Mid-Year Check-In on My 2021 Goals

Remember when I set my goals for 2021? Well now’s the time to do a mid-year check-in and see how things are going.

Number 1: Make 5 New Craft Pieces

Are we talking about 5 craft projects TOTAL? Yes! This goal is achieved.

But are we talking about the specific craft projects I wrote for myself to do? No.

See, I wanted to make…

  • a kitty-sized sweater for BreeBree (why? Because she’s neurotic and wants hugs ALL THE TIME. I thought a kitty sweater would help)…
  • a patchwork skirt…
  • a bikini top made from upcycled T-shirts…
  • a crochet shawl covered in crochet donuts and cookies (why? I was inspired by a shawl I saw in the live-action The Grinch movie)…
  • and a scrapbook for my graduations. I’ve had these graduation keepsakes for 10+ years and I want to put them in a book instead of a box.

Those first 3? Those are done. I even made 2 bikini tops. The shawl base is also done, but now it needs cookies and donuts.

Number 2: Make 5 Videos that are NOT Live Streams

Honestly, I dropped this goal. Would I love to make animatics? Absolutely. But I need to study how to make animations in Clip Studio Paint. I have no idea what I’m doing.

Number 3: Make 5 Large Prints

I have finished 1 print so far!

an image of a modern-day Valkyrie flying in the air. Their skin is dark, hair white, wings gold and silver, and they wield two swords. The clouds part behind them and divine light shines upon them.

Unfortunately, 2 prints had to be put on hold because they need more work than I expected. The Cryptid of Leaves print is more of a time-sink than I thought because of all the details. The Fighting Game roster I want to draw will require more research and character mock-ups.

So 1 print is done. But that leaves 4 left to do.

I have 2 other ideas in mind. Both are for personal projects. We’ll see how that pans out.

Number 4: Make 5 Books

Slow and Steady wins THIS race!

The Legend of Jamie Roberts, volume 1 has its own updates going on KickStarter. The same goes for Less Than Secret: A Cryptid Anthology (which I did a short story for).

The book I’m designing for Sean…all of it is edited! Now comes actually putting it into PDF form.

But while we’re here…

I’m thinking of NOT doing Inktober this year.

Shock! I know! I’ve done Inktober every year since 2017. And every year, after Inktober wraps up, I put those sketches into a book. I’ve done Witches, Gods & Spirits, AND Dragons.

2020 threw off those plans. As for this year? I’m thinking of not doing Inktober. Because I would LOVE to get the Roxie comics I did for Validation into a book. Those…and Tiny Unicorn.

Number 5: Make 5 Minicomics

HOT DANG, this took a minute to figure out WHAT minicomics I wanted to make.

For this goal, here’s what I want to make:

  • The Legend of Azu-Mi (for KickStarter backers)
  • The Character Compendium (a personal project I talk about sometimes on Instagram)
  • A Mr. Dino story
  • A Kitties By Kelci story
  • And a NEW art sketchbook zine

I have a LOT of zines on clearance on Ko-Fi because I want to make more room for these new minicomics. (If you’re interested, get them before they’re gone forever!)

Here’s hoping I can still make these goals by the end of the year!

How are your goals going? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

LIVESTREAM: Character Design Basics for Comic Artists

Are you an aspiring comic artist struggling with basic character design? Do you even know what the basics ARE?

Well, strap in and join me on this live stream! I’ll walk you through what I’ve learned in 8+ years of drawing comics. Plus, I’ll show you some of my favorite character designs in media.

“But I don’t have time to watch an entire archived live stream!” Well, I DO encourage you to set the time aside to watch this. But here are some important bullet points to keep in mind:

  • The Silhouette Test – this is a tried and true method, and is even used by Disney’s animation team. Basically, does the silhouette of your character stand out in a lineup?
  • Symbols – what symbology is present in your world? How does that affect the character? Do they wear colors or symbols that resonate with them?
  • Contrast – If you’re designing multiple characters, how can you make them stand out from each other? Can you have different or complimentary colors to each character? What if one character styles their hair up, but the other lays it down? etc.
  • Similarity – If you’re designing a team, how can you indicate that – but still have them stand apart from each other? What elements do they have in common? WHY are they in common?
  • Simplify – when you draw comics, keep the design SIMPLE. You will be drawing these characters repeatedly. Don’t make it complicated or you will hate yourself.
  • And finally… Be Open-Minded and Be Curious!

I hope this helps you on your creative journey. Thank you for watching and reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

LIVESTREAM: Character Art Stream

Join me in this archived live stream as I draw character art for a new project. In this art stream, I’m drawing for The Character Compendium.

The Character Compendium is a new personal project of mine. It will compile as many character designs as I can fit into one book. With this book, I aim to simplify life for game masters and dungeon masters. Just open the book to any page, take a character, and BOOM! Instant NPC for the players to interact with.

Heck, any of these characters could also be a good jumping-off point for players to make their own characters.

This is a similar concept if you’re familiar with some of my previous Inktober sketchbooks, like Gods & Spirits or Witches. (Both books are available through my Ko-Fi shop, by the way.)

As this project grows, I want to add more content specific to role-playing games for each character. Specifically, I want to add basic stat blocks. All in due time, though!

I hope you enjoy this live stream. Thank you for watching and reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

LIVESTREAM: Clip Studio Paint Tips and Tricks

In this archived live stream, I show you some Clip Studio Paint tips and tricks!

Clip Studio Paint is my preferred drawing program. I’ve been using this for years, yet it feels like I learn something new every day. And here, I wanted to share with you some Clip Studio Paint tips and tricks I’ve recently learned!

I streamed this back on May 29 on YouTube. Now it can be archived here for your reference.

Here are some timestamps for easy reference:

BASICS:

  • 3:00 for opening and setting up a new document. (Includes how to change canvas color)
  • 4:00 recording timelapses
  • 4:45 hand-lettered effects
  • 7:00 coloring entire layers
  • 8:17 how to change colors of specific elements in a layer using “lock transparent pixels”

INTERMEDIATE:

  • 10:30 a nifty trick erasing bordered lines
  • 13:00 add outlines to objects already drawn
  • 13:45 add shoelaces and other costume details
  • 25:03 my old method of adding symmetry
  • 26:00 make rulers visible
  • 27:20 add guidelines
  • 28:20 group layers together
  • 31:20 how to make custom brushes

Did I forget something in the live stream? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Do you have questions? Let me know, too. I plan on doing another live stream like this one, showing even more tips and tricks.

I hope this helps you. Thank you for watching.

You. Are. Awesome.

Coming This Week…The Sticker of the Month Club!

A selection of stickers for the Sticker of the Month club.

Thank you to the fans on the latest livestream for helping to come up with this idea. Coming soon, (like, if all goes well, this should launch on July 2), the Sticker of the Month Club!

See, after that livestream, I had the thought, “Stickers were super popular at the Mini Pop-Up Event. Why not a Sticker of the Month Club?”

I did the math, and once I did, I thought, “HOLY BANANA PANTS, WHY DIDN’T THIS HAPPEN SOONER?”

Here’s what I want to do:

Each month, subscribers get a sticker in their mailboxes, along with a personalized thank-you note.

The cost? $10 a month for subscribers. That $10 will cover the sticker AND shipping/handling. (This price point is for USA patrons. There will be a separate tier for internationals). Subscribers also get access to my Tiny Dinos Discord server and shout-outs in the credits for KickStarter projects.

For fans who already give $10+ per month through Ko-Fi... Well good news! I can add you automatically to the Sticker of the Month Club if you’re interested! No need to go to a separate site to pledge.

My goals with the Sticker of the Month Club are:

  • to offer something cool and different to subscribers,
  • to engage with folks in a unique way,
  • to have new offerings at convention and author appearances,
  • to have another source of income so I don’t have to do (so many?) DoorDash shifts.

Now, let me answer some other questions:

Some folks had originally pitched a “T-shirt of the month club,” because another artist had some success with it. I want to address that real quick by saying: First, everyone and their brother does a T-shirt business. They’re oversaturated. To the point that a business educator told me once, “Don’t go into T-shirts.” I’d like to do something that stands out instead.

Also, T-shirts are not as environmentally sound as folks think they are. It takes a LOT of resources to make T-shirts, and despite the best efforts of lots of folks, most of them end up in landfills.

Not to mention, I live in a small apartment. I don’t have room to store extra shirts. And to folks who say, “Well, you could get a print-on-demand service to do it,” I’d rather not this time, for reasons I’ll get into in a second.

If you’re wondering, “Are you going to do the art AND the logistics?” Yes. I’ll make the art and mail these out to subscribers. I already have a printer for these stickers, because I’ve printed with them before and REALLY liked their quality and pricing. I also already track inventory for my convention appearances, so I’m comfortable with that step already. (Not to mention that I’m used to tracking customers – things that sound creepy, but aren’t – because of KickStarter reward fulfillment).

Plus, if I print extra stickers each month, I can post the remainder for sale on Ko-Fi and take them with me to conventions.

Should this idea EXPLODE, I’ll revisit this arrangement. But I’m comfortable with this idea. Right now, I don’t expect this Sticker of the Month Club to overtake The Legend of Jamie Roberts in popularity. I have the bandwidth to do both (especially since I don’t work at NeverEnding).

Excited? I hope so!

I’m announcing the official launch of the Sticker of the Month Club on my email newsletter when it’s ready, so if you want on board, go sign up to get the news first.

Like I said before, if you already give $10+ per month through Ko-Fi, I can add you to the Sticker of the Month Club automatically. Hit me up at kelcidcrawford@gmail.com if you want to sign up.

Broke? Share this news with your sticker-loving friends!

Got more questions? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.