I submitted the 6 pieces that I finished last year to Infected by Art to compete for inclusion in issue #8. It was my first time submitting to them. A lot of my friends and fellow artists also submitted. There was nearly 2000 entries! The judging is done and all of the entries have been decided for inclusion. I didn’t make it in this time.
I am impressed by the the number of views that I got and the statistical data that’s being collected. So far there have been 260 impressions with Ying the Bohol Sea Queen getting the most impressions at 58! Tamaska-Ahas was second at 50 imprints! I’m glad that I took the chance to try this. I’m already planning my entries for the next issue!
To all who entered and didn’t make it in, congratulations on taking the chance! You’re in good company! To everyone who mad it in a huge congratulations to you all!
I’m starting a new topic blog that I will add to from time to time, more likely as the subjects come up. This will be where I share lessons I’ve learned along the way, techniques I’ve picked up or improvised with or circumstance that affect the creative process. You are welcome to comment and share any relevant posts either here or on social media. My wish is that this becomes interactive and informative! The first installment is below.
1st Topic: How Is Your Support System?
This subject comes up often in groups. Today it was more direct. Before I elaborate I want to get these questions out to you for your perspective. How is your support system? Are you getting the moral support that you need to help you pick up that banner and fight on? If so, please describe how you found it and tell what you do to reinforce that relationship. If not, please share how you recharge the will to push through the obstacles so you can move forward. Are there other forms of support that you have in your creative process? If so, can you describe what it is and how it impacts your creativity? In most cases it will be obvious but for the uninitiated this could be the creative lifeline they need to get to the next level.
I often run in to the situation where my vision and long term goals don’t mesh with others around me. Many people expect to see immediate results. If there’s no apparent progression they want to abandon the goal for something more secure. “This is a commodity and needs to show profit!” Actually, this is a long term investment that matures over a period of time. “When will that happen?!” It really all depends on when like minded people find the work and you interesting enough to want to be a part of it. It may take a short time or it can take years. To be honest, it can take more than a life time or not at all.
The question at this point needs to be,”Why are you doing this?”. If you’re chasing fame and notoriety you may find it but more often you won’t ever get the chance to see it. It’s a pipe dream. So, why do it? If you create then you know the feeling of being compelled to to bring things to life, into the world. For some, it’s a drive that can’t be ignored. Pouring ones being into something that speaks strongly to them is a very powerful experience that not everyone gets to be a part of. The higher version of this is when you raise a child up to become the person they are to be. This also happens when you mentor someone to bring them up to a new level. It’s very similar.
Why would anyone put themselves through this if there’s no guarantee that there’s any form of reward for all of the hard work? “Why not just create the things that are easy sales like impressionistic paintings, still life, animals or portraits? People will buy those?” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with creating any of theses, if that’s what you are compelled to do. I’ve actually even tried it for the sake of sales, because it’s what was selling. Except that mine didn’t sell….. at all…. It was because I didn’t have passion for that type of work. My vision is in Fantasy Art. I love the whole illustration process and making new creatures.
I feel there is so much storytelling and so little time to tell it. It will be done through images, illustrations of the world I’m building along with the creatures. I feel that they need to be presented to the world so that everyone will know their stories. The point to this is that it requires conviction to the work you want to create. Sticking to it all the way to the end for the sake of the story and the creations is the reward. Everything else can come after.
What’s your experience? Has your path brought you to this same point? Or, have you arrived at a different place?
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.
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!
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.
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.
Twenty minutes or less videos to start production on this site and Patreon.
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,
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!