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Hello!

I'll be hosting a table at Balticon again this year (as well as teaching a few workshops :D ), and I just wanted to ask for some suggestions! While last year went very well, my space was a bit bare, and I didn't have too much to offer outside of commissions. So, what kinds of things do you like to see at artists' tables at cons?

Will probably also make a companion poll to go along with this (if I can remember how to do that), so if you don't feel like leaving a comment but still want to leave some input, feel free to use it!

My ideas so far (feedback on these welcome):

-Standard "freebies," such as mini prints or bookmarks.
-A selection of ink drawings for purchase, both fan-art and original
-A selection of digital art prints
-A few watercolor pieces, trying to decide on the theme. Was going to go for dinosaurs, but I don't tend to sweat over scientific accuracy, and don't really want to argue with randos about it. Maybe dragons? Everyone loves dragons.

Thanks :D
  • Reading: A Tale of Two Cities
  • Playing: Zelda, Breath of the Wild
  • Drinking: Tea
Of course my first great act of the new year would be to get food poisoning! That's what I get for eating old peanut butter from the back of the fridge!

So, I succumbed on Monday night and am just now finally getting back up to speed. Kind of awful to lose the last week of the semester break to crippling illness, but oh well. Never fear, I still have my hallowed to-do list taped to the bottom of my monitor, so everything will continue as planned!

I feel like little blurbs like this are maybe why they implemented status updates? Maybe I should at least find some kind of cool journal skin? Hmm, one day.
  • Reading: A Tale of Two Cities
  • Playing: Zelda, Breath of the Wild
  • Drinking: Tea
Hey all!

I've been pretty sick for a while now, in addition to starting up the fall semester this week while trying to move into a new house. Things look like they're (hopefully) going to get better soon, but for now my artwork will likely be limited to finishing commissions and keeping up with the barebones of my other group activity commitments.

Thanks for the patience ;)
  • Reading: Alice: Through the Looking Glass
  • Playing: Hey! Pikmin
  • Drinking: Tea

Ruzan Medallion by KelpGull

Ruzan

Ruzan had not had a particularly good week. Recently discharged from the care of the Medicine Keepers, she had emerged into an alien world that she could barely comprehend. Being brought back from the brink of death was something she had not expected in the least, and the implications of it troubled her. It stank of fate and ethereal meddling, and she didn’t know how to feel about it. Respectable wolves stayed dead when they died, whether carried up to the Wind-Den of the gods, or cast like offal into the depths of the Black Pit.

So, maybe she was not a respectable wolf. She could learn to accept that.

Wandering through the wooded groves of Heyl pack’s outermost territory, she mostly spent her days keeping out of sight, panting to ward off the heat of the unfamiliar southern climate, and returning to the dens to sneak meals. While she had a suspicion that the food cache she frequented had been established for the pack’s many cripples, thus giving her some legitimate claim to it, part of her still chafed at the charity of the southerners. To maintain the remnants of her pride, she nipped what she could and ate in solitude.

The end of a long day found her enjoying a full stomach after just such a meal. She lounged in the shade of a stunted tree not far from the riverbank, resting her aching joints as she watched the haze of the lowering sun shine on the water, thinking of nothing.


Khione | Medallion by Rodwendess

Khione


One could have thought that the blur of gold flickering through the trees was merely a glimmer of sunlight. They would not be wrong, but perhaps more in a metaphorical, than a literal manner.


Khione was racing through the trees faster than a rabbit. It was hot, her fur was long and the river was a-calling.


Like a flash, she bounded  into the river clearing and leapt straight over the boulders of the bank into the river with an almighty splash. The water was cold and bubbling and after the initial shock of cold, Khione revelled in the release from the heat. Happily, she paddled about for a bit and then snapped at the bubbled in the water, loving the cold on her tongue.


It was only then out of the corner of her eye that she noticed a figure beneath a nearby tree. She figured she had best go say hello so the golden she-wolf quickly hopped back up onto the bank and shook herself dry, droplets of water flying in every direction. Looking rather more like a porcupine than she had intended, Khione trotted over to the other wolf.


“Hello there!”


Ruzan Medallion by KelpGull

Ruzan

Ruzan’s fur stood on end at the she-wolf’s sudden appearance, and the resounding splash that followed. She sat, tense and alert, watching the other’s antics and scarcely daring to shift her weight. Regaining her composure after a moment, she briefly considered disappearing into the shadows between the trees, but scrapped the idea. All of this slinking around did not suit her, and it was wearing her thin.

Seeing the stranger approaching from the edge of the river tested her resolve sorely, and the cordial greeting was almost more than she could bear. Ružan tensed a moment, certain that her prone position and the lush summer grass could mask the extent of her condition, at least for a while. She was loathe to fully reveal herself, but she knew too well her position as a new pack-mate at the bottom of the social ladder. The protocol here might not be the same as it was in her homeland, but she wasn’t going to take any chances.

Ružan stood stiffly to face the she-wolf, her stub-tail erect. She bowed low, the gesture’s solemn sincerity juxtaposed with the ruthless comedy of her twisted form. A voice came from the stunted figure, unexpected in its depth and volume.

”Well met, Honored Sister.”


Khione | Medallion by Rodwendess

Khione


The golden she-wolf blinked in surprise as the other wolf - a new pack mate - she remembered, rose from the grass. Their form was stunted and compact. Strangely built and huge about the shoulders.


Khione couldn't help that her mouth dropped open as the other she-wolf bowed to her. (At least she thought it was a she-wolf). Her mouth snapped shut and giggled at the formality.


“You don't have to bow to me...errr..sister. I'm no one special. Well. My uncle was a God. Apparently. But he's dead now anyway. And I don't think thank makes me very special? Does it? I don't know.”  she happily plonked herself down in front of the other wolf. “It's very hot isn't it. That's why I like swimming. But then my fur floofs up and I look silly. I don't know why it does that but I can never seem to stop it. Do you want to sit down? Is your back sore? You look a bit stiff. My mama is a healer. She says the best thing for stiffness is stretching. What's your name? I'm Khione!”


Khione looked expectantly at the other wolf and smiled.


Ruzan Medallion by KelpGull

Ruzan

Before she had even fully recovered from her bow, the other had started to talk. Not prepared for such a verbal barrage, it took her a while to process the fact that she was now directly in the middle of a conversation, with no preparation and a blank look on her face. She shook her head to clear the shock, and proceeded to tune in.

Niece to a God? The golden she-wolf didn’t look like any of the Gods that Ruzan knew. But these southern Gods were strange to her, and she had little knowledge of them by which to judge the claim. She made a mental note to review the matter further. The rest of the comments came so quickly that it was all Ruzan could do to keep them straight in her head. At last silence returned, and she found herself, dumbfounded yet again, staring into the expectant face of this “Khione.”

”My name is… Ruzan.”

Following Khione’s lead, Ruzan lowered herself back onto the soft grass, appreciating the relief it gave her sore back. She sighed, and gave herself a moment to compose the rest of her response. Her anxiety regarding meeting other wolves centered mostly around their reaction to her condition, which ranged from perplexity and curiosity to fear and violence. Incidents involving the latter were less common, but the uncertainty kept her on edge, and she did not like taking chances.

This wolf’s reaction, however, was somewhat uncanny. Her complete lack of concern perplexed Ruzan, but she was not bothered by it. It was refreshing. When she finally spoke, the words came rhythmically, each pronounced with care, as if getting the sounds correct caused some small difficulty.

”Yes, my back is stiff, and it is very hot here. I have tried stretching. When I was younger, I thought if I stretched enough, my body might get longer. It did not work.” If this was meant to be a joke, no change in expression betrayed it. She looked at Khione for a moment, examining her drying fur. ”I do see some... ‘floofing,’ I think. Mine does this too.” She hunched her shoulders a bit to accentuate the fur bunched around her stunted neck. “Perhaps it is good that I do not swim.”


Khione | Medallion by Rodwendess

Khione


”Ruzan.” Khione tried the name upon her tongue and liked how it rolled.


She stared at the wolf  who was obviously her newest friend in shock.


“wha-what do you mean you do not swim?!” the golden she-wolf spluttered. “You do not know how to swim?! But you are a Heylian now, you must learn how to swim!”


Khione panted heavily. It seemed that it was only getting hotter rather than cooler. She eyed the other she-wolf critically and laid her head on the ground.


“I think if you knew how to swim you would be a good fisher. You have very broad shoulders. Good for buoyancy and a strong jaw for catching fish! And you're compact! So there wouldn't be as much resistance in the water! I am not very good at fishing. Mama once said I had the body of a ferret - long and fluffy-tailed. But I do like to swim! The world does not weigh so heavy when you swim.”


She smiled contentedly up at the other she-wolf from the ground.


Ruzan Medallion by KelpGull

Ruzan

Ruzan considered Khione’s words. It was true that she had seen many wolves swimming during her short time in the territory. She had suspected it had some sort of cultural significance, but wasn’t sure exactly what that could be. Perhaps she could get clarification.

”I have seen that Heylian wolves swim often. Why is that?”

She was also uncertain of the rest of the she-wolf’s convictions, which she expressed through a quizzical look. Compact she was, but also disproportionate. She had a feeling that her too-long legs would get in the way of themselves, and she would have trouble staying rightside-up. Drowning was a very real possibility, and while she was beginning to like this wolf, she was not willing to trust her life to a stranger. She would have to adapt to the ways of this pack somehow, but she would do it on her own terms, and in her own time.

”I am thinking it is important to the pack, but…” She afforded the river a long, considering look. ”I am not so sure that I’m ready to try it.”


Khione | Medallion by Rodwendess

Khione


Khione cocked her head to the side, considering properly the question. “I think most wolves here swim because most are disabled. When you are in the water you do not bear weight like you do on land.” she replied happily, ”Because you do not bear weight, your movement is less inhibited and you are able to exercise with ease.”


The golden she-wolf smiled at her new friend. She yawned, ”A wolf is not born knowing how to swim. My daddy had to teach me. I was not allowed to swim on my own until he was satisfied.”


“But that was a long time ago.” Khione laughed and rolled onto her back, her legs sticking straight up in the air like a frozen moose as she stretched.


”When, or if you wish to try it. I can always help you.”

Ruzan Medallion by KelpGull

Ruzan

”Yes,” Ruzan nodded. “This makes sense.”

She thought back to her limited experience with water, and her mother’s many warnings. While it was not unheard of for wolves in her previous pack to take to the water during the short northern summer, it was more as a relief from pests and parasites than a recreational pastime. She had wet her feet once or twice, but never thought it wise to go further.

Hearing the other wolf’s last remark, she nodded gratefully. ”Khione, I will remember your offer.”

It was not an empty promise. Though she still had misgivings, she knew that it would be foolish to neglect to learn a valuable skill. For now, though, she could give herself time. She laid her head on the soft summer grass, and panted contentedly to herself.


Khione | Medallion by Rodwendess

Khione


Contented silence was not something Khione experienced often.


But it was something she slipped into then.

Tagged by RAE-J for this questionnaire made by FrostedCanid!

Referencing these two comics:

Maggotina
MAGGOTINA PG 1 by KelpGull

Ages
Ages, Part 1 by KelpGull

1. What got you started drawing comics?

Not... really sure? I've been drawing little comics for as long as I remember, though nothing to write home about. Had a really good teacher that I took a few summer classes with at a community center between the ages of 12-16, and I've kept up with it casually ever since.

2. What is your favorite comic that you've read?

I actually read way more books than comics, so I don't think any single one stands out as a favorite. I did enjoy Watchmen and V for Vendetta (they did not translate well into film), and also have gone through most of the Calvin and Hobbes collections (pure gold). As for webcomics, False Positive is a nice collection of horror genre shorts worth checking out, and there was one I followed a long time ago about this little reaper character who went on existential adventures. I can't for the life of me remember the name of it. On DA I've been digging Songdog-StrayFang's Best of Bad Decisions, as it's a well-written whirlwind of canine suspense. Also DrZime's May the Rain Come and ongoing comic Jupiter are both really lovely genre-defying tales, highly recommended.

3. Has there been a scene so far that has been particularly hard to capture in your current and/or past comics?

I overthink things, so I'd venture to say that there have been more scenes that were hard to capture than were easy :D
In general, slower scenes with intense character interactions are difficult for me. I always want to show every little gesture, and end up cramming the page with too much visual information.

4. How long did you wait before starting your current comic and/or comics in the past? (i.e. the writing/story development process)

Maggotina was spontaneous. I saw some flies getting it on one day at a makeshift barber shop during deployment, and started work on it that same night. Ages took a lot longer. Amusingly enough, it was always intended to be a fun, low expectations comic to push myself artistically and test out some techniques, but I could never figure out what I wanted to do with it. I think it was first conceived when I was around 16, but I didn't start actually making pages until I was 20, and then I didn't start posting the pages online until I was 22.

5. If you could have done anything differently when you were starting out, what would it be?

Basically, just start already! I think that's a universal clarion call from more experienced artists to those with less experience (or just their past selves). The work you produce is never going to be perfect, no matter how long you wait to start it, so just go ahead and start. We take time for granted, but you never know when it's going to run out. Do as much as you can, as soon as you can.

6. Who is your favorite character to write?

The Bird. Though there are other characters soon to appear that I think I'm going to have a lot more fun with :D

7. Who is your least favorite character to write?

I wouldn't say I really have a least favorite, but the Rabbit does give me some trouble. It probably won't be apparent as to why until later on.

8. How drastically did the story change since you started?

It's changed more times than I remember, though I think most of the major themes have stayed the same. The one change that I made that drastically altered things was to include the Bird in the travel party. He initially only appeared for a few pages as a sort of catalyst, but he ended up being the solution to a writing problem that I was having. Namely, the Fox and the Rabbit really don't have a lot of chemistry together on their own.

9. What are the major influences/inspiration for your comic and/or previous comics?

For Maggotina, as I mentioned, I saw some flies getting it on while I was getting a haircut, and suddenly really wanted to draw a comic about flies. During deployment I developed a sort of love-hate relationship with the tiny beasts and ended up drawing them a lot. It was the first comic I saw through to completion, and so it has a bit of sentimental value for me.

For Ages, I wanted to do a new spin on the Fox/Rabbit relationship that deals with mortality and purpose in a casually surreal environment. The writing/story style was influenced a bit by the Redwall series, and a bit by Perloo the Bold, which was one of my alltime favorite books as a young'n. The art style was actually born mostly out of necessity (as an ongoing comic I need to be able to work on it anywhere, can't be dependent on a computer), and to challenge myself by taking away my crutch (color) so that I'd be forced to work on value contrast (still not great at it).

I don't generally keep track of my artistic influences, which can be both beneficial and detrimental. I sort of just... pour things into my brain-sponge, forget about them, and get subliminal blips of them later on.

10. What does your process look like?

Well, first, I generally sketch out major story beats. Then, thumbnails. Thumbnails thumbnails thumbnails. I generally thumbnail out every action or gesture that I think needs to be translated into a panel in order for the story to move smoothly. I don't usually write a script, but I will write down important lines of dialogue if I feel like I've nailed them down. (Nailing down dialogue takes me forever. Not my strong point.) Then, once I've got a good chunk of material, I start working on character designs and translating the panel thumbnails into page-layout thumbnails (I do way too many thumbnails). After this it all depends on the particular comic, and whether I'm working digitally or traditionally.

Tagging:
(Would love to hear your answers, but don't feel obligated! This thing does take a while to fill out.)
:iconblazingcoral:
Also anyone else who wants to do it? Or just post your answers in a comment, would love to read them either way :D
  • Listening to: Ayreon - The Source
  • Reading: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • Watching: Steven Universe
  • Playing: Zelda probably?
  • Drinking: Teeeeea!
Ages, Part 2, Page 2 by KelpGull

First off, wow! Much thanks to the wonderful DrZime for the Daily Deviation feature! I've been an active member here for 13 years, and it really brought back memories of my younger days, thinking that DDs were a huge pinnacle of artistic achievement, heheh :D Of course I've gotten older and more cynical since then, but it's still a great feeling to see so many new faces around my page. So, thanks again :)

Just a note about the comic itself- Ages is important for me in that it's an experiment in my own quiet kind of storytelling, and a bit of a new spin on the old quest formula. I wouldn't say I'm a master writer or anything, but there are some things I hope to express through Ages, I hope you guys enjoy it for what it is ;)

On to Balticon!

Just, wow! Got to meet so many great people! Did some good business in ink commissions, and had a great time hosting workshops. I basically got to do nothing but draw for four days straight, which was magical. Unfortunately my table was a little bare due to this being a bit of a last minute thing, but I learned a lot for next time ;)
20170527 114147 by KelpGull
My husband and I at the table. I agreed to paint a piece for the charity auction on-site, so that's what I spent most of my non-workshop time doing.
Charity painting progress:
20170527 114224 by KelpGull
20170528 105716 by KelpGull
20170528 130952 by KelpGull

It was incredibly stressful to be on a strict time limit using a medium that I have limited experience with, in a larger format than I've used for traditional art in a very long time. I had to do some colored pencil rescue work, but it came together alright in the end :XD: I'll post a cleaner version of the final product soon :)
So, all in all it was an incredible weekend. Once I get myself together a bit better in terms of display and general preparation, I might expand to other conventions. Maybe.
  • Listening to: Ayreon - The Source
  • Reading: Soul Music
  • Watching: Steven Universe
  • Playing: Zelda probably?
  • Drinking: Teeeeea!
Hey all!

I'll be hosting a table at Balticon 51 over memorial day weekend, as well as teaching a few workshops. It's my first time doing this sort of thing, so I'd appreciate any suggestions for wares or prints that you generally like to see at artist tables. Also tips and tricks- I'm sure I'll make all of the rookie mistakes :D
It's a relatively small local convention in Baltimore, so I don't really expect to see anybody from this site there, but feel free to drop on by if you're in the neighborhood. I'm generally a hermit, so this will be a step outside of my comfort zone :>

In other news, semester ends in two weeks, which means more time for art! Yay! I still owe commissions and various other things to a few people, so that's first on the to-do list ;)
  • Reading: Moby Dick
  • Watching: Steven Universe
  • Playing: Zelda probably?
  • Drinking: Kombucha
This is... kind of a new year's post? Didn't really make it that way on purpose, but it kind of has that tone to it.

Life is incredibly difficult right now between school, the baby, and recurring sinus problems that make it impossible to get any kind of decent sleep. On the upside, I have somehow maintained my 4.0 this semester through witchcraft, and I am still managing to do art things (If anyone is wondering, I am double-majoring in Biology and Studio Art with a minor in the German language). I haven't posted much here, but I've been doing a lot of 30 minute digital painting challenges, and I feel like I'm improving quite a bit.

I have also been unusually depressed, probably due to the lack of sleep, so I decided to update my journal with a "call to action" of sorts to keep myself from flailing around uselessly in my sparse free time.

Art Priorities:

- Finish three overdue commissions! They will be completed before the end of January!

- Make progress on the "Ages" comic. I have a lot planned and thumbnailed for this, as well as two pages that are near completion. I am determined to see this story through to the end, for better or worse.

- Work on animation requests! Yes, I am still doing these ;P I am very set on animating more in general, as I miss it very much.

Those are the major things. There are some art groups I'd like to be more active in, but I think they'll have to wait a while. In addition to the list I am also involved in some game design stuff, as well as brushing up on my programming skills for future reference, and practicing German every day so I don't forget all the words and grammar I've learned >.>
So pretty much just trying to stay on top of everything without dying of exhaustion right now.
  • Reading: Moby Dick
  • Watching: Gargoyles
  • Playing: Zelda probably?
  • Drinking: Kombucha
I guess I'll get to the meat of things first!
Trying to get back into animating things, so I'm going to take three animation requests! Preferably things like walk cycles or simple motions. This is not first come first serve, and I will probably do whatever interests me. Don't expect them to be done anytime soon, as commissions and project-related art takes priority ;P If this goes well, more may open in the future.

Slots:
1.
2.
3.

Secondly, life update! I am back in college full time now, so I am drawing like crazy until fall semester starts up. Hopefully I'll graduate this time ;P
  • Listening to: Skin- Joanna Newsom
  • Reading: Dune
  • Playing: Zelda probably?
  • Drinking: Some wine I think
I am out of the army now, so there might be more activity maybe. Have mostly just been doodling and playing with baby though, yay.

And now, "Questiony Meme Thing," from RAE-J

Comment down here, and I'll answer with my attempt of determining:

  • what creature you remind me of;
  • what colour I think fits you;
  • how I feel about you;
  • insult you;
  • my favourite artwork of yours;
  • what season you remind me of;
  • tell you what food you smell like in my head;
  • think of a random nickname for you;
  • what element you remind me of;
  • I'll command you to put this in your journal without using the words 'tag' or 'dare' or 'order'.
  • Listening to: The raaaaaain
  • Reading: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
  • Watching: The internet
  • Playing: Spirit Tracks
  • Eating: Cereal
  • Drinking: All of the tea ever
Gotta go give birth in the next couple of days, woo. Don't really know how active I will be able to be with posting stuff, as most of the art I do is likely going to be traditional over the next month or so, but there may be a large influx upon my return!

And this is my first journal entry in about three years anyways, so meh ;P
  • Listening to: Alestorm
  • Reading: The Green Brain
  • Watching: Steven Universe!
  • Playing: Too much Dragon Age >.>
  • Eating: Cold pizza, mmmmm.
  • Drinking: So. Much. Water.
Figured it was time to drop the decade old DarkWolf91 handle and pick up something a little more characteristic!
So here's KelpGull, reporting from somewhere in the middle east ;P
Don't have a lot of free time at this particular moment, but I've got some pretty nifty things in the works! Hopefully my presence here will be a bit more consistent shortly :D
  • Listening to: Hollywood Undead
  • Reading: White Fang
  • Watching: Legend of Korra
  • Playing: Aquaria
  • Eating: Cereaaaal :>
  • Drinking: So. Much. Water.