Bored Barista Commission (and just general 2020) Update

Wow…even though I haven’t written one of these in a little while, my post from July feels like it was so much further back than this. This year has been…well, “strange” is the most polite way I can put it, but we all know it’s so much more than that. By strange, in this case, I mean it’s weird how we blink and another month ends, with the year feeling like it’s speeding by, yet simultaneously feeling as though it’s dragging its feet.

At least, I know that’s how it feels for me. The days are a blur, somehow slow and yet over in the blink of an eye. Then there’s of course this constant, emotional weight as I often reflect on the state of things. It’s been a mess, and drawing, at times, has been difficult. Either I could not get into that head space, or…I didn’t want to push it at times because of the tennis elbow.

About that, though…some good news here is that it feels significantly better. It is very rare that I have a day where it bothers me. I am still playing it safe when I can, careful with how often I work out and what type of exercises I do. Drawing does not seem to cause too much of that pain anymore, though I still am careful with it.

So, only recently, just because of how I have been emotionally and physically, have I really started to draw more frequently again. This includes both some of my own drawings for fun, and recent commission work here below:

Here we’ve got some D&D commissions along with 2 Animal Crossing style commissions for people’s pets. (I tried, y’all lol. The latter was the bigger challenge of these types of drawings.)

As of now, I am finishing up a personal tattoo mockup commission, along with working on a piece for an entire D&D group. Simultaneously, I’m working on character drawings of my own, as it’s been really comforting to work on lately.

However, I do want to make a commission update here:

I will be CLOSING commissions for anything to do with illustrations. I will remain open for graphic design projects (logo design, logo cleanup, editing works, etc.) But I won’t be open to do any other drawings for some time.

This doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally say yes to a drawing, depending on when I am being asked. I mean mostly that I just won’t really be actively posting about being open for commissions. When I’m caught up on other people’s projects, I want to really start devoting even more of my time to some of my own work. I know I go through those phases off and on where I just want to be closed so I can work on my own things, but as of now I have no real plan of when I’d “reopen” for commissions.

Despite some of the emotional and physical setbacks I faced this year, diving deep into my own artwork again has been such a strong coping mechanism, and it may just be what I need for a while.

Still, if in the near future you might want me to draw something, don’t hesitate to ask! I might still be able to. As of now, I don’t want to make promises on when I can be more available to take on multiple commissions. Who knows? But as I’ve said, for now I’m only open for certain graphic design related projects, and I deeply appreciate everyone who has ever approached me with requests. It really does mean a lot.

So that was probably longer than it needed to be. Still, that’s all I have to say for now. I hope you all continue to be safe and strong during this whirlwind of a year. We’re all facing different and merciless challenges this year. I hope you’re all able to find strength in the things that give you joy, and that those things give you the encouragement you need to continue to dream, and to hope.

Bored Barista Etsy Closing Sale (and Commission Reopen Update)

BB_Etsy_FinalSale

I’ve had this Etsy shop for 2 years now, but as of next week I will be closing it for good.

From July 3 – July 10, all items in my Etsy shop are 20% off, with most items still having free US shipping! Etsy has, without a doubt, been a good experience that gave me sales I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, but I’m OK with not managing a shop anymore. Feel free to check out my shop here!

Additionally, I will be open for commissions again once the sale is over! I will try to post next week about commission options and prices.

Until then, happy shopping, thank you for the support, and have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!

Bored Barista Commissions – New Character Art (and general update)

Well, I would say this isn’t exactly how I planned to start my 2020, but none of us really did. Not long into the year did we begin to hear about COVID-19. Next thing we know, we’re in a pandemic, places are shut down, events canceled, and so on.

I didn’t have much of a successful start with drawing pre-COVID-19, but it was certainly all the more difficult to focus on anything once the country began to face shutdowns. I was still working, rather than having to stay home, but even then I couldn’t focus once I had the time.

Then I got tennis elbow, and became severely depressed for a while. I couldn’t draw for more than maybe an hour before my arm had enough. Lately, if I’m not drawing, I’m working out, but tennis elbow severely restricted my usual workout plans. Not being able to do either of these things to my full potential killed me and tested my patience. I had to focus my spare time on other things until my arm healed. Even now, it is not entirely better, but it’s close, I think.

Still, last month I was still able to at least draw a little at a time, and finish some character art:

Characters “Peter & ShieldBro” from Load Custom Character

Near the end of 2019, I had finished a book cover for author Tyler R. Lee’s newest novel: Load Custom Character, and recently had the opportunity to draw two of the main characters, including the protagonist himself. With the story being about characters trapped in a fantastical video game world, and facing the horror that death in the game means death in real life, I had the opportunity to draw both their real and avatar forms. I always enjoy working on character art for Tyler R. Lee, as he knows his characters very well–inside and out. I had plenty to work with description-wise, as well as from having read the adventure of Peter and his friends. I want to thank him again for the opportunity to work on another project for him, especially one that I know is very dear to him, and one I enjoyed myself.

You can find author Tyler R. Lee on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and find his novel HERE on Amazon in paperback and eBook edition.

These were projects I had agreed to before closing commissions, and even now commissions will remain closed a while longer. My arm is still healing, and as a result I barely get to draw, so I’ve hardly had any time to work on any of my own art.

Still, even with what few pieces I have finished this year, I am proud of my progress, and am constantly trying to stick with the mentality I had going into this year, to continuously become a better version of myself. For now, I still have to take it easy.

I hope you are all continuing to be safe and well during this terrifying time. With the country opening back up, we all need to still be cautious, as this pandemic is not over yet.

Bored Barista in 2020

Heyyy I didn’t forget to do this! Yay! As for what to say, that’s the hard part. Before I began writing this, I took a glance at my blogs starting with the end of 2018 and then all of 2019, but after that, I still really had to reflect more on the year as a whole.

Book Covers

For starters, I do kind of find it funny that I’m ending another year with a new book cover for author Tyler R. Lee, this year being for his novel Load Custom Character. In the last blog I wrote, it was up for preorder, so now it’s available now for paperback and e-book on Amazon. We’re both extremely excited about how the cover turned out! It had been a while since I’d worked on a cover, and I was happy for a new project like this.

Early to Mid 2019 – One Last Artist Alley

Outside of the cover, there is not much I’ve done in December. It was a busy month for plenty of non-art reasons, as it usually is for people. As a result, I began to convince myself that this somehow wasn’t a productive year for me. So I looked through all of my art in 2019, and had a much better understanding of my year, at least as Bored Barista.

I forgot some of my earliest drawings of 2019 were even from this year. There was an early effort to draw more backgrounds, and to try to start including more texture to certain pieces. A few months in, however, there was more of a focus on getting new buttons ready for what was my final artist alley event. I’ve already talked about being done with artist alley in my last year-end reflection post, and how MechaCon would be my final event. Still, I was excited about it, and worked hard on new buttons for the event. Given all that I mentioned in that blog post, however, despite being technically successful, there’s no doubt at all now that I’m done with artist alley.

Mid to Late 2019 – Just Trying to Improve…my Art AND my Happiness

After that, I’ve noticed I sort of stuck to simple sketches, mostly ones where I focused more on improving poses, faces, coloring, etc. Part of me feels like I didn’t draw as much as I “could have” during the last few months, but really it’s because part of me is trying to just pay more attention to what I draw, and sometimes. Sometimes all I’ll manage to finish is a drawing of someone from the neck up, having put more of my energy into improving details of the face, the lighting/shading, the expression, etc.

I have been thinking a lot about how I have many techniques I want to improve upon. There is a chance, however, that I won’t always want to share what I’m working on. Sometimes, I’m proud of a simple sketch and do want to share it. Spending less time on social media, however, has really helped chase away the feeling that I HAVE to share something. As though not sharing will make people forget me or make them worry. I have been a lot happier spending less time on social media. There was a point where I was so in my head, feeling like I needed to support everything I can, only to let discouraging thoughts wear me down if others didn’t supposedly give me that same level of support. No one owes me anything, and I certainly don’t want to let likes determine my worth. That being said, I still give my support on social media when I can, but for my own health and happiness, I don’t want to check it as frequently anymore.

What’s Next?

A few things. As I’ve said, I’ve been thinking a lot about wanting to improve my technique, which will either result in me having less to share because I’m practicing or because I’m taking my time. There’s much I want to work on for fun, so I hope to have some new and improved art to share in 2020! We’ll see!

I am still working on some commissions that I’m excited about, though I have taken a break because of the holidays, and will get back to them soon. One of them is complete but I can’t show it yet till the other is done, so…SOON. Soon.

Lastly, I HAVE considered trying to add another item or two to my Etsy, but I’ll make an update on that if it happens.

As for all of you going into 2020, I know some people like to joke about how cliche it is to talk about starting the new year fresh, going to the gym, improving yourself, etc., but I say whatever! I wish you all the best of luck in achieving your goals. If it helps, take the time to reflect on your 2019. In what ways did you grow and improve, and in what ways did you not? Figuring these things out has helped me focus a little more on what goals I want to achieve in 2020. Sometimes it’s not easy to see how far you’ve come until you look back at where you started.

So, have a Happy New Year, and best of luck with all you hope to achieve!

Bored Barista Commissions – New Book Cover!

So, I have been working on a multi-part commission, and with the biggest, and most important piece having been completed and revealed recently, I thought I’d talk a little bit about it here today!

I’m so excited to show the newest book cover I’ve done for author Tyler R. Lee’s newest novel: Load Custom Character.

What was supposed to be an escape from a harsh reality turns into a worse hell than he could imagine. Peter and his friends must face death in order to survive their virtual prison.

“Load Custom Character” by Tyler R. Lee – Book Cover

This cover provided me with opportunities to use some of my strengths when it comes to designing, along with stepping a little out of my comfort zone and trying new things. It is not often I do anything with a video game/VR feel, whereas I’m often designing something fantasy-related. Blending them slightly, but still keeping an intentional contrast between the two on the cover, in order to reflect the feel of the story itself, was a fun challenge.

You can check out the full summary, as well as preorder Load Custom Character for e-book now HERE on Amazon. Both the e-book and paperback editions will be available Dec. 16! You can also show your support by following Tyler R. Lee on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. And stay tuned for more LCC goodies in the near future as well!

In the meantime, between preparing for the holidays and still playing a game of catch-up with some projects, commissions are CLOSED, but I will post when they are open again, likely on social media sooner than here  because I forget on here sometimes (oops.)

That’s it for now! As I said, expect other posts in the near future for LCC, and I’m hoping to do another end of the year reflection post as I did last year. We’ll see!

Bored Barista Black Friday Sale!

BB_BlackFriday_Sale

In case you missed it on social media, all items in my Etsy shop are currently up to 15% off! U.S. shipping is still free on nearly every item as well, and the discount is NOT limited to one item. Neato! Sale ends December 6th.

A Spooky Bored Barista Update (Mostly About Self Care)

First of all, shame on me for failing to mention my Halloween Sale on Etsy any sooner. All items are 15% off, and US shipping is still free for nearly every item. Sale ends 10/31! Spooky!

But that’s not the only spooky update. I’ve made some changes to my website. Minor changes that are not important, like updating my gallery with my recent-ish work. I don’t really know why, but I wanted to see if my “About Me” section needed any updating, too.

I reread my paragraph about one of the reasons I picked the name “Bored Barista,” and my first thought was…  I have to change this.

It’s dumb, because I don’t really expect anyone to go to that page. Outside of me linking to blog posts, I don’t expect there to be much exploration on this website, which I try to keep simple anyway with just my art, some info about me, and how to contact me.

Still, I didn’t like what I read. It’s been changed now, but here’s what this paragraph used to say:

As for why I call myself “Bored Barista”, there are a few reasons, but I’ll save us all some time with a short version. Whenever I’m bored, I can only take so much sitting around and doing nothing before I feel as if I need to be doing something creatively productive, whether it’s writing or drawing or sewing, or even working on perfecting cups of coffee. I was also, unsurprisingly, a barista when I started thinking about focusing more on art again, so I did just that and became Bored Barista.

A “need” to be productive. Here’s the thing…

I know I’m not about to be the first or the last person you hear preach about self care. Not only that, I know it’s something I need to work on as well. Still, even though I am reading into my own paragraph too much, and others might not take it this way, I didn’t like having this message on here anymore. The truth is, I had a lot more free time when I was a barista and first started this website. A lot of that need for creative productivity came from me genuinely just having more time on my hands.

Then I think about how I am now, two years later. I’m so happy to be working in graphic design, and when I first started working full time in that field, I really did have the time to still comfortably work from home on commissions, while making the time to write, and to draw for fun. As the responsibilities started piling on, it would get to the point where, at the end of a long day, of having to be creative and fast (alongside a lot of other tasks I do at my job,) the last thing I often wanted to do when I’m home is even THINK about opening an editing program or drawing.

And for a long time, that thought still persisted that I “need” to be productive and creative now that I’m home. I “need” to be working on something. It’s only been recently that I’ve had to force myself to just take days where I do nothing, and it’s really helped.

Still, while the paragraph of one of my reasons for being “Bored Barista” had a somewhat different meaning for a “need” to be productive back then, I’m still glad I looked at it. I’m still on a journey to better self care and really needed a moment to reflect on that. Things have changed since 2017. I don’t have that same amount of time that I used to, and I don’t want to burn myself out trying to always make that time. I’ve been trying to take more time to relax. I’m spending less time on social media, which has made me feel as if I need to be drawing so that I have a reason to show my art to strangers, only to take it personally when they don’t acknowledge it. I’ve been reminding myself that not drawing every day doesn’t mean I’ve really slipped or that I’m not productive.

That message you might see pop up on your facebook/twitter/whatever feed of you’re not a bad person for “not being productive”/needing rest may be extremely common, but still very true.

I hope, if any of you feel the same way, that you take the steps needed toward better self care as well. I’m glad that, in general, people are at least acknowledging the importance of it, because I’m tired of anyone glorifying a lack of sleep because they had to push themselves harder than necessary to get something done. It’s not worth being “busy” if it robs you of your energy, motivation, and creativity.

Thanks for taking the time to read this grumpy little “barista’s” message and self reflection, and remember to take care of yourselves. ❤

 

Bored Barista at MechaCon 2319 – Artist Alley

Well, I wouldn’t be very consistent if I didn’t act like I was going to blog more regularly, only to actually blog once every few months! Another convention has come and gone, one that’s a little more important to me than the rest. MechaCon, specifically MechaCon 2.0, was my first ever anime convention back in 2006, giving me and my friends a taste of what this sort of thing was like. It was MechaCon 3.0 that gave us some of our fondest memories. Though there were plenty of years at MechaCon that I missed since then, having only recently returned to it, I usually find myself looking forward to it. Whether it ends up being all that fun or not isn’t what I’ll really get into, but just that I usually find myself at least a little optimistic about it whenever it’s approaching.

Something I had never done before with this con, however, is artist alley. Though still a little inexperienced with it, having had an artist table at only a few cons, I once again found myself looking forward to MechaCon, especially with this new experience. Before I knew it, MechaCon had arrived and it was time to get to the hotel with my new art and set up my table.

I got discouraged at first when I set up, seeing how dark my section was, along with the giant pillar blocking my table so that most who first entered couldn’t see it. I can be bitter all I want about that, but the truth is I still did well overall in artist alley. Besides, I had to remember that the people browsing have a lot of sights to take in at once. There were a ton of other artists in this room, and not everyone is going to notice your table. It can’t be helped, and no amount of not so casually tapping your pencil against your display in hopes that potential customers will look your way is gonna fix that, MISS BARISTA.

I have to remember I’m guilty of doing the same, of just glancing at tables and if nothing catches my eye, I keep walking. I’ve had that impulse to buy something, only for it to wear off before I make the actual purchase. I’ve taken cards and awkwardly walked away after making small talk with the artist, knowing I’m likely not gonna return to that table to buy anything. So, I get it, and I’m not mad that others do the same. How can I be?

Anyway, in spite of how I felt about my table location, I did fine. People complimented my art, made purchases, took cards, etc. It went well. Before this con, I told myself that I was considering not doing artist alley anymore, but it would sort of depend on how I felt about MechaCon.

Truthfully, despite doing well enough, I don’t want to do artist alley anymore.

It’s really not for me. I think it’s a great way to get your art out there, and if it’s something you want to try, I wouldn’t dare talk you out of it, especially if you find a decent con to start with, and can get a table that’s not a ridiculous price. It’s something worth trying for sure. Plus, you get the chance to meet other great artists, become friends with them, and help support one another.

The short and easy answer is just that it’s boring and I’d rather not feel like I’m confined to my table, especially if none of my friends are available at the moment to help or watch it for me. (They were great though when they could and did help, honestly, and I appreciate it.) It can be miserable having to stay sitting at a table for many hours all weekend, and I just don’t think I want to do it anymore. Really though, if I’m going to go to a con, I’d rather just spend that time with my friends. Even so, I don’t see myself attending a bunch of other cons at the moment. With artist alley in particular, I’m happy with how it’s gone overall, but I think I’m done with it.

So, what now?

Well, I’ll be updating my Etsy soon with my recent set of buttons from My Hero Academia, so anyone who may have seen them on my social media will be able to purchase them soon if they didn’t at MechaCon. There are also some other commissions I will be starting on soon, for some stuff I’m pretty excited about.

Speaking of commissions, I’ve recently updated my commission info, which you can check out below. If you’re interested in any commissions from me, you’re more than welcome to message me via this website, or reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Thanks to those for the support you’ve given me in artist alley, and making it a worthwhile experience. I won’t ever forget it!

 

 

Bored Barista Instagram Giveaway!

Wow. I haven’t written something on here in a while. Well, now’s as good a time as any to announce that I recently reached 500 followers over on my Instagram page! To celebrate, I’m doing a giveaway with prizes that include prints, commissions, and buttons!

BB_500Giveaway1

If you’re interested in seeing how to enter, look for my giveaway post on my Instagram page and simply follow the 3 rules listed in that post. Giveaway ends May 24! Here’s a look at the prints and buttons you could win, along with commission examples from the winners of my Facebook giveaway last year!

BB_500Giveaway2BB_500Giveaway3BB_500Giveaway4BB_500Giveaway5

So, what else have I been up to besides rarely updating this page? Well, everything’s been a bit of a whirlwind the past 2 months, starting with me getting ready for CyphaCon 2019. Last year, I attended as an artist, and it was my first time doing a 3-day event. Though it went really well, it was also really draining. This year, I decided I wouldn’t do artist alley, and actually experience the con this year.

Of course, that con was a month ago, so what am I doing now? Well, still drawing. Not as frequently, but still drawing, and finishing up new buttons as well! Obviously, I post those more to my social media, and only certain drawings here, Instagram being where most of my stuff goes, though it usually makes its way onto my Facebook and Twitter as well. While I’ll still be working on cosplay stuff here and there, I’m hoping to make drawing a much bigger focus for a while.

As a side note, commissions are still open! However, I might be a bit slow with things for the rest of the month while I’m still getting into the swing of things again. If you’re looking for a character drawing though, I’d enter the giveaway first to see if you win one for free! Can’t hurt, right?

That’s about it, so I’ll wrap it up before my coffee gets cold. Good luck to those who enter the giveaway, and I look forward to sharing more art with you all. Enjoy your weekend!