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 answer...click 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 really...do 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