My First Drawings of 2019

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New Year, New Sketchbook

I mentioned recently that I’d try to make more time for drawing this year, and part of that goal is to fill up the new sketchbook pictured above! ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved the cover when I saw it and figured the new sketchbook might help to inspire me to keep at it with my drawing if I had an actual set amount of pages to fill up. So far it seems to be working. I’m definitely rusty and I’m tinkering around with watercolor brush pens so that’s been fun. It’s taking some getting used to but I feel like I’m *starting* to get the hang of them. Anywayyyy, here’s some of the WIP drawings I’ve got going so far.

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I did this Ignited Moth to be my profile picture and debut picture for Instagram. It seemed fitting to finally make a piece to go with the alias I’ve been blogging under the past couple years.

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A WIP shot of the girl that kicked off the following WIP piece. I need to fill in a dark background for it and add some more details, but you get the idea. I’ve always been a fan of drawing monsters, so expect plenty of those in the art posts to come. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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It’s been interesting using the watercolor brush pens more. They’re definitely a good practice in patience for me. I have to go slowly and deliberately with each stroke and it can be difficult for me with my itty-bitty attention span. It’s kind of relaxing in its own way, too, though. Here’s a close up of the monster pictured above:

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I don’t really know what exactly I was going for with this guy. Like a horse skull mixed with some sort of Krampus vibe is about the only way I could describe the creative notion behind him.

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This drawing almost didn’t get beyond the sketch stage. I was originally going for a pinup Poison Ivy, then when it wasn’t going how I wanted I was going to do a whole Dรญa de Muertos inspired makeup on her, but for now I’m leaving her like this. We’ll see what happens with her in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, that’s it for today’s art post. I hope you guys enjoyed. What creative shenanigans have you been up to lately? What are your go-to art tools of the trade?

 

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Giant Days, Vol. 4 (No-Spoiler) Review

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Yay! More Giant Days! โค If you’re looking for a fun slice o’ life style comic with good female friendships and likable characters all around, this is a series not to be missed out on. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a cute, feel-good (mostly) series about a trio of friends tackling life (and sometimes being tackled right back by it.)

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Each of the characters is going through their own things in this volume that I’m not going to get too into since, ya know, spoilers suck. In typical adulting-fashion, the girls deal with these issues, plus a whole slew of other things like the literal hell that is house-hunting, making terrible student indie films in an effort to win some cash, job hunting, and the horrors of online dating. Combine all these things and more and you wind up with another entertaining installment in the lives of Esther, Daisy, and Susan.

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Esther truly understanding what it means to be part of the work force.

Currently tangled in the sticky web that is house hunting, myself, I found their struggle all too real. That shit sucks. It sucks big time. You think it’s gonna all be awesome, that you’ll find your dream home all easy-peasy-like, but really it’s mostly moments like this:

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All in all, volume 4 is another fun and enjoyable read in the Giant Days series. Have you read any Giant Days yet, or are you reading any other good comics at the moment? Let’s talk about it! ๐Ÿ˜€

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The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls (No-Spoiler) Review

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This was such an interesting story, and it’s one I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time. It had been hard to find (and pretty pricey!) but with the recent (and much more reasonably priced) addition of The Asylum to the kindle, there was no way I could resist snatching that baby up! Emilie Autumn has never shied away from discussing topics like mental illness and the history of abuse women have suffered throughout history in her songs and poems, and her book The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls sure as hell doesn’t shy away from it, either.

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“Fight Like A Girl”

It’s hard to categorize this book into any one genre since it is written in a way that reflects the author’s actual time spent in a psych ward, but also tells the fictional and horrific (but sometimes darkly magical) tale of a fictional girl named Emily living in a Victorian era asylum. In the book, our author Emilie learns the tale of the Victorian Emily “with a Y” through mysterious letters she finds during her stay in the psych ward. I guess “Historical Magic Realism with a dash of Nonfiction thrown in for good measure” would be my best attempt at categorizing it? No matter, though, it’s just a really interesting story that discusses things most people choose to ignore concerning mental illness and the Victorian “polite society” so many people are quick to romanticize.

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If you’re already a fan of Emilie Autumn’s music, I’m sure you’ll have a fair idea of what to expect within the pages of this story. She’s got a dark and witty sense of humor, and she can weave words in a way that will both enchant you and disturb you. This story definitely reflects that. It has moments that will warm your heart and others that will rip it right out of you again.

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I really enjoyed this book and by the time I reached the second half of it I pretty much devoured the remainder of the story in one sitting, refusing to pry myself away until I’d finished. I would definitely recommend it, but will warn readers that it does discuss dark subject matter concerning suicide, rape, the horrific treatment people were subjected to in asylums like lobotomies and forced-hysterectomies, all manners of abuse, etc. It definitely takes some artistic liberties, but that’s part of Miss Autumn’s storytelling I’ve always enjoyed, so I embraced the fantasy-like elements along with the more gritty and realistic ones. Definitely glad I finally got to read this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

And just for fun, here’s a lyric video of one of Emilie Autumn’s songs that serves as a satire about the treatment of women back in the Victorian era when it came to mental illness (please keep in mind that women could be institutionalized for all manner of things including masturbation, domestic troubles with their husband or family, and other ridiculous reasons back then.) A lot of things in this song might sound far-fetched by today’s standards, but treating those in asylums like zoo animals for the public to behold was a very real and messed up thing back in those days. History definitely isn’t always pleasant, but it is something we can (and should) learn from so we can better treat our fellow man and learn from our past ignorance.

Giant Days, Vol. 2 (No-Spoiler) Review

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I’m a wee bit behind writing up my review for this because of the recent business with work and whatnot, but here we go!! Better late than never, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, a while back I read and reviewed volume 1 of Giant Days. (To sum it up: I loved it!) โค

A few weeks ago my boyfriend got me volume 2 and I was excited to read more of the shenanigans of the characters I came to love in the first volume. This series is cute and fun, with fantastic characters. Volume 2 picks up right where Volume 1 left off, with new-but-great friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy banding together to get through the madness that is their first semester at university. We’ve got dances, relationships, hometown rivalries and antics, and other hijinks abound in this volume.

gd2 It was a fun read, but I will admit that overall, I did like volume 1 a little bit more, but I still enjoyed volume 2 and will definitely continue reading the adventures of Daisy, Esther, and Susan. Curious to see if many other people felt how I did on the matter I went ahead and read several other reviews regarding volume 2 and it seems pretty split down the middle: either people enjoyed volume 1 a little bit more, but still liked this one as well OR they preferred volume 2 because theyโ€™d already gotten to know the characters in volume 1 and now felt more connected to them going into this volume.

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Thereโ€™s also an artist change part way through this volume. The artist change isnโ€™t bad or anything, but I did miss some things about the first artistโ€™s (Lissa Treiman) style. Mostly their bold lines. The new artist (Max Sarin) did a good job though not making it too jarring by matching up pretty well how the characterโ€™s looked and everything, while still adding their own flair. (And we still get Whitney Cogar’s awesome colorist skills this go around.)

Overall, Giant Days is a fun series about three girls with a great friendship. John Allison has written them realistically from the very beginning, with flaws and strengths, distinct personalities and interests, and their own insecurities and hangups.

What are you reading at the moment? Anything good? Anything horrid? Anything just “meh”? Let’s talk about it! ๐Ÿ˜€ I always love to hear what you guys are reading, too.

Fight Like a YA Girl Book Tag

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Books and wine make an excellent pairing, and this is something proven frequently over at the YA and Wine blog where you can find awesome wines to go with awesome books, fantastic reviews, and exciting posts about book/author-related events. I was thrilled to be tagged for Krysti’s newly created book tag about the many types of kick-ass ladies in literature. Big thanks to her for tagging me to do this awesome new tag! Now, let the ass-kickery begin!

THE RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator Krysti at YA and Wine
  • Match at least one YA girl with each of the themes below.
  • Tag as many people as you like!

WARRIOR GIRLS:

Okay, it’s been a very LONG time since I read this book, but I’m going with the Slayer (named Sophie) from Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row (A Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel). Slayers are total warrior girls! ๐Ÿ™‚

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR MIND:

How could I not choose Hermione Granger for this category? I mean, c’mon, she was the brightest witch of her age. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR HEART:

Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Karou has a lot of heart, and love plays a large part in her story.

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GIRLS WHO ARE TRAINED FIGHTERS:

Virginia au Augustus (aka: Mustang) from the Red Rising trilogy. I nearly picked her for the “girls who fight with their mind” category since she is known to be highly intelligent, but she is also trained to fight with more than just her mind so here she goes!

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STRONG GIRLS OF COLOR:

Inej Ghafa (aka- “The Wraith”) from Six of Crows. She’s strong in every sense of the word, and she’s one of the many reasons I can’t wait to read Crooked Kingdom!

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT TO SURVIVE:

Temple from The Reapers are the Angels. She’s grown up in a tough, zombie-filled world, and she’s never known anything else.

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GIRLS WHO ARE WEAPONS MASTERS:

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy. Total pro with that bow and arrows. I wanted to list Inej and her trusty blades again for this, but I’m mixing it up with another girl and another type of weapon instead. ๐Ÿ˜›

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Fan art of Katniss by Me

GIRLS WHO DON’T CONFORM TO GENDER ROLES:

Okay, this series isn’t YA, but the young-but-fierce Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire immediately came to mind, so she’s who I’m going with. ๐Ÿ˜€

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GIRLS WITH KICK-BUTT MAGICAL POWERS:

Nina Zenik from Six of Crows. She’s part of the Corporalki order of the Grisha (a heartrender, to be exact), which means she has the ability to snatch the air from your lungs or even stop your heart if you’re in her line of sight.

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STRONG GIRLS IN CONTEMPORARY NOVELS:

Honestly, this isn’t really an area of reading I’ve explored, so I’m stumped for an answer. Here’s a cute puppy instead!

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SERIOUSLY FIERCE GIRLS:

Isabelle Rossignol from The Nightingale. This book really isn’t strictly YA, but I feel like Isabelle’s half of the story could be considered YA, and she becomes one hell of a fierce girl. Not through brawn, but through her determination and spirit.

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MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK WITH A STRONG LEADING LADY:

Wonder Woman: Warbringer! I can’t wait for this one to come out. ๐Ÿ™‚

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So, ladies & gents, there we have it. ๐Ÿ˜€ This tag was a lot of fun, so I’m tagging each and every one of you!! Let’s spread this tag like wildfire and promote the hell out of some badass ladies in fiction! Have a great weekend, folks! โค

Random Doodles and Bits

Hey, everyone! โค Just sharing some quick drawings I’d done a while ago. Hoping to work on new pieces tomorrow if I can find the time! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I don’t know why but I tend to like coloring people’s skin tones in various shades of grey. Not a very healthy look, but one I’ve often enjoyed doing for some reason.

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Also, I’ve always drawn ladies wayyyy more than guys. It’s just more fun in my opinion. ๐Ÿ™‚

What sorts of artsy things do you enjoy doing? Any quirky art habits? I’d love to hear about it!

Review (No Spoilers): Giant Days

So, I can’t say for sure if I believe in fate or not, but it certainly seemed to ring true with this weekend’s addition of Giant Days to my comic collection.

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I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who also loves comics. This means many of our date days involve excitedly perusing the many shelves of our local comic book shop and/or the library. This weekend it was all about the comic shop and I was a girl on a mission! I went with several recommendations in mind, many fromย The Brunette Book Worm Blog‘s recent post about some of her top comic picks. On this list was volume 1 of Giant Days, written by John Allison and illustrated by Lissa Treiman with colors by Whitney Cogar.

And by some weird twist of fate, the woman working behind the register just so happened to select this exact title that was on my list to fill an empty spot on the shelf in front of me.With absolutely no prompting from me. It was uncanny!

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She was awesome and backed up the recommendation when I told her about it, so it was basically a done deal.ย Giant Days had officially earned its spot on my bookshelves. (Especially since my boyfriend was treating!) ๐Ÿ˜›

I am so glad I picked this little gem off the shelf. I feel like I must have devoured the first volume because I was eagerly turning the page to read the supposed next chapter and surely enough was confronted by the covers gallery and end of volume 1.

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I was so bummed I didn’t have volume 2 on hand. It was so fun and cute, and I loved the characters. Itโ€™s always great to see a story focused on strong female friendships, and that is exactly what Giant Days represents. Some people assume male writers are incapable of writing believable female characters, but to them I say “NAY!” because Giant Days is proof that this just isn’t the case as it
follows new friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy as they navigate their way through life at University. Each of our leading ladies is a different and believable character with their own talents and their own feelings and lives that they are trying to figure out.

So, enough about what I’m reading, what are you currently reading? Have you uncovered any recent gems of your own lately? ๐Ÿ™‚