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.
Harpies, Airships and a Cindercove Phoenix - Oh My!
It's been a busy couple of weeks as I wrap up the remainder of last year's commissions and get ready for some major dream updates! Local Species in progress include the humanoid Aurai Harpy and our large fluffy Cindercove Phoenix (does the name ring a bell?).
Here's a few lore snippets from the upcoming bestiary and a preview of the WIP avatars.
The above is only a preview, there is still a lot of work left to complete. The Harpies, while outwardly female in appearance, will need male and unspecified portraits as well. The Cindercove Phoenix still needs cleanup, signature markings and its own unique portrait set, too. Luna and I are also working to get the Bestiary entry up. Our Local Species Tab is already a bit tight, so I have to work with the coordinates in the skin to make sure we can get those in there. It shouldn't be too much of a hassle, just moving things around in the Skin Editor to make it all fit and of course writing in the dragonspeak button codes to wrap it all up.
As for the Airship update, that is its own massive project that may not see completion until late this year. I'm still very busy giving 32-bit palettes to our existing patches so my paws are really full! I'd like to keep more dream updates here without taking away from the RP vibe of Club Nimbus but not too many people visit this part of the site. Have any suggestions for more in-dream features? Throw 'em my way, you never know what will be in the next update!
A Busy New Year
Another year has come and gone, and what a busy time it's been! This year, Lunati and I won 1st place (Regulars) in the Spring Festival Dream Contest on Furcadia. Merry Meadow was our first time submitting a dream to the contest, and our joint effort was enjoyed by many. Even more rewarding than winning was how many furres would whisper us saying they loved it! Later this summer, Lunati and I teamed up again to work on Cove of Cinders, our first Master's entry. We won 1st place and had a blast drinking Vincacola and fighting off angry fire spirits!
We've had to take a break on the contests for awhile due to the fact that we're in the process of moving out of our apartment. I'm currently visiting family out of state for a month and I still have many active commissions to finish.
Club Nimbus is doing well, and we now have a guild forum and group listing on the Furcadia website. Our new location is just northeast of the Furrabian Palace, you can't miss it! I'm hoping to get a little free time with Lunati to hopefully implement a better dice and combat system for the dream and perhaps attract more visitors. More updates will come as I get more time for personal projects.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! I've been incredibly busy in the last five months. Couldn't find time to even update here. Lunati and I are living together and I just finished updating Club Nimbus. Last month, we got an amazing gift from our mutual friend Elwood Flickertail. No longer will it be a worry to keep the dream open because he will renew the DP for us! I'm very happy to say that Club Nimbus will be open at our usual spot in FurN, and anyone who still remembers us and wants to see the now fully custom dream can stop by anytime! I should note, however, that we have stricter RP rules and because of this, casual (OOC) chatting will be more limited.
Club Nimbus, Commissions and Retired Portraits
I spent about three months restoring and working on Club Nimbus in the late spring, early summer. The good news is, it should still be back up this year. The bad news is, I have to move a couple more times and still having some health problems that I need to sort out. I've been really stressed out lately and haven't been getting as much done as I'd like. The next time I move will be to stay with a relative for a few short weeks and then I will be taking a flight across the country to finally move in with Luna. Everything seems to have gone at a snail's crawl in the time leading up to this, so it's no surprise I've kept a lot of art related projects untouched. Depression and anxiety on top of the other health problems also haven't been particularly helpful.
I'm still working on raising funds to bring Club Nimbus back with a dream package, at least until some regulars can help me keep it open. About a month ago as I was looking through all of the older portraits I made for the dream in 2010, I thought it'd be a shame to let all that work go to waste so I am offering the retired portraits with a donation of $5 or more. They are not being sold as a set but individually for personal use. I'll make small customizations for free. To those who have asked, yes, I am still taking commissions too but they will take a day or two longer than I used to have them finished. The next month or so is going to be especially busy for me but I'll keep posted as time goes on.
Has it really been three whole years?
Well! Can you believe it, I haven't posted an update on the main page in just over three years! Quite a bit has happened in the meantime. As you can see over at the Club Nimbus Updates, I was last actively managing the dream in Spring of 2010. Last summer, I spoke briefly to a long time visitor of ours and mentioned the possibility of it returning to FurN before 2012. Well, life happened. Moving happened. Health problems arose. But I am too passionate to let this dream die, and I am still working on bits and pieces of it until I feel it is ready for reintroduction. There is no official date just yet, but it is looking to finally be this year.
Now, the reason the dream has gone away after so many repeated attempts of keeping it active is because I have not once been able to pull together a loyal group of regulars. No community eventually means no Club Nimbus, so time and time again this is what's kept me away from Furcadia. Periodically, I will return and try again. I can promote the hell out of this dream, but in the end it is up to the community whether it stays for good.
Finally, this site has seen a facelift for the first time in about six years. Not quite sure what that has to do with anything, but I like it, and frankly I don't give a Jellopy if no one else does. This is where I put my junk. In this age of Facebook and Twitter, we've lost a lot of individuality and freeform customization on the web. The only two sites I've been updating lately are here and my Livejournal.