Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×
So have I mentioned that I have a blog? I update it more frequently than DeviantArt, generally, and I tend to put sketches and Work-in-Progress stages up on there. If that sounds appealing to you, check out magneticcrow.wordpress.com. Plus I link a ton of my favorite artists and webcomics, so if you're looking for new art to peruse, take a gander at the right side of my page. :)

I also have an etsy shop, where I sell some prints and originals of my work. If there's anything of mine you've really been dying to own, let me know and I can try to make it available in there. You can also request commissions.

That is all! I hope your day is good!
  • Listening to: A very insistent robin
  • Reading: "The Alienist" Caleb Carr
  • Watching: Murder, She Wrote
  • Playing: Plants vs. Zombies
  • Eating: shortbread
  • Drinking: Oops, out of coffee... :(
Hey all! I see that DeviantArt still exists!

I've been making a lot of art, and involved with a lot of projects, that I couldn't necessarily share right away... so it seems I've not been sharing anything on here at all.
I have been updating my blog quite a bit, though, so if you want to see some of my WIPs and such you should probably head there.
And now that I remember that DA is here, I'll be uploading some of what I've done in the meantime. Expect lots of critters in the upcoming days!

Incidentally, if you sent me an important message and I haven't gotten back to you in all this time... you may want to poke me again. I have 11,000+ messages waiting for me, and most of those will probably get deleted (lest they daunt me into avoiding DA indefinitely). So yeah... not ignoring anyone! Just too swamped to go about this any other way. :
  • Listening to: The dryer
  • Reading: "Sister Light, Sister Dark" Jane Yolen
  • Watching: Mushi-Shi
  • Drinking: Hairy Crab Oolong Tea

Unnatural History museum, WIPs

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 27, 2010, 6:49 PM


In case anyone is curious, I've been blogging my in-progress sketches for the 826DC project over here.
Incidentally, my mate :iconevanjensen:, who's also in on this project, is doing so as well.

  • Listening to: The Clockwork Cabaret
  • Reading: "Habitation of the Blessed" Cat Valente
  • Eating: challah
  • Drinking: cranberry-raspberry juice

Why I haven't been sleeping lately...

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 24, 2010, 2:13 PM


...or signing on to DA. I have two intersecting, amazing contracts going on right now.

The first is a pro-bono job contributing pages to the museum catalog for the 'Museum of Unnatural History', aka 826DC. That is, the Washington DC branch of the youth writing program founded by Dave Eggers (also the founder of McSweeney's).
For more info on what I'm doing on that, and why it's so awesome, check my blog post on the subject.

The second, equally exciting (to the point where my mind explodes subtly every time I have to choose between projects to work on) is for Catherynne M. Valente. Anyone who knows me, or follows my art, probably knows that she's my favorite author. Her Orphan's Tales in the Night Garden books were the inspiration for Firebird and cherries by teriathanin and The Huldra and the Hedgehog by teriathanin
If you don't know of her, please do yourself a favor and read some of her work. Here's a good sample, and it's online for free.

Valente's newest book, A Dirge for Prester John: The Habitation of the Blessed is coming out this fall, and she's commissioned me to create several illustrations of her characters that will be used for the promotional website, and promotional materials in general.
You can see why I'm so excited I can't sit still. My pencil is hardly going to leave my hand until mid September.

The next few weeks are going to be spent in a happy, sleepless delirium of work.
Wish me luck!

CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck
Texture by Princess-of-Shadows
  • Reading: "The Habitation of the Blessed" Cat Vale
  • Drinking: water

The other place where stuff goes down

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 16, 2010, 1:45 PM


Hey, so I started a new blog! It's called A Distinguished Bird. I update it several times a week, with scheduled features and just pertinent stuff about my life, art, and interests. If that sounds interesting, please check it out! :D

CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck
Texture by Princess-of-Shadows
  • Listening to: a working AC! (finally)
  • Reading: "Mirador" Sarah Monette
  • Watching: Bones
  • Playing: Spore Creatures

Wait!

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 30, 2010, 10:35 PM


So, I was away from deviantArt for a few weeks (I am easily distracted! My only excuse) and in the meantime I received 85 :+fav:s to Firebird and cherries by teriathanin alone! Not to mention dozens of friendly, complimentary, and often insightful comments!

I'm floating on a cloud because of all of the attention my work has gotten, (yay! :)) but I am also feeling like an ass for ignoring so many comments for so long (not to mention those I never responded to prior to this hiatus, some of which are rather old... *ducks*). Tomorrow I embark upon the answering! I may not get to everything (there is a lot, and I but one brave soul..) but I shall endeavor!

I love all of you folks. Deviants sure know how to make an artist feel welcome. :) *glowing*

CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck
Texture by Princess-of-Shadows
  • Listening to: kitten snores
  • Reading: "Fudoki" Kij Johnson
  • Watching: Buffy the vampire slayer
  • Playing: Zelda: Twilight Princess

Rambling synopsis

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 9, 2010, 11:22 PM


I fell off dA again for a while. I really shouldn't do that. :(
The last month has been pretty astoundingly crazy.

The opening went quite well, a number of pieces sold, we met people from inside and outside of the DC arts community. Pie was had!

My graphic design contract ran over by several weeks, and was far more intense than in the past. Simultaneously, I was trying to complete two full-colour covers for the literary magazine Crossed Genres. The first, which is the current month's issue (#19), was a collaboration with :iconevanjensen:. I'll upload that soon, since it's been released! :)

The second, which I created alone, is for the July issue, "Lies". So... I have to wait to upload it, no matter how itchy I am to do so sooner!

What with my full work week and long commute I haven't had the opportunity to work on anything else for the past few months. I actually had to reject a few commissions at the last minute, which was absolutely heartbreaking because they were for a magazine I really wanted to work for. Which is now going on hiatus for a year. :(

But my contract's coming to a close, which is bittersweet. I'll have a lot more time to do art, and interact on dA! But I'll also need to be looking for more design gigs, because those still provide the vast bulk of my income. Which is stressful, and annoying.

CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck
Texture by Princess-of-Shadows
  • Listening to: the AC unit, starting up
  • Reading: 'Daughter of Hounds' Caitlín R. Kiernan
  • Watching: Buffy the vampire slayer
  • Playing: Zelda: Twilight Princess

Calling all Washingtonians, an art opening!

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 27, 2010, 2:02 PM


So! :iconevanjensen: and I are having a joint show in DC!


(Click the picture for the Facebook event page).

The opening runs from 6-9pm Saturday May 8th, at SOVA, 1359 H Street, NE, Washington DC.

Both of us shall be present, as well as a ton of our artwork! If that's not enough enticement, there will also live music (the front man from Voodoo Pharmacology will be there, and possible some of his bandmates) as well as booze! (SOVA is a cafe turned bar after hours).

If you can't make it to the opening, the show itself will be up for the six weeks anterior to that date as well. If you really want to meet us and talk about our work during that time, send one of us a note and we'll negotiate a an outing to SOVA with you. :)

CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck
Texture by Princess-of-Shadows
  • Listening to: A distant blue jay, whirring
  • Reading: 'The Shadow of the Wind' Carlos R. Zafon
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Drinking: water

Finally!

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 20, 2010, 12:01 PM


Steampunk Magazine issue #7 is out! Which means I have uploaded the two illustrations I did for them to my dA gallery!
It also means you can go to that link and download a free pdf copy, or purchase a hard copy!
It is excellent! It is excitement!
Go take a look! :D

CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck
Texture by Princess-of-Shadows
  • Reading: 'The Iron Council' China Miéville
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Drinking: orange juice

Help?

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 8, 2010, 9:52 PM


The Cerulean blue from my Van Gogh watercolor set is running out. It's a pan set, I've never been able to work with tubes, and one of the features they tout is the ease with which the pans  can be snapped out and replaced.

However.

I can't actually find any replacements on any website that sells and ships them to the United States!
Royal Talens (the Dutch company that manufactures them) lists replacement pans as one of the items they sell, but I can't find any. Despite being nearly seven years old, this set is still pretty complete -- they're pretty long-lasting paints -- so purchasing a brand new one would be ridiculous.
And I really like the quality of this brand, so I'm reluctant to switch to a new one, never mind the fact that another company's pans probably wouldn't fit my set.

I'm very close to considering immoral ways to solve this problem! Any of you lovely artists out there have a solution or suggestion for me?
You would have my eternal love and gratitude.

CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck
Texture by Princess-of-Shadows
  • Listening to: Clockwork Cabaret
  • Reading: 'The Windup Girl' Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Watching: Farscape
  • Eating: undercooked chocolate-chip cookies
  • Drinking: green tea

On uploaded content

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 16, 2010, 6:01 PM


I'm just now realizing how long it's been since I uploaded new work here.
I have a bunch of half-finished projects lying around right now, some that I hope to finish soon and others that I've poured a lot of time and effort into but will probably never complete.

I also just finished two illustrations that were commissioned by Steampunk Magazine (steampunkmagazine.com), though I'm waiting for that issue to be published before uploading them here. Hope it's not too long!

I don't think I've ever managed a consistent uploading schedule on dA, though that was my goal when I signed up for a premium membership. With the erratic way I complete my personal work, it would frankly be a little difficult to do.
Though I could, of course, start uploading sketches and works in progress.

What say ye few who read my journal? Should I begin uploading the intermediary work, as well as the finished?

CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck
Texture by Princess-of-Shadows
  • Listening to: The gurgle of the washing machine
  • Reading: 'The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 1'
  • Watching: Cat, burrowing into my clean laundry pile

How not to run a group.

Journal Entry: Sat Feb 6, 2010, 9:23 PM


The group function on dA has been a great development in the website, one I've taken wholehearted advantage of. It's a great way to share your work across a broader audience, and find good work that you would otherwise have missed.

I'm a member of a number of groups, and each one is run in a distinctively different fashion. Some more efficiently than others, of course. Some with very open policies as to what work is admitted, others with great discretion on this point. Most of them have been pretty grand to participate in.

I just left one group, because it managed to fail on pretty much every count that makes groups a great service.

This group prides itself in selecting only 'the very best' art to fill its gallery, and has a statement to that effect on its main page, voiced in incredibly insulting terms. What exactly is meant by 'the very best' is of course determined by individuals, not all of whom agree on that point and not all of whom are terribly imaginative when it comes to voting.
The gallery of this group is increasingly homogeneous, to the point where I unwatched it long before I finally quit the group.

I see no problem with being choosy with what enters a group's gallery. Discretion builds a better, more interesting gallery overall. I do, however, find fault with groups that make it a point to be insulting and refuse any kind of constructive critique to those who are rejected. I'm part of some choosy groups, and the good ones run tutorials and have critique sessions for any who want them, regardless of whether they're group members or not.

The founder of the group is passive aggressive to the extreme. Being in one of the higher echelons of the group, I had the opportunity to peruse the frequent missives she sent to those who were given the job of voting on which pieces were 'good enough' to enter the gallery. The notes are an almost constant stream of harangue, exhorting the voters to 'choose more carefully' because the founder feels that some of them are too lax in their standards.
She reminds them frequently that she can check the log of who voted on what.

Because an unpaid job on an art website really needs to accompanied by threats of demotion every week.

I stayed with this group for over a month, despite all of this. It was one of the first groups I joined, and I stayed because it was the largest with its specialized focus.

But it's not worth it. It really isn't.

This group, and in particular its founder, has completely lost sight of the purpose of groups in the first place, the purpose of DeviantArt as a community in fact, which is to provide support, exposure, and help to artists.
If they truly want nothing but to create a closed circuit of elitists who seem content in doing nothing else but make themselves feel superior, they can have at. That's a failed group.

And this is coming from someone who's gotten the majority of the work she's submitted to the group accepted into its gallery. Someone who was also accepted into the higher echelons of the group based on her work.

I'm leaving it behind. The headache isn't worth the exposure one bit.
Ayn Rand's politics are bad enough as enacted in her books, I don't need to be part of a mini-Rand's little kingdom here on dA.

CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck
Texture by Princess-of-Shadows
  • Listening to: Clockwork Cabaret
  • Reading: 'The Children's Book' A.S. Byatt
  • Watching: Farscape
  • Drinking: hot apple cider

Some skittering about

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 4, 2010, 9:53 PM


The season is winding down, and I'm getting a little more free time to play with.
I've spent the past few days trying to get caught up with dA, and getting acquainted with the 'groups' feature. I've joined quite a few truly excellent ones! Be sure to check them out.
I'm also finally getting some artwork done, and hopefully getting around to scanning all of the various sketches lying about my desk. Expect some new additions to my gallery soon!

CSS made by TwiggyTeeluck
Texture by Princess-of-Shadows
  • Listening to: Clockwork Cabaret
  • Reading: 'Parable of the Sower' Octavia E. Butler
  • Watching: Black Adder
  • Playing: 'Lock's Quest'
  • Eating: brownies
  • Drinking: milk

Roadtrip

Journal Entry: Wed Dec 30, 2009, 8:29 PM


We spent Monday driving to Pittsburgh and back. To pick up a letterpress.

  :iconevanjensen: had been searching all over the internet for one, his interest mostly academic. He bemoaned their sudden steep rise in popularity, which had more than tripled their standard asking price over the past few years. He browsed and inquired and researched. And then, last Saturday, he accidentally purchased one.


  He confronted me with the news when he picked me up from work on Saturday night. He'd made a low bid on a 5 x 8" press of decent quality on eBay, and had been shocked to receive the email notifying him that he had won. It needed some cleaning, some new springs, and the rollers needed to be recoated, but otherwise is was in good condition. We just had to drive to Pittsburgh to pick it up (that, or pay to ship a 126-pound press. Driving was much cheaper).


  This thing is amazing. We drove nearly ten hours straight (roundtrip) to pick it up. Everything West of the Appalachians was encompassed in a blizzard both ways, so that when we returned home our car was caked and streaked in salt. But we made it, picking up the press from a quiet Pennsylvanian man in his Ford pickup, who waited patiently for us in the snow.

  Now it sits behind me. We haven't gotten down to cleaning it yet, we have a lot of lemon juice and vinegar to acquire for that. But it will come. And we have our own press.

  Books, bookplates, business cards... One of the first projects I plan to tackle is to finally design and print my own deck of cards, something I've been meaning to do for years now. Expect updates on press process, as well as art updates of my progress.

Groups:
:iconillustrators-club::iconwatercolorists::iconphysiologus:
  • Listening to: Swedish folk music
  • Reading: 'Under in the Mere' Catherynne Valente
  • Drinking: hot apple cider

Long Hours

Journal Entry: Sun Nov 22, 2009, 9:20 PM


I'm pretty exhausted right now, but my promise yesterday has provided me with motivation! And so, while I haven't actually done any new scanning of recent work, I have uploaded some old sketches that I have previously neglected to put online.
They are very old, but I am still fond of them.

Hopefully tomorrow will not beat me down too entirely, and I will find the willpower to flick the switch and get some new illustrations online.
In the meantime, I hope somebody finds enjoyment in these!

  • Listening to: Emily Autumn
  • Reading: 'The Scar' by China Mieville
  • Playing: Pokemon Diamond (yet again)
  • Drinking: green tea

It has been done

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 21, 2009, 8:45 PM


My lovely mate, :iconevanjensen:, has donated a premium account to me. Thankee, my one! :hug:
Tomorrow, I begin playing with my new options.
Also, to celebrate, I will upload some of the sketches and drawings I've had lying about my desk unscanned for so long.
Expect some art when I get home from work!
:dance:

  • Listening to: Carbon Leaf
  • Reading: 'The Scar' by China Mieville
  • Playing: Pokemon Diamond (yet again)
  • Drinking: chai

Paucity

Journal Entry: Tue Nov 10, 2009, 7:18 PM


I have a new job, which has been taking up a lot of my time lately.
Nothing exciting... just a seasonal bookseller position. It pays the bills, and lets me spend time around books, so I can't complain too much. Still, it means I have a lot less time to spend on DA, and less time and energy for working on art.
I'll post whatever I do get done, and I'll try to spend some time on here responding to people too. Just know that if I don't reply, it's due to no lack of love on my part: I'm probably sleeping!

As mentioned, it's going to be temporary: just until my biannual graphic design contract swings around again. Then I'll still have limited time for art, but far more than enough time to spend on the internet.

Also, I'm thinking of buying a premium account.
Anyone who has one: have any pros or cons to share?

------------------------
Journal CSS made by caybeach
Brushes by gvalkyrie
  • Listening to: Johnny Cash
  • Reading: 'The Anubis Gates' by Tim Powers
  • Eating: white cheddar cheeze-its
  • Drinking: cranberry hibiscus juice
If you noticed my sudden inactivity on DeviantArt again, it has been for two reasons! One is that I have been fighting off a bad cold with sleep and tea. The other is much more exciting... I have been working on an illustration commission! For the literary magazine GUD (Greatest Uncommon Denominator) Magazine.
They have put together a nifty quiz, via which you can determine which creepy, bizarre monster you are--all drawn from stories published in GUD. All of the answers link to the story represented (free internet reads! yay!) and also a brand-new illustration by me! I'll post all ten of them on here eventually, but for the time being this quiz is their exclusive location.
Take the quiz here, and find out which monster you are!

There are ten different options, so you may want to take it more than once. ;)

Note: Though the illustrations are all work-friendly, some of the stories are a little sexually graphic. Not a bad thing, obviously ;) but I thought I should warn.
  • Listening to: The Clockwork Cabaret
  • Reading: "Not flesh nor feathers" by Cherie Pries
  • Eating: snow pea crisps
  • Drinking: pomegranate white tea
Scrolling through the 'Newest' images on the front page of DeviantArt, I see a lot of images that have had no digital editing performed on them at all.  No rotating, nothing.  I understand that Adobe Photoshop is very expensive, and that even having Gimp requires access to a computer that you're allowed to download things onto (something I didn't have myself until college).  
Yet images really need to be digitally edited in order to look good, there just isn't a scanner or camera in this world that's good enough to produce a completely flawless capture of anything, much less your artwork. So what's a poor, Photoshop-less artist to do?
Assuming you have access to a computer on which to upload to DA in the first place, you can use a Free online image editor! Here are some good ones:

Splashup
The first one I ever came across. Many fewer options than PS, but a quick loader and excellent for basic editing. Even allows you to do direct uploads to a flikr account.

Photoshop Online
The official Adobe online image editor. A huge and clunky RAM-hog, just like its software counterpart. But Adobe is good at these things, so if you really have to have that familiar PS interface-- here it is!

Pixlr Photo Editor
Another pared-down PS clone, but a lot faster to load than the actual PSonline, and a bit easier to navigate than Splashup. Haven't used it much myself, so that's all I can tell you.

Aviary
Definitely the prettiest one, and also has a DA-like community attached, if you want even more places to show your work. Also the only online image editor I know of that does vector, which makes it HIGHLY useful to know about.

Sumo Paint
I haven't used this one yet, but I hear really good things about its quality as an image-creation app, not just as an editor. Also has an online community to share your work in.

So get working! No excuses to not have pretty, web-ready images now! :)
  • Listening to: The Clockwork Cabaret
  • Reading: "Wings to the kingdom" by Cherie Priest
  • Eating: Homemade pumpkin scones!
  • Drinking: Green tea
So today :iconevanjensen: informed me that I've been going about this 'saving images for the web' thing in completely the wrong manner.  For the past eight years or so.  

So I've been going about my gallery here and re-uploading things that were really small before.  Makes everything a lot more visible.  Take a look, if you get the chance.
  • Reading: "Wings to the kingdom" by Cherie Priest
  • Eating: Curry
  • Drinking: White Peony tea