Sunday, 9 November 2014

Changes Afoot

Well, there certainly hasn't been much activity here in recent months (in fact, I logged in for the first time in a long time today and spent a good 15 minutes reminding myself how to use this blog...I think I got it...).

Much of the reason has that, without getting into too many...icky details, I've been quite ill.  In fact, although treatment is now under way to deal with said illness, its certainly not over yet.  However, I have some developments around the corner, and some fresh starts on the horizon.

It could well be that there isn't another update for some time, but things will be happening.  I've been working on writing for the last few weeks and I'm hoping to see some results from that.  I'm also about to undergo some big changes, some very daunting, but potentially very promising.

I can' t really get into the ins and outs, but I'm very hopeful that there will be some developments coming along very soon.  I now have my own (very good) laptop, so blogging, if I can get the other problems under control, shouldn't be an issue from now on.  But there's more to be dealt with yet.

I will finish with some happy highlights of the last few months; my boyfriend and I celebrated our first anniversary in London recently, I've recently found out that next spring I'm to be an auntie, and I've gotten addicted to World of Warcraft :P

Hope you're all well, and keep your eyes peeled- merry christmas and happy new year! (And belated Samhain!)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Art Pricing Criteria for Blackavar Creates Now Up

During my last update, I spoke about my new Facebook page, Blackavar Creates, which publicises my writing and art works.  I now have a pricing criteria on the About section of the page, and although the booking period is not yet open (as I have a small group of bookings already committed), I hope to be moving through my booked projects relatively soon and the booking period will open again upon completion of those projects.

Here are the pricing details:


Payment will be discussed on a one-to-one basis via messaging, and will depend greatly on what type of design or artwork you request. Prices and ranges are a guideline only- prices will be discussed prior to a project's start. Factors that affect the price include the size of the piece, materials used, details required and complexity of the piece. Please refer to the following as a guide:

-Line drawing, pencil only- £8-£10
-Line drawing, pen- £10-£12
-Fully shaded pencil drawing- minimum price £15
-Fully coloured pencil drawing- minimum price £20

-Line drawing, pencil only- £10-£12
-Line drawing, pen- £12-£15
-Fully shaded pencil drawing- minimum price £20
-Fully coloured pencil drawing- minimum price £25

MIXED MEDIA (Including water colour)
-Full pieces will start from £22 for A4 and £27 for A3.
-Materials will be discussed beforehand
-Tattoo designs depending on their size maybe cheaper; please contact me to discuss prices for tattoo designs.

I will be working with artist grade sketch paper, not printer paper. 

Payment will cover the cost of the materials used, as well as the time and work put into the piece. I am currently working on some ball-park estimates to put here to give you an idea of what costs will be like, but ultimately it will depend entirely on what you request. Size, detail, colour, difficulty of the piece, will affect the cost.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

February Update! New projects, writings, and commissions!

Hello February 2014! I was expecting you to be jolly awful, and with only 8 days left of you, you've been going great so far!

Well, although I am endeavouring to sort myself out and get back out there, blogging is low on the list of priorities, so to be writing this update is quite a good sign, I think! Last month's post proves just how hard everything was for me for the last seven months or so.  I'm sure some people are sick of hearing the "sorting myself out"/"getting my life back on track" story, and to be honest, I'm getting a bit sick of telling it.  But it is a slow process, with my goals changing, my future and my prospects changing drastically and so on.  One update a month is probably reasonable right now!

Well, the first bit of good news is that last month, I submitted my first short story since last summer.  Apart from the odd spot of poetry and a few dream journals, I haven't been up to much writing.  I didn't exactly ease myself in, and dived into a submission after a massive flash of inspiration, staying up late, typing furiously.  I haven't heard back yet, and it will be a while yet- and of course, there's no guarantee that what I've written is what they're looking for.  But I do feel confident about the piece.  It was satisfying and fun to write, I just hope that those who read it feel just as enthusiastic as I did.

Secondly, another helpful boost is the guest post of mine that was featured in my last publisher's blog recently:
Favourite Fictional Worlds
As the title reveals, the post was about our favourite fictional worlds, and if you're interested in my ze link!  Thanks to Hannah of Hic Dragones for having me; working with Hannah on Skin for the Impossible Spaces anthology has been one of the highlights of last year :)

Now, onto the really exciting and arty stuff!

This year so far, I've had a lot of interest in my artwork and receiving a lot more requests for the commissions.  Part of this is thanks to the fact my desk job is utterly boring at times, and I spend some of that time drawing X-Men characters <.< (such as Rogue, picture above) or my group of friends' Dungeons and Dragons characters.  Colleagues see them, and instead of being told off for being lazy, they love popping over to see what I'm drawing that day! I had a serious commission request at work (and a couple of non-serious ones) and then as I started popping my X-men doodles on Facebook to share with friends, a few more came about.  It wouldn't be the first time I've done a commission,. but for the first time, I'm seriously thinking about setting up something slightly more business-like instead of doing various one-offs.

So I've set up a new facebook page called "Blackavar Creates"; its purpose is to showcase my works (both as an artist and a writer), share updates and give potential clients a contact point so they can make commissions requests!

Now, at the moment, things are up and going as it were.  I have a bunch of likes already, very good start, have a few examples of relatively recent work, including sketches, doodles and previous commission work.  However, the price guide is not up yet (because prices are being worked on presently) and the booking period is not yet open also.  The way I am doing this is "opening" periods for bookings, in which I will take requests until I have a few and then the period closes again (I've heard of tattoo studios sometimes running a similar sort of system, waiting lists and so on, which they fill up and then reopen when spaces become available).  The reasons for this are that I have an active social life that I'm rather enjoying ;) and I still have a day job to consider (and still hunting for a new one).  So I can only take on so many commitments at a time, to ensure work actually gets done in a timely manner, and that I don't bite off more than I can chew :).

I have 3 commissions to work on at the moment, and once they are complete, the booking period will be open again! So please, do take a look, keep checking back for the open periods, and if you like what you see and feel like making this poor artist a tiny bit less poor, give me a buzz!

(Yeah I drew Storm as well.  Loved doing that one).

At the moment, I'm looking for a new job in the Chichester area, as later this year I want to move there.  I tell you, its hard work.  Of course, I was already aware of this; I've basically been job-hunting for the last 8 years, and of course I was made redundant from my previous job two years ago, so I do know how difficult job-hunting is.  At the moment, however, its a little more daunting.  I'm trying to keep my eyes open for anything suitable, but also trying to find myself somewhere with a little bit more of a career involved- basically, I'm happy with continuing with the world of retail as a means to an end, but I really want to start making my way towards a job where I'm going to something! Art or writing, I'm keeping my eyes open.  I'm also looking at flats and that's kinda daunting too.  But at the same time, there's an exciting taste in the air...opportunities just over the horizon.  Who knows what the spring will bring?

Until next time, take care!

Photos are mine! Rogue and Storm, however, belong to Marvel

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Endings and New Starts

2014 is here. And somehow so am I too.

Writing and art are slowly coming back to me, and I'm slowly becoming more reliable, organised and motivated as time passes. Anyone who has found me slow to reply to emails etc, I apologise. Social networking was never my strong point, and then throw in some world-shattering emotional's been difficult to keep it together.

My pet cat died at age 18 in March last year.  Ties were irreparably severed with people I had known for a decade, I've been ill and also suffered severe stresses at my job.  I was assaulted by a customer in the summer, and I started to spiral towards a mental breakdown. This led to me being put onto medication, which fortunately has had a very positive affect on my depression and anxiety disorder.  Then, the worst thing of all, in July, my fiancĂ© of 9 and a half years decided to part ways. The split was amicable and not from a lack of love, but because we both realised we wanted different things. However, the heartbreak was crippling, and I'm still recovering from the loss of that very special man in my life.

I have spent the last few months wondering what to do with myself, wondering where I go from here, all the while supported beautifully by my family and amazing friends. They have never failed to help me to my feet during this turbulent year, but have also shared in my good times as well as the bad. This year also saw my appearance in two more in-print anthologies and now I'm finally starting to feel the urge to write again. I've taken up Dungeons and Dragons and Dark Heresy, and dancing also. I'm focusing mostly on trying to make myself happy, carefree, busy and stress free where possible.

I have also been unbelievably lucky to find love again so shortly after having to part ways with my ex fiancé. A lovely young many from my group of friends and I were set up by one of our closest friends (who is very proud of herself!) and we're both enjoying embarking on new new experiences together.

I spent last night with said gentleman and friend, playing Ring of Fire, drinking copiously, and eating tasty treats. It was very important for me to see in the New Year with some of the people who essentially got me here today.

As I think New Years Resolutions are destined to fail once you designate them as such (last years was the first I'd made in several, and of course, due to my life basically exploding, this one was unfortunately abandoned).  However, I'm hoping to move into the Chichester area sometime later this year, but this also means finding a new job. I'm starting to get back into my creative pursuits, but I'm also concentrating on enjoying myself at this time, and continuing to recover from what 2013 has dealt me.

Just want to wish you all a happy New Year. Let's hope 2014 will be a corker!