Icthyo Mixup Update

Yo Y’all! Icthyo Mixup, the comic for Jamal Turner the fashion photographer with a keen eye and Dylan Seawell, ocean conservationist with a super secret will commence posting in September!
nautical and fish themed background with large 3/4 view of strawberry blond man with large blue eyes sweating with a hand over the right side of his face while he looks at his contemporary fashionable lover Jamal who is black with stylish hair shaved on the sides with long dreads down the middle dyed with red tips looking to the right as he contemplates his boyfriends super secret

Till then, check out my socials (in the sidebar on pc and at the bottom of my page for mobile) for art updates and Patreon for teasers on the two.

What’s Icthyo Mixup even about!? That’s loaded since the story of Dylan and Jamal has grown larger than the initial prompt, but at its core it’s a love story. To quote Treya “The story is a lesson on how to correct making the wrong assumption lol”. That’s what the comic part I drew will focus on.

(First Sketches I did for them)

It’s a labor of love between @treya_barton and I born from a silly prompt I threw out into the world and she ran with. By our powers combined we brought these two to life. Treya with the written word, and Lady T💜 with the artistic flair bringing many late night talks and texts to 2D life. I hope y’all enjoy seeing these two cuties fumbling their way through confessions, affirmations, and of course luvvvv.

For more on Treya’s wondrous words of romance, visit: https://archiveofourown.org/users/treya_barton/pseuds/treya_barton

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 💜

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!

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 🙂 https://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com/FAQ.

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!


Favorite Tools of the Trade: Pen Edition

Hi y’all!

It’s freezing down here in the south and I just want to be in bed with a heated blanket. Anyways, I may be cold, but something that helps take my mind off of not feeling the best is looking up and trying new art supplies. One of my fav places to scope out and test new supplies is JetPens. They provide extensive reviews of all the drawing and writing supplies that they have for sale. Not only that, but everything is OPEN STOCK!! That’s such a big deal. You artist know why ;). Just to not be that one for those that don’t get it though, it means you can literally buy 1 of any pen or pencil/accessory. Try before investing!! That’s such a big deal when trying to figure out what materials you even like to use. Not only that but if you run out of one thing from a pack, you can buy just what you need. Ultimate customization!

Pens pens and more pens! Checkout my book pouch too hehe.

I wanted to share some of my favorite Pens that I use for making comics and why I dig them so much.

That tip is nice for being fast and keeping it loose!

For Work

Pentel EnerGel .35mm ball Needle Point pen (black). This pen has become my favorite pen to do quick sketches within my Notebook. It has sharp lines and great for cross-hatching and tiny details. My handwriting isn’t very legible with it. but that’s not what I use it for.

I’ve never had pretty handwriting (barely legible on a good day) but this pen gives me the control I crave!

Zebra Sarasa clip 0.5. For making notes on thumbnails and having legible handwriting I like this baby. It goes down smooth, doesn’t skip, and not as sharp as the Pentel, so delicate details arent really its thing, but makes my chicken scratch look semi-legible and I like the way it feels in my hand.

For Legibiliaty
Zebra Tapli Clip Ballpoint Pen – 1.6 mm. Since I write fast and loose, I’ve found that bigger tipped pens that glide instead of run over paper give me a bit more control. For that most any pen with a tip of at least 1.5mm gives me that.

Every Day
Papermate Inkjoy .7MM. These are pretty easy to find most anywhere locally and I totally recommend them. They have a nice mate body that stays put in your hand, great ink flow, a variety of tip sizes & colors, and they feel nice in the hand. I use these for scheduling and keep spares in all my bags.

An example of what these pens look like. The highlight sparkles were made using the red/black pen .

For Fun

Pentel Hybrid Dual Metallic Gel Pen – 1.0 mm. These pens are purely for being cute. I just like to use them to add a lil pop to a bunch of black ink. Though sometimes they serve as a color block to help me remember I want to color a feature in a unique or cosmic way. They provide such a neat effect and flow out of the pens nicely, so you can get some good coverage area.

Tiny tiny color pops

Pilot Hi-Tec-C Gel Pen .4mm. They aren’t the best gel pens, but I like the colors they have and will do in a pinch for details or notes. I seem to always have one somewhere…

I love this lil sloth with its lil smile!

Just Because

Sloth Pen – I just love this lil pen from Earthbound and it puts a smile on my face while at work (not the comic work, but the 9-5 job haha). They don’t have it on the site anymore, but they have other kinds and they are surprisingly good writing pens. The ink tube is also replaceable so woot! They also have journals that I really want to get my hands on, but that’s a whole other deal.

What are some of your favorite pens and where do you get them?

TLDR: List of my favorite pens and a good place to find open stock supplies. Do you use pens for your comics or writing? If so what kinds and why do you like them? Feel free to leave reviews of your favs and where you can get them for anyone curious to try them out :).

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.

https://www.pexels.com/ (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 https://www.pexels.com/license/.

https://planner5d.com/ (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!!

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?**

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 magicalmashup.com or follow on Tapas at https://m.tapas.io/series/MagicalMashup/info yay!

To see all the behind the scenes art, and previews, checkout Instagram.com/lady.t.musings or twitter.com/lady_toyano

Here we go!