Mid June 2017 Art Update

I’ve been busy making art! Not only is my 100 Random Practice Babe art book/100 somethings challenge nearing the end, I’ve also done some commissions as well.

First up: some illustrations I’ve done for a coworker. She wanted some ‘toon’ likenesses of models for her upcoming book covers.
     

I also completed a coloring art commission for my frequent client Montreal Mack, this time featuring Mei from Blizzard’s popular FPS Overwatch in a holiday-themed pinup:

Christmas Time Mei by Montreal Mack

And I recently finished an action pinup featuring a gun-toting black action heroine who goes by the name of Dice, for a novelist/screenwriter named Marlon McCaulsky:
Dice by Marlon McCaulsky

Last but not least, I finished several illustrations for my 100 Girl Book as I mentioned before. I’m not showing every single one, but my Facebook, Instagram and DeviantART audience saw this, so I’m showing it here as well (even though at this point, I’ve exposed so many images I’ve done for the art book that any attempt at protecting its value–at least online–is all but meaningless I fear. Oh well…)
The Battle Pirate -- don't ask

(It’s also available in my Redbubble store!)

However, I did have a minor setback. On Facebook, I earlier announced that I completed the thumbnails for my ‘last 12’ girl drawings (I’ve since completed seven of those last 12 entirely). However, I went through the library and saw one that I pulled from the past to include was just too small for print, and I no longer had a high-resolution art file to replace it with. Therefore, I have to produce one more original art thumbnail to finish the 100. That’s not a big deal though; chances are as I get closer to the end, the thumbnails I’ve produced may lose their luster and I may come up with better ideas anyway. I’ve replaced several images I thought were good enough in the past and…well, it’s all just drawing.

I’m eager to be finished, but I’m also eager to make this as good as I can. Once done, I’ll be selling it digitally and through Print-On-Demand sites until I can afford to print some copies and sell directly. Links will be added to my Products page when ready!

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for further updates.

Latest Art–See the Derpy Angel!

The number of illustrations has gone up: 82 of 100, the “Derpy Angel”. I named her that because my son is always calling silly expressions ‘derpy’ so it popped in my head.

Derpy-Angel

I’m getting close to the finish line here. Thanks to my Facebook friends, I have a fresh amount of inspiration and ideas, so while I won’t promise the exact words will see the light of day, I should be able to mix and match inspirations and come up with some interesting images. I should be able to get through the remaining eighteen images in decent time.

Truth be told, a lot of them are wearing very little (by my count, some 40%), so for the last set of illustrations, I’m going to strive to add more detailed attire to my girl drawings, just for the sake of balance. Armor, clothing, or perhaps different textures entirely–a metal girl, another one with fur but different from my FoxBunny, maybe more beastly. Maybe all of the above.

Feel free to chime in if you get any unusual ideas. I only have eighteen illustrations to go, and I’ve already started two, but I still think I should be able to squeeze in some suggestions in all the last 16 pics.

And don’t forget, if you can’t wait for me to finish the 100 Girl Book and you want to support my art, I have several already-finished productions, all of which can be found by going through my Products for Sale page.

Number 66 Done

Having completed the 66th girl for my 100 Girl Art Book project, I felt it important to remind myself why I am doing this and what direction it’s going in.

What is the point of the 100 Girl Book? What is it for? Why am I doing it?

To produce a tangible product to sell on and offline. The idea was to produce and/or collect 100 unique illustrations of black women I’ve done, put them in a book, print it and sell it digitally as well, along with prints of the more successful illustrations from the book. I originally started the project because I realized that one part of becoming a professional artist is putting myself out there at conventions and such, but I had no tangible products to peddle. I spent so many years making art and starting projects, but never finishing anything or taking things to a real physical conclusion; despite having over a thousand images online (at my deviantART for instance), I literally have nothing to take to a convention and market as something that represents me as an artist, and I’ve attempted so many things (novels, comics, pinups, commissioned colors, even some 3D) that I don’t know who Jonathan Price the artist really is.

I figured, since I was doing all these “Random Practice Babes”, and I was enjoying them, it was clear that this theme was the driving force that compelled me to keep making art. It was clear that I was either unwilling or unable to keep telling myself I was some sort of comic book artist when drawing comics is something I basically had to force myself to do, while drawing these women was more enjoyable, led to my art getting more attention and sometimes commissions, etc.

However, the more of them I do (and the more I find myself refining old drawings instead of making new ones), the more I start thinking, how many is enough? If I want to use this as a portfolio of some kind, 10-20 of them would have been more than sufficient. Are these drawings really showcasing my skill? Are they at all marketable? Am I doing the wrong thing with my skill? I’ve entertained the thought that maybe I’m not much of a ‘fine artist’ and I should devote my art to being part of something greater, like a comic book, a game, etc., and trying to sell something on the strength of my drawing alone is hurting more than helping me. Hell, if I said the goal was to produce 50 images for a book, no one would be saying “no, go for 100”. The only reason that number is mentioned is because I originally mentioned it, and the plan can change.

I have other ideas that I could visualize being used to represent me at conventions and such, comic ideas, story ideas, and a part of me is like “Finish the girl book first” while other parts in my mind are like “Life is short, do things now, it’s time to move on.”

The words “Follow One Course Until Successful” (F.O.C.U.S.) have been repeated to me often over the last few weeks, but I’m always caught up in trying to decide what that one course should be, and I’m not sure I’m patient enough to wait to get to 100 to see if this course is the right one.

But I won’t know until I try. I just wish I could come up with a definitive answer to the question: is 66 enough, or should I keep pushing to 100?

Although…it should be noted that I’ve asked myself this question a lot over the course of the project. Is 30 enough? Is 48 enough? And that number keeps getting higher.

I really just need to stop worrying about it and get to 100, right? Haha.

Trying out a new skin coloring approach

too-sexy-thumb

Had some fun experimenting with a softer coloring style. This one isn’t work safe, so click to view if you’re interested.

I did say I wasn’t going to post too many completed images in the future, but this one I felt deserved to be shown off. I like how it turned out. Hope you do as well…feedback is welcome.

I don’t know if I’m going to use this coloring style on too many images; it took quite a while, and though it was fun, I decided against any kind of real backdrop because I was worn out. Maybe next time.

Making a choice

today

I finished another girl drawing today. I’m actually kind of proud of it. But I am resisting sharing it (in its entirety anyway). It’s not amazingly innovative or anything, but I need to teach myself a new habit.

I’m up to 36 images. Most of those who follow me online have seen most of them already. I learned a valuable lesson…if I want my work to actually have value, it might help to not share everything online for free.

I just can’t help it; I thrive off of attention for my work (not personal attention–I actually shirk from that). I have no one to really share my art with in my real life, no fellow artists, so I get my art connections online. So I want to show people what I’ve done, even though if I were habitually able to just produce girl drawings without sharing them online, I could probably have produced 100 individual illustrations in the time from mid-May (when I first started and announced the project) to now.

That’s my real problem, my real hindrance from finishing what I start. I’m plagued by the hunger for instant gratification. I like seeing people ‘like’, share, reblog, and comment on my art. I liked the idea of being a webcomic artist for a while, using ads to support and fund the comic while I posted week after week, but I couldn’t stick with it. And Patreon seemed like a nice idea, but it’s been my experience that people aren’t willing to start paying for something they’re used to getting for free, and I don’t know what to offer.

I feel I must make a choice; either get used to the idea of not sharing the images I produce until the book is ready (and I’m kind of set in my ways so change will be tough), or put it out early and accept the fact that I’m a short-term, instant-gratification type of artist…accept that attention on social media means more to me than possibly having a product with value to sell. Sounds obvious on paper, but the last 17 years have shown me that I’m more comfortable sharing my work and not worrying about sales than trying to be an art hustler or a businessman.

For the record, some have suggested that my goal of 100 girl drawings was a bit too lofty and that I should focus on putting out smaller, cheaper products more quickly. I was just trying to challenge myself to do something harder than I’ve ever done before. I’ve drawn far more than 100 images in my lifetime (well over 1000 exist on my deviantArt page alone) and I’ve completed comics with more than 100 panels total, so 100 versions of my favorite subject matter should have been at least feasible. It still is. I mean, if I finish the 100 girls by May of next year, I would have fulfilled my original goal, but the question is, is it worth it?

Progress Report

The state of the girl book is as follows:

I just finished a new one; I call her Thorny Rose.thorny-rose

As of this writing, I have 35 illustrations. I am seriously considering getting to a nice round number (say, 36 or 48 or another nice-sounding less-than-100 number) and putting out a lesser version of the book.

I need a decent working title for it. I’m pondering format as well, physical, digital or both…probably both since POD sites exist, and I’m sure I’d like to have a few physical copies on hand should I ever decide to vend at a comic convention again.

I want to try other things. Ideas have been flying in and out of my head, such as:

  1.  A small 2D fighting game featuring a few girl designs from the book. I’ve been thinking a few of them would look great in action, such as my Hoop Ninja.
  2. Studying Blender and learning 3D modeling so I can turn a few of them into 3D-printed figurines, or perhaps pay someone to do it.
  3. Getting back into comics. Maaaaybe.

I still have a few ideas yet, and I think my motivation is returning so I might be able to actually turn a few of them into fresh new and quality illustrations.

Thanks for reading and feel free to chime in with any thoughts, ideas, suggestions or rants!