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.

Diversity in Comics

Some examples of the characters features in my webcomic MagicalMashup! and all them beautiful skin tones!!

Hi, y’all fellow creatives and musers of the world!

It’s Black History Month, but there is always time to talk about diversity in my book. I make a comic called MagicalMashup! that features a black female protagonist who is also fat or plus size if you prefer, I’m fine with fat as it’s just a descriptor and it is what it is, but I’ve noticed a difference in tags for fat and plus size so yeah… cover all grounds… (body diversity is a whole other can of wigglies that I’m sure I’ll get into at a later date). My cast is also filled with a host of other racially and ethnically diverse characters too with sexualities as beautiful as a rainbow as I draw inspiration from my life. As it is a fantasy setting, the ethnicities are all fictional, but racially speaking I pull from the real world for some relatability and representation. Today I want to talk specifically about characters in our stories and that we draw/illustrate/write that are not white.

As a creator of any racial/ethnic group, do you make black characters or other racial identities that aren’t white and based on real-life people of color for your stories or illustrations? If you do, what leads you to do this? Fill free to share pics of your characters. If you don’t, why not? Are you interested in diversifying your cast or writing?

I think it’s important to look at these types of questions and think about them in earnest and face them head-on as story creators and artists so that we all grow and expand our horizons about each other. I am aware that some folks live in racially homogenous areas so thinking about other races isn’t something that would cross their minds regularly or if you only tell stories based on your life and have never come into contact with someone of another race that would be included in your personal tale, but if you have access to the internet and partake in social media it isn’t hard to come in contact with the diversity of the world and this is about promoting and encouraging that contact.

I thrive in creating works based on fantasy and sci-fi and those two genres are where I like to spread my wings. Growing up much of my exposure to these genres was through white lenses and oftentimes black characters and other racial minorities would be cast as tokens and stereotypes. Even if I didn’t really connect with them, I appreciated them for existing when they showed up in those two genres specifically (Sci-fi had more rep than fantasy for sure though). It’s hard to notice how the things we consume growing up can impact us down the road, but craving representation in the fields that I adore is such a driving force for me that It got me to create art focused around the type of characters I wanted to see (and still do).

I’m not here to accuse or police anyone’s work and I can only speak from the experience I have as a cis black woman living in the USA who is tall, and fat has had a run in with cancer, and often mistaken for a drag queen (no shame in that game as DragQueens are beautiful and extra and I love them, but gotta keep it real as can’t talk about that life from persona experience), but I am curious to know the thoughts other creators have when it comes to racial diversity in their work (which is different from ethnic diversity as racial specifically means physical traits for how people look [skin color and features] while ethnicity is more based on culture. These two tend to go hand in hand, but not always, to be honest, there are more nuances that go into even that so it can get a bit eye-crossing for folks who fall into mixed groups or folks that fall into other groups). For example, my race is Black which gives a basic description for how I look (emphasis on basic), my ethnicity is African American when I fill in paperwork, but I’d put Black American if it were an option as unfortunately I nor my family have had any cultural ties to Africa in generations due to slavery and the loss of any records of where my lineage comes from before my great-grandma. Being Black and American is what I know and there is still more to me than that, but I think you get the gist of what I’m saying.

I started off just doing skin recolors of favorite cartoon characters and making OCs off of them as I didn’t understand the nuances of the differences in illustrating racial groups, but through anatomy studies and people watching (an ongoing learning experience for life), I have been able to apply that to my character designs to make more racially distinct-looking characters. Observation and studies are something I recommend any artist do, and if you are a writer, this also helps when being able to describe your characters with a flair that doesn’t always center around a type of chocolate or food (I love my sweets too, but the verbiage for dark skin is as wide as the sea is vast so don’t be scared to expand form that). There are tons of fabulous resources on writing with color and this is one that I recommend, but there are many more out there, and if you know of any feel free to share 🙂

TLDR: Do you create characters that are Black or other racial identities (different from ethnic identities) that aren’t white? if so, how/why do you? Feel free to post examples of your characters of color. If you do not, how come and would you like to? Any resources for creating with diversity in mind are welcomed as well!

Checkout the post on the Tapas forum foe more replies!

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?**

Who is saying what!? Word Bubbles and Order

Soooo I just wrapped up the first chapter of my comic MagicalMashup! (developer side, I literally just started posting pages last month) and on the last page of chapter one I couldn’t help but notice just how verbose it was. Junah, protagonist, is on a call with her three parents and there are chat bubbles crowding most of the page. Not only is it a wordy panel, but I also worry about readers being able to tell who is talking @.@. Each character has a unique way of speaking, but I’m not sure that’s enough to tell who’s saying what for bubbles that have shorter responses. I was going to go back and rework it (which would entail adding another 2-3 pages of chewing the fat that I don’t want to burn any more time on) but I have a time schedule to keep so I’m going to leave it.

For now…

Anyhow, I wanted to know how you all tackle the issue of word bubbles for characters off panel, or panels with lots of wording, as fellow comic creators (or connoisseurs of the comic art form)? Do you add/prefer color to tell who’s talking so never worry about this? Do you prefer/like little symbol to indicate a specific character is speaking? I’m curious to hear ya’lls thoughts and approaches to this. Examples welcomed!

TLDR: What approaches do ya’ll take (or prefer) when it comes to differentiating word bubbles between multiple characters speaking when some are off panel or crowding into one panel?

I feel like for this page I could have been more clear that Yaro is taking off page, but I don’t think i did a terrible job at it either.

Live do and learn, you’ll get better. – Lady T.

Backgrounds in comics what do?

IDK about ya’ll but backgrounds have always been something I’ve admired when I see them done, but dread the thought of doing them. I used to think it was a universal dread, like knowing you will have to get over the aversion to drawing hands, but have found out that’s not really the case. Some folks really go ham on backgrounds and love it.

I knew that in making my comic I’d have to draw some backgrounds, even if they were just in establishing shots, so I tried my best to find any program or tool that would help make it easier on me for creating that which I dread. I’ve found a few neat things that have helped me with interior design like using Planner 5D for structure layouts and rooms (It’s a pretty baller program by the way for folks who could use a lil assist in room layouts, but don’t want to completely build something from scratch like in SketchUp.) and well the Sims 3…back in the day when it there were tons of mods and support for it.

I’ve found that drawing backgrounds or landscapes is something I don’t mind doing when they are stand alone (and not based off of anything to grounded in reality), but when they have a reason to exist due to characters and being interreacted with I’m like…do what now? I know it’s something I’ll get more accustomed to as I do it more, I mean Chapter 1 of my comic MagicalMashup! starts with a house exterior in the middle of the woods as the first panel (that was a journey). Anyway, I’m curious to hear how others tackle the subject.

TLDR: Backgrounds are work. How do you approach backgrounds and settings in your comics or do you just not? Any tips or tools you’d recommend? Wanna express your joy or dread over making backgrounds? I’m all eyes heh.

I’ve gotten some pretty good advice on the matter, so I’m just going to go from there and. Challenge myself to draw my characters interacting with background elements.

Nothing to it but to do it. -Lady T.

I Set a Date!

11.2.2020 will kick off my first Magicalmashup! Monday!! That’s when I’m going to do the thing and begin releasing my comic woot! I’m so excited to finally start posting it. Leading up to the date I’ll be posting some goodies on my social media sites to introduce the characters and maybe a bit of the world :).

If you want to be their for when the first pages drop jump up on this hype train and check out or follow on Tapas at yay!

To see all the behind the scenes art, and previews, checkout or

Here we go!