Weekly Update 12/25/17 | Happy Solstice, Yule, and Christmas!

Hey y’all! It’s Julian. And it’s Solstice, Christmas, Yule – it’s the holidays!!)

To me, this year has DRAGGED by, but life is still good. Being alive in these interesting times doesn’t always feel like a blessing, but I am blessed to be alive, period.

I’m currently putting my comic and illustration projects on hold while I work on Christmas presents. This year, just for Christmas I am drawing:

– A dog (who was known mostly as Der Schnaügenhünd)
– A Brotato (don’t ask)
– A couple of World of Warcraft characters (Chromie and one of her Homies)
– A drag queen (KATYAAAA)
– A talking bird saying “OOOOH!!”

Those, in addition to making a tavern sign and three notebooks, have worn me out enough that I don’t think I’ll get any of MY work done until the new year.

In terms of what I’m doing right now, though, I’m doing a lot of brush inking and LOVING it!! Ink, actual ink, with a brush or dip pen nib, is my new favorite medium. I’m going to be doing my new comic in all brush-and-ink. I bought some mixed media paper, a 60-page spiral book from Canson, for that project. It’ll be out February 15.

Here’s a piece for my dad that I did entirely in brush and ink:

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I’ll be coloring it tonight, but yeah, that’s pretty much how my ink work looks.

I’ve been doing a lot of “cafe drawing,” taking my supplies to a cafe (or sometimes a large lobby of a hotel or something) and drawing there. It’s a bit risky when I brush-ink, but I love that medium so much, and most places actually don’t seem to mind as long as I don’t spill anything or have a huge bottle of ink sitting out open! They’re all very patient and reasonable. I only have a tiny bit of ink out at any moment, and usually on top of a small towel, so there haven’t been any problems.

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I’ve put together a couple little travel kits for sketching and inking, and I’ll post about that soon. I’ll probably do video tours of the kits because they’re so awesome, I love sharing stuff like that!

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I didn’t work at all for a week due to a mental health thing, but I’m okay, no worries. Hence no update on the 18th like I should have had. But I’m now back to work 110% and I am turning out good work, I think. 🙂

Money has gotten really tight, but I’m almost to the end of the month, and if I get some money for Christmas, I’ll be fine. Otherwise I’ll dip into savings or something. It’s going to be okay, I know it…I’m hopeful.

If you’d like to help, though, please feel free to head over to my Etsy shop and purchase something! It helps me so much more than just providing immediate cash. I’ve added some Traveler’s Notebook inserts, and updated a few other listings, so check it out!

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Anyway, thank you all for your support this year, and I look forward to the coming months. I have a lot planned and it is going to be SO exciting. 🙂

Until next time, I hope you’re having an excellent day, and I’ll talk to you again very very soon.

~Julian

Weekly Update 12/11/17 | Shipping Wars, Prismacolor Pencils, and BAKUMAN

Hey y’all! It’s Julian.

It has begun. The shipping wars of December 2017 have begun.

What I mean, of course, is the process of producing, packaging, and shipping all the holiday gifts I’m sending out this year. And if you’ve ever done this, you know that “war” is only a moderate exaggeration.

I’ve chosen FedEx as my partner in battle this time around. Currently, an amazing piece is in their hands, headed to Chicago. I’ve had no complaints with FedEx so far, so they’ll be my partner going forward.

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I’m busily working on other pieces, and yes, I’m working with Prismacolors now!! SO in love with these things. I got the 150 set, only because they were on sale for like $47 on Black Friday. But they are now mine, safely in my hands, and I intend to use them to the best of my ability.

I’ve also begun to really use the local library system again…mostly for reading manga, yes, but also for picking up books on writing, drawing, and publishing comics. Here are a few I’m reading right now:

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BAKUMAN (Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata) – Created by the author and artist of Death Note, BAKUMAN tells the story of two high-schoolers who aspire to become manga artists. Through a classic manga-style Odd Turn of Events, our hero, Moritaka Mashiro, makes a pact to become a published manga artist, WITH his work turned into an anime, before he’s 18. I’m only 2 volumes into this series, and it’s at least 20 long, but I’m really enjoying it so far.

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Making Comics (Scott McCloud) – This is pretty much my core text as a comic artist. I don’t own a copy but I borrow one from the library from time to time. It’s the basics of creating comics – whether comic books, manga, or graphic novels – all told in graphic novel form. Very fun, very educational, very important work.

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The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Comics (Comfort Love and Adam Withers) – I haven’t read this one at all yet but it looks awesome. It’s by a husband-and-wife team who started self-publishing comics in 2008, and were doing it full time in 2009. Which is incredible. So I wanted to read this and pick the brains of the experts!

Well, that’s all I’ve got this week. I have a couple of videos coming your way, though, so stay tuned for that!

~Julian

Weekly Update 12/2/17 | Character-Building Experiences, Character Design, and THE PENCILS ARE COMING!!

[Pictured: Brush-inking practice piece. I’ve been learning brush inking for just a few weeks now but it is AMAZINGLY fun and useful!]

“Life is crazy, but so am I, so it suits me.” -me, five minutes ago

Yep, life has been pretty wild lately. I have been trying my best to work on my plans for 2018, as well as the Secret Project, while dealing with issues with my roommate and money and county health systems and and and…

Life is crazy. Let’s hope I’m crazy enough to meet its challenges, and grow from it. Yay character development!!!…not…

I’ve been hard at work developing the characters for Sidekick Goes Super, as well as doing more general preparations for 2018 projects. The first one, though, will be the first issue of SGS. Psst…I’m hoping to have copies for sale (and prints, and pins, and all kinds of other stuff) in my Etsy shop in February!!

Here’s a few of the characters…

Chad (The Sidekick):

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Redd (The Girl Next Door):

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Ash (The Wannabe Punk):

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Macie (The Librarian):

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And I have several more in the wings, waiting to be inked and introduced. 🙂

If you’d like to get updates on Sidekick Goes Super, please stay tuned to this page (and/or the Facebook page and tumblr!) and behold, ye shall be updated when I post anything on my homepage, and you’ll have a link to it. Ain’t technology grand?

Finally: YES, the Prismacolor pencils are on their way. Amazon is being a little shit because I’m not a Prime member, so they’re doing 2-day shipping on the very last possible day…sigh…so they should be here this Friday (Dec. 8, 2018). I’m hoping to be able to do a full box opening, walkthrough, and review, and while it may take a bit of work, I am DEFINITELY going to have that up at some point, both in video and text post format.

Anyway, this post is going up a day late due to poor time management on my part; for that, I do apologize. Thank you again to everyone who’s been supporting me thus far, and welcome to anyone who’s new!

~Julian

A non-Monday update?! MADNESS! | Upcoming Projects, 2018 Plans, and Comic Reveals!

[Pictured: Sketch of Redd from Sidekick Goes Super. Read on for more on that!]

Hey y’all!

I have some free time today, though it’s a Friday, so I figured I’d write up a post, though I’m really trying to post on Mondays regularly. I might not post this one til Monday, but we’ll see. 🙂

I’ve been thinking about future planning this month, more than I did last month…largely because last month was Inktober and I was busy as FRICK and couldn’t think ahead further than the next ink illustration. I’m thinking about December, but also 2018, which seems to loom above us like a monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey or something!

I’m looking at doing 3 big projects: two comics and my Tarot deck.

The first comic is Sidekick Goes Super, a manga-style comic that at once pokes fun at and pays tribute to the “magical girl superhero team” trope, by focusing on their dorky male friend who acts as a sometimes-helpful sidekick but never ends up with the girl. Instead, Sidekick gives him a chance at breaking that trend. On a more serious note, Sidekick will explore the ups and downs of friendships between men and women, as well as what it means to be a guy, girl, or something else, in a world where to be born is to be put in a box and locked there until you grow beyond it.

Sidekick Goes Super will be a series, not a standalone comic, and the first “issue” will be out in February. You can read more about Sidekick here: https://www.julianjaymes.com/sidekick.

The second is tentatively called The Conversation, and it’s a darker, more philosophical comic about life, death, and human rights. It is probably going to be a very triggering comic, centering on the discussion between a girl about to commit suicide and a passerby who strikes up a conversation with her (hence the title.) Reader discretion is strongly advised.

The Conversation will be a 60-70-ish page comic, standalone, and will be available in fall 2018. You can read more about it here: https://www.julianjaymes.com/conversation.

I really appreciate everyone’s support of these projects. I have received a lot of really sweet comments on Instagram on my latest images for Sidekick Goes Super, including the one attached to this post. Hearing from people who like my work is just so wonderful. I get about 20 likes on most of my posts, and I cannot express how happy that makes me! I am still VERY new to Instagram, and I don’t know how to hashtag, but it makes me so happy to have people enjoying my work. 🙂

Sidekick is the first project I’ll be working on this year, followed by the Tarot deck, then another issue of Sidekick, then The Conversation. That’ll just about wrap up 2018 for me.B And of course there will always be random illustrations…and the Secret Project! Which I STILL CAN’T TELL YOU ABOUT. Agh! I promise…soon!!!

I’m really excited for this year, and I look forward to building this website, my portfolio, my brand, and just creating all year long. I’ll have a video with New Years resolutions and such in a month or so!

Abundant Blessings,

~Julian