Doctor Strange ink drawings & review

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I was really inspired this month to create these drawings after watching Marvel’s newest superhero movie, Doctor Strange, or as I like to call it, “Iron Man Goes to Hogwarts!”

While the story is, by this point, a run-of-the-mill Marvel origin, the visuals and performances of the main actors definitely make this film a feast for the eyes and push all the right nerd buttons. Cumberbatch is perfect for the role of Stephen Strange, and Ejiofor & Swinton provide excellence all around in their roles, as well.

As per usual, a great actor is wasted as an underexplored throwaway villain; the visual effects and a truly creative Dr. Who-esque ending save this film. Loved it.

I’ll be selling these as a set in my Etsy store soon. Keep your eyes peeled!

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Throwback Thursday: Snow driving

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created August 15, 2007 – A True Story

It’s supposed to be the first snow day of the season in Salt Lake today. This year I have snow tires. Be safe, folks.

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Ink Week Nov 2016 – Doctor Strange

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I couldn’t think of a better subject for my first Ink Week than Marvel Studios’ new movie Doctor Strange! Or, if you prefer, Iron Man Goes to Hogwarts.

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Life situation & current projects

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I don’t necessarily believe I can call myself a professional artist if I’m not making most of my income from it. As it is, I work a day job that I’ve been at for almost a decade, and have spent the last 4 months taking on a night job as well. Interestingly enough (probably only to me), my artistic output has actually increased recently. I’ve forced myself to cut out a lot of TV watching and web browsing, and have taken to eating my lunch while I work, then using my designated lunch hour to work on art. I have so little time each day to create, that I don’t take it as for granted as I used to. I’m focusing on the task at hand when it’s time. It’s all been very counterintuitive, I guess.

Anyway, it’s just been announced that my night job is laying everybody off at the end of November. In spite of the fact that my car died last week and I bought a new one, increasing my financial burden, I think I’m going to be okay. I worry more about those who made most or all of their income at that company. Also, as it was a delivery job where I routinely made 100-mile round trips 3-4 nights a week, I wasn’t looking forward to having to do that when the snow started falling.

However, the time management techniques I was forced to employ while tackling kids, work, art, my health, and my finances these last few months have made me more determined than ever to increase my income as a freelance artist. I plan on spending December-February by using the time I was at the night job as effectively as I can on freelance work and personal projects. Even if it’s not as financially safe, it will certainly be more physically safe for me to spend the winter months at my drawing table rather than on icy roads until 1am. I guess my mindset has undergone a shift, and I am realizing I have what it takes to do this. I am not nearly as good an artist as most of the illustrators I admire and follow, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for my current skill level.

So, as current projects go: 1) I’m currently illustrating a children’s book that the writer is self-publishing (see pic above). It is honestly for very little money, but I’m doing it in a style that I can pump out rather quickly, and I’d really like to have some children’s book samples to put in my portfolio as soon as possible. I’m actively applying for other freelance jobs in the same vein.

2) I’m collaborating with an old friend of mine to turn my Inktober drawings into a coloring/activity booklet. We’re shooting to make them available for purchase as soon as possible for Christmas.

3) My children’s book cover parody prints were pretty successful at Comic Con this year, so I’ll be adding to the series. FanX is in March, and I can’t wait! Along with that, I’ll be figuring out the best way to get an online store up and running. No reason I should only be selling this stuff twice a year at conventions, right?

4) Lastly, Cooties is something I’ve realized I can’t leave alone. I’m writing and researching, and hope to bring it back in a much improved fashion. More on that later.

Please comment if you have any time or project management techniques that work for you; I am always eager for ideas to improve my situation!

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Election 2016 autopsies

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So, as much as I didn’t want to see it (I was an Evan McMullin voter), Donald Trump is our new President Elect.

I found it interesting that virtually every commentator on every network covering the election results could not believe or understand what was happening. Wasn’t Hillary’s victory a foregone conclusion? The actual election just a formality? Apparently not. And I think it’s important to know why so few saw our new reality coming. Here are some of the more interesting opinions I’ve found floating out there.
Robby Soave, reason.com, blames political correctness:

My liberal critics rolled their eyes when I complained about political correctness. I hope they see things a little more clearly now. The left sorted everyone into identity groups and then told the people in the poorly-educated-white-male identity group that that’s the only bad one. It mocked the members of this group mercilessly. It punished them for not being woke enough. It called them racists…I warned that political-correctness-run-amok and liberal overreach would lead to a counter-revolution if unchecked. That counter-revolution just happened.

 

S.E. Cupp, NY Daily News, thinks it was simply that Hillary was a terrible candidate (spoiler: she really was):

Democrats will make the argument that FBI director James Comey and his last minute announcement is the reason but frankly, Democrats should not have nominated a person so damaged and unelectable if they wanted to confront the Republicans’ deep bench, Trump included.

 

Katherine Timpf of National Review calls out the recent demand on campuses for “safe spaces”:

First of all, let me say that I’m far from surprised that these kids are having mental breakdowns over this. Throughout the campaign, the mere sight of “Trump 2016” written in chalk was enough for students to demand a safe space. A professor at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington erased Trump chalkings on campus so students wouldn’t have to see them. A Bias Response Team at Skidmore College determined that writing “Make America Great Again” on dry-erase boards amounted to performing “racialized, targeted attacks.” Realizing that you are going to have to deal with Donald Trump being the president must be a hell of a lot to handle after you’ve been conditioned to believe you shouldn’t even have to deal with seeing his name or campaign slogan, so it makes a lot of sense that the reactions have been so extreme.

 

Joe Scarborough, I think, his the nail on the head regarding the mainstream media’s self-imposed blinders:

 

Lastly, one person who actually DID see this exact outcome, someone who’s opinions I have rarely agreed with; Michael Moore (lest I be accused of quoting too many right-leaning sources) wrote this before the election results:

5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win

1-Rust Belt Brexit: From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class…What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here.

2-Last Stand of the Angry White Man: There is a sense that the power has slipped out of their hands, that their way of doing things is no longer how things are done…This has to stop!

3-The Hillary Problem: No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat.

4-The Depressed Sanders Vote: When you’re young, you have zero tolerance for phonies and BS. Returning to the Clinton/Bush era for [millennials] is like suddenly having to pay for music, or using MySpace or carrying around one of those big-ass portable phones. They’re not going to vote for Trump; some will vote third party, but many will just stay home.

5-The Jesse Ventura Effect: Do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how [m]any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit…There are no rules. And because of that, and the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for Trump not because they agree with him, not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can. Just because it will upset the apple cart.

It will be possibly terrifying interesting to see how things shake out with (come on, you have to learn to say it) PRESIDENT TRUMP running the show.

Long live the Republic.

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Final Inktober thoughts

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This year’s Inktober project has been very beneficial for me in many ways. First of all, the satisfaction that comes from seeing a project (even a small one) all the way through to completion is extremely motivating. I was constantly in the mood to create, but without the dark looming cloud of pressure and heaviness that can accompany a larger, much  more involved body of work. Second, it gave me a chance to examine an often neglected spiritual aspect of my life and focus on what I can share with others without being preachy about it.

And hey, I’ve already got a bunch of ready-made Christmas presents for a few of my friends and family! Just go on Amazon and buy some bulk frames & mattes, and BAM:
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So how to build on what I’ve accomplished? I can put a booklet of these images together with the quotes that inspired them for a book of inspiration or a small coloring/activity book for kids, maybe. I’m trying to learn ways to maximize what I can do with a single image rather than drawing something and just giving away or selling it and having nothing else to show for it. So I’ll keep you posted.

Also, drawing these small pictures in ink just reminded me how much I love this medium. I’ve been spending a lot of time learning to work digitally over the last few years (I’m still terrible), and doing this brought a lot of fun memories back. So, I’m going to institute an Ink Week every month, where I will do 4-5 small ink drawings. They might be for journaling purposes, fan art to sell at Comic Con, gifts, whatever. It will be good practice for me in finding ways to maximize work that I can do quickly.

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Inktober Day 31!

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“We are free to choose liberty and eternal life…or to choose captivity and death.” -Dale G. Renlund

I couldn’t resist capping off my religiously-themed month with a little hellfire and damnation. Happy Halloween!

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