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I haven't been keeping up with this very well. i've got a TON of new art that has not been uploaded here. To be honest, if it weren't for a few faithful friends on here (  waves at :icondragondoodle: and several others ) I don't know if I'd still be posting anything since I haven't been getting much interaction :( It's kinda depressing. But for those of you that still read these, still look and comment and fave, thank you very much! I'm still trying to post things for ya! sorry about the long periods of silence in between...I'm trying to be better.

You'll note that most of my art lately has been supernatural related - i've been in an art slump for a while and outside of commissions, i've been using fandom to kinda keep myself going. Sometimes it's prompts, sometimes it's for a story, sometimes just a random idea i've had...I don't know what's wrong with me, but if there's something I can keep drawing, I'm gonna draw it.

Also, so I had to get a new computer and I'm having a few issues with the transfer process. Meaning I've lost access to my NORMAL art programs and have been doing this weird juggling act to do any scanning and coloring at all. I'm still using the old laptop to scan using the old copy of photoshop I don't have a replacement for. then dropping it onto the new one via dropbox.

then I color it in Art Rage (because I literally CANNOT find my beloved Manga Studio 5 disc. Seriously, I found the box and the cd sleeve. No disc. like, WTH did I do with the disc???) which has been an interesting learning curve but it IS a neat program. However, with ALL the free programs I got with my intuos pen and touch a few years ago, (or, for that matter, GIMP which i've been assured is just like photoshop - it's not) not ONE of the programs can set up my ink linework for coloring the way i want it to.

trying to transfer all my old files from the old laptop to the new one is taking forever - the only harddrive i had big enough to do the transfer is KAPUT. it was nearly full of stuff to begin with and now i can't get it open - on ANY computer. Which means I've lost ALL my old art files - probably about 6-10 years worth? and without that external drive, there's no QUICK AND EASY way to transfer everything on the old laptop. so i've been using the dropbox and OH MY GOD it is slow. and i completely blame the old laptop - i have some pretty hefty folders and one of them took ALL DAY to transfer up off the old laptop...and 5 minutes to download onto the new one. Yeah. it's not my connection. *sigh*

Hope everyone is doing well! Talk to you (i hope!)

I am feeling such a sense of relief right now. 

I kinda had a scare and i hadn’t even told anyone in my family that i was getting checked for breast cancer today...i’d found a weird lump and some sort of sore and considering family history, I was frickin’ freaked.

But i put on my YANA shirt and headed out this morning. had a pleasant talk about the shirt and the AKF campaign too with the receptionist and walked out with a clean bill of health. 

and a medical recommendation for a reduction in size, which i’m all for.

I take my victories where i can get ‘em

Was wondering if I should add the other 3 parts to Katie Powers Adventure in Time and Space on here. there have been like, 100 views each to the other parts, but not sure anyone's actually interested or if they clicked because of tags, looked and said "never mind...."

what do you think, my loyal viewers?

I can’t believe I’m about to fill up a sketchbook. Like, seriously, i haven’t just kept a sketchbook in YEARS. These days, all my designs and roughs are usually on scrap paper before I transfer them to nice paper. All of which is loose and then floating around the house. 

I have 3 unfinished sketchbooks (one from 15 YEARS ago) floating around the house....

But now, NOW: I have a sketchbook that is 5 pages away from being filled up. I started it last spring. Out of curiosity, I took a look through it and worked up a breakdown.

74  filled pages. 41 of which are supernatural related. And I actually managed to refrain from ripping out more than one page.

  • 21 pages are bits and pieces, rough sketches and compositions and elements needing refinement for 5 different SPN pictures. 

  • 15 are for my supernatural fic

  • 2 are start to finish completed, random supernatural pics

  • 31 for the days of inktober (mostly geeky references, 3 of which were supernatural related)

  • the last 4 pages were the dragon designs for the AAC badges this year.


Looking at this sketchbook, and its breakdown, I've come to one conclusion. I’m a bit Supernatural obsessed. And in fact, if it hadn’t been for Inktober, only 4 pages wouldn’t had anything to do with SPN.

Conclusion? I need another sketchbook. Stat.

Honestly, what other conclusion could there be?

I'm 23 days in to my Inktober. Every year I hear about it, usually too late to participate. This year, I've been in a bit of an art slump, doing none except for commissions. I'm using Inktober to get myself out of it. 

To further my Inktober, i'm using the Drawlloween 2015 list a friend found and I've been following the prompts every day. I've gotten some truly fun things that i really liked doing out of this project. Not sure what i'm gonna do with them just yet, but definitely going to do SOMETHING with them.

About 2/3rds of the prompts wind up being something geek related...and the rest wind up autumn/Halloween cutesy related. I hope you guys are enjoying these as much as i am :D
RULES:
  • 1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, Frostwire, etc. on Shuffle
  • 2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer
  • 3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS
  • 4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name
  • 5. Tag whoever you want


I'm not going to tag anyone, do it if you want!:
(but i would like to point out that it is :icondragondoodle:'s fault :D )

I would like to point out also that this list did not get created out of my extensive and eclectic library...but out of my most recent purchases from amazon only.  39 choices, what will I get?

How would you describe yourself?::
Dark Paradise - Lana Del Rey

What do you like in a guy/girl?::
Wake Me up - Avicci

How do you feel today?::
Juke Box Hero - Foreigner

What is life's purpose?::
Broken Crown - Mumford and Sons

What is your motto?::
I am Machine - Three Days Grace

What do your friends think of you?::
Footsteps - Pop Evil

What do you think of your parents?::
Try - Colbie Caillat

What do you think about very often?::
You Found Me - The Fray

What is 2 + 2?::
No Light, NO Light - Florence and the Machine
(well, if you go by just the title, then yeah, this could fit. WHen it comes to math, i feel like there is no light at the end of my tunnel, lol

What do you think of your best friend?::
White Blank Page - Mumford and Sons

What do you think of the person you like?::
A Single Man Tear - Supernatural the Musical</i>

What is your life story?::
Carry on Wayward Son - Supernatural the Musical version
(So much for shuffle...)

What do you want to be when you grow up?::
Wrong Side of Heaven - Five Finger Deathpunch

What do you think of when you see the person you like?::
The Road So Far - Supernatural the Musical
(seriously, Shuffle fails)

What will you dance to at your wedding?::
I found - Amber Run
(ThIS is the first song that i find works on this list....lol)

What will they play at your funeral?::
Let Her Go - Passenger
(Okay, that got scary)

What is your hobby/interest?::
Angel - Theory of a Deadman


What is your biggest fear?:
My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'em up) - Fall Out Boy

What is your biggest secret?::
Dark Paradise - Lana Del Rey
(Really? again? I have more songs on this list than that...)

What do you think of your friends?:
Mr. Tanner - Harry Chapin

so yeah....I think mostly this came up as a fail - lol, i don't see how most of these songs would work at all. maybe i should have opened up the library??? But then that means fussing around with my stupid computer to get it working on a format i like. which i can't find.

I really haven't been doing much on here, so i'm going to do this :D i commented on :icondragondoodle: 's journal so she's my #1 feature.

1. Comment on this journal and I'll feature you and three artworks from your gallery that I like. I'll feature the first 20 people to comment. 

2. If you take part you should do the same in your journal, giving the first spot to the person who featured you. 

3. Take a look at the featured artists and maybe give them a few positive comments on their work. You just might make someone's day!

1 - :icondragondoodle:  Peggy Centaurfilly Archer by dragondoodle   Merleia - Contest Entry by dragondoodle  The Elements - Laron, Ian, Laela, Adara by dragondoodle
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I am alive. i'm hitting serious writers/artists block lately. Mostly i've been working on commissions only - not all of which i can show off right now, and so it looks like i'm doing nothing, when i am.

A bunch of my most recent non convention commissions have been in the form of Supernatural for a few of my friends and co workers. And i have a couple of my own ideas that i want to do, so it also looks like i'm supernatural obsessed or something. but thats not a bad thing yeah? My hubby seems to think it is.

so yeah, here's me. still alive. still active, sort of. currently recovering from a vacation that was epic - the longest and BUSIEST i've had in a long time. i couldn't really afford it either, but it was one of those once in a lifetime things  (hershey park for several days, NYC with trips to the Statue of Liberty, 9/11 memorial, discovery times square, Top of the Rock, Saint Patricks Cathedral and Grand Central Station - on top of my Highschool reunion, the reason this whole thing took place). although, if my highschool best friend has her way in the future, like she did this time, it won't be the last! lol

we hadn't seen each other in 19 years, she lives all the way across the country and all our friends and family thought things would be awkward between us when we saw each other in person for the first time, but it was totally not. now that is a friend indeed! 

Being in touch through facebook for the last 5 or 6 years also helped i'm sure! who says social media is evil? I don't! i just can't keep UP with all of it!
I think its about time I get that depressing post off my wall. I haven't been to DA much. Ever since dad died, I've been so busy. Work ramped up, I'm working on a top secret project and I'm just tired all the time.

I'll add some of my recent pieces into the gallery, but in the meantime, I'm working on a Kickstarter - it's got a very small goal. it's my first one and is sort of a testing ground for me. Check out everything about it here: Bards Comic Compilation and let me know what you think :D

The kicstarter is doing well, its already almost at it's goal and still has a while to go. THe best part is, the project is all set, so once the funds are in, I can get the order in straight away and all I have to do is wait for it to arrive so I can send it back out. :D

Hope you all didn't miss me...sorry I haven't been around...
This past weekend, After midnight, I found out that my father had passed away. his health had been ....precarious...for a while. but every time he'd been told he was going to die, or his odds for surviving a surgery was less than 50%, he made it. For 18 years or more he continued to beat the odds. You'd think that would prepare you, don't you?

In less then 24 hours I was packed up and on my way down to Long Island. I live in NH. My daughter wanted to come with me and I told her no. I'm still torn about that, but she's only 8.

In some ways I feel like i'm completely useless down here, but I couldn't NOT be down here, so i'm finding other things that i can do. I've just completed 2 collages for my fathers wake and i plan on making another. I also set up a fundraiser for his widow, my stepmother. They've been living on the edge for so long, that when my moms upstairs neighbors (who lost someone almost literally the same day as I did) suggested a fundraiser at gofundme.com, that's what I did. Anything I can do to help. I know my dad and his wife didn't have much. They almost had to do without heat this winter...

Sadly, the fundraiser hasn't brought in much. My mom doesn't understand why, since her upstairs neighbors had thousands of dollars in only 5 hours. We've only gotten $300 in 24 hours. I keep trying to explain to her that her landlord was in the news. People knew who he was. 

All I know is that, whatever we get will help, no matter how little. and its at least something I can do to help my stepmother. I can't stay down here after its' all done, and I don't know how things are going to go for her. Thankfully she has her own mother for support.

Just on the offchance, I will post that fundraiser here...
Don O'Shea Memorial Fund
I just wanted to let everyone know that things are much better here. Instead of drowning, i'm treading water finally.

Our tax return came in during the week of the deadline for the eviction. I was able to pay off that, and all my other outstanding bills to become current again. I'm trying to set aside the rest to a separate account and make auto payments on the car so i don't have to worry about it for as far into a year towards the next tax return as possible. which would give me breathing space. I'm still going to be a little short each month, but hopefully i can pick up enough OT at work or art commissions or have a good convention to make up the slack and possible start saving some.

then again, the possibly start saving is ALWAYS on the hopeful meter...*sigh*

The support I got from friends from this, and my recent episode of not feeling very well , was very awesome. Some of you went all out (like, way too much -OMG i can't believe that!!!), and some it was just a 'let's get nikki out of the house for a day and away from her worries, just a night of movies, knitting, chatting and some ice cream', as well as many kind words of encouragement and suggestions and i can tell you that all of it is as equally as important for my sanity and health! All of it was greatly appreciated

In the meantime, on the convention front, I did my first con of the year - Anime Boston. I will never miss this con, 'till they finally kick me off staff. I had the worst year money wise for the con that i have ever had - and yet it was still as much as a single weeks paycheck AFTER taxes and such were taken out and I still had fun, so no complaints. it IS disappointing for the fact that I know I've done better (MUCH better) and could really use the boost right now. but oh well.

My daughter and I did our Legend of Zelda costumes (she was Child Link and I was Adult Link from Ocarina of Time) made with things we had around the house already and lots of cardboard. We didn't look half bad! we certainly had our pictures taken quite a lot which made her feel pretty proud!

I have a one day local con coming up the weekend of Easter
I have been confirmed for AAC in the fall since I'll be doing some work for them as well
I have applied for DrawnCon in the fall as well, hoping I'll have the money on hand to pay for it when it happens. (it was my second most successful con last year out five and I had a LOT of fun at it...)

I debuted some knitted pieces at AB this year. they generated a LOT of interest, but only one pair of the finger-less mittens sold. (my favorite pair of course!)

Some people thought the prices were too high, others thought they were just fine but unfortunately not within their current capability.  I had to explain that the cost of the finger-less mittens had been calculated by a $5.oo an hour wage, which is less than minimum wage (because i felt nobody would pay any higher for them) and that the REALLY LONG ones should have been double the price at that calculation, but I only increased it by half that price. Most people understood it then, that they were unique, one of a kinds etc....but well, further shows will see..
Oh yay. I can cross this milestone off my list. :(
Ever since my car debacle that lasted over 5 months (starting last spring) and contributed to another car debacle (i'm pretty sure i did something stupid AND i got screwed in the bargain) that is impacting our finances even more....I've been falling into an ever deepening hole of debt. every little bit of extra cash i can scrape up, only just lets me get forward one step while i fall back two more.

and today i got an eviction notice if i don't pay the REMAINDER of my rent in full by a certain date. And i'm pissed. Because Every time i tried to talk to them about what was going on, they shoved me aside with "IT's okay, you've been a loyal tenant for over 7 years with no problems EVER before. Don't worry about it. Giving us as much as you can and making sure you're paid up before the next is due, is definitely good."

Finally, i see a light at the end of my tunnel. My tax return will be coming in (but not before one more rent is due) and i can - i THINK - at least get back on track so i'm not drowning any more. and today i get this. AND THEN i find out money has been taken out of my account without permission (not illegally, I am just certain i never signed up for a once a year autopay with NO NOTIFICATION) and it caused an overdraft in my account.  Just keeps getting better, doesn't it?

SO yeah, i'm pissed at them. i'm pissed at the circumstances that brought me to this, and i can understand that they had to do this - but i'm pissed at them because of how it happened. "Oh you're good, you're good. don't worry. EVICT!" Bull crap!  I almost broke into tears 3 times today at work because i couldn't get this to stop running through my head. Running numbers and scenarios. because of course, I got told while i was at work. what a wonderful day i had. I hope i didn't screw anything up with my being pre-occupied.

And I've been TRYING to find ways to make extra cash. I have a full time job already! I try to sell my art. i have an etsy store. I have a website, i have this,  i have a comic, i go to shows. and its JUST NOT WORKING. I hear "OH i LOVE That!" or "I want to make a 200 dollar order...Let me get back to you with the details." "Oh, can you set this aside for me and i'll pick it up from you at con?" AND IT NEVER HAPPENS. I expect that from strangers, especially at a con where i often hear "i'll be back for that" and it never actually happens, but from PEOPLE I TRUST who know i'm having financial difficulty and that this can HELP me? Thanks alot- don't bring it up if you don't intend to follow through. All you do is get my hopes up because of course, WHY would I not believe you when you say you're going to help?

I feel like i'm going to have to give up my art and get a second job to get things back under control. cause i won't have time for art if I've got a second job. As it is, i have a show next week and i can't get ANYTHING new together, or even replace my most popular piece from last years stock because I HAVE NO MONEY.

My life sucks.
I'm tired of being the responsible one, the sole supporter of a family of 3.

And i can't even vent about this properly in a lot of places either because i'm sure to offend certain people without even mentioning names.
Did you miss out on all those sales this last week? bad timing? Never fear! I'm having my first sale, timed for when most are done - that's 20% off all blanket purchases of $15 or more until December 14th! I added new product last night, among them are items previously only available at conventions, and I'll be adding more over the next couple of days! Help make this first sale a success! So check it out!  This is my Etsy Shop and don't forget to apply this coupon : <center>
Things are going from bad to worse. Chickens counted have not hatched...Which is why I expressly make a habit of NOT doing that, but this time was forced into it - and unavoidable extra expenses keep happening....I'm trying this crowdtilt thing out - no chargers are made against you unless we make the goal - sorta like kickstarter. Please check it out, and pass it around. every little bit helps.: tilt.tc/FSfo

If crowdtilt is not the way you wanna go, please keep in mind that I am available for commissions. for speed and turn around , I'm turning off all color commission, but will take in quick pencils $15 (no background), all ink $40, or full graphite portraits from photos $100 - all standard 8 1/2 x 11 size, fanart or originals, no hentai. Max 4 characters/people in a single picture.
 
If you are interested, let me know. payments can be sent to dragonpress  @  gmail.com through paypal as usual.
I'm looking to make a print run of an older, and already ready to go project: my Japanese Journal - pre-orders would go a long way to helping with that. All information is listed here:
Japanese Journal Pre Order Page on my own website.

Also! Ciarrai studios has made an official Facebook page for our weekly Etsy Treasury Challenges. ANYONE IS welcome to join! ANYONE is welcome to vote - find more information HERE:
Etsy Treasury Challenge

Other Exciting News - I ordered a test print of the Bards Comic Relaunched Compilation last night. It includes what would be the first 3 issues (only 2 of which were printed) as well as a short story excerpt from my novel i've been writing for a total of 56 pages of content in a perfect bound, graphic novel style setup.

CONVENTION APPEARANCES:
Nauticon 2013 Sept 13-15
Granite State Comic Con Sept 28th - 29th
Another Anime Con Oct 18 - 20th
Drawn Con Nov 2nd- 3rd
So last weeks doctor who treasury contest on Etsy is probably going to Kerry -  i know all the votes *I* gathered were for her treasury....i don't know about the ones she gathered. THIS weeks Treasury challenge is Birds:

Here's mine: For the Birds - Nikki

and here's hers: For the Birds - Kerry

Remember to comment and vote for your favorite treasury!
Hey everyone!

Ciarrai Studios and Dragon Press Graphics is having an Etsy Treasury Challenge - This weeks theme was Doctor Who - who do you think won this challenge?

Comment below with the name of your favorite treasury:

  Wibbly Wobbly, Time Wimy

   Time Lord Love

Voting closes out by Wednesday August 14th
I've been pretty busy around here. Gearing up for AB took a lot out of me - this year marked a first: I did 3 jobs at Anime Boston. I was staff, I was an artist selling stuff, and I was a mom for one of the 3 days of the show. I just got the pics back that I requested the staff photographer take for me of my daughter and I in our Power Pack costumes at the con (collage already made and posted). She had a BLAST! She was very upset to leave. Wanna know the best part? Other than traveling through the other areas of the con and stopping to say hi to staff and other friends, the only part of the con she experienced was the Artists Alley.

I have to say, I'm proud of my kid - she loves art, and when she grows up, she wants to be an artist just like mommy, but not EXACTLY like mommy. SHE's gonna paint (I don't paint, as a rule of thumb). In fact, she wants to be a painting teacher when she grows up (and I don't want to EVER be in a teaching job), and she likes to try and sell her own work too (but not at AB, as she's too young per the rules.) So yes, it's clear I've influenced her, and instilled a joy of art in her, but she's still her own person, has her own ideas on what she wants to do. As a parent, that's a WIN (in my book!)

So, ACTUAL Con report for me goes like this:
On a personal level, I quite enjoyed myself. I learned a bunch of stuff, made some new friends, got to see the old ones, got to experience my favorite con with my daughter (her very first time) and watch her enjoy it as well....just, overall, a wonderful experience.

On an artist/financial level, I have to say I was disappointed. I've been with AB since the beginning. (staff AND not staff, but always as an artist) and I've never had sales be as low as they were this year. They were lower than AB second year, which was one of the ONLY years almost everyone agreed on how poorly they did.

Of course, I'm trying to convince myself not to worry - I *DID* just change over almost my entire inventory for a new look. Some of my regulars might have missed me because they were looking for a different setup. other people may just not be looking for that type of stuff. I have to realize that I'm going be 'regrowing' my audience because of it. Also, We DID just have a significant room change after not having moved in YEARS, and it'll take a little while for that to click with folks. And honestly, as low as sales were, only one or two of my NON AB shows have ever beaten it in the last 12 years. So I SHOULD NOT be as disappointed as I am. I guess I just hoped I'd make back all the money I put into fixing things up. I feel guilty now - when money is always tight - that I shouldn't have done it. I haven't even looked at the total damage yet. I'm afraid to.

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE!
I have 2 (possibly 3) more conventions coming my way, and I'll have all summer to prepare for them. There's Nauticon in September (www.nauticons.com), AAC in October (www.anotheranimecon.com) and a new, 2 day con I'm testing the waters on called DrawnCon in November. Also, I live in a complex and some of the ladies do things like Mary Kay and Scentsy and they get together and do a group 'Open House', and it looks like I'm gonna join, and do one with them in july. And i've had some ideas for my displays and what to do with all my other prints now that I've had to remove them from my table (just no room with all the new stuff)

So, wish me luck folks - money's always tight, as a sole supporter of a household of 3, and any time I spend money on art stuff I NEED to make it back...but this is something I can't stop doing - I love my work and someday...somewhere....maybe I can do it for a living? Imagine what I could accomplish if I didn't have to do a minimum 40 hours a week at a job where I couldn't draw...?
For my webcomic: The Bards Comic

I'm gonna be pretty busy this month. in fact, i believe i've missed two updates recently. i have the con at the end of next month and i've been trying to build a new portfolio for it (and yeah, that's pretty hard) and i have been trying to finish some big projects for it (like usual) and i just don't want to worry about the comic falling behind while i do. i've got some strips started, but I'd rather devote my time for the upcoming con right now.

If you're interested please comment or something. if you can't, please pass it on. we'll even accept stick figures :P

There will be rewards for people who help me out. Stuff that's premade obviously - all mailed to you at no cost to purchase or to mail (though I will need your mailing address obviously) - you have to pick one of the following choices:

  • 1 - 2 out of 4 Half Bard Prints (5 x 7 size, photo paper, normally costs $4.oo)
    Bards: Can I take him home? by DragonPress Bards: Whatchya doin'? by DragonPress Bards: Come Back with that by DragonPress Bards: Sheetmusic Yoinking by DragonPress
  • 2 - A set of the first 2 issues of The Bards Comic Relaunched, being sold as a Comics on Etsy set on Etsy for $6.oo
  • 3 - A Character set of the Bards Ponies (I.E. there are 2 different ponies per character. you'd get your pick of character). These are photo paper, cut out in shapes and laminated - normally sold at $4.oo per pony on Etsy




for those who help me out with multiple strips, I will, of course, give you more of the rewards off the list.
  • Drinking: Water
(1) Tell you something I learned about you by looking at your DA page.

(2) Tell you a color you remind me of.

(3) Tell you what element I believe you belong to (e.g. water, fire, air, etc.).

(4) Tell you which one of your OC's is my favorite.

(5) Ask you a question, and you must answer.

(6) Tell you something I like about you or your art.

(7) Give you a nickname.

(8) Tell you what am I doing right now.

(9) Tell you what food/flavor/smell you remind me of.

(10) Tell you to do this in your journal (unless you really don't want to for some reason ;)).
   - Note, backing out of 10 is perfectly fine. :D

p.s. i stole this from :iconjijikit: who gave me these:

1-You're a traditionalist
2-Indigo
3-Earth
4-Avilenna
5-What do you like most about being a mother?
6-The details there is always so much detail to look at.
7-Scouter you seem to see everything
8-Trying to rehydrate
9-Fresh grass

and of course, 10 - where she told me to do it and i said sure. :P
  • Drinking: Water