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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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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!

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Relative Perspective WIP Update #7

I finally have some updates on this project to share with you!

I’ve got screenshots of my progress! It’s been good having this tablet. The freedom to take my work anywhere and some really great tools. I’m still learning it’s limits but it’s been very helpful!

I’m debating on putting snow in the mountains. I’ll put them on a separate layer so I can change them if it doesn’t work out. The details are coming out very nice! There’s still a lot to do but the scene is setting up pretty good! I’ll post more proper progression photos next time.

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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.

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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! 

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Creative Celebration Update #3

As promised here are the details in photos of my creations for the 20th Wedding Anniversary gifts to my wife and the ones we got for our daughter. The basic idea for the paper is from when I would make my own stationary to write to my wife, before we were married. It was made the same way aa this project but in smaller scale.

First was the creation of the wrapping paper. I used a roll of 36″ poster paper, acrylic paints, a 2″ brush, water and saw horses with planks for a large makeshift table.

 

I worked in sections basically making a color wash stain of various colors with the acrylic paints and water.

 

Once I had what I felt was enough paper painted to wrap with and it was fully dry, I moved inside to start decorating it. First thing was to cut the roll so that the painted part was more manageable. Then I started painting some hearts and balloons on part of the paper.

 

For the next part I had to get decorative stickers and of course the gifts. The stickers were some elements that I couldn’t make. Also, there’s no sense recreating the wheel. I like the way they fit each person. The focus for my wife is the hearts and flowers. For our daughter the focus was butterflies and balloons.

 

I made custom name cards for each gift. Most were in the form of riddles.

 

Next were the personalized hand crafted cards. They’re created with Canson paper, scrapbook pages, a color printer, hot glue and more of the stickers.

 

Both cards were butterfly fold with personalized printed transparent inserts and envelopes. This is how the finished cards turned out.

 

Everything turned out great and the back story made for some great points to reminisce and share with our daughter.

DSC_0329

 

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My Ipad Was Almost Mine

Well, after experimenting a little with my new Ipad, it turns out that the Ipad is really helpful for doing school work. In particular IB Art classes. So it has been quite useful for my daughter. I got to play around with Garage Band before the second wave hit. It’s OK though I still have old school illo journals to work in!

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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.

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An Artist’s Journey

Part 2

Continuing on my experiences as an artist. I found it difficult to figure out where I fit as an artist after school. I took odd jobs like sign painting, portrait drawing, cake decorating and upholstery repair. I even tried making leather clothing and lingerie. Because I could make almost anything, I tried everything I could think of to get work.

School didn’t really help me develop my direction or focus. It was sort of left up to us to decide. But to be fair I didn’t complete the course at either school. I had to leave SCAD because of finances. Between schools I had a life ending event that I was lucky enough to survive but not unscathed. I was about two quarters away from finishing at AIA. Then the place I worked shut down so finances again. I did pick up some good fundamentals from both. I still use parts of them today.

I was going through Scavenger’s News letter and found the SPWAO. I was able to stay busy working with various small press publishers for about four years. At times the deadlines were really close. Mainly because I had built a good professional relationship with the publishers. They could trust that I could deliver my projects and last minute assignments where other artists fell through. I even placed “Honorable Mention” in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Illustrators of the Future Contest. Finances became my down fall again. This time because the small press didn’t really. I burned through my savings in about five years and was forced to go back to the only paying work which had nothing to do with art at all.

In the next installment I will describe the small press experiences.

This is the pencil sketches, digital design and final digital version of “Hel’s Winter Harvest”

 

 

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Creative Celebration Update #2

It’s just over a week until the anniversary. I’m very excited for the celebration! 20 years is a big point to make to! It’s my greatest accomplishment to have built my family strong like this! Actual true love has been the secret ingredient all along. The thing is I never thought I would ever find it before. Now I can’t imagine my life without it. My wife is my perfect match in almost every way! Love is easy with her. Ok, that’s it for now just an update. I’ve got to save some of this for the actual anniversary. I’ll be able to post photos of the creativity things I’ve been up to after the anniversary celebration. No spoiling for me!
The Sources of My Inspiration!