Weekly Blog 5/13/19 | Printing Struggles, Arteza Watercolors, and Oracle Deck Videos!

Hey guys! It’s Taylor and I’m here with the weekly blog and video-digest. Let’s get right into some updates.

First of all, I’ve had a (relatively minor) issue with the printing of the Millennial Mystic Tarot. This issue is not something I was aware of ahead of time, and actually, even after I got the decks, I had no idea that it was a problem. But a kind person who was in on the early promo run reached out to me and said:

“DUDE. These decks STINK.”

Fortunately or unfortunately, your call, she wasn’t talking about the art. She was actually referring to the rather chemical-y smell of the UV coating on the gloss-finish cards from MakePlayingCards.com, the printer I use. And while many people who do indie decks do use MPC, most of them get the MPC Card Finish rather than the Gloss Finish. I personally didn’t have a problem with the smell, but apparently some people are very allergic.

Lesson learned: Card finish. New decks are coming in today and I’ll be sending them out to reviewers and such shortly.

A note: Some would question why I’m sharing about this struggle – so many people want their deck production to seem flawless and smooth. But I feel that I’d rather use myself as an example for others who are making or contemplating making a deck, so that YOU can learn from MY mistakes and mishaps.

And another note: No one who purchases a deck, at all, ever, will get the gloss finish. I will be storing those for friends and family who are non-allergic, and only the card finish will be sold. So no worries for you.

Next up: I’m going to be doing some more Cheap Art Supply Celebration videos – YAY!! Next one will be trying out Arteza watercolors. I ordered that huge, $40, 60-tube (SIXTY TUBES) set. I know my M Graham paints are astoundingly higher quality, but honestly, I love cheap art supplies, including watercolor, because they free me up. They let me NOT worry about wasting paint. They let me just enjoy the joy of creating.

I’m also, with those Arteza paints, going to do a video on setting up a palette when you don’t know your paints well. While this is not often recommended, I do think a lot of us end up in this situation, where we want to make the most of a palette but don’t even know where to begin. So, I think it’ll help to have a video describing how I approach choosing paint blind, so to speak.

Thank you for reading. Without further ado, here is the video digest, a summary of the videos I posted to YouTube this week:

May 6: Starting the Sacred Storyteller Oracle | Watercolor Speedpaint and Updates

A speedpaint (timelapse video of me painting) of one of the first cards I’ve done on the Sacred Storyteller Oracle, my upcoming oracle deck. Click here to learn more about that project, or watch the video for a quick discussion.

Angelarium Oracle Deck Unboxing + First Impressions!

An unboxing and first impressions video for the Angelarium Oracle of Emanations deck from Lo Scarabeo. As per usual, I was less than thrilled with LS’s production of the deck, but it was a lovely one in terms of the illustrations and concept. Click here to learn more about Angelarium.

State of the Studio | Spring 2019

Every so often I do a “State of the Studio” video in which I give you general updates about my channel, my website, my shop, and my online presence in general. It’s a good chance to hang out, chat, and keep everyone up to speed on all this stuff that’s going on. This is the second SotS Address.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-Taylor

Weekly Blog 4/10/19: Adjusting to Full Time Work + Weekly Digest

Hey guys! It’s Taylor.

Today I’ve got the first blog since I made that change at the beginning of April, and I do apologize for it being a couple of days late. Working full-time has been a little crazy, and apparently I’ve still yet to learn to leave my weekends clear so that I can rest up properly – and take care of things like blog posts.

To be totally honest, I have barely painted at all, all this week. It’s been my first week of real full-time work, and I haven’t made time. I won’t say I haven’t HAD time, because clearly I’ve found time to do things like go shopping, set up new ring-planners, and make YouTube videos; but I wish I could have spent some time on painting. I’ll be getting back to that shortly, perhaps even this week.

I also have been thinking hard about getting back to comics. I always said that comics are what I really dream of doing, but after the debacle of trying to create Beauty for Ashes without any editors, beta readers, or even letting anyone else LOOK at it, I felt so defeated and so much a failure that I had to take a month or two off. However, a new story is tugging at my drawing hand, so to speak, and I feel moved to get to work on it again.

The Millennial Mystic Tarot is going through final edits and will be printed soon, and is still on schedule to go out in June.

And now for the video digest!

April 1: April 2019 Card Reading and Energy Forecast

In this video I did the first of April’s card readings (I do two – first of the month and halfway through) and used several decks of angel cards to deliver intuitive messages from the Universe to you and everyone else watching.

 

April 3: Cheap Art Supply Celebration, Episode 4 | Crayola Colored Pencils

In this video, the fourth in my series celebrating inexpensive art supplies, I colored a piece I did a while ago, of Instagram model Canniny, and chatted about my love of Crayola colored pencils. Inexpensive as they may be, I do love them!

 

Also April 3: Planner Lineup April 2019 – Plus A Rings Setup!

I’m not sure how this video ended up posted the same day as my Crayola colored pencil video, but it did. I show you the planners I’m using in April 2019, and also the rings setup I currently plan in.

 

April 5: 10 Tips for Breaking Back Into Your Grimoire

This video has had an awesome response and I’m so glad, because it’s a topic that I am struggling with currently myself: that feeling of “I can’t get back into my grimoire/spellbook/Book of Shadows, even though it’s right there waiting to be worked in!” In this video I share 10 tips that have helped me (truly) to get back into a routine of working in my grimoire and adding to it.

So yeah, that’s this week. I’ll be back next Monday with a written summary with the week of the 8th, as well as any updates I have on my various projects. Stay tuned!…

-Taylor

Weekly Blog 3-25-19 | Life Changes, Tarot Challenges, and a Kitten!

Hey guys! Taylor here. I’m sorry for not posting last week, I was preparing for a sort of last-minute business trip. I was actually in LA – here are a few photos:

It was crazy and good and awesome and I’m really really excited, and absolutely cannot tell you anything, about what I’m working on. (Darn!) All I can tell you is, my life is changing in ways I never thought possible – and I am about to be VERY busy.

But. I can tell about you what I’m working on personally:

My Tarot deck: Yes, the Millennial Mystic Tarot is moving ahead. I’m finalizing some design details and then will be sending it off to the printers this week. Reviewers, watch your email accounts for updates! I will be emailing each of you a tracking number when I ship your sample deck.

A Tarot challenge: The #AprilFoolsJourney on Instagram is a 30-day challenge that walks you through the Tarot and offers divination prompts for each day. The actual list of prompts is in the following images (feel free to save, refer to, and/or share):

A kitten: I rescued a kitten from a tree. It was a really surreal experience – I’ve rarely held kittens (I always had adult cats as pets) and this one is TEENY, maybe 9 weeks old. We are searching for her original family and are hopeful that we can locate them soon. The poor thing was being bullied by three bluejays and a crow, so we have humorously nicknamed her Birdie.

Well, that’s about all I have time to write before heading off to work. If you’d like to support this whole operation, please do feel free to head over to the Etsy shop, or subscribe to this blog. Thank you to everyone who’s been reading along!

All the best,
Taylor

Weekly Blog 3/4/19: The Millennial Mystic Tarot is COMPLETE!

Hey everyone!

I’ve been working for the past year on creating the illustrations for my first Tarot deck. I am so thrilled to tell you, that that task is complete.

However, there is a lot to do before the actual deck goes on sale. This week, in addition to my day job and my ongoing work with OgreWare, I’ll be working on formatting the illustrations into something I can send to the printer. On-demand printers demand (ok, request) that the images that creators send be in a certain format, and that varies from printer to printer.

Fortunately, the printer I’m using has a relatively simple system and offers .psd (Photoshop format) templates to download and use as guides for formatting your card images. So once I get all the images scanned and stitched and color-corrected, I should be pretty much ready to start formatting them.

I am thrilled and excited and nervous about getting the first print back from the printer. When I do get it, I’m going to do my first reading with my deck and will probably film it. (I’ll also probably cry.)

Some people might think that I’m being a bit dramatic with the language and enthusiasm I express when discussing the Millennial Mystic Tarot, but really, there is something special about your first big artistic creation. It’s truly indescribable. Whether it’s a novel, gallery show, music album, or card deck, crossing that finish line quite often results in a feeling of “Wait, what? Did I actually do it?!” Followed by, well, ALL the emotions.

I’ll be sharing videos on the printing process once I actually have things to report, so stay tuned for that. If you’d like to help support this whole operation, please do head over to my Etsy shop. And as always, I hope you’re having a truly excellent day, and I’ll talk to you again very soon.

Bye!!
-Taylor

 

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

Announcing the Millennial Mystic Tarot!

Yes, I’m finally making a page for my upcoming Tarot deck – and I’ve named it!

“Millennial Mystic” started out as a joke name for this Tarot deck, a comment on how I was embracing millennial styles and attitudes for the illustrations. I was also tuning into the magic and mysticism of millennial spirituality.

But after some discussion (partly in a YouTube video comment of all things!), I realized that young people around my age might actually really connect with a millennial-magic-themed deck. I started to take it seriously, and to embrace the style I was already heading for.

Bring on the man-buns, anime eyes, and endless Himalayan salt lamps. We’re entering the world of Millennial Mysticism and exploring it through the imagery of the Tarot.

This is gonna be a long-term project (it’s taken me week just to put together a few cards), but I am confident that it will be a good one. 🙂 Stay tuned for updates about the project – and, when the time comes, how to pre-order!

You can read more about the project here: http://julianjaymes.com/works/mmtarot.

~Julian