

I am very angry and disappointed about kids who invest in these fancy Copics without even understanding how much it can do! I mean, I guess I used to be one, but my first set was given by my friends in highschool as a gift (they chipped in to get me a set! d’aaw). I’m gonna say a ton of tutorials online only show you how to do it one way, and well….there’s more than just a few ways to utilize a marker.

First off, recently I decided to invest in a copic aircan set. I got it because I saw some frames from the comic Dorohedoro that looked like it was airbrushed…then had the urge to copy that. For anyone interested, I highly do not recommend you buying it unless you’re REALLY serious about using it, not a noob, or dedicated to learning it. I especially want to emphasize the last one–some people buy copic markers because everyone else is using them, and find out they don’t really use it except to color spots on pictures or draw lines. Get it if you know what you’re doing.

And here is a tutorial about a piece I worked on, colored entirely with Copic Markers:

1. The first thing to any picture is to think of a topic and draw out the idea. For me, I was thinking of Ghost In the Shell, killing robots, cyborgs and just happened to be reading Battle Angel Alita as well. Anyhow, I started with the blue line pencil, because as any of you know, I keep losing my pencils and the color blue just happens to pop out of my pile of pens more than a pencil.

2. I used a dip pen to ink it. Yes, entire thing. Took an entire night and morning, but it was cool.

3. When I scanned it in, I realized the composition was POOR. But I kept going, because I knew I can just crop it to whatever size.

4. I colored in the girl, and started airbrushing (Copic Air Can, adaptor+ 180). I forgot to take a photo of me coloring the girl, sorry sorry ^_^’

MAKE SURE TO WORK WITH AN OPEN WINDOW AND A MASK IF YOU HAVE ONE!

5. As you can see, when you’re done airbrushing, it looks awful. BUT, don’t fret!

6. I smoothed out all black/blue areas with grey and more black markers, and the shadows tightened with the markers. I did not airbrush for this. I also didn’t show the part after this, but I had to go to the art store to get another can.

7. NOW you’re wondering ‘no way what the hell are you thinking? Well, I watched simple airbrush tutorials, and I remembered a demo that Edel Rodriguez did in my Illustration 5 class where he masked areas with Frisket and just rolled solid colors over it. Well, here I gave some color and depth, and then..

8. Ta-da! peel the frisket paper!

It ended up looking like this:

sweet, clean, and sexy.

Now, the final run.

9. Again, I put frisket paper on the thing again and airbrushed a peachy background (there was enough grey in it, I had to brighten it up a bit). Then I colored in the basic flag, but it was too clean for my taste.

10. I airbrushed some random colors, but it STILL looked too smooth. So I used my colorless blender, and made spots by just dipping the marker onto the flag for a few seconds. Usually that’s an awful thing to do with your images, but for this particular picture, I wanted that flag to look a little less joyful and a little more nasty. Also, it was blending in with the hair too much.

11. Well, done with the picture, and scanned it in. However, I mentioned the image’s composition is very poor. Plus, I needed to make this postcard size so I can print it at a convention. SO, the final picture ended up like this:

I was going to add some white highlights to it, but I kinda felt the dirty colors gave it a deep mood. I was thinking of adding texture to the saws, but I felt it would blend in too much with the foreground, so I didn’t touch it.

….and there you go. There’s more than one way to use a Copic Marker. Now if only the company could sponsor me…..

Some progress of marker work a year later:

 

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Fan Art is Fine Art! (part 2)

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A: “Whoa, you have so many markers! Aren’t they expensive to keep buying?”

B: “Yes. and that is why I only have about eight refills.”

A: “WHAT?! You can refill markers!?”

B: “Yes, but I only have six colors and black and colorless blender”

A: “so….you only refill eight markers???”

B: “I mix the rest of the colors. You know…like you mix to get green, or mix to get orange…..common sense.”

A: ……….omg I’ve wasted so much money buying them over, and over…..T^T

B: Well, you should have looked it up online. In fact, it’s 0n the website from the company who makes them -_-‘

 

Ever wonder why markers are so popular for comics? Me too. Well, I don’t have a pure explanation other than the incredible speed it dries in and the speed you have to train yourself to work in. Actually, when I ink enough, I would take a bathroom break for the color to completely soak in the paper and blend the colors together completely. Wouldn’t make a difference anyways, besides, bathroom breaks are quite enjoyable.

Gold Saw from “Black Rock Shooter” series. A well known anime, but not a popular character. I only like that series for the character designs and nothing else.

I never really learned much from looking at those ‘this is how I color with marker’ tutorials at all, so I had to teach myself. In this thing, you can see how much I screwed up in order to get the right color. Ended up okay in the end. Well, I hope i took enough photos to make a little more sense. More explanations at the bottom of this thing.

 

–THIS IS PART TWO—PART THREE COMING SOON!–

INK to MARKER

 Photos were taken by camera in  middle of the day, and I was too lazy to edit most of the photos. Also, as the markers are all hand-mixed and refilled, I doubt telling you the number in the marker will help you find the right color.

1) I have a very basic and light marking about where the darkest areas will be. In a bit, the color will lighten up and you won’t see it anymore.

2) You add in a basic color, and then you add a darker color over it. Pretty explanatory. Notice my lack of skills with all those streaks of markers left and right. No worries…yet.

3) Blue, violet, and cream skin were for the shadowy areas of the flesh. Later it will be absorbed into the paper and become a lighter tone, as well as being a base for the actual skin color. I added blue to tell myself where her hair was at.

4) Changed my mind and added grey. What a waste of blue marker. Then added a darker shade for the strands of hair. Notice I added a darker peachy color to the skin, and it’s slowly blending together with the blue skin colors underneath.  Also, it was time I made the ‘red’ of her armor stick out a little more, so I used an orange-red to saturate the armor as well as blend the shadows a little more. Notice how all the red streaks are gone?

5) Decided to change my mind AGAIN. Added black. Found my pen and whooshed some black strands too. I was questioning how the jacket (which also was originally black) would stand out as much as the hair. I added a dark blue.

6) Added black and grey to blend with the blue.

8) self explanatory. HAHA IT SAYS NUMBER 8 and i’m way too tired to change it.

 

NEXT UP: Marker-to-paper-to-paint-to-marker-to mask! :D

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Fan art is Fine Art! (part 1)

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A: “whoa, is this an original character?”

B: “Naw, it’s from some anime. It’s [insert name] from [insert series].”

A: “Oh, it’s fanart.”

B: …………

I see a TON of fanart all done on the computer. Why not take a step back? I refilled my markers, decided to do something a little heavier, and ended up spending eight hours on a piece of  fanart. Also, thought I’d post something of this theme to break up my normal work.

Gold Saw from “Black Rock Shooter” series. A well known anime, but not a popular character. I only like that series for the character designs and nothing else.

So, I decided to do a piece where I tried ALL SORTS of stuff, so let’s….EXPLORE!

note: I just used a camera in the middle of the day to photograph and too lazy to edit them like crazy.

 

–THIS IS PART ONE—PART TWO COMING SOON!–

PENCIL to INK

Many artists swear to keeping their pencil drawing as clean and perfect as possible before adding in ink. I don’t really like to keep my work super perfect looking, which ends up to lots of mistakes later. Well, for *those* mistakes, that’s why things like the trash can and Photoshop were invented.

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Black, White, and Roses

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The plot for my story is slowly warping in many directions, but is surprisingly going well. I have about 31 parts of the story, which I would assume to make as about 36 chapters. Only the plot line has been typed out, although only on first draft. I’m not sure if I want to do everything by hand, or on the computer. If I do it on computer, I don’t have to worry about messing up. And if I do it by hand, I can sell the original pages for a higher price. Maybe I could do both–print it on comic book paper and ink and color on top of it. Here’s a computer rendered image:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A young woman wakes up only to be puzzled about what is happening around her. The only clue is a trial that was held seventeen centuries ago.  It seems there are many who question her identity. Her greatest clue resides within her own memories, but what will it take to remember? A scifi mystery full of adventure, waiting to unfold!

The image is of Rose, the main character, in one of her middle stages of evolution, where she is able to defend herself with a biorganic rose vines; see I don’t need to make weird names when I draw comics, because it doesn’t even make sense either way, but if I was going to name it, It’d be ‘carbon glassite’ .  All the characters and most plots are loosely based off Alice in Wonderland/ Through the Looking Glass books by Lewis Carroll. 

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Things I’ve learned as a comic artist (since Image Expo)

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Okay, since my visit of Image Expo, I’ve been reflecting on what everyone said to me about their process of working. I am grateful I met a bunch of comic artists who really helped me out. I finally found honest answers to certain questions that have laid in the back of my head for months/years now. I’d like to share some with you.

 

Things to consider when making a comic (based off of what I heard in the con):

-The reason why there is a separate  artist for the images and the story is that the process of making the story is equally important, it is quicker, AND when doing the work in a limited timescale, it saves the effort of both parties, so that the process of creating each page is more efficient than having a single person do all the work (one person draws, the other is getting ready for the next page/chapter/etc for the artist to work on). However, there’s always bound to be disputes. But yknow, the artist is the artist, the scriptwriter is the scriptwriter.

-Yes, there really is a job for people that just to do the text.

-I was able to read a professional comic script (DAMN that binder was HUUUGE). Yes, people can be very very anal about how they describe each and every panel.

-Practically everyone uses computers for drawing the speech bubbles, the captions, text, and sound effects.

-If you don’t screw up your comic like crazy with whiteout, you can sell the original pages of the comic for even more cash. I think this rule only applies to anyone who draws on something like strathmore comic book paper where all the images were drawn on one piece.

-Channeling the shadows in the same direction that you’re reading the comic allows for better read in comics

 

 

 

WORK IN PROGRESS. I quickly stuck some text to make the picture make sense. No sound effects so you don’t really get it. More to come, but right now I need some nice comic texts for the sound effects. I want to try and hand-write the text. I think just typing it out is helpful to tell me what letters would fit appropriately for the shape.

 

When I started out this thing, I had NO IDEA what the hell to do. I mean, I’ve done really poorly done ones before. Hell, I’ve done it on pencil paper. But to do it so it looks like a professional piece of work, never. I think this looks…okay. I can see I need to work on backgrounds A LOT. Looking at SOOOO many actual original pieces of the comic from various artists at Image Expo has really been an inspiration to me.

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Comic panel sample

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working on a comic project…here’s a sample of ONE panel of the page:

 comic panel sample

Poke in the arm

          No, it’s not done with photoshop drawing. And no, I STILL can’t use my scanner (this is a photo taken with camera, and the levels were adjusted so it looks like the original piece.

This is done with black ink, and white gouache. Also used a paintbrush. So why am I doing this?

          My computer broke down, so I cannot use Photoshop to draw (my laptop burns up a lot when I work on it), I ran out of Vellum paper, so I can’t do a lot of effects with pen/ink/graphite, and my scanner doesn’t work. Not only that, somehow…I thought this ink was alcohol/water proof, but it’s not…so I can’t do some OTHER stuff on it too. So what do I have?

I scavenged my room, I have: one tube of gouache, a box of ‘spare nibs’, two pen holders, and three bottles of ink–two that bleeds through the paper (yea wtf man), and one that doesn’t but isn’t waterproof (called ‘drawing ink’ or ‘manga ink’). And masking tape.

So I can’t be a lazy artist now, I got to do it the old school way.  I guess it looks alright…although when I first started I had a completely different idea of how it would have been done.

If this ever gets published, I should thank Jonathan Wayshak for coming to class that one day for a demo in Barron Storey’s class, and giving out his ‘Toner’ comic for free all over the table. And that one assignment in that same class where we drew 50 thumbnails of a movie, and I chose ‘Dead Leaves’ and it was like…only 15 minutes of a fight scene.

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Howl of the Banshee

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Yes, I’m alive. Sorry I haven’t updated–I had no idea my thesis project would kill so much time in my life to the extent where I’m not using the internet as much. But just to prove to you all I actually AM working on my thesis, and *trying* not to slack off, here’s a work in progress. Currently I have 3 work in progresses that are about 70% or more already completed, and 1 initial sketch that I’m going to rip apart and redraw after taking some photos with a fish eye lens (I’ll post about this another time).

banshee
CLICK FOR FULL VIEW.

My thesis is about historical monsters. Well, I’d imagine they’d live throughout the centuries or so, and develop some sort of phobia. This one is of the banshee, with telephonophobia (fear of telephones). People with this phobia are afraid to speak or listen to the telephone because they are self conscious with their voice or don’t like to hear what will happen next on the phone. I haven’t drawn a telephone or burning house in the background yet, but you can probably see the horror in the banshee’s face, tee hee…

One of these days I’ll show you my oh-so-intricate process of making these pics. Let’s just start with “I use reference and draw from it.”

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