Reimagining an Existing Piece

When I first began experimenting with digital artwork, all of my early finished pieces were, in majority, a method of teaching myself to use a new medium. Although I have been drawing, painting, and exercising art creation in multiple mediums my entire life, I’d never attempted such a thing digitally with the exception of some photo editing with Photoshop a decade ago.

Drawing on a tablet works well with my current lifestyle, something I can pull out and not have to worry about cleaning up after myself, mixing colors, erasing or having to restart a project if I end up unsatisfied with it… my tablet became my most important investment to this new journey.

One of my earliest digital pieces several months ago was imagined in my head as a girl “wearing a hoodie that’s an octopus,” as I described it to my boyfriend. It’s not a concept that makes a whole lot of sense, but the idea entered my brain and I was stuck on it.

I spent hours on this piece that I was satisfied with at first but upon later inspection, after learning so many new techniques and skills on the platform, I wanted to give it a second attempt.

Instead of the sketching method I use now after learning more about how to make transitioning into color more simple, I used basic line-work when I began drawing with the tablet.

This initial piece isn’t “bad,” by any means, and I’m still proud of it… but I am interested to see how much further I can take it.

These days I’m making an attempt to draw attention to my Patreon, which means I won’t be posting entire pieces of finished or progress works right away… this is to give my Patrons a chance to see if first (there’s just one for now, and so giving them full access to material that can’t be found elsewhere is of extreme importance to me to show my gratitude).

However, here’s a small sample of a portion of the progress I made last night.

So far I’m pleased with it, especially since this is only an hour or so into the process.

Please visit and support my Patreon to see the full piece, high definition downloads, and progress videos!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Thanksgiving in Retail

Today I finally have a day of relief from my full-time job as a manager in retail during Thanksgiving week.

When days go by without a single piece of artwork, even so much as a sketch, from me, it’s due to my work schedule.

I find it incredibly difficult to be creative after working 10-12 hours a day, when it takes at least an hour to get in the mindset to draw. Basic techniques that I use for enjoyment on my days off become impossible after grinding at work for the majority of my day.

Every day I’m at work, I find myself watching the clock..

“What could I have created in the hours since I’ve been here, at this place, if I were at home instead?”

There’s an untapped fountain of progress in my desired career as an artist that is being wasted away while I’m within the walls of this retail establishment that pays my bills.

I’m so very thankful to have a job that allows me to afford the necessities that I need to survive…

But what is living if you’re not able to fully experience doing what you love?

My place of employment is closed today, for Thanksgiving. I hope to create something in that elusive period of free time.

Finally overcame my artist’s block…

And while doing so I finished a piece in four hours, which is a record for me (not intentional, but just a happily ironic accident)..

While in the past I’ve posted all finished pieces in their entirety on my various social media accounts, I’m trying to create incentive to subscribe to my Patreon… I have absolutely no idea if this tactic will work, but I have just a few months until I’ll be able to actually pursue a career in art and quite simply, I don’t exactly know how to start.

So anyways…

This is my first completed piece after having several days of artist’s block due to my Thanksgiving manager-in-retail schedule.

It features Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion, my default if I have no other subject in mind, and I drew inspiration from ballerina images I stumbled upon.

The title, “Synchronization” is in reference to syncing up with her Evangelion in a pool of LCL.

While I’d love to post the final piece in its entirety, for now here is just a small sample.

The full piece, along with progress pictures and an entire progress video, can be found on my Patreon.

You can also find me on Instagram as @ayumeg.art and on Facebook with the same name.

Thank you for all your support!

Every time I complete something I am profoundly proud of, I order a canvas.

I don’t know how other digital artists cope with having a completed piece entirely dependent on technology, but I enjoy to be able to hold the artwork I’ve spent so many hours on, and also to have the ability to display it in my home.

And so, my latest completed piece, which I immediately ordered off of the most cost-effective third-party I’ve been able to find, “I am Not a Doll,” featuring the lovely Rei Ayanami.

I’m in an artist’s block..

This is due to an unrelenting Thanksgiving schedule as a manager in a retail company… and not having the necessary time to devote to developing a piece.

As a result, I’ve done quite a number of sketches, some of which I hope to complete.

I’ll post a few here, but am posting the entirety of them to my Patreon.. Please consider subscribing for full pieces, works in progress, video works in progress, and other benefits!

Holidays in retail are the exact opposite of what an aspiring artist needs, so please bear with me while I work through this.

Emotions Sketch Project

I just recently subscribed to Disney+, something I cannot understand why I didn’t decide to do sooner. Naturally, I’ve been streaming old and new Disney movies I haven’t had access to before now during the little spare time I have.

The other night I watched Pixar’s Inside Out, a movie I heard of enough to know it was profound (because, Pixar), but hadn’t seen yet.

What an experience. Without getting into a full-blown movie review (which it certainly warrants), I was blown away by the range of emotions I experienced in a relatively condensed amount of time.

Animation has a way to truly capturing emotions on a level that live-action cannot compete with.

So, two days after first viewing Inside Out, I couldn’t get it out of my head, as is often the case with artists (I’ll routinely have a song/phrase/movie scene in my head on a loop for days on end)… I posted to my social media accounts to my followers to give me an emotion they’d like to see depicted in a future piece.

Sort of a new “Sketch Project,” which I’ve found successful in the past… to sketch a few things and eventually expound on them to make full pieces. I would like to finish each emotion I received, in time.

Here are the emotions I got in response… (The “???” Is a combination of two replies — “conflicted” as the word, and a gif that seemed to convey the same emotion. )

Emotion Sketch Project

I made a Patreon Creator account…

I had one already to follow existing artists but hadn’t gone a step further to make one for myself…

I still very far from knowing exactly how to utilize this tool… but I extend thanks to Justin who suggested that I take the step to begin the process!

Visit my Patreon!

I am Not a Doll

It’s difficult as an aspiring artist looking to eventually make a profit off of your finished works, particularly when doing so on a digital platform, to showcase what you make.

“Hey! I made this! I’m proud of it! It looks super nice, let me post it for you!”

Also, “Hey! I made this! I’m proud of it and it looks super nice but I’d also like to perhaps make money off of my hard work… let me post it for you to see!”

It’s somewhat of a double-edged sword, because as an artist trying to network or gain a following based on their artwork… but also you want people to purchase said-finished work.. so how much of what you finish do you post online for all to see?

Sure, my finished images are a ridiculous amount of pixels and couldn’t be fully replicated on a phone or even many laptops… but why would someone pay for what they could see for free?

Such is my current obstacle… finding a way to practice, and then present, my works in progress to whatever audience I can while I wait for the contract I have with my current employer to run its course so I can actually attempt to do something …

Anyways, here’s my newest piece I’ve just finished.. my muse, Rei Ayanami.

Rei Ayanami

Whenever I have an idea for a piece and I don’t have a subject specifically in mind, I immediately draw Rei Ayanami, from Neon Genesis Evangelion. That show, and her character in particular, are one of my absolute favorites to make art from.

She typically has an expressionless face, so when she chooses to have any expression at all, it’s meant to have meaning. That her features are naturally striking, at least to me, make her an excellent character to work with.

I chose for this particular piece to depict Rei with a smirk, something that is quite out of character for her.. at the same time, I’m trying to improve at drawing facial expressions that aren’t a blank, neutral stare (Rei’s signature feature most times)… so keeping her in character wasn’t necessarily my motive.

I drew and colored this in one day. I think it’s probably 90% done. Currently I’m unhappy with everything below the neck and am deciding how to change it.

Here’s what I have so far.

So you like to sketch…

I started a new page of sketches to stimulate ideas and this piece is what came out of it…

Initially I intended to have a figure in the place of the “moon” above the character, but decided to pursue that sketch in a different piece.

This is the only complete picture I’ve been able to do it only a few hours, in a single day, probably due to the “simplicity” of the character and the amount of space the background takes up.

It’s difficult to maintain this “blog” without having a clear goal in mind. Right now I’m stuck in limbo of what I want to accomplish, cycling through online tutorials and tips from other artists on how to get started.

I suppose expanding my portfolio and experimenting with different styles is the current goal.