Thursday, May 26, 2016

And a Title Would be Nice...

Really, really busy morning.  *yawn*  So instead of fresh fanart, I give you some WIP line art from my portfolio work.  *nods*


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Creativity is a Struggle

Morning everyone!  Today I have some thoughts on 'creative block' (because it doesn't just happen to writers) and some line art, of course!  First, my thoughts.  Creative block has been a topic of discussion among creative people... Well, probably for as long as their have been creative people. Some insist it doesn't exist, others are like, "It totally exists, because I'm living it."  And I don't think it's ever possible to define another person's existence, so I say Creative block exists, but it doesn't affect everyone.  Which, I think, makes sense.  My own personal maxim is that if something has been around a while, and has not definite definition, it's probably because it isn't as simple as all that.  I think there are a number of different causes for creative blocks, and not everyone suffers from them the same, or suffers from them at all.

From my perspective, the major causes of creative blocks are:

Fear: It's hard as hell to get words down when you're afraid you're doing it wrong, or that you're going to say something stupid or offensive, or that your audience is going to hate it, or that it's just plain bad.

Depression/Anxiety: Now, this may seem similar to the first one, but it's not.  Not in anyway.  This isn't just feeling sad or anxious about doing something.  You can't just wave away your diabetes or your asthma, and you can't just wave away your depression or anxiety disorder.  These are mental illnesses, and creative people are more prone to them than others, and they can be devastating to a creative person's productivity and their ability to create.

Too Much Happening:  Everyone has times in their lives when their brains are just too taken up with other things.  Whether it's a a huge thing that's monopolizing your brain space, or a hundred small things that just make it impossible to concentrate, sometimes everyone just has to focus on other things and so their brains just won't get in that creative groove.

Boredom:  It is so easy to get stuck in a rut, even with creative projects.  It's important for creative people to stretch themselves, but it can be hard to do and it is absolutely possible to become bored with a project.  And getting bored with a project you've already dedicated a lot of time to can make it really hard to let go of it and start something new and fresh.  Sometimes you can push forward, and sometimes you just can't.

And, if creative blocks are a symptom and not the problem per se, then the best way to get through it is to address the actual problem.  Figure out what's causing the block and deal with that and the block itself will (hopefully) dissolve.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.  Now on to the art!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Little WIP

Just something I've been playing with...


Of Cats and Line Art

While I wish this post was later than usual because I actually slept past 6:30 this morning, the cats are determined that that not be the case.  Additionally, a completely different cat (who is now happily purring on my CPU) decided to jump on my keyboard, changing my settings in Photoshop.  It took me over an hour to figure out everything she'd done and get it all set back to rights.  *eyes her*  But, jumpy cat feet cannot stop the line art!


I'm really enjoying this line art in the morning.  It's a nice warm up for the day, even if I don't immediately go into making other art. I feel as if I've accomplished something, and it lets my brain kick into gear slowly.  I especially like doing fanart because the characters are already designed and all I have do is get the sketch right and then lay down the line art.  It's a great way to kick off the day.  *nods*

I chose Dory and Marlin for today because I love Finding Nemo, but especially love Dory. After all, she knows the secret to life... Just keep swimming!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Don't Tell Me It's Not Work

So, this morning I have both a little rant for y'all, and some line art.  First, the rant, which is about a premise I know we've all heard.  "Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life."  We've all heard it, read it, shared it--I know I have--but it's actually pretty bullshit when you think about it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it's not worth doing something you love, it absolutely is and I would rather be writing and drawing than doing anything else in the world, but that doesn't mean that creative people don't work themselves to the bone.  Being good at writing or painting--or any creative endeavor--requires as much work and practice, as much time and dedication, as much sweat and as many tears, as being good at anything else.

We tend to fall back on this idea of 'talent,' a belief that creative people just naturally have this gift that lets us do what we do.  And while it's totally possible that some people are naturally more attuned to stringing words together or the way that shadow and light work together, that means exactly nothing if that person doesn't sit down and work at it.  More importantly, someone who doesn't have that, but still sits down and works on it, will always get better, faster, than someone who doesn't.  It's the work that matters, it's the time and effort that a creative person puts in that makes them good.  And saying it's not work undervalues all the time creative people put into their craft.  Writers and artists spend years developing their own styles, their own voices.  They spend years practicing and trying new techniques.  They spend years FAILING over and over and over again, until one day they finally get it right.  And if that's not work, I don't know what is.

There is a huge, cultural trend that undervalues art (written or visual or craft, whatever), and this trend doesn't just affect people who can't/don't 'art.'  Even we creative types do this to ourselves, because we're told that, since we're doing something we love, it's not work.  We're supposed to feel fulfilled just because we got to write or draw or sew or knit.  We're supposed to be thrilled to make any money at all, and draw a greater satisfaction from the work itself.

Now, of course, that doesn't mean that it's not tremendously satisfying at times.  I can't even articulate how awesome it is to create something and see other people enjoy it.  It's fantastic.  But there are also heartbreaking nights when it's 2 am and you're almost in tears because you can't make the words work or the forms function.  Or those depressing days you spend doing the same damn thing over and over and over so you can get it right, and never actually manage to.  The great thing is that nothing else compares to the feeling when it finally, finally, clicks.

So, maybe the saying should be something more like, "Do something you love, because it's worth it."  *nods*  And now?  Onto the line art!


This is another bit of Steven Universe fanart, because Garnet is just plain awesome.  I want to do more with this line art, but I'm just not sure what direction to go in, yet.  I think--think--I'm going to color it instead of sticking with a more graphic, black and white style, but that still leaves me with a lot of options.  So... Well, when I figure it out, I'll let you know!


Sunday, May 22, 2016

I Hate Mornings

I am so not a morning person. *yawn*  Throughout my life, it has actually been more common for me to go to bed at this hour than it has for me to get up at this hour.  I am very much a night person. And yet... here I am, awake... (if you can call it that).  It's quite disconcerting.  Nonetheless?  Avatar: The Last Airbender fanart!


This started out as line art, but I was really wanted to play with the light from Aang's avatar state, and I love backlit silhouettes, and and so this happened!  *G*  I had a ton of fun with it!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Good Morning, I Suppose.

Rough night, not much sleep, brain only partially functional.  *yawn*  But!  I still come bearing line art!


This is from a sketch I did ages ago.  I scanned it into the computer and then promptly forgot about it.  I've gone back to it several times over the years, but never really figured out what I wanted to do with it.  Then I started working on my line art and I wanted to see how this would work in it.  I kind of love it.  *nods*

Friday, May 20, 2016

Summer Sale!

Oh, and remember guys, I'm having a Summer Sale! 25% off all cover art and illustration! It's best to get in touch with me at least a month before you need the cover, and two is even better, so if you're going to need cover art before the end of the summer, now is absolutely the time to get in touch! marysipe@gmail.com or message me here!



A Cold and Lazy Morning

Hello all!  Rene is out at a job interview (wish him luck!) and I actually have the space to myself for the moment.  It's awfully quiet...  *eyes the room*  It's also chilly.  I have the urge to dive back into bed under the warm covers with my warm kitties.  Which makes it the perfect day to post a little Eeyore line art!


PS - Also, I'm taking requests for line art! Anybody have a favorite cartoon character they'd like to see me do?