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! (And an Update)

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. Not only that, I entered the cosplay contest with my BFF marsjaws.

Untitled-1

Just showing our love of Final Fantasy X as Summoner Yuna and Samurai Rikku, no big deal~ (Photo by Radiant Skies Photography.)

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Photo by The Week in Geek.

We might not have won, but I’m really proud of what we’ve done. We tried a lot of new and different things. Even despite Summoner Yuna being a cosplay I made when I was 16, I had a lot of help. Remaking it forced me to tackle a lot of things I had never handled on my own, along with putting far more effort into the final product. All the while, I honestly can’t help but admire how much work my friend put into her sword, her armor, and her costume. I would have curled up in a ball and cried trying to tackle all of that!

I’d forgotten how tiring it also can be to stand around forever waiting for the cosplay contest to begin, especially after waiting a while for pre-judging along with both of us being on our feet all day. You better believe that despite being a tired old lady that my energy returned to me the moment we hit the stage! We’re both fairly comfortable on stage and savored that moment! (The joys of being theater kids.) Though as soon as we were off the stage, my inner old tired lady returned lol. I think I’m done with cosplay contests. It gave me a reason to remake one of my favorite cosplays and I’ll forever be grateful for that, but I don’t think cosplay competitions are for me.

Anyway, my point is that getting this cosplay ready for close to mid-April became my main priority, and I had to spend less time drawing for a while. For maybe 3 or 4 weeks leading up to the con, a lot of my nights went to this cosplay and prop.

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?

I’m taking too long to write this, 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!

 

Bored Barista Commissions Pt. 5

I need to get better at updating more frequently, but I’ve actually been caught up on commissions for the past…2ish weeks, and though I hadn’t closed commissions, it was nice to take it easy for a while after some satisfying hard work on my last few projects.

“The Heretic’s Dead Man’ by Caitlin E. Jones – Book Cover

Anywho, my last project involves a new novella, The Heretic’s Dead Man, from author Caitlin E. Jones! She’s got a new addition to her Faire Curiosities series: a prequel taking place well over two hundred years before Chimehour, but not without some familiar characters! Follow Helen McCafferty as her training in magic is interrupted by superstitious, fearful townsfolk, leading her on a dark and dangerous adventure in Ireland.

It’s been fun to try something a little different with each project like this that I take on, (even if I am always sort of a sucker for working on something gothic and purple!) It was also interesting to read something that still felt like part of the Faire Curiosities series, yet in many other ways still stood on its own. Looking forward to seeing what’s next for this series!

Be sure to check out The Heretic’s Dead Manavailable in both e-book and paperback edition on Amazon!

 

Bored Barista Commissions Pt. 4

Yep this little Bored Barista has another blog post out before the new year, despite the Bored Barista in 2019 post which made for a fitting final post of 2018. BUT…I wanted to take this time to announce that I’ve recently finished a brand new 2nd edition cover of An Unlikely Company (The NetherGate Trilogy: Book 1) by my amazing friend and writer Tyler R Lee. You can find it here for e-book and paperback on Amazon!

“An Unlikely Company” by Tyler R Lee – Book Cover

I can still hardly believe this one is done. I can remember the days of drawing each character with care, bringing each of them to life one step at a time. I’d read this book earlier in the year and fell in love with the characters, and I’m so happy I had the opportunity to create this cover, and deliver a visual representation the author and I are both happy with! This cover made for an interesting challenge in many ways, one where I even felt like I had to step out of my comfort zone a little. Since I really enjoyed this story, however, and love these characters, I can’t say the pressure of making sure I really draw these characters well ever discouraged me. Though that’s also because of how encouraging Tyler R Lee has been through the entire process of this new cover, so I have to thank him for that! This was a blast to make and, like I said, I can still hardly believe it’s done and available for everyone to see now!

I’m happy to be ending this year with an accomplished feeling, and can’t wait to start on some of the projects I have planned for 2019! Happy new year, everyone!

Bored Barista in 2019

Yeeeeah a post about the upcoming new year! But first, a few words on my recent artist event. Last weekend, I sold art at my little Bored Barista table over at Holiday Matsuri, and I had a lot of time to think…a loooot of time.

It had been a few months since I did a weekend-long event like this. I’d forgotten how draining it can be, both during the slow hours of the day, and even the busy hours of sales and conversation. I honestly admire the people who do this frequently. It’s a lot of time at a table, either waiting for sales or making friendly conversation with those who stop by. That being said, I don’t think this is for me.

I have one more event in 2019. I’ll be at MechaCon in artist alley from July 26 – 28. MechaCon was my first ever anime convention back in 2006. I’ve always attended as a congoer though, never as an artist. Seems fitting to make my first anime convention the last one where I sell art.

Don’t get me wrong. I will still design prints, still make buttons, and still do commissions and whatever other goodies cross my mind. Selling at cons, be they one day events or an entire weekend, isn’t for me. I’m a lot happier with making custom art for people, rather than constantly making prints of something that I hope will sell. Like I said, I’ll still make a few here and there, but those will be for Etsy.

That being said, I appreciate friends and strangers alike who have stopped by my table at events like this, be it to buy something, take a card, or even just compliment my art. Every little bit matters to me, and I can’t give enough thanks for that.

So, what’s next for Bored Barista? Well, more commissions, actually. Stay tuned for some new book covers, one I’ve just completed, and one I’ll be starting on soon! In addition to staying fairly open for commission work, I will be taking this time to improve in areas I feel I am weak when it comes to art. I think I could have challenged myself a little more this year, but that’s not to say I’m not happy with what I’ve accomplished. Being Bored Barista has really helped me to draw so frequently, and work hard to get better each time. 2018 is a great reflection of that for me.

Looking forward to what I hope will be a productive and successful 2019, and I wish the same for all of you! Have a wonderful holiday, and a happy new year!

Bored Barista at Holiday Matsuri (and Commission Updates)

Hey, everyone! Whether you’re keeping busy preparing for the holidays or taking it easy, I hope you’re all having a great weekend so far!

I haven’t been able to update much. In between preparing for the holidays, I’ve been working on more commissions, which I had briefly reopened only to have to then close again with the holidays being a hectic time. I did have one commission to take care of, which had been requested before I closed commissions off in November, and that was last of author Caitlin E Jones‘ character art for her novel Chimehour!

Halward

Halward from Chimehour by Caitlin E Jones.

Caitlin is always a joy to work with, and I’m so excited to have provided her with artwork for all of her fascinating and memorable main characters. It’s been so fun to be so heavily involved in projects surrounding a book I deeply enjoyed. These have been so fun to make, and I look forward to working with her on other projects as always!

 

Not too long ago, I’d worked on some character art for author Tyler R Lee as well, with characters from his book An Unlikely Companywhich were an absolute blast to make, since they are pretty spectacular characters! This time around, I was approached with something a little different but certainly no less exciting to take on, if not more so!

I don’t get too many Dungeons & Dragons character requests, though one of my first ones had been a D&D character, actually! Since then, I haven’t had too many requests for one, but this has certainly made up for that, and was so fun to make! I was tasked with not one character commission, but an entire group and DM as well!

Tyler - DnD Commission
D&D Group Commission

Ooooh this was a fun one to make, and challenged me in many ways with D&D races I rarely get to draw! I loved getting to work on a diverse group of characters, and what made it all the more special was that it was a surprise gift from the DM to the characters. I’m happy that I was able to be a part of this. I know it’s exciting to see your characters brought to life. Heck, even though I draw, I STILL love seeing when someone else draw’s any of my own characters. It can be so exciting to see a creation of yours through someone else’s eyes, so I definitely get that.

Bored Barista at Holiday Matsuri

Commissions aren’t the only thing keeping me busy right now. Next week, this grumpy little Bored Barista will be at Holiday Matsuri, in Orlando, FL, Dec. 14 – 16! It’s my first time going but I’ve heard good things, so I’m excited to see what this con will be like!

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I’ll be at Table 22, so if you’re going, feel free to stop by and say hi! I’ll be there with prints, buttons, and more! Hope to see you there!

That’s it from this lil’ Bored Barista for now. I hope to update with another post again after Holiday Matsuri, so stay tuned for that! Have a great day, everyone!

 

 

Bored Barista Commissions Pt. 3 and Other Updates

Hey, all! It’s been a while since I’ve written anything new here. October is always a busy month for a lot of us, and that included me as well. I regret that I couldn’t balance Inktober with everything else I had going on, and only made it to Day 13. Otherwise, I would be writing about that today. (I will say though…I’m a lot happier with what I did in those days than what I did for most of last year’s Inktober!) Anyway, I’ll instead briefly mention a little of what’s been going on since I last posted.

Bar Con IV at Bad Wolf Bar & Grill has come and gone, an event I’ve attended 3 times now, and have sold artwork at twice now at my precious little Bored Barista table. Bar Con is an all day nerd event with amazing vendors, talented performances such as fire dancers, cosplay competitions, and more!

Spooky. It was about a week before Halloween, so…spiderweb table cover!

It sadly rained fora large part of the day, but that didn’t stop any of us from making the most of it! It was overall a good day with plenty of wonderful artists and performances!

October has also been a slow month with finishing commissions, but here is some of my recent work:

“Scout it Out” Local Dog Walking Business – Promotional Art

A barista buddy of mine asked me to do a promotional art piece of her and her precious dog Scout for her New Orleans dog walking business “Scout it Out.” (Anyone interested can visit her Facebook or Instagram pages here!)

But that isn’t the only dog-themed piece I’ve worked on recently!

“Pete the Dog” Frankenstein – Custom Movie Poster Request

I honestly had a lot of fun with this, as someone who rarely gets to draw dogs! I was requested to design a Frankenstein movie poster for a shih tzu I know named Peter. It was fun drawing him as a green Frankenstein’s monster creation!

It’s fun getting to do some things that are a bit different from what I would normally do. I’m always trying to break out of my comfort zone, even if it’s only a little at a time.

I am in the process of working on two other commissions, but sadly will be holding off on accepting any additional requests for the rest of November. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has my attention currently, in addition to these commissions, along with some other things I’m hoping to work on this month. If I catch up on things sooner than expected, I may open up commissions again sooner than that. Facebook is usually what I post to first…as I have been terrible with Instagram and Twitter lately, but I will still make sure to announce on all 3 as soon as I can.

HOWEVER, if you still wish to discuss commissions with me for a later date, please don’t hesitate to contact me! Messaging me on any of the mentioned social media pages is the best way for that. 🙂 That’s all this Bored Barista has to say for now. Back to working on commissions and other goodies!

 

Bored Barista Commissions Pt. 2

Hey, everyone! This bored barista is back with an update on recent commissions!

Lately, I have been doing a lot of work in particular for author Caitlin E. Jones, including more character art:

Cecilia

“Cecilia” from Chimehour by Caitlin E. Jones.

But I’ve been working on other big projects as well, such as the e-book and paperback editions for her upcoming novel Chimehour!

 

Chimehour Front Cover

Words can’t even begin to describe how happy I am with this project, not only for what I’ve done, but for how I’ve made the author feel about it. All I want when it comes to projects such as these is for the author to have a cover that reflects their work, one that will also draw one’s eye to it, and one that the author is happy with and will adore forever.

As someone who honestly loves this book, I’m happy to have worked with Jones on many projects for her fictional world of Chimehour. The novel’s release is October 12, though if you are reading this before September 30, pre-orders are still going on for the Kindle edition, and the Paperback Edition.

In addition to the celebration of the novel’s upcoming release, I’ve recently designed a 2nd edition cover of her novella The Spectre and the Governess!

SatG Cover Electronic

Once the cover for Chimehour was complete, I began to wonder about the idea of making Spectre a little more consistent with the novel, to appear more as the companion piece that this prequel novella is. An idea instantly came to mind, and I was eager to work on it as soon as I had the go-ahead to start it!

Don’t get me wrong…the first edition will always have a special place in my heart. It still makes me happy when I look at it. It was my first official book cover, and the positive responses I’d received gave me the encouragement I needed back when I was still far less confident in my design work.

1st and 2nd edition side by side.

If you’re interested in learning more about these stories and author Caitlin E. Jones, be sure to check out her website, or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

I have a few more commissions lined up, though I’m going to also try to work on more of my own projects in between these. So stay tuned for more! ❤