Category Archives: Rant

Cleaning my workspace

Since a lot of convention has been cancelled and the convention season might be starting after the summer, I will take the change to update the blog with non convention stuff (and working on the convention back log sstt hahaha ^^;; )

Goals 2018

First blog of the year! I’m starting of with the goals as a reminder, so this blog will be short. I think that staying motivated and having time will be my biggest challenges.

My main goal, and super super prio 1 on the list is:
Starting things on time to keep the stress level low and being productive!!!!!
That’s why I’m now into planning and stuff.

My other goals are, and not in chronological order:

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Setting goals

I’ve lots of things that I want to accomplish in 2018. I hope it will be a great year. Before getting into the resolutions, lets talk about settings goals. (artistic, because this an art blog lol).

For artistic goals I thinks it important to step back and don’t set goals that’s unrealistic to achieve within a year. It’s fairly easy to set goals like being a ‘better’ artist, make ‘more time’ to draw, being ‘better’ at drawing anatomy and such. Those goals tend to fail, believe me. They’re too abstract. And really… what is ‘better’ and ‘more’? To achieve goals you have to be concrete and define the goals. Take “more time to draw” as an example. You made ‘more time to draw’ as your goal for the new year. In the end of the year, ask yourself did you had/made more time to draw? Are you content with the ‘more time’ you took to draw? Might be… or not. Mostly… not sure, because you can’t keep track on ‘more’. After some refining, the goal will something be like this: I want to draw at least 10 hours a week. You might draw 5 hours this week or in other week 12. It can varied, that’s okay. If you keep track, you can say in the end that you drew 9 hours a week, but something came up this week or that week and so you couldn’t make it to 10 hours. Yes, 9 it still quite a lot. The next question is, will you be content with 9 hours?

I think that setting goals, making resolution and looking back is all about feeling content at what you have achieved. But what if you drew only average 5 hours a week, so it’s half of what you wanted to do. If you look back, you might have something going on, you were sick a lot or got an arm injury or something. Are you still content with those 5 hours? Probably you will, because it’s still more that the year before. So, make your goals measurable.
The same goes for wanting to be ‘better’ at anatomy. Being better at something involve study and practice. Break the goal down, because atonomy is a broad subject and start with somewhere. Think of things you want to improve. Hands? Feet? Eyes? Start to make plans. How do you get being better at drawing hand? What do you need to get better? It might be, study hands from reference and draw for example 30 hands a month. Slowly moving from reference and to draw from imagination. So, 12 times 30 is a lot of hands a year. You’ll get better at it. Think in tasks to achieve the goals. It’s also makes reaching the goal far easier and manageable. Because you know that you’ll make progress if you finish all the task that’s needed to get you to the goal.

Looking back.
It’s important to look back at what you had done in the past period. Treat yourself when you’ve made progress/success and reflect on what didn’t went well. This is important, because you’ll rise awareness of your own ability, so you can take it in account for planning for the next period.
For example, I want to do make 2 new posters, a print for the next convention. The convention is over three months. Might sounds doable, because it’s one poster/print a month. There are about 30 days in a month, so do your math. But! After a month, I’m still not done with one poster yet. During reflection I realize that I only have time for 5 hours a week to draw. (Sad, but mostly true). To finish a poster I need 30 hours (Sad, but that’s also true; I’m a snail) I either drop a print and make two beautiful posters, or rush the planned illustrations and ending with bad quality. Another option is to sacrifice family time, what I rather not want to do. So, looking back at how it’s going, will open up a few options.
What happened if I didn’t reflect? I’ll think that I have plenty of time and will do it in the last month or something. Then the reality hits hard. I can’t finish even one illustration, because I just need more than one months time and something always come up.
Please save yourself a lot of stress and plan things beforehand.

Sometimes it’s okay to have vague goals in cases where just don’t have a clue. Make it a goal to research and clarify them, so you can take actions. When setting goals, make sure to have a few clear goals, so you can something done.

Even though, I only have experiment with planning like this for a little over one month, I sure have learn a lot and getting much more things done. I have done 2 big illustrations plus 1 small one, and this is my second blog post in one month, I’ve taken action on the project I want to do, rather than thinking about it. To be honest, planning and reflection is also about getting to know yourself. People tents to overestimate themselves. I can write a much longer post about planning and such, but might be overdoing it.

In summary, break it down in little piece, track it, be constantly on to it, reflect, learn from failures, celebrate successes and plan for the next period.

I was suppose to write a blog about my resolution, but this came up and I need to get it out of my system. Sorry for the long wall of text.

So, blog for next week will be about my resolution for the next year.

2017 overview

It has been a while since I’ve updated my blog. Life has been very busy. My last post was made in June about Dokomi. Don’t worry, I’ll update with part 2 in one the following blog posts.

First, I want to write a reflection and resolution blog post, because we’re nearing the end year. This is like little tradition for me to end the year with looking back, be grateful, and to be able to look forward. Plus, this tradition dated even back in the days when livejournal was a thing.

2017 was like last year, another year of us being in a rollercoaster. We moved to our new house in January. There where lots of things needed to be done. We didn’t have a kitchen or even a decent floor; we slept on a mattress on the ground. It was really stressful, because I didn’t feel at home. (I got homesick easily). We’d fix a lot. The house not near to be finished, but I guess it never will. The kitchen is finally done, just until just recently. The next big project is the study room. I can’t wait to put my fave poster/prints on the wall.

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For convention, it was quite a fun year. Many interesting things have happened and I’ve tabled at conventions that I never have been before. I was only at 5 cons even though wish to have done more, but couldn’t. Most memorial conventions were Dokomi (Germany) and Jpopcon (Denmark).
Dokomi, for me was being part of a huge artist alley and sat between really high skilled artists. It made me feel so inferior, but on the other hand motivated me to improve. It was not financial big convention as I expected to be. It was partly my own fault, because I hadn’t enough time to make new stuff and my order came in too late. Looking how it went, I did quite good selling my old stuff at the convention. It was just that I might have done better if I had planned better or had more time.
Another great convention for me was Jpopcon. I went there once (or twice?) before, but not as an artist. I live quite far from Copenhagen and hesitated to sell there, In the end, I was so glad to be there, because I sold quite well (best of the year) and made a few artist friends too. The people are so nice and speaks so good English!
I’ll be definitely going back to Dokomi and Jpopcon in 2018.

The other cons I did were Dutch Comic Con (DCC), Animecon and Abunai. DCC was quite a relief, because I was afraid of the low sales of another comic con I did earlier. That comic con (Retrocon) was my first comic con and I did not very well, almost cover my table. It’s not just only me who expected more of the sales, I’d heard that most dealers were complaining. Most visitors were just looking around. I was happy to sold an original copic piece, though.

I finally made a debut this year. I’ve dreamed to publish a sketchbook and there it is. I’m so proud at it. I’m already planning for my next book as we speak. It will most likely being an artbook than a sketchbook, but who knows when I gather the material first. I’ll be ready the earliest in autumn, I think.

I’ve got an amazing pre birthday gift from my hubby. He gave me a wacom 22 inch HD cintiq. I was very indecisive to buy one, because my old one worked fine and I was also thinking of mobility and getting a companion. B

ut the cintiq he gave me is awesome! My workspace is huge. I love it. I sold my old trusty 12 inch. Thank you little one, you did a wonderful job in the last few years.

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The far most greatest thing that happened this year is that our beautiful baby girl was born! She’s so adorable! The time flies with two little kids. The only quiet moment was when these two were asleep at noon. First, I finished daily chores and if there were still time remaining, then working on art. This went on until my maternity leave was over, and work full-time. I’m going to work on a method where I’ll be still active producing art and having a balanced family/social/work life. Otherwise, next year will be super unproductive. Wish me luck 🙂

 

About resolutions for 2017, it was actually the same was the year before.
Focus more on background
I haven’t done any big illustrations to apply this. I’ll definitely do this next year, because I’m planning to do some studies.
Try new things
I wanted to do e-sumi like forever. Hubby gave me a brush pen and it was amazing. I love how you can draw leaves and such with just a few brush strokes. I’ll definitely try this next year with washed ink. I’ve so many cool idea’s.
Finish a manga short story? maybe?
I’m terrible with story telling, but it’s still my little dream to be good at it. This year wasn’t much time for it, because I want to focus on illustrations. I’m working on it as we speak, so I will have drawn one next year.
Make new bookmarks, ACEO, postcards, posters, prints, buttons, straps, keychains
Basically, making new merch. I’ve started to make small prints this year, because i wanna sell more illustrations than merchandise. I’ve made
– 3 new prints (pikachu tea, Ciel from black butler, Sakura card capture),
– 5 chibi keychains (saber athuria, gaius, anna, lucina, chrom),
– 1 large print Okami (sold out, but will redo it),
– 1 notepad panda and that’s it.
The notepad was fun to make, and to my surprise it was sold very well sold. There are a couple of designs that I wanna make.
Starting an artbook/sketchbook – not necessary to be in a final state
Yeah it’s finally done! I hope to do another project next year.

So this was 2017, it was a wild year with lot of things happening. Unfortunately, I didn’t had much time to spend on art. I wish to have more structure in my life. Last two years was a really a rollercoaster, I’m tired of it. I really hope that next year won’t be like wild ride anymore. I want to thank everyone who supported us and hope to keep support us next year!

Saber-BlueA5-cielEpicConhakPika_teagaiusOkami_01chromanna

 

 

Improvement meme 2003 – 2015

I did this long time ago and forgot to updated it since 2009… hmm don’t know what to make of it…

 

 

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2015 overview

2015 has almost come to an end. This year was a lot more hectic than that I expected, because I was very busy with convention stuff through the year. I’ve just read 2014’s overview, and feel like that everything happens ages ago! Time passes by too fast!

First of all, my husband and I finally officially got to live together. It’s so great to be able to be with the one you love every day. It also brings lots of obligations and chores to deal with, but all went well. We didn’t even have a fight lol, and can’t wait to move to our new and bigger house next year!

That aside, we also remodel our current apartment and got a new kitchen, bathroom and toilet, but still need to do the rest. As it looks, the rest will be planned in end 2016 or beginning of 2017.

On the artpart. I was this year a lot more productive than in 2014. The source was being at conventions with myself as an individual artist. LIke predicted, I was so nervous and still will be, standing there all alone behind the artist table. On the other hand, it also feel so great to be an artist from who people bought the stuff and to get compliments. I planned to make new stuff every convention I went.

New stuff I did / introduced:
– acrylic keychains: It was an incredible success at conventions. I only had 5 pieces of 13 designs as on try out and most of the batch was sold out at the first conventions. I didn’t make more, because wanted to make even more designs.
– bookmarks: I always wanted to make these things, but also wanted to make it something different than just an image on an rectangle. I’m still working on those
– Buttons: I already had an 25mm button maker, and this year got 38 mm one. The buttons where a hit. I have mainly fairy tail buttons, and so sold mainly fairy tail buttons. I have still have a lot of other idea’s in mind.
– New posters: I’ve made like 3 new posters. Sounds like not much, but for me to be able to draw 3 detailed full illustrations is a lot. Moreover, I spent lot of time on images for other merchandises.
– Awesome buttonbox: Because I have a lot of buttons these these days, a board won’t fixed the need anymore. So, I bought a little toolbox and added the buttons in front. Customers just open the little boxes and grab the buttons they wanted.
– Packaging: That is so important!

I went to like 8 conventions this year, which 3 of them are aboard. It was so exciting to do convention in other countries. I will do them when I get the change in the future. My time, this year, was spend mostly on work, drawing, preparing for conventions, contacting convention originators, and repeat. Every day, every week. I was so tired! An convention was over, and omg in about 2 weeks there will be another! Oh no, I need to restock and make new art. Not much time! Sleep? Where? Exhausted? Definitely!
I’m not going to do convention season this stressful ever again!!

hmm I also got a lot of draft convention review and need to publish it.

My plans for 2015 where:
• Starting an art book – research what about what/theme and planning the layout.
=> I’ve got some idea’s. Yay! Missions achieved.
• Make a sketchbook (probably for Yaycon?)
=> nope, hahaha, didn’t happen. Mission failed. I’m still planning to make one though.
• Preparing for Japan expo (Paris) in July. Have to starting on expand my inventory.
=> Yep, it did happen. ^^V
• Draw 20 concepts for prints/posters once a month
=> Hahaha serious. No, I only did it in feb and that was the only time I did 20 sketches.

It seems like did got the half of it. On the other hand, my main goal was to draw more and that was accomplished successfully!

My plans for 2016 are:
• Starting an artbook/sketchbook – not necessary to be in a final state
• Focus more on background – already doing it this year, but I want at least 1/3 of my finished illutrations to have backgrounds
• Try new things – I wanted to do e-sumi. Hopefully, I can get time to sit down an just do it.
• Finish a manga short story? maybe?
• Make new bookmarks, ACEO, postcards, posters, prints, buttons, straps, keychaings

Okay! Happy holidays everyone! Let’s see what 2016 brings!!

2014 overview

2014 was a rough year was an emotional roller coaster.

Fun things first. We started the year with spending our holidays in Japan. It was my first time, but man I was impressed with kindness of people (eventhough, sometimes it feels very artificiality) and the food and the stationary. I love the cute stationary they have. Those these pasted quick and seems ages ago.

I got married in Augustus. Before the big day came, loads had to be done. Not that we wanted a fairy tale wedding, just plain and simple, but we still did underestimated the principle of wedding! We’re really grateful to have such lovely bunch and helpful family and friends! Love you guys!

Before we were married, we discussed a lot about housing. We lived two hours by train a part. Then we caught an eye on project. New house will be build in this year. Mortgage was an hassle to deal with, but not getting the mortgage itself. It was the laziness of the advisor. He seemed to be only doing his job when we’re at the appointment; asked for documents while we send it to him ages ago. It was so stressful. And we had a lot of appointments, because he wanted to go through the documents EACH time. The fuck! Like we don’t have to take some time off from work. It was a period with lots of stress too. Couldn’t leave my colleagues  to do all the work, fortunately, they understand and didn’t mind. Still, I was so irritated with the advisor and he knew.  In the end we’ve got our mortgage.

In October, I could sign the contract a steady job. Job switch, yay! Bye bye, hours of travelling. The new job was hell during the second half year. It was like working ten to twelve hours a day, I managed, but it took some toll on my health. Still, I love my job. 🙂

Not very good new. Heard from a quite few friend in their surrounds of some having a cancer. It’s horrible. As I think about friends and family around me, I appreciate them a lot, but should show it more. Not for granted that they’ll always be there. It will always lead to regrets. For this year for my birthday, I didn’t asked for a physical thing, but wanted rather having a nice meal with my family. I’m so lucky to have them.

Now on the art part. I was in 2014 a little more productive compaired to 2013. Just a little, lol.

I made my coloured comic and got it published. dere pulbished. It’s about a prologue a comic that I’m working on. Could have done much better, but am still proud.

Other thing is I started to improve my circle CheeseCake! Studio’s presents on conventions. We “introduced” posters. A lot of posters. It sounds weird, but our circle main focus is doujinshi, both original of fan. Merchandise was never a thing. After putting up pcv banner with posters and reorganizing stuff behind our table, the sales went up. The banner attracted a lot of customs to our table in the middle of packed Ocean of Dealers.

We had at Abunai convention our first panel about tabling in the Dealers room / artist ally as artist. The audience was shy at first, but after a few shyly asked questions and of cause the fun and warm answers of Cheesecake members, people started be enthusiastic and to overflow us with questions. We realized then that I became unofficial the manager Cheesecake and I already did the finance. The panel was incredible fun, even though we were asked in the last minutes to do it.

I’m glad to have a lot of fun planning for conventions and drawing, which was gone in 2013. I even considering in tabling myself when CheeseCake! don’t want/can’t do a booth. Thinking to be only behind an artist table, makes me shiver of anxiety. It sounds stupid, because I know the thrill very well.

My plans for this year art wise, always include to draw more. In the end, I didn’t do much. So this year will be different and challenge myself.

(not in a particular order)

  • Starting an art book – research what about what/theme and planning the layout.
  • Make a sketchbook (probably for Yaycon?)
  • Prepairing for Japan expo (paris) in July. Have to starting on expand my inventory.
  • Draw 20 concepts for prints/posters once a month

That’s it. Let’s see what 2015 will bring!!

Booth evolution Part I

We want to redo our booth for awhile. There is lot of artists selling stuff at a convention. In order to compete we need to do something to stand out. We, our booth, needs to tell visitors who we are and what we are selling.

This is the result. (I think, there will be further adjustments, depending on the location of our table, though). It has lot of US artist alley booth references.

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The things we changed: 1) add a huge poster set-up. You can’t miss us. 2) Posters are much more visual-able and attract visitors than tucked away in a binder. 3) One side for our books and the other for our small merchandises. 4) Selling orignal artwork. 5) Places our portofolio’s on top of each other. 6) Postersystem. 7) Each side of the booth commissions info.

Some changes last year

Last year, we began our journey with lots of transformation to a “perfect” booth. First thing, we got rid of the fuzzy and fizzle  booth decoration. Efficiency is the word. After throwing away, like a cupcake display with wax cupcakes, imitation bread and other stuff that took space but not added some value to our table, and made room for our portfolio’s etc. (Portfolio’s is still a problem though. I’ll get into it later on).

We have the luxury of never being short on people behind the booth. Every member of CCS got the fancy T-shirt with our drooling cheesecake logo in the front and our website at the back. What I love the most is our name printed the sleeve! It was some quite investment for our little indie studio. (we have at 7 members back then). In our last convention in August 2014, we had 8 people and will never ever fit behind two tables. To make long story short, some of us are walking around in turns through the conventions and talk with people. Because of the T-shirt people will recognize us. Mission accomplished! ^,^V (Some one even asked if they could buy the shirt!)

We also got our studio’s name printed on the table cloth. It looks so professional.

Adjustments this year
We are practically a group of print artists. We have:

  1. Doujinshi books
  2. Lot of prints and posters ranges from a6 to a3
  3. Buttons
  4. Key chains
  5. Art book
  6. Portfolio
  7. Original artwork for selling

One of my motto is: if it can be displayed vertical, go vertical. The major thing about the layout is that our merch were laying flat on the table.

 

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Preparing for Abunai

It’s so hot outside. At work isn’t any cooler. Why don’t we  have a airco here?? So after melting each day after the computer, I don’t feel like doing anything at home other than have a summersleep.

Another thing, why are you broken, you silly printer head? Just when I wanted to make keychains. The printed stopped to print black. The printer at my boyfriends Only prints monochome! >,> And what is wrong with my scanner, wanna line the chibi’s  T_T Technology is failing in this heat.

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There ’s lot of stuff needs to be prepared. CheeseCake! Studio will be at Abunai in the end of August. Abunai is a convention in the Netherlands with about 3000 visitors. We have been doing the graphic for them for years. This year as well, in return we’ll get two booths. Yay! I’m already for the convention mood. I would love to see all people again. We are preparing for new look at the stand. Gonna order a banner, printing a few posters, organize the merchandices. We’ve got lot of stuff to do 🙂

Art supply

I’m a happy little girl when it comes to buying art stuff. My mission was simple: buy 0.5 mm blue leads for my mechanical pencil. At location: ‘OMG, they have even green leads!’ Kaj showed me pencils with even more colours!! Why do you, art supply personnel, put things at the top shelves! We, small people, can’t see that high. Let alone being pick by us. Small people. Anyway they had  green, pink!, and yellow, Orange. Oh and purple, which was love at first site. I dropped the yellow.

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Never knew that there were other colours than gray, blue en red. So experiment started.

First, Kaj in rainbow colour. (doesn’t look like him).

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Colours like a rainbow!

Then a cute girl with a bunny. Let’s call her, say, Jelle. It’s a guys name but a Jelle sat on the same table when I drew her.

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I knew it!! Purple is my favourite, next to blue. At first I was afraid drawing will turn out bad, because the rough doesn’t cool at all. But in the end it’s okay.

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The colours of the leads tends to be darker than my previous ones. I wonders if it has effects when I playing with channels in photoshop. More about that in my next post.