Friday, May 29, 2015

Take a Peek

It's been a hectic month!  And it's already at the end.  Started out strong, then got sick with flu, then was swamped with special events (award ceremonies, extra concerts, Baccalaureate, and graduation) for Jr., and then trying to schedule and host a special celebration event on Facebook for the digi business.  *pants*  That was a pretty full month!

Still playing catch-up with my drawing, while taking care of the garden - Spring is always busy as weeding and planting take a lot of time from my schedule.  Until the plants and yard are all set and can be on an auto-pilot mode, things are hectic.  I don't like working in a piece meal fashion with a couple hours here, run some errands, then go back for another hour, etc.  My preference is getting a drawing done in one big stretch and be done with it.  This approach works wonderfully when you're single or living by yourself, but as soon as you have a family and there are other people around (be it in an office situation or during summer or long vacation so kids are home), productivity generally goes down, and it's simply impossible to get it done this way.

I like the saying, "When there's a will, there's a way".  I find much truth in that.  These days, I just have to get it done with the attitude of "whatever it takes".  ^^;  Not getting set in ways helps.  Being flexible (in mind and body) is healthy.   Sometimes I doodle while I'm watching TV with family, and good ideas flow.  (Although there are times I just have to be at the desk to get things done.)  Sometimes I think about the next Sprites or fantasy art ideas while working in the garden - multi-task!   I'm more of a single-track mind and generally suck at multi-tasking (can't even comfortably drink water and drive, so wouldn't dream of talking on the phone and driving ).

Some of the recent sketches.  The girl with pigtails with a bunch of kitties has already been made into a digi last week.  Now deciding on which one to ink next for the next new release.  ^_^

"Can I Keep Them"(aka "Lori, the Cat Lady in Training") was a gift-with-purchase digi.
Will not be added to the listing at the shops for a while.
I'm trying to add a designer to my AuroraWings Showcase Design Team.  Hoping to find a fantastic new member by the middle of next month, but this is yet another task that's been added onto my plate. Oh, and I have two FB contests ending on Sunday to finish up the month with a bang. :D

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lady Oscar Book

I'm so excited to be able to talk about what I previously referred to as "the Italian Project" (blog post March 10, 2015).  Call me superstitious, but I've had an exciting fantasy book project by major publisher go down the drain after all images had been submitted by all contributing artists, and ever since that happened, I've kind of developed the cynical, "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude (You know, for someone who tries to be a subscriber of the Law of Abundance/Attraction, this is really not what it's all about. lol).  So I'm extra psyched that this once came into being.

This Italian-language publication by award-winning journalist, Valeria Arnaldi, is called "Lady Oscar".  For those of you who are not familiar with the Japanese manga, and its anime adaptation that came later, it was originally called Berusaiyu no Bara (ベルサイユのばら) in Japanese, or The Rose of Versailles in English, by a famous mangaka Riyoko Ikeda, and the manga started in1972 with anime adaptation starting in 1979.  *Read the Wiki for more info right here for plot and other info.  It really was ahead of its time in so many ways, and was enormously popular in Japan and beyond.  Her book is an analytical look at this manga/anime - the main character of Oscar in particular - from history to social impact, and includes some artwork from various artists from around the world.

The fans of the anime series will recognize the cover art immediately as the vignette from the beginning of the opening theme.

I was fortunate to receive an e-mail from Valeria ealier this year about using my Marie Antoinette illustrations.  Imagine my delight as I read her e-mail.  After all, both the manga series and the anime series were one of my favorites from childhood.  I definitely had a doodle phase where every hair looked like Oscar's and every rose looked like Ikeda-sensei's. lol  It's amazing for me to see my childhood joy of drawing come full circle after so many years and to let me come across a fantastic tribute opportunity such as this one!  It's all the more amazing that art is my living now despite years of discouragement and derailment from friends and relatives about becoming a 'starving artist' (Somehow in their minds, these two words were inseparable and can only co-exist within this phrase.  Just horrible...  ^^;  )

One of my Marie illustrations.  This one obviously pokes fun at the "Let them eat cake" quote that historians say was wrongly attributed to her.  But oh, how fun to play with it anyway!

I can't wait to see the book in the mail.  Valeria is kindly mailing all included artists a copy of her book, and I'm so excited! :D  I don't speak or read Italian, but I'm sure I'll enjoy looking through the book.  So cool!

On another front, one of my favorite local shops downtown contacted me about carrying my coloring books yesterday.  We'll be figuring out the details in coming weeks, and I'm so happy about this, too.  There are lots of book stores and gift shops, but this one is really special.  I've been shopping there since before I got married to my husband even!  The place is stuffed full of all the cool, beautiful, awesome, wonderful things in gifts, music, art, books, etc.  Our most recent purchase from there was a beautiful Medicine Buddha statuette.  I feel I'm getting to work with people and companies that I love and enjoy working with more and more these days.  I think we all have the tendency of making mistakes when we first start out in art, or in any field for that matter, by jumping onto the first offers that come along.  I've had my share of regrettably bad decisions over the years, but learned from these to better sniff out what I really like from those I don't care much about.  One thing that has become much easier to do is the act of saying 'no' to things I don't like or wish to be a part of, and it's great.