Self Journey

As always, it has been a while! I am happy to say that I have actually been sticking to drawing regularly more than I have in the past couple of years, and it has been really great for me. I have been practicing watercolor and getting more serious about learning new techniques and figuring out my style with it. I would like to create another blogpost entirely on this subject, so I'll try to keep it brief. As I tend to do, I mix many brands and just go with the flow. The top image is my latest piece that I did a couple of days ago. I have been inspired by artists like Alisa Vysochina and Leigh Ellexson. Their work is so beautiful and they are such lovely people. It has been a struggle getting back on that horse, but I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere with my art. There's a lot I could write on this subject, maybe one day I will. I feel happy with my work and I'm excited to continue! I have been updating my Instagram and my Tumblr regularly with my art, I guess it's mostly because they're the easiest to update with! I had left both abandoned for a while and I'm actually posting there again, so please have a look! I am currently figuring out a way to take better photos of my work to post them up <3

Along with traditional media, I have been practicing my digital art skills with my iPad Pro. This is something new I'm trying to teach myself as well. I try to draw every day with either medium to get some practice in. I'm learning a lot about myself in the process! By not concentrating so much on developing a style, I have found myself developing one. Last year I feel like I concentrated very hard on that and while I was drawing regularly, I felt like my work felt a bit alien to me. This year has been more about exploration and risks. 

I had to decide to renew my Squarespace. I felt sad knowing that I don't update as much as I used to and maybe I should stop trying to make this happen. To be honest with you, I'm not exactly sure what "this" is. I have started really thinking about what it is I'm trying to accomplish here. So many wonderful artists online have dreams about becoming freelancers, animators, Illustrators, etc. and I think to myself, what is it that I am actually trying to accomplish? I have been reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and it is helping me find some peace about this entire thought process. I have selfish reasons for continuing to draw. I don't want to become an animator and I have drawn for other people in the past in terms of books, projects and web design. It was all fun and I wonder if I'll ever have enough time to take on more projects like those, but I enjoy drawing for myself and displaying my work. I like writing about my work and my process. Now I have to decide if this website is worth keeping. I love my space. I designed it from scratch. I made all the graphics, organized everything and love having it on display. I use it as a sort of portfolio, as well. I'm still figuring out who I am, what I like and what I need in order to be happy. So I'm going to continue on this journey! I want to regularly update and work on so many more things and share it all on here. I'm planning many things, so please stay tuned!

Vixena Foxhood

One of my resolutions was not just to draw more, it was to draw more consistently and challenge myself with new techniques. One of my beloved OCs just doesn't get enough drawing time from me, so here she is. When I was in school, whenever I would draw my characters like this I would always get asked "WHY IS SHE NAKED"and I always felt the need to give some sort of excuse. Now that I'm older, my answer is simply "because I drew her that way." Draw what you want and don't make excuses for yourself! I see this sometimes with my students and I just want to tell them to not BS! It's ok to say that you just wanted to do that. That's what one of the focuses was, you liked the way it came out, you just didn't feel like doing anything else. It's coo'. But yes, here is Vixena. I drew her naked because that's what I felt like doing.

I'm trying to flesh out more characters for a story I want to focus on this year. The main character is Avyana, a character one of my students helped me name! I hope you're enjoying the new artwork so farหœ

Shaki Shaki

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Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely time with their friends and family for the holidays! I just got done with break from work and I had a lot to do at home to get ready for the holidays T-T But it all worked out and now it's over! We have a new year ahead of us and it's going to be a really good one. I have set some personal goals for myself this year and I'm excited to get started on them. Obviously one of them is always to draw more so I'm trying to draw every day or draw to catch up on missed days. Last night I did a bit of that and wanted to share it on here.

I post my art primarily on here, but will also now be updating on a new Instagram and my Tumblr. I'm still working on an official name for my new Instagram, but I might just go with my pen name. NOTHING IS FINAL. I have decided to make my current Instagram private because I tend to post either a lot of personal posts or a lot of artwork and I would rather keep them separate. I do tend to post some personal Instagram pictures on here so the separation doesn't mean they will be completely one without the other.

I hope everyone works hard on their New Years resolutions! 

Strathmore Sketchbook Review

I've reviewed a couple of sketchbooks already as a part of my sketchbook review series and today I'm going to cover the one I've been working in the most lately. It's not exactly purse friendly but I can't help my need for a larger sketchbook! I've always favored the Strathmore Sketchbooks even when I was high school a few years ago. The paper quality encourages me to use whatever products I want on the paper without much worry of it bleeding through the page.  

The page size is 9 x 12 and I feel like this is a good amount of space for my sketches. I used to need to take up the whole page with my drawings but lately I have been experimenting with sketching smaller and putting more emphasis on details, something I haven't been very confident with in my art before. I think of all the supplies I've used in this sketchbook, the only one that bleeds through is Copic Marker, so be aware of that when you're working in it. That being said, I feel like Copic Markers blend nicely on this paper. It's been a wonder experimenting with them on the pages. Watercolor has been holding up well with the pages as well, and since I'm learning more how to use it I tend to make a lot of mistakes with it. The pages get a bit wrinkly with a lot of water on them, but I don't blame the quality of the paper for that. I think I just use a lot of water, haha!

The pages I'm showing in this post are from an older Strathmore Sketchbook I have that's over a year old. I wanted to show these works for two reasons. One, I wanted to show how well the colors held up while this book was in storage and I wanted to show a few different sketches than I have been showing lately. I am planning on doing a sketchbook tour soon so you'll be able to see the more current drawings then. 

Pencil sketches look really great in this sketchbook. I tend to be meticulous when drawing them and tend to erase any smudges that do appear after working on it for a while. Now, I'm writing this as a right handed person that holds her pencil like a lefty, so I tend to smudge my pencil sketches quite a bit. You can see a bit of a smudge on this one here, but it's nothing major. You can also kind of see through to the next page and see the sketch on there as well.

This drawing was done with Crayola markers, a recent favorite of mine when I work on more quickly done drawings. I have a pack of 50 in my desk drawer at work if I ever want to draw there so you can tell which ones are done during my lunch break! I have been trying to ease off my anxiety of using my Copics on my more sketchy drawings because I do actually want to use them! I just always get gripped with "What if when I'm doing a more serious picture I run out of the color and then I'm stuck and I can't finish?!" Well let me tell you, that hasn't actually happened to me yet and if it does, I'm just going to buy a new one online and I'm going to have to wait for it. It's an irrational fear but one that I've always had!

I used only Copics with the drawing on the back of this page and I wanted to show you what the bleed looks like. It's bad enough that you can't actually use the back of the page! A pet peeve of mine is leaving empty pages in my sketchbooks, even if they're the back of pages I've already used. I think I've done better with that, lately.

All in all, my absolute favorite sketchbook so far has been the Strathmore Sketchbook. It's one that's been around or a while and it's been the one I most enjoy working in! Though I like seeing large drawings in this sketchbook, I'm learning to do smaller sketches so I can fit more on the page and also use the space around the smaller sketches as draft paper for colors and palettes I want to use, a skill I'm learning through watching artists like Fran and Victoria through their work. I hope you're enjoying these reviews! I feel like they're more like "In my experience..." posts, I hope that's ok ^^;

Art Supplies and Self Love

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I've been on a bit of an art supply obsession, lately. Not only did I find this really amazing art supple shop not too far from my work, but I get discount there for being a teacher. This is the art supply shop I've always wanted to be able to visit and just browse when I was younger. They have every medium you can imagine and the staff are very knowledgeable and helpful. It makes not wanting to get everything they have a challenge. I decided that since I have the privilege of having such a store near me I can start experimenting with some new mediums, one of which being watercolor. Now, I've used watercolor in my art before but it was more for background purposes and it was always like a side note with how I used it. I've bought some liquid watercolors upon Fran's suggestion with her videos and I've really liked them so far! I've also expanded my inking possibilities and expanded my color selection for it. I really would love to write more about this because it's something I've been doing for a long time but never gave notice to it. Copic multiliners have become a new favorite of mine and I'm currently waiting on a new set that I'm excited to add to my collection. It really is thanks to some wonderful artists that I've become inspired to continue my art journey and actually step out of my comfort zone. I'm very lucky to have found them.

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Lately I've been embracing my more "sparkle and fangirl" side and I've really liked it! I have this beautiful shirt from Kaiami that I wear around the apartment all the time but have never worn it outside because I was always worried I would look too big in it but lately I'm just like, whatever. i should wear whatever I want and not put so much emphasis on what people might think looks good or bad. My husband loves me for who I am, physically and mentally, so I should learn to love myself the same way. I've always felt very confident about who I am but tend to be more shy about the way I dress but I'm trying to change that. I even got some sparkly nails the other day, something I've wanted to do for a long time but always felt like it wasn't ~appropriate~. Poo on that! I love my sparkle nails and love looking at them! A good amount of self love has been happening this summer and it has been lovely. 

It has been really nice to be able to fully enjoy the Summer this year. Things are slowly falling into place and I'm hoping to be able to share the good news in the beginning of August on here! August is going to be a very exciting month <3 

I have been fine tuning my pencil case for the past couple of weeks and now that I actually use it more I feel like a lot of things inside of it better suit what I use most of the time. Outside of the pink and lilac pencils, of course, they are in a separate pencil pouch so they don't damage my other supplies. One of my biggest problems is that I use my pencil pouch so much on the go but when I use it at home it's a pain to sort everything out and have it all in front of me when I draw. I recently bought this pencil organizer on sale and have gotten into the habit of putting my every day essentials in there when i'm at home and packing it up when I'm out and about. It has been working so far! I would like to do an "Art Essentials" post soon but am thinking about possibly making it a video...? THINKING.

I am still drawing regularly and it's been really different than how it used to be. I have been looking back at some older sketchbooks and can't believe that stuff I used to consider doodles and silly sketches. Those are the ones I love seeing the most. My favorite thing lately is trying to use watercolor more in my sketches and note leaving a sketch unfinished even if I'm not 100% satisfied with it. This has been a bit of a challenge for me over the years because it's easy to give in to the "THIS SUCKS AUGH" mentality and trashing it and starting something new. I've made mistakes and continue to learn from them.

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful and relaxing Summer!