Art Direction for Comics & Stuff – Notes from FanX 2015

I went to a panel about good art direction for comics/screenplays/etc.  It turned out to mostly be a panel about being art-directed by an art director, but I did manage to pull out some tidbits of advice for figuring out art direction on your own.

First off, you’re trying to tell a story through pictures. What’s it about? Make sure the art focuses on that.

Be creative. Figuring out the art style is the first step after the story is written.  It is affected by final format, meaning TV vs. Movie screen, paper size, or unlimited internet canvas.

Research. Pull from nature. Pull from other cultures. Find things you can reference and flirt with in your style.

Don’t forget all the props!  There will be a ton of them.

That was about it.  I hope that was helpful in some way.

NaNoWriMo’s creeping up on me

But I’m ahead of it this time!  For once.

I’ve poked at doing NaNoWriMo a few times now, and “failed” each time except the first time.  June of 2012 I managed more than the required 50,000 words and have a lovely first draft of a novel that now needs 75% rewritten.  Then in July of this year I tried again, but was madly overwhelmed by everything else going on in my life, so I only managed about 15,000 words.  While that may seem sad, it did propel me to the end of my novel within the month after.  There was a big happy dance after that.

Then I realized I skipped a big portion in the middle.  So now I’m writing that for draft two.

So what to do for NaNo this November?  More story to improve that draft two!  I think for NaNo I will write the story going on behind the story.  The part we get to see in glimpses but never get to know.  It’s mega important and will influence the story in major ways, so I need to know what’s going on there.  AND I’ll get to play with my most favorite character ever.  *evil grin*  I’ve been missing him.

Now to plan things out so I can whip it out all this November.  It will be awesome.

making of the dragon hoodie

I thought I’d put together a process of how I made my hoodie, in case people want ideas on how to make their own.  I’d suggest reading it once through before trying anything on your own, and please ask questions and point out where I’m not clear.  🙂

Step one was to obtain a hoodie to make a pattern off of.  My mom took me to a thrift store where I found mine, so that only cost about $4.

Next, I lay my new hoodie out on some packing paper and drew out what I wanted the finished silhouette of the spines to be.  Then I took tracing paper and made individual patterns for all the spines.  After that I drew out the pattern for the wings.  Something important to remember at this point is that you need  to add to the edges of your pattern to allow for a seam.  If you don’t do this, your pieces will come out too small.

I thought I had pictures of the previous steps, but I guess I forgot or lost the images somewhere, but I have pics for the rest.


Cutting out all the pieces. Since my spines are 3D, I need four of each piece in fabric and two in interfacing to give the fabric some stability. Waltz likes to help… as in run off with my pin cushion any chance he gets. Right now he’s just investigating my awesome scissors.

Remember to stay organized!

Then we start stitching things together. Attach the interfacing to the outside sets of spine fabric, then sew the pieces outside-sides together along the curve of the spine with a 1/4″ seam. Set aside and sew the inside pieces outside-side together with a 1/2″ seam along the same curve. Do this for all the spines. Also attach interfacing to one side for each of the wings.

They're starting to come together!

After we have the spine curve stitched on all the pieces, we start putting them together. Put the inside and outside parts together with the outsides facing in. Sew a 1/2″ seam all the way around, leaving a space on one of the short flat sides open so you can turn the spine right-side-out. Then after they’re sewn, turn the pieces.

Looking good!

Don’t forget to finish making the wings. Get an interfaced and non-interfaced piece and put them outside sides together and sew a 1/2″ seam around all the sides except for where you need to leave a hole to turn the wings right-side out. Turn the wings, and stuff to desired level of stuffed-ness. Leave the part you will attach to the hoodie unstuffed.

Waltz has to stay involved.

Once all the spines are made and turned, we can pin them on. I started with the top and bottom and worked my way to the middle to make sure the spacing stayed right. Then I stitched the spines on one by one from the bottom since they needed to overlap from the top.  I drew in a triangle on the bottoms of the spines in the original pattern so I had a good foundation to stitch onto the hoodie.  I should have stopped to take more pictures of the in-between, but I got in the zone and forgot.

Some important things to remember:

1. Tuck in the edges of the holes you left when you needed to turn things the right-way-out.  Make that edge look nice like all the other edges and that it will catch in the edge seam you will put on the spines while attaching them to the hoodie.  That way your spines end up completely closed and beautiful.  Do the same with your wings, unless you left your hole somewhere else and it needs to be hand-stitched shut with a slip stitch.

2. When you get to where the spines overlap, like on the hood, you might want to switch to a jean fabric needle.  Those are heavy and can handle almost anything.  I broke a few needles before switching, and I wish I’d switched sooner.  The heavy needle worked like a dream where I’d been fighting before.

Once you have the spines attached, lay the hoodie on the ground and figure out where you want the wings to lay.  Attach the wings the same way you did the spines, but the work’s not over yet.  The wings are heavy and will hang down all sad, dragging your hoodie off your head if you stop there.  The last step is to find a good spot to hand stitch the wings to a point higher on the shoulders.  Get a small piece of interfacing, put it on the inside of the hoodie to help strengthen the fabric, then stitch a good inch or so square of the hoodie to the body of the wing.  Now the wings will stay up and pretty and you have a fantastic looking hoodie.

Hopefully the end result looks something like this:


Good luck and happy stitching!

Dragon Hoodie!

Remember that dragon hoodie I mentioned a few posts ago that I stayed up until 2AM one night not finishing?  Well, I finished it, and it is awesome.  Check it out!

Final1 Final2 Final3

I’m pretty proud of how it turned out.  I think I’m going to make belly scales and a tail to match and wear it to the Salt Lake Comic Con FanExperience in April.  I’ll wear it whether or not I make the accessories, but I think the tail and tummy will help make it 20% cooler. (bonus points to those who get that reference.)  I bought the fabric for them yesterday, but I need to make a hoodie for my friend first, and then find time around work.  😛  I’m  busy.

What to Do with Creative Block (writing, art, etc.)

So, have you ever found yourself lacking or stuck on your stories, art, or anything else creative?  That dreaded creative block or faithless muse seems stop a lot of people from moving forward and can be super frustrating.  I know I struggle with it at times.  When it hits it sometimes seems like it will never go away.  However, creative block is a challenge to vanquish, not to surrender to.

Here are some suggestions on ways to fight creative block:

  • Take a little break from your story/art.  Just a little one.  Maybe a day or two at most.  Go for some walks, listen to good music, experience something new.

  • Learn about something you don’t know much about.
  • Do some writing/art exercises.  Find a prompt and write something with your characters that doesn’t have to do with your story, or make up some new characters and have fun with that.  Or, for art, follow some tutorials and practice different techniques.  Some good books for that are: The Writer’s Block and The Creative Block.  (These work great for both writing and art)  There are loads of books and websites with prompts, ideas and exercises to try.  I also own The 3 A.M. Epiphany, but have yet to crack it open and see what it offers.  It looks really cool, though.  I’ll have to try it and let you know how it goes.
  • Write on a different part of your story.  Do some different art.
  • When writing, ask yourself what you think would be fun to see happen with your characters, then write that.  When arting, ask yourself what would be fun, ridiculous, or risky to try, then do it.
  • Talk to friends about your story/art.  They might ask good questions to get you thinking, or talking might spark ideas.
  • Go take care of things that have been piling up.  Clean the house.  Organize.  Write letters.  Catch up on the non-creative stuff you keep meaning to do.  Getting something done should help you feel better since you were productive, and it will also ease your mind and free it up so it can start having fun again.
  • Just slog through it.  I know this option stinks, but sometimes it’s the only way.
Ultimately, though, once you do those things the most important part is to GET BACK TO WORK.  You have to push through creative block.  Write some crappy junk.  Make a mess on that “canvas,” whatever it may be.  You can edit and fix it later.  You can even start over.  Just don’t let it stop you.  SHOW your muse who’s BOSS!
After all, good creative products are 10% inspiration and 90% hard work.  You are awesome, and you can do it.

Some Writing Exercises – Post 2

The second writing exercise for my class at BYU. (These exercises are from Dr. Tourney’s English 318R class, with edits by me that make it more clear.)

Exercise 2 – Perspectives on Character

This exercise focuses on character presentation and development.  “Character” is central to story-telling.  It is the chief point of reader interest, and failure to present characters who are credible, engaging, and dynamic is not compensated for by any other success in the story.

Good characterization is achieved through careful selection of physical details and personal attributes, the author’s social awareness, and consistency with psychological realism.  It also requires recognition that character is dynamic.  Characters change with the circumstances of the plot and interaction with other characters.  Like the real people they represent they are unique, complex, and potentially unfathomable, not merely stereotypical functions in the plot.  What is essential is not that the character should be entirely understood, but be believed and indispensable.

Like the first exercise, the second consists of four parts.  It focuses on the presentation of a single character.

  1. COMMENTARY:  Two to three pages on how the stories you have recently read have contributed to the presentation and development of the character about whom you have written.  Basically, this is a personal essay about your reading, writing, and the connection of both in this exercise.
  2. EXPOSITION:  A two page description of the subject character from and omniscient point of view.  This should entail physical description, background, personality and character traits, and social environment and relationships.  You may write this in a plain or more literary style, as you choose.
  3. MONOLOGUE:  A two page representation of the subject character from a first-person point of view.  (The character talks about him/herself.)  The context of the monologue is your decision but do choose a context where such self-disclosure is plausible.
  4. SCENE: A three-four page scene in which the subject character interacts with a second character.  This should be third-person restrictive from the point of view from the second character.  In essence this is a short, short story.  It should have a beginning, middle, and denouement–or significant closure.  You may use dialogue.
Here’s what I did for this exercise in class:
This assignment was a challenge.  The hardest part was that I chose a challenging character who is difficult to work with.  How do you work with someone who never communicates the truth unless they’re drunk or you’re in their head?  I found it very befuddling.  The objective view is easy enough, since you can outright state that he’s a liar and how he copes.  First person is easier than third person, since in first person you can be allowed to sit in the character’s head and see the inner workings.  You can watch him struggle to know what he wants to say and how he figures out what to say to perhaps get it across to others.  Third person view restricted to a second character is the hardest, since now you’re limited to the other character’s mind and actions.  It was a big struggle for me to figure out how he would lie while still knowing what it was he really wanted to say.  That was what made the assignment the hardest, and also figuring out what scenes and situations to write to best communicate the character to the reader.
Situations are very important for characterization.  You can have a fascinating character, but if all you have them do is sit at home no one will know.  For example, in “Cathedral” Carver strategically placed the narrator in a situation where his prejudice and closed-mindedness could come out.  If Robert, the blind man, had never come to visit the reader would never know that the narrator was uncomfortable or thought that blind people were pathetic.  We also wouldn’t have known that the narrator was willing and capable of change.  Many different aspects of his character would have never surfaced without Robert being there.  The situation is critical.
In “Where are you going, where have you been?” Connie is shown in several different situations which help the reader to discover her character.  First she’s shown hanging with her friends and with her family, so the reader thinks she’s one of those annoying selfish pretty girls with a shallow personality.  Oates shows her being arrogant by her interactions with her mother and sister, confident with her interactions with her friends and boys away from home, and selfish with her refusal to go to the family barbecue.  The reader only learns that Connie has depth and actually loves her family when Arnold Friend shows up and successfully abducts her by threatening her family.  If Arnold Friend never showed up to create that situation, the reader would have never known how uncertain Connie could be, and that she was willing to sacrifice herself for her family.
For me to properly communicate the character of Eric I had to find a situation where he could finally find out what it was like to tell the truth.  That way the reader could see how ecstatic he would be and know that he doesn’t lie just to lie, he honestly can’t do anything else and would much rather be normal.  By placing Eric and Sarah in the party environment we get to watch Eric struggle to communicate before he drinks any alcohol.  We see him try to be social, fail, and retreat.  We see him try to cope with his disorder and state the opposite of what he means or be “unsure” and have Sarah interpret it for us.  Then after he takes a drink we get to see him celebrate and rejoice in finally being able to say that the sky is blue.  It is very liberating for him to finally have the truth come out of his mouth.  If I hadn’t focused on that scene, that moment in his life, the reader might not be able to fully understand in such a short narrative the same amount of depth in Eric’s character.  It also allows the reader to see that while Sarah wants to think she’s a cool, caring big sister, she can actually be quite shallow.
So after a lot of consideration I feel that situation is one of the most important aspects of portraying character.  The situation allows the details of personality come out for our inspection and enjoyment.  Without the proper situation, readers might not ever know a certain character is actually very interesting.  Bad situations lead to boring characters, no matter how cool they are.

Eric Kohei Jones, age fourteen, third generation Japanese-American on his mother’s side.  He stood about five foot nine inches.  His face was covered in acne, a breakout that had cursed him for the past six months.  He had the habit of scooting his thick glasses up his nose as far as they could go, so his eyebrows always touched the top of the frames.  He had shifty eyes, not that they seemed crafty, but they were always shifting in order to take in the world around him.  No one knew what he was really thinking, and most people never cared to try and find out.  They had tried in the past, but when it became clear that he never told the truth they all decided to quit.  It was a miracle he was even passing school, except for the fact that no teacher wanted to deal with him for more than a year.  He really needed an IEP, but his parents refused to give him any special attention.  They thought he lied to get attention, and they had no desire to encourage such behavior.  They did not bother trying to get him diagnosed, they just scolded him.  If they had taken him to a psychologist they might have found out that something inside his brain was broken.  Eric had a disorder.
Eric had Pseudologia fantastica, also known as mythomania or pathological lying.  Somewhere in his mind there was a big black hole that all the truth fell down.  The truth could never make it out of his mouth.  No matter how hard he tried he could never say the truth straight out.  He couldn’t even answer a test question without lying.  He learned ways of coping.  He found that he could skirt around the truth by pretending to be unsure.  When taking eye exams he always answered with a question, which ensured he actually got close to the right prescription.  It took him a few tries to figure that out, and for years he’d spent a lot of time walking into things because he couldn’t see.  However, feigning uncertainty didn’t help when the test questions were always multiple choice.
Eric really wanted to tell the truth.  His told elaborate tales that acted as complex puzzles one could find the truth in if they looked hard enough.  Sadly for him, though, no one bothered trying to find truth in the words of a liar.  He learned when to keep his mouth shut, because sometimes saying nothing was the best way for the truth to be told.  Then one day at a party he discovered alcohol.
Alcohol did something to him that he didn’t suspect.  It filled the gaping hole to overflowing and the truth could slide right over and out.  That discovery thrilled him, and he took to drinking.  It made him feel free.  He drank whenever he could manage.  He drank before school, and he snuck alcohol in his lunch.  His teachers wondered how his grades could suddenly improve so drastically.  He got pulled in to the principle’s office for cheating, and while in his inebriated state he could honestly say he hadn’t been cheating, no one believed him since they’d never been able to before.  Then he got in trouble for being drunk at school, as well as for being underage.
So now he mostly doesn’t talk at all, even though he has a lot to say.

Huh.  I wonder why Sarah has such a bunch in her panties over this.  Shouldn’t she be just as thrilled as I am?  I mean, I finally got to tell her the truth.  I’ve been wanting to tell her the truth for my entire life!  I want to tell everyone the truth, but I guess if I’m supposed to keep the alcohol a secret I might not be able to do that.  Does she realize how suffocating it is to not be able to tell the truth?  I mean, what if I witnessed a murder, or a robbery, or something?  If I was the sole witness the person would likely get away with it because I wouldn’t be able to communicate the truth to the officers!  How could I live like that, knowing full well someone got away with murder because I couldn’t tell the truth?  That’s a big heavy worry.
There’s been so many times I’ve wanted to give her good advice, or comfort her, or tell her something, but all I could do was just give her a hug and keep my mouth shut.  Better to stay silent than say something stupid.  It takes a lot of effort to hide the truth in my lies.  If I can’t work it in good enough the monster eats it.  I hate that monster.  He ruins everything for me.  I don’t know why I bother sometimes, the monster gets smarter and smarter and it gets harder and harder to sneak the truth out and nobody seems to get it or care.  Except for Sarah.  She gets it, she cares.  She makes the challenge of sneaking the truth out worth it, even fun.  It’s a good thing I like challenges and mind games, otherwise I might not be able to try, not even for Sarah.  Although, I do enjoy the challenge just for the challenge.  It’s become as much a part of me as the lying.  It keeps me on my toes, keeps my mind sharp.  It gives me something to do while everyone else around ignores me.  I don’t like to be bored.  It keeps me entertained.  What way can I sneak the truth past the monster this time?  Sometime’s it’s in questions.  Keeping the monster believing that I’m not really sure what I’m talking about is the hardest way, although it’s the way most people can get.  Someday, though, I know that won’t work any more.  I have to feed in pieces of the truth over multiple mostly-lies in order to be sure it all gets out.  People don’t usually listen to those.  Someday I won’t be able to get the truth out to anyone at all, maybe not even Sarah, maybe she’ll stop trying to dig and find the truth hiding in my word games.
Maybe she doesn’t want to know the truth?  I don’t know why she wouldn’t.  She worked hard to figure out how to understand what I really meant.  Sure, she doesn’t get it right all the time.  Actually, she doesn’t get it right often, but she still knows and understands me better than anyone else.  At least she tries, for now.  I love her.
I wonder what it would be like on her end of this.  I thought she’d want to ask a lot of questions, to find out everything she could in order to understand me better.  I know I would be brimming with questions.  I’m fascinated by people.  I love to pull apart how their brains work, and having a moment where a liar like me could finally tell the truth would be a wellspring of information I couldn’t pass up!  Well, maybe it would be too disconcerting?  I guess if Sarah were to suddenly start lying a lot it would really get me mixed up.  I still think it would fascinate me, but I guess if she really started lying in earnest I might get concerned.
But just think of all the opportunities that just opened up for me!  I could actually start doing well in school!  I could finally live my dreams!  It’s like I just won a million dollars.  Oh the things I could do!  I should go do my homework while I’m still drunk.  I think I could get an A!  I wonder how soon it will wear off.  Maybe I should go liberate a bottle of beer from the fridge, I’m sure Dad wouldn’t notice.  He’d think Mom took it.  I’ll need to be careful about this.  How little does it take to satisfy the monster?  I need to experiment.

Sarah was the life of the party.  She let her long black hair drift over her shoulders as she laughed sweetly at all the comments the boys made.  She retained much of her mother’s beautiful asian mystery, which she used to her advantage.  While she flirted she swayed with the music.  The bass thudded through her body, a jarring feeling she didn’t completely enjoy, but everyone was here in the range of the vibrations.  She would stay where everyone else was, which was away from her stuffy, strict parents.  It wasn’t that she didn’t love her parents or didn’t respect them, she did.  It was just, well, limiting sometimes to always be at home.
Sarah accepted a drink and a compliment from one of her classmates, laughing at his attempt to drag her away to the backyard.  She might have contemplated following him around any other night, but tonight was different.  She’d brought someone along this time.
A loud smack and shout from across the room helped her to find him.  She’d lost him for a few minutes in the large crowd of people.  Her baby brother stood there rubbing his acne-covered cheek and grimacing at the retreating back of an outraged girl.  Sarah shook her head and sighed, a small smile dancing over her lips.  He’d made it longer than she had expected without getting slapped, but it was bound to happen eventually.  She probably should’t have brought him along, but she knew how badly he hated being left behind.  He would always say he’d had a great time without her, but she knew that was his way of telling her he’d been miserable.  They had worked out a system so that she could always know what he meant, even though he could never say it.
She meandered over to where he was, now leaning against the wall trying to be invisible.
“Smooth Eric, real smooth.”  She grinned at him.
“Of course, I’m the slickest man here.”  She knew he meant he was the lamest.
“What did you say that made her so mad?”
“Oh, probably something that had to do with her hair?  Don’t you think it looks like she’s just wearing a wet cat?”  She knew he had said the girl’s hair looked like a wet dog, even though he meant to compliment how shining and full it was tonight.
“Things aren’t exactly going according to plan, are they?”  Sarah laughed.
Eric shrugged and acted as non-committal as possible.  She knew he agreed completely with her.
“Well, come on.  Try to have some fun before this party gets busted, okay?  Here, try a drink.”  She handed him the beer her classmate had given to her just moments earlier.
“Really?”  he asked.
“Yeah, try it.  I’ve already hit my limit.  I can’t drink any more without the ‘rents figuring it out when we get home.”
“Brilliant, I’ll just down this and solve all my problems.”  She knew he didn’t believe drinking would help him have a better time.  She didn’t really figure it would either, but it might help him forget about being so miserable by the time he woke up in the morning.
Eric took a gulp and gagged.  He looked at her and tried again, this time managing to down half the bottle.
“Tastes great, like lemonade and ice cream on a hot sunny day.”  Eric stuck out his tongue and made a face.  Sarah laughed.
“Yeah, I don’t really like it either, but it helps me loosen up.  Otherwise, I don’t know if I’d be able to handle such a big crowd of people.”
“Yeah, this little group is really tame.”  Eric watched as someone jumped off the table and started crowd surfing.  “I can’t believe people really prefer this to actual fun.”  He paused a moment before his hand flew to his mouth.
“Wait, what?”  Sarah was confused.  Eric hated big parties and the stupid things people did.  He preferred constructive activities and mind games.  What he just said did not follow up with what she’d managed to translate in the past.
“I said I can’t believe people really prefer this to actual fun!”  Eric grinned from ear to ear.  He grabbed her by the shoulders.  “Ask me a question!”
“What’s going on?  You’re confusing me!”
“I just drank half a beer, ask me a question!”  It was true, he had just drunk half a beer.
“Um, what color is the sky?”
“Blue!  Another one!”
“What do you do in the morning before I get up?”
“Sudoku!  Another!”  Also true, she was always finding his finished puzzles in the trash.
“What’s my shoe size?”
“Seven!”  Again, also true.  Eric laughed and threw his hands in the air.
“Wait, how can you be telling the truth?” Sarah was still very confused.  Eric never told the truth, not even to her.
“It must have something to do with the alcohol and how they lower your inhibitions.  It does absorb into your blood pretty quickly.  This is fantastic!  Sarah, you’re beautiful!  You have no idea how long I’ve been wanting to tell you that!  Oh my goodness, oh ho ho!”  Eric spun around and kept laughing.  People started to stare.  Sarah really didn’t want their attention just now.
“Eric!  Calm down, you’re weirding me out!” she grabbed his hand and took the beer from him.
“Why?  This is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me!”
“Let’s go home now, okay?  We can talk as we walk.”
“Um, okay?”  Eric obediently followed her out the door.
They took the long way home.  Sarah let him talk.  Her mind was racing as she learned things about him that she had no idea she could ever really know.  His favorite color was acid green, something about it really did something for him.  She had thought it was lilac.  His favorite subject in school was English, because you could totally BS a paper and he could still get a decent grade doing that since he could convince himself that BSing was in no way telling the truth.  Although, he would really prefer to be good at math because he liked how neat and manageable numbers were.  She’d thought his favorite subject was history.  He’d really like to be a lawyer someday, or maybe a doctor, but he knew those goals were out of his reach.  She thought he’d just wanted to play video games the rest of his life.  He really liked it when she wore her hair down, it made him proud to have such a pretty sister.  The truth just kept coming and coming.  Sarah didn’t know how to handle it, he seemed like an entirely different person now.  By the time they arrived home she decided taking him to the party had definitely been a bad idea.  She stopped him in the hall before taking out her apartment key.
“Hey Eric, can we keep our discovery our little secret?”
“I… well, umm… I feel like we had something special going on just the two of us before.  Now suddenly it’s all upside-down and I don’t know what to think.”  She couldn’t think of anything better to say.
“Oh.  Well, yeah.  Sure.  I guess it is a bit weird to hear me tell the truth.”
“A little, yeah.”  Sarah smiled a weak smile.
Eric nodded.  “You also probably don’t want the ‘rents to find out you’ve been to parties with underage drinking going on.”
“Yeah, that too.”  Sarah said, but it had only really just dawned on her after he said it.
“Don’t worry, you’re secret is safe with me.”  He winked at her.  “It always has been, hasn’t it?”
“Yes, yes it has.”  Sarah sighed with relief as she pulled out her keys.
She was halfway finished unlocking the door when it flew open, their father standing in the way.
“Do either of you care to explain to me why you were out so late?” he growled.
“We were out drinking at a party.” Eric said, not missing a beat.  For a moment Sarah froze.  Hadn’t he just promised to keep her secret safe?
Their father rolled his eyes,  “Sarah, I hope you can tell me what you were actually doing?”
“Um,”  That’s right, she thawed as she realized there was no way their father would believe Eric, “we got hung up at the store.  I couldn’t decide what color of lipstick to get, then we took the long way home.  Eric needs the exercise.”
“That he does.  Now go say goodnight to your mother.”  Their father stepped out of the way.
Eric winked at her as he stepped inside.  Sarah took a steadying breath and smiled.  It didn’t matter whether he was lying to her face or telling the truth.  She knew he would always be there to back her up and help her in whatever way he could.

All Terminal Cases Creative Process MEME Part 2

The continuation of that MEME that I got from Shazzbaa on Tumblr.  Apparently I’ve lost the original… the link doesn’t work anymore.

First half in this post: LINK

  • red: is it hard for you to think up new ideas? list three of your biggest influences.
  • orange: what do you do when you’re inspired? do you scream eureka, write the idea down in a notebook, what? 
  • yellow: what do you do when you’re stuck in a block? list three sources of inspiration when new ideas are scarce.
  • green: how do you flesh out an idea? does it take a long time, do you mull over it for hours, or does it come easily? describe the process!
  • blue: depending on your form of art, what are some of your favorite ways to characterize, add detail, design, establish a settling, or otherwise elaborate on the piece? are you fond of world-building, or does that pose a problem for you? (customize this question if you’re an artist or otherwise)
  • indigo: picture of your workspace!
  • violet: describe your work habits. do you eat? do you need music? are you messy or organized? do you keep a notebook? how long can you work at a time? etc.
  • silver: what’s the hardest part of a piece for you? (plot, background, etc)
  • gold: the easiest? 
  • black: what is your least favorite part of the creative process?
  • white: your favorite? 
  • rainbow: do you believe in true originality? 
  • brown: what does it take for you to honestly be proud of something? 
  • pink: what is the most rewarding part of being a writer, artist, etc? 
  • magenta: what drives you the most insANE?

Indigopicture of your workspace!

Hey lookit!  It’s my workspace!  These pictures are a little outdated now since I got an iMac as a graduation present and now have two monitors on my desk, but I’ve only had it for two weeks now and haven’t really worked with it yet.

Violetdescribe your work habits. do you eat? do you need music? are you messy or organized? do you keep a notebook? how long can you work at a time? etc.
I like to listen to music.  When I’m doing art I can listen to anything, but while I’m writing I can’t listen to music with words.  At least, nothing in English.  As you can see in the image above, I’m a little messy.  Not super messy, but messy.  
I have one sketchbook I carry around with me all the time, a folder of loose paper to draw on when I want to draw something bigger than my sketchbook, a folder with legal-size paper for drawing my comic on, an idea book for writing down concepts, ideas, dreams, etc. in, and right now I also have a small spiral notebook that I’m writing stuff in for a campaign I’m getting ready to run.  I used to have multiple notebooks for writing things down in, but just like my blogs that always seemed like too much effort to me, so I condensed it all down into one book.  That’s working out much better.  🙂
I can work for very long periods of time, especially while I’m listening to music, but I do periodically go surf the internet and see if anything has updated since I last peeked.
That’s probably something important to mention.  I have a routine I go through on the internet in the mornings before I do much anything else.  I read the comics I follow, then check Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, then deviantArt.  This tends to take roughly an hour and is how I stay on top of everything that happens on those sites.  That way when I go peek at things later while I’m working I don’t end up spending hours and hours trawling the web.
I sometimes work better when I have an audience, especially when I’m trying to do something I’m not so excited about or have gotten a bit tired of.  Other times I get lonely and don’t feel like doing anything.  When any of that happens, I turn on livestream and work away on things or share my screen with a friend.  This helps me a surprising amount to focus and have fun doing art.

Silverwhat’s the hardest part of a piece for you? (plot, background, etc)
Backgrounds and setting.  My brain is driven by concepts, characters, and good plots.  Figuring out backgrounds in art or setting in story and actually drawing or writing it is the toughest part for me.  I need to practice more.

Goldthe easiest?
Coming up with characters and concepts.  I love doing this.

Blackwhat is your least favorite part of the creative process?
I’m not sure.  Maybe trying to find time to make progress.

Whiteyour favorite?
Playing with the ideas!  That could be drawing it out, writing, or even just thinking about it and asking questions to come up with ideas.

Rainbowdo you believe in true originality? 
Yes.  Originality is your unique way of taking the pieces of what you have and putting them together.  Originality is how you look at things.  Originality is being yourself and not being anyone else.  This doesn’t mean you never copy others, never agree with others, or try to be different.  It means learning from everything around you and making up your own mind.

Brownwhat does it take for you to honestly be proud of something?
Being surprised or pleased by it in the end.  If I’ve managed to push forward a step, then I feel very proud of myself.

Pinkwhat is the most rewarding part of being a writer, artist, etc?
Creating.  Nothing is more satisfying than creating.  Even being with people (something I crave) can’t hold a candle to the sense of fulfillment creating gives me.

Magentawhat drives you the most insANE?
People who are hateful, think they’re better or know better, or refuse to educate themselves.  It’s my biggest pet-peeve.  Being closed-minded and judgmental doesn’t help you and makes things harder for everyone around you.

All Terminal Cases Creative Process MEME

I found this thing asking questions about your creative process through Shazzbaa’s Tumblr.  Original is here.

This MEME has been split into two posts.  This is the first half.  Second half is HERE.

  • red: is it hard for you to think up new ideas? list three of your biggest influences.
  • orange: what do you do when you’re inspired? do you scream eureka, write the idea down in a notebook, what? 
  • yellow: what do you do when you’re stuck in a block? list three sources of inspiration when new ideas are scarce.
  • green: how do you flesh out an idea? does it take a long time, do you mull over it for hours, or does it come easily? describe the process!
  • blue: depending on your form of art, what are some of your favorite ways to characterize, add detail, design, establish a settling, or otherwise elaborate on the piece? are you fond of world-building, or does that pose a problem for you? (customize this question if you’re an artist or otherwise)
  • indigo: picture of your workspace!
  • violet: describe your work habits. do you eat? do you need music? are you messy or organized? do you keep a notebook? how long can you work at a time? etc.
  • silver: what’s the hardest part of a piece for you? (plot, background, etc)
  • gold: the easiest? 
  • black: what is your least favorite part of the creative process?
  • white: your favorite? 
  • rainbow: do you believe in true originality? 
  • brown: what does it take for you to honestly be proud of something? 
  • pink: what is the most rewarding part of being a writer, artist, etc? 
  • magenta: what drives you the most insANE?

Okay, let’s start at the first color.

REDis it hard for you to think up new ideas? list three of your biggest influences.
New ideas are easy for me.  I love coming up with them and am always looking for opportunities and inspiration for them.  My biggest influences are life experiences, other artists, and stories I read.  Vacations are fantastic for finding new ideas.  You should try it sometimes.

Orangewhat do you do when you’re inspired? do you scream eureka, write the idea down in a notebook, what?
I think about it for a long, long time.  I play with the idea quite a bit, then tuck it away in my mind somewhere to remember later if it’s not developing enough or can’t be applied to what I’m currently working on.  I do have a notebook for jotting down ideas, and I need to do more of that.  At the moment it’s just full of short references to my ideas to remind myself what they were if I need help remembering things later.  For now that’s working, but I’m sure someday my mind won’t have as easy a time remembering things.  That’s why I should probably start taking better notes.

Yellowwhat do you do when you’re stuck in a block? list three sources of inspiration when new ideas are scarce.
If I get stuck I have a couple of options.  If the block isn’t that bad, I just sit around and think and beat at the idea until I get it working again.  If the block is serious, then I move on to a different project for a while until my subconscious has had long enough to chew on the idea.  However, if that doesn’t work, then I have to start just working on the old project again until I can resuscitate it.  I’m having that problem right now with a novel I’m writing.  I find that talking it out with people also helps a lot.  Now let’s see… three sources of inspiration for this is basically the same as for the red question.  I will go watch some new TV series, or read a manga, comic, or book.  Then talking.  Lots of talking.  I love it when my friends ask questions and give me things to think about.  It often helps me find answers to things that don’t even seem connected.

Greenhow do you flesh out an idea? does it take a long time, do you mull over it for hours, or does it come easily? describe the process!
Again, lots of thinking.  Then, lots of talking to friends.  Then writing things down or drawing, and talking more.  Some ideas come a little more quickly than others.  Once I get a germinated idea, though, it needs to be written down and pushed out of my brain so that other stuff can grow since ideas do tend to get stuck in my mind and play over and over until I write it down or get to talk it out.

Blue:  depending on your form of art, what are some of your favorite ways to characterize, add detail, design, establish a settling, or otherwise elaborate on the piece? are you fond of world-building, or does that pose a problem for you?
I’m still learning the answers to this, actually.  I love writing.  Playing out scenes with the characters to let them show me how they work is my favorite way.  When it comes to drawing I still need to learn a lot about making the best designs in order to portray this.  Right now what I do best is faces and hair… at least that’s what I think.  Clothes is a very good way, along with props.  I need to work on that a lot.  I want to get better at it.

I think that is where I will stop for now, since the next question is about my workspace and I’m not quite done putting that together!  I should have that done and ready to share with you come the end of December.  If I don’t, I will be very sad.  😛