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!
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!