Over-Encumbered Characters

Good news everyone!

The work on my new webcomic, Over-Encumbered, progresses! *high five for forward momentum*

Over-Encumbered is a comic about a misfit group of neighbors residing in the same old house in Portland, Oregon. Plus, owlbear! :)

The final tweaks on the characters are complete and I have the first set of character development comics complete. Because you are such nice people, here’s a peek at the four main characters (Harriet, Jupiter, Yukon, and Gary).

Harriet Jupiter

Yukon Gary

I’m planning on releasing one comic a week. Once I get some content going, I will start up a Patreon campaign.

The current plan is to start releasing the character development comics the first week in March. I want to make this comic more interactive than my previous projects so I’m hoping to integrate input from you, the reader, into the comic. I haven’t worked out all the details yet, that’s part of the fun. It’s a bit of an experiment, but, I hope, a good one.

So, yeah… SOON. 

Doodle Swap #16

This round’s theme was sci-fi. I started with the asteroid worm, setting the theme of my set to Star Wars minor characters.

ds16-greedods16-exogorthds16-ev9d9

ds16-ephantds16-bomarrds16-boba

ds16-niennunbds16-momawds16-maxrebo

Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Greedo, Exogorth, EV-9D9 and Womprat, Ephant Mon, B’Omarr Monk, Boba Fett in the Sarlacc’s Belly, Nien Nunb, Momaw Nadon, and Max Rebo

 

Year of the Churro!

If you were wondering what happens when I let one of John Scalzi’s tweets ferment in my head for far too long, this happens. Plus, you know, I’m just doing my part to fulfill the MOAR CHURROS thing. Thanks, John, for all the silliness. I, for one, am eager to hear of your next churro adventure.

Also, the sugar coated steed does not have a name yet. I think I will leave that task up to you, dear internet. I suspect you shall not disappoint.

churro-ride

(P.S. WOOOO! ANOTHER SNOW DAY IN PORTLAND! Stay home Portlanders, you don’t know how to do snow.)

UPDATE: Thanks so much to John for honoring me with this charming post about my image. You’re making me blush all sorts of colors over here. Also, welcome to all the Whatever readers who have found themselves on my humble little site. Also, also, a challenge has been issued to out best me at Scalzi themed fan art. I’m sure there’s someone out there up for this. I encourage any and all attempts (and successes). This is an exercise in silliness and creating awesome things, after all. :)

 

 

Thursday’s Children

Back in November, I was approached by friend and author Curtis Chen to produce the art for his upcoming book, Thursday’s Children. A couple weeks ago he announced the cover on his website, so… tada!

512-6x9_Front_Cover_blogHe also is going through the book building process on his 512 Words or Fewer blog including some of the steps involved in designing the cover. You really should go check it out. I’ll wait.

Back? Cool.

I really loved working on this cover piece (and the interior spot illustrations, tease tease). Even the revisions were enjoyable because the resulting image turned out so much stronger.

Curtis is the master of setting a scene and this book is the culmination of his five year 512 Words or Fewer flash-fiction project. All the best of his snack-sized stories were put into this collection (mmm… snack-sized fiction). I highly recommend checking it out. The official release date is Friday, January 31st, so get those reminders set. Here’s a handy link to the official book page.

 

 

Overcoming the Cold Start

Passage(Please excuse me while I ramble about my issues with creative block.)

I also like to call this the great stall, or “blergfffpptt” on special occasions.

Sometimes starting things is easy. You get exited about something and are all over it like a hyperactive puppy on a brand new squeaky ball. OMG! IT’S SO SQUEAKY! AND IT ROLLS! HOLY CRAP DID YOU SEE THAT?! IT BOUNCES TOO?! EEEEEEEE!!!!

Sometimes, not so much. And sometimes jumping back into a once exciting project is difficult. It starts with “oh, that’s a neat idea, I should start that” or “I really should finish that project I started” and then turns into “except that project/idea is now a slathering fell-beast of despair”. At which point the only logical action is to scour the internet for articles discussing ways to overcome this imaginary wall, but instead you find yourself, three hours later, at the bottom of a funny cat video pit.

Don’t deny it. We’ve all been there.

Truth is, I don’t know the best way to push past this confounding illogical creative block. A method that sometimes works for me is to wave a dancing stoat (totally not making this up) in front of my brain, distracting it with something cute and immediately enjoyable in order to maul it from the backside with the project that I was trying to get started in the first place. For example, sketching out some tentacles or hedgehogs or tentacled hedgehogs. In a fez. I think this works because the momentum from little mindless doodles pushes me through the mental wall. Also, another reason to warm up before working on a project. Also, fezzed tentacled hedgehogs with bow-ties.

Alternatively, I just put on some battle-pants and charge flailing into the beast of despair, kicking it in the junk as I run by with my eyes closed. Honestly, that takes a lot of energy. I mean, half the time my battle-pants are in the wash and my aim really isn’t that good with my eyes closed anyway.

While setting the project aflame and chucking it though the nearest window (metaphorically speaking of course) is, technically, effective in burning down the creative block, it’s not all that productive. Although, there may be a point where a project needs to be put out of it’s misery. However, that’s another topic entirely.

All things considered, I prefer the dancing stoat method. However, because the human mind is a complex chaotic thing, there isn’t one method that always works.

OR MAYBE THERE IS? <cue suspenseful music>

Probably not, though. <sad trombone>

Part of this, I think, is because a good deal of my creative projects have no deadlines. “Oh!” I hear you cry, “What about self-imposed deadlines?”

Rubbish, I say. Balderdash and poppycock!

Does a magician get surprised by his own tricks? No. Does a ventriloquist know that the creepy puppet he’s talking to isn’t himself? No. Well… unless the puppet is possessed by a chatty demon, a very clever parrot, or is a sentient robot. The point is, I know they’re self-imposed therefore my brain is like, “Hey, I made that deadline so I can change it to whatever. Ha ha, me. Nice try. You really should know me better, me.”  Brains can be real jerks sometimes.

However, an actual deadline set by a distinctly not-me entity works pretty well, but not helpful on personal projects.

So, yeah…

To summarize, have some dancing stoats handy and make sure your battle-pants are clean. I think that covers it.

What methods work for you when faced with a creative block?