May 2023 Newsletter


There is a new t-shirt available in my TeePublic shop today!

It comes in a few cute colors and shirt styles, including youth sizes! Check it out HERE!


In case you missed it, here are the comics from April!

Comic #54

Comic #55


If you recall from last month, I decided that this year I want to focus on my comic strip, anime-style and cartoon illustrations… as well as sketching characters and backgrounds…

In my April update, I had the goal of making a new illustration AND a t-shirt! (ambitious!). I technically got it done, but only just barely!

I had the Grumpy Weather idea for a little bit, but I didn’t really start working on it until Friday last week, and finished it just yesterday! Oops!

For the illustration, early in April I started a drawing of a building in Vietnam that I found while just clicking around Google Maps. I drew it in my sketchbook first, in pencil then ink. I really enjoyed working in my sketchbook on a more intricate drawing. I then uploaded it to Procreate. I ended up re-inking it, just for fun again, then colored it digitally. Then re-inked it again again with a different brush, and colored it two more times. OOF.

The first color was sticking pretty true to the reference, but it was just okay I thought.

I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do differently on second color attempt, so eventually I just kinda lost it and scribbled with a whole bunch of brushes and settings, and the result was an abstract version that I kinda liked.

The last attempt is probably most “my style” and fittingly my favorite right now. The colors are more fun like the 2nd but are much more tidy like the 1st. I think sometimes it can feel a little boring for me to do things that way I always do them in my art; so it was interesting to shake things up, and ultimately return to my traditional approach with new appreciation.

I certainly didn’t think the piece would be all I worked on this last month, but here we are…

I guess too, I’ve been feeling a little stuck lately. I still haven’t been sketching otherwise. And I don’t know — on the one hand, I think having a focus for my work has been good to keep me from like, starting over as an oil painter or something. I like working in illustration. My work feels consistent. But on the other hand, I think I’m struggling with coming up with exciting ideas in that space, or that I want to work on. And I don’t seem to be doing much character design work at all. Is that because I don’t enjoy it? Or because I don’t think I’m good at it?

I hope it’s just the latter. It just means I need to do more practice. If it’s the former, I don’t know what the means. Especially as someone who likes to make illustrations that need characters to make the narrative…

But I also think it might be okay to admit that not everything I make needs a character either.

I don’t think anyone is expecting me to make the same art over and over again. It’s easy to fall into that way of thinking — there are so many talented artists I admire that are really good at doing their thing. That can be cute doodles, fantastic narrative scenes, glowing character portraits, etc… But I guess it’s okay that my thing is just doing whatever I want. And it changes. A LOT.

I mean, wasn’t I saying last time I tried “kawaii-style” cartoons that I just didn’t think it was for me? And yet, that Grumpy Weather shirt looks pretty dang kawaii, and I really liked working on it…

But maybe that’s okay.

Maybe I’m just focused on drawing what I enjoy.

So for May…

Weirdly my biggest mental hurdle is with cartoon characters. I actually really want to work on an anime-style character illustration this month. I think that could be a lot of fun, so that’s what I’m going to explore!

I also have a landscape idea that I’m working on as well. Something where I can build a rich environment but maybe not have to worry about a character either.

Working on both might be a good balance. And then maybe, just maybe, I work on cartooning in my sketchbook and building that practice. Again. I’m sure once it starts to feel a bit more intuitive it will start feeling more fun too. Hopefully. I just have to keep putting in the work to get there.

I guess it’s time to draw!

Thanks for reading!

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