Musing about Creative Goals 2k21

Hey Y’all, I’m Lady T. and I make the New Adult Fantasy Comic MagicalMashup!

Planning up a storm!

We are moving through the New Year and folks are either working on New Year’s resolutions or moving past them. I’m not the biggest fan of resolutions as they sound so do-or-die with little room for adjustment, and when not met exactly as stated just makes me feel like… why should I even bother D: BUT you know what I’m a big fan of? Goals! Making goals any time of the year with strategies to reach them heifers is my jam!

Side passion project I do

Whenever I make goals I try to make them specific to an area I want to improve on instead of being general with them. Like instead of saying “I want to draw more this year.” I’ll say > “I want to complete 1 finished work of art once a month that is either for a friend/collaboration or towards my _Fantastical Lovers collection.”_ a side project that I work on that brings me joy featuring creature and non-creature folks romancing each other with the occasional short story to go with XD. I have posted some on my Insta, but plan to do more on my Patreon down the road since it’s self-indulgent a-f and I don’t wanna worry about censorship :).

This goal takes into account that I am working on a comic and a wedding and I want these goals to be realistic things I can accomplish so I’m spacing them out quite a bit. Being able to reach the goal is such a big part of the goal making process y’all. Being able to reach the goals you set is such a high. It’s Addictive.

These are my creative goals for the new year (had them formatted but the forum wigged out sooo yeah)

Save the dates!

Throw a fun A$$ wedding! That’s on my list bc if y’all hadn’t figured it out yet, I’m pretty extra and I decided that I’d be doing all the Graphic Design work for the wedding and assembled a team of bombastic buddies to help me with the other DIY elements. I Just finished designing, layouts, and printing! I will be cutting, stuffing, stamping, and mailing invitations in the next 2 weeks (pat pat on the back haha). Sneak peek

(It’s adventure fantasy-themed so I’m having a blast with that theme and getting artsy as funk with it!)

Watercolor practice

Participate in at least 2 art challenges. Last year I did #worldwatercolormonth

but didn’t do any others which was a bit of a bummer as I usually do #Inktober or #drawtober and one other like #24hrcomicday (that one is madness, but I did it once) or #folktaleweek. I’m thinking of #huevember for this year and #Worldwatercolormonth again as it was so nice to practice another medium and get immersed in the process of painting traditionally. Huevember bc I LOVE color and exploring the depths of one color a piece should be a great exercise for me and there are always such lovely results posted.
My backup will be participating in at least 3 artist hashtags that last at least 3 days with new original work for them. There was a calendar of # posted a while back (this is rare for me but I don’t have a link to it:sweat_01: sorry y’all, but maybe someone knows it and will share, and I put a bunch of the dates in my planner). I know this year is going to be busier than usual for me, but art is my passion so I will make time for it (outside of my comic that I very much love making :purple_heart: )

Finish drawing and post chapter 2 and start drawing chapter 3 of my comic MagicalMashup! Each chapter is about 30 pages so yeah; I’m in it for the long haul XD. I’ve genuinely gotten faster at making pages now vs 3 years ago (still not Sonic speeds yet lol). The only thing slowing me down is working a full-time job during the day, haha, but it be like that. Maybe someday I’ll be able to contribute to my household through just working on my art, but It’s not something I’d peg our livelihood on any time soon, and that’s ok (as for as capitalist societies go anyway ahah).

Start a YouTube channel called Musing with Lady T. where I post my speed paints and muse about that creative life. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but want to put effort into it so I’m trying to figure out how I want to go about it. I’ve seen some lovely folks on this forum who have YouTubes and I’m inspired! Totally open to suggestions and tips too!

Anywho, I want to know what kind of creative goals y’all have going on or recently accomplished and want to pat yourself on the back for!

TLDR: My creative goals for the year are 1. Throw a fly wedding. 2. Participating in 2 art challenges. 3. Start posting Chapter 2 of my comic MagicalMashup! and getting to work on ch. 3. 4. Start a Musing with Lady T. YouTube channel. Tell me about yours!

Getting My Watercolor Groove On

It’s time for another art challenge!! This time it’s World Watercolor Month! Another month long art challenge and you bet I’m participating and excited to reach that finish line. Amongst all the other things, I’m working on with the comic, and now planning a wedding amidst this pandemic, I’ve added this extra art exercise to my schedule as well.

Why? Well to be honest, I love the steady growth and experimentation that art challenges provide. I’m not as rigid when I participate in them, and they let me explore whatever pops into my mind. I’m not harping on myself about being consistent or trying to be a perfectionist. I take it for the learning experience it is and just create. In times like these, that kind of energy is exactly what I need to keep my creativity and self in a healthy state of existing. I also get a lot of filler characters done during these challenges for the comic too. I mean I’m going full in on the fantasy, so gotta bring the people and beings of the world to life too. Productivity all around!

I’ve wanted to dedicate time to improve my watercolor game for a few years now. Heck I even thought it would be a great idea to color all backgrounds or architectural references for MagicalMashup! in watercolor (and even did a few) before realizing that the amount of work would still be the same.

I still have to get over myself about backgrounds and just draw them more ( not only that, but mixing the palettes necessary for each nation would consume a ton of time bc I’d be trying to match the digital swatches by hand and just woof. I mean just making the digital coloring palettes took weeks alone :V).

In the end, I just kept back-burning dedicating the time needed to up my watercolor game. Often to focus on getting my digital art together, figuring out what do with acrylic inks, or learning how to use Alcohol Markers adequately.

Art is a never ending journey of learning, so I figure alternating between the mediums that I’m invested in while giving each one its own dedicated study time is the best way to satisfy my itch to use a variety of mediums. This way I can develop all four while giving them the attention they require to see improvement and get a better understanding of each medium. I love creating in all four mediums for different reasons, so logically I’d love to combine all four and see what happens. A lofty dream that will end in something amazing or terrible. Either way, I’m going for it… but not just yet. There is still only so many hours in a day. I’m still developing a comic after all and that comes first, so I get my physical media practice in usually on weekends with a few acceptations.

One BIG acceptation is an ART CHALLENGE!! What better way to start the practical part of the learning cycle then with an art challenge! It just so happened that when I was deciding when to start taking all my color theory and light studies into practice I heard about World Watercolor Month (the universe has spoken)! I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of this month long journey and sharing the results, but first I want to talk about my prep!

A parianahous  of the deep looks on at you looking at them
Just a quickie with the Kuretake gansai tambi set of watercolors that I haven’t use. I want to at least use them for use more quick sketches if nothing else.

Putting Idle Hands to Work

Over the last (psha when was the last time I posted…hmmnn) year a ton has happened to the world we live in from a societal view. Things are and will be different due to this Pandemic. I find myself thinking how sci-fi this should seem, but it’s reality. I was out of work for 6 weeks and while at home the anxiety, nerves, fear and worry were a constant nag on my sanity (still are as we are still in the midst of the Pandemic as I write this), but I have been back at work since May 1st, so yeah… Staying sanatised, busy, and masked up.

During the whole 6 weeks away from work, I put a lot of my anxiety and nerves at ease by staying busy. It’s true I spent a ton of time playing video games like Death Stranding, Plants vs Zombies, Borderlands and ahhh that’s not important lol, I mean a gal needs to decompress and get lost in some fictional immersion when it’s at the point where hearing someone cough gets folks jumpy. That’s not all I did, I also spent a lot of time reading and researching about color, light, form, storytelling, and making comics in general AND making my CODEX for my comic. All things that I have been doing, but during this time at home, I really got the time to dive deep into these areas and make some good headway on all fronts.

My pent up energy flowed through my fingertips most afternoons (bc ya’ll know I slept in every day!) and into connecting the lore of my fantasy world Magos to the characters that reside in it. Having my darling as a sounding board, and asker of questions I never would have thought about (extremely helpful when trying to figure out character reactions and motivations fyi) made the days fly by. Finally my reference notes and musings on my Fantasy world, it’s customs, and people is done. Something I had been meaning to refine for years completed within the 6 weeks of staying home and trying to stay safe.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot easier for me to understand and see more clearly what I am trying to create in this New Adult Fantasy comic about a fat and black mage gal with a unique ability leaving her hidden home in Faiewood for the first time and making her way to the Institute of Magical, Mystical and Mythical Arts (IMMMA) where here story truly begins in the Heart of Lufiriya; a nation filled with a multitude of beings of magic and technology working and living side by side. It’s a lot to take in for Junah, our protagonist, but it’s also the start of an exciting new chapter in her life (One I look forward to sharing).

Though I don’t think this is something necessary to do for all comic creators or even story tellers, it defiantly is a helpful resource to have as reference if you are working in sci-fi or fantasy. This probably would have been more helpful to hear during the height of the stay at home business, but here I am now and this info still holds true for anyone who wishes to work on getting their story out their, but have idle hands and don’t know where to direct that energy. Gather your resources into a binder, book, word doc, whatever. Just get it together. It may not be what you think you should be doing but hey, starting somewhere is better than not starting at all.

Now that I am back to work and having to manage my time a lot more efficiently, I’m working to figure out the best approach to maximizing my creative output each day. I’ve started doing 1hr in the studio each weekday save Mondays, as Mondays are MagicalMashup! Mondays and is reserved specifically for working on the comic. I’m also breaking all my notebooks up because having all my notes and markings in one book is to confusing to refer back to late. This is working for me, but also means I have like 3 notebooks I carry around daily. Though I also carry a large purse so HA, I’m game.

Next post I would like to share some of the reading materials That I have found *super effective* and how I plan to use what I’ve picked up!

Stay safe.

A friend of mine that is an excellent photographer allowed me to use her work for ref. She takes excellent fantasy mood photos from real life. @freodywn on Instagram

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.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Now I used to hear that quote all the time. It used to grate on me as a child. I mean as a kid everything you do seems small to an adult but as a kid. Mannnn, it was life impending.

I find myself more and more learning to appreciate that quote. Maybe almost dying of cancer, or maybe just growing up has made me warm up to it, but I sure as shimmy shitake am glad that I have.

This blog for example. It’s supposed to document my comic making process. If this was a younger Lady, I would refuse to put anything here but steps on comic making. All the post would have pictures, and they would be amazingly edited, but there would only be two posts.  Where is the point in that? Documenting a process has many parts to it. Some that seem assinine, some that are right on target, and others that pan flat. It’s all apart of MY process and I have learned to embrace that. The messy with the neat.

I want to fix this baby up to look as good as my art and design degree will allow it to be, but I know that will take hours. Hours that I would rather spend creating the actual comic at the moment.

This is a fantastic experiment and may not be how I always document my process. I mean Vlogs are a thing, but for me, that’s the easy way out. I want to exercise my ability to word vomit cohesively.

I will get this place looking better, but for now. I am happy knowing that it exists.

Some Faie Chasing Dusk

“You can’t fix something that hasn’t been made yet!”

-Lady T.

Style Maven Inspiration Sophie Campbell

I have a ton of artist and movements that isnpire me, but I want to go back to the artist who inspired the style into me.  The beautiful Sophie Campbell!

Imagine a high school geeky, black, tall, not typically considered pretty, and a fat gal who had been drawing for around 8 +/- years at that point, but had never created a character that represented who she was. Lots of heroic figures, and wishful thinking, but none that actually showed any of the realness that she was in a setting that she dreamt of. Not because she didn’t want to, but because it just didn’t occur to her to do it.

Wild right!?

I had my gal Amanda Waller in Dc comics, and the old but good anime Crying Freeman gave me black women with black features being amazing badasses (and even a super-sized lady who I grew to love even though I didn’t at first due to her childish ways). And I’m sure if I squinted really hard and went deep into the recesses of the dial-up internet I could squeeze out a few more, but for me, that was about it…

I was in high school when I read Sophie Campbell’s the Abandoned, I became woke to what was missing in my geeky life.   This woman was illustrating everything I wanted to see, and it blew my mind to finally see it. All the nitty gritty beauty of the bodies, the emotions, and just how raw her women were allowed to be. That sort of representation was so scarce for me.

It was a weird introspective moment that made me think about…well everything. I craved this representation, but because I never saw it, my subconscious had pretty much erased it from the realm of possibility. EVEN THOUGH I COULD DRAW IT!  That’s some mad crazy Twilight Zone-ish to wake up to. Goes to show how easy it is to internalize things based on what you see or don’t see in the media you consume.

After that, I made a conscious effort to draw inspiration from the amazing women present in my daily life. It took an effort to change the way my pencil translated what I thought to what was drawn, since the urge to blend out, smooth out, and “fix” was so prominent, but the effort paid off! Now it’s second nature to draw rolls, afro-textured hair, muscles on women, and imperfectly perfect bodies.

I have a ton of other major influences on style, taste,  and what inspires me… but this lady gets her own post for being the first to wake me up and represent the kind of people I wanted to see more of in the media I love.

Thanks <3

It's a meeeee
Alcohol marker testing on a chubby cheeked Avatar idea.



What Took You So Long…

I have had the idea for MagcicalMashup! swimming around in my head for over a decade now, and whenever I would get folks asking me for more on the scoop behind Junah and Kaelen I was more than happy to talk about them. Hearing all the interest got me thinking about how cool it would be to make their story into a comic, so I started outlining it out.

Oh boi did I, more like script it out as the outline is 100+ pages (not even including supporting documents for world building). It’s easy to get stuck at this phase, and I did. For YEARS. It wasn’t until I received the ultimate push (more on that later) from an amazing friend of mine that I put my butt in gear and in the headspace that bringing this comic to life is totally doable.

“Take it in parts lady.” I repeat that often whenever I feel overwhelmed at the task at hand and it helps me see the smaller pieces that make the whole. I had the two leads and I knew magic would be involved. From there I started to flesh out everything else by writing down everything I liked about fantasy as a genre and the types of  characters I liked until I got this:

MagicalMashup! is the story of Junah, an airy fat black gal with the power to compound elements to create new forms experiencing life outside of her secluded home in the enchanted FaieWoods and Kaelen a stoic wizard…of sorts that would rather hone his skills than socializie and how they work together as partners (and eventually more) in a world filled with magic, mysticism, and mythical beings.

It’s pretty much everything I have ever wanted to see in fantasy and it would be brought to life by my own hand!

The writing part started slowly at first but picked up to include word vomit on any and everything about this world that I could think of. Everything from the races, the landscapes, beliefs systems, world history, trees, and everything else I could remotely think of. So many details that I took the time to develop. Sounds great, but ultimately, it just made it that much harder to make a page 1.

So much pretense just made it seem always incomplete and I’ll be darned if I release something incomplete. Well, that’s what I thought. The beauty of making comics these days (specifically indie webcomics) is that all creative decisions are left to the creator. That also means it’s ready when I say it’s ready, completely scripted or not.

There is something refreshing about that. It has just taken a while for me to see that. Not having everything written in stone leaves room for growth, and the ability to watch your world grow organically. I still have my mega script, but I have learned to leave room for improvements and leave stuff open to interpretation.  I’m learning to embrace this more, and I think in the end it will work for what I’m making instead of against it.

Oohh ahhhh


“Give it your best, keep at it, and know that you will get better as you keep creating!”

-Lady T.



I can Make this Comic!

Daydreaming is awesome, but what good will it do you if that’s all it stays? I will give myself some credit in that a pencil and paper have carried me a long way. Drawing has been second nature to me since I was a wee one. I started with dinosaurs and made the jump to anime style once I got into DragonBall Z. I’d spend hours playing back episodes and redrawing characters learning how to Git Gud before the thought of making something original popped into my head. (insert my early days DeviantArt page).

I realized early in life that I did not have it in me to be a traditional animator. The repetitive drawing put me to sleep. This bummed me out a bit, but then I found comics! Western and Eastern style comics. The amount of detail, the flow of the story through beautiful illustrations. Yes, this was me! So I immersed myself in reading and collecting them.

It wasn’t until high school that the thought of actually making a comic myself even popped into my head though. My first attempt at a comic was a Kingdom Hearts fan-comic (that will NOT see the light of day, so don’t ask.) I kicked out over the course of a month. I wanted to see if I even had the patience to make a comic since I figured out pretty early on that animation was a no go for me.  I would work on it after school on Fridays for about 6hrs. I made a rinky-dink script that was nothing but pure smut, and just started sketching it out in my dollar store sketchbook.

Two months later I had about 8 pages to show for my dedication. I was hella proud of those 8 rinky-dink pages! Even with all of the Inconsistencies… I mean, Riku’s clothes changed every panel.

Anyway, the take-away is that I did it! There was a lot of frustration, but I made it. That was proof enough that I could make comics. That feeling is what I’m mustering whenever I think of the task at hand. It’s hella daunting to think of everything that goes into making comics, but taking it one step at a time is how you do it. Baby steps are still steps, and every little bit of work you put into getting your creation from your headspace to your hands is worth it!

How do you eat a whale?

One bite at a time.

Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae,
Who ate a monstrous whale?
She thought she could,
She said she would,
So she started in right at the tail.

-Shel Silverstein

I heard a variant of this first from one of my favorite comic artist E.K. Weaver. Creator of the Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal