Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Instagram Dump!

Howdy Blogger pals!

So, I'm in over my head with my Gallery999 Haunted Mansions Icons painting, a.k.a. the one I can't show anyone until the 17th of May (2014).  I bit off a lot, but I'm not going to say it's more than I can chew because it's coming along nicely, it's just taking a hell of a lot longer to complete than I had anticipated.  I thought a month would have been sufficient time to do the painting, but it wasn't and I'm now well into April and still plugging along.  Since I can't show any work in progress pics during 'real time' I've decided to do an Instagram dump so that you can see a few random things. . . of no importance relating to the painting.  Kind of.

Got some awesome tarot cards a while back to use as reference for the painting. They're a very small piece of the puzzle but well worth the investment. They're eastern european from the early 60's and simply gorgeous.

My work space, as usual. As you'll see below, I tried actually working AT a table with a chair and it didn't go so well. After two weeks at the chair I went back to sitting on the floor at the coffee table. The light was much better at the other table, but I pinched a nerve on the chair and missed sitting cross legged so I figured it was best to go back to what already 'worked'.

Although I'm not as confident as I was two weeks ago, I was thinking of making stickers of the little guy above for the Bat's Day Black Market on May 17th. I can show the progress of those, so once I'm done with "The Painting That Never Ends" I'll hopefully go back to regular updates!

Until next time!  Later.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Snail's Pace

Mini Snail; 2"x2.25" Gouache; 2014
Just when I started getting the blog updated semi regularly, I totally forget how long it takes to storyboard an episode during my day job, thus bringing any semblance of normalcy I had going in my posts to a complete and total standstill.  On the plus side I only have a week and a half (maybe two) left until my board is due, at which point I'll go back to doing revisions and have  little bit more time for personal projects again.  Which is AWESOME, but also a little bit of a bummer because starting March 1st I get to start production on my Bats Day/Gallery999:3 Haunted Mansion Icons painting.  Just like last year, though, I had to sign a confidentiality agreement that I won't show the finished painting until May 17th.  I am going to say a couple things, which I believe will not be in breech of the contract, and that is it will be Haunted Mansion related and feature more than one prop that you would see in the Haunted Mansion, but the Haunted Mansion will be only part of the story taking place in the piece.  I'm excited because it will be my most ambitious painting to date and feature quite a few 'easter eggs', but most importantly it will be the first painting featuring a new character that was created last year during the second set of the Monster Girl Drawing Challenge.  She has yet to be named but I will tell you that she has become the Boogervampire's "cool" older sister.

Mini Bat (Green); 2"x2" Gouache; 2014
I am also hoping to finish up the sketch for my epic Sushi Monster painting before the middle of next month as well.  That poor painting.  I started it in November and, try as I might, I've hit one road block after another trying to get it finished.  I'll post that drawing once finished since it's for a family friend and has no concrete deadline.  I just feel bad for our friend who's been waiting almost two years for it.

Mini Bat (Blue); 2"x2" Gouache; 2014
Lastly, at the Spook Show, or leading up to it, I discovered that people liked my little gouache bat doodles!!  That was kind of nice so I fiddled around some more with my new acrilya gouache from Holbien (bought two more tubes also) and did these two little guys over my long President's Day weekend last week.  It's been nearly 12 years since I saw a painting demo by Tim Biskup in character design class and I just now figured out that Holbien was the brand of Gouache he was using that day.  I've tried multiple times with my Windsor Newton gouache to try the stuff he was doing that day and it just didn't work right, but as soon as I tried it with the Holbien I realized what I was doing wrong.  

*I'd still like to note, the Holbien is awesome for doodling but I think I'm going to still stick to Windsor Newton for my big paintings.

World's tiniest Double Mats.  Pretty proud of myself.
Enough rambling, back to WORK!!  Time to kick this boards ASS so I can go back to doing 'fun stuff'!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2nd Annual Spook Show: Part 2

The Boogervampire and I thank everyone for turning out to the Spook Show and welcome any new followers!
The 2nd Annual Spook Show was this last weekend in La Mirada, CA.  I know I said I'd post teasers of items that were going to be there but work has been crazier than usual.  Hence the reason I shut the Etsy shop down until July.  And now I'm back into work, busy as ever.

I just wanted to do a super quick recap of the event.  Things went better than I anticipated.  Had the opportunity to meet up with some people I talk to every now and then online and get to know them a little better and meet a fellow artist I'd been admiring for a few years and speak with her for a while.  I also test marketed some new product ideas (cosmetics bags), sold a couple sets of the Valentine's and nearly sold all of my remaining 2014 calendars.  It was a great day and I got to sit right across from the hearse club so I got to look at pretty (and some not so pretty) hearses.

I feel horrible that I didn't get to talk to everyone that came by, especially Sarah from Pink Donuts Designs.  Both times she came by I was either helping someone or catching up with someone I hadn't seen in forever.  I hate disappointing people, or feeling like I may have, especially when it's someone you've never met in real life.  I hope she didn't think I was too rude.  :(

Anyway, here's a random assortment of me and my husband's Instagram pics of the event.  My episode deadline is rapidly approaching so I probably won't be able to post much until I turn my board in.  After I do I'll finally get back to my Sushi Monster painting.

My husband caught me during set up.  Of course I had to make a silly face. 
My fearless crew!!  Natasha Kline and the Hubby.  They are showing off all his fun purchases. 
Sold the neon heart bat to this lovely lady! 
Someone brought their replica of the Dragula out for the day.  The guy was nice enough to let Carlos take a pic in it.

I'll announce this here now though.  Remember how I mentioned I'm going to force myself to go out more this year?  Well, my "spring event" will be taking place in May!  I'll be returning to the Bats Day Black Market for 2014.  I won't be making any exclusive items this year because of my schedule but I will be participating in their Haunted Mansion Icons art show put on by Gallery999.  I've got something very subtile in mind for my piece and am pretty excited about it.  Unfortunately, as with last year's Gallery999 painting, I can't post any in progress or preview images until the day of the event.

For more information on the Bats Day event, history or the event, or activities for this year's event please feel free to visit www.batsday.net.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Boogervampire: Regarding Custom Orders

Hey Blog Buddies!  So I was required to grow a pair and make an announcement on all my social media platforms today.  As the Screen Cap states, I will no longer be doing customs.  After a year of flakey clients, and realizing how little time I have when I get home from work, I realized I'd much rather spend that time expressing my ideas rather than making someone else's "vision" become a reality.  That's what I spend my entire day doing.  I'm not whining about it.  I love my day job and what I do.  I wouldn't change it for the world.

I've chosen to explain here on the blog exactly how much work goes into some of the things I make, not to mention how much money, and in the end it will hopefully explain why I price some of my items the way I do AND why I get so angry/hurt/frustrated when people flake out of their promises to buy stuff.

If you follow me on Instagram I'm sure you've seen some of my "Work in Progress" posts.  (I even do them here from time to time.)  All of my paintings start with a thumbnail of my idea.  The idea can take anywhere from an hour to a month to figure out before I put pencil to paper.  After finding a thumb nail I'm happy with I do a blown up, final sketch which can take anywhere from an hour to 24+ hours to complete depending on the level of detail.  I then do color comps on my computer to try to figure out what colors will express the desired mood as well as making the characters pop off the page.  This step takes quite a while because I also try to push myself to try new color schemes and learn better color theory stuff.  This can also take anywhere from an hour to 12 hours to complete.  Once that's done then the painting starts.  Up until this point I usually don't spend very much money on supplies as I've already paid for my computer and photoshop and I have a surplus of left over animation paper from college and my sketch books, BUT when the painting starts I usually use Arches paper, which is not cheap, and occasionally have to replace brushes because of all the tiny details I do, not to mention if I run out of one of my primary colors (I actually mix my own paints instead of using strait out of the tube colors) and I wind up having to buy a new tube of gouache in order to finish the painting, then the money can start to add up quickly.  (Pad of watercolor paper $25-45 which works out to be $2.50-$4.50 per sheet of paper; brushes $6-$18, gouache $8-12 a tube.  Just incase you wanted to see the monetary break down.)  The physical process of painting (for the big ones) can take between 36 and 48 CONSECUTIVE hours to complete, sometimes more.  That's one full work week spread out over God knows how long.  Once finished I mat and frame my own paintings, but frames usually cost me about $30 and mat board costs me about $10 once you do the math and figure out how many paintings I can usually frame with one or two sheets of board.  On average I usually ask for about $300 for a super detailed 8x10 painting.  Believe me, I'd love to ask for more because I know that my time and work is worth it, but  most of the time I follow this rule of thumb.  I like to try to ask for enough to cover the cost of the painting's supplies plus give myself an hourly wage.  I know the audience that my work appeals to so I TRY to keep it somewhat affordable to them.  After deducting the money spent on supplies from the asking price and dividing that by the amount of time I spend working on the piece, do do you know what my 'hourly wage' works out to?  $3.50/hour.  Most of the time the paintings don't sell for $300 because I'm too nice or someone haggles with me to the point I get tired of them so I mark it down.  When that happens I usually wind up only making $2.50 an hour and that's IF the painting sells at all. So, non-artistic people, would you work for $2.50 an hour?  This is the reason why they call people 'starving artists' and also one of the many reasons I'm so grateful for my day job.

All the work I put into what I make, in addition to the love and care I put into it is why it's so crushing to have someone flake on a custom order.  I'm not 'internet famous' or 'real life' famous and I'm cool with that.  I have my own style and I paint things that aren't popular/trendy.  I don't do fan art and when I'm required to for a show I try really, REALLY hard to make it look different and avoid popular themes.  Does that mean my stuff is original?  Hell no.  I know that.  Which is why when someone enjoys it and asks for me to make special things for them I get soooo excited!!  I make those things with EXTRA love.

To wrap this up, if you've made it to the end:  NO CUSTOM ORDERS.  No custom paintings, no custom jewelry, no custom orders that require me spending money to have made over seas.  Maybe someday I'll change my mind, but for now. . . call me Grumpy Cat.  NO!!!

I hope to post art next week.  Give you all some teasers of what will be available at the Spook Show in a week and to show you the progress of my Sushi Monster painting.  I also hope that this came across as educational and enlightening as opposed to the typical "just another artist whining about how no one appreciates what we do" post.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2nd Annual Spook Show and a Little Demon

2nd Annual Spook Show; February 8th, 2014;  Halloween Club La Mirada, CA; 7-10pm
For 2014 I made a resolution to try to get out in public with my art work more often.  As many of my friends and family already know, I'm exceptionally shy and am happiest at home hiding from the world.  Unfortunately I think that over 60% of being successful as an artist now-a-days is getting out and being seen with your art, so, my days of hiding and hoping that my art will do all the work for me are now numbered.  (I know.  That's a little snarky and my math is off, but I'm also a cynical introvert with a mean sense of humor . . . so yeah.)  I did okay last year at Bats Day, emotionally.  I discovered that if I have a table between me and strangers I can be more relaxed and friendly (and the midori sour my non-drinking butt had didn't hurt either).  At the end, Bats Day 2014 was a very rewarding experience and I hope to do it again this year, BUT while I'm waiting for that, I am also making myself go out and do at least 3, if not 4, OTHER events this year.  One for every season.  :)

The first event, and we'll call it the 'winter' one is coming up February 8th, 2014 in La Mirada, CA.  I'll have a small table set up at the 2nd Annual Spook Show hosted by the Halloween Club.  Apparently it will be Zombie/Circus themed so feel free to dress up!  Since things at the 'day job' have been INSANE lately I won't have time to make anything new that's Zombie/Circus themed, but I'll be bringing my Bats Day set up with me so I'll have plenty of my sugar skull jewelry, prints, and original artwork with me, plus some of my newer items (cosmetic bags, coin purses and what cell phone cases I have left on hand).    Most importantly, or should I say, what I'm most excited about, is that I will have my last 6 sets of Devious Desserts Classroom Valentine's with me!!  So, if you missed out last year or you want to get another set, swing by and get them before they're gone.

the Boogervampire's Devious Dessert Valentines.  28 cards and envelopes featuring 4 different designs for $10

Check the Halloween Club's event page on Facebook for more details.  I'm sincerely hoping that the hearse car club turns out again this year.  I missed out on this event last year cause I had the awesome opportunity to attend a puppet construction workshop and I REALLY wanted to see all the old hearses.

This little guy will be at the Spook Show in addition to the Mothra Painting.  It's 2"x3" gouache.
In boring, artsy fartsy exploration news, I tried a new brand of gouache out over the weekend.  Well, new to me, anyway.  As I've mentioned in a couple of previous posts, I picked up some neon colored gouaches a couple of years ago.  I don't get to use them very often, but when I do I get SUPER excited.  Well, I noticed that when I'd go to use them with my Windsor Newton gouache and mix them the same way that I was taught to prepare my Windsor Newton gouache, it would get this strange white film at the top.  I tried not to think too much of it, but I noticed it seemed really thinned down and when the palette dried up it looked fine, but it just didn't set well with me.  So a couple months back, when I was at the local art store, I took one of the brand's fliers home with me and found out that this particular brand of gouache (Holbien, if you're curious) is actually an ACRYLIC based gouache.  I didn't need to add the water I'd been taught to add.  In fact, I didn't need to add the Ox Gall either, unless I wanted a higher viscosity!!  So I picked up a basic mixing set and sat down to doodle with them this weekend.  The durpey heart/bat/demon thing you see above was the result of that doodle session.  The paint truly does function like an acrylic.  It's thicker, and if you add ox gall it helps the paint flow, and even though it seems like its going to have crazy brush strokes, once it dries it's pretty darn flat.  Both the texture of the paint and the finish!  Pretty impressed.  Supposedly the color you mix is the color that dries and it's supposed to be a bit more durable with less bleeding than regular gouache.  I'm not sure if I'll be a total convert to the Acrylia Gouache by Holbien, but I'm definitely going to fiddle with it more once I'm on my next break from work.

So, to wrap this wordy and very art thin post up, if you live in Southern Cali, specifically Orange County, come get your dose of Halloween early on February 8th from 12-7pm!  While you're there, if you think of it, come see your pal the Boogervampire.  If you're lucky, I might even be having a panic attack and my husband will be applying Jam to my nose. (Yeah, that's an Alice in Wonderland/Disney reference.  So what!)

Sunday, January 05, 2014

A 'Lil Parisian Mishap

And the first painting of 2014 is here!  Technically this piece started back in December.  We had a charity art auction for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles at work for the Holidays and I wanted to contribute a piece of non-work related art to the event but a whole bunch of random things happened all at the same time and the painting got shelved.  It was a good thing it did too!

Originally this piece was supposed to be a companion piece to "'Lil 'Zilla's Wish".  It was going to have a similar color scheme as well as a similar theme.  The natural, woodsy color scheme didn't look  as nice though and during my winter vacation I approached the piece from a different angle and I think I'm happier with it.  Below you'll see the original daytime color scheme and the sketch.

Things have gotten a little crazier than usual over at the day job.  Next Season's American Dad episodes are in production and have a little more involved than usual so I've got a heavier work load.  Taking this into account I decided it would be best to close my Etsy Shop, the Crypt of DOOM, for 6 months (until my break between seasons starts).  As with my other shop closure times, if you need any of my more popular prints (Ice-Scream Social, He's So Dreamy and Truly Outrageous to be specific) you can pick them up at Halloween Town in Burbank, CA.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Thanks 2013 and Hello 2014!!

Every year I grow as an artist it's always amazing, and fun, to look back on the things I accomplish in 12 months.  2013 was a VERY productive year.  Above is a collage of all the paintings I was able to create thru the year.  It's honestly amazing to see them all in one image.  A close friend said she thought that 2013 was my most 'comprehensive year'.  I have to say, it definitely was full of stuff.

In addition to the paintings I also did some crochet and TWO different monster girl drawing challenges.  The second round of the drawing challenge was VERY productive and I can't wait to start introducing some of the characters I came up during that into my little monster's world.  This year I'd specifically like to maybe introduce the Boogervampire's older sister and Medusa/a little gorgon.

Here's to hoping we all have a productive, educational and interesting 2014!!  CHEERS!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Getting in the Spirit

Greetings Boils and Ghouls!

Not much to report this week, but at least I've done two posts this month (so far)!  I've got two gouache paintings I need to finish pretty quickly and since the last painting was acrylic I did this little Boogerbat to ease into the medium again.  It's kinda tough finding a background color that looks good with my dear friend the Boogerbat.  I kinda got married to the idea of him being a darker shade of periwinkle about 10 years ago and as much as I try, it just doesn't seem like him if he's not that color.

This is available in limited quantities for the Holidays over in the Crypt of DOOM!


Monday, December 02, 2013

Devious Dessert - Pink Donut

"Pink Donut Monster" 6"x6" Acrylic on Canvas; 2013

Hard to believe that it's been a month since my last post, or painting for that matter.

I went back to my day job the first week of November and it's taken a whole month to get readjusted to sleeping at night and trying to handle daily duties in the two hours before bed and on weekends.  I think this is the first time in a long time that I wish my break had been longer.  I'm overjoyed that I was able to pull off my goal of completing 6 paintings in my 3 months off but DANG I wish I had a week to chill before going back to the grind.

Enough whining!  Above is a commission.  I DON'T normally do commissions anymore because my free time is so scarce, but I have a patron in Canada that loves my Devious Dessert line as much as I do so I always jump at the chance to make a new one.  She requested a pink frosted donut after I'd made a mini painting of one for Pinkdonuts from Etsy and Instagram.  I figured it was a great way to use up an old canvas I had floating around, to practice some back lighting and to troubleshoot some color design flaws with the mini painting.  You can see what I mean for yourself.  The mini painting has the green background and is only about an inch and a half square.

"Pink Donut Study" 1.5"x1.5" Gouache; 2013
Anyway, I've gotten myself into another lovely bind.  I've promised three paintings (this donut was the first) all before December 20th and I've decided to take on some freelance storyboards.  Something tells me I'm going to be exceptionally tired for the next month.  Up next. . .  what else?  More monsters!  Hopefully I'll remember to post in progress stuff since they're not for shows.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Best Little Art Show In Burbank @ ELEU Salon

Greetings all!  First let me say, Happy Halloween and second, let me show off my new painting.  Although the show it's for isn't until the 9th of November, a severed head somehow felt fitting.

"Marie Antoinette's Severed Head"
4"x8" Gouache; 2013
That's right. . . "Marie Antoinette's Severed Head".  I wanted to have a whittier name for it, but everything I could think of was too long.  "Was the Cake REALLY Worth It?" somehow seems like a veiled political statement and "How Am I Supposed To Reach It Now" just doesn't seem right either.  So I'm just going to call it what it is.

The painting will be part of the ELEU Salon's Winter Art Show on November 9th, 2013.  The show is  called "The Best Little Art Show In Burbank".  Everything is smaller than 8"x10" and is less than $100.  Marie here will be $100.  When I receive a flyer for the show I'll edit this post and add it.  In the mean time check out the Facebook Event and the Salon's Facebook Page for details as they become available.

Once again, hope you all have a wonderful Halloween.  I know I will.  I'll be celebrating my First Wedding Anniversary by going to see Danny Elfman.  My inner Synchronized Swimming nerd is totally dorking out.  (Believe it or not, I was NOT introduced to Danny Elfman via Oingo Boingo.  When I was 12 my Synchronized Swimming coaches had purchased "Music from the Darkened Theater" and every routine we had that year was from the scores of Danny Elfman.  I then bought the CD and started collecting his scored works.  5 years later I learned about Oingo Boingo and became addicted to them.  I know, TMI, but I felt like sharing.)