Friday, January 25, 2008

Artists Express Concern Over PhotoBucket

PhotoBucket, the Web’s largest image sharing service, has been drawing criticism from a growing number of artists over its practices regarding copyrighted material. Strangers can access users accounts, including those not logged in to the site, and request prints. PhotoBucket does not mention in any clear location that the way to prevent this.

read more | digg story

Thursday, January 24, 2008

With the Light: a Manga With Heart

Last week I was casually looking through Border's selection of manga, when I came across something unique...

"With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child" by Keiko Tobe.
The title was enough to make me stop in my tracks. "A manga about raising an autistic child?!" Amongst all of the sci-fi/fantasy and magical school girl/boy manga this book stood out to me as something special and unique.

I pick it up off of the shelf and immediately looked at the art... BEAUTIFUL! I skimmed the back cover copy... Interesting! I looked at the price... $14! That's awesome considering how thick it is! I wanted to buy it right there and then but... I was low on funds. The book is certainly on my wish list, though!

I've done a little reading up on it and have come across many positive reviews about they story's entertainment and educational value. I must say that I personally have no experience with Autism, but that doesn't matter. This book has really peeked my interests and I will certainly follow-up later with a real review once I get my hands on a copy.

You can read more about the book on and

Monday, January 14, 2008

Searching for Something

Since the time I was a little girl one of my all time favorite activities has been fishing with my dad. We spent a lot of my childhood out and about back and forth between various bodies of water. It didn't matter if we were taking his row boat out to Donagel Lake or braving the rocky current and crossing the Youghogheny River by foot, I've always set out to have some amazing adventure. Every trip is an opportunity to find something new or see something that I have never seen before. Every trip is special.

It is a thrilling experience to catch a fish. Depending on the type you have to set the hook and if you do that then comes the fight and hopefully the thrill of victory. Surprisingly the actual fishing part of our trips never turned out to be the highlight of the adventure. We've fished in the sun, rain, sleet, snow, and ice. We've fell in, swam out, and got pulled over by the police on the way home. We've brought home our limit of trout, caught nothing bluegill and have come home empty handed. It doesn't matter, we always have a good time and the story of the adventure always outlives the catch.

Looking back on two decades of this, I've come to realize that as I grew up I became more and more obsessed with turning over rocks and looking for critters than I ever was for fishing. Over the years I have caught thousands of crayfish, hundreds of minnows, dozens of frogs, toads, tadpoles, salamanders, helgramites and three baby snapping turtles. I can't go to a body of water today without analyzing the nearest rock and trying to guess what I might find when I turn it over. Probably a crayfish, maybe a snake, I think I see a tadpole, ack! a spider!

It's funny, but I'm starting to see this level of curiosity in my daily web searching. As an artist and a designer I'm always looking for new art and ideas that will inspire me. When it comes to web marketing I'm always searching for content about my company that I didn't know was Google indexed. I search and I search wondering what I'll find on the next page. What if I try this keyword? What if I put this in quotes? What if I try a blogger search? I'm searching for crayfish and tadpoles. I hope I find another baby snapping turtle.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Pen Doesn't Want to be My Friend Anymore

It's just not the same going back to a traditional ink pen once you've made the leap to digital inking (something tells me that a Sharpie doesn't really count as traditional). Maybe if they'd invent an undo button for life I'd feel more at ease going back to a marker or ball-point pen and tracing paper.

This weekend I tried to get a headstart on my sticker art for my art table at Tekkoshocon. I looked at my previous two sketchbooks and I inked some little chibi sticker designs no problem knowing full well that all of the little ink spots, you know the ones you get from holding the pen a millisecond too long in one spot, could easily be erased in Photoshop. But then I decided to work on my latest original character gesture practice piece and could not get the face down. Those little sensitive details I just couldn't get the way I wanted! It looks fine in pencil, but not once I tried to use a marker. Argh!

Tonight I'll be in Photoshop spending some quality time with Evan, my original character, and my Wacom. How do you feel about the Wacom vs traditional ink?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a safe and happy holiday season. A lot of good change happened for me last year, the holiday season itself was one of the best I've ever had. Still, I was happy to see 2007 go. I'm looking forward to 2008 for many reasons. A new year means new inspiration for me, both personal and professional.

I can't say that I've ever really taken the New Years Resolution thing that seriously. Aside from the yearly resolution to get more active and lose weight, the last few years my main resolution has been to reclaim my creative inspiration that I felt had dwindled since the glory days of my online comic "Dragon's Pride."

Although my daily out put of personal drawings may never be as high as it was in 2004 - 2005, I feel that I've accomplished a new level of quality in my drawing and digital color work. That doesn't mean that I don't still have a long way to go, but shouldn't it be more about quality than quantity when it comes to this kind of thing?
This year I'm taking a big step in my personal art career, I've reserved a table for the artists alley at Tekkoshocon 2008. I look forward to what the experience has to offer.

I am really enjoying being back in web design. I'm actually pleased for once with my own personal website. It's exactly what I wanted it to be, a pleasant mix of my personal art that still features my professional work, sure it's a little busy but so is my life and my overactive imagination. This year I am looking forward to learning more web languages, discovering new networking websites and designing new sites to add to my portfolio. I look forward to returning to work tomorrow and setting a schedule to update the featured content on the imprint websites as well as looking for online tutorials and web classes that I can work on in the event of downtime.

I haven't been this excited or confident about my future in a long time and I'm not afraid, I'm not even that worried, I'm going to make this year what I want it to be.