Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fundraiser Results

Good evening,

So, this is a quick follow up entry to my previous post on the fundraising initiative.

The results are in and I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who's bought my art in the month of March and helped me raise money towards a wildlife conservation donation. The grand total was $60.00!

After some research, I've decided to donate the proceeds to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Thank you again and have a happy April!

Buntzen Lake, BC.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Help Me Help The Planet

Good afternoon friends and happy March! 

My birthday is coming up this month and to thank the universe for keeping me alive for these last 26 years I was hoping to so some fund raising for environmentalist groups and animal conservation charities. I am still researching which ones would be the best fit, but was planning on keeping it local to British Columbia/Canada. 



As you might have noted from my previous self promotions, I have a number of places online where I sell originals, prints and merchandise of my work. So, my idea is that for the month of March, all proceeds from the pieces I sell, I'll donate. I hope you'd like to help me help our planet, and order yourself a little something. Every little bit is appreciated. :)



Northern Spotted Owls

Please find below links to my shops:

Etsy (original art and signed prints)
Society6  
RedBubble
INPRNT


Have a great weekend!


Sunday, February 26, 2017

RedBubble Postcards Review

Good morning!

Today I'll be sharing with you my impression of the postcards from RedBubble.

On February 2nd, RedBubble celebrated it's 10th Birthday and to thank their participating artists they were giving out vouchers respective of the sales made that day.
I was thrilled to receive a $10 voucher and in the end decided to spend it on getting postcards made with some of my latest artwork.

These are:
-$1.58 USD each in "artist price" (Meaning if you have a RB account and order postcards of your own work, that's what you'll pay)
-300gsm card with a satin finish
-Discount of 20% on every order of 8 cards
-Discount of 30% on every order of 16 cards

*Postcards do not come with envelopes

I had ordered pieces from RedBubble's greeting card category before and wasn't too satisfied with the quality, but as that was 6 years ago (in 2011) and there were many improvements on the RB site since then I thought I'd give cards another go.

I ordered my cards on February 16th and they arrived on February 23rd. Impressively fast considering I chose the standard shipping option!

Now, lets evaluate the quality.

Accuracy Verdict: Mixed Feelings
At first glance they seemed pretty solid, but once I had a closer inspection I was a little less happy with the product.
-Looking at the cards with my Illustrator and Photoshop made vector trees that have really smooth curves in the original file, on the printed postcards they appeared to have a more jittery appearance. Given how much effort I spent making the branch curves smooth, it made me sad to see them with these jitters. If I had to guess, I'd say there was some compression issue.
My  original image
Original image closeup: as you can see - nice and smooth lines.
The RedBubble postcard. (Click on the image to view larger)

Close up of the jittery lines (Click on the image to view larger)

In comparison, cards featuring this style of artwork printed from Moo.com, don't have this issue.
Postcard printed from Moo.com. Zooming in to view the full sized image you can see the lines are very crisp in comparison.

-However, the jitter was much less apparent on the postcards with my painterly artwork, without outlining or heavy straight lines, such as "The West Wind". As the artist, I can still see a little bit of it, but I wouldn't be too worried about my customers noticing it on postcards featuring this style of art.
RedBubble Postcard with "The West Wind" Illustration.
Colour Verdict: Good
The colour correctness was very good. The hue was accurate for all cards, though I noted that for the Elvish Trees series cards the printing came out darker and some of the subtle colours in the textured background were lost. (This is easier to see in person vs on the photos due to the interference lighting causes.)
My tree elven images. (Click on the image to view larger)

RedBubble Postcards (Click on the image to view larger)
Paper Quality Verdict: Good...but watch out for scuffs
The paper has a nice weight to it and a smooth surface. Like indicated under the product info: a satin finish. The back side of the card has the nice classic postcard layout, making it really easy to see where (should you use the postcard in the traditional way) the recipient's address and stamp should go, as well as clearly printed artist's name and their RedBubble url.

(The downside, is that if you're an artist ordering your art as postcards and aren't happy with your RedBubble artist url, then that's just too bad for you, there's no customization available for the backside of the postcard. Then, you can be like me and regret becoming active online during the time where everyone had weird pseudonyms instead of using their names. Please don't ask me what ozureflame was supposed to be.)

HOWEVER...it seems that the combination of the ink and this type of paper make the edges of the cards prone to scuffing if the image goes to the edges, particularly with a dark background. Knowing this, an easy fix would be to upload images or order pieces which have a white border or a light coloured background.
Scuffs appeared shortly after I received the postcards.
OVERALL VERDICT:
The product has very good potential. My suggestion would be to invest in postcards if the art you're printing has a painterly style, rather than something very simple and graphic in style. Also, I would again advise in adding a subtle, white border to your works in order to counteract scuffing.

At this time I'd like to note that I haven't experienced any issues I described today with RedBubble prints outside of the greeting card category and was very happy with the results of my prints. To see my review of their art prints, check out this post.


Thanks for reading and I hope this has been useful to some of you. If you're enjoying my reviews and impressions type posts, stick around because next time I'll be reviewing Society6 ceramic mugs.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Elvish Trees

Hello again,

Tonight, I am pleased to share with you my latest personal project - "Elvish Trees", in which I was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth Elf culture. For stylistic reference I looked at the illustrations in The Lord of The Rings novels but created my own original designs which I could imagine to be on things like banners of the different elvish families.

I started out, as usual, with pencil sketches.


Then, I finessed each sketch in Adobe Illustrator and established my colour palettes. After which, I brought the rendered trees into Photoshop to add some texture effects.


Alda
“Alda”, in Quenya meaning "tree"

Ornë Ornë in Quenya meaning 'slender tree'

Lûth Galadh
“Lûth Galadh”, in Sindarin meaning "Spell-Tree"

Prints can be found on my Society6 and RedBubble shops. More merchandise will be made available in the following weeks. 

That's it for now. :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Winter Adventures - ArmStreet Coat Impressions

Good evening!

Before we get started, please excuse the weird, inconsistent font sizes of my text and spacing. Blogger is on the fritz again.

Tonight will be another post dedicated to sharing costumed photos. I'll have some a set of illustrative designs to share here with you very soon, but in the meantime you can catch them one at a time by following my Facebook Art Page, Instagram or Tumblr.

Anyhow, at the beginning of winter I was introduced to the ArmStreet online store and naturally I fell in love with a great number of pieces there. 

ArmStreet artisans create medieval and fantasy style costumes, authentic handmade footwear and LARP boots and shoes, leather and brass accessories and, of course, our armor including a new line of lamellar armor suits, gothic armor, and regular heavy-combat armor. All our products will be custom-sized and shipped directly from workshops in Russia and Ukraine.

Since my biggest interest was to create a winter friendly wardrobe for fantasy photo-shoots, I decided to invest in a wool coat which I thought looked rather elvish. And once I saw that there was discount code for free shipping, I took it as a divine sign to proceed. =)

The chosen coat was called the Long Woolen Gothic Coat "Blackbird". It could be custom made to my measurements and there were a number of colours to chose for the fabric and accents. I chose the burgundy and silver motif.

Buntzen Lake, BC. (That satin sure is shiny.)
Technically, this coat is made of pure woolen cloth. Its hard to recognize, but you need really tones of wool for it's wide sleeves and long skirt. Coat is decorated with silver lace and silver color clasps. It has lacing on the back which can be used for slim waist fit. Coat is lined with black satin.

Source: https://armstreet.com/store/medieval-clothing/long-wool-gothic-coat-blackbird

Technically, this coat is made of pure woolen cloth. Its hard to recognize, but you need really tones of wool for it's wide sleeves and long skirt. Coat is decorated with silver lace and silver color clasps. It has lacing on the back which can be used for slim waist fit. Coat is lined with black satin.

Source: https://armstreet.com/store/medieval-clothing/long-wool-gothic-coat-blackbird
This coat is made of pure woolen cloth. It is decorated with silver lace and silver color clasps. It has lacing on the back which can be used for slim waist fit. The coat is lined with black satin.

I ordered it on December 4th, 2016 and it arrived on January 19th, 2017. I though this was a reasonable wait time taking into consideration the holiday season and the of course the custom work.
With the power of my bell sleeves, I try to summon snow!
When I tried it on, I was very impressed with the great fit and quality. Very figure flattering and very warm! I couldn't wait to go out and give it a test drive. I hoped to find some snowy woods for a shoot on a rain free/snow free day, but alas, though it was originally forecasted to be clear, rain did set in. But we decided to proceed anyway, since all the hair, make up and so forth had already been done and should not go to waste.

The strategy was to bring umbrellas and shoot deeper in the woods where the trees would provide cover from the rain. We ended up shooting at Buntzen lake and around the hiking trails of Westwood Plateau. 

On this day I wore the same outfit (minus the cloak) as in the previous costumed photo-shoot I shared. I just added the coat on top and put gloves on in some instances. It was around 5 degrees Celsius outside and the coat kept me very warm. My only struggle was continuously lifting it off the ground while moving from spot to spot so that the bottom wouldn't get dirty. I did wish the hem was just a touch shorter in that moment.
Coquitlam, BC

The following week it snowed and my winter wonderland wishes had been answered! Not only that, it was precipitation free long enough for a few hours of shooting on my day off. Well, almost. There was a bit of snow falling from the sky but it was the dry, whimsically floating kind. 


So, off to Burnaby Lake Regional Park we went, as I had been dreaming to shoot there again since the previous snowfall. 


This time under my coat I wore a wonderfully medieval looking, velvet burgundy dress I found at Value Village (which sadly can't be seen), warm leggings, and more winter appropriate boots. It was around 2 degrees Celsius this time and I'd say the coat kept me pretty warm again. Only my toes got chilly after a while. 

"I'm journeying to Winterhold!", I say, knowing that my joke is outdated. It's about time for a new Elder Scrolls game though, in my opinion. Please Bethesda, make it happen.
Looking for my forest bird and squirrel friends.

Photography: Seth Rutledge
Styling, make-up, and photo editing: yours truly
Wig: 'Lani' style wig in 'white' by Mythril Wigs

Coat by ArmStreet 

Well, that's it for now. I'm off to use these photos for my art studies. Till we meet again, friends!
medieval and fantasy style costumes, authentic handmade footwear and LARP boots and shoes, leather and brass accessories and, of course, our armor including a new line of lamellar armor suits, gothic armor, and regular heavy-combat armor. All our products will be custom-sized and shipped directly from workshops in Russia and Ukraine, as usual.

Source: https://armstreet.com/
medieval and fantasy style costumes, authentic handmade footwear and LARP boots and shoes, leather and brass accessories and, of course, our armor including a new line of lamellar armor suits, gothic armor, and regular heavy-combat armor. All our products will be custom-sized and shipped directly from workshops in Russia and Ukraine, as usual.

Source: https://armstreet.com/
medieval and fantasy style costumes, authentic handmade footwear and LARP boots and shoes, leather and brass accessories and, of course, our armor including a new line of lamellar armor suits, gothic armor, and regular heavy-combat armor. All our products will be custom-sized and shipped directly from workshops in Russia and Ukraine

Source: https://armstreet.com/
medieval and fantasy style costumes, authentic handmade footwear and LARP boots and shoes, leather and brass accessories and, of course, our armor including a new line of lamellar armor suits, gothic armor, and regular heavy-combat armor. All our products will be custom-sized and shipped directly from workshops in Russia and Ukraine