Had a couple low-productivity months over the summer, but I think I did pretty OK this year. 25 paying bits of illustration. Again, not livable money...but way more than the 4 I did the year before.
Actually turned in the last paid piece of 2015 about 15 minutes before I started typing this. December was kinda rough, and it will continue right through into January.
I have barely played Fallout 4. I have not yet seen The Force Awakens(!) Haven't really hung out with my family in weeks. Ah, the freelancer's carefree life.
Learned a whole bunch about the new Sketchbook Pro...enough that my most recent batch were done entirely in that software...no photoshop or artrage required. Learned a whole lot about painting hair. Taught myself rudimentary bookbinding, and proceeded to hand-make about 2 dozen sketchbooks. wrote 100+ pages of a CYOA-style experiment. Also, my long-term project involving werewolves continues as time permits. Finally finished my blade runner pistol, and then had the photo re-tweeted by Adam Savage (again, '!').
Lots of anxiety and stress, but less pain. More therapy. We'll see how 2016 goes.
So the way my brain functions, after learning how to roughly construct a sketchbook I launched immediately into making covers wholly of my own design. Which led to this:
...because I can't stop my brain. This then turned into THIS-
-so now there's a limited run of 7 copies(+ my initial, slightly misprinted prototype). 3 are already spoken for, but that leaves 4 of them to sell on Etsy(maybe). 240-page blank sketch- or notebooks. I like the idea of doing small, limited runs of these. We'll see. Also mocked up a different style of faux-retro cover:
I keep thinking that someday my brain will learn how to quiet down, but apparently that day is not today.
...and by "sketchbookin'", I mean actually making sketch-and-notebooks from scratch.
I've been having some personal challenges emerge lately, just life stuff. One of the ways I claw my out is through making stuff, in this case learning how to make notebooks. I could always use 'em, and learning this skill has sparked some interesting ideas.
So this was attempt #1, made over the course of an afternoon. 160 pages (ten 16-page signatures) stitched together, covers made from scrap plastic board and a big piece of scrap leather. Cover was glued up with Barge adhesive. Made a skull stencil on a whim, because me. This one went into immediate and rough use...want to test its limits, see what needs to be corrected going forward. Pages have already been ripped out, it's overstuffed with extra paper shoved in the back, etc. Roughly 9"x6".
Trying something different...this was #5, I think. After figuring out the arrangement of 90-some pages into book signatures (which was interesting), printed out smaller-size pages from my current fave gaming-related nerdery, Ken Writes About Stuff and put 'em into a book. About 9 months of the first year, at any rate. Machine-cut a stencil for the cover text. Cover made from a cheap red fabric. Kind of mixed results on this one.
Okay, this was #6. By this point I had ordered and received actual book-making supplies, so this one was made proper. 312 5.5x8.5" pages, bookboard cover & spine, proper bookcloth covering, better pva glue used. Charcoal endpapers. I consider this a sucess. Has the best stitching of the bunch.
Most recent one, #7. Used the correct materials, but used a cheap green fabric I'd found for the cover material. Has a fun texture and took the glue really well. Cream endpapers, 168 pages, roughly 5.5"x8.5". I really dig these last two. The look and feel like "real" books to me, which I'm quite enjoying.
Also: made a similar-sized notebook covered with a black vinyl material (questionable results with the vinyl; my daughter liked it so it's hers), and made a refillable sketchbook with full 8.5x11" pages and a cover that folds over and around the book...i love the utility of top-spiral-bound sketchbooks, except for the spiral part. Always gets mashed & difficult to use, so I'm also stress-testing my design to see how it holds up. More book stuff incoming soonish.
First two pieces I did for Fantasy Flight Games were published a couple months ago, in the Force and Destiny Beginner Game. Both are on the backside of the fold-out map included in the set, the taller piece is twice the size of the other(3 panels of a 4-panel folded poster). I've done a handful of maps for the Star Wars RPG line in the last year or so, with a hilariously rough learning curve. It's all stuff that's outside of my painting experience, and is therefore fantastic stuff for me to be working on.
Also, it's PRO WORK. That PAYS MONEY. I do like that part quite a bit.
...and a thank you to Matt Zeilinger, my buddy who got me the lead-in to literally all of my paying freelance work to date. Thanks, man! Incidentally, it's his art on the front side of the foldout map, as well as the single other back panel.
So I made this one doodle, then I decided to paint it up quick, then I decided to give it some additional elements, then an x-wing helmet, and then it's days later and I've done 20+ variations. Why is my brain wired for oddball serial projects?!
This is all in a single file; each element is on its own layer so they can be mix'n matched. 3 or 4 of the images above are just weird combinations of elements from different characters.
The quality was so poor on this one, I'm not even sure this is actually what the wolfman looked like. Tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was played for comedy as an idiotic redneck along with his partner-in-crime the Mummy. Movie written by good ol' Ed Wood, stars Criswell and 9 or 10 topless dancers. Yup, that's pretty much the whole movie.
Between another freelance rush-job (not a complaint, I'm thrilled to have the gig!) and a part-time normal(ish) job, these are on the backburner for the next couple weeks. 4 or 5 more to go and I'll be done through 1960.
This is my scratch-built Blade Runner pistol that I started...maybe 7 years ago? Tons of corrections/additional detailing I had planned to do, but instead it's just been sitting on a shelf for the last 3 years. Finally decided to just paint the damn thing & call it done.
This is built out of wood, apoxysculpt, various pvc pipe, many varieties of styrene sheet, some brass plumbing bits, and a selection of hex screws. Built with a dremel and a whole bunch of hand tools. That's part of why I pushed to just get it done...my build skills and tools are vastly improved from when I started this, and all I really see are all the ways I can do better.
I've never been too concerned with matching a prop exactly; i'd much rather have the right feel than the precise measurements. So this is a bit bigger than the actual PKD...i wanted something that felt good in the hand, and i've got big mitts.
As rough as this is, it's still a holy grail piece for me. I've wanted a PKD since I was 10 and first saw the movie. Even ordered a resin replica 12(?) years ago which never arrived. So now I have one.