Hide Your Skyr! Here Comes Skyrgámur!

Starting on the 19th of December, Skyrgámur descends from his mother’s volcanic cave and wreaks havoc on the poor, humble folk that leave their Skyr unattended. Skyr. Mighty cultured dairy product of the gods. It’s like thick yogurt, but less intensely flavored.

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Skyrgámur, like all of the Yule Lads, loves to menace the common folk. His prefered brand of menace seems a little passive compared to, say, Stekkjarstaur, who loves to harass sheep. Skyrgámur just likes to break into people’s houses and eat all of their skyr. His name literally means Skyr-gobbler. I’m starting to think old Gryla was running out of ideas for terrible deeds for her sons to commit by the time Skyrgámur came around. Then again, he does have a brother who licks spoons, so maybe Gryla just has a skewed sense of menace.

Still, I imagine if Skyrgámur came calling with his assembled brothers and that infernal Yule Cat, things might get a little freaky.

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Image from Brian Pilkington’s the Yule Lads

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 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.

the Vodyanoy

A friend of mine recently remarked that some plumbing problems we were having were due to Vodniks; my confused, vacant-eyed response led to a really fun story about some Czech friends of hers that blamed Vodnik on any plumbing problems that came up.

It’s been a few months now, and as the resident Cryptozoologist of Salt Lake City, I decided to do a little digging on my drippy little house guests.

The Vodnik is the Slavic cousin to the Russian Vodyanoy, a far more sinister fellow (they are all males) that haunts lakes and rivers. The Vodyanoy are frog like creatures, with aged bodies, froggy faces, fish tales, and long, stringy beards and hair. They paddle about on half sunken logs with their webbed hands, looking for unwary locals to drown. They seem to like wandering about without any clothes, too. Sound familiar?

gollum

The Vodnik, by contrast, seems more human like in features, although they are a greenish tint and tend to be covered in moss. They wear tattered, cast off clothing, and also loiter about lakes and rivers. Unlike the Vodyanoy, which are mostly malevolent, Vodniks can be beneficial or dangerous, depending on their mood.

One area that Vodyanoy and Vodnik overlap is that they keep little ceramic containers with them, in which they store the souls of people who have drowned in their domain. The crockery is considered currency to these folk, and a large collection of souls is a sure sign of wealth and influence. If the crockery is opened, however, the soul escapes in the form of a bubble, leaving the vessel it was in worthless.

Fishermen and people who make their living on the water will leave offerings of tobacco to the vodnik, in hopes that they will leave them alone or help them in their industry. A vodnik who feels slighted may attack local water features, such as dams, well, (possibly plumbing) and locks. This behavior has also been reported with Vodyanoy.

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artwork ©2016 L.G. Kade

The Angel

As I was proofing earlier pages of the Miller’s Daughters, I realized I had made a pretty big mistake. I had missed an introduction of the Miller himself, and went from a nice scenery page to a page detailing the family dynamic of the Miller and his children. Oops. Over the weekend I put together a new page to introduce the poor old chap, and thought I would share. Here are the finished inks for the page, followed by the same art with shading.

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I’ll be adding text to the bottom of the page, and amending the text that was on the original second page of the story!

Sweets

I’ve been trying to get a page a week finished on the Miller’s Daughters, but it’s not going quite as assertively as I would like. No bother, really, progress is still progress. Here is the newest page:

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The whole series can be found here… There are still some edits that need to be done to the long-form story, but it’s still a pretty entertaining read!