Monday, August 31, 2015

John Made Us New Epbot Pins, And They Are SO COOL

For years now I've wanted to design some new Epbot pins, so I'd have something new to offer those of you who already have the original:

I thought it'd be especially fun to have the Epbot wearing different cosplays, and to debut a new design every year at Dragon Con.

WELL, since John's been having so much fun making those Epbot ad banners for CW (have you noticed?), he decided to tackle my pin wish-list. AND IT IS GLORIOUS.

John whipped these up in just two days, and is having so much fun he's designing even more as I type this. We worked together on designs and placement (ie I made him tweak a lot of stuff), but the actual Photoshop work is all John.

My favorite is the Ghostbusters one. (I came up with the green slime!)

It turns out the Star Wars font doesn't look very Star Wars-y without any Ss. (Leia seems a little plain, but keep in mind these are TINY buttons - just 1.25 inches across.)

Believe it or not, the Immortan Joe was our first design, and made us laugh WAY more than it should. It's incredibly creepy, and I don't expect many people will want one, but we got our entertainment value out of it. :D Plus I'd like to have a design for each year's biggest movie franchise, and I think Mad Max qualifies.

I'll be making as many of these as I can for DC, but I only have the material for 60 or so. So, may the best con-goers win - or, you know, find me in the crowd and ask for one.

Which reminds me: DC peeps, we're going to have a little Epbot meetup Thursday afternoon/evening from 4-6pm in the Marriot lobby, underneath the Pulse bar overhang. So if you're arriving early for DC, come say hi! I'll have pins, grins, and hugs for those that want them. (Friend me on the DC app to see my schedule and/or message me!)

For you NON-Dragon Con goers, tell me which pins you like best in the comments, and if there's enough demand, maybe I'll stick 'em on Etsy for a few bucks? Yes?

And if you have more costume suggestions, chime in with those, too! (John's working on a full-body Wonder Woman one now, and it's looking positively epic. After that, I'm making him do an Ariel. Because a seashell bra on a robot = WIN.)

UPDATE: John insisted I add Wonder Woman, so you guys can vote on her, too!



Speaking of winners, time for this month's art winners!

The winner of little Chewbacca is: Bunnylaroo
The winner of Monsters University is: LaurenKE
And my wildcard winner is Ronja, who mentioned wanting It's A Star Wars!

Congrats, guys, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!

Friday, August 28, 2015

August Art Roundup: Paper Ponies, Tattooed Belle, & AT-AT Walkies!

Time for another month's best art finds! I spotted almost all of these during Tampa Bay Comic-Con.



 "Mononoke Hime Inspired Deer God"

Absolutely gorgeous. Prints come in a huge variety of sizes & materials, and start at just $10 in Biggers Etsy shop.

I'm a big fan of papercutting, so John and I spent a while ogling The Paper Pony's booth:

These are made by a husband-and-wife team, and we ended up chatting with the hubs, Brian, quite a while. Super sweet guy. Their pieces start at $35 for the individually framed ponies up there, and go up to $100 for this insanely intricate Wind Waker design:

As their name suggests they make LOTS of different MLP art, but there are plenty of other fandoms, too, from Mario to Buffy to Totoro. Go see their Etsy shop for the rest!

"Inked Belle" by Joel Santana

LOVE her tattoos. And check out little Chip!

Joel does sell prints, but it looks like his online shop is down for maintenance right now. Maybe watch his Facebook page for updates?

Oh, and I talked John into buying that print at Tampa Comic-Con, but he was so embarrassed - and still is - that I don't think he'll ever hang it up. So you guys MAY be getting a new prize option on the give-away board later. ;)

Fantastic colors from Luis Santiago, aka Pertheseus:


You can see all of his work on DeviantArt, and he sells some prints here on Redbubble. (You can also follow him on Facebook!)

Iron Giant by Kalli LeFav:

I bought a small version for the board, but you can buy larger sizes here, starting at $15.

I couldn't find the other two prints I got from Kalli on any of her various sites, which is frustrating. (I find most artists have an average of 4-6 different websites/social media accounts, each with a different assortment of art. It... gets really confusing. :/)

Anyhoo, here's a low quality scan of my favorite of hers:

 Isn't it gorgeous? You can follow Kalli on Facebook, and see more of her prints in this online store.

New droid print from my friend Christie Cox:

This and her other prints are just $5! Here's her Etsy shop for the rest.

Will Pigg also has some STUNNING paper art, including these intricate hand-cut silhouettes:
He frames them between two pieces of glass, so the white sections are actually clear. 

 They have an elegant, almost art nouveau feel. Love.

Check out all the tiny details in this Princess Bride one:

The papercuttings are $45 at Will's Etsy shop - or more, if you want them framed.

Oh! And Will also paints! John fell for this sad, crooked little TARDIS, and had to buy a print:

Small prints start at just $10. Go see the rest!

Erich Schoenholtz is a new artist with some fun, retro-styled comic posters:

Really punchy in person, especially in large sizes. Erich doesn't sell online yet, so I bought the Cap one for the give-away board. Give Erich a follow on Facebook, and while you're at it, tell him to open an online shop!

Some pretty watercolors by Jessica Thomas:

These prints start at just $3! 

Her ACEOs are also quite drool-worthy:
So... tempted....

Lots more goodies - from bookmarks to stickers to pins - in Jessica's Etsy shop.

I had to buy these 2 poster prints from James Mascia:

See why? :)

Lots more in his DeviantArt Gallery, but sadly James doesn't sell his art online. Those two are going on the give-away board, though, so at least you can win them here!

For you parents, here's something fun from the Epbot P.O. Box: David Zobel sent me his new "Monsterbet" book:

Really delightful stuff, and there are a few bonus coloring pages at the end of the book.
Then David sweetened the surprise by including this:
AWW YEAAAAH, monstrous EPBOT! Woot woot!

You can buy prints of David's monsters, plus his book, PLUS custom name plates like mine, here at his website.

I've featured Katrina of Kicking Cones before, but she's come out with some fabulous new (to me) pieces. In fact, John and I kept coming back to buy more of her stuff! John got this for his man cave:
And I got this one:
I don't usually go for words on art, but this one socked me right in the gut. Love it.

Katrina likes to combine two of my favorite things: cuteness, and PUNS:

Where my math nerds at?

 We got this one on a coffee mug for a friend:
 And this happens to be the only print in Katrina's Etsy shop for some reason. Uh... Katrina? MOAR PLS.

And finally, an original marker sketch we picked up from Kit Steele:

This was just an ink sketch at first, and Kit actually never intended for him to look like Figment. Isn't he the spitting image, though? So we asked her to add some Figmenty colors. :)

Kit doesn't sell online, but she goes to LOTS of conventions. Give her a follow on Facebook to keep up.

Phew, lotta art this month! Hope you guys enjoyed. Now, as always, comment below for a chance to win your choice of art from my Pinterest Art Give-Away Board!

In addition to my one wildcard winner, I'll ALSO be choosing 2 winners for these original pieces of art:

So if you like either (or both!) of these, let me know in your comment so I can enter you in the extra drawings.

Winners will be randomly selected in a few days, and internationals are always welcome. Happy commenting! 


UPDATE: The giveaway has ended!

The winner of little Chewbacca is: Bunnylaroo
The winner of Monsters University is: LaurenKE
And my wildcard winner is Ronja, who mentioned wanting It's A Star Wars!

Congrats, guys, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

When "Almost" Is Enough

Note: I wrote this two days ago because I needed to write it, then decided to wait to make extra sure I wasn't dying before posting it. I'm better now, though still not great. So now you can read this:

It sounds like the start to a bad joke, but yesterday John and I had some bad bologna. Within minutes of our first bites, we were hit with nausea, migraines, and - in my case - recurring heart palpitations.

I spent the rest of the day and into the night alternating between clutching my head and my stomach, and those blasted heart palpitations kept bounding in to do a little dub step (WUB WUB) every hour or so.

In the past, a single heart skip was usually enough to trigger a full-on panic attack for me, so it is with mixed pride and misery that I tell you I've weathered at least 3 dozen in the last day and a half, and though my palms are sweaty as I type this, so far I've avoided a full-blown attack. Low-level anxiety, sure, but I'm doing my breathing exercises and taking long, slow strolls on the treadmill desk and trying to stay busy...  and I've been having the most curious sensation through it all.

It's a kind of... expectant hope. A delayed-reaction relief. I can SEE the end of the tunnel, and though each new heart skip tells me I'm not there yet, I know I'm just a little bit closer. I know I'm not dying. I know it's going to get better. And that knowledge makes me - to borrow a phrase from the Bloggess - furiously happy.

Sometimes it's true that we need the dark to appreciate the light. We need our inner wars to fully cherish the times of peace. I hate this feeling right now. I hate it. But I'm learning that even this hate will - sometime soon, I hope - be transformed into gratitude. I won't always feel like this. I'm going to be steady and strong and serene again. And when that time comes, be it another few hours, days, or even weeks, I'm going to remember this terrible, fear-fueled hate, and I am going to love the ever-living CRAP out of my life. 

I can almost feel it, you guys. I can almost taste it. And that almost-feeling is getting me through the consuming feelings of fear and pain and awfulness.

So I guess for now, "almost" is enough.

P.S. It's possible this can't all be blamed on bad bologna, of course, since my doctor upped my thyroid meds last month. Rest assured, I'll be dialing those down again, starting tomorrow.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Dragon Con Survival Tips (New & Improved!)

With Dragon Con just over a week away, I thought I'd dust off this old post from the archives and give it an update/overhaul. This is a must-read for newbies, but even those of you who've been a few times may find it useful!

First... what is it?

Dragon Con is an internationally known pop culture, sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming convention held in Atlanta, Georgia. It spans 4 days over Labor Day weekend, and averages upwards of 65,000 attendees.

 Unlike most large conventions, Dragon Con is NOT held in a convention center; it's held in 5 large "host hotels," which span several blocks in the downtown Atlanta area. Here's a helpful map from Reddit:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Wizarding World Eye Candy: My Best Shots

I've been fumbling around in Adobe Lightroom more lately, and it's made me fall in love with photo editing all over again. So last week I went through all of my Universal Potter photos, grabbed some favorites, and edited them up.

'Til now I've been doing most of my editing in a combination of iPhoto (for basic stuff) and Perfect Photo Suite 7. I still like Perfect Photo - it's amazing for detail work - but it's slow going with big batches, like convention pics. Lightroom, on the other hand, has this miraculous "presets" tool, which speeds up workflow a zillion percent, and has some extra fun features besides.

I'm really pleased with how these came out, so I hope you'll forgive the few repeats - though even those have been newly spruced up (and I think improved) in Lightroom. Enjoy!

My favorite architectural piece in either of the Potter areas. Gah, I love this fountain.