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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?

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Grotesque Moi! #13 Project Update

Here with your latest project update! I decided to do things a little different this time. It’s time to bring the guys in. I’m starting with one that I’ve been excited to create the finished illustration ever since I created the pencil sketch! ”This is a Lupinenaga:

To learn more about these powerful creatures check out my Patreon and support at one of the tier levels. Each released creature has details and a back story there along with downloads of some of the original sketches for my patrons.

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Grotesque Moi! #8 Project Update

Hi, everyone!I wanted to give you an update on Grotesque Moi!. Also, please check below the image for some questions I have for you. I’m working to get the final touches completed on the second illustration. I will publish it as soon as I have approval from the commissioner. I’ve set the feature image as the sneak peeks that I posted previously. I’ve found that the image is not being displayed in social media when I put the project banner as the feature image. I want that image to show before the Grotesque Moi! banner for you guys so that you can see how things are going.

Sneak peeks of the second Grotesque Moi! illustration.

The questions I have for you are related to Patreon. I’m relaunching under the Grotesque Moi! campaign. First, would you be interested in supporting me there? The plan is to only have a couple of tiers for support one for US$5.00 and another US $20.00. At the first tier would the reward of a digital download of 2 digital/pencil line drawings that you can develop however you want or a process video for one of the completed images? At the second tier, how does both the first tire options plus a digital copy of the previous months final image for you to make your own print sound?

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Grotesque Moi #4

Hi all! I’m stopping by to give you an update on our project. The first illustration is coming along nicely. Hopefully by this time next week i will have the finished piece along with the permission to show it and sell prints!

The two images below are a small sample of the atmosphere of this first piece.

I hope you guys are intrigued by these little views of the the first Grotesque Moi! image!

Grotesque Moi! is an illustration project that involves you the fan and collector in the finished image. Your are in control of the the creature and how much of your image is represented in the final piece. If you aren’t sure what you want but definitely want to be a part of this fantastic project, I can help you come up with the details. This is a by commission project. For more details please check in Grotesque Moi! #2 and in my Store Front. Also, Before purchasing a tier, please contact me by email to go over the contract. Once it is complete you will be able to purchase the tier and begin the illustration process. Richard.Thaxton@xtillos.com

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Grotesque Moi! #2

Welcome to Grotesque Moi! An Illustration project with you the fan and collector in mind. Inside you will find yourself transformed into your favorite fantasy creature! As your guide and illustrator, I will help you find the best hybridized image of yourself as your fantasy creature. When completed you will receive your illustration digitally printed on a 16″ x 20″ canvas ready for you to frame. Each completed purchase of a tier will set aside a block of my time to create your fantasy creature illustration. Below is a breakdown of each tier.

Please Note!

Before purchasing a tier, please contact me by email to go over the contract. Once it is complete you will be able to purchase the tier and begin the illustration process. Richard.Thaxton@xtillos.com

Tier 1

First level commission for the Grotesque Moi! project. The business contract will be negotiated before any work starts. This work will be produced through a digital media painting method. This canvas will be illustrated vertically. Character is in a full body illustration.  The background is subdued in a slightly out of focus vignette style. Completed purchase will include one 16″x20″ canvas print of the illustration, one 8″x10″ glossy stock print of the illustration, one glossy stock XT Illos/Grotesque Moi! postcard and one glossy stock XT Illos/Grotesque Moi! business card. 

Tier 2

Second level commission for Grotesque Moi! project. The business contract will be negotiated before any work starts. This work will be produced through a digital media painting method. This canvas will be illustrated vertically. Character is in a full body illustration.  It has minimally illustrated foreground and background. Completed purchase will include one 16″x20″ canvas print of the illustration, one 8″x10″ glossy stock print of the illustration, one glossy stock XT Illos/Grotesque Moi! postcard and one glossy stock XT Illos/Grotesque Moi! business card.

Tier 3

Third level commission for Grotesque Moi! project. The business contract will be negotiated before any work starts. This work will be produced through a digital media painting method. This canvas will be illustrated vertically. Character is in a full body illustration.  It has a fully illustrated foreground and background. Completed purchase will include one 16″x20″ canvas print of the illustration, one 8″x10″ glossy stock print of the illustration, one glossy stock XT Illos/Grotesque Moi! postcard and one glossy stock XT Illos/Grotesque Moi! business card.

Tier 4

Forth level commission for Grotesque Moi! project. The business contract will be negotiated before any work starts. This work will be produced through a digital media painting method. This canvas will be illustrated horizontally. Multiple characters up to 5 are in full body illustrations.  It has a fully illustrated foreground and background. Completed purchase will include one 16″x20″ canvas print of the illustration, one 8″x10″ glossy stock print of the illustration, one glossy stock XT Illos/Grotesque Moi! postcard and one glossy stock XT Illos/Grotesque Moi! business card.

Glossy Print

This is a quality art print of one of Grotesque Moi!’s illustrations. The image is corrected to 8″ x 10″ and is suitable for framing. Please allow up to two weeks for order processing. Thank you!

I look forward to creating your fantasy creature illustrations! Thank you for stopping by!

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Grotesque Me 2

So, what really is Grotesque Me? You might ask. The answer will be revealed soon! Check back to catch the update on this interesting mystery!

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If you are curious please like and follow me here and on most social media. Thank You!

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Grotesque Me! Coming Soon!

Hey Guys! There’s something new coming! Stay tuned for info and updates!

If you are curious please like and follow me here and on most social media. Thank You!

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Sketching An Imp Head On IPad Pro

I guess since I draw and have for most of my life usually with a No.2 pencil (or a 4H most of the time) and scraps of paper, I have to try the drawing tools more. So on this IPad Pro I used the Sketching tool with an HB pencil option. It works a lot like a real pencil. The line quality is good. Scribbling, hatching, general basic shading works pretty well. Once I started blending, though, everything turned out more like paint and not so much a drawing. Still I like the results of this piece.

I originally Left my working lines on the right side so that anyone interested in how I created this image, could see how I designed this piece. It’s another in the latest project I’m developing. This is the Imp. A vicious little tormentor that loves to pull evil pranks on the unsuspecting travelers.

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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.

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Practice Work 1

I’m working on the mushrooms for “Relative Perspective”. Each time I try to do them I’m finding they don’t match the realism level the rest of the piece already has.

I decided to find photo examples to study.

I think I finally understand their intricacies now. What do you think?