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!
STill crunching KS stuff, it will be over this week because the KS are also over this week, so no more delays
This week I'm wraping up a few projects with some seirous deadline (a couple of them KS) and then I'm mostly free for the rest of
the month. There's no date extension or anything 'cause that stuff it's done this week is is not done at all.
As usual, daylife gets in the way, but this time baby stuff is the one getting in the way. It involves hospitals, so you do the math...
That's when I'm back to commission work, in just a week!
On personal stuff:
I start and include this on my Illustration site mostly because my personal life pretty much dictates how fast my illustration work proceeds. If you read my last few post you'll now that life got a bit intense with my newborn child 's delivery and both my wife and son's health. Those were somre rough 3 weeks but all is calm and stable now.Before this there was a bit of drama due preps tfor delivery, which in the end was more than adecuate because our baby came 2 weeks early., so, this was around 6 weeks of almost no illo work done.
I'll put the queue back next week along with an offer for current commissioners. I've much to apologize for my unprofessional tardiness and it's about time I dealt with it on a more efficient way, and also offer you a second option to deal with my huge delivery-time issues...
On Professional Work:
Well, besides freezing the client hunt for 6 months now, Butterfrog Studio is running quite good, 'cause sometimes clients come to you without looking for them, the latest clients included Monte Cook Games and Paizo again . Right after I finish the commission queue, I'm going to go back to revive the Field Guide to the Butterfrog by including the winning entries and adding a bit of artwork to it. I'll be shooting to bring some print copies of the guide to PaizoCon.
On the sad side of professional artwork, I just got thrown under the bus on a epic fail of a Kickstarter... It just happened a couple days ago and it raged bad, but it's already starting to fade and apparently few people actually bought what the KS author tried to get out of blaming me. If anything, I think this ended up beign a positive thing since it showed me the true colors of many people and how the RPG industry is very supportive of their own... Thank you all for believing in me! This was quite a Milestone in my illustrator career so I owe it a lenghty post, something I'll do right after I deal with the commission queue journal.
My wife is doing ok now (as ok as she can be...) and I hope my son will be home soon, and then I'll jump back into illo work, which MUST be this week.
Sorry guys... Just a few days longer (I hope...)
Our baby is 2-4 weeks from beign born and my wife wanted to prioritize the final preparations so that we were ready in case he decided to spring up on us earlier, and that held me back a couple weeks more, which then held me back with the Professional (RPG companies) jobs and now I need to focus on that before I'm out of a job. The good thing is from now and on all baby stuff is done expect for the final call on the hostpital
Anyway, I have to finish all Professional stuff by the Tuesday next week, and I'm hard at work on it. I have only that one client and after that I'll be doing nothing but the commissions I owe and nothing else until I'm done with that.
Please bear with me one more week!
UPDATE Feb 28th
Final countdown! I took a couple days off to finish as many RPG company illos as I can to go back to commissions around wednesday next week. It's a done deal now so next week will get busy with emails to commission and you'll see a steady artwork progress in here
Just a quick shout that I'm beign held a bit back with commissions. Our (first) baby Butterfrog is due to be born soon and I need to take care of lots of hospital/doctor (paying!) stuff in case he decides to be born sooner... I'll keep moving forward with commissions while I do this, but things will be a bit slow. Once we hit March, the pace will increase to a decent beat.
Cheers and Apologies!
It's a boy!!!
I'm super glad to share with you all our greatest joy, God willing in about 4 months we will have a baby boy in our family. I could never imagine how strange and wonderful this feeling is, and we can't wait to welcome him into the world and teach him all our geeky ways!
Annnnd, Next year I'm starting on a second carrer. Architecture!
I'm a Graphic Designer but all my life I've been saying that if my other carrer of choice was architecture, not anymore. I'm going for it and if all goes well, in 5-6 years I'll be doing other kind of professional cartography .
Neither of this will affect "much" my illo-time, but basically all my TV and web browsing are GONE now All free time is for illo work!
The 6 remaining weeks are packed with lots of free time so I expect to chip fast at the private commission block. I'm already working on it and soon you'll start seeing these awesome characters brought to life. Private commissions have a high priority for what remains of the year, for I intend to clear my overdue commission slate at long last!
Lately I've been doing a lot of color and I'm super excited to show it off, but I'm afraid that it'll have to wait for a while because most of it is artwork yet to be published. I must say thou that I had have the most amazing comment about it: -Diude, you color work is better than your B&W now!- This is a big deal for me because EVERYONE always say exactly the same, that my B&W is (was?) better than my colors. This is milestone No.1
Recently I've been contacted by a major third party published, one that is hot hot HOT right now, and if the stars are right and the planets align correctly (and the groundhog doesn't see its shadow), I may be working with the last one of my RPG industry idols that I've been wishing to work with for years. I'll let you know who as soon as I have green light on it. This would be Milestone No.2
And last (for this year), as announced a coule months back, the turning of this "side gig" into a formal and professional job, is going as slowly and stady as planned. I would LOVE to jump into this right away but I don't want to do it until I'm at least finished with 80% of the overdue private commissions. I really need to "be professional" about my late work if I really want to go pro. That another reason for me to put the extra effort on finishing with all these pronto this year. This would be mi final Milestone for this year.
Major stuff is coming by the end of this year and at the start of the next one too. Thanks for staying around and beign so patient!
These are the original concept art sheets for Clinton Boomer's novel The Hole Behind Midnight, each is a 8.5 x 11" paper sheet on pencil and I'll include print of each character on the sheet you "adopt".
I'm letting these go for $50 each (shipping included). If you are interested please contact me.
If you want to see these up close, you can see it in here:
Legendary Games is running a Kickstarter to fund the print run of its Gothic line of supplements. You can get a ton of awesome gothic PDFs or/and Print products for a super reasonable price!!!
The campaign is really close to get 100% funded and it ends this sunday the 20th.
Check it out! > Legendary Kickstarter
For five years I've been pouring my head on paper (and digitally!) and did so happily as a hobby. Last year I started to take "Butterfrog Studio" more seriously and decided to start an RPG Publishing Studio. This was received as good news but many people got worried that I would no longer provide artwork because I'd be much too busy publishing. This got me a bit concerned because I didn't wanted to loose clients on the biz side that was more profitable (illustration) over the biz side that was more out of personal satisfaccion (RPG making), because in the end, I'm trying to turn BFS into an actual business and that requires to pay attention to the profitable side, and honestly, I enjoy illustration almost as much as RPG making.
What does going Pro mean?
For BFS, it means dedicating part of my time to it as any professional work requires, so, starting today, I'll have a formal second job, all dealings will be slightly more professional, and that I'll start providing "regular services" both free and contracted, like weekly illos and monthly suplements, a much larger presence on the social media, and much more goodies All focused mainly in Illustration, cartography and graphic design for gaming.
In a nutshell, BFS is about to offer much more and at a faster phase, stay tuned!!!
Thanks for watching!
The place is still not ready, there are many small (and not too small ) details yet to be done, like painting and putting up the batroom door, but I MUST restart on my illo work before I get more stressed...
This little construction took away 6 weeks of my time illo time, for it's was not only construction that needed to be done, but also lots of purchasing construction materials and movinng the furniture around. I had to ask for a lot of off-work permission hours to be present at the construction and supervise the whole thing, that was the price I had to pay in order to make this remodelation affordable. Lots of things went wrong, most of them got corrected. The whole thing remained withing budget, but in the end, I ended up without money (actaully, in red numbers) because I just couldn't get down to work and thus no work was completed and I couldn't get paid... Now not only I haven'tfinished my work, but I'm very close to losing many jobs because I'm much overdue on deadlines.
Why I couldn't get down to work? I had to move all my stuff around and half my home was in "ruins", and the other hal was packed up with the stuf I had to move to empty the rooms that were under construction. Also, when the workers left, I needed to clean my whole place up so that the place was liveable. Between the cleaning and all the extra shopping I had to do, I had precious to no time to sit down on a dusty corner to try and get some work done.
Now the contractors are gone, and my place is still unfinished, but mostly there. Enough at least for my to put my desk and laptop down to return to illustrate all my duties. Why the urgency of this construction and the obsessive need to clean up? I have HUGE news on the personal and illustration studio side that I'll share with you in a couple weeks more
Back to the drawing board!
For pretty much all of 2013 I've been a little quiet. Very few uploads compared to previous years and precious few professional publications too. This is because I'm supposed to be wrapping up a lot of commissions from previous years, something I'm yet to acomplish.
This past July I had a nice two-week vacation where I planned to finally finish my due work, and I did achieve it to a certain point but no way near what I wanted, because then came the dreaded CONSTRUCTION!...
For over a year now, I've been planning the construction of a bathroom and several other "small" stuff in my home, and part of this planning included securing an affordable cost, which luckily I got. This construction was supposed to take two weeks and to start around mid august (by then I'd clear my commission slate) but the contractor was ready to start by the third week of July and if I let it pass then I'd miss the opportunity to do the construction, so I had to move and start to purchase all the required stuff for the construction detailing (batroom furniture, water heater, lamps, tiles, etc) this took a lot of driving around for choosing nice (and cheap!) stuff, checking prices, placing orders etc. A week after the construction started I found out that part of the deal of "affordable contruction cost" meant there will be no foreman at place, so I needed to be on top of the construction workers or else I'd risk having stuff built not how I needed it or where I needed it (or both!). Also, I never considered that the construction mess would spread to 75% of the house and the couple rooms I didn't lost to construction stuff/mess I lost'em to storage space to cram the rest of my stuff, which left me without a proper drawing place... Then I had to be supervising contruction stuff deliveries and taking care that my two doggies would run out the all-to-often-open-front-door when the contractors were taking materials in... All in all I needed to be "there" all the time until the workers left for the day, and then clean up so that I could get some illo work done, which killed most of my drawing time...
So, vacation time slipped by without much work done, now the so called 2-week construction time has turned to 3.5 weeks (and counting!)... My wife and I (and my doggies!) are growing a bit desperate of the increasing and neverending mess. I had to ask for several off-hours at the dayjob to be at home and continue to supervising job, something that will come around and bite me on my ass when I have to pay back those off hours...
Now the rightly-so eager commissioners are starting to circle abode me...
(a couple pics of what used to be our computer/tv room-studio a week ago. As of today the place is TEN TIMES MESSIER)
I'm SUPER happy that I finally got this construction project going (it is SUPER necessary!) but the consequences are turning a bit dire... At this time I'm reaching a stressful breaking point and I needed to explain myself to my commissioners for this delay before throwing myself at their mercy...
I hope I don't run out of luck!...
Image property of Game Smths LLC, artwork by Wayne Reynolds
The NRG system is a quick and easy to use new RPG format, the campaign is already funded and reaching for stretch goals at the moment. I'll be puting some work in it whe it gets developed in the coming months.
Please check it out!
I'll post a journal update about commissions this saturday. I'll be emailing all of you personally too.