Update: LibraryCon is done!

Oh man…where have I been, blog? Busy. And…more busy. I feel like a little chapter of sorts is over for my illustration. Inktober came and went, and so did the LibraryCon I just participated in. So, I am using this time to set some goals and make some plans for this  illustration stuff!

LibraryCon was super fun. The Kenton County Public Library’s Erlanger branch puts this on every year, though I’m not sure how long they’ve been doing it. One of the organizers found my Etsy page and invited me to participate based on the Stranger Things art I had in my shop:

So I agreed to…and then used this opportunity to kind of fill out the Stranger Things fan art portfolio. Season 2 came out October 27th, and I got busy watching and drawing. I had drawn 3 characters after season 1 (Eleven, Barb, and Dustin), then made 4 more inspired by season 2. Whew! Here are the additional ones (and Dustin).

After the illustrations were done (or actually simultaneously, really), I got busy prepping for the show. I made some business cards, created and got a banner printed, made pricing signs, printed prints, cut prints (so much cutting), inserted prints into sleeves I purchased on Amazon, bought a tablecloth and 8×10 insert holders, got some additional display items for the table, and put together a look book of other ink drawings I’ve done. Whew again! Yep, I was busy.

Saturday was the day – and here’s the table setup:

The Con was fun. We got there early and set up. Greg had his Star Wars prints at one end of the table as well. There were a few other artists there, and I had a great time chatting with them and talking about possibly doing the Lexington ComicCon that they all participate in. The library fed us Chipotle, which was unexpected and nice. I made three sales (selling 11 prints). I also got to chat with some kids and parents about art, which was super fun. Many friends stopped by. It just really couldn’t have been a more positive, awesome experience. Creative immersion.

I’m pretty inspired now, and have been spending time today working on my illustration strategy. In no particular order, I’m working through:

  1. How to further manage my online presence (twitter, instagram, blog)
  2. My online portfolio strategy (website)
  3. Etsy strategy  (zomg the holidays are coming!)
  4. Twitch Creative streaming strategy (twitch.tv/StephanieSmithCreative)
  5. Commissions
  6. Future Art/Comic Conventions

Honestly, tomorrow I need to get busy back on commissions. Yikes.

So yeah! I worked on my Twitch Creative channel information today, and kind of made a decision about when I am going to stream and what subjects. I am going to break it into some categories: Etsy work, Commissions, Skills Practice, and Fan Art. I’m super happy about this categorization. I need to know what I’m doing / what my end goals are.

Next up, I’m going to work out a commissions schedule. I have quite a few, and they are all coming up to being due. So priority there! I know what I’ll be streaming Monday night…

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Inktober: The Half Way Point

We’re about half way through Inktober now. I’ve been having a good time. However, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep doing daily drawings. I have a lot of work to do. A lot. There’s the graphic design gig, but I have also racked up some commissions (which is awesome) and have a new illustration job(my first illustration client!) to work on. Plus I want to have some things for the LibraryCon I’m participating in, which is coming up in less than a month (eek!) on November 11th. Reality has sunk in: I am going to have to really pay attention to my use of time over the next few months, and that probably means forgoing daily time for Inktober. Boo.

Here is what I’ve created so far. I guess my last day was the 13th. I do hope I can do some more. I love making them fall/halloween themed. You can keep up with everything I’m working on by following me on Instagram: @StephanieSmithCreative

 

LibraryCon Invite!

So…I’m going to be in a LibraryCon this November in Erlanger, Kentucky.

!!!!!!

Librarycon

The Adult Programming Librarian at the Kenton County Public Library in Kentucky apparently found my Stranger Things work on Etsy. She said she loved it and asked if I wanted to be a vendor at the LibraryCon they hold in November, which includes vendors, panel discussions, cosplay, various gaming tournaments, as well as artists and authors of scifi, fantasy and graphic novels. It sounds so cool!

Today I received the Terms and Conditions contract to be a vendor. Basically I just show up with anything I have, and I have to have my own setup (chairs, tables, etc.). Everything is free.

So, this will be fun! Who knows if anyone would buy anything, but it will probably be a fun experience! The flyer is here. I’ll be promoting it like crazy later.

Also – I need to get busy on some more Stranger Things art!

 

10 More Days of Pawgust

The struggle continues with daily production of stuff. Some days I feel like I’m getting this. Other days I think I’m wasting my time. While I think every creative person probably goes through these feelings at some point, I don’t remember a time when the flip-flopping happened so rapidly for me. But if I know anything, it’s that I just have to keep at it. I’m going to try not to analyze anything over the next 10 days and just keep my head down and produce. There’s an odd vulnerability I feel. I don’t want to share anything anymore because I feel like I’m forcing people to look at crappy drawings. How strange.

Experimentation continues. I’m just going to post a few favorites for now.

Time-lapses are fun.

People seem to be fans of time-lapse videos! It makes sense, when I think about it. When else do you get to see such insights of the creation process? If you’re watching real time, you don’t see the way things develop in the same manner. The sped up timing makes things appear a bit differently. It’s good stuff.

Here is a link to my time-lapse of today’s Pawgust drawing:

I am pretty happy with this one. I could also see a series of fun dogs in space drawings, in different space suits, maybe with some planets or other space stuff. This may be my first Pawgust drawing I feel could lead somewhere!

 

Pawgust Half Way Point

We’re about half way through August, which means about half way through the drawing challenge I made for myself. It has been kind of tough, but a good learning experience in general.

Pawgust_Day01

My goals for Pawgust are to:

  1. Draw every day
  2. End up with some pieces to sell on Etsy
  3. Further the drawing habit
  4. Grow Instagram and Twitter audiences…or try to broaden my social media audience in general

So far I have been drawing every day, which is good.

I haven’t ended up with anything I feel could be developed into something to sell on Etsy yet, but the month isn’t over. I have some ideas for things that I think could be fun children’s room art.

I have learned about what I want out of a drawing habit, and what I think is doable. The fact is working full time as a graphic designer doesn’t leave me much time to develop anything within a day into a good piece. It’s sketch-able time. Quick-draw time. But I think I was hoping I could devote some serious drawing time to this month, and I’m realizing that isn’t the case. So while I’ve been drawing each day, it’s felt in vain, done just to get the day’s drawing done. The pressure to finish something – and have it be something good – leads me to do quick stuff that isn’t really what I want to be producing. So, I’ve learned that a drawing challenge based on a daily time frame makes me create quick, undeveloped pieces. It seems like a daily drawing challenge for me really should only be to develop ideas: sketches that can be developed further at a later time. Alas, I’m half way through, and I will keep going. But now I know what I will expect out of myself for Inktober this year. I also feel like I understand how much I need to slow down and really work on something. Maybe I could take a week to work on something, making a little progress every day, even if it’s just 30 minutes of progress. That is just going to have to be how I work, given my schedule.

Growing the social media audience has been interesting. Since I’ve been doing most of the drawings in Procreate, I’ve tagged them when I think it’s something worth sharing that highlights that wonderful program well. Time-lapse videos seem to really be a favorite of people. So I’ve had some interactions on Instagram and Twitter that have been fun. But I’m not sure I’m speaking to any kind of audience that would be interested in checking out my Etsy site.

So, that’s the progress so far. We’ll see what the back half of August holds! I’m happy that I’m drawing more. That is probably the most important thing.

Pawgust is Coming…

PawgustLogo

What have I been working on besides the gifts/commissions? (Shhh! you know who you are…I’m working on them…) More drawing. It’s simple. Just more of that grand act of picking up the pen, pencil, Apple pencil, or even occasional crayon.

Aside from just the discipline to do this, I thought it’d be a good opportunity to do another drawing challenge, à la Inktober. I always get some cool stuff out of Inktober, from exploring styles to just a nice creative flow that results from setting aside time every day to create the piece. The Disney animator Tom Bancroft started a drawing challenge back in May that he called “Mermay.” The challenge (as you can probably guess) invited people to “post a new mermaid drawing every day in May.” It looked fun. Some people did creepy zombie mermaids, others did robot-mechanical ones. Good stuff.

These challenges, along with the knowledge that they always lead to good stuff for my craft, inspired me to think of something for August. There needed to be a play on the name, of course…because that’s what you do. I posted about it on Facebook and got so many responses from friends. A big thank you to everyone, for playing along and having fun with the ideas!! I had only come up with about 4 names myself: Dogust, Frogust, Hogust, and Drawgust. But everyone else collectively? Twenty-five…though some overlapped and some were just plain silly. I suppose this is why people crowd-source ideas.

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I’ve decided to go with Pawgust! After some quick googling, I found that Pawgust did exist on the Discovery Family Channel in 2015, where it was a month-long event of animal-themed series, specials, and movies hosted by animal-lover Betty White. Other people have used it too: retailers for animal-themed sales and events, photographers for photo sessions of pets during August. It’s not a terribly original idea. I just wanted to make sure it didn’t have some other cultural meaning that I didn’t know about. Like, “Pawgust: learn how to be an excellent thief! Get your sneaky paws on loot!” Or something.

So starting next Tuesday, August 1, the August Drawing Challenge, Pawgust, begins! A challenge to draw anything with any kind of paws. Maybe there could even be some sort of tie to helping out some local animal charities or something too. I need to contact some other minds for this kind of thing. More details soon!