1. Finish ALL pending artwork commissions: This is going slow and steady. I've delivered several private but the list is still a bit long, but it will get decreased considerably this month. On the professional side I'm working on my last (and rather extensive) pending gig, which is a major milestone since I had been dragging a long list of overdue professional work for over a year...
Finishing all the private commissions have taken me longer than expected but is a steady going, so I hope I'll be deliver everything by next month. I'll change the procedure and send sketches first and then color so that everybody gets to see their stuff sooner.
2. Start up Butterfrog as a publisher: This one is the trickiest since I plan on doing it properly, and that means the develoment of a full corporate image and branding. Still BfS's (Butterfrog Studio) objective is to be a design studio with a focus on providing art, cartography, graphic design and development for publishing companies and private customers. Publishing would be a secondary focus. BfS official launch is yet to be defined
3. Art book!: I've been looking forward to get this one done and nowadays I have enough color material to fill a decent-sized book. Once I get the BfS brand image together this book will follow shortly .
4. Art and Gaming art blog: I've start an art "blog" with an epic fantasy theme. These will be sketches posted with a short description on the art that will appear on my facebook, which I'll link once it gets started by the end of this week
So, busy busy year!
27/11/2015 Moar commissions to delivered next week!
EDIT: 01/11 Sick week... I've been quite sick for a week now, with fever, joint pain, rash and lots of swelling (eyes, ears, hands, feet...). Quite a week. Feel a lot better now thou I still have a few doctor appointments to confirm what kind of virus I caught.
Sorry for the unproductive week, I'll try and catch up ASAP!.
EDIT 24/10: No especific news yet, they found an anomaly but not the especific anomaly they were looking for, and it's condition can't be identified without further research. Now my wife and I are under the microscope, literally.
One good thing came out from this, I feel my wife and I have come closer to accept peacefully whatever comes to happen, so all in all I think we came back with our hearts a bit relieved and we'll just keep living with the life we've been given and care for it and enjoy it as much as we can.
PS: You'll find this is a strange place for me to post this kind of news, and it is. I do it because this is kind of my private corner. None of my close family or friends (the local Mexican friends, that is) come in here, so I get to vent the stuff I rather keep private. So it kind of stays private in here.
Thanks you for your kind thoughts and comments, now back to the drawing boaed!
This coming Friday the 23 we have a hospital appointment regarding our boy’s genetic condition that may change the rest of our lives… It’s been an 18 month uncertain struggle and it may be just starting… It’s a quite nerve wracking and stomach churning situation that has seriously reflected on my ability to trurn artwork jobs in.
Prayers are uttered, fingers are crossed…If the news are favorable, then we'll be able to dream of a "normal" life. Our boy still has a surgery to follow and he may never be 100% ok, but not having the genetic condition sure beats any other of his current health issues.
If the news are unfavorable, well...
In any of these cases my life as an illustrator will intensify right away, either by an enlightenment of heart or by a notion of impending necessity.
Talk to you soon
A couple subtle but big changes:
-I'll do the patreon first (much much less prep time), It'll be ready hopefully early november. Also I'll be simplifying it and make it more community friendly.
-The book will get published on December
I'll email commisioners this weekend, I promise!
Once the artbook launch is over and commissioners appeased, I'll launch a Cartography Patreon.
(If you are not familiar with Patreon please check www.patreon.com ).
The Patreon will present 4 maps each month from four different types: Dungeon, Encounter, Location and Settlement (detailed below). Patrons will be able to choose to “suscribe” to any one (or all) of these categories to get a map every month with option to get extras and goodies based on her patronage level. The base patronage for 1 map a month starts at $1.00!
The base map will be presented as a 11x17" spread page both in color and B&W, with flavor text, adventure hooks, with and without grid and tags. All maps will be presented on a creative and realistic way (as realistic as fantasy cartography can be made), so you’ll get designed spaces that make sense with archetictural features that normally are gone on most fantasy maps, and of course every now and then we’ll throw in a classic old-school style map to keep players on their toes with crazy and fantastic architecture!
The maps will be presented as single shot scenarios and sometimes as part of larger scenes where you can connect either literally (as in one map is literally a continued part of another) or as a part of a related location (i.e. A given Location in the Settlement map.)
The map styles are:
The classic adventurer’s tomb (eeer playground) full of traps, monsters and villains! Presented in all kinds of enviromet, either common as sewers, catacommbs, caves, or as exotic as volcano lairs, fronzen tombs or
Samples: *Property of Privateer Press ** Property of Monte Cook Games
Small and detailed places for a single elaborated encounter or a few small places for short enconters. These maps are intended to be used as tiles or VTTs.
Samples: Property of Privateer Press
Large building complex like castles, monasteries or wizardly schools normally presented on multy level maps that players can visit “normally” without hostile intetions.
Samples: *Property of Run Amok Games **Property of Paizo Publishing
Civilized and not-so-civilized settlements from small and lovingly detailed thorps to large and overcrowded cities.
Samples: *Property of Run Amok Games **Property of Paizo Publishing
Note: Half these maps are oooold (to my stardards)... The new stuff looks quite nicer, nowadays I have way more experience
All maps will be presented with extra options for Players, Game Masters and Publishers; like player handouts, high resolution files for printing or VTT, multilayer PDFs to turn on/off secrets and tags, personalized tags, purchase option for shared IP for commercial uses and more!.
I hope this peeks the interest of cartography enthusiast out there. I’ll give more details about this patreon and steps 3 and 4 in the coming weeks.
PS: I’ll be mailing all commissioners within the next three days.
This 96+ pages Art Book will contain most of my color work (published and private) from the past 4 years, which will be:
-Characters and Creatures (120+ illos!)
-Cartography (36+ maps!)
-Covers and scenes
-Miscelaneous (Objects, icons, logos, cartoons, etc.)
The book is intended to be not only an art portfolio, but also a bit of a practical reference so that it can be used as a fantasy illustrator/cartographer/concept designer guide and a player's inspirational source. This means all will be presented on practical separated groups (classes, races, items, etc) and I'll include several step by step illos and "design notes" for the curious and inquisitive.
Along with the book I'll do LOTS of goodies as extra for the people who may want to help me out by purchasing one (or two...), these in the form of bookmarks, postals, prints, stickers and other kind of art-related gaming useful (or simply decorative) "swag".
I'll make the book available throu direct email order, conventions (veeery rarely) and of course on the launch at Indiegogo or Kickstarter (KS beign highly unlikely) and should go live by the end of October.
Commissioners and Publishers who get their artwork included in the book will get a complementary (free!) PDF of it.
Next week I'll reveal a bit more about the book and steps 2 and 3 of this process, the steps that could involve the commissioners that I owe work to.
I have plenty of previous commitments to fulfill before fully lauching this, (hence the three month period to slowly make the change) and also important, I have a big proposition to do to my overly patient commissioners to compensate them for their awesomeness which involves their commisisons, getting free stuff and getting published. I'll be contacting all people I owe stuff wihtin this week.
I still brewing an important prep campaign for this launch, something I hope to acomplish by the end of the month. I'll be leaking clues in here on a weekly basis (and on the Paizo message boards) for the people that's been following my work for a while and that may be interested on art-heavy RPGs and I'll keep track of those people really interested and that followed this from the begining (that it would be right now on this journal), so post on the comments section and let me know you are interested on see what this is about and I'll keep track of the people who "joined" up since the very begining to grant them "special status" and freebies.
I've been having a bit of daily life issues that have prevented me from moving forward at the desider pace. Hopefully this week will be the last one at the comatose-turtle speed.
Thanks for the continued patience and support!
EDIT 17/07: BLAST OOOOOFFFFFF!
Today is my last day at dayjob before I start a very much awaited 2 week vacations. Starting tomorrow I'll be posting updates in commissions every other day. I wwas hoping to start this sin June but the summer period turned out to be a busy (not too busy) one at the office.
Anyway, LOTS of characters coming this way!
Forgot to mention, if you want to change your commission feel free to do so, just contact me with the new character(s) info and voila!.
Sketches will start to appear in a few days...
Starting July I'll cranck up all belated commission delivery. This was supposed to start this nearly gone June but there was a bit of hold up with my colorist and he'll be starting on Wednesday.
So, this will work on a first came first served basis. I'll start doing all B&W first and after I'm done with all of it, I'll continue with the colors. This will give the colorist plenty of time to get down to business and I'll be able to deliver stuff faster for everyone. By mid july I should be done with most of the commisisons's B&W and most likely the colorsit will be base coloring at the same rate I do B&W. By the end of July I should be done with all B&Ws and starting to detail the flat colors.
So, start up the engine!...
Butterfrog Studio is growing (at least for a month...)! In order to speed up the due commission queue I've hired a colorist who will help me to lay out flat colors. This saves me from 3 to 4 hours per characters and the style does not change, since the shading/highlighting process is the one that imprints the styles, yo!, so things will come faster colorwise.
Next week you'll start to see lots of character WIPs
Now starts the summer period at the dayjob and it's a very relaxed time, which means I get to go home all fresh, crispy and ready to continue doing lots of artwork.
I'm wrapping up a couple big jobs and organizing my schedule to resume working on the overdue commissions. I'll do some warm up this week and then I'll be posting WIPs and lots of finished artwork for the next weeks until the very beggining of August.
It's been a loooong while since I posted character commission artwork, that is about to come to and end.
Illustration work wise, things are busy as usual, but the one thing that has kept me away from overdue commissions, (that is big time contractors or way overdue Kickstarter projects) are finally wrapping up. Nowadays I still have a few professional commissions but those are withing schedule and not too time demanding (except for that one with lots of characters, which is a very special case ). I'm finishing the last project withing the next few days, and by the end of the week, I'll be a free-and-on-schedule artist that has time to do other overdue work.
My family is as OK as it can be. Our baby is still going to lots of physical therapy ans stuff and this year will go into "minor" surgery (still sedated and cut open surgery!) and we are still a bit nervous about that, but other than that every things to be "fine" at the moment. This finally allows for a bit of wife+hubby time and a bit oif winding down stress-wise.
Reaching this point has taken me about 3 years... The feeling of coming "freedom" is VERY inspirational and the fact that the family is doing OK makes my mind a lot clearer, so get ready for a lots of characters artwork starting next week.
To all my overlypatient commissioners: Thanks you SO MUCH for beign so patient and understanding, I'll do my best to make it up to you for your looong wait.
For the last couple months things have got slightly more stable with our son, and that have given way for the other trouble to rear its ugly head, the kind of trouble that remains on the background when bigger trouble needs to be taken care of. This resulted on a dead slow phace of work (again). Thou I'm still working things out, life is starting to shine bright and inspiration is flowing back!
I haven't been posting more updates because other than A LOT of personal stuff, I had mostly nothing new to say on the art front until last week. I've been rather productive this past week and withing then next ten days I'm going to be out of my last big contractor commitment and thus able to get back to my way overdue commission work (among other lingering contracts! ).
So, I'm finally making progress towards overduecommissions work. I hope you all have me a bit more patience (as in a couple weeks) before you start seeing that stream of commission work I've been promising for a looong while.
If any commissioner need specific info or else, please contact me and I'll reply right away.
Haven't sent out emails yet, still sorting a couple overdue jobs, which will get done this weekend.
I'll send that email right after!
Back at the "Office" and warming up to hit the ground running. Lots of stuff to do, and this year's priority: Finish all pending commissions and then start up formally, slow and steady with Butterfrog studio.
I have to do some serious organization and I'll be handling the process over emails, so I'll be contacting you all again this week.
Best wishes to you all for this brand new year!
Lots of news when I come back, the most important will be the schedule to clear all pending commisisons.
Happy holidays to you all!
I'll be up in the US by next friday the 26th on vacations, and I wanted to seize the opportunity to try and raise a bit of extra pocket money and take advantage of the good and reliable USPS, so I'm putting my original published artwork (hand made sketches and prints) up for sale.
So I'm offering the Original sketch (pencil, bond paper letter size sheet), a signed prints of the sketch and a print of the final artwork, be it in color or B&W, depends as it got published, like the following:
These are a few of the illos I have available, if you know of another you would like, just send me a note or email and I'll check if I still have it around.
Scenes (half pages) $100
Includes shipping and a surprise or two in each envelope.
So if you want to give yourself or someone else an artsy post-xmas gift, this may be agood chance. I'll keep this sale up 'til Dec. the 23rd
Our son is fine now, still checking on his health and it will be so for a few months more, but things are stable now and we are so very thankful of that. This is extremely good news not just on the personal side, but on the professional side as well 'cause now I can dive back "full time" into artwork.
On artwork, I did lots of stuff for Monte Cook Games (maps a artwork) and started working with Privateer Press (maps), and joined several Kickstarters, thou I was very optimistic timewise when I joined the KSs, oh boy was I wrong... long story short, my son's health got all my attention for several months and all artwork got deadly behind...
Honor all my pending private commissions, it's been too long now....
I'm still clearing some professional work from this year, so this month and a bit of January will be a bit slow on private commission delivery, but by the mid of January, things will pick up fast. It'll take me about two months to delive ALL.
After I deliver ALL my pending work, I'll finally start doing my own stuff (again), starting by finishing the Butterfrog book.
Next year will be very relieving and interesting, thank you for beign so patient and keep on watching!
I've been meaning to put up a journal for a while, thou since little has changed, I've been trying to wait 'til I had bigger, more meaningful illo-work news... Anyway, here it goes.
First of all:
Early this year my family's life turned a bit complicated, and the illustration schedule got shot to heck... I'm not perfect with keeping my timing (waaaaaay not perfect), but this turning point in my life messed the schedule way beyond my imagination.... And even so, most of you fabulous people stayed for the ride and didn't send kobold ninja pirate assassins after my head... I can't thank you enough
Personal life is finally back in order. This is kinda big news (for my family ), contrary to my comment abode, but I know that what you want to hear is big news on the illustration side, but this of course will reflect itself on illo work since the preocupations and time consuming hospital stuff is over (for now...).
I'm still dealing with the after effects of a long almost-death productive period, but if you'll have me a bit more patience I'll deliver and I'll keep a weekly visual update so that you see things are moving along. I'll try to deliver it all over the next couple months.
Again, thank you very much. I can't thank you enough, and I will find a way to compensate you guys for your patience.
Mr Sean K. Reynolds is starting an RPG of his own. I'm not doing any artwork for this but Sean beign one of my favorite game designers and one of the best and veteran in the RPG insudtry, I thought I'd share this one with you guys: www.kickstarter.com/projects/s…
His Kickstarter is pretty much funded and with a few more days to get some stretch goals on it's belt.
Come and join and share it with your friends and foes!!!
PS: News on the art front coming in a couple days
Those of you who know me a bit or take the time to read my boring journals should bequite familiar with my ongoing family/artwork status. Here come a bit more rambling about it:
Ever since our kid was born 5+ months ago, we have been scared $#¡xless by all kinds of doctors (and noisy nurses), and the past month has been the worse, since our head pediatrician decided that we needed to go see a couple of specialists, which incidentally would bring our list of doctor/medical institutions we are atending to 6. You know this means not only a lot of time and stress, but also a wee bit of $...
Last week we visited the second specialist and to our amazement she was very optimistic! The first time in 5 months we have clear good news, thou we are yet not on green and still need to wait a few more months before beign 100% certain (as one can be with medical stuff) our baby is OK in that particular area (the one that concern us the most).
For the first time we walked of of the doctor's office with a smile in our face.
This last turn of event has lifted our mood considerably, and now I can feel a bit better about paying more attiention to work and inspiration is definetly starting to flow back in... Not to mention the cracking whip of the wife urging me to get back to work to pay off lots of medical bills! Hopefully in a 3 or 4 weeks, everything will be a lot better and things will return to normal.
I've noticed that you guys have been extra patient with me and have called off the poirate kobold assassins for the time beign. I really nappreciate this and I'll make sure to compensate you all for it
You guys rock and thanks for sticking with me!!!
That's the trick with inspiration (I think), inspiration comes from passion and if your hearth is set somewhere else, it's really hard to find it. Without inspiration illustration becomes dispassionate and thus usually very mediocre... and that's not where I want to be.
I'm finding my way back into inspiration trying to turn our current "health events" into a positive inspiration (you know, give it a 101% to take proper care of the family) and it's freaking hard, but today I'm finding myself on a very positive and good mood and I feel this is the day when I go back to inspired artwork
Thanks for sticking up with me!
The risks of a -Side Job-
I've been in this trade officially for 5 years.
Nowadays I feel I can call myself a professional Illustrator, even if it's simply for the amout of work I've been pulling and for the kind of clients/gigs I've been getting. This is kind of a dream come true, and kind of because actually I never dreamed of becoming an illustrator, but I'd LOVE to do this full time for a living. But there is a minor problem... sometimes I'm rather unprofessional in my illo jobs... specially on those for private (non-publisher) commissioners.
Having two professional jobs (dayjob and illo work) is a bit complicated, specially since the average day only has 24 hours. When I started this as a job (aka started charging for drawing), I grabbed everything that came my way, and even actively went looking for work, and this quickly became an issue because even without much responsability in my hands there wasn't enough time in my day to pull out all the work in time. This went on for a couple years and a few commissions started to pile up... Then the professional work started to get more serious, and I started to get bigger jobs and even a couple crazy ones and grabbed less and less private commissions, but the "biting more than I could chew" issue still remained.
By the end of 2012 I realized (as obvious as it was) that I could't keep working like that or I'd be in serious trouble. I pretty much stopped grabing private commissions for the exception of a "once a year list", and even so I couldn't keep up, yet for financial reason I continued grabbing professional work instead of honoring full time the delayed commissions I had.
Around the middle of 2013, I realized that I needed to stop taking all work that came in or else I'd never deliver anything on time or at least deliver the overdue private stuff I owed, some of it even for years now... This epiphany came a bit late, and even thou I stopped taking private commissions and started declining a few pro jobs, The overdue pile was so big that I just couldn't make everyone happy anymore, or at least not too upset... I had to do some serious damage control (and a couple refunds...) and I'm still doing it to this day. By the end of 2013, I had a few professional contracts running and still a long line of overdue private commissiones. The biggest issue of 2013 was that I landed one of my biggest clients and that meant a LOT of work, and thus delayed my whole "production line" again, but it was one of those opportunities yu can't turn your back on, even if it mean lots more trouble.
And so starts 2014. I have a very short line of professional WIPs and still a long line of waaaay overdue private commissions. The year looks very promisiong since I had very little pro work to do!!!... Then life happens. Family stuff hits hard (a HUGE baby delivery drama) on february and it demands 101% of my time, and what little time I can steal for commissions must be focused on professional work (lest I lose a couple of my biggests accounts) and then I chip away painfully slowly the private commisions while juggling professional work and a very stressing life period. This went on until a couple months ago. Nowadays all is in relative order but my newborn baby still requires a bit more attention than the average infant does because of constant hospital visits. The professional work queue is down to a handful of clients and the private commission line is slowly starting to move.
My current schedule is like this: 90% of the work I've been posting the past couple months are gigs that I finished several months ago (some are form last year). I've stopped looking for work for over a year now, thou I've not turned away all the people who have come knocking and the only proffessional gigs I've grabbed are those form old time friends or those that pick my personal interest, and these are still within the "handful" (5 or less) of professinal projects runnig at the same time, with 4 of those due to be completed by early september. I've contacted most of my long overdue private commissioners and I'm working on a schedule with them. I'm yet to contact a few of the longest overdue commissioners, and that's because I want to compensate them big time for beign soooo patient and for that I need all the time I can muster to make some truly awesome stuff.
I'm all set and ready to use the rest of the year to do nothing but clearing my line of work and deliver ALL due work!
PS: Sorry for the extremely long rant, I needed to get this off my chest!
PS1: The lesson here is DON'T book more stuff than you can handle in proper time!
The guy took it down www.ebay.com/itm/mtg-Brimaz-Ki…
Thanks again for the support!
Now I can call myself an artist!!!
My stuff is decent enough to get stolen:
Not cool, and pretty much unevitable...
The first half of the year was quite stressful due baby delivery issues and consequent doctor appointments (which are faaar from over and only getting more frequent), so I decided to relax at least for a week and forget about everything. The plus side it's that I'm quite fresh now and 101% ready to dive back into the pile of delayed commission work!
You'll start seeing WIP this week!