Hello! I have a lot going on with this blog so here are some links to navigate your way:

Land here looking for my new comic, Tales of Elgon? Right this way please.

Looking for general updates? Keep scrolling down!

Happy clicking! Any questions? Leave a comment or email me at AbrianC@hotmail.com.

I decided to participate in a massive Pokemon gijinka collab! My first entry is Bronzong:

Bronzong

So jolly he does a dance and summons some rain for the crops!

Usually I post comics on my comic blog, but this one is more rough so I thought I’d share it here! It’s all about how our connections with others are our link to reality:

Hw 3 Spread 1Hw 3 Spread 2

Oatley Academy has launched it’s amazing new course and I’m so excited that I have baked you a cake (Crayke for OALivers):

IMG_2634

Now take a slice and I’ll tell you a quick story:

Chris Oatley and the Oatley Academy team have completely changed my view toward my artwork and professional practices. Seriously. I’m not really a person to give that kind of praise often, and when I try things that have reviews like that I’m often pleased, but not wowed.

The new course, Oatley Academy Live! wows me. Every class surprises me with the depth of information and the perspective it takes on artistic issues. Even as a long-time listener of the ArtCast or PaperWings Podcast, I have still grown exponentially from the experience. And the community! In less than a month I’ve expanded my contacts and resources just by signing up and participating.

Go sign up. Then take another slice of Crayke (cray cray cake).  It’s gluten free and never runs out of slices.

Another quick concept. I had a girl in mind for this role but this is what came out in this drawing. Usually I’d let it slide but I’d like to stick to my guns and change back for the final design. Till then, a frustrated thread dyer:

Dye Worker Web

Apparently this never posted!

Okay so I didn’t spend all of the days doing master studies. But I at least practiced a new technique that I wasn’t comfortable with! Here’s the initial scan for my last drawing. I’ll do a final scan of it later this week.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

So many sheep lately…

Sheep Girl Lo

 

Trying to not start the vis dev for my new side project… trying… So this popped into my head. It’s a pose I’ve used before but… it’s a sketch!

A sketch for the cover of my finished sketchbook. The first word in this book was “valias.” And since I’ve been drawing sheepmen… there ya go:

Valias Cover Sketch

Caution: Long review post

So when I make a purchase over like… $15, I do some research. When I make a major purchase I do a LOT of research. My original drawing table was supposedly moved with all of our other stuff when we switched storage units. After searching for a few years I still can’t find it! And the unit is very tidy so either it is well hidden or it got left out (which is silly because I still have the chair for it).

All that aside, I needed a drawing table. It needed to be:

  • Able to raise and lower to be ergonomically correct for my height (because I know that I will be spending a lot of time hunched over it)
  • Come with an adjustable top to angle to at least 30°
  • Less than $300 otherwise I’d just build one

The preferable features were:

  • A stationary table top area that stayed flat while one side lifted
  • A shelf or drawer for light storage
  • As large as possible so I won’t kick myself for not having enough space
  • Glass top was a viable option

And so I researched. And researched. Apparently the lifting legs is not a common option in drafting tables. Even though they are $800+. Okay then. I settled on a glass top model that was the closest match and I was just going to give up on the raise and lower. Then I found the Studio Designs Graphix II Workstation:

Image shamelessly ripped from Amazon

It’s not fancy. At all. But it has all the features I required and was cheaper than every other option (since I ordered the price has gone up a bit but it was originally $180. If that’s too much, there is a smaller model too).

It’s huge. But assembly was super easy since all of the parts are labeled. Seriously:

IMG_20150411_180044378That’s a thing of beauty

It has 4 heights plus the very bottom (not setting it to a height). I am about 5’3″ so putting it at the very bottom allows my legs to be at 90° which is much better for my back. For standing I actually put it on the highest notch and it’s just about perfect.

The only issue is lowering/raising the table. The table top is pretty heavy and you have to unscrew the pegs on all four legs so it has a tendency to not move evenly. I keep a very clean desk so it’s no trouble to tip the whole thing over and change the height. But consider this if you have limited space or a messy desk.

Bottom line: This desk is amazing and being able to stand as I work is not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. I can work just as many hours and it encourages me to take more breaks and move around since I’m already standing up. It’s a great asset to my work flow.

Happy Easter! I would totally have drawn something Easter related if I hadn’t watched Indigo League Pokemon last night and remembered how utterly deep and creepy it used to be. Can we talk about Sabrina?

Sabrina

 

I mean no one even questioned the fact that she levitates. She’s hyper psychic and that ultra creepy doll… And this was totally fine for my little brain. I think it was a little creepy but I didn’t think it was terribly radical.

…And Sabrina is kind of my favorite. I mean, she’s with Team Rocket. How cool is that?!

I’ve learned something over the past month. I don’t like to ramble about myself but I felt this one was necessary. This is for all the hyper-productive people out there. We get up early, work, exercise, clean, bed on time, the whole package.

I thought I was resting. I mean I only got maybe an hour or three of artwork done on day job days, 5-6 on weekdays. I got plenty of sleep, exercised daily but still had a ton of time to relax. And I did relax. But I wasn’t actually RESTING. Let’s talk about the difference and why it matters.

My general schedule went: Wake up early, 1hr exercise, 1hr artwork, 7hr day job, rest of the night to work, clean and/or relax. Not bad right? I really wasn’t doing much. And frankly after my day job I’d be super unproductive so cleaning and work were often saved for the weekend.

First change: I just said I was unproductive after the day job right? But mentally I knew I was just fine and I expected myself to work after I got home. And I’d feel bad when I didn’t. So I’d try to cram more in the morning but one can only get up so early! So I ditched that expectation. Instantly I felt better and actually produced more work and had more energy than before.

Second change: I exercised every day. It wasn’t high impact so I didn’t need a break right? But I also looked the same from when I started a year before (and on and off before then). Guess what? Even with a medium-intensity workout, the body needs rest to enact the changes you’re making! So I went to a strength-building workout 3 days a week. I still can’t fathom how working out less is better, but I can literally feel the mending happening as I rest an extra hour in the morning (not necessarily sleep but rest).

Two changes. That’s it. Last weekend I took one day off to rest and clean, then I drew a record number of pages the following day!

Moral of the story: Sleep and good food are vital. But so is rest, mental and physical. Not just hanging out and relaxing but genuine moments of rest. Cutting back is scary but I’m more productive after doing so!

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