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.

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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

Villains! An Artist Collective Gallery

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This past Friday was the reception for the Villains Artist Collective gallery at Star Books & Comics! ┬áThe 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!

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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.

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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

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Dre’s cake by Bake My Cake

Art Process| Villains “Big Chap” Piece

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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

The Art of Wonder Woman

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This past friday, June 2nd, was the premiere of the new Wonder Woman movie and to celebrate the occasion we hosted a The Art of Wonder Woman gallery! The gallery was a part of the First Friday Art Trail in town, an art even that happens on the first Friday of every month. Trolleys will run and take people to the multiple art galleries on the trail and it’s a big event.

This First Friday Art Trail it decided to rain, but that didn’t stop a bunch of people from coming out to the gallery’s reception and seeing all the art. I happen to run a group called the Lubbock Artist Collective and try to give artists galleries to show at and provide resources for new galleries. So monthly I’ll put on themed galleries at Star Books & Comics and have as many as 10-20 artists submit art pieces. It’s been a pretty cool experience and I’m glad I’ve gotten an opportunity to do these shows.

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I decided to dress up for the occasion and put together a retro themed Wonder Woman outfit and attempted to do a victory rolls inspired hairdo. It was a very last minute put together outfit but maybe later when I have time I’ll fix it up and wear it to a con.

I think, all in all, we had 16 artists participate in the gallery including myself. The medium ranged from paper cut to acrylic to watercolor and airbrush. We had experienced artists and first timers and it was wonderful to see all the different ways that people thought and perceived Wonder Woman.

A few of my favorites are listed below. I had to do mine last minute since con prepping took up most of my time. I did it with Ink, pencil, and watercolor and was pretty happy with how it came out. Mine is the first one below.

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The crowd was so enthusiastic and excited not only about the art but the new movie. I was lucky enough to see it the day before and it was amazing. I’m so happy with how it came out, that I got to put on this event, and to be a part of an experience that means so much to so many women.

The art gallery is up for the rest of the month and can be found at Star Books & Comics . You can check out the full gallery of images Rony took from the event here.

The next gallery we are doing is Villains themed! It’ll be July 14th so if you’re in Lubbock, you can check that event out!

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Lubbock-Con 2017 Recap!

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This past weekend was Lubbock-Con’s sophomore show and we were tabling! Because we’d done so many of their events and helped out, we got to be in a super cool area just for featured artists. I’ve worked a lot with Lubbock-Con since their inception because Star Comics is involved and a lot of my friends help in some for or another and it was great to see all the hard work go into the show. Plus the number one way to make a con fun is to have friends there and I had them everywhere.

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This year Lubbock-con was taking place on Memorial Day weekend instead of February like last year but they’ll be going back to February in 2018. And it was two whole days instead of one! And there were a ton of things to do. (I don’t even think I got to see everything. I was too busy running around!)

Our town is a college town and unfortunately, Texas Tech was out for Summer and there were graduations happening all weekend. So there was a lower attendance, but you wouldn’t really be able to tell with the business we got. Our sales were only slightly lower than last year but much higher than expected!

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Traffic was slow but steady, but we had a ton of people come up to us and buy things. I tabled again with Erica of Koolaid-Girl Art and we both had a blast. She’s a webcomic artist/creator of Living When Dead and colorist for the webcomic Ava’s Demon so she had a ton of people come by and get her art. Her art is absolutely amazing and she always blows me away with what she can do.

We started making the transition from 11×17 prints and had a bunch of new 6×9 and 8×10 prints of my Inktober art and my Overwatch sketches. I actually sold out of Sombra prints on day 1 and had to make new ones for day 2. It was my first time cosplaying as well and I was overjoyed that people recognized me as Sombra and wanted pictures. I did a punk!version because I could not figure out how to make her jacket from scratch.

I’ll be doing cosplay posts of each of my costumes!

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Everyone was so happy and excited to see our art and there were so many amazing cosplays. I only got a few pictures of some of my favorites but there were sooooo many. I actually got to be in two different Overwatch pictures! One with my friends and one with two AMAZING cosplayers. I am not nearly as cool but it was super awesome taking a picture with them!

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Sunday I went as Bombshell Batwoman and got to judge the Miss Lubbock-Con pageant! That was a surreal experience (I was supes awkward), but it was neat to participate and the winner was just a bubbly ball of energy. Shout out to Alex for forcing me out of my shell and making me do it. I love/hate you.

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Overall, it was a really good show and I really enjoyed myself. There was something for everyone and was such a relaxing chill show. Thanks again to the staff and volunteers! Everyone checked on us and made sure we were okay and we even got some snacks and lunch. Everyone was super accommodating and helped us with whatever we needed.

I’m excited for next year and hope to have more new stuff and see everyone back then! For now, I gotta get everything set for the Wonder Woman gallery on Friday at Star Comics! I’ll post my cosplay photos next so keep an eye out!

Boop!

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-Sam <3

Come See Me at Lubbock-Con!

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Hello, lovelies!

A non-blog post for once! In case you didn’t know, I will be attending Lubbock-Con Memorial Day weekend! I’ll be there May 27th & 28th!

The neat thing is I will actually have a Featured Artist table! You’ll be able to find me in the Pedestrian Hall near the panel rooms and outside the Banquet Hall. I’m FA-3 :)

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Saturday I will be cosplaying as Punk Sombra and Sunday I will be Retro/Bombshell Batwoman. Come say hi and check everything out as this will be my only convention for the year!

Also! I’m discontinuing a lot of jewelry as well as my 11×17 prints so this will be the time to get them while you still can. I won’t be making any more of the jewelry designs and the prints will be switching to 8×11 once they’re gone.

These are the designs that are getting discontinued:

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I’ll also have sketchbooks including my new Inktober one as well as originals and prints of the Inktober sketches.

I’m super excited to see everyone so please come by!

-Sam <3

2017.

Holiday season was a whirlwind that I’m barely coming down from. I completely overextended myself in October and paid the price for that (mental exhaustion is a thing, folks) and then the holiday season finished me off. This was followed by birthdays and Valentine’s Day and dog sitting (plus we got a new puppy and Almond joined Obedience School) and I’m essentially drained but mending.

Long story short: sorry for the absence.

But I haven’t completely been out of the game. I’ve been working on things.

So one of my goals for this year was to focus more on galleries. I love cons but they’re hit and miss right now as the industry goes through a shift and I’m still kinda trying to figure out what’s best for my business before I do a bunch. I will be at Lubbock-Con this year though, but that’ll probably be my only one. I pretty much barely broke even on Hub City Comic Con and figured I’d lay off cons a bit after that.

We will be at Staple 2017 but only as attendees! I love that show so no matter what, we’re going.

With that said, galleries give me a lot of freedom to paint what I want and let me shake my wrists out, so to speak. I don’t have to worry about what sales and if anything is cost effective or how many I can reproduce. It’s a one and done and I can spend a lot of time on something and not feel bad.

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We started the year off with a Bad Luck Gallery at Star Books & Comics for my birthday (January Friday the 13th. Lucky me!) and for it not being on the First Friday Art Trail, the house was packed! I’m so happy so many people were able to come out for it and it shows that as long as you have something interesting, people will come.

That gallery actually got extended to the end of February so if you haven’t checked it out, go!

March I may be speaking at the Lubbock-Con Artist Workshop covering the business aspect of art. So conventions, galleries, online stores, etc. It’s the side that rarely gets discussed but is extremely helpful for anyone who ever wants to get into art professionally or even just on the First Friday Art Trail. So if you want to get the details, go to Lubbock-Con’s Facebook page and find the event there.

April! Ladies Night 3rd Anniversary! Can you believe we’ve gotten to do 3 years of Ladies Nights? That’s nuts. We’re finalizing the date now but we have a neat artist lined up that I’ve featured before so I’m excited to see what she can bring to Ladies Night! Keep an eye out on my Facebook for the official date announcement and event!

Also, big shout out to Star Comics for always letting me run crazy events and being super supportive. Best people ever. Seriously, I could not do any of the stuff I do without them being willing to partner up with me.

May is Lubbock-Con! Feel free to refer back to said Facebook page for details!

And then June 2nd, there’s a little movie you might have heard coming out. Wonder Woman? Yeah, we’re doing an artist collective gallery for that! We’ll have about 20 different artists all submitting pieces dedicated to the Amazonian herself. It’ll be on the First Friday Art Trail so go see it! I promise it’ll be cool as hell.

There’s a few more things in the works, but that’s all for now. If you have commissions with me, Sorry!! I’m getting back into the swing of things and am working on getting them sorted. My projector that I use to blow up my sketches also went on the fritz but I’m working on it!

I’m also looking into getting my Inktober works in a sketchbook and as soon as all my inventory is replenished, the Etsy store will be back up with all those.

Thank you again to everyone that’s stuck by me and liked my work and just been completely supportive.

-Sam <3