The past week has been a continuation of everything in my last post. My wife is still tirelessly looking for work while I build my portfolio back up again. With whatever time is left at the end of the day, we flesh out our roleplaying characters a little more. There has been a family emergency and a lot of stress tied into it so each of us having creative outlets right now is cathartic.
The art in today's post is Emerey the cat alchemist, my wife's first anthro character. She was playing Emerey the night I met her on furcadia some fourteen years ago. I was roleplaying as Tasmin, my thylacine character. Both of us had just escaped bad relationships and were more or less looking for a quick yiff. Emerey was too shy to ask, but she was cute enough that I was willing to follow her around and just chat. I think I was happy just having a girl to talk to, honestly. I never imagined I'd end up marrying her, but fate has a funny way of working things out.
Emerey never got much backstory or reference, so when she decided to use this character in our pathfinder game, I was happy to devote time to make her some character art. What I didn't anticipate was how long this piece would take. I ended up using it as a digital refresher course and practicing a lot of different techniques. I continue to use a mouse on all digital paintings, as I haven't yet found a tablet that I can work faster with. As I'm flat broke, now would be a horrible time to experiment with tablets, anyway.
Two weeks later, Emerey's art is finished and I can move on. It was fun hiding little things on the bookshelf. Maybe someday I can move faster with these pieces, but for now I'm just satisfied to finish something.
Other than that, there isn't much else going on. I've been lucky to make a few etsy sales, as sporadic as they've been. Still praying that we'll catch a break sometime soon here, and not have to struggle so hard with money. Friends have been wonderfully supportive of both of us, and we're very grateful to have the few who have remained close to us this week.
Roleplay and Revival
Last year, I mentioned how my wife and I have been struggling after the loss of her job and our income. We spent the winter selling and shipping most of my sewing supplies as we needed money for food. I even took ultra cheap emergency commissions because we needed to eat. It was a bad time, and both of us ended up going into a very dark place together. But we kept talking, and little by little dragging each other out of the depths.
Lunati encouraged me to give myself more credit as an artist. I had been insecure about my work, my passion, and I had been selling myself short. She believed in me, when I didn't even believe in myself. She told me it's time to get back out there, and maybe open a patreon. I'm going into this very cautiously, but I think she's right. It's time.
In between looking for work, Lunati has spent hours each day scanning my drawings. I honestly had no idea she (or anyone) loved my work so much. Any time I cut myself down she raised hell, and I'm grateful for it. I now know it's time to get back into the fight.
With that, I've been drawing more. A lot more. Every day. Even if I have a million other things to do, I find the time for art. A small side project has been us getting into roleplaying, and dragging out old characters that had been created and forgotten long ago. The character art in this post is her kitsune character, Glimm. I needed some quick profile art for our pathfinder game and Lunati lent me Glimm while she works on her cat alchemist, Emerey.
This tiny little project of ours grew into a massive storm of art and inspiration. I'm grateful for everyone who has helped us survive these last few months, even if you just commissioned me for a cheap sketch or bought something from my shop, thank you. Every little bit has helped. We're still struggling, we're still unemployed, and I'm still disabled, but we're fighting harder than ever to get out now. She's been more motivated this year, and I'm drawing as much as I can.
Tomorrow Luna and I will be celebrating our second anniversary as a married couple, and our fourteenth year together. It's going to be a while more until we're in a financially secure place but for now, I feel much more confident in my abilities and in our perseverance. I don't think either of us could have clawed our way out of this alone. Not this time. But we have been making small, slow progress together and that's worth something, I think.
I can't say when my next update will be. It may take three weeks, it may be in three months. But it will be. I can promise that more is coming here, and I can finally promise that it will be worth the wait. ;)
Whenever I'm between commissions I have a special folder that I dig into, but only when there's no other work to do. It's a large and incomplete archive of art, some dating back to a decade or more. What makes this folder special is the way in which I work on these drawings. Each piece was drawn entirely in Microsoft Paint.
Fooling around in Paint is surprisingly therapeutic, especially when trying to get my mind off of pain and anxiety. It's a simple program but there's a good challenge in seeing how far you can push its limitations. I'll admit that the bulk of my Paint folder is a mess of small doodles that start when I have a particular idea, or just need to scratch something out. Very few of these drawings get the attention they deserve so, for the past week, I've dedicated my time to completing at least one.
I've had a lot on my mind lately. Some new problems have risen up with no solutions yet to be found. To add insult to injury, Paypal hit me with a negative sixty-dollar balance after my bank rejected two payments made earlier in the year. This couldn't have come at a worse time for me. Lunati and I are struggling to stay afloat so whatever commissions I've taken in the past two months have gone directly to pay for food, health insurance and medication. Unfortunately, there are more pressing matters than my paypal account so I'll have to let that negative balance stew until I'm back on my feet again. All I can do now is take comfort in the knowledge that this too shall pass. In the meantime, I'll be digging through some old art and trying to make something pretty out of all the mess.
Quick Update and Pixel Portfolio
So it took a little longer than anticipated, but I finally put up my pixel art portfolio! Also added more examples to the commissions page. I've been busy with both digital and pencil commissions lately, along with some personal drawings on the side. If all goes well, I'll add a new gallery for those sometime. Right now I'm working to increase the visibility of my art outside of Furcadia as the community there has shrunk down a lot. Together, Lunati and I are working on a very large project that we hope to announce details for in the coming months. Just a quick little update for now, but things are just warming up. Stay tuned!
Hope everyone is having a great summer. I know it's been quiet here, but these past few months have been productive as I've been building up my art portfolio. I found a whole lot of drawings in my incomplete folder that were abandoned years ago, and have made some new sketches on top of those. Additionally, my tiger character Tacoma has gone through a bit of a remodel that I feel reflects her better. Her nose, mouth and inner ears have been changed to a light aqua instead of tan & pink. It's a small change overall, but I love it and I think she looks better than ever.
You may have noticed the website has undergone some changes too. My wife Lunati has had many years of training and experience in web development and she was kind enough to replace my ancient html with stylish, functional css. Search robots were unable to index my site before which made it difficult for people to find my work. This was a much needed redesign. Thank you Lunati for the love you've given to this and the Club Nimbus site.
I hate to put a deadline for when I'll release some art on here, as it's never gone as planned, but I am really hoping to have some work finished for my portfolio in the near future. Traditional, digital and pixel art I've done will be in my gallery sometime, so check back soon for more!
Welcome to Nimbaterra.com!
Happy New Year, everybody! Now that the holidays are over, it's time for me to get back to work. I am pleased to announce that Lunati and I have finally gotten a domain and web host for Club Nimbus. This means I will be posting more art in the coming months and am finally free of the censorship that my old host, Webs, had restricted on our content. This is very good news!
The Furcadia 32-Bit update came out last year, and I was so busy recoloring the 1500+ patches for Club Nimbus that I had virtually no time to update my personal site. Now that the crazyness has ended, you can expect more content here.
A few people have asked me recently if I am active on any social media websites. The short answer is no, I've never really been a fan of social media. I did try, many years ago, to get into DeviantArt and other similar art communities. Unfortunately after awhile it just seemed like High School Pt. II, one big popularity contest filled with cliques and drama.
Leaving communities like those gave me the chance to grow and evolve more independently without constantly comparing myself to others. This has made the process of creating art more peaceful and I am much happier with the results of my work today.
These days, I prefer to keep most of my content exclusive to this website. The people who truly want to keep in touch with me are always able to if they want. I'm still active daily on Furcadia and I do update the Club Nimbus website any time Luna and I make changes to the dream.
With all of that said, I do hope to post more often with new art and stories. And I hope that by doing so, somewhere, I'm able to inspire someone else to create their own magic. There is nothing stopping you from achieving your dreams.
New Free Patches!
Hope everyone has been having a great summer! Quite a few months have passed since my last update. In April I was commissioned for a custom avatar, the proceeds of which went directly into our web fund to move the Club Nimbus community site off webs and eventually onto its own domain. We're well on our way! Lunati has promised to help us scope out the best possible provider that will allow us to post art, roleplay sessions and a lot more without the content restrictions currently imposed on our site.
The avatar I completed was for Myrslok of Furcadia. If you bump into them ingame, you'll know right away by their custom avatar. Here it is!
This commission offered a couple new challenges to me. Flying animations are something I have a lot of experience with but Myrs' metallic wings were a bit different than the feathered bird variety I'm used to. It took a great deal of tweaking to get the wings flowing correctly and in the right place. Myrs also has different colored paws and ears which I had to keep consistent with every pose. Still, I enjoyed working on their avatar and am glad to see Myrs is pleased with how it turned out!
After this project was complete, I fished out my archive of public patches and reviewed them for the first time in over a year. I could see now that the patches I had made 8, 5 or even 2 years ago just didn't match the quality I put into my pixels today.
With this newly acquired downtime, I lovingly reshaded and polished up some old free patches and even created new floors and items to complete the five different "sets" that are available now on my Free Patches page. Each set comes with a fully functional sample dream to show what can be done with the patches.
The portal to Club Nimbus has relocated to 62, 45 in the Furrabian Palace. We're still just northeast of the palace but have moved over to the newly open World Package space we had hoped to get in 2013.
The Cindercove Phoenix avatar was finished in March and it's been great to see all the gorgeous markings furres are coming up with. I can only imagine how much fun it will be when the 32-bit Furcadia client goes live!
As always, Luna and I are aware of all the suggestions we have been getting for the dream and we're trying to work in as many as we can. Harpies will be the next localspecies added to CN, although it may take a few months more to complete. Until then, I'll keep everyone posted of what's happening here and there as more ideas are fleshed out.