2016 in Review – with pictures!

Let’s see, I didn’t manage to post lots last year, so I’ll do my best to sum most of it up in one post.

The year started and moved along smooth enough. Not much exciting happened until May 3rd, which is when I started updating my webcomic Fur & Fangs! I managed a steady two pages for a couple months, and then I auditioned to Hiveworks¬†in June. They rejected my audition, but hey, I did it! I didn’t manage my time well in the process, though, and got myself messed up on my update schedule. It didn’t help that I had two consecutive visits from the in-laws and then my parents coming about a month after the audition, so looming stress and my lack of time-management skills had me falling off the productivity wagon and I developed some situational depression. I focused on writing instead of my comics and am only now getting myself back into the swing of things with Fur & Fangs. Updates will be resuming shortly! They may be irregular for a while, but they’ll happen!

Mother’s day isn’t a super big deal to me yet since I don’t have kids, but my church always does something for it. Often they give all the women in the ward a gift of some kind, sometimes music or chocolate, but usually it’s a flower. This year they handed out carnations. Waltz LOVES green plant stuff, and gave me a hard time wanting to chew on the flower. I looked it up to see if it was safe for him, but it turns out that carnations are toxic for cats. However, instead of throwing it away, my hubby figured out a way to keep my flower safe from my “bee.” Since Waltz had already broken the stem down to its shortest length, the flower fit perfectly in a jar. I was able to keep it on my desk for weeks. ūüôā I like flowers, so that brought a little extra happiness into my life.

Another thing that happened in 2016 was Pok√©mon Go! I downloaded it as soon as I possibly could, which turned out to be with everyone else in the USA even though I was in Canada since I have an American phone and an American phone plan. It got me out exercising and I love it! It’s my first ever Pok√©mon game. I picked Bulbasaur as my starter and named it Tulip. I’ve decided on a plant-theme for my names. After several exchanges of named pok√©mon for new ones with higher CPs, I stopped naming them right away. My hubby has snuck in and named some while I wasn’t looking, so for a while my Nidorans were Rick Rolling me. Just yesterday I caught my first Vulpix and hit 100 pok√©mon registered in my pok√©dex! Since winter hit I majorly slowed down in my leveling, so I’m barely¬†level 23 now. I don’t like walking in the cold. Oh, and I picked team Red.

Late July and early August was taken up by visits from family. With the in-laws we explored Montréal and a nearby ski resort. With my parents we went to Thousand Islands, Sacred Grove and other nearby Church history sites, Niagara Falls, and also wandered Montréal. I took lots of pictures, so those will each get their own posts.

It took me about a month after that to surface from the situational depression, and from then until the end of the year I didn’t manage much more than writing. I did poke at my comic, but didn’t make much progress. I found myself despairing. Somehow I’d managed earlier in the year to write and comic, but I couldn’t figure out how. How had ¬†done it? Should I still try? Should I give up? Was it worth it? What did I want from my life? I made decisions a couple times, but after each decision I found myself falling back into the same unproductive pattern. About half-way into December a friend told me something about themselves that hit a lightbulb for me. I learned something about myself that made it so I could move forward and be productive again. It gave me ambition! I was going to accomplish things! And then it was Christmas break and I did nothing but play games and watch TV. ūüėõ

So now that I have that information I’m making great strides in becoming a professional from-home worker. I still have a long way to go, but I’m finally moving forward again!

That’s about it for 2016. It was a rough year in more ways that one. I learned things about myself and made about as much backwards progress as I did forwards, but I think I still managed to come out a little bit ahead. Onwards I now head to 2017 with a positive attitude and determination!

Let’s finish catching up, shall we?

Hey! ¬†It’s the first day of almost-freedom for me! ¬†I’m all done with my classes, but have two projects to rework by Tuesday next week. ¬†I should be at work today, but I caught the plague my parents had and didn’t want to expose anyone. ¬†Hopefully I’ll be better tomorrow. ¬†I better be.

Anyways! ¬†Now that I have (almost) no more homework, I have a little time to finish catching up moving stuff over to this blog. ¬†Let’s start with Fur and Fangs¬†stuff, and for simplicity’s sake we’ll focus on the two main characters. ¬†Warning, this might be long.

This is my very first ever drawing of Walter, done way back in early 2011.  I was trying to figure out what he looked like in the short story I wrote about him when he was a kid, before he and Kevin were in the same universe.
I think this is the second drawing I ever did of Walter, and the first one I did of Kevin. ¬†I thought I had their relationship dynamic down in this image, but I was wrong. ¬†It’s very different.
Now I started trying to develop them into workable characters.  I took this drawing of Walter and showed it to my teacher, Jake Parker, and he did a draw over on it that dramatically changed my approach.
This was my first attempt at a new style with a skinnier Walter.  I wanted Walter to be skinny, and Jake encouraged me to push that.  Looking back now, this drawing is atrocious (I cringe looking at it), but it was a step in the right direction.
And the next drawing of Walter! ¬†Now we don’t look as horrible. ¬†I was trying to figure out how he would look different in vampire-mode.
Now we have another drawing of Kevin and Walter.  At this point I was seriously struggling with Kevin.  He refused to be drawn by himself.  After this, though, he started cooperating more.
An attempt to figure out Kevin more.
Meanwhile, I’m also trying to figure out what Kevin’s wolf-form looks like.
It still needs work.
And another attempt at a full-body ref for Kevin. ¬†His face still isn’t quite right.
A friend of mine decided to draw some fan art of Walter after hearing some of my story, before I’d decided what he looked like, and I really liked what she did with his hair. ¬†I decided to play with his hair and get rid of the stupid downward-facing curl on the top of his head. ¬†I came up with a “cool” hairstyle for him that he will get later on, and then a regular hairstyle for before and when he’s being lazy about his hair.
Walter has a sister.  This was more practice drawing Walter.
More trying to figure out Kevin.  I decided most of his siblings sleep with him.
And the wolf-form is still needing work.
A straight pen drawing of Kevin just before the end of the year in 2011.
Now on to 2012!
So, I started drawing them every now and then while I wrote a significant portion of the story.
And we still haven’t gotten the wolf-form figured out yet, but it’s much better than it was before!
Another drawing!  I wanted to try and see what ways I might try to ink the comic once I started making it, so I inked it up in Photoshop.
We are then brought to this image. ¬†It’s been around a year since I drew and inked it, but it’s still one of my favorites of these two. ¬†They finally settled into looking like themselves, and they’ve stuck to this since, and the inking style has stayed similar as well.
Then we have some expression practice to help me learn about Walter better and to try to draw him consistently.  I should do this with all of them.
However, I still didn’t know what Kevin’s wolf-form looked like, so I sat down and pounded it out until I was happy with it. ¬†I ended up with this. ¬†Granted, it still wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough for me to start working with it.

And there we pretty much have it! ¬†That is the evolution of Kevin and Walter over the course of a year, pretty much from June-ish 2011 to June-ish 2012. ¬†To see how they’ve been doing since the comic started in September 2012, please go read the comic! ¬†ūüôā

(Wow, I was really terrible at drawing back when I started working with them! ¬†o.O ¬†This was an eye-opening post to do. ¬†Not that I’m amazing now, but wow! ¬†I’m a lot better than that.)