Posted on Leave a comment

New Things for the New Year: Part 3

Posting here first before it goes up on other social media! This is a new video ad that I made for my work for Grotesque Moi!. Everything (including the music) was created by me! If you like my work and want to own a part of it, there are different levels of prints and commissions available here on my website shop. Patreon is another option where you can support at any tier.

As a reminder, please support your favorite artist. It’s easy to assume that they’re ok especially if they’re producing work. Many are struggling because they are not able to make their normal income from conventions and art markets because of the world situation with COVID19. Financial support is best of course but you can help in other ways. Likes, comments and sharing helps bring their work to so many others.

Thank you for being there to help us through a difficult time!

Posted on Leave a comment

New Things for the New Year: Part 2

I mentioned before that I have some new things planned for this year.

The first new thing is a plan to create coloring pages of the original released art!

The original line drawings will be converted to ink line drawings. The scenery and creatures / monsters will be simplified to make them more appropriate for coloring pages. The pages will be made available for digital download by purchase through my store here on my site!

Next is new watercolor art of all of the released art!

It starts with the ink drawings from the coloring pages! Using watercolors, the images will be brought to life!

Follow that with stickers!

The creature / monster watercolor art will be converted to stickers! This means the scenery will be removed giving the creatures / monsters a chance to really shine. There will be two sizes to choose from! Sets of three will be available for purchase through my store, as well!

How do you feel about stuffed toys?

Grotesque Moi!’s released creatures / monsters are on their way to become a bigger part (ok, a little bigger part) of our world! I’m working on the basic form designs to turn the released creatures / monsters into really great stuffed toys! You will be able to carry your favorite creatures anywhere with you! There will be one size for most of my creations available for purchase in my store, too!

The Grotesque Moi! illustrations will continue!

More Grotesque Moi! illustrations are on the way! The first one is close to being finished! there is also two more ready to start!

Show!

The show season is well underway! We have applications out to some of the bigger ones and waiting to see if we get in to them! Meanwhile, we are lining up events, markets and shows! Keep an eye out for where we’ll be next!

Posted on Leave a comment

Contest: Infected By Art #8

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.

Ying the Bohol Sea Queen
Puddle Sprite E

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!

Tamaska-Ahas
Uila

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!

Sal-Broga
Id

Posted on Leave a comment

Creator’s Lessons #1

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.

(C) 2020 Richard Thaxton, XT Illos

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?

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!