She’s a Spooky Witch

illustration and redraw

 

 

 

I’m back on my redraw grind. 

When I was sorting through my illustrations to find my favorite of each character, I realized my favorite of Friday is no longer applicable to my current style…so I redrew it ;^) I’m also hosting a costume contest on my socials, so be sure to head over to my Instagram or Twitter to enter before Halloween!!

My Final Appearance This Year!

Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market- Sept 10

 

 After a lot of hard thinking and decision making, I’ve decided that this will be my last IRL appearance this year…and I will be taking a break next year from tabling.   I have a very big project I’m starting in 2023 and I know I will definitely not have any additional time to go to any events/prep for them/etc.  I may return to the circuit in 2024, but it all really depends on how my projects go.  

 

In other news, I’m really excited to be at this upcoming event!

I don’t know my table number yet- and there will be a HUGE amount of folks showing up- So be sure you are following me on twitter and IG, where I’ll be updating where I am, what I’m doing, how it’s going etc throughout the day! (

IG: Blue_rabbit_comics 

Twitter: bluerabbitcomx

I’ll also be featured in the swag bags, which are handed out to the first 100 people who show up!  I only managed to complete 50 items because everything is hand made.

 

I am really really hopeful about this event.  Not just that I will do *ok* but also that I think it will be very fun to attend!  I can’t wait to go- and I hope I don’t get too tired and burn out.  Come see me at this event this weekend- I can’t wait to see you!!!

Nick Portrait

illustration

 

 

 

 

 

 I am working on a portrait series of all the main characters from Blue Remedy to turn into a color block type poster.  I asked on IG which one should be posted publicly (the rest are going to be on patreon only… I only have Friday left to do!), and it was a four way tie… Go figure!

So I decided to go with Nick, since he’s my favorite ;^).  This is one of the prints I have available at the convention…and my shop!  Check it out!!

Self Publishing Ain’t Free

Bring our projects to life

PATREON

 I have never considered art as a career choice- which is why I don’t plan to make a profit out of it.  However, I don’t want it to be a money suck either.  That’s why I aim to keep Blue Rabbit Comics a non profit, bringing in just enough to pay the bills for materials, website hosting, postage, etc.  But for that, I need your help!

 One of the ways that you can support the Blue Rabbit Comics active projects is by pledging on PATREON!  I use patreon as a hosting platform for exclusive content and early comic releases.  The payments for each tier process on the first of the month.  All proceeds from my patreon go directly back into Blue Rabbit Comics.  Some examples of purchases made from proceeds include:  one year of website hosting (bluerabbitcomics.art), cardstock for printing, and convention table fees!  Let’s have a look at the different tier options on my patreon:

Please note, all tiers come with an initial “welcome pack” when an address is provided.  The welcome pack includes a thank you/welcome card and Blue Crew sticker

BLUE CREW: All Access

cost: 3$ USD/mo

 

  The Blue Crew All Access tier gives you a behind the scenes peek at WIPS and access to SFW exclusive illustrations.  You are also able to read the web comic Blue Remedy a week earlier than everyone else, and see the high-res version of social media posted illustrations weeks in advance!  All illustrations are downloadable, and sometimes I will make desktop wallpapers featuring my OCs, or Blue Crew official downloads. You also have access to discount codes for my shop, discounted commissions when available, along with occasional polls to help decide what kind of content will be coming up next! Let’s not forget being added to the “co producers” list, receiving a shout out every month and also being featured on the Meet the Crew portion of my website- linked to the website of your choice!  

BLUE CREW: 18+

Cost: 5$ USD/mo
 

 

 

The Blue Crew 18+ tier gives you all the benefits of the All Access tier, but with some 18+ additions ;^)!  Uncensored NSFW illustrations (gore/ violence/ nudity/ sex) are posted monthly, including the WIPs and occasional NSFW exclusive short comics!  Get access to polls to decide what kind of NSFW work will be coming up next!

BLUE CREW: Ride or Die

cost: 8$ USD/mo

 

As a ride or die member, you are among the elite- and we recognize that!  As part of your welcome package you will receive the exclusive ride or die crew sticker, and will receive anniversary stickers for the 6mo (gold) and 1 yr (holo) anniversary!  This is also the print pack tier- where you receive two 5×7 prints every two months (to save on postage and reduce our carbon footprint, packs are sent every two months instead of once monthly).  When it is available, one 8×10 print may be substituted when offered- you get to vote on which you want!

 

 With so many options at different price points, you get to support BRC as much as you can, while receiving your own exclusive benefits.  What’s not to love? Become an Official Blue Crew member now!

 

 Art Burnout vs Art Battles

and how to tell the difference

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional and all discussions about mental health below are my own personal opinion and experience. 

If you do not share my opinion or experience that is also valid and I support you.

 
We’ve all been there as artists.   That place where you don’t want to do this anymore.  You know the one.  You’re tired, you’re frustrated- you want this feeling to pass but you aren’t sure how to get over it.  At some point, you wonder if you will ever draw again…

No one’s art journey is linear.  There are ebbs and flows, highs and lows, and many of us feel that flux in a very personal way.  But there are different types of “downs” that we have as artists, and they are often addressed in very different ways.  The hard part, for me at least, is knowing which “down” I am experiencing- and addressing it appropriately.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve googled/searched “art burn out”, looking for a remedy to my pain.  Some people will tell you to take a break, while others tell you to push through it.  Unfortunately, if you pick the wrong one it might make it worse.

 I narrowed down my own lows in my art journey to situations I will call “art battles” and “art burnout”. 

 

Art Battles

When you watch videos/ read articles about the plateaus in the art journey that can make you feel like you aren’t progressing- that, for me, is an art battle.  You are probably already familiar with the fact that our eyes’ ability to discern details and errors in our art typically develops faster than our brains’ ability to realize what it is (and then, improve our technique to correct it).  Staring at the screen/canvas/page/whatever for hours while not being able to put your finger on it… that’s so frustrating.  That frustration can lead to wanting to stop or take a break.  

But when your issue is development, stopping wont help.  It’s times like these where I push through the pain and keep drawing.  Practice makes better, and if you stop practicing you will stop getting better.  Our creative brains are like a muscle.  A little strain is good, breaking down the tissue to build it up stronger.  No pain, no gain.

 

Art Burnout

Continuing with the muscle analogy- there is a limit.  You can push yourself through the pain to become better…until you hit your true limit.  If you push too far past the limit as an athlete, you can wind up with serious injury.  As an artist, that feeling of wanting to stop because you’re too tired is art burnout.

With the constant push for art to consume on social media, we find ourselves producing material faster and faster.  As we push out more work and the creative well runs dry, we need to take breaks.  It’s even more frustrating when you have a million ideas you want to draw/make, but you’ve hit a wall and your brain just cannot process it.  It’s running on E and it’s just not going to happen (I call that creative constipation– yes you can laugh).  At times like these, I choose to take a break. 

A lot of times removing the pressure of “having to produce” something makes it easier for me to draw, so my breaks end up shorter than I intend…hah!

 

How do you know the difference?

For me, these are some indicators that let me know if I have come across an art battle, or art burnout:

Art Battle:
  • I start things but don’t finish them
  • I like working on ONE part of my WIPS (e.g. sketching vs line-art vs coloring)
  • Whatever I’m drawing just isn’t right
  • I still want to draw, but I get mad/frustrated
  • Looking at references gets me motivated
Art Burnout:
  • Thinking about drawing makes me tired/sad
  • I don’t want to work on WIPS or start new things
  • Looking at references doesn’t give me motivation
  • I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not drawing

 

Breaks are valid, and pushing through the slump is valid.

However you process the struggles of your art journey that helps you is always the best way to go.  These are just some of my own musings that might help you process your own feelings. 

Do you have art battles or art burnout?  How often?  What do you do about it?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

Why I Made My Own Website

 I spent a lot of time thinking about making a website.   I finally decided to take the plunge when I was taking a break from my social media accounts.  I wanted a way to share my work with my audience without the headache and mental strain that social media has caused me.  No numbers, no drama, just a website.  Yes.

It was a process to figure out exactly how to make a website as an artist and comic illustrator.  Let me tell you a little about the process I went through while making an art website…

Making an Art Website

 

Hosting Site

 The most important part of purchasing my website (besides the name, of course), was choosing a host.  There are so many hosting platforms out there, it can be incredibly confusing and overwhelming!  There were aspects of hosting that I didn’t even know before I started looking and comparing plans.  After reading a lot of articles/ watching videos/ etc,  I was able to pick out the following considerations as the MOST important:

  1. Speed
  2. Content permissions
  3. Storage Space
  4. Cost
Speed

 Have you ever clicked on a link and got tired of waiting when the page didn’t load?  Yeah, all of us have.  That’s the speed I was worried about.

Many articles and studies have shown that if a page takes more than three seconds to load in full, you begin to see a drop in engagement/ people staying on the page.  I won’t lie, I’m too lazy to site the articles here, but you can do a quick google search about website loading speed and find the stats yourself.

So, any hosting site with known issues with speed was immediately disqualified.

Content Permissions

A big factor for making a website was self hosting my own comics (see below).  I wanted to self host in order to be able to post fully uncensored  adult content (mostly gore) without the children’s protection  squad on sites such as TAPAS and WEBTOONS chasing me around all day.

But did you know, hosting sites can forbid adult content as well?  Yeah, I know, I was surprised too. A quick google search of the host site and “adult content” got me to the terms and conditions pages where I could find the stance of the host site on adult content.

So, any hosting site that does not allow adult content was disqualified.

Storage Space

As an artist and comic illustrator, having a lot of storage space was incredibly important!  I didn’t want to get to episode XYZ and then get a “oops, you don’t have any more space LUL” error.  Most of the hosting sites I was considering had a tier that includes unlimited storage, which is exactly what I was looking for!

So, hosting plans with unlimited storage was a must!

Cost

Of course cost is a consideration when picking a hosting site!  There are tons of specials and promos out there that can bring down the cost of hosting a website to less than $5 a month! BUT it is important to remember that after the initial purchase is made (one year hosting, three years, whatever), the cost of hosting will go to full price. However, there is a way to get around this…kind of.  You can change the hosting site of your website when your hosting deal expires, and transfer your whole website to a new hosting site with another promotional deal (as a cheapskate, this is my plan ;^) )

A free domain for a year is another cost savings option on many hosting sites ( but not all), so make sure to read what is included.

 After comparing plans with all of this in mind, I settled on: DREAMHOST

Website builder

 The other half of the website experience is…the actual builder.  If you are more skilled than I am, you may know some programming languages and are able to build your own website through coding.

That ain’t me, friends.

Due to my past experience with WORDPRESS, I wanted to stick with a hosting platform that had a built in wordpress editor.  There are multiple reasons wordpress was a good fit for me:

  1. Plug Ins
  2. Export-ability
  3. I’m used to it
Plug Ins

Broooo- plug ins.  The biggest draw to wordpress, across the board, are the plug ins!  When you use wordpress website editor on a hosted website, you are able to access all the premium plug-ins that you didn’t have access to when using wordpress.com to host your free site.

Plug-ins offer added benefits and boosts to your site.  For example: uploading custom fonts (outside of google fonts too), optimization tools, caching tools, social networking linking/gallery shares, archiving tools, web comic hosting tools, etc.  Instead of fighting with different aspects of my website manually- I can use plug-ins to make it easier on me, and do the work in the background!

Export-ability

 Earlier in this post I touched on the idea of migrating your website to different hosting sites in order to capitalize on promotional prices.  With wordpress site builders, you can easily export your website as a whole, and import it into the new hosting platform seamlessly.  This is very important for me, since I use special plug ins and themes to make sure my website runs smoothly.

I’m used to it

 I have used wordpress free hosting for years for other projects I have done, so the dashboard is really familiar to me.  However, I had no idea how much EASIER the premium features make it.  When you use the website editor on a hosting site, you are able to use drag-and-drop features that other website builders boast as unique. 

Picking a website builder I have some familiarity with made the learning curve way lower- allowing me to build my site in a few days rather than taking weeks of reading “how to” tutorials, etc.

Self- Hosting Web Comics

My goal of self-hosting my web comic was a big motivator and driver behind how/when/why I got a website. 

Earlier in this post I mentioned that being able to host my own comic without fear of blocking/ banning due to adult content was a huge part of my decision to purchase a website.  I started my web comic adventure on Webtoons, which I still intend to use.  A big downfall to self hosting is that you don’t have a built in audience on your own platform.  It can be very hard for people to find your work.

But that’s ok, I want the freedom to post how I want to.

Since I started on Webtoons, I’ve been drawing my comics in a vertical scroll format.  There are lots of pros and cons to this- and I really like it, so I needed to find a way to host a vertical scroll comic.

Enter: Toocheke

Toocheke is a theme and plug in available on wordpress that provides a “webtoon-esque” vertical scroll comic experience.  There are, again, a lot of pros and cons to using this theme. 

One super annoying thing is that it isn’t very customizable.  For this reason, I don’t think my web comic website is very pretty…but, that’s ok. My main goal and concern was the actual web-comic part, not the landing page, so I could live that.

There are other web comic themes/hosting options, but this one works the best for me as a Webtoons user.  I’m very happy with the seamless vertical scroll appearance with no gaps between the images, and how it is mobile friendly as well.

 

I hope that this was helpful!

Good luck on your website journey!  Feel free to drop a link to your own website below.

 

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