Sometimes, I do Cute (part 2)

After finishing up the vegan tee shirt design, I decided to work some other animals into the series. The first thing I noticed is that my style has changed, which is most likely due to using a tablet to draw on now. The warthog and otter are the first of a new series, and will be worked into a story that has been percolating in the back of my head for nearly 20 years!

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On the Creative Impulse

I used to manage the entire overnight operations of the banking arm of a Fortune 500 company. I was promoted to the position because I could see inherent flaws in certain types of operational practices and came to the table with multiple solutions that might work to solve that problem. Said company was impressed, and thought “let’s give this guy a team comprised of student loans specialists, as well as a smattering of investment ninjas from the consumer banking department.” There was a parade, balloon animals, and all was good in the world.

That was, to put it bluntly, the second worst decision made in any of my vocational arrangements. The first worst decision was me accepting the job. I am not in any way a Leader of Men. I don’t have a lot of compassion for people who don’t want to work, and I have little patience for laziness. I work my ass off, and if anyone is working with me, I expect the same. I don’t work well in the traditional American Corporate Management structure because I don’t want to babysit, coddle, or motivate anyone… I just want to get the job done. Quickly, and in a preferably efficient manner.

The first realization that they had made a terrible mistake was when they had me take the Carnegie Strengths in Business test. The typical Strengths that a strong manager would have were WAAAAAAY at the bottom of my list, whereas problem solving traits were towards the top. Something called Ideation was the giant cherry on top.

What is Ideation? Well, it’s a mindset that is always thinking of new ways to do something, or just new somethings in general. I do it all the time. I am doing it right now. Imagine, now, working for someone who isn’t in the slightest bit worried about how your work performance is today, because he’s thinking of ways to streamline the way you do your job in the future? It’s a trainwreck scenario for a call center. For a creative job, though, it’s pretty cool. It’s the kind of thing that turns a mundane afternoon of reading history into the life and times of vampire Andrew Jackson.

Imacon Color Scanner

I am self employed. I get to make decisions that could make or break our business, and that keeps me pretty motivated to stay on task and keep things moving. The only time it gets bad, though, is when my brain starts working on something else altogether. We might be working on new menu items for the restaurant, but my brain is trying to figure out how to work a gear on a puppet. I don’t make puppets, but my brain is trying to work it out. I have to shove that aside right now, and focus on the task at hand.

Here’s the problem, though; I have this idea for a game literally rampaging around the brain right now. Yesterday, it was a variation on the traditional Rummy card game, but instead of face cards and number cards it would have been body parts and sabotage cards, with the goal of laying down a stitched together monster before your opponent can sabotage your lab. Today, it’s a deck building game. (I don’t know anything about deck building games…) Tomorrow, it might be a traditional board game with dice and pawns. By next week, it might be a fully interactive RPG using puppets (what is the deal with freaking puppets this week?).

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Puppet Shatner? Just putting it out there. Might explain a LOT.

This is the curse of the creative process. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It’s a huge part of what makes me who I am, and part of how I go from drawing a graphic novel in July to having a published coloring book in August. The creative ammunition is crammed in there, waiting to be fired off. I just need to aim a bit.

 

Tis the Season (for Shameless Plugging)

The wonders of the internet, folks. Seriously. I have been slogging through Shopify for the last few days, uploading art files for shirts and other goodies. When I got to this one, though, I just had to share! I am actually buying this for my own phone… I LERVE IT.

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It’s already one of my favorite pieces that I have done, and being able to protect my super-sweet iPhone with it? SOLD.

Anywho, Shopify is pretty cool. It might be the smoothest, easiest to set up, goofball proof system I have played around with. I would seriously recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good plug and play e-Commerce solution. I’ll break it down a little more in a later post.

If you’re interested in this item, or some pretty cool Gorinka shirts, please feel free to click the “Grimmleighs Custom Tees” link on the right. I will be posting new stuff there weekly!

The Gift of a Stylish Gorilla

I am an unabashed fan of anything Simian. My formative years as an Anthropology major were derailed by my near-constant distraction from primatology, and to this day I can rattle off more info about Pan Troglodyte than I can about the Vinca burial mounds. Etruscan civ was my jam, kids. But the migratory routes of the Silverback gorilla was my bread and chunky peanut butter.

So, it shouldn’t come as any sort of surprise that I draw a lot of apes. And monkeys, sure, but APES, man! They grace everything. And this year, they can grace YOU. Two designs are available, the first is this stylish Bizness Chap:

bizrilla

He’s a classy champion of corporate finesse, and can grace your stylish torso by following this link: CLICK HERE TO BUY A SHIRT!

Space Explorer Gorilla should be up and available later today, or perhaps tomorrow. I would never dictate a person’s holiday shopping preference, but this would look great on your weird-ass nephew or niece. You know, the one that gave Caesar’s address his ape followers from Conquest of the Planet of the Apes at Thanksgiving dinner.

Seriously, though. This shirt is, as the kids say, dope as hell.

the Lionfish

I was working on a mermaid concept for the mythology book last night, and realized that I didn’t want your standard fish lady to represent the Undersea Realms. So, I looked up a bunch of different fish and got really into the lionfish. They are pretty amazing to look at, and have some really neat spines, patterns, and colors. I decided that the lionfish would be the basis of my mermaid design, and here she is:

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I still need to work out a background image for her, it’ll probably be a shipwreck of some sort or another. My grandfather loved old sailing ships, and I inherited a little of that. I love the haunted mystique of a wrecked ship on the sea floor.

Making a Splash

Water is hard. I don’t mean in the jump-from-too-high-go-splat sort of way, either. It’s hard to draw. Fluid, in general, doesn’t like to be constrained to two dimensions.

The latest pages from the Miller’s Daughters see the ultimate demise of poor Ophie, and that meant some water needed to find its way to paper. It turned out pretty nicely, and will be even better when I add shading later this week!

The second page shown is the Rake, sauntering off out of the woods, his murderous mischief quite managed.

Monsters and Luchadores! Monsters! AND! LUCHADORES!

I get these horrific creative blocks from time to time, and nothing that I am working on has the power to move my pen. When times like these come up, I draw monsters. This week, though, luchadores worked themselves into the mix, because, well, luchadores.

Luckily for me, these little drawings got me fired up about the Night Circus, so I designed the background monsters for the circus:

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the Night Circus artwork ©2016 L. G. Kade

I got lucky this week, too. The next page for the Miller’s Daughters decided to stop being such a brat, and I was able to get the inks done for that one, too. I should have the fully finished page up tomorrow!

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I have a few friends that extol the virtues of warming up with “meaningless” doodles before a drawing session, and I am really beginning to understand why. That practice not only loosens up your wrist and fingers, it also loosens up the creative faculties in your mind, making you a better conduit to express your thoughts!