October 25, 2013

Accidentally Making Something Awesome

Every once in a while, I accidentally make something other people want. And when I say accidentally, I mean accidentally.

The other day, while working on my cosplay for Youmacon, I suddenly had this great idea. An idea for a picture I'd like on my wall!

I wanted to make a "vintage war-time poster" for Sailor Moon. The idea I had was in kind of a "let's unite to fight evil!" propaganda poster, but I wanted to have the lyrics for the theme song as the background. because I thought it'd be a nice homage. And if I did it correctly, it'd look splendid!

Then my need for this poster became so great, I sat down for a full day and belted this thing out. Then, because I like to share my artwork online, I posted it.

And suddenly the internet exploded.

Apparently a lot of OTHER people also liked the design. Who was I to know? So I'm going to work on getting a good chunk of prints available for the show. Curious how it turned out? Here you go:

So the moral of the story is, it doesn't necessarily hurt to put something online you like that you made. You never know when other people will like it too, and possibly you'll have a new product on your hands...

October 23, 2013

Youmacon Rush

Hey everybody! It's that time of the year again, that's right, it's YOOOOOUUUUMAAACOOOOOON!

So naturally, I'm busy getting all my stuff ready for the Artist Alley this time around (and a costume). For those keeping score, no, I did not vend at Youmacon last year when they first moved some stuff into the Cobo center. Which turned out to be for the better. A lot of the show last year was a major disaster, and a lot of it was out of the hands of the average staffer. Sometimes you just gotta follow your gut feeling, no? Well I decided to give the show one more try.

"But Karmada!" you cry, "If it was so bad last year why are you going again?"

I have a personal policy when it comes to conventions and shows that if I have a bad year business-wise or show-wise, I look back at what went wrong and categorize it. Was it something I could have avoided (Forgetting a cash box, accidentally ripping prints, what have you)? Or was it something the convention did I had no control over (booth location, crowd demeanor, etc)?

If it was the former, then welp, that's my bad, and I work on not having that happen again at the next one. If it's the second one, I then turn to the convention's websites and forums. There's usually a feedback thread somewhere on the forums, and there attendees will leave feedback for better or ill. I'll watch how the staff deals with the attendees, and I'll keep an eye on updates on the convention as the months go by.

If the convention appears to have acknowledged the problems and are working to fix them, I'll give them a "probation" year to see if vending there is still worth my time (as long as it was a show I broke even/got close to breaking even).

This is why I have been vending at Anime Central now for over 6 years. While the show itself may bug me (I don't like the big giant rave(s)), the Artist Alley staff department head is one of the most wonderful convention staffers I've worked with, and they actually listen to what we're saying. When we had a terrible set up, we told them, and they fixed it. They even sent us a survey! But enough about Anime Central, this is about YOUMACON!


This year, according to web sources, a lot more events, panels, and somesuch like things are taking place over in the Cobo Center. Weekend People Mover Passes will be available! Registration is in the Cobo Center! Artists Alley will now be side-by-side with the dealers, which is really the best we could probably hope for with this convention, and I won't complain. As long as we're not hidden in the back, you know?

All of these changes gave me some hope, so come see Crash Bang Labs over in the Vendor's Hall this year! I have some new prints on their way to me, so here's hoping they get in on time.

Also, to kick off the holiday buying season, I'll have a handful of special products on hand! Yes, those products I don't want to make anymore:

I was going through my booth stock, and found I had a handful of Pokemon Badge sets still around, but I didn't have any boxes left! OH NOES. So I went to work, and created some custom packaging for these particular sets. This is ALL I HAVE. I am working on some sets for the holiday season (barring if I can figure out how to order boxes now that they've changed their site), but for conventions, THIS IS IT.

While I'm trying to avoid having to make a ton of these, I at least wanted to give some people an affordable version ($5 less than the boxed pretty ones!).

If they do well, I may sell some unboxed ones during the holiday season as well. But we'll see. :-/

Meanwhile, I've gotten completely sidetracked on Inktober due to convention prep (and I think these monthly things need to let us have weekends off! That's what I'm doing next time). But I have, however, completely fallen in love with inking things.

Why yes, I have been playing FF XIV, why do you ask?

I've been feeling a little under the weather mentally, so here's hoping maybe the show will help uplift my spirits, but until then it's gonna be a little quiet here at the Labs until I finish this costume. :)

October 14, 2013

Kicking it into high gear

Hey guys! I'm just going to have a short post here for y'all today. With Youmacon approaching, I have both sewing and drawing I am working on taking care of.

I will continue to try to update with what's been going on and what I've been working on, but honestly, you'll get faster updates if you follow the facebook page. It's much faster for me to scan an upload an image there, rather than here. (Here I feel like I need to make a whole bunch of words around it!)

ANYWAY! I wanted to let you all know the projects I am buckling down on and starting to work on!

1.) Inktober! 

YES! It's still going, I promise! However, I'm doing this my own way. That whole "ink a picture a day" is an awesome idea, but gawd if it isn't cumbersome. There's no reason why I can't take a break, so I've decided I'm working on inks during the week, and leaving the weekend for fun.

...this may or may not be directly related to me having Final Fantasy XIV. I honestly only play after my daily work has been done. Which is pretty much a herculean feat, since I work at home. But at least it's giving me something new to doodle!

2.) Tangerine Wings

This is currently on hold until after Youmacon. The third issue I'm hoping to have started in November, so I can get it ready for the beginning of the year, and HOPEFULLY have myself a more steady process. Now that I don't have crazy hoopla to worry about, I'm theoretically a little less stressed.

3) Sky's End! 

Directly in relation to Inktober. For those who've been forlornly looking at the website, it's been on hold for a while. A lot of that hiatus was due to the wedding, then traveling, then being sick, then finally realizing. OH YEAH, COMIC TIME.

I've been working on my inking skills, and I'm hoping to lend them to Sky's. So the next few updates I do might look DRASTICALLY different than the first 40 pages. If I like it, I will slowly work on re-editing the first couple of chapters to match, so that way when I print them they don't jump around in style as much. :)

I'll keep you posted!

And, as a gift to you, here's some inktober drawings I did last week!

October 7, 2013

A Convention Update and an Inktober Catch Up!

Been keeping busy with the drawing! I'm still trying to keep up with inktober (the drawings will be located at the end of the post, in case you're interested).

I wanted to just post some updates for all of you!

The next convention I will be attending is YOUMACON.


It's a pretty decently sized convention that takes place down in Detroit, Michigan on October 31 - November 3! I chose not to apply last year due to some interpersonal conflict sort of things, but this year, I'm giving it another chance!

There was around 10,000 + attendees last year, so it might be a little crowded, especially if it grows more at all. Thankfully a lot of things are moving over to the Cobo Center, I think. REMEMBER TO TAKE THE RIVER WALK TO GET THERE if you don't want to bother with the People Mover or it's passes. The River Walk is definitely the safer/easier walking path! I didn't find this out until the end of the weekend last year. WHOOPS.

I'll be located in the alley, which is going to be somewhere in the Cobo Center, wherever the room where the dealers will be. I unfortunately don't have a map as of yet (not sure if we'll get one, but we'll see!), but come look for me! I'll be the teal booth with the white wire frames, and I'll most likely be in a cosplay. (I'm in the masquerade on Saturday)

I'll make sure to remind y'all when it gets closer - it's still about 4 weeks away at this point, and I'm hoping maybe to use some of my awesome inked drawings as BRAND NEW PRINTS for sale. Once I color some of them in.

Anyway, here's some Inktober catch up:

A cute witch

Celes Chere from Final Fantasy VI

October 3, 2013

State of the Art!

Okay, really bad pun in the title, I promise I won't do it ever again but I totally will and will regret nothing, really!

So I've been kind of quiet since I have actually been under the weather for the past 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS. This is rather unfair! I blame Florida.

I had a really awesome party on the 28th, which I'll make a separate post about (once I find pictures, I was too busy flitting around to take them myself). And discovered what it's like to pull an all nighter! Not by choice mind you - I discovered that upon getting the lip sore to destroy all lip sores, it cause my muscles to ache so bad, that my headache could not be defeated by normal ibuprofen, nor would it let me sleep. I did, however, watch a LOT of Disney movies during that evening, so it wasn't a total loss. I even watched Cinderella III: Twist in Time, and honestly, that movie was HILARIOUS and ADORABLE. I loved it! And now I want to cosplay Anastasia (pink stepsister) so much.

But that's not what this post is actually about. This is about some artwork! For those not in the know, I sometimes post things on my own Deviant Art page: karmada.deviantart.com, and sometimes I post artwork onto my tumblr: karmada.tumblr.com (are you seeing a pattern here?).

So first, a few pictures for you:

Okay, okay, I may have joined FFXIV finally...

This was actually a gift for the person who kind of organized the whole party thing. It's her FF XIV character.
I have also told her I am NEVER DRAWING THAT SPEAR AGAIN.

I've been trying to do more artwork since I've been in a funk since FOREVER AND A YEAR AGO. And being on Tumblr (that fickle beast, it is), I have discovered that there is some sort of art thing called "INKTOBER".

Naturally, it's about making a new inked drawing each day in the month of October, hence the name! And since I had actually *just* recently been experimenting with using Sumi-E Ink and a paintbrush to ink (see copic-ed image above), it seemed like a neat way to practice.

I'm a couple of days late (due to the stupid cold and things), so I have a couple of pictures to catch up on, but here's my first one:

All done with a PAINTBRUSH (okay, except the signature)
It's got some flaws, but I'm hoping that by the end of the month, I can show off more skill than I started with!

LET'S. GET. INKING! *vanishes into the night*

*bumps into table*

Okay, I'll have to turn a light on if I'm gonna do that...