Category: announcements

NEW PATREON PERKS: Private Discord Server

Dear Patreon Patrons. Welcome to my secret Patreon Parlor!  The Patreon perks for those pledging at $5 and up now include access to a private Discord server where you can come chat with me about life, art, and more!  (Don’t have Discord yet? It’s a completely free chat and messaging app for your computer and phone that you can download here!)

Here’s a little rundown of what you can do on the server.  Watch the video for a visual look at Discord and/or read ahead to see what it’s all about! Read more

I’m Moving + Discontinued Prints Sale!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted any sort of personal update here! I’ve been super busy with my nose to the grindstone on the Ladies of the Months series attempting to make something of it while my longtime boyfriend is being the main breadwinner. It’s a rare chance to really put my focus and attention into something grand without having my attention split by a day job, so I’m taking it!

Speaking of my boyfriend, we’ve had the opportunity of a lifetime to move into a rental house for a great deal! We’ve got a few months to pack up and move to the new location, so it was about time I went through my body of work and made an honest assessment of it. I’ve known this for awhile in my heart, but I’ve been slowly, but surely, moving away from Art Nouveau work. After I wrap up the Ladies of the Months, I feel like it’s time to really give my passion for character-driven fantasy art and writing a proper go!

And did I mention that the new place will have room for separate writing study AND studio spaces? As well as a garden?  I am SO hyped to set up the new space!

With all of this in mind, it’s about time I retired that old work that’s no longer representative of my quality level as an artist or where I want to go with my work. There’s no point in clinging to it, especially with this move coming up!

I’m a little intimidated discontinuing about 80% of my older work, but that’s great incentive to make so much more new work that saying goodbye to all this old stuff won’t matter later!  I’m sure Art Nouveau won’t be disappearing completely from what I produce.  There will simply be less of it while I focus on other artistic paths.  In the meanwhile, this is the best time to grab any of my older work, if you want it!

The following prints are being DISCONTINUED!

After they are gone, they are GONE FOR GOOD, as I will no longer be printing them!

Buy them here for as low as $1!

discontinued-prints-sale-7-12-2016-square-censored

If you’ve ever wanted any of my older work, now’s the best time to grab it! Once these are sold, I am not re-stocking any of these selections.

Hope you all are well. See you after the move with pics of the new studio space!

March 2015 – Monthly Update plus HUGE News!

Hey guys! I’ve decided to write this month’s update instead of broadcast it because I’m feeling a bit under the weather (food poisoning, urgh!).  So rather than subject you all to my sick mug, I thought I’d write March’s update instead!

How’s My Month Been?

It’s been great!  I’ve been whirling between my studies with Painting Drama and Proko’s Figure Drawing Fundamentals. Here are some of the studies I’ve been working on!

I’m slowly, but surely working my way up to 25 abstractions for my assignment. They take quite awhile so it has been a slow going process, but I’m learning so much about how compositions are arranged!  The 3D object assignment is building me up for drawing volumetric mannequins, which I’m very much looking forward to.

I’ve also been working on finishing the Rapunzel comic since it’s going to be published in an anthology later this year (more on that later as publication draws closer).  Now with more detail than ever before since I have a longer time to focus on them!

 

HUGE News!

And finally, saving the BIGGEST announcement for last.  I’ve put a downpayment on entering a mentorship with Dan Luvisi (of Last Man Standing fame) and Anthony Jones (of Robotpencil.org and Blizzard Entertainment fame) in May and June!  This mentorship is going to focus on IP development and I’ll be using my own novel as the IP I intend to develop for this mentorship!

You can read the syllabus here (starts on page 15).

It’s no small investment, but I’m using the pennies we’ve been pinching for SmartSchool to give it a shot.  I was a little torn, but the fact is, I’ve always felt like more of a writer-artist than purely an artist and this mentorship allows me to give both of those passions the attention they deserve. Plus, there is always next year for SmartSchool, if my pinched pennies can regenerate by then.

By the end of this mentorship, I hope to have the first two chapters written, illustrations of characters and key scenes, a perfected pitch and SO much more!  We’ll be able to talk to knowledgeable parties about their experiences in this field and receive guided instruction.

The instructors are even hoping to bring student work to San Diego Comic Con to pitch what they can to any interested parties.  They obviously can’t guarantee success, but the slim chance to be seen by the right people when I’m at that point definitely can’t hurt!

This could be HUGE, guys!

I am so excited (and a little intimidated) by what this could mean for my future!  And of course, I’ll be sharing some of my exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ work related to my novel during this intense project with my fine Patrons over at my Patreon because you guys have been amazing.  Thanks for your constant support and encouragement!

I did have a question I wanted to answer about study sources for this month’s update, but it really deserves it’s own blog post.  So, for now, I’m going to go sleep.  I have too much to do for a stomach bug to defeat me now!

See you next month where we’ll hopefully be back to a broadcast format!

100th Reader Giveaway WINNERS!

It seems I had the same number of commenters as I did prizes, so you are ALL winners!  Here they are in order:

Jennifer – You are the winner of a copy of my art book, Angelic Visions, with a sketch on the inside cover!  Send me your 2-word sketch prompt which should be abstract concepts or objects. No specific names, such as a person’s name.  For example, I’ve had such keywords in the past as ‘tribal angel’, ‘magpie magnolia, etc.  I will also need your mailing address.  If you already have a copy of the book or want to pass on the book, than I can send you a sketch by itself, instead.  Let me know your preference!

Raven and Anita – You are my print winners!  Just go to the Fine Art Prints and Clearance section of my shop and choose an item. It can be anything from these sections, even matted prints!  I will need you both to email me your mailing addresses.

Send along those mailing addresses to angela (at) angelicshades.com

Thanks so much for leaving me your feedback. I hope you will enjoy the prizes and continue to enjoy the topics of discussion here.  I’m warming up for one more year with some big changes ahead for me.  I can’t wait to share them with you all!

For now, stay creative, folks!

100th Reader Giveaway!

I just realized my little journal here is about to hit its 100th reader!

Three years ago, I started this blog as a way to document my journey as an artist, offer advice, and as a way to inspire myself to always stay active and creative. Three years later, I’m still here toiling ever towards my goals. It began with a starstruck artist dreaming of how to channel all that potential bottled up inside. Not much has changed, besides adding ever more lenses of perspective to my career goals and seeing things that much clearer with each new bit of knowledge I pick up as I go along.
 
As for The Giveaway! Leave a comment on this entry telling me about what you have enjoyed about this blog, what you’d like to see more of, etc.  I will choose winners from among the commenters at random this Sunday, October 28th.  I will choose THREE winners who will get the following prizes!

– One person will get a free copy of my book with an ink sketch inside the front cover.

– Two others will get one free print of their choosing from my shop. It can be anything I have in stock in my shop that you see in the Fine Art Prints section or in my Clearance section, including specially matted prints.

– If the person I choose as the book winner has a book already, or does not want the book for some reason, I can do an ink sketch without the book, instead.

Thanks to all of you for sticking with me this long. I hope you have enjoyed your time here as much as I do on a weekly basis. Your words of inspiration mean the world to me just as I hope you will take some of the inspiration you find here when you leave. Stay creative!

Cons Complete! What Next?

Hello, all!  I’m back from another con and am happy to report it was my last con of the year.  Cons are great and I adore the chance to connect face to face with kindred spirits, but the lack of sleep, running around, and preparation can be draining.  I’m going to enjoy the chance to kick back and focus on creating rather than selling.  So what am I up to for the rest of the year? Read on and find out!

The Rising Stars Competition

First up on the list is the Rising Stars contest, which boasts some really great swag from Corel, the creators of Painter, as well as a chance to get your stuff seen by some big names in the industry.  There are categories for different types of artists, including one for Comic Art, Concept Art, Illustration, and more!  It’s free to enter, so GO ENTER all of you!  I don’t care if you don’t think you’re good enough. A contest with no entry fee, publicity, and a chance to win swag is an opportunity no one should miss!

We had to choose five images to represent ourselves, so here are the five I’m going with for the Illustration category:

Yup! All digital, minus the last one! Who would’ve thought years ago I would be a digital artist? I have to say I’m really enjoying it more than I expected I would!

Adobe Re-Education

No, I’m not talking about being imprisoned and fed only Adobe brand products till they are my master…that already happened last year.  Going digital has made me realize that it might be a smart thing to be more up to date with art tech, considering my Photoshop is over 10 years old.  I’ve bought a massive training book and am getting myself up to date on all things Adobe with the help of the Creative Cloud subscription!

This has the two-fold effect of giving me the power to realize my projects more efficiently (especially where I might need vector effects), as well as to be more knowledgeable for any design work I might pick up to help pay the bills, for it is an unfortunate fact one cannot make a living off of Elves alone (at least not yet!).  Expect a review of the Creative Cloud services once I spend a little more time with it.

Kushiel Concepts

The pages of my ebook copy of Kushiel’s Dart have been digitally earmarked and my drawing fingers are itching!  I’m ready to move forward with my Kushiel’s Legacy illustration exercise once I finally catch my breath from the Halloween mask rush over at my Etsy shop.  Stay tuned for sketches over at the Kushiel Concepts blog, if lavish masquerade, courtesans, and tattoos are your scene.

Moving!

On a more personal note, I’m finally moving in with my significant other towards the end of this year (January at the latest), meaning that I will finally have a dedicated work space.  Unfortunately, the little studio space I had previously been working in is going out of business, meaning I’m sleeping and working all in the same room again, which is a recipe for insanity.  The prospect of moving in with someone I think is the coolest man on the planet and having a dedicated room for a studio that is not my bedroom has me very excited, indeed!

So What’s Next?

Drawing, painting, and MOAR art!  I am dedicating myself to revamping this portfolio of mine by the time Illuxcon 2013 rolls around, where I fully intend to tout my shiny new improved art to AD’s and anyone with eyeballs.  It’s going to be a whole new beginning for me in the coming year and I cannot wait to get started!

So how bout yourselves? What are your plans for next year? Are you working on anything that you’re excited about? Share in comments!

The Portfolio Regeneration Project

The main character from
Kushiel’s Dart.

Since Dragon*Con, it’s been a week of cleaning, catching up on work, and riding the tide of inspiration that always comes after taking part of such a large art show full of inspiring people.  The portfolio reviews I received there have my brain in overdrive when it comes to thinking of ways I can get my portfolio up to snuff.  I needed newer work and more of it.  I needed more examples of illustration, book covers, and the kind of work I’d like to do for CCG.

While I have CCG covered by using my own in-progress fantasy novel for inspiration, generating art for the rest didn’t seem as straightforward.  That’s when it hit me.  If I am seeking to do art for fantasy novels, why don’t I do what I’m doing with the fake Magic the Gathering cards and do the same with a novel?  Since my own novel is largely incomplete, I’ve decided to take one of my favorite novels on instead – Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey.

With fallen angels, a rich tapestry of unique mythology, masquerade balls, and intricate tattoos, there’re plenty of visuals for me to play with in this novel that are right up my alley!  The plan to generate more portfolio pieces is to re-read this wonderful book and create my own versions of illustrations of my favorite scenes, as well as any character art that comes to mind.  This may include my tries at creating concept art sheets for that career wish of mine to get into concept art for games later on in life once my work is ready.

Finally, after I’ve absorbed the whole book and its themes, I plan to do my own version of the cover art for it.  If all goes well, I will be doing this art generation project with more than one from the Kushiel’s Legacy series, or perhaps other fantasy favorites of mine!

Working from a book which, to date, has no movie adaptation makes it far easier for me to create my own raw original versions without a visual influence.  It also gives me the freedom without the copyright worries, since copyrights for books only cover the text, and not any visual representations.  Even so, I don’t plan to sell whatever art comes from this project without Jacqueline’s blessing first.  It’s main purpose is to freshen up my portfolio and not my own pockets.

The plan is to post sketch collections from this project on this blog, but for those of you who want to keep up with every step and sketch of the Kushiel’s Legacy themed work from this project, you can follow the Kushiel art blog here or its Tumblr counterpart here, which will echo the posts on the Blogger version.  The Kushiel art blog is empty right now, but it won’t be for long!

The old iPad I inherited from my dad has proven an invaluable tool for this ambitious project, as I can add searchable notes to my ebook version of the novel and highlight pages which have physical description for illustration purposes.  The pages are marked, the blank sketchbooks have been acquired, and my drawing fingers are itching!  Let the regeneration of my portfolio begin!

What is your dream illustration project?  What novel would you love to do work for?  Finally, what novel would you love to see me illustrate?  Discuss in comments!

Find Me at DragonCon 2012!

Phew!  DragonCon is just a week away over the Labor Day weekend!  It occurred to me that I have such a large spread out presence this year at the show, so here’s a handy map to help you find me and all my bits and baubles this year.

(Click to enlarge)

For you Dcon newbs out there, the way you get to the art show is to come in at the ground floor of the Hyatt hotel, take two escalators down, then you’re there!  There will be a banner across the top of the door that says Artist Alley.  We’re sharing a partitioned room with the Comic Artists Alley as well!

Meet Me Face to Face!
I’ll be manning a table in the far back left corner with my wonderful boyfriend, Kevin, so be sure to come say hello to us!  I’ll be right next door to my good friend Brenda Lyons, known in most parts as Windfalcon.

I’ll have prints, bookmarks, and copies of my art book, Angelic Visions, on hand!  If you want anything in particular, be sure to let me know and I can bring it for you.  You can also order the sketch option for your book at my Etsy shop and I can give it to you at the con. Just let me know and I’ll refund your shipping if you are picking up from me directly at the con.

Gallery Display
My gallery display will have a mix of my masks, limited edition prints, beautiful large canvas prints, and embellished ACEO prints this year.

Print Shop
You can find 11×14 open edition prints and book bundles in the print shop this year as well!

Leather Mask Making Panel
I’ll be hosting my panel on creating leather masks at 7pm on Saturday in the art track, which is in the twisting labyrinth of hallways known as Hanover right next to the art show on the same floor.  I’ll have handouts of supply lists and a 50 minute instructional video, so be sure to come if you’re interested in my creative process for masks!

See you at the con!

Vlog: Art for Alzheimer’s Charity Auction

I’m doing something a little different today than my usual entry.  I created a video to talk to you face to face about a topic very near to my heart.

I have recently launched a charity art auction to help raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association as well as to help clear out retired work from my collection.  Choosing the Alzheimer’s Association was not an arbitrary decision, but one that hits very close to home.  Auctioning off my work starting at next to nothing was also a very unorthodox decision that I feel the need to explain in more detail.

See the video for the full story:

Tentatively Re-Opening 2D Commissions

It’s a bit of an intimidating prospect, but I am tentatively re-opening personal commissions of 2D work.  It’s been rough these days trying to support an artistic business, studying for a new industry, and basically trying to get my head on straight to reach my career goals.  I thought I could accomplish this by snagging a part-time/day job somewhere, but to be quite frank, nobody here is hiring.

I’ve tried retail, art supply stores, and even the academic arena, but there is just nothing for me here to do to close the gap between what I need to make my bills and keeping my own art business going, in addition to getting the continuing education I need to really break into the fields I’m aiming for.  Finding work even semi-related to my passion and educational background has proved even more challenging.

 In the past, I had closed private personal 2D commissions because I did not want to be known as that ‘cheap artist’ who does the ‘low quality cheap work’ and I intend to stick to my guns in this respect.  Time is money, especially when you’re the sole proprietor of a business, and my prices reflect this fact, as well as being what I feel is fair to both artist and client.  You’re getting high quality professional level work for a more than fair price for your personal use.

 I prefer to look at things from the perspective of the great Masters who came before, many of whom worked for the church, the affluent, or in advertising, among other things, to keep food in their bellies.  As idyllic as being an independent artist is, we sometimes have to do the same.  Especially now while I am trying to build a portfolio, I am bringing in less money on my own while I am focusing on my fundamental skills, and therefore need the additional backing, be it through commissions or a day job.  It’s tough, but it’s the way of things, especially during these difficult economic times.

 Opening personal private commissions again also gives me the chance to test my skills in ways I could never have guessed!  I miss being able to work with characters from all walks of life and creating something entirely new from them.  However, if I find myself called to a day job or swamped with orders and events, I will be closing or severely limiting the number of personal private commissions I’ll be taking.  As of right now, there is no limit!

So with all this in mind, I’m trying a new commission process!  Instead of handling commissions via amorphous messaging back and forth, I have posted commission listings in my Etsy shop.  It’s all laid out very simply in the descriptions of each listing.  You pay a flat fee plus shipping.

Custom 8.5×11 in. Ink Drawing – Minimal Background with A Single Detailed Character $35:

 

 Custom Black and White Artist Trading Card – $20

 Custom Full Color Artist Trading Card – $30

 More commission listings to come once I have more examples.
Stay creative, everyone, and thanks for all of your support!