So, the whole reason why it's taken me so long to do any updates, any anything, was because I'd been working on this project for MONTHS. I started back in September! Nearly 400 hours dedicated to these things.
A bit of background: My friends and I have been playing D&D for a decade. We've played LOTS of different characters, changed who DM'ed, we've had people come and go from the group, but it's a hobby that we love and that we dedicate regular time to.
I wanted to commemorate this somehow. So after thinking on it a while, I realized I wanted to do portraits of all the characters we've played over the years. After a few minutes, I realized that there's no way I'd be able to do ALL of them, or I'd be drawing for a decade. So I resolved to do up to 4 per person for my current D&D groups. I wanted them each to have a copy of a book with everyone in it. And, because I'm fucking extra, I wanted to make the books from hand. I wanted to include maps for our biggest campaigns, inside jokes, and art from our giant homebrew setting. I also wanted to include the backgrounds and specs of some of the characters. I realized, with two conventions and life/work between September and Christmas, that I'd need to start THAT DAY. I tried to slyly get info from my friends on all of the the characters, but they knew something was up. SO, I made a GIANT spreadsheet with all of the info I wanted and had them fill it out. I started doing sketches of the characters to turn into digital images, and I began crafting a layout for the stat pages.
This project took me months. I was worried I wouldn't finish it at all. I worked as many hours as I could manage every day on it.
The number I ended up with was 64 pages, including:
1 hand-made map (graciously and beautifully made by one of my BFFs.)
3 mock book-covers
1 mock short romance
11 short stories about our adventures
1 waterfall drawing
7 hand-sewn text blocks
7 hand-made faux leather-bound book covers
7 book charms
Needless to say, I took on way more than I expected. I'm not great at digital art and I'm still a newbie, so the character portraits alone took me close to 4 hours a piece, not including my original sketches. I ran into multiple hiccups, especially with the printing. I couldn't do 2-sided glossy prints at home, and even if I could, they would take outrageously long to print. Also, I had to organize the pages specifically so they'd fit into 4 signatures when folded into a book. That took me multiple mock designs to get right, and more than an hour of confirming before printing to make sure that it was accurate. I had to take it to get professionally printed and that was a huge chunk of the total cost.
Actually binding the books was super fun, and something I may do again in the future. I hand-stitched each text block to attach to each cover. About halfway through making them, I decided to add custom end-pages and design them specifically for each of my friends. Those were also fun to make! Each book had it's own charm, and it's own end pages to differentiate whose was whose. The cover designs... didn't come out great unfortunately. I'm not sure what else I could have done, but the gold foil didn't really care for the faux leather.
I wish I had had more time to experiment, but funds and time ran short.
After everything, I gave them to all of my friends for our Yuletide gift exchange and they loved them!
I'll include a video below :)
Long overdue update! Things were super crazy through the end of last year and I didn't get a chance to post updates on the shows I attended and the projects I completed. I need to be better about setting aside time to chronicle the shows we attend.
Halloween Anime Fest at Collector's Marketplace took place on October 26th in their parking lot. On the way to the show, the canvases migrated in the back of the car and Snowball ended up torn pretty badly. Lesson learned to pack the canvases more safely.
They squared off the covered parking into vendor spots and placed tables and chairs underneath. It was my first outdoor show and I was a little wary of what to expect. We started placing up the grid wall, canvases, and prints. About halfway through, a gust of wind tried to blow the wall away, and knocked down a bunch of canvases. One was damaged beyond repair :( Tokoyami didn't make it. After that, we made the call not to place any canvases on the wall and spread the prints out dramatically to keep from turning it into a sail. We only placed a few of the more popular ones on display. We learned quickly to cover the stickers up with a clear tote lid so they didn't get blown away. But, we were still setting up when the doors opened. Needless to say, the start was rough.
Despite all of that, we immediately sold 3 large prints as soon as the door opened. We stayed so busy! We sold the Genos canvas, and while I was sad to part with him, I was happy he went to a good home. All and all, the show was 10-4, and we ended up doing pretty great!
With as hectic as it was, I completely forgot to snap any pictures, which tbh, the display didn't look that great anyway.
Tuscon Comic-Con was Ah-mazing. My sister-in-law and I booked a room and stayed for the whole show. Setup was a breeze and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. We ended up second from the end in the very middle row of the show. We were right next to coffee and super close to the food trucks. While there was a bit of fan art at the show, we weren't next to hardly any of it. Our booth was swarmed all weekend. The show seemed to consist of a mostly younger crowd all cosplaying My Hero Characters, ie, my demographic. We ended up selling the Luffy canvas to a father who bought it as a surprise for his son! I honestly don't have a play-by-play because the show went SO smooth. It was our first time using our new PVC display, and it worked really well, even disregarding that the prints were slightly crooked. We sold SO many stickers. Our average sale was under $9. Toga, Todoroki, and Dabi were by far the most popular of the stickers. Of the prints, Aizawa, Bakugo and Todoroki stole the show. We ended up doing nearly 6x booth costs and covered the hotel, food, and booth with more to spare. It was an excellent show for us and I would absolutely do it again! My SIL and I had a blast and we've already started planning the trip for next year. :D
One giant highlight of the show was that I sat next to a comic named The Pale! They were amazing and super nice and you should go read their comic. They're award-winning! :D
Seriously though, the owners were so kind and encouraging, and their art was top-notch.
Check them out at the link below!