Monday, November 27, 2017

Nothing Is New But It Is All Unique

Sick and tired of hearing from fellow creatives that they must avoid creative media in order not to be influenced. We are ALL influenced by *something*.

Vincent Van Gogh collected over 400 Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) and even copied some of its elements into his work.

Art can't happen in a vacuum. It's just not possible. Even those not formally art-trained and may live in the most isolated insular and homogenous community will still create art that shows influence from many elements. 

Take for instance the profound artwork of an incredibly talented individual I saw on a Facebook art group page: his work reminded me of early protest art of 70s vinyl record covers. I pointed this out and he said explained he lived out in the bayous, hadn't gone to art school, and never received any formal training, but he immediately got what I meant of what his work reminded me.

Something inspired him. *Influenced* him to create the way he did and how he did. Though he was in a sense of the modern idea that he was isolated, he was still influenced and inspired by what was around him. By his environment, his experiences, his life. And it became something that reminded me, a total stranger, of something else entirely. Yet, he GOT what I meant.

I'm not saying we are being hacks. What I'm saying is it's okay to acknowledge and not feel ashamed to own up to one's influences. And even if one doesn't know what the influences are, do know that they are still there.

Whenever I create something: whether an illustration, a scribble, a cartoon, comic strip, short story, word list, essay, or this blog post, I like to play a game to try and recognize what inspired me or influenced that particular piece. I'm not saying to do this. I'm just weird.

It is essential to know that while there's "nothing new under the sun", what makes an art 'original' is how it's filtered and distilled by its bearer, its creator. Because we are all different, because each one of us is unique, and because we are all affected by outside and inner forces, the art will be singular, authentic, and genuine.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Going back to basics

Buying paper and sketchbooks as an artist is more complicated. After using last of birthday money at my local art store that I need to return the 9 ×12.

Saw a 7 × 10 stack next to that and realized I should've bought two of those instead of purchasing a new 9 × 12. Want to down-scale.
Have been creating a lot of art on this paper but I remember for many years creating on standard 8.5 × 12. So using a 7 × 10 isn't a stretch.

This particular sketchbook paper isn't just any paper. This is Canson, a paper company established in 1557! I've been using their paper for years (Not as long as they've been in existence. Haha) and this sketchbook is for mixed media, 98 lbs, and acid-free.
It brings out vibrant color on designer markers and especially watercolor, which I am now using with my beloved color pencils.

I remember creating a lot of my early works on regular 8.5 x 12 and so I'm returning to those days.

The new skills will bring new creativity and it also has technical practicality. It's easier to scan on my 3-in-1 copier machine or on my mom's copier via wi-fi.

This will make life easier to take pictures and upload to my social media and scan/upload to my online art portfolio account.

Friday, November 3, 2017

NaNo is not for me this year

#NaNoWriMo2017 is beginning but I won't be involved. In fact, I'm using the month to take care of my writing. I have a slew of short stories to revise, some stories to continue, as well as other writing projects (comic scripts, essays, and articles) to perfect! And the novel needs continuing.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Last year, I worked on most of the characters from the dog Great Depression novel.

While I'm still working on that, during many of the disasters, and Irma, a curious thing happened: a science fiction story near and dear to me, that I've had in mind since childhood, started to figuratively write itself! These will be a series of shorts that I'm currently compiling.

For this Inktober, I'll showcase these SF characters with updated looks!

Just as I did with NaNoWriMo and Camps NaNoWriMo to pen most of the Great Depression novel, I'm using #Inktober2017 to work on a slice-of-life comic series. So, HAPPY INKTOBER!

P.S. If you wish to see my Inktober 2016, hop over to my DeviantArt profile at

Friday, September 29, 2017

Best of 2017 - Part Four

NOTE: Here, there be hyperlinks!

In honor of Banned Books Week, which will conclude tomorrow, I am posting my Best of 2017 books that have simply blown my mind (and that's not an easy thing to do, though I feel my tastes are wide-spread enough that I'm often more satisfied than disappointed) and wish to share my findings with my readers and visitors...

Last is The Best American Comics 2013 anthology series. This was another surprise gem that wasn't even recommended by a sophisticated online system! This anthology was a happy surprise and showcases a variety of comic stories (strips, excerpts from graphic novels, series, musings, autobiographies, and spec-fic entries) from a variety of professionals in the industry. 

This a thick hardcover and yet surprisingly light so I credit the material they used. Not only is there something for everyone, I would even recommend this title to non-comic readers! Now because of this, I will be finding and acquiring the rest in the series!

THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2013 is edited by Jeff Smith, creator of the famed and critically acclaimed "Bone" comic series and series' editors Jessical Abel, comic creator of "Trish Trash" and Matt Madden, comics creator, educator, translator and so forth.

Please pick up THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2013 directly from Hamilton Books or where ever books are sold.

P.S. Will be posting at a later date about the wonderful online bookstore (and ISN'T Amazon!) that is Edward R. Hamilton Bookseller!!!

Info on Banned Books Week here: Banned and Challenged Books

Best of 2017 - Part Three

NOTE: Here, there be hyperlinks!

In honor of Banned Books Week, which will conclude tomorrow, I am posting my Best of 2017 books that have simply blown my mind (and that's not an easy thing to do, though I feel my tastes are wide-spread enough that I'm often more satisfied than disappointed) and wish to share my findings with my readers and visitors...

Next is The Secret Loves of Geek Girls anthology and The Secret Loves of Geeks a sequel that will be out in 2018!

I was entranced with this anthology from the get-go. I hugged myself while reading this. For all the other books I'm showcasing, I don't really want to name any favorites as I would want ANY of these books I'm speaking about on a deserted island with me. However, this particular anthology not only showcases four pages of an autobiographical comic by Margaret Atwood but the essays and comic-essays by some of the most notable geek/nerd women in multiple industries. 

The Secret Loves of Geek Girls deals with crushes/infatuations, first love, last love, broken hearts, burgeoning sexuality, puberty, college days, divorces, remarriages, first and only marriages, cohabitation, and romance in all its multilayered beauty and ugliness. 

An eye-opening, page-turner that discusses a margin of what romance and the love life of females who identify as geek and nerd. 

The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is edited by Hope Nicholson and foreword by Kelly Sue DeConnick and front cover illustrator Noelle Stevenson artist for the comic series LumberJanes - Please give this anthology a try!

Info on Banned Books Week here: Banned and Challenged Books