Blog| Zero to a Hundred

IMG_0042

I do a lot of events. Like a lot of them. Two to three years ago if you had told me I’d be planning and organizing events and galleries, I wouldn’t have believed you. I was shy and had a hard time emailing or calling businesses and people, much less being in charge. But here I am.

When things slow down for me, my brain starts to overwork and fixate. It’s a good and bad side of my brain that tends to cause me anxiety. Someone suggests or jokes about one little thing and my brain will fixate on the idea until I end up either doing something drastic to my hair, the house, or coming up with a new project to focus on.

That’s what happening now. I did two of those three, but we’ll talk about one of them later.

IMG_9898

A year or two ago, Rony did a design event in Albuquerque called Createathon where he and a bunch of different graphic designers were assigned a project for some non-profits and were given 24 hours to work up logos and marketing material and sometimes website. They did a lock-in and worked from like 11am to 11am the next day. I drove him and some of his coworkers to it so I could drive them back safely and let them sleep in the car.

He tweeted about it the whole night and I followed along while I stayed in the rental house. A lot of good work came out of it and it seemed like a fun idea.

I have no clue what made me think about it again, but it kept bouncing around in my head. I wanted something new to do that would be interesting and push artists to create. I wanted to do a 24 hour lock-in for art and maybe we could display the work and donate part of the proceeds to charity.

When I started Ladies Night, all I had to do was email Robert at Star Comics with the idea and it somehow came together. We set a date, I did art for the flyer, Rony put the flyer together, and the rest was trial and error. Geek Girl Brunch is a collaboration with the other officers. The Pokemon Art Drops were trial and error but easy overall. And the galleries came from experience and brainstorming.

IMG_3071

Everything I’ve done so far has been simple in concept. Previous events give me inspiration for new ones and the experience to push myself forward.

I’ve somehow become an event coordinator and have learned how to market and push events to get the attendance.

This is different. This is harder. Even with the Star Wars charity event we’re doing in December, that’s pretty easy since I have help.

Where do I start? Who do I contact? What are the details?

I’m been thinking about it all week, talking it over with Rony and friends on Facebook. I’m emailing galleries and looking up places that have done stuff like this before and seeing if we can rent churches or gyms and what about live streaming the event? We need a place to hold the actual lock-in, need a place to display the art, need a date, need to figure out requirements for participation, figure out snacks and food and necessities to supply artists for 24 hours, advertisement, what charity are we giving too, do we need to write up proposals, etc etc.

It’s a lot, but the thing is: I don’t mind it. My mind is being kept busy. I’m working on art which sometimes is a mindless task for me. Art just happens and flows and I don’t have to think too much when I’m in the zone. But I like events because they’re a challenge.

IMG_9873

I like making a difference. A few years ago I didn’t have any information or places to display my art or things to participate in. I want to provide those opportunities for new artists and help them get involved.

My problem with fixation isn’t always great. It can lead to big, impulsive decisions but sometimes it works in my favor to keep me motivated and growing.

I’ll figure out how to make this event work. I always do. And one day, maybe I can do events as a career and be able to make more of a difference. But for now, I’m busy, I’m happy, I’m covered in paint and I’m working to make the art community a more fun place. I think that’s pretty good.

IMG_9869

-Sam <3

Blog| House Tour

IMG_9994IMG_9942IMG_9931IMG_9995

Our house is a bit eccentric. I will take most of the blame for that but it’s Rony’s fault too. We love a lot of weird things and my witchy aesthetic combined with his love for horror and Halloween and so we ended up with what we have lovingly started calling the Pumpkin House.

I thought I’d give a bit of a house tour so be warned that this post is picture heavy. Also I briefly debated cleaning all of it top to bottom, but decided not to. I wanted to show it looking lived in. It never stays clean between projects, cats, and dogs running in and out so I figured there was no point. Behold it in it’s messy glory!

The first room is the living room. It connected to the dining room and to the backyard and also has a small utility room for our washer and dryer. We keep the art in here black and white mostly and of course, I have a penchant for animal skulls, plants, crystals, and dead flowers.

IMG_9943IMG_9933IMG_9993IMG_9984IMG_9985IMG_9934IMG_9988IMG_9987IMG_9935IMG_9936IMG_9938IMG_9989IMG_9939IMG_9940IMG_9944IMG_0027

We sweep every day and still end up with a giant pile of fur on the floor and no matter how many times I straighten the couch, the dogs or Rony toss the pillows everywhere for naps or play time. We may be getting rid of Leon’s playpen soon since he’s outgrowing it, but he loves to curl up and nap in there sometimes so it’s hard to part with.

Next is the dining room or as we call it, the Halloween room. A large majority of our Halloween collection is kept here and is starting to overflow. It’s connected to the kitchen, front entryway (that leads to my office), and the hallway (that leads to Rony’s office and the rest of the house).

IMG_9946IMG_0028IMG_9947IMG_0039IMG_9958IMG_9954IMG_9961IMG_9955IMG_0022IMG_0029IMG_0037IMG_9951IMG_0034IMG_9952IMG_9959

We pick up Halloween stuff from everywhere. We started the tradition of going to the store after midnight on Halloween and buying everything when it goes on sale. A lot of it came from Seattle when we went last October, some as gifts and conventions, and then the art from everywhere. We have a few original paintings from local artists and Mondo prints that we love.

It’s probably our favorite room. We like to work at the table and hang out together.

Next is our Dia de los Muertos themed kitchen.

IMG_9925IMG_9926IMG_9928IMG_9929IMG_0031

We haven’t done too much with the kitchen. It’s a bit cramped and the set up isn’t our favorite. We had to get a kitchen cart to add more room and so we can keep the plants away from the cats. Rony’s mom gave us the decorative skulls and we kept a bunch of decorations from when we celebrated Day of the Dead.

From the dining room you can get to the front entryway. Ever since we added the screen door there is much more light in there, but we still had to add string lights to keep it from being pitch black.

IMG_9962IMG_9964IMG_9963IMG_9983IMG_9982IMG_9965

The cats love to look out the door and will meow to go outside all the time now.

We got the tall bookshelves from our friend who owned a bookstore but moved away. They’re enormous so we bolted them to the wall but they work very well for collections. I keep a lot of my books in the entry way along with all our geeky figurines and collectible cups. Rony is being a “armory” on the wall.

The downside is that we clean out things a lot and the “take to storage” spot ends up piling up next to the front door. It never gets cleared away. We also keep our shoes next to the front and our coat rack so it just looks messy all the time.

Next is my office that needs to be cleaned.

IMG_9966IMG_9967IMG_9975IMG_9976IMG_9970IMG_9969IMG_9980IMG_9981IMG_9977IMG_9978IMG_9974

The cats have pretty much taken over my room. We made it to where the dogs don’t come into mine or Rony’s offices so those are the cat sanctuaries, but mine more so because of all the windows and places for them to sleep. Demo likes to sleep on top of the closet space and both my office chair and gaming chair have been commandeered by cats.

I have two desks, one for computer work and one for illustrating, and then a bookshelf for all my Etsy store inventory and mailing supplies and a bookshelf for all my paints and art supplies. There’s actually a stack of canvases next to it too.

I’m trying to get frames for all our Ladies Night posters to hang up but Rony bought me this Becky Cloonan Ladies Night poster from Austin Books & Comics. I’ve loved it since I first saw it and it’s one of my favorite things.

Next is Rony’s “office.”

IMG_9999IMG_0001IMG_0002IMG_0003

Rony’s room is very much a boys room. Clothes on the floor and snacks everywhere and it’s mostly the room he goes and plays video games in.

He did manage to clean and organize it lately and got some of his art collection hanging up. He also bought a brand new, huge art piece, the girl with the record, from a local artist at the last First Friday Art Trail. His magic art pieces though were actually the first thing I ever painted for him and I made them right when we got together.

I don’t go into his room much, mostly just to lay on the floor and watch him play games, but occasionally I’ll go and borrow his light table he has set up.

From his room you go down the hallway to the bathroom (which is the only room I didn’t take pictures of) and our bedroom.

IMG_9996IMG_9997IMG_0014IMG_0015IMG_0006IMG_0007IMG_0018IMG_0008IMG_0017IMG_0019IMG_0012

Our bedroom is the least put together room. We go in their to sleep, nap, or lay in bed and mess with our phones. Every now and then I’ll go work in my planner but it’s very much a sleeping room. If the dogs are outside, I can just check on them from the window in our bedroom and go back to sleep. We haven’t even gotten art on the walls even though we have a few framed and ready.

I think a large reason is because a majority of the room is taken up by the dogs’ kennels. Almond’s kennel is huge and Leon just got upgraded to a bigger one. I have to use his as a nightstand and Almond’s as the laundry bin. And we just got a bigger bed with a frame so that’s even more room taken up.

We mounted the TV to get us more space, but not much. I use my grandmother’s old sewing table as a nightstand as well and I’m the only one using Rony’s old dresser and the closet. He keeps his clothes in his office.

I do keep my Sandman collection in the room, mostly so the cats don’t mess with it in my office. One day I’ll fix up the room. It’ll get there.

IMG_9974IMG_0005

I love our house but it is very odd. The floorplan is weird, you could tell it’s been added onto but not in the best way, and the layout is questionable. But we’ve made it into something that fits us and our animals and that works for us.

Moving in together was easy because our styles are so similar and it shows. I just hope to keep filling it with more plants and spooky original art and lots of love.

IMG_9991

-Sam <3

Villains! An Artist Collective Gallery

IMG_6362IMG_6360IMG_6364

This past Friday was the reception for the Villains Artist Collective gallery at Star Books & Comics!  The gallery initially went up for the First Friday Art Trail on July 7th but we held the reception on the 14th to help celebrate the birthday of Lubbock-Con’s Artist Liaison, Dre.

People came dressed in villains themed clothing and we had art from around 20 local artists on display ranging from digital to traditional. There were monsters and superhero villains, video games and Disney villains.

And for a non-FFAT reception, the gallery was packed!

IMG_6365IMG_6366IMG_6367IMG_6372

I love doing artist collective galleries because you get a wide variety of art but you also give opportunities to newer artists who may have never displayed before to contribute a piece. Sometimes artists won’t do galleries because they’re afraid to have to fill one, but these are an easy way to produce new art and showcase your work.

IMG_6400IMG_6398IMG_6399IMG_6373

Here are all the pieces we had out on display! The gallery will run until the end of the month and most of the pieces seen here are still available for sale!

 

We had such an awesome time and I want to thank everyone again for making it out to support our local artists! Thank you to Star Comics as always for hosting the Artist Collective and we will see you next month for our Digital Spaces art gallery!

What was your favorite piece of the show?

-Sam <3

IMG_6359

Dre’s cake by Bake My Cake

365 Project| 8-14

 


IMG_3072

8: We spent a good part of the day in the car, driving all over town and hiding Pokemon art for the Pokemon Art Drop.

IMG_3088

9: I finally had a day to breathe and relax and spent it practicing fluid art. This came out the best and I’m in love with the marbling and swirls. I’m gonna have fun incorporating it into my portraits.

IMG_3094

10: Sometimes I get anxious and feel like I’m stuck and have make some sort of change to relieve that feeling. It usually results in me trimming and cutting my own hair. I haven’t gotten it done by a professional in a couple of years because of this.

_MG_3111

11: Summer time means we’re getting a lot more spiders in the house. We’re saving at least one a day from the cats and dogs and from being squished in doors. This one was very fast and hopped around the cup until we released it.

_MG_3134

12: Going to bed is always a puzzle game. You don’t want to disturb the dogs but also they’re totally hogging my side of the bed.

_MG_3144

13: It was mine and Rony’s anniversary. We got a massage at a spa in the morning, ate donuts, got Thai food, went to the Nursery and got some more plants, opened presents, then got Cajun food. We gave each other letters first. I got him a Giger Alien book and Mondo print and he got me an Espeon/Umbreon shirt and printed off all the photos of us and got us a photo album so we could put them in order. I think he won.

IMG_9867

14: Rony had really been wanting this Mondo print of the classic Skeleton Dance animation. He missed out on it but I got lucky and found one for sale that wasn’t too crazy expensive. We hung it in the Halloween room and it’s pretty amazing.


 

How was your week?

-Sam<3

 

Blog| 3 Year Anniversary

IMG_2788

It’s like a love story but with more Halloween and cats.

Today is mine and Rony’s 3 year anniversary. Sometimes time goes by so fast and sometimes it also feels like forever.

About 4 years ago, me and Marisa did Geek Trivia nights at our house. We did them once a month and each one had themes. At first it was just a few of our friends then friends of friends came and eventually we’d end up with 20-25 people in the house playing in teams. Rony was a friend of a friend and came to one of these trivia nights. I didn’t actually talk to him at all that night, except to take a picture because we had dressed as the same cartoon character.

trivia 027

bbs

I had just chopped off all my hair, was working the night shift at the Emergency Room, and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Me, being me, I made the trivia nights.

I think he only came by a couple more times but I still didn’t really talk to him. He was quiet and my limit for meeting new people is low when there’s a bunch at the house.

A year or so passed and eventually we stopped doing trivia nights because they were too time consuming. Everyone that went to them friend requested each other and chatted outside the events and I always thought that was cool. One day, Rony messages me and asks if I want to come over to a board game night at his house.

I think sure and me and Marisa go.

10522863_1535573883330980_417973518_n

First picture of us together at my exhibit by Allison Terry

1525369_10202543795146152_7160267906875689756_n

First actual couple picture at another gallery of mine

We had fun and ended up playing Werewolf, Love Letter, and Cosmic Encounter. Afterwards we discovered the cats escaped and me and Marisa had to hunt them down all over the neighborhood.

We would comment on Facebook about stuff but I didn’t think he had any interest in me. It didn’t even cross my mind until later.

I posted online about not wanting to go to First Friday Art Trail by myself (last time I did I got stranded downtown after dark because the buses quit early) and he volunteered to go with me. We met up and made fun of some of the art, his old squeaky truck, and how he got awkwardly cornered in a room with an interviewer talking about Breaking Bad.

The next day he comes over and we play almost through the entirety of the first Metal Gear Solid on PSOne without saving because I didn’t have a memory card. He ends up accidentally getting us killed and Game Over’d during the torture scene after hours of playing.

We hang out and watch movies, play games at his house, and he teaches me and Marisa MTG.

IMG_370510658698_10203045390485722_4373328644285534380_o10806373_10202987249792241_332215432083236875_n

I pretty much lived in a state of “does he like me as a friend or more” the whole time we hung out for a month or two. Finally we both admit we do like each other but we’ll be friends for a bit first.

We hang out and read comics and I play magic with him and watch soccer. Pumpkaboo is an angry little furball who tries to swipe at my feet any time I walk around her. We text when I go out of town to Austin and then end up being together. It wasn’t for another month or so that we actually do confirm we are together because I am an awkward weirdo who needs verbal affirmation.

We like the same things. Comics and video games and horror movies and art. We send things back and forth on Spotify and give each other suggestions on things to check out. He pushes me to try and do galleries again and draw more and he listens to me rant about women in comics and feminism.

1908311_10203385867517435_1844423629526833697_n

First Valentine’s Day

11188496_10203846618435920_1996919070380775903_n

First Ladies Night

There are ups and downs. It’s been years and years since I’ve been in a relationship and have been fiercely independent. I’ll freely admit that I am stubborn, easily frustrated, and not that empathetic while he is kind to a fault and feels freely. If someone is upset I try to find solutions to fix their problems while he can comfort and soothe emotions.

He learns to deal with my anxiety and depression and I learn to deal with his stress coping mechanisms and the way he doesn’t stress about deadlines until 24 hours before when he stresses too much.

For my birthday, 6 months in, I invite him to go to New Orleans with me. He says yes and we spend almost a week in a hostel exploring the city. It’s wonderful. He goes with me to Staple in Austin and helps me start the first Ladies Night. Pumpkaboo and Ryder gets introduced to each other and eventually she starts to stay at the house with me.

We spend almost every day with each other.

10154002_10204122205645428_1405619707490556513_n11836872_10154104628149348_3895595608481004982_n905587_10204867187749515_8333731711807110958_o

He is goofy and not afraid to act silly when I have problems doing anything that might not be seen as dignified. I’m still trying to let loose a bit. He sings in the car, quotes Louis CK and Mitch Hedberg, and eats constantly without gaining weight.

Despite how serious and “intimidating” (so he says), I am a romantic and likes cheesy romance things while he’s cynical about that sort of thing. We both LOVE Halloween and horror movies and going to see new things.

Sometimes he would get annoyed at my constant need to help stray animals, but now it’s rubbed off on him. We help birds all the time, will try to find owners to lost dogs, and feed stray cats and kittens when we can.

When we got Almond, he fell in love with her. He hasn’t stopped hugging her since.

Seriously, he is in a constant snuggle pile.

12654284_10205333953978379_4128649472624139350_nIMG_1958ARL_416414717318_10207115093545755_5775197054109116646_n

 

We love taking trips and visiting new places together. When I started doing comic conventions, Rony would go with me and help. I don’t think either of us like sitting still and need to constantly be doing something.

Birthdays and anniversaries and holidays are always big deals. We find reasons to spoil each other and now it’s been turned into a competition. Each of us try to find things that will “win” us Christmas or Birthdays. Big parties, lots of presents, emotional gifts. We take note of things to give each other that the other won’t expect.

I think we just like making each other happy too much.

Any time there is opportunity to dress up we both like going crazy. I don’t make fun of him if he wants to dress like a girl or asks me to do his costume makeup. He gets genuine joy out of dressing up and I love that about him.

IMG_2691IMG_2798

2 years in we decided to move in together. We both lived across town from each other and it was hard going back and forth almost every day. We’d basically been staying with one another since the beginning of our relationship. We spent a few months searching and ended up with a house thanks to a friend. It had a huge yard for Almond, 3 bedrooms so each of us could have an Office, and a big living room and washer/dryer. We signed the lease that week.

Living together was easy. It didn’t feel any different than before with the exception that we felt free to do our own thing. It was always an effort to go visit one another and then we felt like we had to be focused on one another. This way we were together but could do what we wished.

We decorated the dining room with our Halloween collection. He doesn’t mind that I collect animal skulls or sometimes stay in bed and watch Youtube all day. I’ve gotten use to his after work routine of playing video games, organizing stuff, and eating 3 bowls of cereal. When I want to start a new project or event, he’s my first supporter asking what I need.

3 years have gone by so fast, but I feel like I’ve known him forever. Fights are brief and talked through, we debate and argue about topics all the time, but can switch to being weird and goofy in a blink of an eye.

I’m so incredibly lucky to have found someone who gets me and is so kind and creative and just as ambitious. We are best as a team and I am happiest when I’m with him and our weird family of animals in our Pumpkin House. And I hope there are so many years to come with this goober.

IMG_2270

Love you.

-Sam <3

 

Art Process| Villains “Big Chap” Piece

IMG_2677

Initial layout

I’ve been wanting to do a process post about one of my art pieces and actually remembered to take pictures to do it this time!

Usually if it’s a small piece, I’ll try and do a speed video of it but this is less work and let’s me get into my process more.

IMG_2909

Background and highlights laid out

The Xenomorph is a very cool mix of organic and mechanical parts. It’s smooth and has a lot of rounded parts, but the pieces that make it up are very machine like. You have tubing and this oil slick look all over. I actually like that because that means you can piece it together part by part. So I started by laying out the mouth and then doing layer after layer of green and black to made the shading.

This painting was almost entirely free-handed. I didn’t do a sketch before hand and only looked at a few reference, some from the film and some close ups of toys, for shading and to see how the head pieced together.

IMG_3024

Color blending

 

I would see what connected to the mouth then what connected to the head and this pipe and that pipe. And then once the layout was done I started laying down the lime green everywhere as the highlights. Until the very end, I only used two colors. The whites so far are just exposed canvas or light washes.

A lot of the texture and grungy look is layered paint. I would leave it messy and while the paint was wet I would go back with darker shades to clean it up.

IMG_3025

Head placement adjusted

You can actually see from the past few pictures that I completely changed the shoulder and perspective on the head. Initially I had it going off canvas but it didn’t read well. Then I wanted more of a leaned over shoulder rather than straight up profile so I brought that shoulder up more and put it more in focus.

When the paint is really thick and wet, it’s easy to make these changes. The best time though is when acrylic is half dry because then it’s thick enough to move around but not blend.

 

IMG_3027

Black shading clean up

I rounded the back end of the head for perspective and finally started detailing the mouth. With a dry brush and only a little bit of black, I did strokes to give all the side piping on it’s head ridges and dimension.

IMG_3031

Clean up, Shadow work, and White highlights

Finally I added the darkest blacks, cleaned up the background, added more dramatic shadows and put a touch of white on the highlights to try and get that glossy look.

I gloss varnished it and it’s all done!

In total, I used 3 colors: black, lime green, and white. It took roughly 6 hours total over about 3 days. It’s a 18×24 canvas.

“Big Chap” (a reference to the Xenomorph in the very first Alien) was a really fun piece to work on mostly because I gave myself the freedom to just throw paint on the canvas and not worry about the outcome too much. Yes, I need it to at least resemble the creature but the Xenomorph is a creepy monster that can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. I was inspired by it’s slimy, glossy frame and wanted to use the lime green and black colors from the poster and I loved the outcome.

IMG_3054

Finished

If you’re in Lubbock, you can see “Big Chap” currently on display at Star Books & Comics (916 16th Street) during business hours or this Friday 6 PM- 9 PM at the Villains Artist Collective Gallery!

It and pieces from about 20 local artists will be on display and available for purchase! Go check it out before the event is over at the end of the month!

Let me know if you like this process blog!

-Sam <3

Pokemon Go Anniversary Art Drop

18891719_1317012618336314_2553614766840091178_o

This past Saturday was our Pokemon Art Drop event! This would be the 4th Pokemon art drop event in town and 2nd one for the year. We did two last year and then Xreyrey was nice enough to run one in our place earlier this year since we were too busy.

If you’re not familiar about the event, a bunch of local artists make Pokemon inspired art and hide them in locations around town for people to hunt and capture for free! They post photo hints the the Facebook event and then whoever finds it will comment with a photo of themselves with the art!

It’s a fun event and provides a good way to get people out and about, finding new places and learning about local businesses while also getting free art.

19679401_10105588960215888_6110406147206517520_o

Art by Marc

19894811_1355329997837909_2875599176264899809_n

My pieces

19748497_1560317127311759_4198003138999812048_n

Plushes by Kayla

Lubbock has an amazing community of local artists who are more than willing and very eager to donate their art to people who will love them and we never have a shortage of artists willing to participate. Art ranges from digital to tradition paintings, prints, leather work, to even plushes!

We ran the event from 12-6pm and there were drops pretty much constantly from start to finish. They were hidden with a lot of local businesses and locations like the libraries, the record store, and restaurants. People that didn’t know that many places in town googled and found their ways to new spots.

19143980_10210098172877313_8491525250212131070_o

Art by Erin

19756666_1355438871160355_4449904352511764787_n19956640_1891610114431799_5960838398991743675_o

Sometimes people would miss grabbing something by mere minutes. We have a 3 per person rule so families can grab some for their kids and people were very nice about it. Some would even leave the drop alone so kids could grab them up.

The whole event went really smoothly and I couldn’t have been happier! Pokemon Go was a great way to get people out in the world and it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since it’s release. When we did the first art drop event, we had no clue how much people would love it and how many people would participate but I’m very glad to be doing such a cool event in town!

Special thanks to Marc at Meteors ‘n Milk for being a champ and not only helping run the event, but also donating 20 art pieces and doing online drops as well! It all ran super smoothly thanks to him!

And again, thank you to all the artists and art hunters who participated! This event really couldn’t happen without you all!

19780509_10155196823497928_53805927774254331_o19756892_10207044420067954_7759618214469734423_n
-Sam <3