Blog| Weekend Recap

This weekend was a busy one. Friday we kicked it off with our Lubbock Artist Collective Halloween Gallery reception on Friday the 13th. Yeah, pretty much a perfect date to have it. We had some amazing art from local artists in the collective and got to celebrate and eat treats and chat with our favorite people.

It’s been crazy to think it’s been one year since we started the artist collective but the art and progression of so many of the artists has been wild! It makes me so excited for future galleries!

Afterwards, Rony and I had a shindig at our house, had friends over, and got to share one of our favorite horror movies, The Babadook. Rony even has a handmade replica of the pop-up book from the movie signed by the director. It was fun and we got to play the Halloween expansion of King of Tokyo before hand as well.

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The next day was a lazy, errand running day which was capped off by going to a 7 HOUR LONG Horror movie marathon. Our theater, Alamo Drafthouse, did a 4 movie marathon called Dismember the Alamo and we got to see 4 old horror movies all at once. It was a trial.

I almost died. Rony fell asleep a bit in the last and best one. Some were good, some were mind-numbing. We saw Slaughterhouse, Eaten Alive, Grizzly, and Day of the Beast. The last was my favorite, mostly because it had a pretty good plot. I’m not a fan of dumb, bad gore, horror movies and Eaten Alive gave me a headache.

But we survived!

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Before

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After

Sunday we got up early, ran more errands like costume shopping, groceries, getting Almond’s presents and treats for her birthday party, and getting flowers. We were seeing our friend act in the Addams Family Musical and wanted to get her something and finally got to see the play!

It was wonderful. I’m actually a big fan of theater and musicals, Rony less so, but we both enjoyed it a lot and Alex was wonderful <3

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On the way home, we stopped at a Pumpkin farm and picked pumpkins, got ingredients for Almond’s cake and cupcakes, and finally sat down and finished watching one of our movies while I worked on my Inktober.

I ended up staying up until 1am making Almond’s cake and then making frozen pumpkin treats for her. Her and Leon got to lick the bowl and spoons.

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And now we prepare for Disneyland in a few days. I’ll be taking lots of pictures and will definitely make posts when I can! We’re all excited and anxious but what better way to see Disneyland than during Halloween season!

And of course, I’ll do an Almond party post too. My little baby is turning 2 and time flew so fast.

Until next time.

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-Sam <3

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Inktober Week 1 Recap

Inktober has started and so far, so good! It’s been so much fun and I’m actually really liking my art so far. Plus, this year I made my own prompt list and people are actually following along! So let’s go over what I’ve made and then I’ll share some of the pieces other people have made from my prompts!

Day 1: Spring Witch

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Day 2: Owl

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Day 3: Bat

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Day 4: Summer Witch

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Day 5: Apothecary

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Day 6: Fall Witch

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Day 7: Crow

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Day 8: Tarantula

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The list is a mix of witches, magical items, and witch familiars! It’s been a lot of fun to interpret them and make some witchy designs, which I love.

Now here are some of other people’s art! I left their IG usernames on so you can follow them!


Spring Witch:

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Owl: 

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Bat: 

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Summer Witch: 

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Crow: 

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Winter Witch: 

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If you are doing Inktober, comment below with your Instagram! And if you wish to use my prompt list and want me to see your creations, tag me or put #Raicodoll and I’ll check it out!

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-Sam <3

 

Blog| Mood Board

Recently, I’ve actually been using my Pinterest. I’ve never been a big fan of it. It always felt hard to navigate and find original sources and you get five thousand notifications, which I hate. But it’s gotten better and I’ve found a few uses for it.

One of those uses is using it as a digital mood board.

I’ve seen a few different artists use it as such and it’s a much better solution than what I had been doing (saving each picture to a folder on my computer). You can use it for inspiration, references, and a general atmosphere guide. I’ll pin something because I like the style, colors, pose, face, or just so I can see how to draw something I’m not familiar with. It’s actually a great resource and I wish I had started to use it sooner.

So I thought I would give you a peak at what mine currently looks like!

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Day 2 of my Inktober prompts is Owl and I needed a good reference of a barn owl since I’ve never drawn one before. I ended up using the one on the top right and modified it to hold a branch and then used the double triangle shape since I’ve been in love with geometric designs lately.

I’m also starting my own apothecary cabinet at home and it’s one of my prompts so I’ve been pinning different apothecary set ups as well.

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I’m big on mermaids and long, tentacle like floating hair so I pinned a bunch of those as well as some hair designs and things I might use for paintings later. I’ve been trying to get better at drawing hair so I like to pin things in the style I wish I could draw in. The 2nd from the left on the bottom was mostly color inspiration!

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I pinned some pattern inspirations here and flowers because I’m always trying to draw flowers better. Some cauldron’s and cloche designs for inspo for later prompts. That Batgirl on the bottom right is gorgeous and I ended up pinning it for inspiration for future Ladies Night flyers.

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I’m big on skulls, horns, and creepy hand poses and pinned a few references I found. I had the idea of having a girl covering her face with her hands and drawing eyes in her palms and making her whole body galaxy colored with white lineart, but haven’t gotten to that yet. I also want to draw some creepy witch/monster hands for Inktober and maybe do another animal skull.

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And a lot of these are Persephone and crystals inspired. I want to draw a neat pomegranate with flowers and skulls for one of my prompts. And I absolutely suck at drawing crystals so I pinned some for reference. I’m doing a Tarantula with crystals growing out of it later and need to get my crystal game in order. And then of course more flowers because I have a problem.

I’ve only been using my mood board for a month or so but it’s already helped a bunch when it comes to inspiration and coming up with new ideas. I have a seperate board for clothing inspiration and things like that and I think I’m going to start pinning them in my mood board instead. I use it mostly for art anyways and I’m fashion challenged for the most part.

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If you’d like to check our my art board you can see it here! I pin more stuff as I need to and with Inktober, it’s probably going to get a lot bigger.

Do you use Pinterest for your mood board or do you use something else and what do you put on it? Let me know and share yours in the comments!

-Sam <3

October is coming!

Hello, lovelies!

Fall has hit and we’re just a few days from October madness. October begins my busy holiday season and believe it or not, it tends to be busier than December for me.

First things first, we’ve got Inktober!

What is Inktober? Simple:

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Inktober (and Drawlloween) are kinda a bit deal in October and is something I’d like to try again this year. I got to Day 18 or 19 last year and was super happy with the progression in my skill as I got use to drawing every day and producing finished pieces. And if you aren’t into drawing with ink, there’s Drawlloween which is essentially the same thing without the medium limitations.

Here are the official prompts for this year:

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I knew I had to get prepared this year. Last year the stress of doing a 3 show weekend, Inktober, Halloween festivities, and being in Seattle for about 5 days completely knocked me on my ass afterwards and I was not okay. This year I am determined to do better.

I’ve been sketching ideas and figuring out my own prompts. While I like the official ones, I’d prefer to do my own. I find that if I’m not super into the things I’m drawing, I’m less likely to push myself to do them soooooo I made my own prompt list.

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Feel free to follow along and share :)

In addition to Inktober we are also attempting our 31 Days of Horror Movies Challenge. Rony and I attempted it last year and no lie, it was hard. You essentially have to set aside up to 2 hours every day. Things crashed and burned when we went to Seattle and had no TV to watch any of the movies.

This year we’re also going to Disneyland so we’ll see how it works out.

But here is our last for this year!

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Rony and I always split up the list between us and choose movies we haven’t seen and movies we’ve seen but the other hasn’t. This way we’re not just watching the same classics over and over again and get to learn about different horror movies. Rony also does a review on Twitter afterwards if you want to follow him.

So we’ve got Inktober, Horror Movie Challenge, I have a gallery on Friday the 13th, we’re planning Ladies Night, I’m going to attempt National Novel Writing Month again in November so I’m preparing for that, and we’re going to try and do daily pet costumes and Halloween posts on our Halloween Instagram.

It’s going to be a busy time. I also have to do a couple of paintings for a Museum exhibit and a gallery in November.

Aaaaaaand Disneyland.

So wish me luck! I want to do a few speed process videos of some of my Inktober pieces but we’ll see. I’ll do a Inktober supplies post next week but I’ll be posting them daily on my Instagram or Facebook! Also, if you want to help support me, the blog, my art then you can donate a bit to my Ko-Fi or visit my Etsy shop! This helps me get better art supplies, buy more prints to sell, or do more in general!

If there’s anything else you’d like to see me do or write about, let me know!

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See you in October!

-Sam <3

Blog| Fall Equinox & Changes

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Fall Equinox has come and it’s officially the best time of the year!

I thrive in Fall weather. I always get too hot in the summer and freeze in the winter (Spring doesn’t exist in Texas), so Fall is the perfect middle ground for me. And by some miracle, we actually are experiencing Fall weather right on time! It’s rainy and chilly and I can wear sweaters without dying!

And with the Fall Equinox, comes a bit of introspection. It’s been a hard month. Getting Leon back felt like a tipping point. I was working on so many things and as soon as he disappeared, everything stopped. Once we got him back, I thought we could go back to how it was but things had changed. We’re always so busy that I felt it had been ages where I could just sit down for a weekend and breathe, watch a movie or play with the animals.

We’re constantly going from event to meeting to event all the time and being so busy, we were neglecting not just our house but also the animals. I wanted to be able to go and hang out with friends without it being an event I’m hosting and go to the movies and attend galleries because we want to, not because we have to.

We have less than a year left in Lubbock. This is our last holiday season and it’s always busy and flies by so fast. I love what I do, but I also need to realize that I need to take time for myself and live and appreciate everything before suddenly, it’s time to go.

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So what does that mean?

Well for starters, I unfortunately dropped 365 Project and #52Selfies. When Leon went missing, I stopped doing them and I don’t think it’d be right for me to just continue as if there isn’t almost a month’s gap. I’ll have to attempt them again January 1st.

I’m cutting down on some of the events I do and was planning. I’ve had to turn down a couple of galleries so far just because it wasn’t worth killing myself trying to get artwork done so fast to meet the deadlines. I want to enjoy my artwork and the process and the pressure isn’t always the best at making it a fun experience. That’s the opposite of what I want. It’s suppose to be a stress relief and that’s less likely if I’m being forced to do it.

I’m also cutting the blog down to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays instead of Monday-Thursday. That’ll help me put out better content and get my shit together, honestly. I love my blog but I don’t want to just put out crap for the sake of something getting put out. Taking the photos takes a while and I’d love to have everything written out ahead of time.

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Processed with MOLDIV

October is almost here and it’s a huge month. I’m laying out my plan for Inktober and we’re attempting to do the 31 Movies in 31 Days challenge, on top of making plans for Disneyland, parties, traveling, animal costumes, and our Halloween Instagram. October kicks off the big holiday season for me and it doesn’t stop until March so I need to get prepared. I do not want it to become this overwhelming chaos where I need to drop stuff.

There’s also the kittens. Two have been adopted so far, but we’re taking care of them until they’re a little bigger and when we have time to take them to the new owners. We still have to find homes for Stripes and White and Mae Mae. We’ve been letting them roam the house every now and then and the kittens have turned into crazy little monsters, getting into everything and playing with whatever they can find. Plus they go through a tooooon of food and litter.

Unfortunately, we recently found out that Mae Mae has miscarried and will not be having anymore kittens. It happened this past week, her due date week, and it’s been a hard thing to process. We went from preparing to help her give birth to making sure she and the other kittens are okay. They said sometimes it just happens or she could have had a parasite or any number of things. Whatever it was, it was out of our hands.

It’s topped off a pretty crappy month and hit us hard. For now, we’re focusing on getting her well and taking care of the kittens we have. We’ll be getting her fixed and will be adopting her out as well. She’s a complete sweetheart and loves people and pets and attention. If we didn’t already have 5 animals, I would love to have kept her and one of the kittens. But they’ll be very good pets to someone.

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Things are going to get crazy soon and I don’t want a repeat of last year where I completely overwhelmed myself and knocked myself back into depression. I’m getting help from people and delegating and making plans. I’m not getting rid of galleries I am holding or our Fall Ladies Night, but I am stepping back a little.

Am I anxious about cutting things back? Definitely. I have this fear of irrelevancy that if I’m not out there all the time, everything I worked or will fall apart. That’s the control freak in me. But the thing is, is it worth it if I’m missing out on things myself? I can do what I can to better the community, but there’s always going to be work to do. There’s no point in killing myself and making myself unhappy.

I’m doing this for me.

The Autumn Equinox is about balance and self evaluation and rebirth. It’s the time to reclaim your power and put yourself back on track to being who you are meant to be. My favorite part of the Equinox has always been tied to mythology.

In some older versions of the story of how Persephone came to be Queen of the Underworld and in my favorite version, Persephone is not kidnapped but wanders into the Underworld herself, either out of adventure or to comfort the crying souls herself. She is adventurous and merciful, but confident. She chooses to be there and is not a pawn in a game. Her choices are her’s alone and the balance of 6 months in Spring and Winter is her choice. And so now we celebrate the Fall Equinox,  the time when night and day are equal and when Persephone descends back into the Underworld and reclaims her spot as Queen and reclaims her power.

I love Persephone and I love what she has come to symbolize. It’s my favorite story and I see her as a figure of confidence and growth and coming into yourself. And maybe it’s time I take a page out of her book and find a balance for myself and become my own Queen of the Underworld.

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-Sam <3

#FindLeon and What to Do When You’re Puppy Goes Missing

It’s been quiet on here for a reason.

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Saturday, August 26th at 8am our dogs got loose. I noticed within 10-15 minutes of it happening and raced into the backyard, calling for Rony as I did so. They dug a hole in the corner of the yard and pried off a couple of boards off the fence, escaping into the alley. Almond is a runner and has escaped a few times, giving us heart attacks as we chase her down and she plays keep away, but this was Leon’s first time being gone. He follows Almond wherever she goes and would have followed her out that hole.

Almond was found crossing one of the major, busy streets by Marisa and was brought home safe. We didn’t find Leon.

For 6 days/144 hours, he was missing.

We hardly slept at all. We ate whenever we had a chance to pause, scarfing down chips or snack bars, or whatever people would bring us and go back out. We’ve searched almost non-stop, from 7am in the morning to 1am at night. My bones and muscles ached from walking, my fingertips were raw and peeling from posting flyers, and any ground I had made on getting over being sick was shot to the wind and I felt awful. I couldn’t breathe from congestion and my eyes were swelling shut and I kept having migraines. We couldn’t stop though.

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Saturday was not only going to be my first Pride after coming out but it was also National Dog Day. It felt like being stabbed every time I saw people post pictures of their dogs while I had no clue where Leon was. Was he safe, hurt, taken, hiding, scared? We’ve checked the shelter every day and nothing. They have a binder of deceased dogs and it was nauseating to flip through, hoping we didn’t see him every day.

That first day, we walked 6 miles looking for him. Sunday we walked 10-11 miles and then Monday 3 miles. All together, we walked 32 miles looking for Leon. We visited every shelter and pet store and groomers, giving flyers. Asked people on the street. Checked every tip, no matter how crazy. I’ve made hundreds of lost pet posts online and taken out ads and have done everything. He had his tags and collar on when he went missing and was micro-chipped, but no one had found him or called or brought him in to a vet or shelter.

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On top of it, we also adopted 3 kittens that are about 4-5 weeks old. Mae Mae took a while, but she’s adopted them and is feeding them and watching over them. We think they belong to one of our strays that passed away last week. Our neighbor heard them crying in her backyard. They’re cute and distracting and kept me busy, which was good because I was so near falling apart.

We have literally posted over a thousand flyers. That’s not hyperbole either. We literally have printed and posted around 1300 flyers. We’ve put them everywhere. Every time we found a blank area, we put them all over. We asked businesses, put them in high populated areas, shopping centers, the university.

This is what hell feels like. Being in pain, exhausted, but not being able to stop or else the hopelessness crushes you because your loved one is out there and you don’t know if they’re hurt or scared or being taken care of by a good family.

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We got so many tips that ended up being different dogs or dead ends. Our most promising ones were a girl that said she saw him with a kid and a mom less than 10 blocks from us, in the direction he was seen running. She said she tried to see him and the mom cussed her out, saying she doesn’t care where he came from and that he was theirs now. The location wasn’t far from our house and we staked it out for 2 days, but when we finally saw the dog it wasn’t ours.

An older man called and thought he saw Leon by the park by his house. I raced over at lunch and he ran to the park to show me, but it was also the wrong dog. Two different ladies in our neighborhood said they saw him with a dog gang. We woke up early at 6am, and scouted the streets looking for them. We found them in 15 minutes. It was 3 Chihuahua looking dogs and a white/brown pit. They were sweet and ran up to the car and gave kisses. Not much of a gang, but also not Leon.

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At the same time, we had a lady say she thought she saw him by his house and was trying to track him down. I was texting her when I got a call at about 630. A guy said he may have Leon ten blocks from our house. I described Leon’s tail and figure and he said he was almost sure it was him. We turned around and drove there, looking for a corner house and a guy with a dog sitting on the porch.

When we found the house, we burst into tears because it was finally Leon. I ran out the car before it was even fully stopped and ran to him. He jumped and wagged his tail and licked my face while I sobbed my heart out. This whole week it hadn’t sunken in that he was gone, like at any time I’d wake up and he’d be home. I couldn’t see how we could do so much for everyone else. Events, charities, promo-ing, dog sitting, fostering, helping other people find their animals. While searching we helped like 3 people and took in the kittens. We needed luck on our side and I refused to let go that our dog was gone forever, but it was starting to feel so hopeless.

Having him in my arms was heaven. The guy had been walking his dog near the high school and had grabbed one of our flyers. He saw Leon and managed to grab him and called us, waiting on the porch until we showed up. Him and his partner had lost their dog a year ago and knew how it felt and were so happy to find him for us, they didn’t want the reward. We’re going to donate it to the Humane Society and aid or Hurricane Harvey.

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Leon was skinnier, but uninjured and happy and still had his collar on even. We have no clue what he had been doing for almost a week and had patrolled that area so many times that we don’t know how we didn’t find him.

I sat in the trunk area with him while Rony talked to the guys and just cried and hugged him and called everyone. Almond was excited when we got home and Leon drank all the water and ate 4 cups of food. They ran around and played and it was like he hadn’t left.

It took all morning to call and let everyone know and just relax and know he was okay. It still feels surreal but he’s home and I can’t thank enough people for helping us search for him. We literally painted the town in his flyers and we have him back.

It’s been an exhausting process but it paid off.

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So, if you are missing your dog, all I can do is write down some tips that we learned. No one can say we weren’t dedicated to finding him and he’s probably the most famous lost pup in town now but it got results:

Tips for Finding your Puppy

  1. Immediately search the entirety of your neighborhood as fast as you can after they go missing
  2. Find all the Lost and Found Facebook pages/group and post to them all daily
  3. Post on Pawboost
  4. Post on your neighborhood app (NextDoor is the one we have)
  5. Check the shelters every day, don’t just call. If you do it an hour or so before they close, most of their trucks should be in from picking up animals.
  6. After a few days, email or check the shelters of nearby towns. Dogs can travel a lot at night
  7. Put some of your dirty clothes or their toys outside so if they’re lost, they may try to find their way home. Don’t put food because you’ll just attract other dogs.
  8. Post flyers on all major intersections, busy areas, and stores that will let you
  9. Give flyers to every vets office and groomers/boarders that you can
  10. Put flyers on your car and put a big sign in your yard so that if someone finds them, they know where to return them
  11. Check with neighbors, anyone outside, or joggers in your area.
  12. Follow all tips, no matter how far they are from your home.
  13. As soon as you can, see if you can get your friends to do a search party
  14. If your dog has a microchip, register it as Lost and make sure to tell your vets office
  15. If someone has seen him in your neighborhood, try to walk from your house to the tip spot and see where they could have gone from there
  16. If you can afford it, do a Facebook and Instagram ad.
  17. Post on Craigslist
  18. Ask your mail carrier when you see them, police officers, or city services if you come across them. They drive around constantly!
  19. It’s weird, but don’t be afraid to ask homeless people and give them flyers. A lot of times they’re very happy to help (especially if there is a reward)
  20. Don’t give up hope.

And when you get them home, make sure your fence is secure! Nail any loose boards, pour concrete along the bottom, or if you can’t then chicken wire it down so they cant dig to get under it! You can bend it along the base and stake it down!

I can only hope this helps someone else looking for their baby. Our animals are our children and it felt like my heart had died while he was gone. We couldn’t go on with our lives until he was home and I’m so glad he is. I’m never letting him go.

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-Sam <3

 

July 2017 Ladies Night

Ladies Night is always going to be my favorite event to put together, not just because it’s the first thing I started but because I love seeing all the women and girls in our community come out and make friends and find something new in an industry I love.

AR2_8384AR2_8403AR2_8394AR2_8395For this Ladies Night we had featured artist Julie Raven Art, who did the art for our flyers/poster and was doing magical girl commissions and selling prints. Jazmin Cruz was demoing Lipsense lipsticks with a cosplay twist and Caitlin Spikes was previewing coloring pages for her graphic novel Pirate Captain Morgan.

My sister Amanda was our very first photographer at our first Ladies Night and it was actually her first time shooting anything and was the kickoff to her business. I was very excited to have her back, knowing how much she had progressed from when she first started.

And better yet, my little niece Tabby came along and got to hang out with us. I was very excited to have her there and be able to hang out with a bunch of girls.

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We had a really great turnout right at the beginning and Julie pretty much got a line right away. I bought my sister some lipstick as a thank you for photographing and Jazmin did demo’s all night. Caitlin brought some coloring sheets of the art from the graphic novel. The art is all done by Chris Nazario and should be going to print in December. They’re also going to be launching a Kickstarter soon.

We also had a bunch of Wonder Woman movie posters that were donated to the event by a very nice patron of Star Comics and so we got to hand those out for free.

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We had a ton of new people show up and chat and I got to hang with my nerd girl crew, who of course all dressed up because I love them. Usually it’ll die down at about 8 to 8:30 but this time we had a ton of people still hanging out at almost 9 when the event is over. Snacks and drinks were had, posters picked up, comics bought.

The boyfriends/husbands all hung outside and talked until we let them in at 8:30. It was a great night and I was so happy to see everyone have a good time. Ladies Night is always a night that just makes me so unbelievably happy.

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Again, thank you to everyone involved with making this happen! Thank you to Star Comics, as always, for being the best comic shop and friends a girl could ask for. Thank you to Julie Raven Art for being an amazing artist and producing the cutest Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur for the event flyer. Thank you to Jazmin Cruz for demoing her makeup and helping out the wonderful ladies all night and Caitlin Spikes for bringing her coloring pages for the kids to work on!

And thank you to my sister Amanda Raylee Photography for taking pictures of the night. All pictures seen in this post were taken by her! Lastly, thank you to my boyfriend Rony for doing the graphic design of the flyers and posters!

We have one more Ladies Night this year in the Fall so be sure to come out to that one! In the mean time, this was amazing and I love you all.

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-Sam <3