Month: December 2023

Ang’s Year in Art 2023 Summary [Video + Blog Post]

It’s time for one of my favorite things – rounding up the art for a year-end retrospective!  This year, I wanted to do something different, however, so in addition to this little round-up blog post, I’ve also narrated a video for your enjoyment!  For those who don’t have 15+ mins to listen to my longer form rambling, you can skim the major talking points here instead.

Enjoy and let me know what your favorite piece of mine was from this year!  Is there anything you’d like to see me do more of in 2024?

My Month-to-Month Summary

A better look at each piece, plus extra art I couldn’t fit into the month-to-month format.

How Was My Year?

It was honestly a rough one!  From my existential dread dealing with generative AI replacing Illustrators to a significant cancer scare that derailed all my best laid plans, I’ve come out the other side with the best outcome of a benign tumor.  In spite of the dark cloud of looming disasters, I managed to complete my Birthstone Goddesses collection after 6 years of toil!  It may not have gotten the big finish I wanted for that project, but I’m happy to free up my muse and attention for other exciting endeavors on the horizon.

My Level-Up Piece

The piece that taught me the most and helped improve my skills – “The Lamb”

I chose this as my Level Up piece because I was able to find a balance within it that brought me a step closer to a Tarot-inspired art style I’ve been nurturing of late.  I used line art to accentuate the form and bring in very subtle hatchwork, while also letting the image be painterly. It’s a hard balance to strike, but this image was my “Eureka” moment for how to combine my love of lines and painterliness!

My Personal Favorite

The piece that I loved the most out of the rest I made – “Leaping River Orchid”

Things just ‘clicked’ with this piece.  Despite being quite loose, this image still has a good sense of character and mood.  In trying to emulate the Arcane animated series art style, I unlocked something between that space of loose lines and color that makes for a very appealing visual look.  Perhaps it’s merely her cool hat that makes this my favorite?  Either way, I hope I can use what I learned from painting Orchid for future pieces like it!

2024 Art Goals

  • Make more videos & streams – While I’ve been dipping my toe into sharing more videos this year, I’d like to really up the ante in 2024. I’m hoping to create more narrated videos and be more present as a person in them to remind folks I’m a human, not an art machine. I also want more face to face time with you all by streaming! Now, I just need to learn how to stick to a streaming schedule which I’ve had a terrible track record at.
  • Learn Clip Studio Paint – I feel like I’ve stagnated the past couple of years because I’ve avoided complex images with multiple figures and architectural elements. I’m hoping to teach myself Clip Studio Paint so I can start using 3D models to create reference materials for complex elements so painting them will be easier.
  • Re-invest in myself and my artistic voice/stories! – For years, I’ve always intended to write more, but my Art Muse has always dominated my time.  With AI now intruding into all creative fields, I want to push my work to be more about my voice, which I hope will stand out from the increase in AI material that’s bound to happen in the next few years. I have something to say with my work and now I finally have the freedom to pursue this endeavor with full attention thanks to our newfound stability!


2023 was tough, but I’m stoked for 2024!  I feel like I’ve finally been able to slow down and heal in 2023 after literal years of health disasters, medical debt, house moves, and uncertainty.  Now, I’m able to approach a new branching path in my artistic direction in 2024.  I can’t wait to share it with you all!  I’ll be talking about the new and decidedly different work I’ll be sharing on this Patreon in the next entry.

Till then, onwards to 2024!  Thanks for sticking with me on this eteneral roller coaster of a ride.

– Ang

[Art] Exalted Character of the Week Vol 1: Rainbows, Abyssals, and Big Hats

You all know I’m a nerd for the tabletop game, Exalted from Onyx Path Publishing (and if not, SURPRISE! Prepare yourself for my weebness).  I help run a Discord server for fans who like to create art, writing, etc. for this particular TTRPG community.  Recently, we started up a community activity where we roll a die to choose a character from a member to create arts inspired by them.  This little collection features characters from our first rounds.

This activity has been an excellent opportunity for me to practice different styles, so strap yourself in for a ride through the colorful characters and styles of my first Exalted Character of the Week collection!

(My gal, Kalara, was chosen for the first round, but that’s a whole other art feature collection for later).

Theo for Jen

Theodotus is a bombastic Zenith Caste who beams rainbows from his heroic anima.  The energetic style of the Hades video game seemed like a perfect fit for him. I absolutely adore this style and always wanted to try it myself!  This style involves clean line work and bold highlighting for a signature look. I definitely want to play with it more, as it suited my own proclivity for line art and elegance very well.

  • Watch a timelapse of Theo’s creation here.

Orchid for MissSunnySweden

Next, we have Leaping River Orchid, a demure noblewoman Twilight Caste who hides her Anathema nature from the noble house she was born into.  She prefers to charm rather than combat and seemed a good fit for testing out a style inspired by the Arcane animated series with her elegant costume.

I’m particularly happy with how this one came out. Despite how rough it is, it feels polished in the right places, which is a valuable lesson to me on balancing detail and value in a composition so I can plan my time and effort with pieces better.

  • Watch a timelapse of Orchid’s portrait here.

Thrice-Fallen Affections for Raefen

Finally, we have the Abyssal, Thrice-Fallen Affections, who serves the Deathlord, The Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears.  Thrice-fallen Affections has some rather risque tastes in formal clothing in the skeleton themes of the Underworld.

  • See the uncensored version and watch the full view timelapse of this piece here.  Artistic nudity warning (bare breasts in a non-sexual context) for any who do decide to click through.


It’s my hope that by experimenting with different styles, I refill my creative well a bit, as well as learn about what makes MY style “me” by figuring out what it is I like and don’t like, what feels right to me, and how I want my work to look in the future.  Most of all, it’s just nice to take a break from serious years-long projects to have some fun with casual art!  I have been emulating Mucha for so long with the Birthstone Goddesses series that it’s nice to break out of my shell a bit.

The Exalted Character of the Week Challenge is going to be an ongoing activity in the future, so I’ll probably share quarterly collections from the event from here on out.  It’s been fun to let loose with styles and fashion exploration with all the colorful character possibilities that Exalted has to offer thus far.

Next up, I hope to have a very special bit of fan art inspired by my favorite TV series of 2023 – Blue Eye Samurai!  Granted I can get it done by next Thursday.  We shall see!

Till then, I hope you enjoyed the art dump!

– Ang

Comic + WIPs – Carbon 2185: Parablepsia – “Unintentional Ninja”

I teased that I’d be cooling down after the big project milestone with fun exploratory art and part of that carefree fun art has been brushing up on my sequential art (comics) skillset.  I enjoy taking little scenes from our tabletop campaigns and turning them into one-shots like this for a lark.

Comics also make excellent drawing practice for anatomy, perspective, storytelling, the works!  So I thought you all might enjoy a peek at this one-page comic plus some WIPs I didn’t share on social media.

Programs Used – Procreate for the lines and colors, Clip Studio Paint EX for the Word Balloons, FX, and Text.

The Premise:  Welcome to the Cyberpunk setting of Carbon 2185!  Parablepsia is the name of our campaign featuring a disparate band of street runners who wake up in a morgue to find themselves embroiled in a corporate war for power and technology.

Then there’s Nightingale (Gale for short), the character I play who is a synthetic humanoid singer who believes she has no business being caught up in this mess.  Little does she know that she’s been programmed with ninja skills without her knowledge!

Making of the Comic

It all starts with the rough sketch and scribbling in the dialogue so I know that the dialogue will fit in the panel.  The expressions are also pretty abstract since I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this while I figure out the positioning of all the various elements.

I also didn’t know how Gale looks since I hadn’t drawn her before this comic, so I ended up going through a few variations trying to nail down her look.  Which one’s your favorite?  I tried to channel feather shapes like her songbird theme.

I had a good laugh making expressions into my camera trying to nail down Gale’s various shocked expressions in this comic and how silly, yet accurate the rough drawings of her face were to the emotions she was expressing.

The final comic:

  • Watch a timelapse here.  My process is absolute chaos, but it’s kinda fun to watch a story emerge from the scribbles!


Will I share more comics here?  We’ll see!  It’s something I haven’t done with consistency because it’s difficult and time-consuming, but it’s also a lot of fun.  It’s very satisfying when those expressions work and the comedy lands!

I’m still learning how to use software, brush up the written script on longer stories, etc. which has been my hobby time fun lately.  I’ve been sharing more of this exploration over in my Discord server, which is open to both my Patrons and the public. Patrons can connect their accounts for access to my Secret Sketchbook there, while free fans can join the public areas here.

For now, I hope you all enjoyed this errant one shot!  Stay tuned for more character portraits and a painting over the next few posts.  Meanwhile, I hope you all enjoy the end of the year.  Stay toasty and warm!

– Ang

Health Update + Year End Wrap-Up

Hello, it’s my face!  I just wanted to give you all a sign of life after my last posts.  I am alive and well!  For those who didn’t catch the great news on social media, my latest scans say that my kidney lump is STABLE!  This is such a huge relief.  I was very much preparing for life to go a different way this year, considering my family’s history with this malady.  We’ll have to keep an eye on things for the future, but for now, what I have is slow-growing and generally benign. It’s really the best news in my case!

This year has been a challenging and introspective one. I had to simplify my life knowing that treatments might be a possibility, which meant I had to abandon my Kickstarter ambitions this year.   Never-the-less, your support here has helped me accomplish quite a lot!

With your support from Patreon this year, we’ve:

  • Kept my Etsy ads going through a year with failing social media reach
  • Helped me invest in a Canvas lamp for better lighting and for recording video
  • Upgrade my copy of Clip Studio Paint from the basic to the EX version for more helpful features
  • Launched my exclusive Patreon Merch as a special reward
  • Allowed me to purchase a few storage racks to help organize the new studio space
  • Helped cover part of my usual expenses, like my website, shop bills, etc.
  • Helped me survive a nearly year-long semi-hiatus due to shoulder surgery and rehab AND further medical challenges this year
  • Allowed me to go on a REAL vacation outside of the house for the first time in years

(The beginnings of the great studio re-organization!)

Honestly, this Patreon has been such a consistent source of succor for my husband and myself, so thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts!

Featured Posts from This Year

Here were some of my posts moments that I got to share with you all this year:

What’s next?

For now, I’m queuing up the traditional Year in Art Summary for a look back on what I’ve created this year, my favorites and lessons, etc.  I also have a few pieces in the pipeline I plan to share in a few errant art posts by the end of the year.  Mostly, I’ve been focusing on some frivilous fun pieces to wind down the end of the year with and enjoy this slow project time before I dive into the next big ambitious thing.

Till then, I hope you all enjoy the holidays and the end of the year!

– Ang