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Ok, so Stray is way behind schedule, luckily I don't think anyone has noticed (at least no one has said anything to me about it). I'll be able to get back on track after the holidays...hopefully. In the meantime I participated in Drawlloween and combined it with Inktober, it was a lot of fun to do a quick new piece everyday. Although, some days were rather hectic and were combined into other days. I really need to make time everyday to do some doodling like that. I just dumped some of the better pieces I did into my gallery. If you want to see them all you'll need to check out my Instagram account and give me a follow if you're so inclined at SlainValor.
My holidays were bookended by a couple of rather large rejections. First, I was rejected for the 2015 GenCon art show now that they've changed their entry policy. It's too bad, I had a great time last year. Then I submitted two of my best pieces to the Infected By Art book Vol 3. Apparently my best wasn't good enough, either that or my style didn't fit their vision cause I was rejected for that as well. So what about the rebirth then you ask? There's a certain project I've been working on and off on for the last 12 years. That would be my character Stray's comic book. It's partially done and has been in a state of limbo for a long time. I've gone back and forth on how I wanted to proceed on it and I'm just going to bite the bullet and put it out as is. As much as I would like to redo the entire thing I just don't have the time. I get this off my back and I can move forward with something else for Stray. So, starting January 15th I'll be putting up a new page every other week. With that schedule I believe I'll have the time to finish the later pages, some of which need done from the ground up. If it looks like I'm doing pretty good maybe I'll tighten the release schedule but we'll have to see how this plays out first. As a teaser here is the back page ad that appeared on Shattered Realm #1 back in 2008 (with a few updates).

Stray ad by EricKemphfer

I've always heard not to worry about searching for your style to just do art and your style will develop. But, I've always felt I've been all over the board with different styles and nothing really stuck out as distinctly mine. Being influenced by the early Dungeons & Dragons art I wanted to be a fantasy artist when I first started taking this art thing seriously. At some point I got sidetracked into comic book art for quite a few years, because I like the idea of telling stories with pictures. Then I swung back to wanting to do the fantasy art (with maybe a comic book or two on the side in the future). There are a lot of amazing fantasy artists out there and looking to emulate them I was working on really pushing my painting skills (both digital and traditional) but not making much headway. It was a struggle and I couldn't really figure out why, after much introspection I realized it was because it's not how I was comfortable working. Looking back at my older stuff I could see something trying to peek out but I kept trying to force it to be something I saw in other's work. So, I decided to just do art the way I wanted to, the way I enjoyed working. After a long journey down a curving road I may have let my style be what it wants to be.

Killing Moon

My new art mantra: "Inspired by fantasy and influenced by comic book art, I merge these styles using digital techniques along side traditional pencils and ink."

So apparently depression is not very conducive to arting. Problem seems to be controlled with a B vitamin regime. Feeling better than I have in years and I've got more art coming out of me than I know what to do with. Here's to hoping it keeps pouring out.
Ok, not everyday but as often as I least now. Sometimes I really dislike being an artist. The crippling self doubt, the comparison to other artists, the overall occassional creative crisis, they all tend to slow down progress or halt it all together. Had a rather large creative crisis recently, I think the combination of turning 40 and being nowhere near where I would like to be artistically or career-wise hit me hard. This one lasted much longer and went much deeper than usual. To look back and see that I've been doing this for over twenty years and have only a handful of published works under my belt I realized I just don't have it in me to be a salesman. And that is exactly what it takes to get noticed. Artists need to sell their art and themselves. I can't do that. I physically lock up when it comes time to toot my own horn or talk myself up or any other social situation for that matter, especially when I'm the one that needs to initiate it (even over the internet). I came at that problem from all angles and realized that it's just not in me and I won't be able to ever do what needs to be done. I've missed quite a few opportunities because of it and I'm sure I'll miss many more, but there it is. Slowly acceptance took over and I realized that you're never too old and I may never get to where I would like to be but I still have to do the art thing. So, I've been sketching more often (focusing on what I know I need to work on) and I've decided to try even more art forms as well, which helps my mood immensely.
I've been dabbling in some photography outside of my usual reference shots. So, I'm going to be popping some of the cooler shots up here to see what people think. I'm in no way a professional photographer so bear that in mind. These shots are not to be used as stock or reference, cause there is a good possibility that I will use them as such some day. The first set will be from a trip to the zoo last month. Let me know what you think and I hope you enjoy them. Thanks!
Took a five day drawing class the week before last with the legendary Larry Elmore. It turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done. It was both educational and inspiring. Learned some new drawing techniques and how to photograph a model for reference. I came away with a new enthusiasm for this crazy thing I do, then did the drawing "Warrior in Repose" the week after, check it out.
As you may or may not have known, I've spent the last year working on the illustrations for "Return of the Vigilantes". Inking and coloring them to be exact. It's an original costumed hero novel written by a good friend of mine. It's been a long road but it's finally finished and in our hands. Check out the site here for more information: