Just the one new image today as I've spent the last week getting used to my new CINTIQ. Yup, finally jumped in with both feet and it feels good. I picked up the new 24 inch HD touch a couple days after the con and have spent my time since then trying to get used to the new workflow. I've gotta say the first few days were tough... this thing is freakin huge and just a tad intimidating. Add to that the fact that I must now put to the test the idea that this tech will enhance my final product in some way, and it made for a nerve wracking couple of days. Was I going to put stylus to monitor and make magic, or did I just waste four grand? Of course neither happened. I put stylus to monitor and then spent 2 days trying to make stylus and monitor do what I used to be able to do with my tablet. Driver issues... ugh. It's all up and running smooth now though, and I'm getting used to the experience of being able to look where I'm drawing again.
I've also been looking at around my studio practice with a bit of a critical eye, trying to find ways to improve on what I'm already doing. First up I'm going to try to rededicate myself to traditional art. I had a blast inking a bunch of sketches before the con and I'd like to keep that going in a slightly more structured manner. I'll put together one piece a week from now until Edmonton, whereupon I will review this system and opt to continue or cancel it. First up is Erik Larson's Savage Dragon, then Sleepwalker, and after that I have no idea. I've got a long list of great characters, but I'm also open to suggestions (drop 'em in the comments section here or in any future post) if you've got 'em.
As for digital work, I'm going to be returning to Wonder Woman soon so that I can make sure she's ready for the Edmonton Expo. I mentioned before that I was disappointed to leave a third of DC's Trinity behind for the Calgary Expo so I'll be looking to wrap her up in the next month or so. I've also got that Green Arrow that I might polish up. Then it's back into some X-Men, with a Black Background Nightcrawler that I've got prepped but haven't had a chance to spend any real time on. From there I'm going to be trying to put together a Wolverine print, and possibly a Deadpool as well. Then there's the DD/Elektra piece that I was tinkering with a while back. And the Storm that I was working up for Shelley. Whew... lot's to do, but my print portfolio has quite a few empty pages so I guess I need to keep on it.
Alongside the littany of prints on my to do list are the Commissions that I've received. I'm still working on Dr. Steel, though it's very close to completion. Then there's a Red Son print that I was asked to develop based off of the Superman in my Trinity print. It's just in the initial stages now, but it's coming along nicely. I was also lucky enough to be visited by the couple who commissioned Mockingbird last year. Turns out they've got a wall dedicated to Marvel awesomeness and they'd like me to put together a Nick Fury Jr and a Coulson print for them. How could I say no? As if that wasn't enough I've also got a wicked cool Street Fighter piece that I'm doing up for an Edmontonian Martial Arts Club. I've never had to juggle to many projects at once, but I'm super excited to get down to business on each one and see where it all takes me.
While I'm working on all of these single image projects I've also got a few others running along in the background. I'm still working on the super secret blasty blast with the fantastic Dan Markin. It's something I've never done and so I can't say when it'll be ready to show to the world, but I'm hoping I'll be able to start sharing details by the end of summer. Working on the blasty blast has also inspired me to start a similar project that's all my own, but I haven't even had time to sit down and create a space to collect notes for that yet, so who knows where that will go. AND while all this other amazing stuff is going on I've also got a writer looking for some spec work that may or may not end up with my producing a batch of illustrations for a series of children's books. I feel like that one's going to take some time to really dig into, but if all goes well I think it will also be very rewarding.
SO MUCH STUFF!
Throughout all of this I'm hoping to increase the attention that I pay to my online presence. Some of that will turn into extra posts and other such stuff here on the blog, and the rest will go to twitter and Behance and CG Hub and Deviant Art and who knows what else. I'm finally rounding that corner, feeling a lot more comfortable with the quality of the work I'm producing and willing to let the world have a look for themselves.
Oh, and I still want to get back to those 1/3 size landscape prints, and famous comic cover recreations, and, and, and...
2013's been hella good to me so far, and with a baby on the way, a ridiculously supportive wife (she's currently pushing me to sign up for the Winnipeg con a month after her due date), amazing friends, and a ton of really interesting projects ahead of me I'm pretty sure it's only going to get better.
Ever have those days where you just love your life? I'm having those a lot more often now :)