29 December 2012

Keeping busy. Here's an update!

(c) iStock
Well, first things first: I had to withdraw my panels for Ohayocon. I'm pretty bummed about this, but at the same time, I'm somewhat relieved. Let me explain: I had a negative experience at the doctor's office early this morning, and after much discussion we pretty much determined that I need to pull back from several things and take care of myself...which hasn't happened for a few months.

Once school started up for me in August, I stopped paying attention to myself as well as my health, because I've been so busy with everything (and majorly stressed out). So it was decided I withdraw from a few things.

I hadn't heard anything from programming on my panels yet (neither rejection or denials), so I didn't think my request to pull my panels from the submission process would be too inconvenient, but who knows, honestly. Ohayocon programming had over 400 panels submitted, and if they were on the verge of notifying me of an acceptance, I'll feel kind of bad. But the relief comes from not having to worry about the panels anymore...or spending the large amount of money needed to create a lot of the things I would need in order to present them (which required a lot of audience participation and activities). It looked like there was a genuine interest in the panels (based on the forums), so I feel a little guilty for dropping out, but I have to pull back and take care of myself more. Unfortunately I prepaid for everything for the convention, and it's non-refundable...so I'll probably still try to go, if I'm able to. That would be a lot of money spent for nothing, yikes.

I got some lovely things for Christmas, and I already started preparing for the new semester by ordering the books I'll need for my Readings in the Genre classes. As for the progress on the novel, I've surpassed 80,000 words a while ago, but I have a bit of a block right now. I wrote eight pages the other day, except it was rewrites of the first chapter. Nothing new seems to have come into my brain, and that isn't good. My personal goal was to finish the book by January 18th, but once again, I don't think I can make my deadline. So...this semester will be really crazy.

I hope you guys had a good holiday! For the time being, I'm trying to update this website (my sub-pages haven't been touched in forever) and clear out my inboxes. Then it's back to the drawing-board with my book.

24 December 2012

Happy Holidays!

(pd) by Jorge Barrios
Yesterday my family from out-of-state arrived; today we went to the movie theater to watch The Hobbit, and now I have the Misty Mountains song stuck in my head. Huzzah!

This is silly, but my sister and I were really into theater when we were younger, and we were both in a musical version of The Hobbit (and it was my first stage musical ever!). She was cast as one of the spiders as well as one of the trolls, and I was a last-minute fill-in for a cast member who had quit. I never tried out for the show, but my sister worked her magic with the director and nabbed me the part of Oin the dwarf (here's the movie equivalent), which ended up being a huge role (lots of songs, fighting, and stage time!).

So watching The Hobbit with family was not only a nostalgia-trip for when Lord of the Rings was in theaters (last decade!) but a "remember when" moment for when we performed in the stage version...seventeen years ago. Holy crap, the time flies.

Anyway, family will be here for a few days, and I'm still busy with projects and impatiently waiting to hear news regarding my panels (the convention is less than a month away)... in the meantime:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

15 December 2012

I need to keep this blog exciting! Gahhh!

(c) iStock
...But with what, pray tell? I'm kinda crazy busy and then when school starts up I'll be freakishly kinda crazy busy.

So I guess this'll be another art post to tide you over until I write a criticism of something, or an end-of-the-year-new year-goals blog listing.

Ta-dah! I make digital drawings when the stress of everything makes me want to go kaboom. Since I've been exploding so much lately, I honestly think it's done me some good in the art department. I think I'm getting better with drawing and coloring. I still have room for improvement but I was pleasantly surprised with my art once I finished with it.

Anyway, this is a character not of my creation, but by DA artist Rento-X-Akatsuki. The character's name is Zen Xin Luan Caolt and he possesses a magical ability to transform into a fire serpent. And that's all I know about this character. I found about him because Rento and I agreed to do a Christmas card exchange in the mail. I thought it'd just be cards but she mentioned actually making something ...so I was like, "Crap, I have to draw something real quick!" And I scrambled a couple days ago to make this. She doesn't know about this art yet, but I feel safe posting the image here because I'm pretty sure she doesn't read this blog. Anyway, I mailed her card today with a special art print of the image below. When I know she's received the card, I'll formally upload this image to dA and hopefully my watchers will like it.

Zen Xin Luan Caolt--The Fire Serpent by Kristina Elyse Butke
(c) 2012. All rights reserved. Usage of this artwork is restricted.
And in other news, I received another pretty awesome piece of Lily and Andresh artwork, so here it is:

(c) 2012 By Lego Vasavouchi. All rights reserved. Usage of this image is restricted.
2012 Christmas Tree! Sugar Plum, la la la!
This artist is completely committed to exquisite detailing. She put alchemy symbols all over Andresh's jacket, for example, which is just freaking awesome of her and a great surprise. You can read more about her design choices here. What's extra awesome is that I won a free commission from her, so my next art from Lego will be of Demon-Shadow Andresh. Woohoo! How many times can I use the word "awesome" in a single post?

Last but not least, I put up the Christmas tree again this year. I like my tree, but I got sick of using the same Christmas ornaments three years in a row, so I braved Mom's garage and climbed the ladder to the storage area, and whipped out 20-year old Christmas decorations we've held onto all this time. Here's the tree, in a moment of zen.

And finally, finally...I wish everybody joy and peace. I am so sick of hearing awful news and terrible tragedies, and knowing that people are scared and suffering out there. God bless everyone! My heart goes out to you.

05 December 2012

1, 2, 3, 4! Lily & Andresh? Have some more!

They just keep coming! More and more! Ever since I figured out that point commissions trumped dollar commissions, I've been having an easier time securing custom artwork from Deviant Art. When strangers wander over to my profile page, they leave comments about how they've enjoyed looking at my Character Gallery, which makes me grin from ear to ear. It has been fun seeing what everyone comes up with, and I'm happy to share their work with you! Oddly enough, a lot of this art I requested several months ago and now it seems everyone is finishing them up at the same time...

As for artwork to look forward to, any new commissions I've requested are now going to feature something quite different--Andresh's demon/beast form, which should be exciting (first artist up to try it is Maruka, who made me this lovely gem). I also have a Lily and Andresh piece coming from this person who is quite a talented artist, but also just so happens to have voiced this character, among many others. That's kind of mind-blowing in and of itself. Woo!

(c) 2012 by Cinnamon Ring
(c) 2012 by AngelG93
Andresh and Lily (Stealing the Spotlight) by BunbunJens
(c) 2012 by BunbunJens
(c) 2012 by DevinArtDevil
(c) 2012 by Sugar Bear Kitty

For more Lily and Andresh pieces, check out the Deviant Art gallery for it--there's even more new artwork you haven't seen yet!