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Besides having a blog now, I also have a Facebook page for Whatcher Studios.  (www.facebook.com/whatcherstudios)  For now you can only buy prints through deviantART (mostly because I really like their interface and don't want to have to worry about shipping and printing on my own) but I have thought about selling prints via my own website eventually.  Also thought about doing Etsy, but I'm not a fan of having to pay just to post photos and risk spending that money without getting any sales.  I'm still too new at this to feel secure about selling my artwork.  I'd like to start getting out into the public and show off my photography at art shows, but I'm still working on developing my style and focus.  At the moment I tend to have photographs mostly of birds and wildlife, but I've started doing some miniature photography with anime figures which I think would make a good artist alley table at conventions, possibly.

I may need to think about changing my studio name, but "Whatcher" has stuck with me for a long time.  Mostly because it's the name of the little critters I developed once years ago, and because as my husband put it, "What'cher photography?"  Sounds sort of funny and quirky.  He also suggested I should get a cosplay FB called "What'cher Cosplay?"  Because that would be awfully corny.

So pronounce it how you feel like (watcher or what'cher) and visit my Facebook page or my blog if you get a chance.  Or comment if there's something you like here.  Is there a focus, something you think I tend to do better than other things?  Birds better than pumpkins?  Anime figures better than nature?  What do you think would sell best at an artist table?  

I'm also trying to figure out what to do with all of the old stock that I used to sell at my artist alley tables.  I'm afraid I don't like the style of my artwork anymore, and I still have tons of prints and bookmarks that I used to sell (but didn't) and I haven't had a good chance to do an artist alley in years so I'm afraid all of it is just sitting around in a box, but if I were to go out and sell again I don't think I'd want to sell any of them because they feel so amateurish.  Should I give them away or still try to sell them?  Has anyone else had this dilemma before?
So this year I actually DID things.  I actually created a new cosplay, and I started writing a blog about anime figures.  I don't have a whole lot of photos of myself, namely because I don't like looking at myself enough to post too many (the bags under my eyes are starting to give away my age now...sob) and I don't typically have anyone to take my picture.  Oh, sure, I could hire someone, but if I don't want to look at them that much, why bother spending money?  But, I digress because I did it.  I haven't made an actual cosplay outfit from scratch in years, and usually don't have enough time to sew something together and instead have gone to the thrift stores to find something I can throw together.  That's fine and all, but I can't really share that too much.

In other news however, since starting my blog about my anime figures, I've really enjoyed being able to share some more of my photography, and also learning the ins and outs of Photoshop.  I still have a long long way to go, but at least I'm learning to tweak colors to get the 'feel' out of the picture that I want.  Some of them still don't turn out quite like I want as I'm still learning my camera itself, but I think things are coming a long.  Haven't had much in the way of interest in them, but if you want to see more, visit my website: www.whatcherstudios.com  

What else is coming up in the future?  I'm not sure.  Maybe art again?  I've had an inkling to draw, but I'm not sure what just yet.  I've been painting 3D objects again, but most of them aren't made by me so it's hard to show off slapping a little paint on something I bought.  But there will definitely be more photography in the future, and I'll probably share some more anime figure photography in the near future as well.  I hope you enjoy!
Got a new mouse awhile ago, now I have a new keyboard which is demanding that I type something on it in it's blue glowing manner that brand new keyboards have.  I don't have much to talk about and I don't have much time to do it, but things have been changing for me a lot the last month, and I realize that I'm pretty out of sorts overall, so those of you who are watching me, thank you for bearing with me.  I haven't done much in the way of artwork, mostly photography, and that might be a trend, although I do like drawing and I do like putting stuff out there, so once in awhile you'll probably get something different and interesting if you stick around.  ^_^

Anyway, things for me have sort of been on the downswing since a month ago when I found out that my position was being cut and we were going from five managers two two and then a handful of 'keyholders' and add insult to injury, those 'keyholders' (myself suddenly included even though I was number 2 ranking manager at the time) got their pay cut to less than we were making before we even became managers in the first place.  So much of my time lately has been spent between sulking and staring at the television, running through my house cleaning and trying to keep my mind off of it, and also searching the internet for job postings and trying to figure out what to do with my life.  I still have a job, so don't get me wrong, it's not a total loss, but I feel strange and incomplete as suddenly I'm not important anymore, I'm one of the masses, albeit with one of the sets of keys, but when my manager still asks me to do things for her that I did before I took a pay cut, I have a hard time not pushing back.  I want to push back and say, "No, I'm not getting paid for that now."  And I can feel her begrudging me even when I tell her things I can't do, little lone won't do, merely because I've lost permissions in the store and online to the point I can't do many of those things.  And yet I know for fairly certain that as long as I come in to work every day, she won't do anything to me because there's been a lot of push back from others in the past and they're still there anyway.  But I hate the idea of the managers talking about me behind my back as I feel has happened and will happen in the future.  And they're so useless without me in the store that I begrudge the fact that I didn't make the cut even though I can do the job, just didn't really want to move somewhere else in the future and that was the only stipulation that they gave me for not getting the job - oh, you won't want to transfer sometime in the future?  Guess you can't be management anymore, sorry.

Anyway, I'm still suffering from it and trying to move on and at least get a handle on my life as I now know it.  So I missed out on doing some pretty awesome things like a Trigun Podcast that I'd been asked to participate in and missed completely...  SIGH.  Haven't been working on things for my convention and haven't done much of anything fun.  URG.  Only thing I did do was decide that I really like taking pictures of my anime figures so I may end up posting some of the first session on here in the near future so everyone can see them here.  I've already posted them on my own blog, but since that's not visited as much as on here, I guess you'll just have to wait for me to post on here!  ^_~  

So...lots of changes and I'll keep you all posted that things might get better in the future.  I do know that I need to relieve some of this stress in my life because it's sucked most of the creativity out of me the last few years and that's such a huge bummer to me.
It's been raining all day.  That sort of thing puts me in a sort of depressed and yet, reflective mood.  I tend to get things done around the house, but I also feel like I spend a lot of the day just sitting watching documentaries and movies.  I saw "Miss Granny" today, a Korean film about an old lady who gets a chance to be young again.  What's funny about it, is that as she's a young woman acting like an old woman (which she was in the movie at least) I saw a bit of myself in her.  I've always felt like I was an old person in a young body.  Now that my young body is turning older and doing things like getting emotional, depressed, and suffering from strange shifts in mood, I think about what that might mean for me when I get older yet.

I'm not really THAT old in the grand scheme of things.  I could live three times the age I am right now as long as I get my act together and don't allow myself to become like some of my parents - complacent and lazy, allow myself to get too overweight or stop doing things.  I don't like to be lazy, I like to move around, do things around the house, keep myself and my mind active.  Maybe that's why I write, maybe that's why I keep a journal, just to keep my mind moving and my memory working like I know it should.  But there are days where that's hard to do, and on those days that slip by, I wonder about my own mind and my own body and my own mortality.

What's it like to get older?  What's it like to suddenly have people look at you like you can't do anything for yourself anymore.  I don't want people to ever think that I'm the dottering old lady.  Sure, maybe I'll putter around and maybe I'll remark about "what it was like in my day..." but I don't want people to pity me.  I see the way one of my older aunts gets treated as she's nearing her 88th birthday.  You can see it in her eyes that she wants to get up, to do things, to be the woman she was even ten years ago, but after a broken hip, valve replacements and a pacemaker, it's pretty hard for her to get around.  She still walks, even though it's with help and a walker, but she still moves, she still wants to move even as others don't let her.  I see the woman she was, the woman she wants to be, and I know it's eating her up.  I don't think her closer relatives see that, however, I think her children just want to protect her from everything and keep her in a glass cage as long as they can.  She's caring, sweet, kind, and has lived an awesome life to see both grandchildren and great grandchildren born.  She's alone now but for these children and I can see that even as her mind is still clear, she's struggling with a body that is giving up on her.

Will I be that way when I grow old?  I'd like to think so.  I'd like to think that my mind is still as focused and clear as it was when I was younger.  But I don't imagine as much as I used to.  I used to spend hours in front of a computer screen or even a pad of paper, and I could write mysterious worlds using only words.  No one read them, of course, well, very few.  I even wrote a novel once.  It was never published because even though I finished it, I got rejected, or rather, no company would even read it, so I wound up shelving it in hopes I could re-write it.  Maybe then they'd read it.  Maybe once I had fixed it, someone would want to see what words I'd written.  Now that I'm nearly twice as old as when I completed it, I realize how even though it's fresh in my mind after 18 years, I also am afraid to touch that world that once drew so much of my attention from the time I was 13 until I was 18.

But what is the point of writing when no one wants to read what you have to say?  I gave the novel to my mom once.  She never read through it.  I left it out for my husband to read when we were dating.  I put it away after it started to collect dust.

I think once I realized that no one would read what I had to write that was actually based on original ideas, I turned to fanfiction.  But eventually I stopped having the drive to write that.  I felt like I was stealing other's ideas to be recognized.  Why should I write something that someone else came up with in the first place?  Why can't I have fans for original ideas?  If I have no one who will read what I write, then why write?

And yet...I still write.  I write non-fiction now.  Blogs on occasions as you've probably noticed if you follow my work.  I write blogs on my website too, and even though I'm currently going through a series of blogs with photos of my anime figure collection, there are times now and again where I get reflective like this.  It's open for the world to see, but I rarely if ever have anyone read what I have to say.  But yet, I still feel like I have to put these words to page.  My life has been driven by writing.  I don't write to get paid for, because I don't get readers.  If you're reading this right now, I'm actually surprised.  It's okay, you don't have to feel sorry for me, as I've written this before, I'm not writing this for you, I'm writing it for me.  I'm writing it because I have to.  Something inside of me forces me to sit down periodically and put words to paper and get these feelings and thoughts out.

Will I keep doing this?  Most likely.  I've been writing a daily journal every day since January 1, 1997, so it's been over 18 years I've been writing at least something.  They say you get better at doing something if you do it a ALOT.  Maybe that's why I feel like I'm decent at writing, but will it take me another 18 years, or 36, or more in order to become the writer that people will want to read?  I'm not sure.  I guess only time will tell.  Maybe I'll become famous long after I'm dead.  Maybe the few people that will attend my funeral (because I don't have kids and probably won't have any other relations by that point) will say, "oh hey, she used to write, I wonder if we should do something with all of it?"  And maybe they will, and maybe people will study what I have had to say and maybe they'll see I'm sort of a case study for people like me and they'll write papers and such.

Or maybe no one will read any of it.  It will get shoved into the never-accessed files of some Google server somewhere and then one day a virus or a bad memory chip will just make it fade away into nothing.  Maybe no one will even remember who I am or that I wrote so many pages and no one even remembers my name.  But that's sad, so I'll try to hope that something happens before then.  Maybe I'll eventually make something happen on my own, but I don't even know for sure how, so I'll just keep writing what I do until such time that I can't.
Can't believe it's only 11am in the morning.  Feels like I've been up for hours...  Something about the way the winter light is and the fact that the sun proceeds across the sky at such an alarming speed that the same light you would have in the summer at this time would be around two or three in the afternoon as opposed to 11 in the morning.  But the cold and the short days don't stop the birds from coming out and emptying my bird feeders at also what I consider, an alarming speed!  I have a hoard of little house sparrows that swoop in, empty the feeders and leave again.  But once in awhile in between the little brown and black birds I get the birds I want to see...  Those are the little gray and white Juncos, the red Cardinals, the occasional shy chickadee, a few red-faced house finches, the very occasional gold finch (which I have not seen much of at all as the thistle seems to be a bit too stale for them it appears) and those rarer birds like winter robins and, lately, the mourning doves.  I've had a few dozen starlings on occasion as well, but the flocks have mostly moved on for the winter to warmer climates.

So why do I talk about birds at a time like this?  Because, in the freezing temperatures of winter, and because I live in a new build neighborhood that has very few trees, the only thing that's alive this time of year seems to be those birds.  I don't have squirrels, and the rabbits that run around like crazy most of the year, are bundled up cozy somewhere else in nests and probably won't come out for another few weeks when temperatures warm up a bit.  But these birds, lively as they are around my bird feeders, just make me think that, yes, there is life out there, and yes, there is a purpose to the winter months.  Maybe I don't like being cold all the time, but it kills off the bugs and helps the trees finish their rest cycle in order to come back strong in the spring.  That freeze helps the spring seem that much more awesome and beautiful.  We just have to suffer through it for a few months.

I thoroughly enjoy sharing my photos of the birds that I see with you.  I hope you enjoy my nature photography, as it's something I enjoy.  If you stop by here and see how I used to spend most of my time working on artwork for anime and manga, and then say, "what happened to all that cool stuff?"  Well, sometimes things that interest us change, and I've certainly changed a lot since I first started this deviantART account so many years ago.  Now I enjoy taking photos and seeing things around me as opposed to imaging things happening.  I do not plan on taking down any of my old artwork, and I may sometime get back into drawing again, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the nature and sights that I would like to show you in the future!  It's my pleasure to share things that really are near and dear to my heart, and I hope you enjoy them too.
  • Listening to: Train "Bulletproof Picasso"
I'm happy to say I'll be posting some new autumn photos this year from my brand new camera.  Every year I take from the very best pumpkin patch photos and share them with you so you can enjoy the simple pleasures of going out to the pumpkin patch and picking out that favorite pumpkin.  Okay, if you've never done it, you really have to because it's exciting.  Or at least, it is to me.  Growing up in Michigan, it was just something you HAD to do; you HAD to go to the pumpkin patch, get your cheeks all pink in the autumn wind, then go inside and eat a bunch of pumpkin donuts with cold apple cider and then finish up with a fresh caramel apple.  I still need to get one of those this year come to think of it...  And then you'd take your pumpkins home with you and just enjoy looking at them and trying to figure out what you wanted to carve in them for Halloween.  It's fun, it's exciting, it's getting out to nature, and it's definitely not spending $8 on a pumpkin at the grocery store.  Come now, I got a wheelbarrow full of the things for less than $25, including gourds and weird shaped critters... and you get to pull them off the vine yourself.

So I hope you enjoy the new autumn photos this year because I certainly enjoyed picking them!
  • Listening to: Train "Bulletproof Picasso"
Lately I've been taking pictures of cats and food.  Okay, wait...I've always taken pictures of those.  I'm just now posting some of them though! I actually like taking pictures of just about everything but people.  Yeah, they say, "have a person in a photo, it'll mean more to you later."  Sure, I'll look through my photo albums of people from time to time, and yes, they do mean things, but the memories are there and the people are in my memories even if they're standing next to me rather than in front of the camera!

Animals, my cats though, they mean a lot to me, and my slight obsession with food photography means a lot to me.  I like trying a bunch of new things and taking photos of all sorts of different things helps me appreciate the smaller things in life.  We don't notice the simple flowers when we're looking down at our smart phones.  We aren't paying attention to our cats or our children when our faces are in our tablets.  Who's noticing the small, insignificant details if we don't stop watching TV and go outside?

I'm the last hold-out of nearly everyone I know that doesn't have a smart phone.  I don't need one.  Sure, sometimes I'd like to look something up on the internet, but I know how to read maps, I'm good with directions, I have a good memory and can look up a song when I get home... I usually drag a normal camera along with me when I'm out and about since I really hate the photos phones take.  Other than that?  I have a flip phone so I can call and text.  So when I'm out with my husband and our friends, and they are all face down in their phones, I'm the one taking in all of the beautiful sights around me.  I wish sometimes I could share these things with them - oh, there's a deer out there, look at that special bird, what about that wild turkey we just passed?  Nope, too busy with their phones.  But I noticed them.

So things like taking pictures of food - who notices how neat a cupcake looks before you eat it?  It's gone in a bite or two.  Who appreciates that cat sleeping in the sunshine?  What about how interesting that crack in the pavement looks?  Oh, I'm sure there are a LOT of people who are out there who see it the way I do.  But I'm rather on my own when it comes to those I'm close to.  It makes trying to share things a wee bit difficult.  Not that I begrudge them that...nope!  Rather, I feel sorry that they can't appreciate the world I do.  I try to share some of it in my photographs.  I hope you enjoy!
  • Listening to: Bastille
  • Reading: The Dead Man's Hand
  • Playing: Pokemon X
So, with my brand new camera came this awesome feature to take photos in "miniature".  It's really basically the concept of having one bar of focus with bars blurred above and below.  Take a picture of something really big - most of the time somewhere very high up like a cityscape and you've got something that looks like a taking a picture in miniature.  I've seen it done with real cars to make them look fake, and in cities and recorded video is pretty popular right now as it's filmed in a sort of stilted stop-motion type thing.  It's probably been over used lately, but I don't care, it's kind of fun to do especially since I just got a camera that will do it.

Anyway, I begin my series of miniature stuff with some skylines of Pittsburgh, PA.  Only three for now, although I have others, these were my favorite three.  I hope you enjoy looking at them since lately I've been working mostly on just perfecting my photography skills.  Unfortunately...they have a LONG way to go.  But perhaps no one is ever completely perfect with photos?  Probably.  

I'm also going to post a few more non-miniature photos from my Pittsburgh trip as they just really stood out to me, and I hope you'll consider possibly ordering prints of them for your own enjoyment!  I know a few of them will be getting hung up in my own home very soon.

Enjoy!
  • Listening to: Bastille
  • Reading: The Illustrated Man
I promised myself that if I would let myself get on the computer today, I'd have to do something creative with my time instead of sitting around watching YouTube videos or just scrolling through endless Memes on Cheezburger.  Yes.  I have a problem.  I'm rather addicted to the mindless activities that are all around us all the time.  If I'm not cruising around on the internet wasting time I tend to be sitting in front of the television wasting time as well.  I have hardly done anything creative with my time for months.  Sure, I've taken a random photograph here and there, but that takes very little work and of course I'm still quite the amateur when it comes to photographing.  I'm still working at getting better, but at the moment, this 'almost' spring thing... that's not helping my creative juices any at all.

I did buy some fabric the other day, thinking that I would spend today working on creating a chair cover for the cat-scratched chair in my living room.  It was a very pretty little accent chair, no arms, just kind of a creamy background with a leaf print.  My cat Olivia decided that she liked it just as a scratching post, so every morning she comes down stairs and does her worse before jumping up onto it.  I thought to myself, instead of wasting a perfectly good chair by moving it into an unseen corner of the house, I should probably create a slip cover I could put on when guests are over.  Well, that's the plan but I haven't had my coffee yet, so let's see what happens once I do!

I'm really looking forward to spring right now.  Little tiny peeks of green Hyacinths are coming up through the dirt in my gardens and the birds are starting to sing the spring mating songs so prettily.  I have two bird feeders out back that I'll be posting more photos of soon since I got some good flying shots.  Hopefully they'll look as good on the big screen as the little camera screen.  I know for a fact that my horde of geraniums behind me are all looking forward to being able to go out on the front porch.  Amazingly, they've been blooming all winter.  Must be getting enough sun in this upper level room to at least attempt to survive the winter.  Last year I lost two of them.

If you think about it, we've waited long enough for spring....  Where I live we should have had more going on outside than just snow for three months straight.  Almost feels like the north has crept its way down south.  I do wonder how global warming/climate changes are going to affect how we life our lives in the future.  Ah well...  I'm also looking forward to the Home & Garden Show which is this week...huzzah!  I'm looking forward to going and sniffing flowers and seeing all the new fabulously cheesy booths too.
  • Listening to: Bastille
  • Reading: The Illustrated Man
So this is what it feels like to have only a few people commenting on my stuff...or I mean, not at all.  That's okay, I understand, you all have really busy lives, but you could say something once in awhile in the comment section. It's OK, you know.  *GRINS*

Thanks for all of the FAVs though, I do appreciate those and I hope you'll keep coming back to see what I post here even though it's become very random of late.

Thanks for following me, those you who still do!
  • Listening to: Bastille
  • Reading: Something Wicked this way Comes
  • Drinking: Love Potion #9
It snowed the night before last, and the snow still clings to the grounds in shady spots and small deep pockets in the grass.  It didn't cling to the newly re-paved road out front, but the morning came with ice, and with ice came accidents.  I found small plastic pieces in front of my mailbox in the afternoon, and even though I didn't see this accident, I know it must have occurred first thing yesterday morning as it wasn't there the day before.

There is a feeling of dread to me when the first snow falls, especially when some of the trees still cling to their leaves.  Perhaps it's because a feeling that winter is HERE, rather than around the corner, that it will be a hard winter as well.  I pulled in my geraniums a few weeks ago, knowing that they would be killed by the rather harsh cold that was coming.  They will suffer during these months as much as I do, however, not getting enough son in an Eastern facing window.  I used to keep flowers throughout the winter in my Southern window at the apartment where I once lived, but these will have yellowing leaves and wilting branches.  The strong will survive to return to the porch come spring, the others will find themselves in the compost pile.

I enjoy seeing the bright snow on the ground, don't get me wrong.  I enjoy seeing it white and festive rather than brown and ugly, as would anyone.  However, I know I suffer from SAD during the winter, and even though it hasn't been medically diagnosed, I can tell a distinct difference from how I feel in the warm months to how I feel in January and February.  Those who suffer from depression probably can tell you the same thing.  It gets to the point where you feel so hollow and down that then something in your body 'clicks' and you feel GOOD - it's like "WHOAAAAAA NELLY!"  Suddenly you're cleaning every inch of the house or you're out on a walk, or you're calling every friend you have to hang out or you're going out shopping and not buying anything, but you're getting OUT, you're DOING THINGS, and you're not sitting on your butt thinking "I'll do that later."  It's this instant 'click' of "I feel good."  During the winter I rarely get that, even if I try to change my diet, put myself on an exercise routine or force myself to do stuff. I know when I'm not feeling well.

So I'm not looking forward to winter.  I don't look forward to going through the next few months in a haze because my mind just sort of fogs over and suddenly I don't have the energy to do anything.  But for now, I suppose, I'll relax in the fact that even though the snow came down yesterday, it's sunny and bright today and I'm getting some things accomplished.  I painted a chalkboard back splash in my kitchen that I'm waiting to cure before I draw on it, and I'm looking forward to getting the house cleaned up for Thanksgiving.  These things will keep me going until the winter months overtake me.
  • Listening to: Bastille
  • Reading: Something Wicked this way Comes
  • Drinking: Love Potion #9
It's that moment, the one where you say, "Okay, I'm going to DO THIS." 

It could be for drawing something, writing something, cleaning the house, doing a chore, going to work - whatever it might be that you've been putting off for awhile, and yet, suddenly it's occurred to you that you can't hold off on it any longer.  The strange thing, though, much of the time that perfect calmness overcomes you and your fear of doing that THING, usually happens when it's the least convenient time to do so.  Or perhaps the stars just didn't line up right so even if you wanted to do it, you can't.

Case in point, me getting around to taking my car to check the brakes today.  

Okay, and here you thought I was procrastinating doing something like drawing?  Nah, although I have been procrastinating that too, somewhat, because I do have a few things on my plate that I have to get done within a month, but they aren't even as important as the fact that I really needed to take my car in to get the brakes checked because they've been doing this creaking, squeaking thing for like, all summer.  They seem to work just fine, but today it was even louder than in the past, so I thought, "Okay, I'm going to DO THIS."  So I drove over to the place where I had a coupon and it's pretty empty, one car in the garage, guy's out front just playing with cutting up bushes, so they must need something to do...right?

WRONG.  Get into the place and only the guy taking care of the one car comes over and he's like, "Do you have an appointment?"

"No...." 

"Well, let me see when I can get you in."  Types away at the keyboard a bit, "Three o'clock okay?"

"Sure...fine."

So now I'm FORCED to procrastinate and all I can think about now is that I have to be at that stupid appointment so I can WAIT for my car until 3pm.  Sure, I have other things to be doing now, but every few minutes I look at that blasted clock again and thinking, "Only two hours left..."  Or something like that.  It's driving me crazy!  I got up EARLY this morning to get there before the place got busy and it was all for nothing!  ARG!

Now I'm procrastinating the other things I was supposed to do after getting my brakes looked at so I could really get into it without the stress of needing to be somewhere else.

And it makes me wonder if there's some cosmic reason I shouldn't have taken them in today.  Like, maybe it should be next week?  Wouldn't it make more sense for the stars to have lined up this morning?  Why didn't they, I wonder?  What is the reasoning?  I'm not sure.  I do believe that things like this always happen for a reason, but what that reason is...I just don't know.
  • Listening to: Bastille
  • Reading: Vampire Hunter D
  • Watching: WATAMOTE
  • Eating: Chips & Salsa
  • Drinking: Milk
I was thinking to myself this afternoon that I'm not a really good artist.  

There, I said it.  I've had a few drawings here and there that have really blown me away, but they come very far and few between.  I'm sure just looking at my gallery that you'll know what I'm talking about.  If I'm drawing on a regular basis, there might be a few that come out and are just - WOW!  But I don't have the time to spend on them that I used to.  I think I've mentioned this before, I'm not happy with my drawings as a whole because I know I could do better, but even at my best, others do soooo much better than me that I tend to get discouraged.

So then maybe I'll turn to painting, but same thing exists there.  I see what someone else has painted and I can't compare.  But, then again, I do enjoy doing figure painting and small models, and even though there are people who are good at that, I do a fairly reasonable job, so I'm at least content with my talent there.  I don't do a whole lot of it obviously, again, it's time consuming and I don't have as much time as I used to.

Then there's my photography.  You've seen quite a bit of it over the last few years just because I have more time to take pictures then I do to draw pictures.  I hope I haven't lost too many followers because I've switched from doing strictly anime stuff to trying to branch out to other things.  I've been featuring some of my photography on my own personal blog, so check that out if you're interested.  I tend to ramble on a bunch more in my blog than I do even here (if you can believe it!)  And I have breakdowns of certain "pony" projects as well as household stuff that I do if you're into that sort of thing.

I've tried not to stick entirely to photography, even though I do know there are so many photographers on dA...and so many more that are better than me.  I crack that up to the fact that I take most of my photos on a little 12.1 mega pixel camera as opposed to a DSLR or some other fancy and expensive camera.  That's my choice...plus I'm sort of cheap.  ^_^;  Heck, I don't even have a smart phone, so I don't post photos from my phone... you wouldn't want to see those anyway, I think it's like 2 megapixels or something.  Hah!  

But I will say, that I'm a fairly competent amateur photographer.  I'll print out my photos and hang them on the wall and if I don't get tired of looking at them after awhile, I figure that's worth something.  So I hope you'll be just as willing to look at my photos from time to time as well.  If you're interested in buying one, I'd love it!  But you can also save them and use them as desktops too, and I hope you'll enjoy what I post, whatever it is, in the upcoming months.
  • Listening to: Imagine Dragons
  • Reading: Catfantastic
  • Watching: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
For those of you who have watched me throughout the years, I'm sure you've noticed quite a few changes in my likes.  I suppose it's okay, everyone goes on from one thing to another throughout the years.  I started with my love of all things Trigun, to now a love of most things Pony.  I'm sorry to anyone who wanted it to stay all things Trigun because it's hard to keep up a like of something when there's nothing new and fresh.  It's one of my theories behind the complete influx of all things Pony lately because it's new, because anime stuff was dwindling in the stores and all the other shows seem to be on repeat (or at least it seems like nothing new was happening in them even if they were coming out with new episodes).  I think it also helps that most fans of the anime and cartoon franchises like NEW.  You hit up the anime franchise and you can get your new stuff from Japan or online much faster than you can get it from the American or any other countries' counterparts.  So, what do we have to look forward to?  Something new from the USA that is delivered most every week on Saturday mornings.  And then stores like HotTopic jumping on the bandwagon pretty quick to bring out new merchandise.

Anyway, this journal entry is not supposed to be just about ponies, because it really isn't.  It's about the fact that changes do occur and things will change, and I know that eventually the pony thing will also fade and I'll get sucked into something else.  If you're along for the ride, I'm glad to have you here!  I'm still going to be posting my photography, which is something I dabble with a lot but truly enjoy.  I will also post whatever finished artwork I put up here, whatever it may be.  I'll still put my painting projects up here and other cosplay stuff too.  That isn't going to change.  The frequency that I put stuff on here has changed already.  I work full time now, have a house and I'm married...so all things that take away from the art I used to post on a regular basis.  That's just how it goes.

I may even be changing my avatar here in the near future.  Although, don't think for a second it'll be anything other than MillyT because that's sort of who I am, and I like it that way.  I'm still a big fan of anime and I still love all things childish and sweet and cute and fluffy and awesome action.  And I'm still watching everyone who I started watching.  I don't always comment like I used to, but I still look through every single piece that's posted and sometimes I save them, sometimes I fave them and sometimes I comment. And I hope everyone will continue to persevere and continue to do artwork that everyone can enjoy.... especially me.  ^_^
  • Listening to: Alex Clare
  • Watching: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
I came up with this great idea for our convention, swapping buttons.  But in order to do such a thing we have to have a pretty big repertoire of buttons to choose from, especially those that are for specific people.  So I put the call out to all of the Tsubasacon staff members to give me an idea for their personal button.  Some of them created their own artwork, others have given me a specific design, and yet others just gave me a vague sentiment that they wanted conveyed on their button (eg. something that's robotic but says 'Marshall')  LOL  

So, by accident I've sort of been thrust into doing a bunch of commissions for the staff members.  This isn't something I'm getting paid for, rather I figure it's kind of my own way of paying the staff members for being awesome and working for Tsubasacon.  They don't get paid in cash, only badges, a shared hotel room, and a dinner or two for meetings.  It's hard work being devoted to something for a year, then working really hard for three days, only to have to start all over again!

So, over the next few months, you'll probably be seeing some of the random artwork that I'll be doing for the buttons.  You won't see them in the final button form, so no one can just make the buttons themselves out there, but you will see various forms that I'll have worked on up to the finished product.

You'll probably also be seeing commissioned blind bag ponies, because, after all, I like working in three dimensional figures than I do flat drawings.  I've got a fairly good surplus now of various blind bags that I can repaint to order, I don't add to the pony, but if a bit of carving is needed, I will handle that.  Depending on the time it takes to do each pony the charge will be around $15 a piece and that will include shipping.  Before I start any design there will be a discussion of how much it will cost, etc.  You'll also get a picture of it to look at before I send it.  I won't be doing a lot of these, but if you're interested, and you already have a pony design (I'd rather look at something than have a paragraph description) then I'll be happy to talk.

Hope you all enjoy what's to come!
  • Listening to: Jason Mraz
  • Watching: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
I don't always remember to say it, but "Thank you!"

If you've stopped by my page before, or this is your first time - thank you for looking.

I hope you like what you see!
  • Reading: Fair Peril
  • Watching: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
I've spent the last few weeks hunting for that ever elusive treasure.  Well...it all started with August really.  I blame the fact that I like My Little Ponies, the fact that I work far too many hours a week at my retail job, and spend very little time doing anything creative, anything for ME, anymore.  Even today it felt like something of a waste of time once my initial score was had.  I just wanted to create a brand new cosplay...something different and something that I could scrounge up, but to my dismay, it wasn't to be had.

But I hunted anyway.

Last week I visited every single Toys R Us in the area, and came up with none of the new ponies that people were saying they were spotting.  So, instead of giving up my hunt, I ended up continuing it this morning.  I've never had a nervous excitement in my TEETH before, but I did this morning as I wandered the TRU.  I've discovered, after a few weeks of hunting now, that they get new shipments on Wednesday, so I puttered past the different pallets of boxes that they had sitting out in the back aisle, waiting to be stocked.  The Hasbro toys are pretty obviously labeled purple and I started looking at the fine print on the boxes until I noticed a stack that had a few with MLP on the side of them, and suddenly... ZECORA!  I was so giddy at that point that I started looking around for an employee to come open the box for me...

Then it started to sink in that I'm a grown woman with a Fluttershy shirt on, wandering a TRU and wanting to get into a pony box... so when the coast was clear I pulled the tape off the box and pulled a Zecora from the pack of 6-8 that were in there and then turned on my heel and walked away, holding it against my body.  My TEETH tingled, I was so excited and light headed.  And yet...felt ridiculous.

I spent the next 15 minutes cruising all of the stacks to see if any of the other boxes had anything to do with MLP of them...there was one Celebration box (minis with silly accessories) but other than that, I still couldn't find the 'fan favorite' pack that I'm looking for.

Okay...so, the rest of the afternoon I spent trying to find an outfit that Twilight Sparkle would wear.  I bought the ears and horn back during Anime Central and then just ordered the wig online the other day (it came in the mail after I came home) and I've been toying around with an old purple dress I had that I'm going to wear to the masquerade ball at Tsubasacon...  But nothing just 'normal' and yet, I'd like something that would look fairly cartoony as well.  Wandered around for two hours in and out of different stores with not much luck at all.

So...now I'm going to go back to painting up the dress that I bought more paint for.  If nothing else, I'll paint this sucker up to look like something out of a cartoon if it's the last thing I do today.
  • Reading: Fair Peril
  • Watching: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Over the last few months of perusing the various fanart that's come of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I've been quite amazed at how easily they are humanized.  Their expressions, hairstyles, colors, emotions and mannerisms lend themselves so well to the human form that it's so natural to see a human cosplaying a pony.  It's also natural to see them drawn as humans.  Obviously each pony has one of six attributes of "Moe" (Japanese for sexy cute usually) and I wouldn't be surprised if Japan is just as on the boat with doing doujinshi as the rest of us Americans and Europeans and heck...a whole lot of countries are.

At first I thought the whole pony thing was just a fad due to it's unusual nature.  But then I started looking at those people who are My Little Pony fans.  I'd say nine times out of ten (okay, maybe eight) fans of the series probably like anime and other cartoons too.  Most fans I've met are actually anime fans first and then pony fans second.  A few I've met were hooked by friends.  A very few are hooked because their daughters watch it too.  Then there's a small sect who liked MLP before the FIM incarnation and are still fans of it now...  I fall into somewhat of a blurry category because I liked the series way back, but also like it now, but way more now because it has the anime feel that I've grown to love over the years.

I'm just glad that someone finally thought 'hey, maybe we should take something cheesy and do something cool with it'.  The last few series that were taken from my childhood have just sucked.  The CGI ones especially...I don't know why they think that using computer 3D models of everything is going to make things better...  I'm sorry but I grew up with 2D and that's fine with me!

Anyway, I'm also pleased that a few people liked my Derpy shirt idea.  I'm thinking about doing more things like it as my older shirts wear out and I want to breathe some new life to them (I have a pink one that's just screaming for Pinkie's cutie mark).  I'm also hoping to try out this new iron-on-transfer paint that just came in at the local craft store.  Paint it on regular paper, let it dry, then iron it on any shirt and it's supposed to transfer...Which means using print out pages, color them in and transfer them over...sounds like fun to me.

And I want to thank everyone out there who's reading this who's putting up with my pony stuff even when I used to be a devoted Trigun fan.  ^_^  I still love Trigun, but I think there's a room for a little bit of everything!
  • Reading: Fair Peril
  • Watching: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
This weekend in Huntington on Saturday I'll be attending the Natsu No Tsubasacon (Summer of Tsubasacon / Tsubasacon's Summer) picnic.  Check out the Facebook page for more information...

Anyway, after there was a small, unofficial event last year for Tsubasacon cosplayers, we decided to do an 'official' event which will include something of a potluck, a charity drive, a cosplay contest, and we'll be showing movies and doing a few other things.  I'm in charge of bring a few different merchandise things and I made up brand new buttons for the event.  Unfortunately we ran out of button making supplies...so we'll have to order more before the convention takes place in October.  I didn't do any new artwork for them, rather I took other's artwork and put backgrounds to them, designs, etc.  I'm rather enjoying doing the actual graphic design bit when I don't have to contribute to the artwork...don't know why that is, maybe I'm just in a lazy mood lately.

Started work on the first batch of repaints of the pony blind bags.  Finally broke down and bought the good primer stuff for plastics so I won't have to put so much effort into multiple coats of paint.  Plus...no worries about paint scratching off because this stuff is meant to stick to plastic.  I had a hard time trying to figure out what to buy while I was at the hobby shop, because I didn't want to go too overboard, but I was hoping to have a couple different ponies painted up before I go to the summer picnic.  Just to have little mascot pony buddies with me.  ^_^  I wish I had the opportunity to give myself a table at Tsubasacon again like I did in the past and then maybe I'd do more.  Hrm...speaking of which though, I was considering doing a Mitsuki version of a pony, much like my drawing I did last year.  That might be cute come to think of it... hmm.

Anyway, if anyone's free on Saturday the 16th near Huntington, WV, come on over and spend some time with us!
  • Reading: Morganville Vampires
  • Watching: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
I think I've managed to discourage myself after a few people said something about wanting Derpy...no one really did, so I went out and bought a few blind bags for pretty much nothing...  Ah well.  I guess I'll just paint them up as some other types of ponies perhaps.  There are a few background ponies I've been interested in lately so perhaps I'll work on a couple of those.  It's an idea anyway.

Life as an artist hasn't been very artsy as of late.  I spend much of my time at work and trying to get in a few things that doesn't include housework is oftentimes very hard to do.  This week I'll be working on some buttons for the "Summer of Tsubasacon" picnic that will be held in Huntington this weekend.  Perhaps I'll bring a couple of ponies and see if anyone's interested in buying them.  Don't know...it's going to be a strange weekend all in all since I know I'll have to rush back home on Saturday night after the picnic to get some sleep before work the next day.  Being an artist...well, I know why artists 'starve' because if you aren't working full time you don't always have money to make ends meet, and if you are working enough then you're starving for time to do art!!  ^_^  Maybe that's the reason I never went all out for the art thing and it's kind of just a side hobby for me.

Just a thought.

Well whatever.
  • Reading: Morganville Vampires
  • Watching: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic