Coronavirus

Somewhat ironic that one of my last posts was titled “I’m not dead”, and then I don’t post again until the midst of a global pandemic. I suppose I’ve said it often enough that no one believes it (Hell, I barely believe it at this point), but one of these days, I’m going to actually make some use of this website and blog I started a decade ago. Maybe I’ll really get lucky and figure out how to bury these sad sack posts under mountains of work. This time, though, I have a unique opportunity to actually get some momentum going (so, thanks, I guess, economy-destroying terrible response to a global catastrophe).

At least for the moment, while the restaurant industry has crumbled into basically nothing, and while I have the rare benefits of basically nonexistent cost of living an a little bit of savings, I can use a chunk of this time while we wait to see how or if our civilization emerges from this crisis to finally buckle down on some projects. I’ve got a better opportunity than I’ve had in quite some time to actually learn some of those things that I’ve been telling myself I was going to learn for years:

  • To learn to paint, both traditionally and digitally
  • To figure out what I want this site to look like now as I pursue concept art, illustration, and tabletop game design and make it look like that rather than what I thought looked good in 2011 as I floundered my way through a Computer Animation program.
  • To consistently do the work I keep saying that I want to be doing.
  • To turn my scattered notebooks and index cards full of disjointed ideas into something tangibly on the way to becoming tabletop role-playing games or their accessories.

Now, while it’s tempting to follow this up with a bunch of posts showing work I’ve done since my last post in… 2017?… and just bury this, that’s not going to fool anyone, least of all me. Instead, I’m just going to end this one briefly documenting what I’ve been doing on my Coronavirus Sabbatical and hopefully posting new stuff just as soon as I figure out my way over, around, or through the wall currently in front of me.

Thumbnails, April 2019
Pencil sketch, January 2020 to break in a sketchbook I got for Christmas
Inks, March 2020 after getting laid off in the Coronavirus panic

A Great Old One I’ve been using in various D&D campaigns (all of which seem to end prematurely right when I’m about to start dropping a lot of hints that it exists), the King in Crystal is very heavily inspired by the Shades of Magic trilogy of novels by V. E. Schwab, and in its appearance, I drew heavily from images of Hastur, especially its portrayal in Cthulhu: Death May Die. I wasn’t really sure about finishing this one up until the Coronavirus hit. The thumbnails and sketch happened way earlier, but with my newfound free time, inking just seemed like a good idea.

Gowrrhut, captain of the Golden Skull, and his First Mate and translator, Tras Boden
The leaders of the three New Republic Fighter Squadrons in the Sector

Some NPCs from a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire campaign I couldn’t help plotting after falling in love with Fantasy Flight’s narrative dice system (honestly, that game kind of revitalized my love of Star Wars in general, which had definitely been flagging with the Sequel Trilogy). This was where I decided to put my foot down and finally figure out this whole digital art thing, and, while I’ve got a long way to go, I hate these significantly less than every previous attempt I’ve made at digital painting. For now, I’m working in Sketchbook Pro on a Samsung Galaxy Tab A (the older version that came with an S-Pen). It’s got some hiccups that are definitely making me want to get my laptop running more smoothly and go back to using my old Wacom tablet (or replacing both of those), but it’s a step up over not even trying to learn, so there’s that.

(Okay, looking back at some previous stuff that never made it onto any of my blogs, I may have to share some of it, just because it’s cool. I’ll try to be tasteful about it and not look like I’m just trying to bury the years and years of inactivity, and maybe repost some old stuff from my Tumblr since that site appears to have become a ghost town)

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