Gulper Eel

Fasinating

After drawing the Fangfish on Wednesday, I decided to look up a few more of the denizens of the deep. I looked up a bunch and settled on the Gulper Eel (aka, Pelican Eel, Gulper Fish, Pelican Fish, Umbrella fish.)  I also did some research on the fish, because I am like that.

Not only is he ugly, he is black (hard to draw that) and are not like a normal fish or eel.  Their mouths are over half their body, they do not have much of a stomach, and probably eat small crustaceans and the like.  There are several different types distinguished by the type of mouth and type of tail they have.The one I drew is of the “umbrella” type.  The corners of its mouth pop out when it opens its mouth to catch food.  This particular drawing also has mild bio-luminescence in its tail.

You can read more on the wiki.  I had to go to several different ones to make sure I had all the information.

In the end, like many deep sea creatures, we do not know much about them.  That makes them even cooler, if you ask me.

I can tell you that no one takes good photos of them, just a bunch of profile images, which were not very helpful when it came to draw one.

Gulper Eel

Gulper Eel. Creepy and yet so cool.

selfportrait_green hair

After Emerald City Comicon 2015

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Self Portrait of me making a smoochy face for a selfie. Joker makeup theme. It was fun

I had a great con this year.

I managed to snag a hotel room.  Worked my butt oft.  Bought stuff and saw tons of art.  I even managed to hang out with some friends.

I already posted a book review for one of the books I bought, Serenity Rose – 10 Awkward Years by Aaron Alexovich.  Now comes the rest of the stuff I acquired.

I purchased a collection of comics published by IDW.  Edward Scissorhands drawn by Drew Rausch, written by Kate Leth.  This new Edward Scissorhands series takes place many years after the movie.  I blew through the 5 comic books available and feel like I will be purchasing them as they come out.  They are pretty interesting.

On a visit the the neglected “6th floor” I got a gorgeous print of a lady playing a cello from Sasha Yoss.  You can see her work at www.sashayoss.com.  This is the only thing that might trump Serenity Rose for the coolest thing I got.  I also snached up a Princess Mononoke print and “the Sires of Time” comic by J.M. Dragunas. His site is www.dragunasmonster.com. I have not read the comic just yet.  The art is very detailed and it looks interesting.

The 6th floor also introduced me to Martha Hull and her work. I purchased her two books. “Death’s Daughter & the Basket of Kittens” and “Untimely Death Alphabet.”  Both were very entertaining to look at, despite the morbid topics.  Her work can be seen at www.marthahull.com.

The last things I acquired are not going to be used for their intended purposes.  One is a writers guide to the history of fictitious creatures such witches, faeries and vampires.  The other is a horror writers workbook, both by Ty Hulse.  More items I have not looked at much.  I plan on using the books for ideas.

My art has turned a bit dark lately, us artists go through phases.  Dark and creepy things interested me this year.  Last year not much was interesting ( I was broke anyway) and the year before that I got a bunch of cute stuff.

My illustration today is a self portrait based off a selfie.  I really enjoyed having green hair.  I am also going to be drawing more people in preparation for a painting/illustration that I will be starting shortly.

What will I draw tomorrow?

A Head Full of Other People’s Problems

I have a pretty good life.  I have a full time job (even if it is boring.)  I have a great spouse and marriage and I have no children.  I have money to pay the bills and even some extra to spend.  I get to go out and have fun, relax and enjoy myself when  I want to.

My life is so “pretty good” that I let my head get full of other people’s problems.  Other people’s money problems, family problems, and even friend problems. All these problems that I have read about or spoken about roll around in my head waiting for me to come up with a solution. Even if it is not my place to work on these, it happens.

head and bulb

The gears in my head are always turning.

I realized that I am quite boring in person.  Even though I have done and seen things, I cannot tell the story well (just not one of my skills.)  I think have always supplemented my boringness with the problems of other people, things for me to mull over and solve.  Got money issues, I will mull over it and see if I can come up with anything that might help.  Significant other dressing like a slob, I will mull over it and see if I can suggest anything that will change the behavior (just let them know what you think of their cloths.)  Need an idea for a story, game or other project?  Let me mull it over, I will have something for you, probably lots of somethings.

The only time this becomes a problem is when I cannot come up with a feasible solution.  I have tons of ideas on how to market your product (I really do) but you are going to have to invest time and probably money.  If you are broke, that does not really help any.  I wish I had more money to throw at the problem for you, but I cannot afford to do that (not to the amount needed, anyway.)  I have time to help, but I cannot DO it for you.  I wish I could, but I am not as skilled at      (your skill here)    as you are.

All I can do is give you suggestions.  If you choose to put the time and effort into the suggestion, I know it will turn out well.

Today my head is full of other people’s problems, and I cannot do much about it.  I just let them float around and propagate solutions that will probably never be used, so sad.

picassoNot being able to act on the ideas is the most frustrating thing for me, and others like me.  The ideas are there, like ripe apples on a tree.  All you have to do is reach up and take them.  I would rather you take my idea and run with it, then let it rot on the tree.  Yes the idea can come back next time the tree fruits, but it is not always the same and not always as tasty.  Taking an idea is not stealing if I am okay with it.  Plus you taking an idea, vs letting it rot, will allow me to have more ideas, better ideas.

I would really love to make all my ideas a reality on my own, but I am not really able to.  I do not have the skills needed for many of them.

So, let me know if you are in need of an idea.  I will mull over it and let you know.  I will even sketch things out.

Things That We Are

While attending PAX I had a chance to become more familiar with the “gaming media scandal” that has been going on over the past few weeks.  After listening to the PAX attendees and Enforcers I realized that I was really angry about the whole thing.  One of my “labels” is gamer.  That is not going to change because media says so.

We are all a conglomeration of labels.  We all choose the labels that we put to the front.  I am a wife, artist, painter, reader, gamer, nerd, woman, military….  The list goes ones.  You can see I listed wife and artist first.  Those are what I focus on.  Gamer and nerd are in there, but not at the front.  They are a part of me, but not all of me.  They impact how  I see the world and how I interact with it, but they are not the largest or most influential parts.

As a general rule I do my best to avoid media.  The news is all skewed to fit into someones agenda.  I am not interested in that agenda.  I just want to know what is happening.  When something interesting happens, I research it.  I go to four or five sources to ensure that I have a good view of what is happening.  A smart way to research.  I like to research. 

Not everyone is like me, or has time or will power to do that much research.  Media should be clear and unbiased.  Giving all the information so the reviewer can make up their mind.  That is not what is happening.  Media has chosen what we are going to think, see and understand.  We will all believe that cops are bad, gamers are losers, and the only way to solve problems is to give it money.

I am angry that the gamer media has chosen to be just like the rest of the media.  Sneaky, snide and bias.  The bit that makes me really angry is how they reacted when they were caught.  They denounced their readers, the whole reason they even get business.  Gamers are being labeled as evil, bad, stupid and worse.

Gamers are many things, oblivious to social pressures is a good one.  Gamers do not always see gender, race, creed, nationality, sexual orientation or any of the other labels that we put on ourselves.  Gamers are passionate.  If you have ever been to a gaming event or spoken to a gamer about their game, it is easy to see.  We love our games and can speak about them all day.  We will debate strategies, preferences and all the minutia that make us enjoy the game.  Gamers want to share the love of the game.  New to the game?  They will teach you.  Had a bad experience?  They will listen and try to repair the wrong.  The game not your thing?  They will recommend other games that might be better suited for you.

Gamers are lovers, not fighters.

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Freak OUT!

PAX Prime 2014 has descended upon Seattle, and I am working it.  (Table Top if you want to stop by and say ‘Hi.’)

freakoutEvery time I work an event I get REALLY nervous.  It does not matter if I am an enforcer (PAX,) minon (ECCC) or as a photographer for a gig. 

People freak me out, and not always in a good way.  Yes, nerds and geeks are still people.  Even though I have more in common with the type of people that attend PAX and ECCC they still freak me out.

I hate small talk, and therefore suck at it.  I constantly say inappropriate things, or have no clue how to respond, and it only gets worse if I do not know what to expect or “something” is not going to plan.  This year my unplanned “something” is that I was not able to go up the day before and get my enforcer badge and shirts.  This sucks!!!

All I can hope is that my spouse remembered to ask where to get them tomorrow.  Yeah, I do not like relying on people either.  People mess up perfectly good plans on a regular basis.

So, why do I keep doing this to myself?

Well, I enjoy it once everything starts.  Even the guys who will not look at me because I am a “girl with boobs” (this is way stranger to me than getting hit on.)  I like to see what people wear, who they bring, and listening to what they talk about.  It is really neat.

I also never got to do this kind of stuff as a kid.  I kind of missed out on the crazy parties and general weirdness that people experience in their late teens and early twenties.  I get to snatch bits of fun in my thirties instead.  Not a bad trade, I am old enough to value the experiences.

How do I get through it?

I have a lot of experience with customer service.  Once things get rolling I can become what the attendees expect in an Enforcer at PAX. 

Little+girl+make-upThe big and best tool I have is MAKEUP! 

It is about to get girly for a bit.

I do not usually wear makeup.  I dislike how it feels and it takes a bit of time and maintenance, which I find annoying.  I am also super sensitive to mascara and eye liner and can only use a few types (more work.)  The bonus of makeup is that it is a mask, you can look like and become someone else.  We do not call it “war paint” for nothing.

I like to dress up for events and allow other sides of my personality out, though it can be tiring. This year at PAX I will have purple hair with blue stripes (well the front 1/4 will.)   I will also be busting out the colorful eye shadows and lip gloss (ooo lala.)  Stuff I do not get to do on a daily basis.

Once my warpaint is on and I am caffeinated (Chai latte please,) you will never know that I was nervous and that people freak me out. 

Have fun this weekend!

Some of me will.

FYI, I use Espionage Cosmetics.  They are a local company and have a great product.  I will be wearing the Gamer Girl color set and circuit board nail wraps (ran out of the d20’s.)  If any of you people out there are looking for some good stuff.  It is very vibrant and hangs out for a really long time.  I am pretty sure they have a booth.

 

Shooting Myself in the Foot

No, I am not really going to post about self sabotage.  Not directly, anyway.

This title has more to do with how someone could take the contents of the post.  Basically what I have to say is probably going to be a bit of professional self sabotage.  The topic has been weighing on my mind so I am going to post about it anyway.

While having dinner with an artist friend, the topic of what artists talk about when they hang out together came up in passing.  He joked that he would talk about the latest hot chick he had drawn.  If I drew people I would probably do the same (well maybe hot guys instead) but I do not draw/paint people.  This was just a passing topic, but it stuck with me.  Why don’t I like to draw people?

The answer is pretty simple.  I do not like people.  I do not see beauty in the human form.  I see aggravation and stupidity.  I suppose that is what happens when you work customer service your entire life.

Here comes the part where I “Shoot Myself in the Foot.”

This painting was tons of fun to paint.

This painting was tons of fun to paint, until I added the hand holding back the hair.  It just looks so wrong.  I know I should practice painting people, but they irritate me so much!

I wonder what happens to people when they become customers.  It is like they lose all sense and become dribbling idiots, that cannot process a simple directive or thought.  I am always amazed at how someone can transition from being an intelligent, logical and sophisticated individual to a bumbling idiot when they walk up to a person standing/sitting behind a desk waiting to help them. This phenomenon is not exclusive to people who do not work customer service, even we fall victim to being stupid when we become customers. Anyone can become a customer.  You do your best to be a “good” customer, but those are few and far between.

What does this have to do with art?

Artists create things that cause some kind of response, be it emotional or logical.  Some people think that the human form is amazing and find it beautiful and even relaxing.  Others (like me) do not see that.  The human form is complicated and only causes negative stress. It is hard to keep things in proportion, features create odd shapes and getting the skin tones correct is difficult. I paint scenes and things to get away from people.  No people in my paintings means no stress in my paintings.  Nature is much less stressful for some artists to draw/paint.  I can spend hours driving myself insane painting hundred of tiny tri-colored flowers and be perfectly relaxed.  The second I start adding human elements like a hand or bit of arm I start getting stressed out and stop having fun. All because I have negative thoughts associated with people.

Trick-or-Treat: A thought about All Hallows Eve

When I was younger I loved Hallowe’en.  Not because of the candy (it was a bonus) but because I got to dress up in a crazy costume and hang out with my friends.  I got to stay up late and be outside after curfew.  I got to see all the cool things that people would do to their house to impress the kids and it was just fun.

I suppose that I was able to enjoy this freedom during Hallowe’en because we took time to get to know our neighbors and my parents would place limitations on where I could go without them.  If I wanted to visit the apartment building a parent had to go with us.  No running around in the forest.  Not that we wanted to, it would mess up our costumes!  My parents let me run around in the freezing cold to teach me to make sure I dressed appropriately.  I learned easily how to tell if I was aloud to go to a house (lights on and decorations out) and which ones were off limits (no lights and no decorations.)  Most of the time we knew if someone was going to be away for the night and would not even wonder if it was okay to visit their house.

In this day and age we are bombarded with news about how dangerous it is for kids.  We have had a knee-jerk reaction and decided that we should protect them from EVERYTHING, even fun.  Just because the news says something is bad does not make it so.  News stations have to sell and bad news sells.  So people  putting razors in candy apples sells and reenforces the ideas that Hallowe’en and Trick-or-Treating is bad.  It may have happened once, to a friend of a friend’s second cousin’s (twice removed) kid sister.  This does not make it a true story.  That is how myths get started!  Start fact checking the news and you will find that half the time they are just spinning a story to sell more air time and line their pockets.

I promote Trick-or-Treating.  It helps establish roots in the neighborhood.  I helps teach children who is a safe caring neighbor, someone they can go to if there is trouble.  It helps you interact with your neighbors and become a stronger community.  Neighborhoods need to be close knit to survive a disaster (like a fire or flood.)  If no person is an island then no house is either.  Trick-or-Treating also is a way for grown-ups to show their appreciation for the younger generations.  A way to pass on traditions to the next generations. 

Let the children enjoy their childhood.  Be parents and look out for them.  You do not need to keep them from experiencing things.  Just be there to help them if it was an unpleasant experience.  Let them Trick-or-Treat.  Let them get a sugar high and not be able to go to school the next day. 

I turned out alright.  I bet you did too.

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