Bottom of the Deck – 16/03/15

botdcardHey everypeoples! It’s been a while since I uploaded a blog post (or anything really), so time to play catch up on everything that’s been happening over the past month.

The biggest news is also the most recent: I have officially secured my spot in the Artist Alley of FanCon! Now with a confirmed deadline in place, it’s all-out artwork from now until the 7th and 8th of May, when I’ll be selling the first three issues of Elements of Eve, as well as a special omnibus collection of the first six issues I’m calling “Volume 1.” I’m also going to be handing out special preview pamphlets of upcoming stories from Fifth Ace Comics, which are the pages I’m working on right now. I’m considering art prints as well, but that’s still debatable. So if you’re in Cape Town in the first week of May, stop down by the Waterfront on the Saturday and Sunday for FanCon and come show me (and all the other deserving people) some support!

In relation to the above news, the preview pamphlets I’m going to be handing out are for 8 page comics that will be known as the Fifth Ace Showcase. This is sort of like the idea that Marvel and DC had way back when they wanted to try out new characters and new ideas, so they’d release anthology comics with short stories to test the waters. The Showcase is going to feature a variety of stories set in the same general universe, but with diverse themes and genres, so that I can find out which ones everyone likes and whether or not they are worth pursuing. These stories will be released online just before the convention, and they will be on my soon-to-be-relaunched Patreon, because there’s no better way to show your support for my work than by giving a small donation so that I can survive long enough to make more. Watch this space to find out when the Patreon will go live!

In the meantime, I’m still hunting for a job (no luck on that front) though I did receive some advice that I need to boost my portfolio a little more. Details were vague, but I’m going to be adding some more stuff to it over the course of the week.

On a more geeky and personal level, my interest in D&D continues to grow (holy crap did you see that last episode of Critical Role, so freakin’ intense!) and it has been helped by me finding and joining a group online. I’ve only played for two sessions so far, but I am having an absolute blast with it, and the people I’m playing with are great guys with a very relaxed atmosphere. My character is Ulth the Monk, and despite being a technical pacifist, he can still kick the ass of whoever threw the first punch, check him out:

Ulth

I’m also trying to get a group together locally, I met a few more people at Friday Night Magic that might be interested, it’s just a matter of getting a chance to sit down and discuss it. Fingers crossed that I’ll be Dungeon Master again by next week, I have been reading up on all sorts of adventures for these guys…

I really wish I had more to talk about after being away for a month, but other than getting my driver’s licence renewed and learning more about the technical limits of ATMs, I don’t have much more to say. So, with the future looking interesting and my motivation higher than it’s been in a while, I will leave it there for this week, and I will keep you all posted on things to come.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 16/02/16

botdcardEvening everypeoples, it’s been a good day (mostly relaxing with intermittent productivity) and I just had a decent sized meal for a change, so I’m in a good spot right now.

Productivity is slow but steady; I’ve been focusing on my commission. This being an official piece of requested art, I’m doing my best to put as much effort as I can into it. It’s certainly made me more critical of my own work (not that I needed to be) albeit in a more constructive sense than I usually am, and I hope my client will like what I’ve come up with.

I have to say, the past week has been good too, entertainment-wise. I made a concerted effort to wake up extra early on Friday morning to watch Critical Role live for the first time ever. Since I’m not a paying subscriber to Twitch, it didn’t make much difference in what I could do, but at least I didn’t have to wait until today to see it, and I didn’t have to worry about dodging spoilers on Tumblr.

I met up for a family picnic on Sunday, which means I got out of the house for once, and following that we went to see Deadpool. I have not laughed that hard at a movie for at least a year (don’t worry, no spoilers!); the sociopathic comedy starts right in the opening credits and only eases up to let the drama keep the plot rolling. An absolutely hilarious ride from beginning to end, it’s no wonder this film is breaking records. I’ll more than likely go see it again at the end of the month, and considering I don’t normally see the same movie twice at a cinema, that is saying something.

Hot off the heels of Deadpool, I get home that night for the season 3 finale of RWBY and promptly have my heart split in two. For a series that had dark overtones while mostly keeping a lighthearted atmosphere, that episode practically had me in tears it was so powerful. Talk about your downer endings, but I cannot wait for them to get season 4 out; the status quo has been well and truly shaken, so who knows what will happen next?

That all for this week really, I’m going to try and get some writing done tonight, consider this blog post the warm-up. Have a good one.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 16/02/09

botdcardEvening everypeoples, this is coming to you rather late, because this has been one roller-coaster of a week. By that I mean ups and downs.

Up! I got XCOM 2 over the weekend, and I am loving it! I’ll be the first to admit that I’m terrible at strategy games, which is why I prefer those that have turn-based combat, much less stressful, right? Not this one; XCOM 2 makes up for the slower-paced turn structure by throwing enormous piles of fear and loathing at you. Always having been notorious for its challenge, the XCOM series continues strong, this time including endless multitasking, limited resources, surprise challenges and an escalating difficulty curve that you just have to hold on for dear life to keep up with. I am moderating myself though, I only play in the evenings, or else I’d get nothing done during the day.

Down! I recently was contacted out of the blue by someone I’ve actively been doing my best to avoid talking to for years. I was deliberately trying to stay away from awkward situations, but I guess I still had some issues to work through, which came out in the conversation. One thing led to another, heated words were exchanged, and it now seems the bridge has been burned for good. Maybe I could have phrased my words better, maybe the other person could have refrained from trying to guilt trip me (I felt bad enough already), but at the end of the day I was honest and said my piece. Perhaps now I can finally put this to rest with the affirmation that there will be no further contact, once the “what if I’d said…” scenarios stop buzzing in my brain.

Up! I was hired for a commission yesterday! It’s not much, just a couple of pictures, but it’ll net enough of a profit to afford some food for the next week or two, plus I’ll be able to go see Deadpool when that lands this weekend. The subject matter is also right up my alley; doing work one enjoys is always rewarding spiritually as well.

Down, but Up! I won’t have a special someone to spend Valentine’s Day with this year, given my situation, but at least I’ll get to spend it with loved ones. There’s a family picnic happening with relatives all the way from Canada, whom I don’t get to see as often as I’d like, so that’s going to be a good day out.

Steadily Up! My new ongoing project continues to be… ongoing, and I’m keeping a tight schedule on it. So for my daily drawing, here’s another piece of official art:

air scholarC

Down! This blog post has come to an end.

Up! Sleep time.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 16/02/02

botdcardHey everypeoples, it’s been a bit quiet around here lately, but I have very good excu- er, reasons – to explain that.

Last week I started trying out a few new things, trying to expand my comfort zone and practicing some digital techniques. I’ve since taken on a new personal project, one with enough variety to keep up the incentive that will keep me immersed for a while. I don’t want to give away too much too soon, but you can expect to see a few art pieces from it on the site in the near future.

However, this will be cutting into my time for other things; you may have noticed Elements of Eve didn’t update yesterday. If I’m being honest, I’ve been so wrapped up in this new idea (as well as the usual over-active pile of nonsense that is my brain) that I haven’t been in the right mindset to focus on Eve properly. So for now, I may have to reduce the update schedule to once per week on Thursdays, just to give me time to focus on everything that needs doing. It’s not a compromise I make lightly, but needs must when the devil vomits into your kettle.

Hopefully I’ll be hearing back soon on the possibility of getting a car, and subsequently getting out of the house a bit more. The bus services here don’t go everywhere, and there are some places I’d like to frequent more often ie comic book stores that aren’t run by… “negative people.”

That’s all I’ve really got for this week, back to the tablet and the forging of ideas.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 06/01/26

botdcardHey everypeoples, still alive down here. Going to keep it short and sweet tonight, since this past week has been a bit slow.

The reason for this slowness was primarily the heatwave we’ve been having; I felt like I was melting right up until Saturday morning. This did not bode well for my productivity, and as such I didn’t upload anything. I’m not happy about it, but I’m now getting back on track to the best of my ability.

The daily sketches will return soon; I have been sketching again now that the weather is cooling down, but I’m trying out a few things outside my comfort zone, and they aren’t things I want to display online just yet. Maybe someday they will grace the interwebs with their presence, but only if and when I feel I’ve progressed enough.

On the geeky side, I had a recent windfall of Magic: The Gathering cards and have been practicing with some impressive constructed decks, to great success. I might even consider entering a Modern tournament at the end of the month, though my previous tournament experiences were not very inspiring. But hey, if I can win at least one pack of cards, it’s something.

Also, as if Critical Role wasn’t enough (holy crap, who saw the latest episode, that was insane!) I’m now watching another D&D stream called High Rollers, starring the talented folks over at the Yogscast. It’s a little smaller and less intense compared the Critical Role, but it is still early days and it’s off to a good start. Makes for a great way to round out the weekend #RollOnSunday.

Well, that’s all from me this week, more arty stuff coming up soon.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 16/01/12

botdcardEvening everypeoples, it’s nearly 8pm and it is still 28 degrees Celsius, having cooled down from the lovely 35 degrees from earlier. I am stunned that my fingers have not melted into the keyboard yet…

The job hunt continues, with emails flying out constantly. Haven’t received any replies yet, though I’m chalking that up to the studios still recovering from the holiday break and just beginning their work year. That’s the optimist side of my brain talking, and it needs to talk like that because it needs a workout to drown out the pessimist side, which as we all know thrives in humidity and my room is basically a tropical jungle minus the life-giving plants.

My personal work is falling a little behind, I get really sluggish in the heat, but I haven’t given up on anything. It might not have looked that way this past weekend, but I still did upload my daily sketches and finally got  yesterday’s Elements of Eve page done (right here, check it out). Hopefully a nice storm will roll in soon and wash away the mugginess.

In other news, I just finished Parks and Rec, loved the new episode of Critical Role, and I am now going to get some writing done before converting to a liquid state and being soaked up by my mattress.

It is. Really. Freaking. HOT.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 16/01/05

botdcardHey everypeoples, Tuesday is here and time for some more random puffery from me to you. Assuming I have any puff left in me and the heat hasn’t robbed it all away…

So I’m nearly a week into my New Year’s resolutions, and so far I’m doing well. I’m exercising every morning; not much, but enough to get my heart rate up and to feel a bit of pain in my pathetic muscles by the afternoon. I’m also sticking to my plan of one comic page drawn, inked and coloured per day; whether it’s Elements of Eve, or my new project for Patreon (keep an eye out for that next month), I’m getting stuff done. I’ve started storyboarding my animated sequence, I’m reviewing and expanding my writing, and am slowly getting a productive routine going. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to maintain it.

The job search continues too, I’m sending out emails every morning; with the influx of art I’m going to be posting here, I’ll hopefully be spotted before too long. It’s still early in the year though, I know some animation offices aren’t even open for another week, but might as well get in early if I can. On the off chance a job does come along, my new schedule would require some re-shuffling, though this year is the one I will have to be more productive than ever. Sleep is for the weak!… and then I’ll sleep for a week.

Not much else to talk about, expect a lot more activity on this site, I’m uploading my daily warm-up sketches and will soon be posting sneak peeks of my other projects. Time to shift up a gear, this year is going to be busy.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/12/22

botdcardEvening everypeoples. I suppose it’s almost evening, even though the sun is still up, but it’s late afternoon. “Prevening” I believe is the word The Big Bang Theory coined…

This will probably be my last blog post for the year, I’m sure anyone who would potentially be reading this is going to have far better things to do than read my ramblings between now and 2016; I’m going to be in a different city again starting Thursday, so I’m in the same boat. But when I get back to Cape Town next year, there’s going to be some minor changes around here, although they will hopefully have far-breaching impacts. Yes, this is me getting my New Year’s resolutions out of the way now.

First big thing: This is supposed to be an art blog, and I’ve been severely lax about uploading art. Oh sure, there’s my portfolio and my showreel which I need for my ongoing job hunt, but there’s a severe lack of personal and “casual” art around here, mainly because the college stuff took up so much time. Well, it’s goodbye college, hello real world, so time to start doing the stuff I’ve been too busy/distracted/exhausted to do! (Or at least as much as I can until I get a job…) I’ve already got an idea for a short animated sequence that I’m going to jump on as soon as I’m back at my light-table.

Next big thing: I’m considering giving Patreon another shot. I tried it out for a while at the beginning of this past year already, but I may have set my expectations a bit too high, because after two months and no responses I got so discouraged that I shut it down. This time, I’m going to start small, start slow, and exercise patience; even if it takes all year to get a single pledge, the Patreon will endure. My next big personal comic project will be going up there, and I will be throwing a lot of effort into it, I want issues printed and ready for FanCon in May. Keep your eyes peeled for when the updates begin.

Third big thing: My belly. Self-explanatory. Let’s see how long that one lasts…

Now, time for the alien elephant in the pop-culture VIP room: Star Wars (don’t worry, no spoilers, promise!). I saw The Force Awakens on Saturday, and I was blown away. I had a smile on my face the whole way through and then for a couple of hours after to the point where my face actually hurt. In the few days since then, I’ve been thinking about exactly why I enjoyed it so much (because I remember having similar reactions to the prequels, and hindsight was not kind to them) and came to the following conclusions: the film is good. There is no question about it, this is a solid, entertaining film that hearkens back to what made the original trilogy great. The new characters are interesting, likable, and mesh with the returning characters in a way that feels natural and fun. The special effects are what we’ve come to expect from a big-budget Disney film, and the pacing never feels too fast or too slow.

The only major criticism I could give it is that it may rely a little too much on nostalgia; the references to the original trilogy are numerous and sometimes a bit blatant. Does this make it boring and/or cliched? Not at all, it’s actually like an Easter egg hunt for die-hard fans, and a good incentive for newcomers to watch the previous films. The downside is that it doesn’t try enough new things; it’s up there showing off that it’s a Star Wars film, and is recognizable as one for more than just the fact that everyone knows where lightsabers come from.

But when you remember that this is the beginning of a new trilogy, it serves as the perfect gateway; it’s meant to remind those jaded to the franchise, and to show the next generation of fans, exactly why Star Wars is a great story. A New Hope came out almost forty years ago, the re-release was over twenty years ago, and in that time some of us may have forgotten just why we were drawn to it in the first place. The Force is indeed awakened by this movie; it is awakened in the hearts of every Star Wars fan and it is saying “Remember.”

So that’s my last ramble for 2015: personal motivation and nostalgic gushing. Hope you all enjoyed it, have a wonderful holiday season, and I will see you all in the New Year.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/12/15

botdcardEvening everypeoples, I am coming to you from the opposite side of the country right now. Wait, I went to the opposite side of the country from my hometown at the beginning of the year, but since I live there now, does my hometown now count as the opposite side of the country? Semantics, how do they work?

Anyway, not too much to talk about, I’m planning on taking my holidays very easy, because when they are over I’m going to be diving head first into the job market, and isn’t that going to be just a lovely time? I am looking forward to finding a job that suits my skill set, but given the nature of the workplace these days, I may just have to hope for a miracle. Still, plenty of free time to beef up my portfolio while I’m waiting for replies to the tidal wave of emails I’ll be sending.

So far, holidays have been very chilled, it’s been great seeing my parents again after nearly six months, and settling back into my old house has been very natural, although being back in a single bed is rather jarring; I’m used to having space to stretch out and contorting my body to fit a cat somewhere on the end. I’m also without most of my artistic tools, such as my computer and light table, but all I really need is my sketchbook and my notebook to satisfy my creative outlet. I’m also catching up on a lot of the graphic novels I subscribed to, really should change the delivery address now that I’ve made the choice to move out permanently…

I’ve also been prepping for my upcoming D&D game with my uncle’s family in Joburg; after my first taste of being a Dungeon Master, I am really really keen to do it again. Over the past few days I’ve made my own DM screen, dusted off and repainted my old dice box, and am currently making quick-reference notes for all the encounters likely to happen in the campaign. It just saves me having to scroll through pdfs repeatedly, which was a problem I had with my first game; I actually ended up making some of the encounters too easy because with all my jumping around I forgot to include half the monsters. Well, not this time; my next set of adventurers are going receive multiple goblin boots to the groin and they will like it, dammit!

Also, I’m going to see the new Star Wars on Saturday, so no spoilers please!

That’s all for this week, hope the holidays are treating you all well.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/12/08

botdcardAfternoon everypeoples, getting one of these out before the sun goes down for a change.

Main reason for this is that college is now finally over, and hopefully for me, it will be for good. I have to say I was a lot more emotional on Friday than I thought I would be; it’s just been such a point of consistency for me ever since I moved across the country, and now that I’m done with it, it’s kind of a strange feeling. Next year is going to be very different…

But before that happens, I’ll be taking a nice holiday break when I head home for Christmas this Friday. It’s been nearly six months since I last saw my parents, and a couple of years since I saw most of my Johannesburg relatives, so it’s going to be fun. It does mean I have to get a buffer done for Elements of Eve to tide over the two weeks of updates between now and Christmas, which I should really be working on right now. The heat is making me lazy and the latest episode of Critical Role left me so emotionally hyped and drained that I’ve barely been able to sit still all day.

Speaking of D&D (segue skills, recognize!), you guys may remember last week I spoke about my attempts to finally organize a game. I am happy to say it went off without a hitch (although one of our players was rather reluctant and we had to keep it a secret until it was too late for her to back out, might not see her play again) and a good time was had. I got to express myself a little as Dungeon Master, and the players surprised me at a couple of turns, despite the fact that I had been overthinking to the point where I thought I had all my bases covered. Ah, sweet naivete… Highlight of the evening was when the party managed to surprise a goblin underboss in his chamber, unleash a flurry of attacks before he could do anything, and then finish him off by swinging another goblin at his head and breaking his neck with the impact. Bottom line, we had a good evening, and even if we never get to play again, I’m still glad for the experience. Good practice for when I hopefully DM a game for my uncle and his family over Christmas.

That’s all my geeky news for this week, I will still upload some bloggery during my stay in Durban, but since I’ll be spending my Christmas week in Joburg, there won’t be a blog post on the 29th; I’m sure you all have much better things to do during that time anyway.

Have a good one folks, ciao for now.