Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Holiday Sprites

I've got quite a few Sprites piled up as uncolored lines on my desk.  Some are digital line art, while others are unfinished ACEOs... (boy, I hate the sound of that!).  Some of these babies are 2 years old! ^^;  With the publication of the Christmas Sprites coloring book from Ellen Million Graphics and these babies becoming available as cross stitch charts from Lena Lawson Needle Arts, I need to get these babies all colored up. But since there is no way to add more hours into our day, once you get behind with something, it just gets harder and harder... or so it seems to me.  Yikes!

I did manage to color this new one, "Christmas Lights Sprite", which was not in the book.  I had a pencil scribble version all ready when I was working on the coloring book images, but this one was one of the two that didn't make the deadline.  So this baby was released like a regular digi.

"Christmas Lights Sprite"   So many color possibilities.  I went with a traditional 'Santa's Little Helper" look in red and white, but this baby is cute in blue & white, green/teal & white, green & red and many other color combos. :D  Digi of the line art is available at my shop at this link. On sale for $2.45, which is 30% off the regular price, through Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015.

"Holly Sprite"  This one's lines were digitally redrawn for the new coloring book.  Many of my Sprites are original ACEOs to begin with, with measurements of 2.5" x 3.5".  Even with high resolution scans, lines are not crisp.  Normally, I like the look of slightly messy lines as it more closely resembles the lines made with traditional rubber stamps, but when you're talking about coloring book pages printed in black ink only on white pages, files need tweaking.  Some of these guys needed so much tweaking that redrawing made more sense all together.  For the holly leaves, I went with a variegated look, which I think is just so pretty, that's been frost kissed to have that red tinge.  Such a classic Christmas foliage, I had to go with red and white for this baby's coat! :D  This baby is included in the "Christmas Sprites" coloring book, and she is also available as a line art digi at this link.

The coloring book is now ready for immediate shipping (usually same day, if your order is made before 2 pm ET US).  You can purchase a copy at this link.  I only have a very limited quantity of these, as I received more pre-orders than I originally anticipated, and I don't think I can get more in before the holiday deadline with the postal service.  Don't wait till last minute if you've been looking at this one.  ^_^

Monday, October 26, 2015

Christmas Sprites Mini Coloring Book Pre-Order

As I write this, the second volume of the Sprites coloring book, "Christmas Sprites", is getting ready at the printer.  How exciting is this?!  I am taking pre-orders of this title now until the shipment of books arrives at my house and list them at my Etsy shop  The pre-order is being taken at my Storenvy shop.  I've decided to run the pre-order campaign there, rather than doing it on my website via PayPal button or on Etsy to keep all records in one place and avoid any confusion that will come with people putting pre-order item along with regular items in their shopping cart at Etsy (As far as I know, there is no way to separate shipping or keep track of orders for partial shipment of order within their interface, so things can potentially get quite messy, I fear...).

There are 12 Sprites in all, 6 of which are brand new coloring book exclusives drawn for this publication.  They are all Christmas themed and adorable.  The previously released Sprites (in digi format) have been redrawn by me for a cleaner, crispier print in coloring book (Most home printers print with CMYK inks, which can handle hundreds of thousands of shades of grey between true black and white, but commercially printed coloring books are done in black ink, which has its peculiarities.).

Click on the image to view larger.
Here is the list of all Sprites that are included in this 'mini' coloring book (approx.  5.5" x 8.5", roughly half the size of my other fantasy coloring books).

1. Christmas Cactus Sprite
2. Christmas Tree Sprite
3. Poinsettia Sprite
4. Mistletoe Sprite
5. Little Santa (cover)
6. Holly Sprite
7. Holiday Wreath Sprite
8. Amaryllis Sprite
9. Candle Angel Sprite
10. Gingerbread Man Sprite
11. Stocking Sprite
12. Candy Cane Sprite

This will make a wonderful gift for all those who are young at heart.  These Sprites are simple and accessible for children, and whimsical and fun for the adults who enjoy coloring.  The smaller size of the mini coloring books also make it easy to carry around in your bags with a set of colored pencils for coloring on the go!  Rated "Pretty Easy" by EMG's coloring book difficulty level rating system.

You can pre-order these books at this link.    This pre-order is for a physical paper copy of a book.  Digital version in PDF format is NOT planned at this time.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Red Hibiscus - Commissioned ACEO

I had this little beauty finished during the first week of September, but decided to wait until my client overseas confirmed me that she received it safely.  It's always a little nerve-racking to ship anything overseas.  Things get lost in the mail quite often - even for domestic mail.  I am usually the optimistic type, but when it's something like an original art, in other words, something that cannot be replaced even with insurance, yes, I feel nervous.  ^^;

I just got the word on both Facebook and on Etsy review that my client in France has received the original ACEO safe and sound.  When I checked the tracking information on this transaction, it did show that it was delivered in record time - just one week!  (Whaaat?  I have domestic mail that takes longer to reach me!  All the time!)  I have received a package from the UK in 5 days, which still holds the record for the fastest postal transit in my personal record.  (Oh, the power of Her Majesty's image on the Royal Mail postage stamps.)

I haven't done a commission ACEO in a really long time, and I needed a new prescription for contact lenses for just as long.  LOL  There's the reason I was avoiding it!  Seriously, between the high pollen count from weeds in bloom this time of the year making my eyes itchy and watery AND my lenses getting old, the tiny dimension of ACEO at just 2.5" x 3.5" is torture. (Yes, because I'm old.  There, I said it.)  I still LOVE to pack in tiny details and give my pieces tiny highlights despite my weak eyes.   It's always a little jarring to get my head wrapped around the tiny scale, but the challenge ACEO art presents makes it fun also.

You may see me doing some more of these now that my eyes are enjoying a fresh pair of contacts.  Ahhhhh.... *happy happy*

Friday, August 28, 2015

Coloring Book Giveaway!

It's time for a giveaway!  Everyone loves giveaways.  I have only won once in one of these things, but it's certainly fun to enter, but for me, it's far more fun to host these giveaways.  It's always fun to hear, "Oh, I never win anything!  This is awesome!" from the winners when I get in touch with them.

One grand prize -- one coloring book shipped anywhere in the world to the lucky winner
Five digi prizes -- a brand new Sprite digi to be given to additional lucky winners BEFORE public release

Interested???  Please read on!

Please go to the Fantasy Art of Mitzi Facebook page and see the pinned post of the original contest announcement at the top of the wall.  The entry instructions are spelled out.  The deadline is Monday, Aug. 31 at 11:59 pm EDT (3:59 am GMT, Tues. Sept. 1).  The grand winner and the five digi winners will be announced on the same FB page on Sept. 1 after the random drawing takes place.

I've got lots going on this weekend...  Here's a coupon code for anyone who's shopping for digis at my Etsy shop.  You can get 20% OFF on your digi purchase of just $5 USD or more!!!  This is a pretty good deal. :D

And here's a sneak peek...  Actually, a collage of three sneak peek snippets from earlier this week all put together.  Interested?  This lovely mermaid is an exclusive digi only available at the Coloring for Clean Water fundraiser taking place tomorrow.  Check out more info at their event page on Facebook right here.  You can get this digi with your donation to the cause, and participate in the coloring contest to win prizes.  There are prizes from different sponsors given away during the fundraiser event, too!  Be sure to check it out!

I have to get back to work (original ACEOs, more digis to ink, more files to clean, store listings...).  The life of a self-representing artist is never dull.  XD

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Preview of the New Coloring Book

Just saw this in an e-mail newsletter from Ellen Million Graphics* (the publisher of my coloring books and other coloring books for grown-ups).  Eek!  It's a preview of all the pages that are in the new half-size Sprites coloring book, vol. 1.

image courtesy of Ellen Million Graphics
The Sprites coloring books will be in a smaller format (easy to fit into your bag and carry anywhere and whip it out and color whenever you have time to kill).  And fewer pages than the full-size cousins (so that the books will be able to actually close and don't look as if exploding LOL).  Same paper stock and one-sided printing as the other books.  This book is rated "Pretty Easy" so it is suitable for children and adults who love these little flower babies.

You can order this coloring book right now at Ellen Million Graphics at this link.

I will be listing this coloring book at the AuroraWings Etsy shop once I have stock at the house and be able to process your orders right away.

The book will probably become available on Amazon here shortly as well since Ellen sells all her coloring books there as well.

* Ellen Million Graphics has been publishing coloring books for grown-ups way before 'adult coloring' became the big trend it is today.  The current trend still has a major focus on mandalas and repetitive doodle-like designs mass produced by large publishing houses, but Ellen's books are created in a totally different way.  She is a fantasy artist herself, and her business has always focused on products that bring other fantasy artists together and promote their work.  She used to publish a monthly e-zine called EMG-Zine with articles, tutorials, fiction, poems, and artwork contributed by fellow fantasy artists.  Ellen also is the tireless host of Sketch Fest, a monthly event, where anyone can give prompts for participating artists to select and work on.  Ellen Million Graphics' coloring books are books of fantasy themes by fantasy artists.   You'll still find princesses and mermaids, but the lines are more complex and geared toward teen & grown-ups.  Some are single-artist titles like my books, and many others are multi-artist collaboration compilations (I contribute line art for these, too.).  Whatever books you choose, you can feel good about supporting the creative efforts of individual artists, each one of them is a micro-business of their own.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ice Cream Sundae Sprite

With new coloring books of my Sprites on the way, I just finished my 63rd, "Ice Cream Sundae Sprite".  Originally, the Sprites were flower babies, but then some came along that were veggies and mushrooms.  Then came the cupcake and ladybug.  So now, I'm in an expansion mood.

It's so easy to get behind on the coloring of my digital stamp images.  I'd like to have them ready when the line art digis come out, but more often than not, I don't get around to doing the color version.  I like having the partially colored preview/sample image on my listings, so in a time crunch, I literally only paint parts of the image to make the preview.  I don't want to get in a habit of that as it restricts what else I can do with an image, like licensing for other products from tubes to cross stitch charts.

I'm happy to be able to show this fully colored version for a change this time.  ^_^

For a Sprite, this one is loaded with details.  When you just look at the digi version, it looks simple enough, but when you really stop and think about it, this one has a lot of different textures in it, making for a nice challenge if you want to really tackle it hard core. lol  Whipped cream (as white stuff is always tricky), syrup, shiny fruits, then glass bowl.  Glass is intimidating for a lot of people.  It's actually kind of fun to really look at something and try to reproduce it.  In my work, especially with the digis, it's so easy to relax and go on an auto-pilot mode doodling manga/anime style all the time.  It was nice to actually push for a little bit of realism with the colored version of this new Sprite.  I'm pretty happy with the way the bottom of the image came out with the swirls of chocolate syrup and melty ice cream showing through a clear glass bowl.    All in all, this was a fun one, though I was up past 1:30 on Thursday night working (But it's partly because I took a lunch break and watched an episode of Ink Master, which turned into a stretch of binge-watching of multiple episodes...  Got to get better at time management!).

I really need to get the Green Man inked.  I also have another exotic plant Sprite sketched out (Black Bat Orchid aka Bat Flower) and waiting to become Sprite #64.  All the while, cleaning up more files for the coloring books and catching up on coloring all the inked-but-not-finished stash that need to be sent to my cross stitch chart manufacturer.  Busy is good, right? :D

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Garden Sprites Coloring Book in the Works

Thanks to the wonderful response my coloring books have been receiving, I was able to get a new coloring book project rolling with my publisher.  I have received many requests for coloring books of my Sprites, so I'm thrilled to share with you that they are in the works!

I have drawn over 60 Sprites to date.  These books will be a half size (approximately 5.5 x 8 inches) and will have fewer pages than my full-size coloring books.  The Sprites were originally produced as ACEOs, which are, by definition, 2.5 x 3.5 inches.  The digis of them have been offered at 5 x 7 inches to make coloring easier and to give the digi users a little more flexibility in size for crafting with them.  The coloring books will be similar in digi size.   I've been busy redrawing some of my earlier Sprites on my digital tablet for the fist volume of the book.  I could really see the development of the style over 60+ Sprites!  :D

The books will contain 12 Sprites each.  The editor decided that this was a good number for a smaller format book (Too many pages and the book will not quite close right...).  She and I picked out the first set of Sprites to go into the upcoming release.  We've decided on categorizing them and presenting them in non-chronological and non-alphabetical order.  So you will get a nice mix of my Sprites from back when they first debuted in the summer of 2013 on original ACEOs to more recent digi releases.

Cover image courtesy of Ellen Million Graphics

I spent last week working on the digital redrawing of the line art of many of the early Sprites.  The files have now been sent to the publisher and we now wait for the proof from the printer to come in before the final green light.  The project is moving at a faster pace than what I originally anticipated (sometime in 2016), which is great!  I can't wait to give the preview of this book.  ^_^

Speaking of previews, there will be yet another Sprite joining the ever-growing family this Friday (Aug. 7, 2015) at the AuroraWings Showcase Blog.  My designers and I are working on a gallery presentation of an adorable new Sprite.  Here's a tiny sneak peek (There's so much more to this one, but I'm only going to show you a little bit here.  Hehe.)