Thursday, 28 November 2013

Snooping Around

Sometimes you just want to do the thing.

World's Biggest Liar 2013

So I came in third place this year. It was quite a departure and a risk that I took, so I'm glad it worked out, but I can't say I'm not a little disappointed I didn't take 1st. My opponents were clearly worthy however, and third is nothing to be sniffed at. Some recent reportage below.

Leeds Thought Bubble

Thought Bubble was great. In many respects it was much better than NYCC for checking out small and independent projects. I talked to quite a few people and picked up a lot of interesting stuff. I even got to meet Kate Beaton of Hark a Vagrant fame, and she did an awesome Macbeth sketch for me which I may show some time in the future. I'll probably be writing a little more about what I picked up at the con some time in the future.

Looking at a few of the projects on display got me thinking about a few projects of my own. Watch this space.

There are also a few other things that I want to talk about over the coming weeks, so I'll keep you posted on coming developments.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Art Trades Roundup 2013: Things and That Other Thing

So as I went through on the last entry, I've been pretty much demoralized about art trades over the last three years of trying them. I suppose I had this idea in my head that they'd all be fun and timely and make me loads of interesting friends and contacts. Alas, it wasn't to be, my arts been getting better, but it's still a long way to go, so I can understand why a lot of people may want to give me the brush off.

But whatever, I still got some cool art, which I'm going to run through for you now. All artists are credited and I recommend checking out their cool galleries. All characters depicted belong to me unless otherwise stated. If any of the artists object to having their work featured here then contact me immediately. Big thank you to all those involved.

First up is a scenic piece of my characters Danya and Bracken by Sharpiekan. This wasn't part of a trade itself, they just wanted a bit of practice and wanted to take some requests. I was pretty happy with what they ended up with either way.

Next up is Alrianna by Sonten. I really liked what they came up with for this one and managed to stick to the design pretty closely. I'd love to do an art trade with them again.

This drawing of Nero by Intissaria is actually for a trade we did last year. Better late than never, I thought it came out beautifully and managed to capture the characters personality better than I ever could. Nero belongs to my friend Jamie.

Psychoticking's side of the trade of Bastillion. I really like the dynamic angle of this piece, again really capturing the mood and personality of the character. No mean feat when he's masked.

This is another trade for something I'd done last year. To be fair I have to take a bit of responsibility for this one, since I was in a 'not doing anything until I get something in return' phase. Hellyacross finally made good with it though, with this pretty darn solid drawing of Lerissa, my friend Simon's character.

A slightly anime influenced take on Sofia by Monoklo. I think it works really well though, and can imagine a colourful cartoon version of her flying around the galaxy in her Spelljammer.

Another one of Jamie's characters. This time his invoker Cardia. I like how Wildjenmonster took the original idea and just ran with it, without making the character look overdesigned.

Finally a work in progress of Clchriskl's side of the trade of Trust and Megi. Still no sign of a finished version but I have been in touch and hope to hear back soon. I like what's been done so far anyway. Trust and Megi both belong to my friend Jonathan.

And that is that. I really like what I ended up with, but art trades can be a tiresome process with little returns. Like I said, I'm not sure if I have any plans for further trades in the future, most of my art from now on will be working on my weakest areas, that's in between writing projects too. On a happier note I'd like to say a thanks again to all the artists I worked with and hope you all have a bright and prosperous future.

See you fools soon.


Just a quick bit of news before we start this next part. My internet hardware is switching over tomorrow and I'm a little skeptical that it'll all run smoothly, so I just thought I'd update you on a few things in case it doesn't.

I'll be participating in the WorldsBiggest Liar 2013 at The Bridge Inn to defend my title on the 21st November. Tickets are sold out but if you're going to be in attendance I'll see you there. Good luck to all others fellow liars, I hope you're bringing your A-game this year because I know I am.

I'll also be in attendance for LeedsThought Bubble on the 23rd – 24th. It's my first year going there so I'm not sure what to expect. Either way hope to have a grand old time there anyway and hope to meet some cool and interesting people.

I'm still trying to get my first book published, sending off another bunch of submissions this weekend. I've also finished the first draft of my second novel, so we'll see if that goes anywhere also.

All other updates will be going through my deviantart, or one of my three tumblr pages (last one is NSFW, don't click on it Mum).

That is all, regular writings may continue.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Art Trades Roundup 2013: Nothing but a bunch of Yeah Yeah Yeah's.

Several years ago I decided that I would dedicate a chunk of the towards doing art trades. Being hardly the greatest of artists I wanted to get in all the practice I could and step outside my comfort zone, and at the same time see other people's own takes on my designs to better develop them and identify my own flaws.

For the most part this is what I got out of it, and certainly I've had some great experiences. For the third year running however, there has been a portion of the tradees who would never respond back. I would keep up my end of the bargain, always, and try my best. There were some who did get back to me who advised for a variety of reasons why they couldn't finish their end of the trade, and for that I am thankful that they contacted me. There was also people who never got back in touch, and while it's frustrating that this happened, I understand there are some things in life more important than an art trade.

I'd just like a bit of acknowledgment sometimes, you know?

Ultimately I've come to the conclusion that art trades only seem to be worthwhile for artists who have been long time friends online or artist's who are commission worthy enough that they can pick or choose their trades. As a result of this, I think It'll be unlikely I'll be returning to trades in the future.

Anyway, enough moaning. Here's the first half of the roundup, featuring my end of the trades. Characters all belong to their respective requesters unless stated otherwise.

Garnet for Sonten.

Character from Sonten's webcomic. I really like doing characters of different skin tones and Sonten's style was different enough that I felt like I wasn't just covering old ground. I've only had a chance to check out a little bit of their comic but It's interesting to say the least and well worth checking out.

Daniel for PsychoticKing.

A simple everyday person. I wasn't sure what to do with the background and I think I could have probably tried harder with that. Overall though I was pretty pleased.

Blastoise girl for CG-Crayon .

Humanised Pokemon character. I wanted to emphasize the strength of the water Pokemon's final state but I don't think I pulled the muscles off very well. This pretty much led into me doing a lot of muscle practice with I still working on at the moment. CG-Crayon hasn't done his side yet but he did have a pretty big backlog last I checked so who knows. The character is his creation but as you all know the Pokemon elements belong to Nintendo.

Red for Intissaria.

Another simple character for Intissaria who I did some work with last year. Again, no response on their end but they did make good on their last trade after a lengthy hiatus, and I know they've been dealing with some issues of late so I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

Bruce Banner for Wildjenmonster.

I can't say no to the chance to work on a Mark Ruffalo. Natuarally the character belongs to Marvel and Mr Ruffalo's image is his own.

Magician for Monoklo.

Quick nondescript character for Monoklo. This was another one of my attempts at trying something a little more dynamic. Because I suck at perspective I went for a pretty standard profile, which ended up making it a little less dynamic than I had planned. Still satisfied with it overall but it didn't archive what I intended.

Amelia and Cillian for Clchriskl.

Some nice romantic stuff. I was a little worried about doing this because it seems like an eternity since I've drawn something that wasn't f/f or m/m. In the end it turned out exactly as I wanted it and I'm really satisfied with what I did with the background. Clchriskl still has yet to get back to me with their end, they last posted a WIP months ago, but at the very least they've responded to my messages so hopefully something will turn up shortly.

And that's the end of part 1. I really wanted to do more trades this year but it was hard finding people that were interested in doing any. I even got turned down because someone said they didn't think my art was good enough to warrant a trade. Fair enough but wow don't worry about my feelings. Part 2 wrapping up all the artwork I got in return will be coming up shortly.