Posted on Leave a comment

Updates #1

I thought that I would share some updates with you! I’ve been more quite lately and I can finally tell everyone what I’ve been up to. Most importantly for the last few weeks I’ve been designing and hand crafting anniversary cards for my wife and daughter. (Yes! Our daughter has participated in every anniversary since she was born!) photos and videos of the cards to follow in a different post.

Grotesque Moi!

  • Illustration number seven is still in process. I plan to continue it to completion. There are another six illustrations lined up to make the first set of thirteen.
    • I had to rework parts of the background and struggled a bit with the main figure.
    • It’s still on the schedule for completion.
  • Commissions are still open for Fantasy Creature/Monster Portraits!
  • Future Plans:
    • A calendar of the first thirteen creatures is to be designed and offered either in the XT Illos Store or through an on demand print site.
    • Three more waves of thirteen creatures to be created.
    • A new calendar is to be created at the end of each set of thirteen creatures.
    • Eventually there will be four calendar options.
    • Fifty two creatures to be combined in a card set to be offered on a crowd funding site.

XT Illos

  • Grotesque Moi! to continue production.
  • Ba’anta world building development to pick back up.
    • Some of the creatures developed in the Grotesque Moi! project will be representative of the races in Ba’anta.
  • Visual novel with Creative Idiot E to begin development.
  • Patreon promotions to be ramped up.
    • Exclusive content from Grotesque Moi! is already available.
    • Free original content reference videos are already available.
  • Art Markets/Cons Vending results year one.
    • Art markets have had very little flow of people attuned to my style of work and no revenue for my illustrations.
    • Cons have had a good flow of people interested in my work and the revenue was barely better than the art markets.
    • Increase con vending over the next year and try bigger cons.
  • Overall production to slow down.
    • Revenue is currently to low to support projects.
    • Part time schedule to resume to allow hours for non-art work.
    • look for more art revenue options for current XT Illos lines.
  • Test other optional lines.
    • Special occasion cards test market.
    • Offer special occasion cards in XT Illos Store.
    • Grotesque Moi! stickers test.
  • Video Production
    • Twenty minutes or less videos to start production on this site and Patreon.
      • Process Videos
      • DemoVideos
      • Promotional Videos
Posted on Leave a comment

Family

I felt an update has been long overdue. I’ll start with this. It’s been a few weeks since my mom passed. Earlier that week I found out that my dad has cancer in his lungs and lymph nodes. Smoking cigars is what brought this on. He started his first of 3 rounds of chemo and radiation last week.They had been divorced for more years than they were married. My dad had remarried. My mom didn’t.

I credit Edgar Rice Burroughs for instigating my desire to create fantasy art. Long before this my dad introduced me to his hero’s. The stories about Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Hop Along Cassidy, Lash LaRue and the Lone Ranger are his favorites. We would watch the reruns on tv. We would catch Star Trek, Superman, Batman, the Green Hornet, the 6 Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman. Favorite Saturday morning cartoons were Hercules, the Roadrunner, Speed Racer and Astro Boy. My brothers and I learned to love these great stories.

I get creativity from both sides of my family but the stories of the fantastic come from my dad. His side also gives me musical abilities which my daughter gets to explore in college and maybe even a career. We get more than our last name from my dad. As I mentioned it an early post, he made us the first generation in our line to pell out name as Thaxton. Another interesting thing is how much he wanted me to go into the sign business. Funny thing is that illustrating is somewhat like designing signs. You help others visualize a concept in both.

Thanks, Pops, opening this fantastic world for me,

Posted on Leave a comment

A Great Loss

I’ve had a lot going on, lately. With work and my art, its been tough to squeeze out time to create. My daughter and I began our yearly adventure at Dragon Con.

Friday night after I got off work we went to pick up our badges with a close friend of hers. After getting the badges we decided for them to checkout a K-Pop event. My phone has been giving me problems lately. The map wouldn’t function and I was getting calls that either wouldn’t open, wouldn’t connect, drop calls or failed messages.

When I got a better signal my wife was able to get a message through. Someone was knocking at our door at home but it was late and she didn’t want to answer while she was by herself. Shortly after another couple of messages came through.

The last one was telling me that my Mom had died. We left immediately.It was so hard to keep it together all the way back home. I waited to tell my wife and daughter until we were home together.

It was very difficult to keep everything together. We were able to get to her house and see her before they took her. Her health hasn’t been good but this was a shock for us all.

The thing is we were going to visit on Monday to talk to her about my father recently developing lung cancer. This has been the hardest week of my life.

This is one of Ma’s proudest moments. In 1983, when I graduated high school, Ma also graduated with her GED.

Posted on Leave a comment

Latest Updates 1

I thought I would update you guys on my current status on my projects. Before that I wanted to ask a question of you:

When you don’t have your materials redily available, what do you do about creating?

My position on this will be explained within this post.

Here I am working on a very long term project, “Relative Perspective”. (I plan to share the whole journey once it is finally finished.) I’m having breakthrough after breakthrough and making good progress, for this project. I find myself delayed, again. It’s not from any issues with the work.

As I have mentioned before, having a portable art tool has been a liberating benefit. My daughter is enjoying the benefits with her school work. Because she has assignments due, the tablet is spending time with her this weekend, again.

Luckily I have traditional work to continue. I was able to get some sketching done last night. I plan to bring that journal with me out today so that I’m making progress. As much as I hate multitasking and it’s horrible side effect, symptoms of procrastination, at least one of the projects waiting in the cue gets attention, today.

I’ll have to remember my mindset when I can resume “Relative Perspective”. I hope my daughter does great! I’ll keep plugging away on the other work.

Posted on Leave a comment

Illustrating Coins 03042018

www.youtube.com/watch

Hey Guys! Here”s my first video uploaded on YouTube! I’ve still got to create banners but I think it turned out OK for a time lapse. I’ll be doing more of these along toe way! Thanks for viewing!

Posted on Leave a comment

A Quick Update Part 2

So, to update on the IPad Pro tablet with Procreate. I’m enjoying the freedom to take my work anywhere and be able to work immediately on a project. It’s a very useful tool, especially that I can create right on the screen!

It’s so beneficial that my daughter is finding great uses for it! She had not fully adopted it, yet. I’m glad that we got it and it is helpful to her, too. I’ll get to working on my project when I can. Until then my daughter is working away with it!

Posted on Leave a comment

What’s Been Happening? 

Hi everybody!

I thought I would ask you what’s happening in your world. Aside from the recent holidays, what events are influencing you? Is there great positive things going on? Maybe it’s not so positive. It’s ok, you’re welcome to share that, too. 

Many of my friends are gearing up for this year’s convention circuit. Either submitting work, getting notifications of their submissions or preparing for an upcoming convention. 

Some of my friends are dealing with tough life events. Physical or emotional pain has entered their lives. Stress in dealing with these situations, trying to erode their peace of mind. 

For myself, it’s a mixed bag. For the negative side, problems from a old injury have come back on me. Sometimes there’s pain for days, even weeks. My real world paying job is affected because of this. I’m stressing over where my future is going. What about my family? How will I continue to be able to support them? Will I return to having constant pain? How much this is triggering my blood pressure and depression. A lot of heavy things.

On the positive side I’ve celebrated 20 years of happily married life with my wife! Both her and our daughter are my whole world! I’ll be turning 54 soon. I’m reworking a piece of fantasy art that was started as a pencil sketch in ’96. I’ve posted progress photos of it before here, “Relative Perspective”. I’ll post updates of it later.

Here are some photos from before: 

I hope all is well with you and your world is great! If it’s not, I hope you find a way to get peace and balance. May the right side always win.

Posted on Leave a comment

New for the New Year 2018

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your holidays! Hopefully you have plans for something great this year! 

I’ve got a new project that will need your help! More about how that will work in the upcoming posts! I hope to roll parts of it out in stages this year. I’ve been sneaking out images of the plan, recently. It’s focused around the fantasy self-portraits I posted before and some creature drawings. Like this Lupine-Naga:

For now, here’s to many great things for you in this New Year! 

Posted on Leave a comment

Side Note

Hi all! I’ve not been posting as often as I would like. I feel that I need to share with you whats going on. I’ve purposefully kept personal things out of my work. While they affect the outcome, I was always told to keep things professional. I’ve realized it is not really possible to separate these things. all of it goes into creating. It’s part of the emotional influences. We create from our heart more than anything.

Frogman 1 process sketch 1

I’ve had problems with my health for a while. for the most part nothing so life threatening. Just things to make some days more difficult. lately there has been more of the difficult days. This has caused problem with my day job because of having to be out so much lately. Being able to pay the bills is important to me. My family is my highest priority.

Frogman 1 process sketch 2

To depend on my greatest skill for support is my ultimate goal. I love creating images for stories. To show people the things I see is a great ability. I look forward to doing this forever or at least as long as I can. I guess to be able to do this and survive, I need to find an audience that will buy my work.

Frogman 1 process sketch 3

What I guess I would ask of you is to please share my work. If you would like to purchase my work, prints or commission something please contact me to discuss arrangements at richard.thaxton@xtillos.com.

Frogman 1 process sketch 4

May we have many more fantastic adventures in the future.

Frogman 1 process sketch 5a

Posted on Leave a comment

An Artist’s Journey 

 

Part 3

Because it’s been a part of my art for most of my life it seem like a good time to explain my signature and current web name.

XT comes from my family name, Thaxton. My father’s name was Thackston until he went into the Air Force. His original documents were burned in a courthouse fire. So when he got new documents he changed the “cks” to “x”. So my brothers and I were the first generation of Thaxton in our family.

When I was a kid, learning about art history, I found out about signet rings that was used to stamp the wax sealed communications. I was very intrigued by the double signet. I played with different forms until I figured out a modified cursive lowercase “xt”. When it is flipped over the “Rt” is there.

XT Logo 07062013

Long before created anything, I started incorporating this signature in my work. Many times it would be hidden in the work. I’ve used this with almost everything that I’ve created. If you happen to have one of my older pieces let me know if you found the hidden signature.

New Logo Small Image 02052017

I got a chance to play with jewelry making while I was in Merchant Marine training. Because I was able to test out of math class, I got to take a couple of electives. In the jewelry class I got the chance to finally create my signet ring. This has been used to put my maker’s mark on 3D that I’ve made.

 

XT Illos is my current web name for the illustration work that I’m creating. Fantasy Art is my favorite genre. I also create logos and tattoo designs under XT Illos.