Saturday, March 28, 2009

Week Eleven.

Two days lost, but to friends and planning... so I'll probably be able to come to terms with it... I'll work all the hours I can this weekend to make up for the missed time.

I did finish one doll.. my second tiny doll: Weir

I think my thought process was: I'll work small to big... but after working on three of these little guys and all three ended up having extreamly different looks... I think I'll start with the big Storyteller first and then work down from there... I don't want it to look like I just grabbed whatever dolls I had sitting around.. I want these to look like they go together... in some way... I thought the same color scheme... but that will be tough for me to do...

I think this way of taking on the task will be the 'best' or at least work the best for me at this time. So... that's kinda a week lost... but I hope to finish the more-finished second little doll... and toss them up on Etsy.

I love and HATE working this small.. I end up spending hours on their little faces... I'm sure it'll take me little more time to make the large Storyteller than it took to make Weir... So, unless it's a size that people seem like like... well, I'd better stick to 12+ inches for awhile... at least for my sanity!

I'm just crossing my fingers that stories manage to dig themselves out of my head while I'm working on these characters... I feel like my brain is full of jelly when it comes to that...

We'll see...

Monday, March 23, 2009


I have it... the perfect mix of all the things I want in this coming show in April...

One large doll... reading a little book to a collection of strange and varied characters... and the book itself will be illustrated by the 13 framed images that surround them (as well as the larger illustrative cut outs) and then, as the hand out/booklet... I'll have the 13 images and the story.

Dolls. Illustrations. Story.

And... the titles will just write themselves! Ha ha!

I've sketched this idea enough... now I can make it.. and bring people into one of my sketches... and then into that sketch with sketches... and then they'll have a piece of the picture in their hands.

I'd best get to work... I have so much to dooooooo!

(oh... and my first Etsy sale this morning. Whoooo ha!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Inspired by buttons could be the title of this post. It's sad for me to think that this is meant to be the height of my mental prowess (if that would could -ever- be used with me as as the subject!)... I honestly fear for myself.

Ah, well.

So! After excitedly receiving not one but two buttons from Etsy sellers I thought to myself... heeeeeeeey (e's elongated to show the slowness of my thoughts) I could have buttons too!

So, buttons I shall have. And the Busy Beaver Button Company shall be making them. They don't know this yet... but soon... soon.

Here are some ideas I whipped up without doing a whole heck of a lot... ie, anything new:

thoughts? votes? etc etc and so forth?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Week Ten.

I was horrid this week and took two days more-or-less off. I wandered around town with friends and puttered around the Creative Oasis for a few hours... getting the lay of the land, as it were, and chatting with the wonderful Rowan.

She wants to create a space/installation of my 'world(s)'... I am super excited, though a little challenged for time and materials... logistically, I can't really make anything or store it when it was done. Tree branches aren't quiet right and the kind of woody stuff I usually like to draw tends to be bug and mold ridden. I can't take that into any place Dave or children will be! That said, I did gather moss from the woods. Dave suggested I go with some of my paper pieces to create a larger/inclusive drawing. I already have a hint of that sort of thing happening around the apartment... I think it's perfect. I'll get myself a pack or two of poster board and start making a wonderland of branches and flags and faces and figures. This is gonna be sooooo coooooool.

This week I did manage to get a few sketches done. Some that I'm really pleased with... it's been too long since I sketched... I do love the smell of ink in the morning. I went a different root for most of these sketches. Within the last few years I went from making pre-lim sketches to making tiny thumbnail ideas and then just making a final sketch on board and inking and coloring, etc. These I just cut out any middle stages and just doodled.... so they're a little more like earlier images I've created. A little less story, a little more interest in the lines themselves.

I made more than I can afford to frame up for this show in April, so some I'll put up on Etsy... maybe if things follow the patterns of all other shows, the images I like least will garner some attention. *crosses fingers and hopes* They are mostly cute things and friend images.

On another note... Dave will be free soon! We have no set plans.. no anchor of job(s) or even a whisper of structure... This isn't that odd a state for me to be in. Most of my childhood and, really, adult life has been spent living in the shadow of economic instability... but for Dave... I think this will be more new. I hope I can offer some... well, I hope I can help feed us at least. ... as if I needed more reason to not fail.

This next week I plan on working on larger images and a series of crazy haired little creatures. I really want to create a great amount of work to pick from... just work and work and work.... with no other goal than to create (and make the house into a total mess!).

Wish me/us luck!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Week Nine.

The week isn't over, but I don't see myself getting more than some larger-than-the-scanner images done in the next few days.

I finished up the last doll commission (I'm super pleased) and then set about creating that army of magical creatures... the long and short of it is: I failed.

I couldn't do it. The more I read, the more I sketched - the more disheartened I became. I can't make those things... I just can't bring myself to do it. I thought it would be just a step into something a little more commercially viable. I know, but I'm not above it... at least, I don't think I am. I'll work on anything for a commission... I love making things for people... but when it comes to just sitting down and making things. I really -really- only want to make what -I- want to make. Whatever that is... and it most certainly is not the traditional fairy.

I want to make the silly things that sit waiting around in the back of my overly silly brain... Dream Herders and characters called The Namegiver or The Vision Seeker... The Awen, Bren... Geasa.. etc..
...I guess I'm so self centered that I can only work within my own personal cannon without hitting a wall... maybe I just need a little break to work on my own stuff and then maybe I can create something a little more... understandable to others.

Maybe I'm just looking for the easy way out... Not that making any of this work is the easy thing to do. Easy would be making things I wouldn't have to be ridiculed for... but, as always, I am a both a coward and a thick skull-ed buffoon... I will have it my way.. even if that means hiding here in my little box surrounded by my own ever present self-doubt and self-absorption.

Bleh. but whining aside: I've begun working on the show for April... I kicked around the 'theme/idea' of the show for awhile until I think I've nailed it down as: Gateways. And not just physical ones... I was thinking of going with Dreams, or maybe even sketches from the book... and maybe having a few chapters... but I don't think I'm up for that sort of look at myself just yet... so Gateways it is. I'm sneaking in some dream drawings there as well, but I don't -have- to add that if I don't want to. Like I've any idea why.

Dear lords I am whining this morning.. and, honestly, the whole week. I'm going to get back to work.

Adore you lot!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Week Eight.

Again I have to say those well worn two works: Time flies.

I spent the first day of this last week kinda sick.. which was unusual for me and unpleasent... I stumbled around the room until the day was over... I did manage to pull myself together enough to work on an illustration for my good friend Lisa's wedding. Its a Ryzom themed image.. as that is where the couple met. Aaaah love and endless digging.

I'm pleased with it.. she's pleased with it.. life is good.

As to the rest of the week, I started the next two doll commissions.. and finished one (see image). The other one I hope to have done by this evening... with still some time spent with the husband and maybe a walk around campus (the students are away! hazzzah! Seed pods here I come!)

I owe this customer a heart felt thank you... I don't think anything else has pushed me so much as to want to make the very best work I can... at least not in recent years. Perhaps because I know its for a paying customer... maybe that it is based off work other than my own and requires crafting things I wouldn't normally have... shoes for example.. and fish.. and black fingernails, or really just fingernails in general... or human looking noses! Its been really good for me.

As to my next 'project'... the imp thing. I've been batting it around all week and after a few short stories and a little bit of reading (online.. did you know I own no books on fairies and other such creatures? Sure some I think I have a Froud book on Goblins and for X-mas I was given the coolest book on Gnomes -thanks Jim and Alli!- But I have no 'guide' that was based on, in theory, research.) and it seems that imps are really more like demons than faeries.... though I know this stuff is more than open to interpretation... and I do really like the look and sound of the word imp.. I think what I plan on making are more like sprites... ugg, I don't like the word.

And I figure.. if I what I'm making are sprites.. that I have to make fauns and fairies and faeries and all that rest.. 'cause really, that's just a whole can of worms.

And though I know I said I didn't really want to go down that path... I think its what would work with the pieces that I have. Let me list them:

-I'm obsessed with natural materials and textures. Check out the amazing hand colored wool I stumbled across the other day on Etsy from handsandnotions :
This overwhelming taste of mine really lends itself well to natural spirits and other concepts and creatures...

-I live in a very small apartment and -no- way of setting up a studio to take images of these dolls, but I have access to a lovely wooded area with already-there backdrops of rock, moss and all the other things I love.. wood, mold, earth, etc etc. (also, it would get me out of the house and down in the woods where I loooove to be.. and I'd still be working!)

-I, ah, like fauns and faeries and, yes, sprites and people understand them better than other scary stuff that I end up making when left to my own devices.

I think, over all, it is taking all the pieces... all the things I love and putting them together into one. In college one, if not, the single most eye opening experience I had as an artist or at least of my own work... is when my teacher took a look at my huge wire and fabric tunnel thing and said... 'take it outside'

I'm not sure how to explain it... I saw the potential of my own work and I saw how I had limited myself... I saw a world of opportunity and.. well, I loved my own work in a way I never had before...

So, sprites and faeries it is... but, MY sprites and faeries... fairies.. imps, whatever... I don't care... pointed ears, wool and bare dirty feet.. away!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Week Seven - 2.

Alright. So I was wrong about how easy the fuzzy things would be... dead wrong. I spent a good three days on just one and there is no way I can make enough of them at anything close to a responsible cost... I think that is going to be my key to selling... I need a price range. So (other than my commissions) I am going to start making small... quick (and hopefully cool) imp dolls. Maybe some smaller sketches and some 'puffs'... you know, those cute things that hang out with imps and Storytellers? Everything has a pet... even the world of gnomes kept pets... Gelflings had pets... Alice had a good number, in her way... sidekicks could be counted, I'm sure.

So imps and sidekicks/pets for under $50 bucks. Though, at that price, I'm going to have to finish one or two a day... so I'd better get working, eh? The puffs can be sold separately, of course... those will be fuzzy... I won't speak too soon... but I -hope- those won't take me three days!! *shakes fist* (I spent one whole day sculpting fabric.... it just didn't/doesn't have the definition I seem to need to have in my work... I was rather grumpy by the time Dave got home.. a whole day wasted and an end product I was displeased with... uggg.)

But! Other than my three day descent into eating my own words... I did drag out the sewing machine and started, not only my first pair of pants, but actively using it for the rest of the doll(s)'s clothing. I even grabbed some scary doll-clothing-making books from the library. *shudders* But I need to learn... even if I only use a bit of what one needs to know to make clothes (I dislike how baggy they are... but I'm sure the idea is that you can re-dress the doll.. my work is more sculptural than it is, ummm, practical? Words fail me)

So I snagged a sketch off the wall and thought I would, in earnest, attempt to make of my own sketched characters stand up and collect dust (click for video of finished doll).... It helped a ton that I had the most wonderful fabric under the sun (thanks M!) to make her dress (used the sewing machine! ha ha!) and, with the help of some newly acquired liquid stitch , finished a rather decent 3-d interpretation of my pencil sketch... though I say it myself. I think I'll save her for the show... as, with this new imp scheme of mine + show + commissions, I don't think I'll have the time for any more 'art dolls' or experiments. (not that those three things aren't going to be a total blast!)

I am having a wonderful time though... I'm not making much that could be called, oh, what do we call it... money. And I know this can't continue for much longer... but I have never felt so good. Even when I'm disappointed with myself I just want to work on the next thing and take what I learned and make something better... or closer to what it is I want to make. Whatever that is... I feel like every time I make one of these creatures or just allow myself to work... I'm pulling pieces of something greater into existence. It's when I don't create that I go a bit mad. I'm mad now (who else would quit their job with student loans and, oh don't make me go into it... to make dolls and colorful sketches of hills with eyes?), but there are different shades of insanity.... and for me, there are certainly different expressions of frustration and disappointment.

Believe me... I understand that life can't be what this is. And I know that it isn't just that next paycheck... but I picked a path in life that won't allow me to be so completely irresponsible and selfish... also, I'm not sure that I had any other options. Few do.

AAaaaanyways... I'll just keep working and see what comes of this. (though I'm not sure how much more material spreadage the tiny apartment can take! Poor flat surfaces...)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Week Seven.

I'm currently working on the last touches of this weeks doll(s)... so this last week's post may have to happen later.

Oh! Art show in April! Dolls and Sketches oh my!

Adore you guys!