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I really like this Youtuber

I really like this Youtuber published on 2 Comments on I really like this Youtuber

Between this and his ‘tips for figure drawing’, I feel like my creative soul was fed wholesome noms this morning.

Half listening to him, quiet music, and working on a fillet tutorial in CAD… I wonder what a psychologist would think if they walked in on me.

good times

“You… I can DIAGNOSE you!” :D8
8-| -> D:{
“Get out bitch! Let me live my life!!!”

(I’ve been exploring the question of whether I have adult ADD, or am just a personality type. “I can tell you’re the type of person who needs to be engaged in what they’re doing. If you’re doing a job that’s challenging and new all of the time, you’ll be having a good time and do great.” And I’m wondering whether it’s all really the same thing, only a filter of how I define and thus limit mySELF.)

PS, significant other’s co-worker gave him Inside Out to experience, so we watched it last night. My words: “I hate it.” His reply “It IS pretty brutal.” We grew closer, and skipped to see if the show went anywhere. And made lowbrow jokes. Love.

I saw the issue of JOY JOY JOY HAPPY HAPPY ALL THE TIME right away. #story of my life, only I do it better.

I was hoping that the story would be more than Joy learning to share, and an abstract Brave Little Toaster. Nope. Is sadness going to fuck up all of her memories and give her depression? no. Is her first crush going to destroy the inner harmony of her head and rip her heart out? No. Will there be ANY outer conflict? eh, not really. I liked the glimpses of other people’s heads in situations. A full movie of that back and forth would have been awesome. Running around in an ikea of bowling balls is not my jam.

The imaginary friend sacrificing himself was surprisingly dark. That was good. “oh shit! They just killed someone!”

Anyway, I digress. I had a shift of my entire world view this monday/tuesday, but that’s too deep to ‘blah blah blah’ about right now.

So just Watch this kind and talented artist guy, he is lovely.

Fun Artist’s time-lapse How-To

Fun Artist’s time-lapse How-To published on No Comments on Fun Artist’s time-lapse How-To I learned that I can somehow use the tones with a pencil instead of drawing select areas. Excellent. This is filthy gorgeous. Didn’t show the tools she was using, but seeing the process is helpful.

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who draws, and erases. Second video even moved her eyes around… phew.

This video specifically says how to draw with a tone. f6 =materials. nice.

I was going through old photos and saw a screenshot of a forum recommending these brushes for inking. I need to get my learning curve a little more settled before tossing $5 at settings I may or may not like. But I intend to come back to this.

On Talking to Characters

On Talking to Characters published on No Comments on On Talking to Characters


I can’t give a ton of advice on fashion and character design. I look through images and pick out what I like, if it’s not very clear in my head already. As far as what they wear… I’m putting that off until I’m done script writing. Then I plan on going through magazines from different stores to get an idea of styles and combinations. Maybe even international fashion… I’m not a big cloths person, so yeah. (How does that work with copyright?)

This is more about personality. “The beauty (or not) within.”

You learned about writing voice in elementary school, right? Are there different terms for that? Personal style. A way of saying things. Well, don’t forget the voice of your characters. I did.

My Chapter 1, even my whole plot outline, felt WRONG. It was broken, and I couldn’t put my finger on why. Each time I went over the draft, stopped in a section and asked “what would [person] really do?” it got better. This is good news: draft scripts really are valuable for making a frame around your moment that you can pretty-up and tweak, even if a little broken. Even if so broken it needs to be scrapped, because at least you didn’t waste a week or two drawing people in a situation they would have never been in. I’ve heard writer’s block described as having painted your character into a corner. There’s no way they can get out without breaking who they are. Whoops. So tear down those metaphorical walls! But maybe do SOMETHING with your website while you fix the plot, because you’re paying for it.

Yeah, that sounds good.

Since we comic folks are two-minded people, I’ve found it very helpful to draw my characters as I interview them, because some things only come out of my pencil. There is something mute in my subconscious. It doesn’t have to be pretty, just throw it down. The benefit is that I found my quick drafts become surprisingly pretty, faster and faster. #practice, for ####’s sake.

Things got really crazy when my favorite henyojin was trying to explain their (then completely unknown) magic system to me… by drawing in the dirt. *face palm* I’m not doing this because it’s easy, that’s for sure!  Here is an example of a louder character in a bad mood.  (Because neglect.)

Good interviews with real people need open-ended questions. It works for my loud characters, and/or if I’m really in the zone. (I seem to need to warm into the imagination game.) I’ve found more success asking my characters yes-or-no questions on world-building matters that really elude my own efforts. Or just to check that I haven’t figured something wrong again. Sometimes I need to ask someone else, because story-wise there is no way so-and-so should know about that.

If yes-no isn’t enough, I need to be researching, and living, and moving around for that buried thing to be turned over to the surface. I’ve taken two chemistry classes in my life, and when I was hitting my head against the wall about hot/electric magic, I was told in no uncertain terms to go back and read up on basic chemistry. “But don’t over-do it and waste hours reading small details that you try to over-literalize the magic with.” Who, me?! Never.

I recommend reading BLINK. It’s a fun book, and I’m thinking of all the things in BLINK when I say this. Specifically the chapter with the super-tasters. They have labeled and categorized the flavor of a cookie TO DEATH, and with repetition, they can recognize the otherwise invisible data their subconscious is processing.

Watch out for the quiet ones. Sometimes I need to set aside time specifically for them, and only them. They may be shy, or… “Maybe it’s none of your business!” I have a special girl who is not nearly as boisterous as I was writing her. And she was not impressed with my treatment of her identity. If she were real I would have had to buy her brownies and go through the whole grovelling process to rebuild some trust. Instead it was dedicated drawing sessions (TITANIC style, jk. no. ha. nooo.) and accurate, unchallenged record of her dictations. (They were outlandish just to test/tease me.)

Another character was intentionally mysterious. That’s just his jam. (I figured it out when I read the chinese zodiac on the snake.) So I let go of the typical “what’s your motivation’? blah blah blah stuff, and go very improve when he’s concerned. When he showed up in one of my sketch sessions all on his own, it was that magical feeling when a feral cat slinks into your 30′ radius to get at a food pan. Or a butterfly landing on your hand. :*D8 Don’tmovedon’tmovedon’tmove!!!!

And, joyfully, keep in mind that they may lie.  My main characters are terribly fond of teasing me with lies and mis-information. They’ve even been known to lie about lying. I tell myself it’s part of their multi-dimensional charm.


Some Comic Resources I Found Helpful

Some Comic Resources I Found Helpful published on 2 Comments on Some Comic Resources I Found Helpful

Some links to resources I have found helpful.

My #1 recommendation: Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloudThe book IS a comic!!!!  It’s gorgeous in some parts, and interesting in all.  A super fun and informative read.  Do yourself a favor and rent or buy it to get a look.

This was one of the first webcomic how-to articles that I read.  It’s practical and a little scathing.  (With enough build up, can’t anyone’s inside jokes become the world’s?  But I see his point.)  I was convinced to buy my own website.  (which I sat on for too long.)

This blog has a friendly, practical format. “Draw Big!”

I found this article from io9 when I was looking for the first link. It already has a ton of helpful links. What am I doing here? *throws papers of un-written posts into the air.*

Well, on to things other than that then.


Tangent on websites:

I went with bluehost after researching, and, using WordPress because drupal is too hard for me, I tried the plugin Comic Press.  I sort of hated it, like this guy.  So I’m using Webcomic v 4.3.2 instead.  It’s less frustrating for me, but websites are still hard.  (For real.  I respect web designers so much more now.  Still holding out on paying one.)
Word of advice: make sure, if you buy [domain_name].com and .net, etc that you buy privacy protection for BOTH of them!  bluehost, at least, does not hide your contact information for all of them automatically.  So I was getting a LOT of emails from India, and even some calls.  It resulted in a grudge against these web developers I respect.
Oh!  And don’t start googling your dream domain to see if it’s available, robots will STEAL it, and hold it ransom.  (Literally. $$$$$)  You need to have your top choices written elsewhere and type them only when you buy the domain name.  The registry will know if it’s free or not.  Okay! 


My beef: most of my google searches for “how to draw [manga anything, fight scenes, etc] come up with nothing, or stiff and unappealing work.  How to WRITE brings more useful hits, but I still have to draw it.  Seems my best source is just the finished product of others, or photographs.

To Google reference images:  Do you have the RIGHTS to use that image?  This is a serious issue.  I practice off of references, [DRAW, draw faster, DRAW.  You are better than you let yourself believe] which gets the perspective’s secrets in my Art Memory, but I can’t post the copy as my original work.  If you know the owner and how to reach them, you can send a polite request letter.

There are some open source/creative commons image collections.  I have not really tested them myself, since I’ve just been hiding behind “practice” and “backstory” pictures vs an actual chapter that may or may not be monetized in any way ever.

Wikimedia actually had images of a particular building I wanted, and it’s the familiar wiki format, so it charms me.

Google Maps Street view can also give you a good feel for your location (or “setting” if an action sequence.)  You’ll feel like a total creeper.  It’s great.

Here is an article that has wikimedia as it’s top site, and at least 4 others.  Some commenters left new links on the bottom.

Sometimes, you just can’t win.  “State capital office room” has yielded zero results.  “office room” returns a legion of cubicle farms.  Now, a picture of governors signing bills into law gets you ONE office, but that’s the pretty media one.

Sometimes what you want could be couched in industry lingo. “Fight Scene” -> “Action Scene” -> “Action Sequence” ->“Fight Choreography” Congratualtions! You’ve landed on a super amazing book, basically a bible on fights. So far I’ve only read its samples on google books, and already learned a lot.



(I’m a talker, not a fighter.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a dark streak that squees when anime people explode in blood, but it’s a little different to set up a plausible altercation working with a half-baked magic system… out of nothing.  I’m hoping that some very reality-based considerations will inspire the missing pieces.)

Thanks to my nano-wri-mo neighbor, I discovered  It had a nano bundle with a book for action scenes!  I searched the book on amazon, and found two others for much cheaper, on of which was fantastic for someone of a graphic and scripting need:

Action! Writing Better Action Using Cinematic Techniques

I loved it, and it was a pretty quick read.  The author also has his own website with more examples and advice.
and, when looking the link up, I noticed he has a video channel on youtube.

I also bought Writing Fight Scenes: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors (Writer’s Craft Book 1) because it was a dollar.  Very useful as far as weapons, written for skippers so a bit repetitive.

Here are some articles I’d read a few months ago.  TLDR: action for action’s sake is boring, write it to settle a conflict/move the plot forward, teach us about characters, or cut it.  Also, have something more vague and plausible at stake, NOT your main character’s life.

Thriller: Writing The Action Scene , Keys to Writing Action Scenes That Will Captivate Your Readers , Writing an Action Scene? 5 Ways to Add More Punch to Your Novel , Why You Should Never Write Action Scenes For Your Blockbuster Movie



Another super gem:

I found this more of a motivational video, but the one by Darius Britt was full of great advice.

Pull actors off of walls?  I shan’t draw characters against walls.  Same thing!  It’s all about pleasing the viewer’s eye, so it applies somehow.  Best of all: you can listen to their videos while you draw!!!  This may see like obvious advice, but I’m that weird person who would rather zip read through an article then listen to people say it, because i read faster.  I also realizedIt would be good stimulation for me to hear different people, as a resource for writing character voice.  So if you’re like me, enjoy nofilmschool and all of their links.



On a similar vein, if you are writing this thing out, READ SCREENPLAYS! I discovered iMDB is not just for checking where you’ve seen that actor before. It has an amazing brother. The Matrix screenplay is incredible, and I really enjoyed Pulp fiction as well. If you’re any sort of osmosis style-mimic like I am, reading some clutch wordsmithing might be just the thing you need to break out of a writer’s block.

Here are a couple articles of buffs recommending the best scripts for noobs and videophiles.  (Is that a word?)

This is a nice article about the authors’ script writing process.  I can second Scrivener.  Love it.  A bit slower with all of the picture’s I’ve scanned into the project file, but not bad.  I didn’t really “get” the article until after I read some movie scripst and wrote a first draft for Chapter 1 myself.  From the article: “Like a movie-style pipeline, we recommend you focus entirely on the script until it’s done. One thing that Hollywood has proven thousands of times over is that the final work almost always suffers if you begin “filming” the story before you have a solid, finished script.”

I’m personally not a huge fan of Alan Moore’s Writing For Comics Volume 1, but last I read it was 2007, right when I was being dazzled by Scott McCloud’s comic book-book so maybe it deserves a second look.  It just seemed incredibly dense, the only thing I remember is “backstory/world building is good.  Too much backstory = no comic.  Beware the backstory.”  Good advice.  If you have to spend money… ehhhh.  Would not recommend.


Sorry, I looked. Seems that you can buy a book about ART, or you can buy a book about SOFTWARE for art.  No one has gone out and said: Hey, you have no clue how to paint, like, AT ALL?  And you’re just getting into Photoshop?  Well, I am going to fill your eager little brain with color theory, AND brush settings: laid out clearly with beautiful screenshots and simple, thorough instructions.

It just doesn’t appear to exist.  The good news is you can learn how to paint with an acrylic book, without buying acrylics.  (Or so I’m told.)  I plan on buying Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter.  Because one thing I’ve notice about my favorite anime/manga styles, is that they are grounded solidly in reality, then simplified and slightly stylized.  Why not do that with color?  *I don’t expect to paint all of my comics, at all.  lol.  It would never get done.  But I want to learn to color for special pictures, and just for myself.

Behold the pretty


The one thing I have personally found to really, really inspire me to new heights with my comic… is to be avoiding something else unpleasant. Either Finals *cough,* homework, cleaning the kitchen, or thinking about going to work in an hour. I was getting LOADS of ideas when studying the dry topic of electric circuits in the home. Now I’m getting ideas about wizard dynamics by researching the principles of automated machines. (Mine metaphors for all they are worth, I say.) If I focus too much on the comic as a “need to do” goal, I realize what a titanic and nearly impossible thing I’m trying to accomplish, freak the flip out, and quietly shut down. Keeping it fun while maintaining consistent progress is the name of the game for me.

Happy Hunting!

To be read to the crooning tunes of Daft Punk’s “Within”

To be read to the crooning tunes of Daft Punk’s “Within” published on 3 Comments on To be read to the crooning tunes of Daft Punk’s “Within”

Something I found from Feb 2010

I forgot it existed, but similar motivations are driving this webcomic endeavor.


Sorrow was purple.

An artistic bruise that would strike once like lightning on an anvil,

You wax poetic about the gloom and life altering shifts in perception,

then move on.

(How deep man feels!  The genius!)

A grey day, rain on a funeral.  Coffee in the apartment, fraying emotions held together, ideally: confessed and comforted for.

Now grey is an unremarkable companion.

To be held back, held off just as long as I can when the stress closes in.  Push back or it will hold you underwater.  Wrapping feelings behind gauze.  Fuzzy despair.

I won’t let it overtake me.

Life goes on no matter how I feel.  So I want to feel good.  And when I don’t, I’ll fake it.  I have the energy and hope now.

Working every day gives me the confidence.  [call center of all places.]

The world is so blue.  Blue and white and straight lines.  Small.

The work and risk that goes into creating a relationship seems so daunting.

Opening my heart seems impossible, despite my desire to.

I don’t know who to be, or how to get there.

And I’m afraid that who I am is cursing me to be alone.  Just that-my very nature is custom designed to be happiest when functioning singularly.

I’m “amusing myself” so completely, I don’t know how to look out and be unafraid, or how to invite others in.

Perhaps I can use art to make a connection.  But can I put myself out there like that?  Why is all that glitters in my soul such a secret?  That I’m hiding what really makes me happy from my own face?

What’s my ideal future now?  The one with ME in it?

<I don’t wanna un-justify art by using it as a crutch.  It’s an integrated extra.  BONUS.>

So that was rather neat to find.  .A reminder and challenge to myself.  I’ve come a long way since then, but deep honesty and the courage to fuel it is always a shifting target of mine.