What I Learned Building beasts for Inktober

The Inktober build a beast challenge is over and I survived. It was a challenge for sure but I was always excited to dive into the next drawing. I found that if I could stay a little ahead, the pressure was off. It was manageable although some of my other projects lost a bit of attention. I was only able to ink a page and a half of The Pod and one small illustration. I was productive for sure but as always it never felt like enough. The creation is like a drug, a small fix is not enough and neither is a big one. It really says something about my personality.

What I learned was when the topic seemed hard or impossible I almost always surprised myself. As time went on It seems I tended to enjoy the looser drawings with lots of texture. My style would shift slightly depending on the monster that was chosen or perhaps due to the idea I had about where to take it. The more drawings I had under my belt the less daunting it became. I can see why a lot of artists lose their way or get behind during this challenge. Many follow their whims and if a new thing comes along it will always be more interesting, not to mention all the other life obligations. For me though It was either discipline, determination or just plain stubbornness that kept me on track. If I set my mind to something there will need to be a big obstacle to change my mind.

Another thing that I learned was creating a story in my head about the creature yielded better results. Forcing the mind to add little details to tell a story instead of just trying to create something cool. I’m definitely glad I did this and a little sad it’s over. One monster I didn’t randomly roll was Cthulhu and I am disappointed with that, so I think I’ll have to draw one this month. I have some ideas for a larger drawing we’ll just have to see where that goes. I don’t like every drawing I did but I do have some favorites. Perhaps I’ll make a zine of them in the future. Here are the rest of my creations for the month.

Inktober a Week in Review, is it Worth it?

Is it worth it? It’s too soon to tell but I’m digging it. So far I have kept on schedule with this challenge better than I anticipated. It seems the amount of rendering varies from day-to-day. My style seems to shift slightly depending on what I am drawing. The only real issue that I have lost some time working on my comic because of falling a little behind where I want to be on posts. I think a better use would have been an inked panel a day on The Pod, just to keep momentum on that project. Or maybe alternating between the two.

Although I wouldn’t have a collection of sweet monsters piling up if I did that. This way I do get to explore different aspects of my style and find things I like. So far that means spatters and textures, probably because over the last year I have been drawing in a relatively clean style to leave room for the painting. As you can see I’m a little torn and as fun as this is it is also exhausting. Depending on my workload I’m not sure if I would do this again, at least maybe not like this.

Here are this weeks’ creations.


The Build a beast challenge the Beginning…

It has begun, the Inktober Build a Beast challenge is underway. Although still too soon to determine its merits, Im happy so far. Knowing when to stop working on a drawing for me will be the key. Over rendering will surely be the death of this challenge. I decided that rolling dice would be better way to randomly choose creatures than picking out of a hat. Two 20 sided will work perfect with 39 possible options in each list. After it is impossible to roll a 1 with 2 dice.

The first roll was a Motorized Boogeyman.

Today’s is a Frozen Fairy.

Follow me on instagram to see daily updates. I’ll review what I’ve done next week.

My Best Tip For Painting Better

In this weeks’ vlog I break down my best tip for painting better. It’s very simple really, my best tip for painting is just sit down and paint. You will get better through practice and repetition. Over time you will learn what works and doesn’t work for you. Try techniques and abandon them, it’s about trial and error learning your craft. No matter how long I make art I know that I’m in a constant state of learning. There is no tangible end goal of how good I want to be. Therefore, I want to be the best artist I can be at any given time and that means I have to be better than yesterday. This episode has me working on pages 14 and 15 of The Pod, check it out and see how much I’ve progressed since last week.

My Rules for Inktober

As I said in my last post I’ll be participating in Inktober but under my own set of rules. On this weeks vlog I’m outlining the rules for anyone who missed out. All while laying in the under-painting on pages 14 & 15 of The Pod. Also I talk about some other projects I have on the go, like my short comic Low Fuel. I just need to finish the lettering and it will be updating on webtoons shortly.

Making My Patreon Great Again!

Making Patreon work for me is something that had escaped me for the last few months. I started because I could. It was one more place to put myself out there and expand my readership. After starting it I wasn’t sure where to take it. So, that’s where I left it like a sad puppy wanting some attention all the while I was somewhere else.

I knew it was time for a change and I did it. The whole thing has been revamped, with new tiers, new goals and the look streamlined. I decided that if someone wants to help me achieve those goals I needed to provide more to them than I had originally thought. Now any patron can read finished pages of the Pod before they’re published anywhere. More behind the scenes stuff will be added weekly. Also I wanted something physical that I could offer. So, at my highest tier thus far I offer an exclusive postcard every month with a sketch on the back. There’s more to do, and I’m pumped to get back to work. New ideas are circling my brain just waiting for the chance to burst out.

I just want to thank everyone who has already pledged this month, you are AWESOME!!! As well I want to thank everyone who shared my post about my review on the comic vault. If you haven’t seen what I’m up to take a look at my Patreon page or my Vlog. I have plenty to see and more to come. Thanks again for all the support.

NEW Comic on webtoons and Vlog #34

Specimen X

I have a new comic up on webtoons called Specimen X. I have added it to the Tales of the Damned series I’m working on. Also Forever Green (the first Damned Tale) was Just reviewed by the Comic Vault, rather positively which I’m happy about. Check it out, Jamie Ryder has a cool blog with lots of different stuff there. As for my vlog this week shows me finishing up toning Specimen X with copic markers. It was nice to take a bit of a break from The Pod and work on something smaller for a change. These smaller projects can give a shot of motivation and shake things up. I may be in trouble if they become addictive and slow down my progress on the big project. I guess you just need to follow what feels right and for the moment a distraction seemed to be what I needed.

Finished Pages and a Comic Show

Well I finished painting pages 8 and 9 of “the Pod” this week. It felt like an eternity working on those paintings. I also attended the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VANCAF) which was awesome. I showed my work around a little but mostly it was independent artists selling their books. It was inspiring seeing how much work people are putting in to their projects. For myself I can feel overwhelmed at times just thinking about how far I have left to go. At least the stack of finished pages keeps me moving forward. This weeks Vlog shows the last bit of painting and clean up on pages 8 and 9 if you want to check them out. Scanning and lettering are up next. Later

Mixed Media Painting Tricks

How I paint is not entirely traditional, since I mix media in almost everything I do. Detailed drawings hide beneath my paintings, sometimes pencil other times ink. I use coloured pencils to add texture and highlights. Also I ink on top of paint if a graphic or comic book style look is what I’m after. I just find the right tool for the job at any given moment. If you want to see me in action, I’m painting pages 6 and 7 of “The Pod” on this weeks vlog. I explain more of the process I use when creating this comic.

Did my Vlog increase productivity?

By starting my Vlog I believe my productivity has increased, despite adding extra work like editing videos. It holds me accountable in a strange way and sets a loose schedule. Making me work even if I don’t always feel like it.

Since October I have finished penciling 2 chapters, inked 13 pages and painted 7. Not too shabby but it never feels like enough. I think in some ways I’m too hard on myself. The desire to see more done can be like a weight around my neck. Dragging me down instead of spurring me on. Mind games with myself is part of the territory I guess. I know the only one holding me back is myself and I just have to push through that resistance. The slowly building stack of pages is the real motivator. Seeing the work finished makes this project become real and I can’t wait to start sharing this story with others. In the mean time you can cheer me on and check in on my progress. Thanks to everyone Liking and sharing.