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Hello, it's been forever. I've been posting up some draws every now and then, but to be honest I've been wondering "why DeviantArt?" for a while now. This was my first and longest standing art page (13 years!! holy crap) but nowadays there are so many others, all with their own niche audience or specialization, that I've lost sight of dA's merit. What defines this site/community? What aspect of "ART" does it do well? What is DeviantArt's identity? It's an honest question; I'm curious what you're here for.
Anniversary Dragon by liea


My freelance illustration endeavor turned 1 year old this month, meaning I survived a year living 100% off of drawing things, and I'm really proud and thankful to have reached this milestone of sorts! Along the way there were all sorts of interesting challenges, and finding solutions to them has been formative beyond just figuring out how to make art work. It's taken me closer to figuring out who I am and how I want to live my life in general. This is really just a journal for me to reflect on that, but maybe it can be insightful to other artists freelancing or looking into that as well -- take from it what you will.

Let's start with a facts sheet: over the last year I sent out 25 invoices to 13 clients who together were from 4 countries, the biggest group by far being Americans. Most clients were individuals, with only 3 commissioning in the capacity of a company, and even in those cases they were small businesses of 2 people at most. I worked on 1 long-term project (a game, still in development) which took up at least half of my time, and many smaller ones, from promotional art (games, figurines, concerts) to character/mascot design, album covers, custom skinning, and pieces just for personal enjoyment. I'm not exaggerating when I say that 100% of new clients contacted me through my homepage's email address: info@liea.nl. Which brings me to the following observations/tips.

:damphyr: On PR: Would you hire you?

Having a good (portfolio) website is absolutely necessary. I vowed to design, wire, and code my own right in the first month, because it really helped me to focus on and fortify the reality of doing art full-time and just giving that my all. A year later now I'm so so happy I did, because it ended up doing a lot of work for me. To list a few benefits:
1) it gave people confidence in me and my work, enough to be interested in spending money on it and actually make the step to contact me,
2) it filtered out the clients from hell looking for some for-exposure deal (I only had to waste time on this twice and both requests were through some social media platform),
3) I designed it to be mobile friendly and was happy enough with it to show it at parties and stuff if people asked. Moreover, actively curating my work and how it's represented has helped me to stay focused on what direction I want to be heading in the most, and to attract clients accordingly.

**Side note: I've had a good amount of notes and emails from fellow artists with requests for portfolio reviews and/or seeking advice on how to make it as a freelancer. I hardly think I'm the best resource for this, but ok. Regardless of the quality of the work, presentation matters. Most of these would have some page like dA or tumblr that they posted to, but no independent, curated portfolio website with easily accessible information on what they offer. This is just my 2cts but I REALLY think it's necessary here to put yourself in your client's perspective and wonder: "would I hire me?". To be honest, I think commissioning art is hella expensive. I myself would not be rich enough to casually commission myself (if that makes sense haha), so I'd have to save up for it and I'd probably spend a good deal of time online looking for the best artist for my money. Why, then, would I ever choose someone with a disorganized, irregularly updated tumblr page, with no past work references/credentials or artist information for me to investigate, over someone who has taken the time and effort to present all they can offer in a user-friendly way? I don't mean this in a strict and harsh way, on the contrary. It's a point about valuing your work and taking yourself seriously as a professional artist if that's what you've decided to be. Create stuff you love, make a website, print business cards, actually give them out. Ain't nobody got time for NOT doing these things, asap.**

:damphyr: Maintenance of the Art Machine

Even if I often didn't have enough work to spend a full 40-hour work week on, I would still fill the week practicing, reading, browsing art I loved, discovering new things, and practicing some more. I've come to regard this kind of "me time" as necessary maintenance for the art machine in the brains to function smoothly. To go into how I think this machine works and the various ways in which it can get broken would be another tediously long journal entry lol, so for now I'll just say that I've found feeling happy and inspired about your art is crucial to producing satisfying work. Spending time drawing whatever I want -- be that weird abstract swooshy shapes or animu fanarts -- has helped to stay in that confident and ultimately productive state.

However, "me time" is not enough. No matter what anyone says or how introverted you are (...or how strong your sticker game is), freelancing alone in your house 8 hrs a day will drive you insane. I've only just begun experimenting with how to combat that, so I have no real conclusions on the matter yet. It would be ideal to have a separate studio that you and some freelance friends/colleagues share and go to each day, but it's expensive if you're still starting out and it can be hard to find the right people. For the moment, I'm doing a 2 day a week internship at Wispfire, a small game studio in Utrecht working on the game Herald, to see how I'd like working in a small team, while learning new things and enjoying the social environment.

One thing that has been a tremendous help and motivator, is meeting other professional artists and developers (online) and spending some time to get to know them and their work. Twitter has by far been the best place for this online. Sometimes people's careers might be intimidating, other times it might be the other way around, but approaching it all with a friendly and collaborative mentality goes a long way. It's basically a "glass half full/half empty" argument, but I've just found it really helpful to not think of great artists I run into as either competition or some god to gush over, but instead to just be interested and see what I can learn from them. And let them know, too! It's surprising how often I've sat down to send someone a compliment pm, assuming it'd get lost in their sea of fan-mail, but actually getting a very appreciative, sympathetic response shortly after. There should be an international tell-someone-you-love-their-work day, because apparently even the best could always use some thoughtful support :)

:damphyr: Finally, on pricing and profiling

I can only echo what's generally accepted as good practice here, with some minor additions that work for me personally.
1) As a freelancer you need to base your prices on an hourly rate that's much higher than regular wages to pay for all the overhead fees -- 2 to 3x minimum wage at the very least, then go up as your skills and/or workload increase.
2) When estimating prices for clients, the main indication should not be just what they're asking for, but how much time you need to create what they're asking for in a way you're also happy with and will want to advertise yourself with. In reality, the time you need to perfect a piece will be much more than anyone is willing to pay for, so for me it's always a balancing act between reserving mental and financial space to create something great, and then compressing-without-compromising that to come up with a reasonable price.
And lastly 3) I try to avoid taking on projects that I can't see contributing to self-development in some way, even if I need money. That time is better spent studying or doing maintenance on the machine ^^

--

...I think that's it! Despite making it the first year, I don't know how long I'll be able to do this. This summer's been very irregular with little work actually taking off yet. One of the stress factors of being a freelancer, of course, is never knowing if something like that will persist or make a 180. All I know is that I love creating beautiful illustrations, and it's the thing I can do for 8 hours, come home, and continue doing while still enjoying it. I don't think I can really do that with anything else, so what choice do I have? : ) This is the work that doesn't feel like work to me, so I must keep giving it my all until I go bankrupt or something -- and even then I will probably try to find a workaround. Here's to another year of Self Inc. - CEO ~!

:iconstaredanceplz:
Not really sure how any of this wowrks but I'M ON IT:

LIEAPLZ HELLO HI HOW R U PLS

Who's on there? Pls add meee I have like 0 friends fufufu~

Question because apparently I'm really good at the internet: is it true that you need to download something to be able to post from your pc i.e. to post arts from file instead of taking an ugly screen pic? I got Gramblr for it now but not sure if the best choice because it only accepts JPGs and I save everything in PNG >_________<;;

Any other basics/instaquette I should know about?

Oke biiiiiii x
I feel estrrrangedd from deviantArt and I don't know why D: Tumblr also. For some reason twitter and facebook make much more sense these days even tho I hated them before??? What happon? Who is on here still? Hello? //dost my cry echo in vain? Hello-o-o-..
I'll just leave this here ^_^: CATBUG IN SPAICE + DOTAAA~~!!1onetwelve

Bw Col K by liea


Dp Col K by liea

How do trying to look cute without having hair all over the actual tshirt image aawrhrghg!?? The challenge was real //infinitely batting at hair D:<<
These are now filled, thanks so much!!

Hello internet! It's December and it started being freeze-your-butt-off-cold here all of a sudden. Time to warm those hearts (and butts) and what better way to do it than WITH THE SPIRIT OF GIVING~!

20141202 SKETCHcommissions k by liea

For the first time since I started illustrating professionally, I am opening up 5 slots of heavily discounted sketch commissions with the following characteristics:

:damphyr: 1 full body character sketch per slot, no background, at $25 each
:damphyr: Character has to be your or my OC (MMO/RPG characters are fine). I will not draw copyrighted characters e.g. Twilight, Korra.
:damphyr: Image references must be provided. Text-based descriptions are welcome in addition.
:damphyr: To reserve a slot, send an email with the information above to 
liea[dot]niyati[at]gmail[dot]com . First come first served!
:damphyr: Full amount to be paid up front via Paypal to liea[dot]niyati[at]gmail[dot]com
:damphyr: BUT WAIT, SURPRIIIISE, THERE'S MORE: I will select one of these sketches and finish them in full color, FOR FREE~! That's a 20% chance; much better than the lottery! : O : O : DD  It'll be a surprise which one until I post all of them ^__^

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to refuse any commission based on anything for any reason anytime anywhere. Please hold with sending payment until you've gotten a confirmation and YES from me.

That's it~ Please share this if you can! It's my first time in years opening up slot commissions; pretty nervous/excited about seeing what'll turn up :>

SLOTS:

1: kittizak
2: PickleMold
3: Indsh
4: 
Indsh
5: 
Indsh
www.patreon.com 

I've been seeing these pop up everywhere lately, with very mixed responses from friends and fellow artists. Basically it ranges from "=n= begging just got its own site" to "THIS. CHANGES. EVERYTHING. halleluya kumbaya, at last, the freelancers were truly free".

Thoughts?
Hi internets,

I wanted to talk about this spider I recently drew and posted on the internets for the world to see. Here it is:



This guy is without a doubt the most turdy thing I've drawn in a while, and might hold the 10 year record of ugliest butt I've gone-went-done uploaded online. He was drawn for the #inktober craze using a pathetic CD/DVD marker because I didn't have any fancy microns or fineliners around. It's not artistic, it's not well done, it's not interesting or beautiful. I have no idea how to ink. In fact, I feel like I can't even draw on paper because CTRL-Z DONDE ESTA!? Spider, man, I'm not proud of you, but I shared you anyway, because HERE'S WHY. ODE TO BUTT-FAILS ENGAGE~~

Failing is integral to learning. It's called "trial & error", not "trial & HAVE A BAZIMILLION DOLLARS". Howevers, the internet so happens to be a place that's fucking harsh on failure. No matter what you're trying to accomplish, "publish or perish" is like n00eb mode on here, because we're all PUBLISHING ALL DAY and 99,999999999% of it perishes by being ignored or hated, or pictures of someone's breakfast. So we get constipated about what we share and do things like disabling comments (or just snapping at negative feedback, which can start a neverending cycle of snappiness awarhghr) or we flee to the semi-feedbackless vacuum of tumblr space, because we want to protect our creative brainbabbies.

Here's the thing about babbies though. Babies are fucking FEARLESS MOTHERFUCKERS. They burst into existence and are like "hey man, wow, listen, this is a lot to take in, especially considering the fact I'm literally more helpless and clueless than a plant right now, but LET ME TAKE IT ALL IN". And they start mimicking all the things, like your face, and notice everyone starts making that high pitched repetitive "AAAA HA HA HAHA" noise when you make THAT face but not all those other weird ones you tried, so you make it some more and l2smile, and before you know it, BOOM: LANGUAGE. Meanwhile adults be like "ohh oh yea $4500 seems like a reasonable amount to spend on a 3 week language immersion course... 'cause it says here it'll include a trip to a waterpark, which, you know, might lower the awkwardness levels enough for me to try using my vocab without embarrassing myself too much... oh god oh me oh my pls let there be alcohol". Point is: failure is super functional and I think it would be beneficial to everyone and their mother's learning processes if we all just CALMED DOWNN about it a bit more.

In the end, uploading my failspider felt liberating, and I'd like to encourage everyone to be more OK with theirs as well, whatever they may be. Feel free to reread this and replace "spider" with anything else you might be failing at right now; school, relationships, work, apple pie, LYFE -- I'm positive the same holds true. If you succeed in being fearless about failing, well, you've basically turned it into "success in progress".

BE LIKE BABBY.


... (:
Hi'all,

At the beginning of August I resolved to make a new homepage and do everything myself; design, wire, lern2HTML5CSS3.

WELLLLL, after more than a month of delirium, debugging, overflowed stacks all over the place, ...AND learning more than I ever did in school along the way, I finally willpowered this thing into existence!!~!122@ IT EVEN HAS A MOBILE VERSIONNn //grabs heart & dies peacefully
 

:iconstaredanceplz::iconcarameldansenplz::iconcakeplz::iconcolorfulsparklesplz::iconcolorfulsparklesplz:LIEA.NL:iconcolorfulsparklesplz::iconcolorfulsparklesplz::iconcakeplz::iconcarameldansenplz::iconstaredanceplz:




Takoyaki-chan is so down with the mobile version


Along with it I launched my Society6 store, where I'll be selling prints and stuff of my original work. If there's something else you'd like to see me upload on there, just let me know and I'll make it available : ) Plz check it out!




I also just wanna say thank you to everyone on here, all those 3000+ watchers and kind people who check out my farts, take some time to leave a comment or make conversation.

THANK YOUU for your continued support -- it has not gone unnoticed :iconsnuzzleglompplz:
...except that I'm not GOING! >:I

'sup soup, it's been a busy month lol. I decided to quit my job at the university and take the leap of faith into fulltime arting. Shortly after doing so, I got an offer to work on a game, which I gladly accepted! I don't know how the universe somehow does this, but I know I'm taking the necessary steps to stay on karma's good side >_> <_________<

Although it's a small game, it'll still be a lot of work because basically I'm doing all the graphics singlehandedly. Because of this considerable amount of work, I took the next step and decided to start a company! ARTING TAX-PAYERS, WADDAP. The rest of the month has been spent designing and building a new homepage (about 75% done!), learning to be a motherfucking adult (taxes and administration... why does you exist %___%), negotiating work for said game, and getting together a contract for my company's maiden voyage, beginning today~! Although I can't say much about the game yet, I'm really excited about it and hope I'll be able to just show it before too long ^^

So yes, as far as 9-5 art life debriefing goes, I'd say grrreaattt successs!? Here's the score-board for me and my roommate's August resolution to get up at 8 every morning and have productive, fun, and fulfilling workweeks. Even though we didn't make the stretch goal of 2*20 stars (double full comboo~ for MEGA CAKE), I still managed to go >20, so I will be buying a small one soon. And share it with her. MAYBE.



September's list is already up. Any ideas for this month's reward!?!

Also THANK YOU GUYSSEE for all the birthday wishes. I forgot that deviantArt knows this, so all the messages took me by surprise. Some crazy people even drew me things, which is like... the ultimate baww <333 Thank you, and to those of you going back to school... FIGHT!!

   Happeh Birthday Mei Mei!! by Noxmoony

//gushes
Toska by DIMASsS

Oh my holy-... This is DIMASsS's half of a trade with me and I'm in love. It's a beyond amazing rendition of my character Nameless. She's a demon entity that represents the void of depression and darkness, and he painted her in a way so beautiful I hadn't even imagined her yet.

12+ years of drawing commissions for other people, but this might be the first time I experience what it's like to be on the receiving end with such a complete and polished piece like this. Honestly, it's absolutely stunning to have someone lend you their full imagination and have it amplify your own, even if just for a little bit <3

People of the world with money, forget about yachts and purses, COMMISSION AN ARTIST YOU LOVE TODAY~!

x
In this episode of "ARTIST THINGS": popularity! Or rather, the lack thereof and why it can get to you. I was talking about this with Noxmoony and decided it was interesting and elusive enough to write something about and maybe get some of your opinions.

First off, I'm aware there's a bit of a taboo surrounding this topic. If you're a modest and rational person, you're not supposed to care about something as frivolous as what other people think, right? Well, that's not entirely true. As artists, we occupy ourselves with expression and communication; of an idea,  of emotion, of beauty, etc. Communication by definition needs at least two actors to take place, and down the same vein I would argue that art needs an audience to be art. If Dalí paints a molten clock, but does so in outer space and no one sees it, is it still surreal? Something like that. So from a strictly definitional point of view, it is OK to care about having an audience.

Well, the internet can sometimes feel a bit like outer space. It's vast and expanding in all directions, and you're surrounded by everything and nothing at the same time. So if you're an artist investing time and effort in expressing yourself and then going through the trouble of sharing this online, everyone and their mom would understand the joy in receiving feedback and support. Simply put; everybody likes a pat on the back, even (or sometimes especially, for psychologically complex reasons) from total strangers.

But there are also more practical, arguably better reasons than the loneliness out at cybersea to care about visibility online. If you're trying to make a living being an artist, you're going to need exposure (and a lot of it at that) to reach those select few individuals interested, capable, and willing to spend money on you. To give an example from my facebook page: out of every 1000 views an image of mine receives, 100 people go through the trouble of clicking the 'like' button, <10 comment, and <0.01 proceed to commission me. That's 0.001%. But besides monetization, visibility also motivates to keep going in what most likely is a pretty precarious existence. It can encourage you to accept the risk of not making rent next week, because at least you're serving some greater justice creating beautiful things that people enjoy looking at.

That said, there are tons of bad (though sometimes intuitive) reasons to care about popularity as well. That is not to say that people who consciously or subconsciously think this way are bad people, just that the reasoning is logically flawed and counter-productive. We tend to feel like exposure and attention to our work are a reflection of its quality. I've ranted briefly about how this is actually not the case before, but it's difficult to shake. When an illustration or artist is consistently celebrated by a large crowd, it must mean they're amazing (and this serves as a self-fulfilling prophecy). Similarly, when someone receives little to no interest whatsoever, something must be 'wrong' with the work; it's not original or developed enough, the technique is sloppy, in short, it doesn't deserve the attention yet. I'm here to argue that's horse poo.

If the exposure/quality relation were so clear-cut and immutable, the marketing and advertising industry in its entirety would not exist. There would be no reason to invest in spreading a product artificially, because the inherent quality of all things would cause the best to surface naturally in a perfectly objective meritocracy of consumption practices. If this sounds a little crazy now, that's because it is.

Yet we still project this reasoning on ourselves and our work all the time, disregarding the fact we're communicating with our audience through a filter specifically designed to stimulate a certain kind of consumption -- in our case, of images. Platforms like dA, twitter, fb, or tumblr all operate according to algorithms that determine how relevant content is identified and presented to its users. The philosophies behind these can vary immensely; it might match your work, or it might not. If it surfaces somewhere and manages to gain a lot of exposure, this might stick or fade away again, and luck is a huge component in all of this.

So here are my two cents regarding popularity. Know that exposure and quality are not necessarily related, accept that different sharing platforms have a lot of sway in this, and rather than adjusting your own work to match a certain algorithm's definition of 'quality', try your luck on another platform. Think of it as a game in which every site gives you another chance to share your work more effectively. Secondly, I think it's useful to examine the reasons we care about popularity; is it to improve and stay focused, or because we seek some kind of affirmation? If it's the latter, then some awareness of the robots that we expose ourselves to online on a daily basis can be helpful, and I'd encourage you to take their feedback regarding your work with a generous grain of salt. If you enjoy a lot of support online, great, use it to your advantage but never slip and think of it as a goal in itself or an objective affirmation of your work's quality. If you're invisible and can't seem to get ahead, don't let it affect your motivation, standards, or love for creating either. As Mary Schmich once said: "your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's".

To illustrate this last point, Noxmoony and I decided to compile a list of some artists on dA with fantastic work but very little exposure. All artists below display great quality, are currently active on dA, but receive <10 comments per deviation on average. If you know of any others that you'd like to share, please link them in a comment! I hope this can inspire others to look at their own work differently and hopefully in a more positive way. Remember there's nothing more conducive to improvement than love for your own creations : )


1. DIMASsS
05 43 by DIMASsS 

Mature Content

QQ by DIMASsS
 

Mature Content

Step' by DIMASsS
 

2. TobiTrebeljahr
Steve and His Daughter waiting for the Train by TobiTrebeljahr  Girls-Only Action by TobiTrebeljahr  The Lady by TobiTrebeljahr

3. quaedam

It was amazing, the end by quaedam  Crazydragon [illustration] by quaedam 

Mature Content

for harag [illustration] by quaedam


4. aynmkr

111019 by aynmkr  120919 by aynmkr  101013 by aynmkr

5. Vamp1r0

Remake-Remix by Vamp1r0 

Mature Content

boobsuary 22 by Vamp1r0
 

Mature Content

boobsuary 02 by Vamp1r0


6. hoooook

Mermaid by hoooook  002 by hoooook  5-8-5 by hoooook

7. AnimaProject

Young Witch by AnimaProject  Ditty by AnimaProject  Tigre Luna by AnimaProject

8. SillyJellie

Love is shorter by SillyJellie  A repairman is not a gardener by SillyJellie  Sunken Roots Concept Art - Cay by SillyJellie

9. HydroENKI

Mushishi Snowcave by HydroENKI  Autumn forest by HydroENKI  Haikyuu Tsukishima in white by HydroENKI

10. IC-ICO (might not be active anymore, but too ridiculous an example to leave out)

Nice to meet you~ by IC-ICO  Happy New Year! by IC-ICO  Creature by IC-ICO

XOXO~
Starting tomorrow I'm going to experiment with doing art as if it were a fulltime job. It might not be 9-5 -- 10-6, 11-7 or even 23-7 is fine, too, although that might be more difficult to keep up.

Dangers:

- Losing my mind not having to wear pants anymore i.e. getting homestuck
- Losing my mind out of loneliness
- Losing my mind a vast variety of other ways
- Breaking my arting either with art blocks or RSI
- Other?

Anyway, I intend on working with a point system where I reward myself a point/sticker/selfhi5 for every day I managed to get up/wear pants/draw, and at X points give myself a cake or something. Other than that: stay focused and motivated and attempt to make a schedule with as many routine human interactions outdoors as possible. So to sum up: cake and humans.

If you have any other tips that might come in handy with the not losing my mind part, comment pls.



Eyes on the prize: here's an amazing THING we had in Seattle.

Update: 



I'm just gonna go ahead and give myself a star for currently writing this before 9 AM. :iconfinallyplz:

Update 2:



My roommate decided to join the fight!! We are now working with two star sticker stashes and are so ready for that cake! >:I
Hay bbys<3,

It's summer again: time for my yearly journal update lol;;

It's been a busy year of balancing my work for the university with training to become a pro recurve archer and, perhaps most challengingly, actively pushing my art. I got to know some really cool people in business and entrepreneurship, as well as amazingly successful and inspiring artists like Brosa, and I must say their mentality has really made me reevaluate the art world and my role in it.

The business mentality is one of attaining success as measured by public interest, whereas artists tend to focus on improving for themselves. The idea here is that "if I can get my art to a point where I am happy with it, the rest of the world will see it and just follow". I was a firm believer in this, thinking the quality of art should speak for itself, and always feeling anxiety central at the thought of spamming people too much with my work. However, I've realized this way of thinking is flawed for two reasons.

:damphyr: 1. We will never get to a point where we're happy with our own work, because this perpetual dissatisfaction is what drove us up to whatever point we reached in the first place. Winning the game and calling it quits is simply never going to happen. 
:damphyr: 2. No matter how good you are, everybody needs marketing. The internet is a mega vast and growing ocean of art and creativity and you will be invisible in it unless you actively work on changing it.

Since these eye-openers earlier this year, I've gone on an internet-wide experiment in self-promotion. Not really knowing what I was aiming for, I tried to just get over myself and share my work more actively and in different places. The results are as follows:

Twitter: I made a twitter and started doing Sketch_Dailies. It's been super fun and motivating and it's gotten me in touch with super amazeballs artists. My work also got featured several times, which has been a great way to gain some exposure and figure out twitter at the same time LoL.

Facebook: I made a facebook page just for my art. Without plugging it too much at all, it exploded organically for some reason with 2K likes in the first month. 2000+ people is a huge amount to suddenly be seeing your work on their timeline, and I've received several commission request because of this. But more motivating than anything has been to see the things I upload actually being looked at by so many other artists and art lovers from all over the world. To have other people find and enjoy my stuff is really the best I could wish for.

DD: I got my first Daily Deviation here on dA after simply noting a mod (Astralseed) about it. I explained how I was trying to get over my fear of self-promotion, and they looked over my gallery and featured my Boy and Giraffe illustration. It might not be as glamorous as being featured organically, but it does go to show that exposure and quality are not necessarily naturally related.
Boy and Giraffe by liea
We Love Fine: We Love Fine found my work and I joined as a Mighty Fine Artist. They were able to get licenses for my My Little Pony fanart. As far as I know, this is the first non-EQ anthro fanart that Hasbro has approved, possibly due to my freelancing for them idk. Considering the general caution surrounding anthro art, I'm super honored to know they found it tasteful enough to carry the brand name.

VALVE: Through We Love Fine, I was invited to a beta version of DotA2's Steam Workshop for artists. I have several pieces up for votes now to be sold at Ti4 (The International DotA2 championships in Seattle, WA, mid July) which can be found here. Please take a moment to upvote if you can! I might actually quite serendipitously be in Seattle around Ti4, so it would be really cool to run into my own stuff being worn as a tshirt :) Anyway being up on Steam might not seem like such a big deal, but any involvement with Valve, however tiny, is a huge deal to me since I'm a biggg time fan of the company.

Studio 2042 by liea
Free To Play Expo (Antwerp): Finally, I did an illustration for Free to Play, an indie game and art exposition, and was up in a real life real world expo hall for a little over a month! It was great going berserk on such a big piece for a week, and then being rewarded for it by seeing it under a spotlight up on a wall.


me and my :> face next to my stuff!


SO... what to think of all this experimenting... My conclusions are actually sort of surprising. Now that I've put all this down on paper, it does seem like a lot for roughly 5 months of switching up a mentality. But in the end the question remains: what did it actually do for me? For example, I'm still not paying my rent with art, but then I realize that wasn't really the goal with this particular experiment. What I set out to do was to see how I could develop artistically if I just removed the hurdle of being continually half ashamed of my own work.

Through the exposure on different platforms, I got in touch with different industries -- from commercial/merchandise, to commissions, to exposition -- and was able to figure out where I'd like to take my illustrations. I now know that I'd like to develop my own style and move in a direction where I produce finished pieces that can be looked at and enjoyed in their own right. Realizing this has made me grow tremendously as an artist. I hope sharing this story can give some of you some inspiration or direction on how to move forward as well, or at least be a comfort of sorts that you're probably doing better than you think and should stop being so hard on yourself all the time <3

I'm not sure what next year will bring yet, but reflecting on this one so far I'm excited for it :> For now I'm getting ready to go on a summer sabbatical to Canada and the U.S., to visit family and friends. I plan on being (at one point or another) in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. West coast hollaaa at me! ^_^ 

XOXO,

-Liea
Uhh Sta.sh Writer? dA WAT IS ALL DIS? ?__?

Anyway, so, I'm not sure how this happened either, but basically in the last 2 months I've been in 4 different countries, and spent a whole month in CHINA -- see pic below for proof! It was awesome and mind boggling, but definitely more awesome than MB. A+++, would go again. 

One other destination was England, where I went to some big anthropology conference to talk about my Master's research and see how I like the REAL academic world. Met some verrryy awesome people, and a PhD actually seems more do-able and cool now. HMM SOMETHING TO CONSIDER, DR. PONY?? 4 years of my life... hmmm :iconallaloneplz:...

Now that I'm back, I have about 2 weeks before I go back to working for the university. Omg... my vacation/unemployment-save-for-freelancing is finally coming to an end. Have a few commissions lined up before then and want to go back to doing dailies on my sketch tumblr. And improve my Chinese. And read about 20 books. And do a million other things. Srsly, how can you ever get bored in this game called LYFE? If I had two brains and 48 hours in a day, I'd still be short on time. blbblbl @__@

Tiananmen square on a blissteringggly hot day x___x. Spent most of my time in Shanghai though.
Hey friends,

Just a quick mention that I'll be at Animecon (World Forum, Den Haag) this upcoming weekend starting Friday. Who's going?? HUAH HURAHH BATTLE CHANTS.

I'll be tagging along with Cheesecake! Studio, and we'll be camping in the dealer room. Somewhere. Out there. Just look for yellow decorations, should be ok these rooms usually aren't that big :B.

I'll be selling some prints and maybe sketch commissions idk I'm sort of winging this //plannednothingokkk :iconhandsomeonionplz:

See you there!! x :iconsayhiplz:
BOA TARDE gais,

Things are very busy in art-land right now. I know, ALLOFASUDDEN right. I'm working on several things I can't show yet because they're SEEECRET >:3 fufufu~

On top of these busies, I'm leaving for PORTUGAL in a few days, where I hope to soak up some much needed sunshine with a friend and get fat on lobster. And when I get back a week later, Mother Nature, I'm expecting you to have sobered up and stop with the snow in April thing already. //wiggly fingers. Sheez get with the program.

ATÉ MAIS! SIM! NÃO! OBRIGADAAA!
Hoi hoi! Just a quick journal about the upcoming art comic con (Kunst strip beurs) in Utrecht this saturday. I'll be there sharing a table with MilouvanMontfort!! w00t this will be my first con as an artist... so I'm pretty excited :> I'll be selling prints and a new bookmark set there. I've been running a small factory this week to get all the printing done lol.




Any Dutch deviants here that are thinking of going? It'd be cool to meet~ The information for the event is as follows:

What: Kunst strip beurs (art, comics, and more)
When: march 23 (saturday), from 10:00-17:00
Where: Nicolaïkerk Utrecht
Damage: Free!

Check out their website for more information.
Well, it's built and running smoothly and erythang. It looks hella cool and cute and cuddly. I also fixed my old pc with a new fan and mobo, so now I have a spare one just in case idk.

Some pics of the unboxing party. Also: me in a box, lol hi~

Got everything together nearly a week ago, but... I've been dealing with some heavy personal shit and the resulting moodswings and lingering art blocks ;(... I haven't even changed my wallpaper to something more mentally stimulating than the Windows7 logo yet because I spend most days in bed dreading everything. But then on a select few good days I still crawl out and into a box, so there must still be hope.