Buttons!!!

I had a last minute convention in Toronto at the beginning of March and with the unexpected profits I decided to go ahead and invest in a button maker… and I’ve been having so much fun with it.

tumblr_n2qeiiONaL1rhhopgo1_500

I have a few designs up already that I had for sale at the latest convention I did last weekend in Reno and they were pretty popular! Mostly Supernatural… What can I say? It’s fun =) There’s also some Hannibal buttons and a fun Nosferatu one “No. I do not sparkle.”

foodpack HannibalWillsDogsSet_1 IMG_20140325_023102 IMG_20140325_023151 Pins

 

Check them all out at my new Storenvy shop! They’re just $3 and even less for the bundles

 

 

LAST DAY for pre-orders

Already?? This month just flew by. I haven’t been able to upload nearly as much as I’d like to since I’ve been working on the pre-orders for latest book (and the next… few), not to mention moving. To another country. Yikes. But it’s all starting to wrap up now. Today is the last chance to get in an order for the Art Book (see details here: LINK). Not 20 minutes ago I finally finished up all of the edits needed for the book to be print-ready, so tomorrow I’ll finally get to order the first shipment of books for all of you who’ve already purchased one! The day after that (Mon) I’ll be getting the moving truck and then it’s a few days of truckin all the way up to Portland OR. Then, finally, I’ll have a minute to breath… at least until the convention in CO at the beginning of August.

So if you’d like to squeak in at the end of the pre-order and grab yourself a copy, you can check out the link above for details, or go to the straight to the order page HERE.

Art Book Pre-Orders are OPEN!

2013PreOrder

The book is a little over 100 pages in full print quality color and contains over 50 illustrations on top of sketches, W.I.P.’s, and private works I’ve never published before. There is also a step by step digital art tutorial (with lots of pictures and screenshots of course) and the entire Chinese Zodiac series with their personality characteristics, dates and compatibility! YAH it’s jam packed.

For the pre-order ONLY, these books are available for $25 with no s/h fees.

I’m also offering a limited number of Special Order packages, limited because I only have 20 books of Nix Nought Nothing left in stock! The Specials will include a signed copy of the new Art of Bix707 book, a signed Nix Nought Nothing Pin Up book and each order will come with an original sketch.

The Limited Special is available for $60 *until my supply of NNN books runs out* first come, first served.

To Pre-Order:

Send your payment via Paypal to Bix707[at]hotmail.com ($25 for the single book, or $60 for the Limited Special) and make sure you include your shipping address and name. If you would like to order multiples, please contact me via note or e-mail first.

I will be closing preorders at the end of June. Once orders are closed, I’ll order the books from the printers and they should arrive at the end of July.

DO NOT order this if you need the books before the end of July.

Thank you guys!!! =D As always, questions or comments please contact me~~

Women of Lit Book Update!

I’ve been updating this blog pretty sparsely this past month or so, since most of what I’ve been working on I haven’t been able to post publicly..! I’ve made some pretty decent progress on this book though, so I think it’s about time I posted not only an update, but a little preview as well =)

SO

Since you guys are awesome and throwing out so many suggestions for me, here’s the list of the 16 characters that I already have sketched out:

Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)
Claire Beauchamp (Outlander)
Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
Hua Mulan (the Ballad of Mulan)
Judith (story of Judith and Holofernes)
Lilith (Judaic/Islamic Mythology)
Lisbeth Salander (the Girl w/ the Dragon Tattoo)
Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)
Mercy Thompson (Mercedes Thompson series)
Molly Grue (the Last Unicorn)
Nyneave al’Meara (Wheel of Time)
Petra Arkanian (Ender’s Game)
Pipi Longstocking
Shaharazad (1001 Arabian Nights)
Sophie Hatter (Howl’s Moving Castle)

So those are the ones that I’ve already drawn. Here are the ones I’m thinking about doing:

Lieutenant Laura Hayward (Pendergast series)
Hester Prynne (the Scarlet Letter)
Irene Adler (Sherlock Holmes series)
Janie Crawford (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter series)
Lyra Belacqua (His Dark Materials)
Valentine Wiggin (Ender’s Game)

There were quite a few more, but I had to cut them to keep the characters accessible, unique and distinctive. My goal is to have 20-25 of these illustrated, and to have the book ready for printing by November. Thanks to everyone who’s made suggestions so far, and I’m definitely still taking them! =)

Alright as promised, here’s a preview

PipiLongstocking

Freelancing: Issue #8503

I really love to brag about my job. As far as desk jobs go, mine’s juuuuust about one of the coolest! I’m basically doing for money what I’d be doing if I had nothing better to do =)
But every job has it’s downsides, right? Freelancing is definitely a “Feast or Famine” type of gig. I always have either WAY too much to get done nownownow… or nuthin’. Zip. Zero. And then back to omgwaytoomuch aaaaaaaaah!… It’s fun though, and it’s all a matter of pacing myself I’ve found, and lots of planning ahead. I try to always have several projects of my own on the back burner; drawings, crafty stuff, new signs or product ideas, etc. That way when those slow times come around I don’t end up just sitting on my hands, I can grab one of those projects and run with it until I get more paid work.

On the flip side, the same goes for the paid work. I never seem to have just one commission at a time; it’s always 5-10 all of a sudden and I need to get ’em done quick! Unfortunately, especially for the work I do in illustration, a lot of the pacing depends on the customer. I often find myself waiting on payments (which I almost always take up front. More on that later…), commission details, references, contact information, yadayadayada. Sometimes I send previews of the work and end up waiting days to weeks, even months before I get a response! So I’ve found it’s really important to be able to switch between commissions and work easily, without getting too hung up on the one I’m working on. Multitasking! Very important.

That said, I do have a “queue”, a sort of commission line that people get on depending both on when they contact me about the commission and when they pay. While I give the current commissions at the top of the queue top priority, I also bounce around the queue line while waiting on any of the many things I talked about above, or sometimes when I hit an art block on a certain piece and need to take a short break to get my groove back.

As for what I said earlier about always taking payments upfront, I’ve been burned before, but more than that a lot of friends of mine in the same field have been burned before. It’s (really unfortunately) not too unusual for people to try to get art for “free” by ordering work, then either disappearing or simply ignoring any payment requests once the work is complete. Luckily this has never happened to me, but I have had clients that procrastinate and procrastinate and make one excuse after another about why they can’t pay yet “but next week for sure!”. Basically it just becomes very unpleasant for everyone involved as I then have to take on the role of Collector and they have to deal with getting hounded about debts. After doing this several times I decided that I had enough of a clean track record with commissions and clients that it wasn’t unreasonable to ask for all payments upfront. Now, I do understand that it’s not always easy to pay for expensive things like art all in one lump sum, so I do offer small payment options for the more expensive works. But again, in order to protect myself, the payment always has to be made in full before work is completed.

I know lots of artists that have very different policies on how they take and work through commissions, and how they accept payments, but this is the method that I’ve settled on for myself and it seems to be working out. In fact, if there are any artists/freelancers reading this, I’d love to hear your methods/thoughts on this process!

Fur Suiting, for reals this time

So I posted something about this a few days ago and promised I would explain it. The most basic explanation of FurSuits is this; they are animal costumes.

A little more detail? Okay, so fursuits are most popular in a fandom called “Furry“. The point is to anthropomorphize an animal or creature that a person wants to represent themselves as. The Furry fandom is based around a group of people that, in one way or another, personify themselves in an animal, but it’s not limited to that. Interests within the fandom are extremely broad; anything from a love of classic old Bugs Bunny cartoons, to the spirit animals of Native Americans or the gods of ancient Egypt, to the more technical side of costuming and prosthetics. Personally? My interests are in the artistic aspect. As far as fandoms go, Furries are extremely art and artist friendly… but I’m getting off topic.

To be completely honest, when I first started selling at these conventions, fursuits freaked me out.

Seriously. WTF. Gigantic furry suits with big huge eyes towering over you with who knows who inside… Buuut I guess you can get used to just about anything given enough time, right? After I got over the initial shock I started to really appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity that goes into them. Every year I see something new and innovative that’s really amazing. There are a lot of hobbyists that dabble in fursuit creation, but then there are those hobbyists that have taken it to a whole new level, and even professionals in areas like Hollywood creature creation and animatronics. Two years ago I had a long conversation with a man who had created a fox head that was fully mobile. The eyes opened and closed as could the mouth. The lips around the teeth could even be bared like a snarl, all controlled by sensors placed on the wearer’s face. The ears were fully mobile and twitched and moved about according to a sort of “mood” sensor touching the wearer’s forehead within the mask. The man was an engineer by profession and had created the mask over the past few years as a fun side project.

On the more artistic side there are also creations like these.

They are unique designs by a studio called Clockwork Creatures and the craftsmanship and detail in each and every one is absolutely amazing. They remind me of the creatures and designs from the 1980’s movie The Dark Crystal (before CG took over the movie business…)

TL;DR… it can be a little shocking/confusing/creepy when you first see a fursuit, and yah, not all of them are amazing works of art or engineering… but no matter what, there is a lot of time and effort that goes into each and every one and sometimes the results can be really amazing.
EDIT: oh yah… it’s Thanksgiving today, isn’t it? Happy Turkey Day all of you States side =)

Whoops!

The area had a little internet outage today so I didn’t get to post what I was supposed to earlier… This is definitely something that has worried me a lot since being down here. The unreliability of the internet is becoming a pretty serious problem, since my entire business is based around it! Not only that, but I’m pretty limited in technology as a whole. No data or constant wifi can really put a damper on things.

On a brighter note, I may have made a great work connection at my last convention. If all goes well my conventioning may just have just become leaps and bounds easier! My dad always told me, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” I guess he was right. (queue, “I told you so!”)

Back from the con aaaaand…

I promised a post explaining fur suits yesterday, didn’t I? Weeeell travel back home was a little crazy (early morning international flights are never fun…) and I’m bushed. Totally whipped out from the con weekend. So instead of a full explanation, for now I’ll just leave you with this:

Fur Suiting (MFF Day 3)

I really wanted to talk about fur suiting for this post, but I’ve been staring at my laptop screen for a good hour now and all I have is a title. I think I’m officially burnt out from the convention. It went GREAT though. I Did more sketchbooks this con than probably any other before, met some really wonderful people and made some great new connections. I was really unexpectedly surprised by the success of my table as well, considering I had so little compared to previous years.

I promise to do a much more detailed post tomorrow, on both the convention and fur suiting… although I think I may need to split that into two posts… fur suiting is…. yah.

In the mean time, a dollar sketch I did =)

Convention Sketchbooks (MFF Day 2)

One of my best sellers at conventions is sketchbook commissions. Everybody treats these commissions differently, but in general they are simple to somewhat complex sketches. I’ve also seen sketchbook commissions inked, fully colored with markers, or even painted! They can be extremely complex, or simple stick figures; it all depends on the artist and what they’re willing to do.

Con-goers often provide their own sketchbooks for these commissions and treat them as collections. They will go to different artists around the convention, getting artwork from each of their favorites, slowly filling the books. Some people choose to get random work, some people theme their books. I often get book that have a character description in the front and everything that is drawn within has to be based on that. I even got one book that had a random quote on each page and the artist could choose whichever quote they liked best to inspire them.

They’re great! They’re really nice, personalized collections for the people who purchase the sketches, they are (generally) a simple and fast way for artists to make money, and they are great promotions/advertisement for artists too!
I have a stack of about 8 sketchbooks that I need to complete by tomorrow soooo… I really ought to get to that now.