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14 August 2010 @ 05:28 pm

by ~Megalosaurus on deviantART

back to attempting to start this comic and get some stuff ready for the fall conventions.
04 August 2010 @ 10:32 am
 SO.  Some stuff has been happening in my life.  Namely, an excruciating and fruitless apartment hunt.  It's a long story, but it comes down to: there is a good chance I may be commuting from New Jersey this year, guys.  Woooh 2-hour bus rides, joy!  D:


I've had less time to work on Starry Knights than I should have liked, but I've still been getting some done, so that's good.

Starry Knights pencils behind the cutCollapse )

The comic will (hopefully) start running either August 23 or 30... haven't decided which yet.
Current Mood: workingworking
Current Music: Stadiums and Shrines II - the Sunset Rubdown
21 July 2010 @ 08:57 pm
 So, I can only hope the absence has been because we have all been busy, right??

Sorry to say, but I don't have much worth posting here, right at the moment... I've been working, but not on anything that's polished and finished.  So... enjoy some work-in-progress pics:

Some Starry Knights thumbnails!  I know, I know, they're pretty messy, and not really at all legible from theses pics... also, I have been squeezing four thumbnails onto one piece of paper, so... yeah.  Uh... hurray for conserving paper??
Also, this is just a couple of pages... I actually have thumbnailed over forty strips.  So... chapters one and two, plus the beginning of chapter three.  FFFF I am gonna have a along way to go.  And yes, I will be starting on the pencils soon, it's just that I want to get a good number of the thumbnails done first, since that is the part that I hate the most.

So yeah, workin' heard.  :B
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Little Faith - The National
So since I am working on revamping Starry Knights, one of the most important things I felt would be to update the website.  The old Starry Knights comic was (technically still is) hosted at Comic Genesis, a free webcomic hosting site.  The goal, originally, was to eventually try to get a space at KeenSpot, Comic Genesis's more exclusive sister site.  The problem I had with Comic Genesis is that in order to have a decent site, you need to have a pretty good handle on HTML (which I don't), as well as know how to utilize their Keentags system.

The old Starry Knights website looks like this.  Embarrassing, no?

At first I was determined to better learn HTML and just outright build the site myself.  I started (as any good designer should) with sketches of how I would like the site to layout, and different ideas for the different pages.  But... actually executing my ideas turned out to pretty difficult.  Since I didn't (don't.  whatever) really know how to build a website, I don't know what design aspects to utilize and which ones to avoid.

Then I remembered that at one point Megan had mentioned how Allison was remaking her webcomic, FTRebirth, and so I took a look over at her site and was like, 'Yeah!  That's a lot like what I want the Starry Knights website to look like.'  So she made her site by using Webcomic, a Wordpress plugin.  And so I poked around on Wordpress and looked over the Webcomic tutorials and thought, 'This doesn't look so hard.  I bet I could do this.'


For one thing, Wordpress comes in two flavors: Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org.  Wordpress.com is a free blogging site, but it turns out that this is really a watered-down version of Wordpress (a program that can be downloaded from Wordpress.org), and that it is useless for anything but the most basic of blogging.  Wordpress itself is a blogging program- I think.  I think that there is a more specific term for exactly what it is, but what that term is I don't know.  Lack of knowledge of technical terms, it turns out, is my huge weak point.  The point is that Wordpress is not a website in an of itself; it is a tool with which to build websites.  In order to utilize Wordpress (which is itself free), one must first pay for somewhere to host their Wordpress site.  The Wordpress site lists several recommended hosts.  Figuring I had nothing to lose, I signed up for the cheapest one I could get (that was on the Wordpress recommended list), and am now signed up to fork over $2 a month for the next two years to Dreamhost.  Not an awful price, just mildly irritating in that I hadn't been expecting it (I had somehow thought I would be able to use Wordpress.com with Webcomic, which is a huge no-can-do).

So I have Wordpress, I have a place to host it, all I have to do now is install it, right?  HERE is the part where I started to get in over my head and get extremely frustrated.  Wordpress advertises itself as being able to be installed in 5 minutes, and has a very detailed set of instructions on exactly what to do.  EXCEPT THESE INSTRUCTIONS ALL EXPECT THE USER TO HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE WITH BUILDING WEBSITES.  I HAVE NONE.  FROM STEP ONE, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT.

So two hours later, completely confused and with the help of my grumbling-but-more-technically-literate father, I had Wordpress installed.  As it turns out, it IS really easy and can be done in about 5 minutes... if you have a clue as to what you are doing.  If I ever had to do the whole thing again, I'm sure I could do it much, MUCH faster than the first time around.  I just wish that I hadn't been so completely drawn in without first reading the instructions and realizing that I had no idea what they said.

So yeah, Webcomic is totally easy to install, but I still wasn't completely getting what I wanted.  My site was technically functioning, and while Webcomic is being hailed as a great device to host Webcomics by the blogging/webcomic community, I found that it was pretty difficult to customize without having a decent knowledge of CSS (something which, again, I know nothing about).  Eventually I switched over to ComicPress, another Wordpress-based tool for building webcomic sites.  Even though most reviewers of the two seem to say that Webcomic is superior to ComicPress, I FUCKING LOVE IT.  I eventually had to suck it up and learn some CSS, but only the barest minimum.

And guess what?

The new Starry Knights site looks like this.
I am SOOO completely happy with it.  And even though there are some kinks that I need to work out and a few other odds and ends I want to tidy up, I feel so proud of myself for making something that looks... well.. nice.  All in all, the struggle was worth it.  I came out the better, and I love the new site.

...now for the ACTUAL hard part: making the comic itself.  I am still working on outlining and thumbnailing the many chapters, but on the artistic site I am working on hammering out character designs for the million and two minor characters in the story.  The sketch dump pic is too long to add to this already-too long post, but you can check out the characters over on my deviantArt.

So, YEAH.  That's what I've been up to.

Oh yeah, and as I mentioned before, the Starry Knights website will be hosting Apophenia (my thesis), posting one page a weekday through August.  So if you're interested in seeing that, that's on the site, too.
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Howl - Florence and the Machine
02 July 2010 @ 10:57 am
SO today's my day to post and I actually have something to Post which is miraculous really!. so here's my story entitled "Ferry Story" for those who don't now it's about the story revolves around a man who just had his heartbroken and while on the Staten Island Ferry  finds love but she is a mermaid and when her returns to the ferry they fall in love and is thus each becoming a mermaid so he could be with her forever. What do you guys think?


btw I recently looked up where else diot brigade shows up and here's and interesting one

just when you guys have the time google idiot brigade you'll see some funny results

*link is fixed*
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: TMBG- Im Impressed
01 July 2010 @ 03:18 pm
 So, sorry once again to Jennie for posting on her day, but...


...Granted, I've just sent it off to Tom Hart, who will probably send it back with like, a bajillion corrections for me to make, but still.

"So Rel," you ask, "where can I view this beautiful work of art that you've been pouring yourself into for the past several months?"

I'm glad glad you asked, fictional Idiot Brigade reader (i.e. probably Megan), because that leads me to the other thing I've been working on: the Starry Knights website.  Actually, it's still quite a work in progress, and if you go there now it's still pretty messy, but once I've got the site put together, I will be using it to host Apophenia (that's my thesis title derpDERP I realize that almost no one seems to know this) as well.
...and I'll probably also put it up on the good ol' deviantArt as well, but first I think I'll wait until Tom gets back to me.

SO.  Starry Knights.  Shit just got real: I've just paid for two years of hosting for the site, and I finally have an ending for the story that I'm pretty happy with.  If anyone would like help me out by looking over the outline for the story and offering their critique, I would SO appreciate that.  Let me know and I'll e-mail it to you; it's too long to post the whole outline here (it's like, 9 pages long.  seriously.  this thing is epic.)

...in other news I've got my first freelance job... sort of.  My dad's company just issued these new-fangled security cards to everyone, and no one seems to be able to work them properly (or read the directions on how to work them properly), so now the company wants to hire an artist to illustrate how to use the security cards, in the hopes that people will at the very least be able to follow the pictures even if they don't read the words.  And so my dad volunteered me for the job.  And like, it sounds pretty easy, it's just some instructional illustrations... I suppose we will have to see how this all pans out (also I have no idea how much I'll be getting paid.  I don't even know how to price freelance services or anything.  OH WELL I GUESS THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PART OF THE REAL WORLD DERPDERPDERP)
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
28 June 2010 @ 11:37 am
so basically I've been trying plan out this comic stuff for the past couple weeks, and it's getting really tough. I'm actually gonna be talking to relfoxtail today about her comic and mine and hopefully get my crappy outline into better shape...doesn't help that I have two versions of what I could do and don't really prefer either one.
anyway, if only so I post SOMETHING, here's two things I doodled while trying to plan this thing :/click here to seeCollapse )
I've been kind of half-heartedly trying to draw Valerie like this one lady from a korean drama. but...not really. derp.

I've also posted a picture of Melvin and Violet to dA/my blog. you can see it here, if you haven't already.
so yeah, that's it for now.
Current Mood: groggygroggy
20 June 2010 @ 11:47 pm
 So... phew.  AnimeNEXT 2010 is over, and I don't know about anyone else, but I'm exhausted.  Still, I want to take a moment and talk about some things from the convention.

For one thing, I love anime conventions.  I don't care how ridiculous or awkward or smelly they are (and for that last one, it's definitely less than comic conventions), I love the atmosphere.  Anime fans it seems to me get way more into it than other con genres, and even though there is such a thing as taking it too far, for the most part I love to see how enthusiastic everyone is about their favorite show.  FANDOM IS NOT A BAD THING.  And there is just something magical about seeing a really good cosplay that clearly took a lot of time and effort and attention to detail.

Anyhow.  For me (as well as for everyone else working the Idiot Brigade table), this was our first convention of any genre working an Artist Alley table.  We've all worked the Cartoon Allies table in the past, but 1) that's in the Dealer's Room, which is completely different from the Alley, and 2) it's one thing to be representing the school, which is an establishment in its own right, as opposed to simply representing ourselves.  So this was (essentially) baby's first time working the Artist Alley.  Obviously, there is going to be a huge learning curve between the first con and the next one.

Something that I honestly did not expect was not only the popularity of Pokemon this year, but how it completely dwarfed all of the other followings, with the exception maybe of Hetalia.  I knew when I was drawing my prints to try and focus on currently popular anime, but I didn't realize that the ones that I chose would be completely ignored in the face Pokemon.  So the lesson here is that if you want to sell, you HAVE to be on top of what's current.  I knew that Pokemon was popular, but since I don't care for it I didn't make anything for it in advance.  Now, I wish I had.

In addition, I also didn't expect the popularity of commissions.  I really thought that most of the money would be made in prints, and brought very few art supplies.  Fortunately for me, Jennie and Jason were not only well-prepared, but also kind enough to let me use the supplies that they had brought.  Since I made nearly all of my profit from commissions I really wish I had had my own art supplies with me.  These were my two personal revelations, and mostly affect no one else.

That said, let me be clear in that I NEVER WANT TO HAVE AN IDIOT BRIGADE TABLE AGAIN.  Let's be honest with ourselves; we are not a group of established artists collaborating or even working together towards a specific goal.  We are a group of students who come to each other for advice in the absence of teachers so that we can help each other to improve.  While I am not in any way saying that I dislike or want to leave or am trying to put down or ANYTHING Idiot Brigade, we are simply not suited (as a group) for an Artist Alley table.  Individually, of course, we should definitely all consider getting tables, but that's just the point; as opposed to the Dealer's Room, when people come to the Alley they expect to be dealing with individual artists.  The fact that our table was representing many different people worked against us in more ways than it was helpful.  Let me take a moment to go over some observations that I (and Megan and Jennie and Jason and Christina) made over the course of AnimeNEXT 2010.

1)  Having so many people at one table means that we are all competing with each other.  True, we are technically all competing with everyone in the Alley, but this is more a matter of probability and statistics.  Most people buy one or two items per table, regardless of the number of artists whose work is there.  Obviously, at each table there are different trends as to which item sells the most.  However, if there is one person at a table that sells more of one print than another, the person who designed the least popular print isn't at a disadvantage to the one who designed the most popular, since they are the same person.  However, when you have many different people at one table, often one or two people do quite well while the less popular pieces' artists smolder in quiet jealousy.

2)  We do not have any cohesion as a group.  While it's true that as people we have many similar interests and get along well as friends, in terms of artwork we are all very different.  While this could work to our advantage in some places (say, an anthology piece, where you want the different stories to stand out from each other visually), when someone comes to our booth and sees all of the different styles and subject matters and just general lack of togetherness artistically, it just seems messy and disorganized.  While we may be a group of artists, we are definitely not an art group.

3)  Physical space.  The more things there are on a table, the less each one is likely to get noticed.  Like I said earlier, at one table we all end up in competition with each other.  In addition, trying to get everyone's things on one table can get very crowded and (again) look messy.  One of the most effective tables I saw at AN'2010 had only a stand displaying stickers and a print book on it.  This was all that the artist needed, since she made much of her money through commissions.  True, depending on the wares sometimes more than a print book is necessary.  Comics, for one thing, definitely need to be out so that people can pick them up and read them.  Still, the more people at a table, the less space each one gets.  Also - and I realize that this is more an issue of HAVING many people at one table rather than REPRESENTING many people at a table - the space behind and under the table becomes crowded quite quickly.  The more people there are, the more we all bump into and step on each other.

4)  The (potential) customer doesn't know who to talk to.  Since, again, it is generally one, maybe two people per table, when ordering a commission (which, as mentioned above, ended up being a huge source of revenue), it seemed to be a turn-off when we asked people to choose an artistic style that they liked.  Many people didn't even realize that we were a group, and thought that we were a single artist with drastically different stylistic changes.  When someone ordered a commission and were asked who they wanted to draw it, this was generally only met with confusion.

Anyhow, I'm sure there are more reasons, but like I said I am exhausted and would really like to go to sleep.  It seems to me that the only advantage to buying a table as a group is the decreased price, but that is countered by the fact that there are more reasons not to have a group table than there are to get the lower table price; in the end it just works against you.

ugh I need sleep.  Good night, everyone.  Please consider my thoughts; I'd still like to go to conventions and work with other people, it's just that I think getting tables together at conventions are not a good idea.
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
18 June 2010 @ 03:19 pm
                       Hi y'all once again I find myself finally having some free time both this Friday and Saturday YAY! you know what that means time to get stuff done (thank God). So heres the update of what I have planned so far seeing as how I have 3 internship (not mentioning them again, if you want more info about them just check out my last entry) and a really busy schedule I have to cut things down and tragically a lot got cut:

1. My first project was to be a continuation of what I did for my drawing class. I planned to recreate scenes from Jack Kirby's New Gods Storyline using the forms and shapes that old mater paintings and illustrations contain (but seeing as how that could take time and I want to comics this time I had to go sadly but it's still on the back burner).

2.My office comic I finished it but didn't color ... yet 

3.Take the awesome drawings I did for my drawing class shrink them down and scan (I wish I could show you folk them but seeing as my scanner is only 8.5 by 11 and I can't seem to fit a  18X24 piece of paper in their is one reason the other is that it takes away time from my other things 

4.I still want to work on a IDIOT BRIGADE poster but seeing as how i've reminded you guys time after time to check the note and take the photos you haven't. I mean how hard is it to take a photo of your self in the aforementioned photo, I found time and I have 3 internships FIND TIME ! ( and to further this I also wrote you notes talked to you online and the only person that has done so is ANDREA !)

5.Open myself to commissions (thats not happening anytime soon)

6.I have been practicing life drawing quite frequently 

7. Recently I took on two projects a mermaid story and a commuting story  so far they have been going well.

and I know your all dying to know what about "3 Tales" Well I am in the development stages of it and right now trying to figure out where to find research for information. I still have to do some character designs so eh?!. SO keep your eyes on this blog will post some art tonight.

PLZ guys would you take the pictures then I could make the poster and we could ll be happy (just check out the note I wrote to you guys to see the photo 
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
Current Music: All ALong The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
 ...because for the past hour every time I try to sit down to type up an entry, something has come up.

Today has been a busy day.Collapse )
Also, because I am a loser and did the math: if I sell absolutely EVERYTHING I made for AnimeNEXT, I will make a profit of $80.  That includes covering the cost of ticket/hotel/etc.  So... here's hoping that I sell out.
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: Start A War - The National