Musing Bout New Comics

Yo Y’all! Ya Faye Baye Lady T. Been at it these last few months. I’m working on a new comic called the Smell of You that’s about Brud, a Lupozas with a keen (even for his fellow wolf folks) sense of smell and Daniella, a Corporean from Wreckie that follows a very strict routine each morning. Both are keenly aware of the other’s presence, but it’s not until Brud smells a disturabance in Daniella’s Routine that they try to connect.

I’m working through some other story ideas that have been burning through my head as I edit MagicalMashup! and working on other comics have given me the space to really enjoy the freedom of experimenting, learning, and embracing the art of telling shorter stories.

My current comic Collab project with @treya_Barton on ao3, Icthyo Mix-up is well under way and will be wrapping up in the next two months too. I hope y’all enjoying Dylan and Jamal working through their assumptions with heart! I’ll have a few art pieces for them once the comic ends too 💜.

Looking forward to sharing some pretty cool things I’m working on, but we can talk about them later once I have more to show. For now,✌🏾!

Musing about Birthdays

Hey y’all,

I’m Lady T. and I make the New Adult Fantasy comic MagicalMashup!

Today is actually my birthday and I thought it’d be fun to share some OC birthdays and pics! I’m using their mage licenses that I’m working on 🙂

Faye 20th which would equate to April 20th She is 23 at the start of the stroy.

Geant 22 which would equate to February 22nd he’s also 22 at the start of the story.

I would love to see some of y’all’s OCs and when their birthdays are. Even if they don’t follow real-world conventions, so feel free to post them with a picture, and also feel free to link your comic or novel as bdays are for celebrating!

Y’all have a fantastic day 💜

Let’s Muse: Colors

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

One of the core elements I decided before starting the comic is that it would be in color. I choose to go this route because, well for one, I LOVE color, but also because it would be a way for me to get in the habit of thinking about color and studying how using color can impact a scene.

A blind oc named Luel with long blue dreads that he keeps tied up a top his head. He is also a mage with a neat support skill.

Coloring a comic that I work on by myself is defiantly a whole extra thing, but I enjoy it and love to see my blackish (I don’t use black in the art for the comic as it’s a very stark and powerful color that commands too much attention in my bright magical world lol) lineart come to life!

When I first started drawing the comic I had a time trying to decide on the character and world color pallets. Due to how expansive fantasy worlds can get I quickly realized I’d need a way to organize my color choices. That is once I figured out what colors I’d be using that is…

Color is such a mindblowing thing that is as complex and vast a subject as it is beautiful. Up until I decided to make the comic, I had no need to keep track of color palettes, even for reoccurring characters. I could just fudge it and guess close enough and be good. That wouldn’t fly with a whole comic though. I started crafting my colors with the characters in mind first and thinking that the colors for each character should tell a little about their personalities.

Junah leaving home to start that independent life

Junah is an overall optimistic person that is very open and excitable, maybe too much so, but it is what it is haha, so I choose upbeat colors for her.

Kaelen on the other hand is more of a grounded person with a more reserved personality and so I choose colors that are more mature.

I had a lot of fun picking their colors, but then I had to think about shading and highlights… that’s when things got really interesting.

An introvert amongst extra extroverts.

When it comes to shading I used to just color pick the base skin tone and just use the color slider in ClipStudio to go down (add black) for shade and up (and white) for highlight.

(Original page from my practice comic MagicalBeginnings! ).

The old practice pages I did foe the comic. Still cannon, just changed my coloring approach to be more lively and magical feeling.

This works aight’, but I found that it felt flat in my newly designed colorful world. I was thinking of ways to improve on this when I found a Twitter thread started by a comic colorist names Marissa Louise talking about resources for learning about color for artists.

Now I thought I was color literate before, but wow did my eyes get opened to the possibilities I hadn’t thought of when it comes to color. I checked out all of the books and resources from the list I could and watched the videos recommended. Afterward, I revised my character sheets and started to look at where my colors were placed on the color wheel using this online Color Wheel. Being able to easily see the different color harmony rules affecting my color choices live was (is) so helpful for deciding what can work with your base color selections.

One way of keeping track of colors

Once I got my colors selected and was happy, I had to figure out a way to make them easily accessible as I’d be using them often. At first, I just made color dots on each character sheet from print screens of my color pics that I could reference, but copy-pasting them onto each page to color pick form was annoying (even if it looks cool).

Another way I used to keep Track colors, way to much going on though …

I then found out about saving color swatches into palettes in ClipStudio and BOOM!! Game changed.
(ClipStudio palette, admittedly not as organized as I wanted).

Clip studio swatches!

I would have stuck with ClipStudio if I hadn’t started using an iPad to give myself more time to work on the comic when not at home, but switching to Procreate offered the same options for being able to color swatch and the color picker tools were a bit more intuitive for me since I knew how I wanted to approach color for my comic.

I really like the snappy ness and convenience of working in Procreate. Keeps me from getting to buck wild.

The main difference I found was that CipStudio offers more spaces in their swatch palette for more colors than Procreate, but honestly, I’ve found simplifying what I have to be the better option for me. Keeps things manageable and I’m able to work faster this way.

Ahhh yes name codes color pics <3

You still get a good bit of options and you can also make a secondary palette to the main one in Procreate, so if you must have more you still can.

Anywho I’m curious about how y’all do your color crafting. Do you use color in your work or stick to monochrome? Fall somewhere in between? What made you decide to go this route? How do you keep track of all of your colors or values that are used repeatedly in your work? I’d love to hear your thoughts/process!

TLDR: There’s a lot that goes into the decision to work in color. I talk about my process from starting with flat color to learning how to incorporate harmonies in my palettes thanks to a few resources and how I use said colors as references in my work. I’m curious to know y’all’s thoughts on the subject.

Wood Mannequin Alternatives

Hello, y’all,

You know that stiff wooden doll in all arts and crafts shops that’s promoted as that tool all artists have and use because it’s always shown in photos with artists? Yeah, you know the one. IDK about y’all but to my kid self, that mannequin was the tool that would take my status as an artist to the next level, so I had to have it. I saved up my little change and bought one from a local shop and couldn’t wait to put it to use. Yeah so about that… I tried to make the thing sit and it barely could bend over. Talk about disappointment. Admittedly mine was a cheaper version, but even the pricier ones tend to be lacking and just make me go… “But why…?” I couldn’t bring myself to throw it out, so I kept it around for years as a paperweight before forgetting about it when I moved out of my Ma’s place.

Plus size Barbie with a little thickness on her thighs ha!

As I developed as an artist, I’ve come to find that figure drawing form real life is the bees-knees and really makes a world of difference, but sometimes you just don’t have time (or want to) do a photoshoot with someone to get a quick pose that you need, that’s when I heard about using a Made to Move Barbie while listening to the webcomic creators podcast Dirty Old Ladies (not for children as some of the hosts create adult content, but they are a wealth of information as all 3 have different levels of engagement in making comics and are super insightful.) As soon as I heard Amanda describe the multi-joint action of the Made to Move line and that there is a plus-size version (she thick, not fat FYI [a girl can dream though, one day]), I was like OK-Then, lemme go look this up. I found both of mine at Target for about 15$ a piece.

For 15$ whole a$$ bucks you can get a figure with some facial features, hair, clothes, and 10x more mobility than the 15$-50$ wooden figures. The joints bend, the head moves, and this barbie line can sit upright on her own. They are so darned handy and I’ve been slowly building a pose folder of pics to refer to later when I’m “modeling” them (Yeah I know I’m just playing around, but so XD).

Black gal yoga Barbie reporting to the photo shoot! I wanna Afro up her hair though!!

While I was playing around with my two made-to-move gals, my fiance went to his bookcase and pulled down his mad crazy intricate, and expensive limited edition Venom and Spiderman figures (They are from the Square Enix Marvel Universe and Kai Arts line so the ones we have can only be found from secondary places now, but this is the official store and they have others. Some are from games and anime too.) and started to play with me.

Piggybacks and kisses never looked so extra haha

I laughed at first, but have since kidnapped his figures as they are just as flexible as the Barbies and offer different body types for me to work with. I wouldn’t recommend buying them to use as art figures as they are collector’s items and pretty expensive, but if you happen to have some already, give them a go haha! They’ve been in the house for years, but I never would have thought to use them if my darling hadn’t pulled them from the shelves first.

Just hanging with boo

Anywho, you guys have any wood mannequin alternatives you’d like to share, or do you like and use the old wooden folks? I’d love to see and sure others would too :D!

TLDR: Check out Made to Move Barbies for more modeling for your buck as an artistic reference tool or the more controversial collectors figures if you prefer action figures with the same range of motion. Do you use the old wood models or prefer another method?

Let’s Talk about the Technical Side of Creating

Hi Y’all!

TLDR at the bottom 🙂 as I like to talk and am very aware.

As MagicalMashup! is my first long form comic (that I’ve posted online) I’m constantly learning new things about making comics and the most effective ways to use my time. I started creating my comics in ClipStudio (drawing and layouts), Adobe Photoshop (color correcting and formatting), and Adobe Illustrator (text placement and word bubbles) on my The Panda City Yiynova MSP19 Tablet Monitor hooked up to my PC at a desk. The Yiynova tablet screen monitor was my answer to Wacom’s Cintiq back in 2012, as I didn’t (still don’t) have the cash money to sink into a high end graphic display tablet. Options were still slim for anything that wasn’t Wacom for graphics tablets, but some competition had started to show up. I jumped on the research wagon and decided to go with the the Yiynova display tablet from Panda City bc price and reviews by a few artist bloggers at the time.

Once I figured out how to hook everything up and got the correct drivers installed, it worked like a charm (still up and running now actually) for almost a decade (baring a few minor hiccups with updates that were sorted out through reading a few forum posts). The only thing I missed that Wacom had was the tactile feeling the screens have that makes drawing on the screen not feel like you’re drawing on slippery glass :V, butttttttt a large screen protector can help with that. The other thing I would have liked was having the customizable side buttons on the Cintiq display mirrored on the Yiynova. The Yiynova pen also wasn’t as sturdy feeling in the hand and needed a battery to operate, but I got used to it and I only changed the battery like 5 times in the time that I’ve had it so eh. For the price I paid (sub $600) those things were just slight QOL things and I was too busy being mad excited for being able to draw directly on a surface I could see my hands doing the work.

My messy work area but you see the setup

(Not the best pic of my setup, but I forgot to take a new pic for the post at home.)

As much as I love my tablet screen monitor set up at my desk and swivel arm attachment, I work a day job and spend about half of my day not at home. Once I started getting serious about making my comic and planning my time out accordingly, I just kept lamenting on how much time I could be spending between breaks and when I’m not at home getting more work done if I could travel with my tablet screen. I was chatting with a techy friend of mine who told me about the 2018 iPad and how it was a cheaper model of iPad that had access to the Apple Pencil. I went over to a tech store, tried out one of the displays, and fell in LOVE. Bought it my next paycheck. It is so dang neat and portable and I can go on, but yeah.

I loved it, but after drawing on a tablet screen that was 3x bigger than the new tablet it was a bit rough. Not to mention the main program I was using at the time ClipStudio does not have the best interface for small screens, so I Iooked around the App Store and that’s when I found Procreate. It’s not specifically geared towards creating comics like ClipStudio, but I’ve been able to use it for that purpose just fine. The creators of the Procreate app release updates with new features often enough to make a difference too and it’s a one-time buy app as well. Since using the app, they’ve added a text tool and animation assist and I look forward to what new things they decide to roll out as well. They have a community tab that has a forum and gallery too!

Since the text tool wasn’t around when I first started making the comic in Procreate, I needed to find something else besides Adobe Illustrator as I was not buying that again. That’s when I found Affinity. Affinity is comparable to the Adobe creative suite at a fraction of the cost. They have tablet and desktop versions of their apps Designer and Photo with Publisher that’s just been released for desktop. Affinity Designer was exactly what I was looking for to edit my typography for word bubble typesetting and branding. It also has vector tools as well!!! I could go on about them, and just might at a later date haha.

Even with the program switches to software with a better interface for a tablet and using the 2018 iPad, the screen was still to dang small for me. I looked into upgrading and was fortunate enough to find an Ipad Pro 2017 within my budget on Swappa (I love this site for finding used tech for resale by owners as they authenticate merchandise and allow reviewing).

Upgrading to the Ipad Pro line was such a shift for my productivity. I could work on larger canvas sizes with more layers, everything loaded faster and crashes were a thing of the past. The biggest upside was of course the 12.9in screen size and amount of gigs the tablet came with, but I was also pleasantly surprised with the number of applications available for content creators that have good design and work well.

Working on iPad Pro, laying out ch 2

(can work on the comic like anywhere now)

There are a ton of options for creator setups and I have no idea what mines will look like a few years from now, but this is working out so far. What kind of setup do you all have for creating and what programs or tools do you use for making your comics or novels?

TLDR: I started off tied to my desk using my budget graphic display tablet with ClipStudio and Adobe products and then switched to a mobile setup using the Ipad Pro Procreate and Affinity Designer. What’s your content creator setup and what programs/tools do you use?

Sharing Resources & Wisdom

Hey, y’all!

Before making my comic MagicalMashup!, I did tons of research on tips, tools, and anything helpful in making my comic (just like all of y’all I’m sure). I’ve watched hundreds of videos, listened to podcasts, read books and blogs from other creators. So much helpful info, but once I posted my comic and branded myself with the “I’m a webcomic artist.” I have been exposed to even more neat and just plain helpful information. Things change fast and there are new resources being made and knowledge being gained and shared every day for the benefit of others.

After responding to a thread on Twitter about helpful tips that saved you time on making your comic and seeing just how many people liked and shared my little 2 cents I remember that just bc it’s out there and you found it (or heard it in the case of advice), doesn’t mean everyone else knows about it (even if it seems like common sense to you). You don’t know where all folks are on their journey so the common sense you have might be an eye-opener to someone else.

These are the two resources that have helped me immensely on my ongoing journey as a creator of comics and art that may be of use to y’all. (Free stock photos uploaded by Creative individuals.) This site is pretty darn handy and just plain nice as all folks who upload do it for free of charge. Though it’s not required to shout out the photographers, it’s a nice thing to do :). Check out their licensing page for more info in case your skeptical too (Build houses, make rooms, and other architectural structures with simple to use tools and a ton of assets that come in the free version and even more in the paid one. This site also lets you create in 2d and flip to 3d.) I really dig this site bc it’s faster than making assets completely from scratch (reminded me of the Sims) and you can get a look around your rooms with ease by vanishing a wall if it’s in the way.


Here’s an ex of what 2d looks like


Flip to 3D

(Sorry for the bad quality, but you get my drift).

I would like to get this thread going for all who have something to share that could be helpful to a creator and to those who are looking to learn something new. Feel free to also add a link to your work, but only after sharing a helpful resource. Also feel free to add what you specifically use the resource for if applicable.

What counts as a helpful resource? If it’s something you used/use and it helps, that counts :smiley: .

This is my New Adult Fantasy Comic

We all win when we share and grow together!

TLDR: Share a resource or two that helped you on your journey as a creator and then you can share a link to your work. Let’s get some gains and learn something new!!

Your Creator Origin Story

Hi y’all

I’ve been working on my new adult fantasy slow burn slice of life comic (genre listing is wild) MagicalMashup! conceptually for almost a decade now. I went from making cute sketches of these two just being fluffy and stuff,

bc I wanted to see more people of color (specifically black and plus size gals, shout out to seeing myself in the media I consume haha) getting some loving to making a whole dang comic.

Being cute on the bus
Plus size woman leans into slender male who brushes a Leah from her  large Afro puffs. They are in peofile.
Being all dopey and stuff

This is how it got here.

Back in high school I met my first art friends and we’d all gush over each others OCs and have fun coming up with characters and prompts together. Eventually I started to get drawn to a few that I’d use a lot and I’d draw for comfort and fun. That lead to some character rp with friends and taking notes on character interactions. One of my gal pals Melon was a head above the rest of us as she was drawing comics and making fanfics like it was nobodies business. After watching her work I started to try my hand at short fan comics and it was pretty dang fun. Time consuming as heck, but fun.

All us art buds took separate paths for college, but we all studied art in some way. The college I went to had studio art and design, but I had to finagle a few courses together and hop about the art and design departments to find remotely what I wanted. Why didn’t I just go to an art school you ask? Y’all that shiz is expensive, so I went where the scholarship money was lol. It took a while for anything to click, but after learning about Wacom tablets and getting into photoshop & illustrator I found the wonderful world of digital art. I’ve been immersed since.

I still love traditional media, but the flexibility of digital is just so darn convenient. Through posting my art on Deviantart, Pixiv, and a few other places that no longer exist, I started getting a little bit of exposure for my work. I met some awesome friends in college and lovely folks online who were very encouraging and interested in seeing more of my OCs and it got me thinking about what direction I could take my characters in.

Well a cancer scare that hit me out of almost nowhere (well there were signs, I just didn’t get what they were until it was way late) that put everything I was doing on hold for about 2 years. I had a ton of reflection time during all this as I had 0 energy for anything after class and couldn’t think about anything that wasn’t happening the next day. Once I went into remission (10 years and counting, so far so good) I realized how precious the time we have on this earth is and decided to focus on the things that bring me joy. I looked at all my ocs and started to world build. Junah and Kaelen beat my mermen Berry and Weedy by a small margin to be the first protagonist I’d work on for a comic, but the world I’m making is magical and big, so it’s not like they all can’t exist in it haha.

Even though I decided to do this, I didn’t start actually thumbnailing for the comic until a buddy of mine, Treya, amazing writer and fastest reader I’ve ever known, realized I had been stuck in editing limbo on the writing side for about 5 years :V. She graciously offered to help me get organized and set deadlines to get me in motion. Deadlines is such a foreboding sounding word, but they can be extremely helpful when trying to tackle a task that will require a ton of time. From passion projects to on the job workloads, they can help you prioritize so that procrastination doesn’t get the best of you and also help you to see just how much time you really have in day too. I know deadlines aren’t for everyone as some folks just find them super stressful, but they’ve been working for me.

The original timeline had it so that I would have been posting my comic 2 years ago haha, but lots had to be shifted and changed as there were many factors either of us hadn’t considered. For one I wanted more practice so I made a prologue comic using ClipStudio. I was tied to my desk and as I draw with paper and pencils first, I had to do a ton of scanning and editing before I could get to redrawing. I then had to figure out brush settings, color pallets, and a coloring style that wouldn’t take 10 years to complete one panel and just @.@. There was a lot to consider. But having a schedule and timeline helped me stay calm and take everything a bit a time. Being able to be flexible also helps haha.

I’m glad I made the prologue comic bc it helped me figure out my work flow and and get used to having a scheduled time for working on my comics. It also gave me a frame of reference for how long it took for me to make a short comic and all the setup that happens when making pages. Another buddy told me to check out Ipads and the Apple Pencil, so I decided to try that out and found Procreate (what a name, I know). Fell in LOVE. Completely changed my workflow and amount of time I could work while not at home. The tablet made it way easier to squeeze in getting reference materials done like character sheets and locations, but through experimenting with other design programs like Affinity, I found a way to make my logo and design my own fonts. Those first 2 years I did a ton of experimenting and setting up. Totally didn’t see it taking that long but it is what it is and I learned a lot.

Three years after that living room meeting with calendars, outlines, ideas and setbacks I started posting my comic online! Anyway, I’m curious to here about the road you all went on before you started sharing your work. Feel free to post it with your replies as well.

-Lady T

TLDR: How my Ocs went from fluff drawings to a whole dang comic after my cancer scare got me to appreciate the time I have on this earth and that I should be doing the things that bring me joy. With the help of a friend that helped me get organized I set forth on my comic making journey and through experiments, setbacks, and triumphs I’m making a comic! Tell me about the journey to getting your work out there if you are a content creator. If not, feel free to check out others journey.

I Got some MM! Fanart!!

Yayyy one of my amazing besties hooked me up with a lovely Junah!! Sari has such an elegant style and top notch fashion.

What a cutie ahhh!!

Sari draws beautiful fantasy beings and is always so stylish! In fact, she helped me design Junah’s mage cloak :D!

Sari knows her way around drawing some elegant cloth ah!

You can check out more from this dapper artist on Twitter and Tumblr @ Sariart!

You can checkout MagicalMashup! On tapas, Comicfury or at!

Iconic looks and fashion in comics

Hi ya’ll,

I was looking through my DeviantArt page of old for some references to the clothes I used to have the denizens of my comic MagicalMashup! wear when it hit me. As much as I’m into fashion, the clothing choices of old that I made didn’t change much form pic to pic.

Ah the yellow dress of old
Classic yellow dress and gray sweats.
Boob window yellow dress and classic Kaelen with the v-neck

Looking at my protagonists Junah and Kaelen specifically I found that they were always drawn wearing the same dang thing. Even when the world they exist in is one that changes each day. I’ll give my younger self a little credit since at least Junah had some variation, but Kaelen? Nahhh, he always wore the same v neck shirt and jeans with oversized cloak (still does to this day, but the shirt got stripes and cloak got even BIGGER).

The cloak hungers muhaha

Thinking more about it, I’m sure it’s just something that developed from watching cartoons/Anime and having it embedded in me that characters have A LOOK. That one look is a big part of what defines and makes them recognizable. IDK why I thought young Lady T. was doing something that current me just started making a conscientious choice to change, but sometimes you can surprise yourself when looking back through old work (like how I’ve drawn more comics than I remembered lol).

Ah the strawberry dress is so Junah

For my current series MagicalMashup! Fashion changes based on the region, so some folks do have a more static look, but for the most part the story takes place in the cultural melting pot of the world between the magical and practical sides of the world in the Nation of Lufiriya. Attention to what people wear in the in the city is pretty important as it adds to driving the point home on how diverse the people of Lufiriya are as opposed to some of the more closed nations. Not only that, but the extra bits of characterization you can get from attention to wardrobe is pretty swanky. So, for me, clothing changes would be necessary for the students at IMMMA! Well most of them. Kaelen as a character just really is the type to have a closet full of the same clothes with that one acceptation. It’s less fuss and time spent getting ready each day (young me understood that much about his character I like to think lol). Junah on the other hand…If she can dream it she can make it and wear it, so I had to put a little more thought into her outfits.

Yaro with the understated cloak turned sash.

It’s true that making the decision to include clothing changes is more work, but I feel like it’s worth it to make the world feel like it has a sense of passing time (and let’s be real, more reason to show off body parts I like to draw [shoulders and collars for dayssss] the most). Though instead of trying to go buck wild on the fashion sheets, I just came up with a few outfits per reoccurring character with an alternate Hair style or two (hair really is a whole other ball park though). An element specifically to this comic that I have had some fun designing is how each characters mage cloak manifests. As MagicalMashup! is a story that centers around mages, I want to keep a few of the recognizable elements to that character archetype in the story, so personality accommodating mage cloaks were born! (The cloaks can literally be a sash if it fits that character better or a cape, depends.)

With all that musing I’m wondering how other creators tackle fashion in their works. Is it an afterthought? Do you keep it simple? Do you have a character look book? Examples are welcome : D!

TLDR: Looked through my OLD DeveiantArt page for fashion refs on characters only to find out how stagnant the clothing choices I made were. Compared young me to old me and how I had some things right and some not so right and how I got really into how changing clothes as it signifies progression of time. Oh and how much I like to show off collarbones and shoulders.

**What’s ya’lls approach to fashion and/or signature looks in your works?**