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.

The World of Hayao Miyazaki + Beautiful Fanart [Part 2]

Hello friends! Here is Part 2 of our Miyazaki Fanart showcase! I have so many gorgeous pieces of artwork to show you – it’s always hard to choose, but I hope you’ll agree that these are some of the greatest. Hayao Miyazaki is a master at his craft, but these illustrations could give him a run for his money (okay, well maybe not). Don’t forget to read Part 1 if you missed it – it features the first five movies and an introduction who the man who directed these beautiful films is.

Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke is one of my absolute favorites of Miyazaki’s. “The story concentrates on involvement of the outsider Ashitaka in the struggle between the supernatural guardians of a forest and the humans of the Iron Town who consume its resources. There can be no clear victory, and the hope is that relationship between humans and nature can be cyclical.” – Wikipedia.

mononoko-sang

mononoko-saki

mononoko-jenmundy

mononoke-yaphleen

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The World of Hayao Miyazaki + Beautiful Fanart [Part 1]

This is a post long in the making. A post I have been in the process of writing for a long time. A post highlighting the work of the greatest animator of our time: Hayao Miyazaki and his wonderful Studio Ghibli. A man who has brought more tears to my eyes than any other movie creator. I can’t adequately explain how his movies make me feel, but anyone who has ever watched Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke or any of his epic masterpieces… well. You understand.

Who is Hayao Miyazaki?

“Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese manga artist and prominent film director and animator of many popular anime feature films. Through a career that has spanned nearly fifty years, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a maker of animated feature films and, along with Isao Takahata, co-founded Studio Ghibli, a film and animation studio.” – Wikipedia.

He is best known for his strong female characters, his simple line art but elaborate background paintings, and his love for nature and magic and the belief that children are the most remarkable and courageous people on this earth. All of this shines in every one of his works.

In honor of The Wind Rises arriving to the US, I thought I would do a showcase of some of my favorite Miyazaki movie fanart. I absolutely love seeing how different artists bring his characters to light. Because he’s done so much amazing work – I’m breaking this up into 2 posts and we’re going to focus on the work he directed under Studio Ghibli. On with the show!
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One of my absolute favorite books of all time is The Last Unicorn by one of my absolute favorite authors of all time (and good friend), Peter S. Beagle, and like many kids my age, I can quote the animated movie like no one’s business. Back in November, The Last Unicorn movie celebrated its 30th birthday: in 1982, the animated movie premiered at over 600 movie theaters across the country.

tlu

“That wasn’t a lot, even back then (‘big’ releases showed on two or three times as many screens) and the promotional budget was next to nonexistent — only $150,000 nationwide for press kits and newspaper advertising. (Television ads? Billboards? Forget it. Way too expensive.) Despite these limitations, however, something miraculous happened. When the box office reports came in for the weekend, The Last Unicorn was the #6 film in America.” (The Raven, Peter Beagle’s eNewsletter, 11.19.12)

If you aren’t familiar with the book or the movie, here’s a quick summary. It was written in 1968 by Peter S. Beagle, and is about a unicorn, the very last of her kind, and her journey to find out what happened to all the others. It features a wonderful collection of characters that help (or hinder) the unicorn on the way. There are wizards, illusions, princes, dragons, and of course, magic. The perfect mixture for a perfect fantasy epic. The movie is a beautiful adaptation of the book – as it should be since Peter also wrote the screenplay. A list of amazing actors appears in the movie – Christopher Lee, Angela Lansbury, Jeff Bridges, and Mia Farrow, just to name a few.

So in celebration of 30 years of The Last Unicorn movie (and of the recent successful TLU tour which I was honored to be a part of – I’ll be writing more about THAT soon – I promise!), I’m doing a showcase of some of my favorite fanart illustrations. Because I think there are few things that really show how much and how many people love something than fans making their own art for it. So without further ado.

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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.

Amazing Avatar Art!

I loved James Cameron’s Avatar. Huge, huge fan of this epic film. So when I stumbled onto this fantastic assortment of Avatar fan art, I just had to share. There are some great concept sketches here as well as some breathtaking digital manipulations. Go on and head over to Cretique’s post The Lost Art of Avatar: A Massive Collection of Over 155 Avatar-Inspired Art. Even if you aren’t a fan of the movie (that’s just silly), this artwork is fantastic. Thanks for the great showcase, Cretique!

Artist Showcase: Meg Smitherman

Okay, so not only is today’s Artist Showcase a phenomenal artist, but she’s also one of my best friends and favorite people. I’ve known Meg for a little over eight years now and she’s stuck with me through thick and thin, regardless of all the hell I sometimes put my friends through (love!). And while dealing with me, she still has time to send into the world some truly amazing pieces of art.

Meg Smitherman 01

Meg resides in the beautiful realm of Missoula, Montana, where she dresses in fancy clothes, plays lots of MMORPGs, and lives with her extremely geeky, tousled-hair boyfriend (Hi Greg). I met her through her writing when we were in high school, but to me, it’s her art that really stands out. Her character “sketches” are amazing and really bring out the personality of each and every one of them. She has a talent for filling even the simplest postures with emotion. And she likes to draw geeky things like World of Warcraft characters and dressing her and her boyfriend up in Star Trek-esque outfits. This makes her full of win in my book.

Meg Smitherman 02

Go check out her art and her fashion blog (which she needs to revive!), and tell her how wonderful she is. Because she is. And pretty, as always. Yep.

Meg Smitherman 03

Find Meg at these other Places:

DeviantArt: Rethe
Tegaki-E: MissMeg
Fashion Blog: Meg Sue & You
Twitter: @Megsauce

Previous Artist Showcases:
Viet-My Bui
Danielle Corsetto
Lois van Baarle
Erika Moen
Anne Julie Aubry
Jason Chan