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I have been quiet these last few months huh. I have been quite busy with all sorts of things, part of which are new artworks. I'm planning a photo shoot soon so expect lots of new things in the weeks to come :)
And in the mean time, I've created a Instragram account just to posts works in progress :D

One of the things I'm working on is aquarium decorations. So I have this aquarium for years already and for quite some time I thought it would be neat to make my own decorations for it, cause let's face it, what you see in the stores is kinda generic. The only thing stopping me was the fact that no one seems to have any experience in aquarium deco made out of polymer clay. There's quite some doubt whether this is a safe material to use so no one tests it.

In my experience it's not so much the water (and fish) that are in danger of the clay but rather the other way round. I have made floating polymer clay fish in the past, to decorate a fish free pond and after a while the colours have faded a bit and the texture of the surface has gotten kinda weird. I also have a Halloween decoration I put in a potted plant every year and the bottom of it, that is in constant contact with the soil, is showing the same traits as the clay fish. So while cure polymer can take a bit of water now and again, constant submerging isn't good for it.

The solution? Epoxy resin, the kind they use to waterproof boats and make DIY aquarium backgrounds with. It's safe to put in a fish tank and it can also be used on polymer clay, many artists use it to create jewellery with it for its glass like finish (though that shine disappears underneath water, which is a good thing imo).

So I've made myself 2 decorations and I made one for my sister's tank and one for my father's and then a 5th one for funsies (I'll be putting it in a pond to test under sunlight. The epoxy has an UV-blocker in it to stop the resin from yellowing). We're just gonna let them sit in those tanks to see it the colours stay nice and if they will be easy to clean and such (algae is a common occurrence in aquaria). If yes then I will be adding this line to my Etsy Store for sure, cuz they are so cool!
I have in fact been busy with my clay again these past few weeks. As I really want to start selling my stuff I need to get the pictures just right for a webshop, which is why I haven't submitted anything yet. But things are coming, I promise :)
I have been busy, with creative business no less, just not artwork and the likes. I recently moved to a different webhost, in order to get more space for less cash, which meant that I could finally host all my photos on my photo site which meant I had to actually update it and all (I had more photos from 2013 than I thought. I sure like going to the zoo). And then I felt I should also update my portfolio site and as I'd started redoing the Tirn Aill comic that whole site really needed a good make over as well and maybe I should finally do the Dutch version of it cause I am Dutch after all and well, that all took time. But I am done for now. In the meantime the Tirn Aill domain is being redirected to a subdomain from my personal domain (again to save on cash and for the time being I have more webspace than I know what to do with anyway) so it no longer has its own webspace but the URL still works.

So you can have a look if you like at for my personal sites, or or for the Dutch version of the comic, there is stuff to be found on those sites I don't post here (as there is stuff I post here that cannot be found on my sites, at least until I make another website).

And for now I'm going to try and get back into the manual artwork part of the comic. :)
One month into the new year, I guess it's time to start creating again. I do have a lot of ideas and things I want to do, I just need a kickstarter really.

Luckily I still have a bunch of ATCs I did last summer I hadn't uploaded yet plus a few I made for Christmas (to be sent as cards), so why not start with that :)
I have a comic. Or better I and Migirik have comic, one we've been calling Tirn Aill (Celtic for 'the other world' (meaning fairy world) which seemed suitable as it's about both elves and a different planet). We wrote it together, designed it together, drew for it together, though I did the inking and everything that came after it.
One way or another we'd been working on TA since we were young teens and eventually we managed to get halfway part 4 of our story (to be 8 parts, each part containing 36 pages), plus a prequel sort of story of 48 pages I and Tamara-Hawk concocted, before it all came to a grinding halt.

We've always had our problems with Tirn Aill, my friend having a very busy life, first with medical school, then the job and now she's even married, has a young child and has emigrated, which does kinda make meeting up for an afternoon quite impossible rather than the incredibly tricky it was before.
For me it was more internal factors that stopped me from having a good work ethic when the comic was concerned. Truth be told, more often than not I simply didn't really like working on the actual pages. I loved the writing of the story and planning of the lay-out and coming up with the jokes. I had no problem with the drawing part of it, nor the scanning, editing and making the lot ready for uploading (something we started with a little after the turn of the century). It was most of all the inking that bothered me (there were other factors but I could say inking was the main one). I (we) always envisioned the comic to be in colour but due to lack of time we kept things black and white so we could update regularly and that meant making more of the inking than I felt comfortable with. My strength has always been colour plus my way of inking (with pens) is quite tough on my hand. Two reasons to kinda dislike that task.

But I will admit, it hasn't set well with me, the halting of our comic. While my DeviantART gallery does show I have been productive with many different things over the last few years, the comic has always been nagging at me in the back of my head. I just didn't really know what to do about it. Until I started doing those ATCs this summer. It really brought back to me the fun I'd always felt when working with markers and I even extended my sets with quite a few new colours (I have both Letraset Pantone markers as their new Promakers plus markers by Copic). I also like how with ATCs I just worked on one small picture at the time, sketching it, giving it a thin ink line, colouring it and fattening up the ink line (as that has become part of my style), before going on to the next one. It just lacks the monotony I feel with large pieces only done in ink, like the comic pages. And that made me wonder, what if I do the pages just like those ATCs?

As it happens, part 1 of the story only contains my artwork (part 2 is mostly by Migirik and after that our characters come together and it's about 50%-50%) so I can easily redo this part without needing my friend for it and redoing is what I really want to do. It has taken me a long time to finish that part way back when so there is a lot of inconsistency in it besides the lack of colour. Looking at it afresh I also see things in the storytelling that could be better, more clear and fluid or just interesting. So I've made the decision to indeed redo part one (and so far I'm enjoying myself) and also to post those pages here (as the website could do with a make-over as well) together with links to the old pages for comparison. For now I haven't set myself a deadline (working in colour isn't exactly fast, though I do eliminate quite a bit of ink work), just a promise to work on it every week and every day if I can manage it (be it half a page or just one panel, or the scanning and editing of finished pages as I have been doing for the past couple of evenings), and I want to update the pages whenever a scene is finished, that just seems right to me.

So, that is one thing you can expect from me, art wise, for the next period :)
These past couple of weeks I've been busying myself with new ATCs, most of which will be available for a trade. This time no series of sorts, I've just used random subjects and ideas, a lot of which I borrowed from prompts on the Sketch Fest site. 

I'll be adding about 2-3 cards every day, hope you'll like them :)
So I jumped on that bandwagon called ATCs. I don't know how much of a hobby I going to make it as I have plenty of other stuff I like to do, provided I'm not in one of my creative slumps (plus if I'm in the mood I tend to have phases; I can really get into something but I will always become bored after a while so then I have to start something else and so on and so on). But most of my projects tend to be on the big side and I feel these ATCs is a great way of doing something small that can be finished in a relatively short time and that doesn't need so much material (1 piece of paper, drawing and colouring tools plus my computer for references and my computer space is also my drawing space AND my "home theatre space" so I can just do these where I was sitting anyway).

As I couldn't really come up with anything on the top of my head I decided to just draw from nature then and I started with my leopard gecko. Even though my amount of photos of him are nowhere near as much as say my dogs or cat so I actually went on and used some stuff I found online as well.
Either way I have a nice little collection of 6 now and 4 more to come (see my scrapbook for the sketches of those…) and after that I'm gonna choose a different subject (my sister's late chameleon :D).

Now ATC stands for Artist TRADING Card so yeah, I guess I should trade them, I just need to read up a little more on the dos and don'ts and probably join some groups here. I'm an ATC newbie still. Either way, apart from ATC - Leopard gecko 1 all are available at this point in time so if you like a card you can always say 'yo!' and give me a link to your work to see if it appeals to me.
So I just flooded the place with  jewelry I made, sorry about that ;)

These are all things I've made in the past, mostly for myself (I don't have a jewelry box, I have a jewelry drawer). Made loads more, mostly sold those or gifted them, without thinking about scanning them (much clearer than photography I've found), but I reckon the new folder I made here is full enough to give you an impression of one of my other creative outlets :)
I've just realized it's been a while since I last updated this journal. It's also been a while (though not as much) since I last updated something new here, so I decided to start... with something I created last year *grin*

I do actually have a whole list of ideas I wanted to create last year but didn't get around to because other stuff just kept cropping up and my mood had kinda faded away after a while anyway. When I start working with a medium I really get into 'the zone' and I just want to work on nothing else until I get bored and want to do something else. Unfortunately that something else wasn't a creative one so apart from the Crazy Christmas Card I haven't got anything to show for that period of time. I have actually been productive again these last few weeks, with knitting patterns (I can't knit but my mother can and she can't make patterns so I don't feel bad with lading her with a whole bunch of knitting projects ;)), which isn't really something to show here either. I mean, it's not very artsy (though the end result might be counted as that but then it's not by my hand so I'll just have to put them up at Ravelry or something).

But I will start on new art soon, I just have way too many ideas (and supplies) not to. For instance, I have the ideas and materials for 3 new coloured bottles series (a several bottles I'm still thinking about) plus I want to make a new background for my terrarium (I have a leopard gecko). I actually took out the old decorations last year and then my gecko went into an early hibernation and I have been staring at this empty tank for months now :P

So hopefully in the next month or so I will have something new to update again on a regular basis :)
So I've uploaded just about all I made last year, it's time to start with the things I've made and will make this year.

I'm starting with several techniques that can be turned into jewelry and I thought it would be nice to write small tutorials, in case anyone will want to try them out themselves. So if anything doesn't seem clear enough, just tell me and I will try to make it more clearly.

I've also purchased some new materials such as metal paints (actual ground metal powder solutions) and rust patinas with which I've done fun experiments.

Plus I covered up a bunch of lovely shaped and sometimes coloured bottles, all of which I will be uploading over the next days :)
I've been creating lots of stuff with polymer clay again but before I start uploading photos of that I should really post photos of the things I made last year but sorta forgot about (it starts with just putting it off because of some other priorities). I do like to keep some sort of chronological order if possible.

I'm not going to submit the whole bunch in one go, gonna try to keep it to 2-3 per day, as not to overload your inbox ;) But one thing I do really want to draw your attention to is something I'm currently working on. I've decided to try my hand at doll making again, this time doing things a bit different as following my how-to books have never completely worked for me. And lo and behold, my first attempt is actually successful. I've put some photos in my scrapbook as the head is far from finished, but I still would like some comments on it, perhaps some tips while I can still implement them like making the little gully or whatever under the nose less deep, which is more noticeable on screen (note she will be completely painted over, I just filled in the eyes and such to get rid of the blank stare). I finally feel that I'm on the right track (she even looks like how I draw, though perhaps not with eyes that droopy) so any input is appreciated.

Anyhoo, expect lots of new and newer stuff over the next week or so :)
Looking at the water colour backgrounds I've got left I can't do it. Come up with more dream scenes that is. I get several ideas, but nothing dreamlike. So I'm gonna forget about the idea and just draw what comes to mind, at least I'm drawing something again :)
After having done a makeover of the entire Igor tribe I feel it is time to update my portfolio, you know, the kind that should hopefully land me freelance illustration jobs and such. It's got plenty of good computer stuff but is rather lacking in the manual stuff so I'm going to concentrate of inking, pencil drawings and marker and coloured pencil colouring. Which of course I will put online here as well :)
Mine is a plank with a cushion underneath it filled with little styrophoam balls. I also use it for things other than drawing :)

I have been in a bit of a rut lately so when I got the news that the ElfQuest Fanart Calendar was going to be a biggie (a week planner instead of a month) with the wonderful theme Pin-Up (no backgrounds, just sexy poses, clothing scantily) I decided to give it a go, just to get back in the swing of things (I rarily draw EQ characters. When discovering the comic (age 11 I think) I wanted to learn from Wendy Pini's style but pretty much straight away make up my own characters and stories). To make it even more a blast from the past I decided to do the colouring by hand, with markers (I own a lot, but haven't used them in years. Luckily all still seem to be working fine or could be refilled as I have a good stash of ink bottles for the colours I use to use the most, you know, skin tones and such).

Unfortunately I can't actually show you my entries just yet, it's one of the rules. I did my best, am happy with my artwork, so you're just gonna have to believe it looks good ;)
Of course, like I said, the goal was get to get back in the swing of things, so yesterday I've made a drawing of one of my own characters and I plan to do a few more, mostly of characters I haven't drawn a lot, see if they could be made a bit more interesting.
I've decided to try snapping a few shots of some of my dragons inside my bathroom, like I do whenever I've created something glow-in-the-dark of with a candle inside it. My bathroom has a fairly decent light and the walls and ceiling are white so colours of objects aren't distorted too much. I do need a somewhat long exposure and my mini-tripod, but first try-outs seem to be succesful. I reckon this will just have to do as my photo studio when it comes to getting sharp and clear shots of my clay projects. Expect to see new submissions over the next few days and lots of them. I have a whole stash of items that that have been waiting to be presented.
I've been making many more polymer sculptures and such but I have also been thinking about a design for my own webshop. So for the past few days I've left the clay for what it was and have taken up manual and digital pens. And I have to say, though it feels good to post something other than polymer objects, I haven't missed the inking.
I'm still in a creative polymer clay mood and have made many things since a near 1½ weeks ago when :icontamara-hawk: came over to test out my how-to books by Christine Friesen (I had gotten the dragon and the sea creatures books). However, all those things still need to be photographed properly (damn this bleak winter light) so the first thing I'm posting is something very different, a Japanese inro, once to be worn with a kimino (as they have no pockets), which I had to photograph yesterday as I was giving it away today.

I love boxes. Especially small ones. I loves small glasses and pots and any type of mini container. So you can understand how these lovely decorated inros can appeal to me :)
I'm in a Fimo-clay mood and Halloween is my first victim ;)

I'll be uploading several things and then I'm going to focus my attention to Christmas. And after that I should really do some drawing again.
I've been featured!…

Which was a very nice surprise. I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately. Exhaustion, dust-allergy, a sore tooth combined with a fungal infection of the mouth and face (believe me, it's not pretty, like a collagen filler gone bad :P), all of which has made me feel rather blah. I'm still not recovered completey, but the medication seems to be working. I'm hoping I can get a little bit creative again soon. I have the ideas, just not the energy at the moment. So nice surprises are a good cheer-up.
  • Listening to: Dance Mix
  • Watching: Charmed
  • Eating: Stuff that is mashed
  • Drinking: Things that aren't too cold
I'm finally done with all the 12 pictures for the calendar. I've just posted August and replaced the 'old-style' coloured versions for the new ones *does a silent cheer as not to wake up the rest of the household*.

Apart from single prints I'm also going to make use of the calendar prints Deviant Art has to offer (a reason why I wanted to finish this project before December), though I reckon I'm simply going to print the birthday-calendar version myself for those in my direct vicinity (I've had requests ;)

I've decided to use the January picture for this year's Christmas cards, so I'm done there as well.

And now I'm going to try to think up something dark, cool and/or gruesome I think.
  • Listening to: All sorts
  • Watching: M.A.S.H