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Mistakes January 21, 2017

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I have a problem with perfectionism. Not with other people’s work, just my own. It causes a lot of stress and impedes my work, and it impacts everything I do. Chopping vegetables. Parking the car. Doing my daughter’s hair. And, of course, it greatly impacts my creative endeavours.

So, in an effort to fight my perfectionism, I challenged myself this week to do some art entirely in pen – no underlying pencil sketch, thumbnailing, studies, or other preparatory work allowed. And in an additional effort to embrace those mistakes, I’m sharing what I drew this week just as it is, no image manipulation involved.

mew-2017

comic-gamermom

eyeshadowombre-tink-hair

squirrel-girl-2017

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New art: Breezin’ July 13, 2016

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afro

The best I can do January 19, 2016

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I draw for fun.

That’s the long and short of it. I may get frustrated with it, I may make pieces with the express interest of selling them, but I come back to art time and again because I enjoy it. And these days, I draw almost exclusively for fun of the craft itself.

Lately, that means a lot of unfinished pictures. Admittedly, time and other priorities are a huge part of it, but mainly, I just don’t get taken with the sketches I do enough to see them through to completion. It’s a lot of work – to the tune of up to 20 hours on a single piece.

To an extent, it has always been this way. I have drawings I have yet to finish, and still really want to, that are ten years old, or older still. Life just gets in the way, and I never get around to coming back to it. At least, I haven’t yet – I still hold out hope that I will some day.

As a result, I rarely end up finishing a picture that is the best I can do. Even when I have a very important piece of art to do or one that I really want to make look good – or both – time or interest run out, and I just focus on getting it to a point that I can call it finished, even if I could make it better. I still might be very pleased with my work, and I certainly don’t go back to work on it later, but I take shortcuts or I accept something a little (artistically) messier for the sake of getting it done.

Currently, I am working on a drawing in which that is not the case. It was a fairly quick idea, not necessarily the picture I wanted to try so hard on. And admittedly, this picture is on a schedule that might run out on me. But I wrote last year about how I am pleased with my art, and this drawing especially so. I am trying some new things that so far are working out very well, and time and interest are both there for now.

The drawing is still early in its creation, despite having put 5-6 hours in already, as the lineart isn’t even done yet. I don’t feel like showing anything off yet, but I am planning a step by step post for after it is finished. It might be a while yet – the deadline is a while off still – and I apologize for that.

But of course, I’m only really doing this drawing for me.

Changes January 23, 2015

Posted by thejinx in art, enduring chaos.
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I finished a new drawing last night, my first in over six months:

Sketch22420045It is a simple picture, in many respects, but this drawing is very important to me. Not because of the content, but because of the way it made me feel.

Because I enjoyed working on it. I enjoyed every step of the process – building up the sketch, designing the outfit, finding reference images for things like the hairstyle and anatomy, even learning to work around the limitations of the app I used, as I drew this from start to finish on my tablet. Intimidation reared its head and made it hard to get started at times, but I never had to force myself to work on it or felt discouraged that something wasn’t working and wanted to give up.

I don’t know why or how this changed, but this is a big deal for me, and it led to an even bigger revelation:

I feel good about my art.

I don’t care that it isn’t as good as the artists I follow. I don’t care that there are a lot of things I can’t or at least don’t know how to draw. I don’t care that after so many years I am still learning how to draw faces. I looked through my online gallery last night, both the drawings that kind of make me want to delete almost my entire gallery and the ones I still like, and it just made me want to draw more. For the first time in at least ten years, flaws aren’t the only thing I see, and I’m revelling in the act of creating, itself.

Now if only I had more time to draw.

June update June 2, 2014

Posted by thejinx in conventions, enduring chaos.
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Summer is filling up fast and I am looking forward to getting out to many events this season with my books. Before I get to that, though, I’d like to share a gorgeous portrait of Damian, the star of Enduring Chaos, drawn by the very talented Chris Babarik:

damian-babarik

Huge thanks to Chris for such a lovely drawing.

And now, my schedule for the next few months (so far):

Hope to see you at one of these events this summer/fall.

Also, I’ll let you guys in on a secret – the trailer for Enduring Chaos that so many of you so generously contributed to help make a reality? It’s finally going to be released within the week. Stay tuned.

New art – Damian/Frozen March 21, 2014

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damian-frozen

Joke picture. This is Damian, star of my latest novel Enduring Chaos, which was released last fall. She is a young woman with a strange and unique power which she cannot control, exacerbated when she is upset, and for which she is shunned by others. Hence, a little wardrobe change for kicks. Costume design courtesy Disney.

Micro art May 2, 2013

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Alas, I still have done little art of late – hardly any, in fact. But the art bug has bitten me recently, and I have done a few things on a smaller scale.

For one thing, I’ve been playing a lot of Draw Something. And while most of my drawings there are stick figures, occasionally I get the urge to create something a little more advanced. So, here is a compilation of some of my better turns:

draw-something-04-13

(My personal favourite may be the pancakes.)

I also recently discovered a painting app for Android called Fresco, and while I haven’t even taken much time with it lately, I have done a little playing around with it:

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These were both done on a 4.2″ screen using a dollar store stylus. The first was done in about an hour, the second in about twenty minutes. This is art for me these days.

Is more coming? Hard to say. I’m still feeling inspired at the moment, but as was proven to me once again, I get a little too absorbed in making art to do any while watching a little one. We shall see.

Introducing Damian Sires March 1, 2013

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Character information and fanart has been available under the page for Enduring Chaos for a little while already, but let me use this opportunity to officially introduce the star of my upcoming novel.

damian-13

Damian Sires is a young woman from the small town of Aether, where she lives with her father, a cloth merchant who has taken her on a trade route that crosses much of the kingdom of Faneria every year almost since she was born. She is a strong-willed yet shy girl who is close to few. Rumors abound at her home about her, heightened by the fact that she keeps her face covered with a veil at all times, though speculation over things even stranger than what she keeps hidden beneath the veil still linger among the townsfolk. She enjoys traveling and helping her father with his trade route and designing and making clothes, usually incorporating the latest fashions she observes while traveling.

Of course, no proper fantasy novel would allow her the luxury of such a mundane and easy life…

The above drawing was done entirely in ballpoint pen last weekend while I was at Con-G, largely for the purpose of creating new reference art with which I could use to commission a drawing from Artist’s Alley. I ended up receiving the following image from Daphne:

damian-con-g

Huge thanks to Daphne for her lovely depiction of Damian.

Will more character art follow this? Hard to say, given the *cough* infrequency with which I draw these days, and my continued focus on editing the novel. However, I will admit I enjoyed drawing the above sketch of Damian, and even rather enjoyed working strictly in ballpoint pen, so perhaps I will manage to create more in the meantime.

December sketches December 8, 2012

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Thank you to everyone who signed up for the Goodreads book giveaway. If you’re still interested in a copy of Halcyon, ebooks are available from Amazon and most major ebook retailers for $2.99, or you can pick it up direct from Smashwords. (Or better still, print copies are available through Brain Lag for $12.99.)

Without NaNoWriMo looming over my head anymore, I’ve actually been inspired enough to pick up pencil and paper lately and try to get some drawings out of my mind. Alas, I forget how much work it is to draw specific scenes – or how overambitious my ideas tend to be – and I’ve not yet found the motivation or patience to flesh out these rough sketches more.

Still, because I have enjoyed drawing them, here’s what I have been working on lately. I apologize for the poor photo quality – as well as the poor drawing quality – but spontaneity is of the essence in this case. (And perhaps some public shaming will help me gain enough interest to put the work into improving them.)

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2012-12-08 21.50.13

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Halcyon fan art September 4, 2012

Posted by thejinx in halcyon, writing.
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Thank you to everyone who stopped by my tables at Gen Con and Fan Expo! Halcyon had a great reception and I’m looking forward to my next convention in November. And for those who can’t wait that long, Halcyon is now on sale online!

I’ve recently received some fantastic fan art of characters from Halcyon. This drawing of Zander comes from Janna Fong:

The following drawing of Elya comes courtesy of Sarah Petrulis:

And at Fan Expo I received a sketch of Zander from Nicole Chartrand, creator of the webcomic Fey Winds:

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to draw these characters!