Something Wicked This Way Comes

That sounds so much ominous than it really is. It’s been 2.5 years since I posted here and while I’ve definitely not disappeared from the internet, I have restructured a lot of my online presence. That means this blog is going to go through some changes soon.

Don’t worry though. Snailbird is still gonna be here and will still be home to this blog which I’ll start updating again (hopefully – let’s not make any promises). I’m just going to alter it a bit. Snailbird will now be known as Snailbird: The Art of Nikki Jeske. I’ve already made the changes to my Facebook page which is updated fairly regularly now. I’m a steady freelance artist (finally) and I want Snailbird to be the home for my work. So in the next month or so, you’ll be seeing changes – some subtle and some not-so-subtle (a design change is in the works). Be prepared.

For now, make sure you’re following me for more art content in the following places:

🌱 http://twitter.com/coyotewitch
🎨 http://facebook.com/nikkijeskeart
http://ko-fi.com/nikkijeske
🎲 http://patreon.com/nikkijeske

I hope you’re all keeping your heads above water. There are still a few more months of 2020 to get through. Stay hydrated, do good, be well. And sleep if you can. Sleep is important.

Kickstarter! Park Sweet Treats Enamel Pins

DISNEYLAND! DELICIOUS TREATS! ENAMEL PINS! These are a few of my favorite things! 🎵

My good pal (and phenomenal Dungeon Master) Nikki Ward has taken all of these wonderful things and wrapped them into a fun Kickstarter project! Nikki ADORES Disneyland and visits more than most people I know (she and her husband even got married there). While I have yet to visit, I can’t help but me enamored by these adorable characters she’s created based on her favorite Park treats.

Nikki is a professional illustrator located here in Austin, TX and draws some of the most adorable fanart I’ve ever seen. She travels a lot for shows that she exhibits at and her style is all her own. While she’s known for her Disney work, she also does fanart of Overwatch, Critical Role, and much more – you can find prints and other products on her Society6 page. Nikki is also the founder of Geek Fire Labs where she makes bath and body products that SMELL AMAZING. From where I’m currently sitting, I can see three of her products in my bedroom: a kodama forest wax melt, my Droid Please lip balm, and my favorite Cthulhu perfume. Seriously, her stuff is so great.

As you can see, Nikki is a very skilled and experienced artist and maker. She’s made enamel pins before (I have her gorgeous Sailor Moon magical girl pin) but this is the first time she’s using Kickstarter as a platform for them. I’d love to see these Disney treat pins become a reality because they’re not only a personal passion of hers, they’re also just dang cute.

So please head over and pledge to the Park Treat Sweeties Hard Enamel Pins project.

Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th be with us!

Happy Star Wars Day, my friends! It’s always Star Wars day in our home, but we celebrate today anyway because it’s also our wedding anniversary. Two years ago today, in a galaxy not so far far away, Jake & I got married while our friends held lightsabers and everyone ate an almost life-sized with working flame BB-8 cake. I might lean more towards the Dark Side, but I still love my Jedi husband.

Honestly, I’m never going to be tired of looking at pictures from our wedding. Partly because the day was a blur so I don’t actually remember much of it and pictures help, but mostly because it was just so perfect and so us and I’m just really glad this guy married me and that he loves Star Wars as much as I do. (We probably wouldn’t have gotten married if he wasn’t.) Fun story, when Jake first told his mom that he was dating someone, her first question was “Does she like Star Wars?” It was a match made in pre-explosion Alderaan.

Happy Star Wars Day and May the Fourth be with you!

Raven the Pirate Princess Needs Help!

It’s probably pretty clear by now that I really love comic books. Since I’m often stuck in bed due to my illness, I read a lot of them to keep from going insane. It happens. Currently, one of my all time favorite comic books is Raven the Pirate Princess, a Princeless comic series written by Jeremy Whitley. It’s not just a great comic, it’s also a very important comic.

When it comes to “Representation Matters” Raven has everything. Bisexuals, lesbians, disabilities, gender-identity questions, women of all shapes and colors and beliefs. And this is a comic book that, at least at my LCS, is found in the kids comic section. It’s family-friendly, honest, and sincere in its storytelling. Girls and grown women alike can find themselves in these pages. I’ve never read anything like it.

Unfortunately, Raven is in trouble. While this feminist series has a very loyal following, it’s a small one. And the numbers aren’t looking great. Jeremy wrote up the specifics on tumblr and it absolutely breaks my heart to see one of my favorite comics sinking because not enough people know about it. Which is why I’m writing this blog post. I want everyone to know how incredibly critical this comic is to little girls who need to know it’s okay to be who they are. To know that women can do and be all sorts of things. It’s an important reminder to those of us who are grown that we can still be strong and formidable in the face of adversity.

If the selection of pages I’ve posted hasn’t won you over, check out all the reviews and love being spouted for Raven on Jeremy’s tumblr and twitter. Those of us who have been fans since the beginning recognize the need for this comic to keep going.

So please, if you haven’t, read Raven the Pirate Princess. You can buy digital copies on Comixology and the physical volumes on Amazon. If you’ve already read Raven, buy copies for your friends. Get them hooked. Tell them to share with their friends. Share on social media. Share through word of mouth. Let’s just get the good word of Princeless out in the world. Everyone will be much better off with this comic book in their home.

A Night in the Woods & A Whole Lot of Feels

“At the end of everything, hold on to anything.”

Have you ever started playing a game that you don’t know much about but all your friends keep telling you to play? So you just do without actually looking up what it’s about? That’s what happened to me with Night in the Woods. And that’s also why I ended up crying my eyes out over a really well developed, well written, relatively short and incredibly deep video game.

Night in the Woods was primarily created by three people: Alec Holowka, Scott Benson, and Bethany Hockenberry. In 2013, it launched as a Kickstarter project and reached its goal of $50,000 in just 26 hours. In total, the game received $200,000 in funding and was released on PC, PS4, and Xbox in 2017 and for the Nintendo Switch in 2018. It was when it came to the Switch that I decided to jump on the bandwagon and play this game. I’m so glad I did.

I don’t want to give away anything about this game but here’s a short description. You play Mae, a college-dropout who has just returned home for the first time in a few years and discovers that in many ways, it’s just as she left it. But in other ways… well let’s just say the game takes a pretty surprising turn that leaves you wondering, “Just exactly what kind of game am I playing again?” Paste describes the themes covered as “mental illness, depression, the stagnancy of the middle and lower classes, and the slow death of small town America.” And that’s just a small part of what makes this game so real (despite the fact you’re playing anthropomorphic animals). For a short (I finished it in three days) side-scroller, this game really packs a punch emotionally.

If you follow me on twitter, you probably saw the distressed tweets I made after I finished this game. I was not at all prepared for how much this game impacted me. As someone who deals a lot with many of the same issues Mae has, I found myself uncomfortably familiar with the feelings she struggles with coming to terms with. At times it was like looking into the mirror of a younger me and I can’t say I liked it. But at the same time, the ending brought me comfort and the very real sense that I’m not the only one out there. And I’m incredibly grateful for my friends.

I know it’s only March, but so far Night in the Woods is my favorite game of 2018 and I’m really glad that I was able to knock it off of my To-Play games that I listed in my Fave Games of 2017 post. My initial prediction was correct: this game IS heartbreaking. If you haven’t played it yet, I highly highly recommend you add it to your list. Oh and if you enjoy the game, make sure you play the two mini-games located in the Extras section of the main menu. They add a little more to the main story and they’re just fun to play.

“The beginning is moments ago, the end is moments away. There is no time to forget before all is forgotten.”

Find Night in the Woods on the following sites:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
NitW Shop