ART! 15 Days of Inktober Fun!

Last year I tried out Inktober for the first time and while I really loved doing it, I only made it day 9 because it was around this time last year that the arthritis in my hands started to get worse and was making it very hard to hold a physical utensil. This year, I’ve been taking it a lot slower and have been using my Surface because drawing digitally means not having to control the pressure with my hand, but with the brushes instead. It’s a lot easier for me to hold the thicker tablet pen too.

I’m days behind but I’m being forgiving of myself because this is the most I’ve been able to draw in awhile and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. I decided to sketch animals that mean something to me in someway so every animal that follows has made some sort of connection in my life.

Hope everyone has had a very happy and spooky and cheerful October! You can follow the rest of my progress by following me on twitter or instagram. Update: Because of health issues, I wasn’t able to do any more inktober-specific art. BUT! This gave me a good boost of confidence in my art and I can’t wait to draw more. Thanks for all your support!

Hey look! I remembered how to be an artist!

It’s been awhile since I drew on a daily basis, but I’ve been attempting to make it a regular thing again. Thanks to my awesomesauce friend Meg Smitherman, I’ve been at least doing it weekly. We’ve been doing an accountability sketch thing where we give ourselves one weekly topic and then draw it or sketch it however we see fit. Figured I’d do an art dumb of some of the sketches I’ve been working on for the challenges.

asyr

Topic: Star Wars | Sketch: Asyr Sei’lar, Rogue Squadron

edi

Topic: Mass Effect | Sketch: EDI

luna

Topic: Harry Potter | Sketch: Luna Lovegood

orianna

Tiefling Barbarians FTW!

That last one isn’t for the sketch thing – I just wanted to draw up an avatar for my Tiefling Barbarian that my play in our D&D campaign. Her name is Orianna and she’s loud and brash and likes shining things. She’s also very sarcastic and smooth with the ladies. I love her.

I’ve also been doing a little post-it note doodle challenge with myself to try and get the creative juices going in the morning. Usually I do these while I’m on client calls when I’m not taking notes (having my hands moving keeps my mind focused on what I’m listening to – I was a notorious doodler in classes too but it really does help) so they’re pretty small and silly. You can find these over on my twitter account. I try to post them pretty regularly. When I’m not sick. Fighting off a bad cough and cold right now so I’m a little slow.

Will post more art later! Working on finishing that Asyr sketch and the Luna one. Wish me luck!

I’m just going to say it. I want to go to SXSW Interactive this year. No. I really really REALLY want to go to SXSW Interactive this year. I was fortunate enough that last year I was able to attend through my day job, and I met so many amazing people and learned SO MUCH. So much that I’m pretty positive that I learned more in 5 days at SXSWi than I did in my 4.5 years of college. I thought for sure I would be going again this year, but it looks like if that’s going to happen, I’ll need your help. So I’ve come up with a deal for all of my awesome readers, family, and friends.

The SXSWi Snailbird Proposal

If you help to send me to SXSWi, I promise you I will bring to you all the latest, greatest news and education from the most awesome conference ever hosted in Austin, Texas. I will create a separate SXSWi page where I will write up all my notes, post all my pictures, and share all the downloads, tweets (both on designcoyote and rescueanimals), and resources I find. I’m even going to create a special #hashtag for Twitter usage so all you have to do is follow it to see my SXSWi tweets.

Some of the sessions I hope to go to (which is also all the things you get to learn about as well!) include: Storytelling Beyond Words: New Forms of Journalism, Security and Privacy in Social Networks, Taking Your Brand Back from Your Customers, Voices Carry: Why Authentic Brand Voices Matter, Social Media Boundaries: Personal/Personnel Policy, The State of Social Marketing, The Promise and Pitfalls of Real-Time Marketing, Social Media in the Underground World of B2B, Epic Battle: Creativity vs. Discipline in Social, Sparking Real World Action with Social Media, How Comics Journalism is Saving Your Media, Can Gaming Make the World Better?, How to Raise Awareness Through Blogger Outreach, Tech Superwomen: Mentors and Mentees FTW, and oh so much more that are on my list but I don’t have room to post.

OH! And don’t forget I would totally take pictures and share notes from speakers like Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon. Because hell yes, you know you want to hear from the two of them.

We all love learning. And you already know that I love sharing knowledge – on here, on @designcoyote, on I Love Rescue Animals, and on @rescueanimals – so you know that I’m only going to be bring you the best quality and create a stellar resource for those of you who can’t make it to SXSWi yourself. This is your chance to be a part of SXSWi for just a small donation (and some fantastic incentives). I will be sharing a ton of resources for social media, sharing positive causes, utilizing the internet and social media to raise donations, and how to market yourselves online, as well as design tips I learn, the newest technology for artsy folks, and other great education resources.

There’s even an entire session devoted to social apps and charitable giving using social media and how philanthropy utilizing Twitter and Facebook is on the rise. There’s just so much good going on at SXSWi this year that I don’t want to miss it. And there’s so much that I can bring back and teach others. I feel that animal folks in particular would get a lot out of the sessions I want to go to because we work so hard to raise money online and social media has changed the way we’re able to share messages – whether it’s about finding a forever home for a stray dog or it’s asking for donations for a sick cat. This is all knowledge that needs to be shared to our community – it can help so much and I don’t think many animal folks know how invaluable SXSWi is to our cause.

How Much Will This Be?

I didn’t find out until today that I would have to come up with creative ways to get myself there, so the total amount of money I’m trying to raise is $950 – which is JUST the price of one SXSWi ticket. Since I live in Austin, all the lodging expenses are taken care of, and I’ll pay for my own food and goodies. I just need help getting the ticket.

What You Get For Helping!

Don’t worry. You won’t be walking away empty-handed either. Besides the shared knowledge of all I learn, you will also get an awesome incentive depending on what level you donate to. These are as follows:

$1-$15: Join the list of other donors on my SXSW page.*
$16-$29: The above and an individual shout-out on the designcoyote twitter (1,700+ followers).
$30-$49: The above and a pencil sketch of your pet/favorite animal (in The Family Menagerie style).
$50-$74: The above and the pencil sketch gets inked and colored with marker.
$75-$99: The above plus a 100×100 pixels digitally colored avatar of your choice (in TFM style), as well as a shout-out on the rescueanimals twitter (17,800+ followers).
$100-$199: Be included on the donors page, receive a twitter shout-out (on both), a sketch of a pet/favorite animal, and a 100×100 pixel digitally colored avatar, and 1 month of advertising on the blog*.
$200-$349: Mention on donors page and twitter accounts, marker-colored image of pet/favorite animal, 100×100 avatar, 2 months of advertising on the blog*.
$350-$474: The above AND a full-colored digital illustration of your choice.

$475: SPONSORSHIP LEVEL 1! You will have a large prominent THANK YOU at the top of the SXSWi resource page, thanks on both Twitter and Facebook (for both Snailbird and I Love Rescue Animals), PLUS 6 months of advertising on the blog and a full blog post thanking you on Snailbird*.
$950: SPONSORSHIP LEVEL 2! You will have a large prominent THANK YOU at the top of the SXSWi resource page, thanks on both Twitter and Facebook (for both Snailbird and I Love Rescue Animals), PLUS 12 months of advertising on the blog and a full blog post thanking you on Snailbird AND I Love Rescue Animals (and if you or your company has a blog, I will also write up a guest post about everything I learned because of your generosity that you can use on your website)*.

Interested in donating but looking for some other prize/incentive? Feel free to comment or email me and we can talk! I’m open to hearing your ideas.

*Being included on the donors page, as well as getting posted on Snailbird and I Love Rescue Animals websites, means getting your name and link seen by artsy folks, nature-lovers, and lots of animal advocates, pet bloggers, and other activists. Snailbrd gets on average 5,000 unique visitors a month with 80-90k hits a month. I Love Rescue Animals receives an average of 6,000 unique visitors a month and 100-150k hits a month.

ChipIn to the Send-Nikki-to-SXSWi Fund!

So you can all help keep track of where I am in donations, I’ve set up this nifty ChipIn that’s connected to my PayPal account. Once you donate, you will receive an email from me confirming the amount and the prizes you will receive. Just click on the ChipIn widget below to donate or go straight to the ChipIn page.

What If The Goal Isn’t Reached?

Good question. If I don’t receive the goal of $950** by March 9th, all of the donations will be fully refunded. That’s right, you’ll get all of your money back and I’ll just have to wait to go to SXSWi next year. If however, it IS funded, as soon as SXSWi is over (March 13th is the last day), I will begin work on all of your prizes. It’s a win-win situation (the very best kind)!

**Note the ChipIn has been lowered to $900 because I received $50 in donations outside the ChipIn. – Updated 3.5.12.

The Final Plea

I want to go to SXSWi so much. It was an incredible experience last year and I don’t want to miss out again. I learned so much, and I feel that this year will be even better. So for just one donation, you can help send me to this awesome conference full of great opportunities and in return you get to learn all that I learn and some (you know those incentives are pretty awesome). Pretty great deal, yeah?

So please please help, and share with your family and friends! I will be forever grateful to you and so very honored. Thank you! You guys rock!

Awesome Blog: Creature Spot

Creature Spot

Quick update! I just needed to tell you all about my absolute new favorite blog: Creature Spot. It’s basically a blog for a bunch of different concept artists to come together and share their sketches and creations and I am in LOVE with it. Amazing work and extremely inspiring to someone who once dreamed of joining Weta Workshop as a concept artist (I have no given up on that dream – someday it will happen!).

Anyway… a few favorites:

Go check them out and much more over at Creature Spot!

The Fuel Your Illustration Update

While I haven’t been updating here much, I still do blog over at Fuel your Illustration. Sometimes. Rondal is an amazing co-editor and I’m pretty sure FYI wouldn’t be anywhere if it weren’t for him. Thanks Rondal! Anyhoo, here are some of my recent contributions.

Fuel Your Illustration Articles!

Webcomic WednesdayWebcomic Wednesday: Promises, Imagination, & Cleopatra in Space
June 29th, 2011
“Oh how I have pined for my weekly adventure into the kingdom of Webcomics. Oh Wednesdays, for too long you had lost your meaning to me. But no more…”

Forgotten ColoursColours Not Forgotten: Interview with the Forgotten Colours Crew
July 19th, 2011
“A few weeks back, we introduced you to Forgotten Colours, a beautiful and inspiring iPad app that was filled with stories and illustrations…”

WomanthologyWomanthology: The Not-So-Webcomic Wednesday Special Edition
July 27th, 2011
“Not to isolate the male comic book artists out there, but as a geeky girl with an intense attraction to visual storytelling, I absolutely love learning…”

Paul KeskeyThey’re Not Faeries: Kickstarter & Interview with Paul Keskey
August 23rd, 2011
“When I was little, I was obsessed with the Dark Crystal (okay, maybe I still am). As I grew older, I discovered more works by Brian Froud and fell in love…”

And today’s article, a co-interview with Rondal:

Marcelo vignaliIllustrate Like a Boxer: Interview with Artist Marcelo Vignali
September 7th, 2011
“This week the staff here at Fuel Your Illustration is proud to introduce a very special guest: Marcelo Vignali. Joining us from his home studio in California…”

Write For Us!

These are just my articles, there are a ton more of them over at Fuel Your Illustration by my awesome co-editor and some great guest writers. Interested in writing for us? Head on over and contact us! We’d love to hear from you.

Past Fuel Your Illustration Articles

I have been making occasional blog posts over at Fuel your Illustration. One of my new year’s resolutions (that’s another blog post entirely) was to be a better editor, and I’m certainly trying, though life likes to throw curve balls that limit my blogging time. BUT. I’ve got a few good posts I’d like to share with you.

Fuel Your Illustration Articles!

Animals in WebcomicsWebcomic Wednesday: Animals in Webcomics
December 15th, 2010
“I love animals. Much of my life is dedicated to them in fact, so it makes sense that some of my favorite webcomics happen to have animals in them…”

Interview with Patrick O'LearyInterview with Patrick O’Leary
December 23rd, 2010
“A few weeks ago, while I was putting together one of our fabulous Five Flickr Fridays, I realized that I kept picking artwork from the same individual…”

Gregory ThielkerGregory Thielker’s Oil Paintings
January 10th, 2011
“Sometimes you come across an artist whose work just takes your breath away. That’s what happened when I was introduced to the paintings of…”

Bard Hole Standal InterviewInterview with Bard Hole Standal
January 17th, 2011
“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer and illustrator. In fact, I wanted to create children’s books and I wanted them to be fun…”

And today’s article:

Epic WebcomicsWebcomic Wednesday: Art of the Epic Graphic Novel
February 9th, 2011
“Comics. Graphic novels. Is a comic a graphic novel or is a graphic novel a comic? I tend to think of a graphic novel as an epic comic, but comics don’t necessarily…”

Write For Us!

These are just my articles, there are a ton more of them over at Fuel Your Illustration by my awesome co-editor and some great guest writers. Interested in writing for us? Head on over and contact us! We’d love to hear from you.

Webcomic Wednesday No. 24

Comics! They always make my Wednesday better. Enjoy!


Wondermark, David Malki
Updated: Tuesdays & Fridays


Stuff No One Told Me, Alex Noriega
Updated: Mostly a few times a week


A Softer World, Emily Horne & Joey Comeau
Updated: Almost daily
Suggested by: Isadora

Missed other #WW? Find them here:
Webcomic Wednesday 23: One Swoop Fell, Savage Chickens, Sinfest
Webcomic Wednesday #22: Housepets!, Gronk, Copper
Webcomic Wednesday #21: Lesbian Pirates, Bug Comic, Dicebox
Webcomic Wednesday #20: Hark, a vagrant, Girly, Fall On Me
Webcomic Wednesday #19: Tiny Kitten Teeth, Charles Christopher, Least I Could Do
Check out the Archives for more comics!

For the Love of Dog: Pet Portrait Artists!

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a huge animal lover and I’m very passionate about the many animals that are in my life. Combine that with my love of art and you’ve got the perfect mix for today’s article: a showcase of three incredibly talented pet artists. These three woman create beautiful pieces of artwork in very different styles that bring to life beloved dogs and cats a like (and horses and goldfish and what have you). They all have a passion for animals as well and it can plainly be seen in the love and detail they put into every single painting. Enjoy!

Chelsea Conlin

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FIND CHELSEA AT:

Rachael Rossman

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FIND RACHAEL AT:

Kristin Bowen

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FIND KRISTIN AT:

FYIllo: New Editors for Illustration!

That’s right! Fuel Your Illustration, one of the many awesome online magazines brought to you by the Fuel Brand Network, has two new editors working to bring you the best content in online illustration. Who are these awesome individuals, you ask?

Well one of them happens to be me! After writing for the magazine since February, I am now officially with a new title. The other editor is my new friend and partner-in-crime, Rondal Scott of GhostLabs Studio and Strange Kids Club. Together, we are bringing fresh new content to our favorite FUEL site. You can read the Fuel Brand Network Announcement here. Join us for some awesome illustration and comic resources over at Fuel Your Illustration! And don’t forget to follow us on twitter for even more fun links.

Webcomic Wednesday No. 23

At least I make it appear like it updates on Wednesday, right? RIGHT? Enjoy the comics!


One Swoop Fell, Mike Dutton
Updated: Twice a month (sorta)


Savage Chickens, Doug Savage
Updated: Mondays through Fridays


Sinfest, Tatsuya Ishida
Updated: Every Single Day

Missed other #WW? Find them here:
Webcomic Wednesday #22: Housepets!, Gronk, Copper
Webcomic Wednesday #21: Lesbian Pirates, Bug Comic, Dicebox
Webcomic Wednesday #20: Hark, a vagrant, Girly, Fall On Me
Webcomic Wednesday #19: Tiny Kitten Teeth, Charles Christopher, Least I Could Do
Webcomic Wednesday #18: Untitled!, Return to Sender, The Class Menagerie
Check out the Archives for more comics!