Hello Hello Hello!
It's been about a whole year since I last made a journal and life has been an absolute crazy rollercoaster ride in that time. I still can't fully wrap my brain around it. Speaking of brains... I'll just start out by saying that I AM OKAY but that last year starting in September (lasting until late January) I had a spontaneous, serious, eye problem with my optic nerve that through MRI scans led to something along the lines of "oh yeah and on top of that, you have a benign brain tumor". My friends have affectionately named it "Bubbles", which I am okay with and have found comfort in. Not only do I appreciate keeping a sense of humor even in the worst of scenarios, but it's nice being able to talk about the tumor without constantly saying the word "tumor". I've found that it worries people when hearing and using that word, so refering to it as "Bubbles" just makes it more pleasant to talk about. So NO WORRIES! I'll just be monitoring it over the course of my life to make sure it doesn't change or increase in size. It's called acoustic neuroma / vestibular schwannoma should anyone be curious. Some people have it and nobody ever knows until their autopsy at the end of life, so it could very well just stay where it is and never cause any harm! And my eye issue has recovered as much as it is going to and i'm pretty much back to 100% otherwise
Now that all that mess is out of the way... onto the happier, more exciting things! Also last September through January (great timing for everything to collide, I know...) I had the amazing, incredible, fantastic opportunity to partake in a mentorship program with one of my favorite artists: Dan Dos Santos! During this time I received great guidance and met several other fantastic artists in class. My style has developed leaps and bounds during and since that class and my methods of working both digitally and traditionally have changed for the better. I see the improvement, I feel more fluid while I create, and I discovered more about myself and style (and am now able to better articulate what my artistic goals are). I really am on the right path to where I want to be and I think you'll see a lot of cool things from me in the next couple of years. I hope to partake in another mentorship with Scott M. Fischer within this time as well!
I think you'll be seeing more traditional work from me soon. It'll all be combined with my digital painting as well, but I'm in the middle of a move and I'll be having my own studio space soon!! So I'm hoping that having a dedicated room to my craft will allow me to work in oils again. Right now, inspired by #MerMay
I am working on a series of mermaids! I have about 12 different fish (and a shark) that I plan on sketching out during the month of May and I will make this a long-term project to work on over the next year around my other projects and commissions. I will be sketching them digitally, drawing them traditionally with pencil and ink washes, painting them digitally to plan colors and effects and then I am hoping to paint each piece in oils! I am hoping this project will allow me to refine my new methods of working. While I am of course still going to work on commissions and book cover illustration jobs, I am diverting my focus from comics to focus on exploring my artistry. I am loving the freedom of following the flow of inspiration and whimsy instead of worrying about what to make next for conventions and jobs and portfolio. I think taking time for this kind of exploratory work over the next couple years will help me tremendously and will only serve to make my work much better and solidify my identity/style as an artist.
What a crazy ride. Medical issues, moving (having a studio space!), mentorships, and... making a lot of art! That's a wrap folks! Til next time!