Sunday, June 25, 2017

Digital Doodle, Sunday June 25th

If you've ever read Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages, you've probably figured out in what way you express and receive love. This was a book my husband, Scott, and I read through and took to heart in the months before we were married, and since then, it's been interesting to evaluate how this theory of emotional expression plays out in my everyday life.

As an artist and author, I spend way too much time in self-analysis, but hopefully my observations
will be useful to some of you as well. My primary love language is time. It doesn't matter if we do anything productive or exciting. I just want to know that you value spending time in my presence. Ironically, because of my socially anxious nature, it takes a long time before I feel safe enough with any person to connect with them face-to-face. So that "quantity time" that deepens my relationships is hard to come by. Clearly, it's complicated.

As an artist, I have discovered that if I don't have time in my productivity cycle to develop my skills, I begin to resent the stuff that is crowding that time out. Time to experiment and get better at what I do is like the "quality time" of being an artist. If you are coming between me and my skills and not allowing us time to improve together, you will quickly become a serious problem for me.

In a proactive effort to preserve my sanity, I have decided I need to carve out between 30 minutes to an hour each day working on something that hones a skill I want to build. My current artistic goal is to work to develop a digital style that plays more to my strength with pencil. Before I really dig into my Divine Summons graphic novel, I want to make sure I have landed on a digital style that I truly love to work in, and the hard ink line work I've been doing so far is not it.

So tonight, I've sketched a first effort at exploring the tools in Clip Studio Pro (my comic software) to see what I might be able to use in the pursuit of a more pencil-y style. I'm also using the drawing to hopefully motivate me to tackle the coming week with fire, not weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I'm feeling good about this revelation that love languages don't only apply to interpersonal passions, but to pursuits as well. I pray that I will be successful in pursuing my goal of more "quantity time" with my personal art style.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fabulous Dragon T-shirt--2 weeks only!

We Minors are about to head out on a major adventure, and you know what?

Adventures are expensive. And I don't have a contract from a bunch of dwarves promising me an equal share of the treasure at the end. As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.

Here's a little context to help you make sense of things. Every year since we began Realm Makers, I have designed the official Conference T Shirt as well as a "fun design" that we sell as a simple artistic endeavor. From fandom to geekery, these shirts have definitely been popular--and I've enjoyed seeing friends and strangers alike wear them.

This year, we've been working with the fabulous Kirk DouPonce, illustrator extraordinaire, to generate some updated branding for the conference and our awards. Out of that process, this awesome dragon graphic arose.

Being the dragon freak that I am, I was immediately ready to slap that puppy on everything, from our awards seals to our car to our bodies. (Not kidding, we had temporary tattoos made!)

More sober minds steadied us, however--we are hoping to take our show on the road, so to speak, and attend multiple homeschool conferences as a vendor in the near future. (More on that in due time.) But just like the way the words "magic," and "fantasy" might keep you out of some homeschool conferences, a banner with a giant red dragon might just have the same effect.

So, OK, Realm Makers won't wear the dragon badge on everything.

But that doesn't mean our nerdy following can't wear the dragon on a shirt!

And so, ahead of Realm Makers: 2017, we're doing a pre-sale campaign on these awesome shirts. Not only because we think our fans will like them, but because of that thing I mentioned up above: adventures are expensive, and we need to get creative about how we're going to fund driving from Pennsylvania to Reno and back again. It will be a grand total of 7000 miles and 4 weeks on the road.

I will be working on freelance projects along the way, but as is the nature of the freelance life, we have to guard against those times of slim pickings, which life has been dishing out over recent months.

So, if you're so inclined over the next couple weeks, I would be honored if you would be willing to order a dragon shirt for you or a friend. They come in men's and ladies' styles. You can elect to have them shipped straight to you, or if you'll be with us at Realm Makers at the end of July, you can save the shipping and pick your shirt up there.

I can't make any guarantee of there being available inventory of these shirts after this campaign, so get 'em while they're hot.