Practicing what you Suck at

I suck at backgrounds. Well, I find them difficult. They seem so time-consuming and in the background so who cares right?


Backgrounds set the scene for your world and give your characters a world to live in. without them, they are just floating in the void of space.

I know there are shortcuts to get out of drawing backgrounds, but a shortcut only works if there is a way to get to your destination already. That means you gotta make the background before you can come up with ways to avoid it. This applies to other weakness artist face too ie. perspective, hands, expressions, same-face, and etc. The only way to make any headway on this weakness is to face it.

I know it sucks, it’s draining and can be hella frustrating, but they will stick out like a sore pimple the more you develop what you are strong at as an artist.

Drawing from life is probably the easiest way to get a hold on these issues (even if it’s not the most fantastical of solutions. On the other hand, I have been having great success with the tips provided by the Etherington Brothers. Their approach to drawing is organic and their tutorials are to the point, but with ample examples (haha that rhymes).

Their How to Think When Drawing series has been a blessing to thine eyes. Unfortunately the book is hard to come by, but hopefully early 2019 they will be launching a Kickstarter to reprint the first book and launch their second one (alongside a few beautiful sketchbooks I’m sure). In the meantime, definitely check out their website and social media links! They post a ton of free tutorials that I have been using and they have given me life when approach backgrounds. It’s actually made creating them kind of fun.

A lone wizards cottage

That background isn’t gonna draw itself. Hop to it!

-Lady T.

What I got out of Inktober

Today is the first of November and that means Inktober has officially concluded. And this lady completed a piece for every day of the month of October. No matter what I had to do that day, I scheduled the time to work on each Inktober prompt. It was challenging and fulfilling for quite a few reasons and I am glad I completed all 31 days!

Last year was the first time I attempted to do an Inktober. I started off strong, but wound up in the hospital for about a week and got thrown off. I felt left behind when I got out and just skipped it since I felt like it was pointless. Big mistake. Even if I couldn’t do every day, doing the prompts would still have yielded invaluable experience and a chance to learn about my craft.

This year I was determined to participate and finish each day. I didn’t want to give myself any excuses and I wanted to prove to myself this was something I could do. I mean if I am to have any success in making my comic into a fully visualized creation outside of my head, I have to be dedicated to making it happen. Making a webcomic, especially a long-form one is akin to committing to a long-term relationship.  This comic will require attention, dedication, sacrifice, and compromise. But it will also give me a level of satisfaction, pride, and joy I could only achieve by having it in my life.

Completing Inktober for an entire 31 days was… MOTIVATING AS F*! One of my biggest fears as being a creator has always been the fear of not meeting deadlines or delivering what’s been asked of me. In respect to my own work, I fear the loss of motivation. While I haven’t failed a deadline yet, and through editing everything I have had to deliver has been received by a client that was ultimately pleased, the fear of letting my passion fall to the wayside in favor of vegging out is real. Thanks to completing a full month of Inktober, I learned quite a few things about myself.

  1. Word prompts and generators are a blessing to the stuck mind.
    1. Stuck? Don’t know what to draw? Random word generator and draw what comes to your mind from the word. Go a little further out of your comfort zone and try a creature or landscape generator. You will probably come up with things that on average you wouldn’t have thought about. You might learn something about yourself.
  2. Having a list to work from gives me direction and keeps me on track.
    1. This is why outlines are important. Having lists keep away the “um-uh” moments where you know you have work to be done, but you don’t know where to start. Lists, bullet journals, schedules, calendars, alerts, whatever, just get what you need to do somewhere that you can refer to.
  3. Having a deadline for when I have to post will make me find time for it.
    1. This has always been the case for me, but doing Inktober for 31 days just hammered it in for me.
  4. Running out of time leads to creative solutions for reaching the finish line.
    1. I had to have each post up before midnight if it was a  weekend. During work days, I had to finish by 9pm. This lead to a few pieces making me get creative with white space.
  5. The tactile feel of paper, pencil, and pen leads to creative solutions.
    1. I wound up using this experiment to explore the seldom-used artist tools looking pretty around my studio space. Randomly playing with my copiics, watercolors, inks, and various pens were fantastic and got me thinking about how I’d like to incorporate them into my work more.
      1. This also got me to make swatch sheets for my different utensils for reference too. Using my various supplies across different surfaces was also pretty neat :>.
  6. Don’t be afraid to experiment with artistic mediums, even if the outcome is a mess.
    1. Since it was Inktober and I knew I’d have a new sketch every day, it gave me the courage to experiment more. I had a blast mixing mediums and also figuring out how to “fix” any mistakes I made since I wasn’t worried about every piece being a magnum opus.
  7. Mistakes are just a new form being born in art.
    1. Real talk. Mistakes just became a new way embellish or shade a picture and it was liberating!

It was a fantastic experience and I can tell I definitely leveled up as a creator. Through this art challenged I was able to see myself in action working on the issues in myself that I know will be the biggest hurdles to my journey in making this comic. Like the discipline to adhere to a schedule that will facilitate a routine for posting pages (post a day). Be organized so that I know where I’m going and not be overwhelmed with what needs to be done (list of prompts). Last but not least passionate about my comic so that I will look forward to working on it for years to come (Being excited to see how I interpret each prompt). My creative juices are flowing and I’m looking forward to seeing what else springs from these hands after the lessons I’ve learned.

Looking forward to next years Inktober and hopefully, I will see you there.

Check out my Insta for my Inktober art on the left banner. Yup, that’s all me haha!

(One of my fav pieces for the month!)

When your spell goes wrong and you get stuck in a bottle with your crush.
We may be trapped, but at least I’m here with you..

Achieve the goal you set for yourself by making the time to do them. Even if it’s a little bit at a time.

-Lady T.