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Ah hah, dA lost another one to tumblr, I guess. It makes sense. A lot of people (even on tumblr) aren't really... talkers. Not bloggers, I guess. Texwallers. Who is? I am. The obnoxious one is me. Tumblr is a lot more suited to textwalling than dA.


Anyway, I've been working on two things -

-Rebooting MO. I'll be back with more updates about that. I also put a cover up a couple of minutes ago:

-Working for Gestalt! Thanks to Coelasquid for getting me out to SDCC, and manic-pixie for getting me an interview with her editor/helping me learn the ropes! I was not expecting to leave SDCC with a Real Comic Job at a Real Publisher, but it's pretty awesome. It's been the good kind of challenge. Hopefully, I'll be able to show you guys at least some crops from what I'm doing for them!

I live, and I returned to tumblr. If you have any questions about commissions, etc., feel free to shoot me an ask there, or a note here!

A Simple Hello

Wed Oct 5, 2011, 4:15 PM

This is (quite literally) a simple "hello" to my watchers. I haven't said much in a long time! What've you been up to these days? Projects? School? New comics?

skin by CypherVisor

strammin' a fantasy commission

Mon Jul 4, 2011, 7:39 PM


Mon Jun 20, 2011, 6:31 PM

fanime post-mortem

Tue May 31, 2011, 3:08 PM

So, basically, my trip to Fanime was rad as hell. Usually I enjoy my vacations for a day and then proceed to hate them for the remaining duration, but this time, it was fffffffffabulous all the way through. Much thanks to :iconshingworks: for having me, and for being obsessed with animals. Being obsessed with animals is thank-able because that means when we go hiking, it’s like a BUFFET OF LEARNING. My brain never stops going 8DDDDD, and I am pretty sure my face did that, too. I learned a lot of things.

For instance, redwood forests look like crazy fake fantasy movie forests, but they are totally real and you are allowed to walk around in them. Banana slug mucus is really sticky, and resistant to washing. Logs = adventure. When a tree falls in the forest, it makes a creaking sound. Lizards do push-ups, and it’s really funny.

I also learned that I am capable of making money at an anime convention! I didn’t go with any intention of making money, though Alys ( :iconemglyph: ) was kind enough to offer half of her table to me, should I want to use it. I decided to do so on a whim, and ended up making my plane ticket back in commissions. Breaking even may not sound that impressive for most con-goers, but it sure is when you have no prints, don’t draw anime, and had no intention or expectation of making money in the first place. It turns out that every anime convention has a niche for a semi-realist. There are totally people who will buy your work. I learned to bring business cards, because surprisingly, people do ask for them. I have mixed feelings about selling fanart (which I will elaborate on if asked, but don’t care to include in this post for the sake of length), but I did have some pangs of regret over not having any Hamsteak or TF2 fanart to sell. There were an abundance of cosplayers for both IPs, and only one table with Hamsteaks fanart (and none with TF2, that I saw). Given that an abundance of my dA watchers and tumblr followers are either Hamsteaks or TF2 fans, I can conclude with some small certainty that fans may be willing to purchase prints from me. I could have done much better than breaking even had I known, but I had no idea, le sob. I learned that I should make one of those PVC stands to hang prints on, so people can see your art from really far away. I learned that funny signs are more effective than fancy ones, but a big fancy funny sign would probably be more effective than my small funny sign. I learned that I draw faster than I thought I did.

I met troffie ( :iconhotcake: ) , :iconmiraongchua: , Dan ( :icondanhowardart: ), gfong ( :iconfongmingyun: ), Mark (shocktv3, a fellow old-school Gaia avatar editor who I’ve apparently met before in person years ago), and :iconashcap: , and was happy to discover that none of them are IRL creepers. ALWAYS A NICE FEELING, THANKS, GUYS. Dan was incredibly nice to me and I was super-flattered (he gave me a print, though I’m still not sure he meant to!). I did an art trade with troffie * u *, bought a print from mmmira, and I met Mina again after not having seen her since she was … I dunno, 14, 15, ha ha oh god I am so old. I heard RJ ( :iconarvalis: ) was there, and I THIIIINK I saw him, but we never spoke! I made friends with dent90 and limitedcreativeoutput, who are both unmatched in classiness. I also met up with :iconwen-m: again, whom I have not seen IN YEARRRSS (he still looks the same). He drew me a picture. :icondin0lich: is a great Marceline.

IN SHORT it was really excellent, I think tabling in Artist’s Alley is my favorite way to do a convention. I will probably do a lot more of them, because they appear to be more profitable than I ever would have thought, PLUS they are more fun when you’re behind the table (does this make me weird?). I’ll be at APE (Alternative Press Expo) in San Fransisco this October, so I hope I see a few bros there, as well.

skin by CypherVisor


Fri May 27, 2011, 3:55 PM

I am at Fanime. Table 202, Artist's Alley.

skin by CypherVisor


Wed Mar 30, 2011, 3:14 PM

You might have seen me ramble about this before, but instead of rambling about it, I'm just going to post this link - it's audio, don't worry, you don't have to read anything:

Dunning-Kreuger is a phenomenon wherein the less skilled a person is, the more likely they are to overestimate their abilities. More skilled people are more likely to be modest, or even underestimate their abilities.


skin by CypherVisor

I got a DD!

Mon Mar 28, 2011, 11:00 AM


Wed Feb 16, 2011, 1:08 PM

I haven't done one of these in a while. I'm drawing a Janelle Monae pic! Come join me:

Done for now! Thanks!…

skin by CypherVisor

Leah, My Platonic Valentine

Mon Feb 14, 2011, 6:24 AM

I know you are the one for me because for some reason, when people feel that they have a message for both of us, they just address it to one of us and assume the other one gets it. That always makes me chuckle.

I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day, but any opportunity to give props to a friend is a good one.

Happy V-Day to all of you fine folks. C:

skin by CypherVisor


Mon Jan 31, 2011, 7:24 AM

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU fl;dkha;lfkgh it is my birthday, and my inbox is just about overflowing with birthday greetings! I will answer you all one at a time, I promise, I just need to finish this MO page first. ;u;

People have been so ridiculously kind as to give me art for my birthday. I don't even - I am just like, what? Everyone has been so nice this year!… by joobr-the-jobbernowl… by FrankieJetson…
Bob Derek Crossroads by Ospreyghost13
it'll happen by gravitationaltim
All these damn parties by Sephiramy

I don't even know how to thank you guys, even if I have already technically thanked you! I AM JUST OVERWHELMED, FOR REAL

OK GONNA GO FINISH COLORING THIS GOTTDANG PAGE d;flaksjdfl yes, I am spending my birthday finishing a comic page, what of it??


EDIT Thanks to painted-bees for more sub time, a;flekwa;gwelifjaw;fl my lover~*~*

skin by CypherVisor

blindknight is doing commissions

Sat Jan 29, 2011, 1:15 AM

it's exactly what it sounds like

They aren't very expensive, and they will be the hippest thing ever. Check it out.

My cat refuses to remove himself from my desk. Refuses.

skin by CypherVisor

my birthday is upon me in 6 days

Tue Jan 25, 2011, 11:32 AM

I will be a quarter century old. Hooray. I have no plans. For some reason, I'm just not all that excited about it this year.

Modus Operandi updated this morning, if you missed it. Let us know what you think!

skin by CypherVisor
I'd love critiques, but I can't get them because I'm not a Premium Member. Why would dA take that away from us?

I can't count how many times I have seen people say this. I'm not even totally confident it's a question borne of genuine confusion. Some part of me wonders if this is something people say when they don't want critique, but for whatever reason, don't want to own up to that.


"Critique" is not a unique site feature dreamed up by deviantART. It is a tradition spanning thousands of years, in all pursuits.

Before dA launched the 'official' Critique feature, critique was given in the comment entry field.

Nothing about the Critique feature takes away from the ability to put critiques in the comment field. The Critique feature doesn't even allow you to give better critiques. Its only utility is separating critiques from regular comments, and instituting a star rating system of negligible value.

If you want critique and are not a Premium Member, you can still ask for them. People can put them in the comment entry field just as easily.

If your problem is that you can't find people to critique your work without being able to file under the separate Critiqueable category, stop by these groups -


If you wish to give critique, the fact that someone is not a Premium Member does not prevent you from doing so. Just put the critique in the comment entry field, just like everybody did before the Critique feature was released.

Star ratings, presentation, and the ability to separate the critiques and show them off elsewhere are not what makes a good critique valuable. The information shared, and the way it is shared, is what matters. Everything but the words is fluff.

Need help figuring out how to give a good critique, whether it's through the Premium Member format, or just in the comment field? Check this out.


Thu Jan 20, 2011, 4:04 PM

A long time ago, I asked my watchers if any of them were willing to be an art mentor for me. Out of everybody, the person who really stepped up to the plate was someone I'd only ever spoken to through dA a few times - tojisuzuhara. We'd never said anything of great importance, either - I think I left a critique on one of his comic pages once, and he dropped by a few times to tell me when my illustrations weren't quite looking right. Suffice it to say, I was surprised.

Fast forward to months later, and it's been great. Jon (tojisuzuhara ) is the kind of person a perfectionist with a tendency to overwork things like myself needs around - insightful, clever, innovative, and not impressed by fancy rendering tricks. It's with genuine excitement that I share his new webcomic Alpha Flag with everyone. Yes, he is a friend, but the excitement about the comic isn't about that - it's more that he seems to have poured a lot of the traits that make him a cool guy into Alpha Flag itself. It's sharp, distinctive, fresh. I love a comic where the art doesn't embarrass or condescend, which is - well, it's rare.

I can't neglect emoxic. As the colorist, she takes already sharp inks and pushes the comic's aesthetic to a refined place that I don't see very often. Jon's sharp draftsmanship and Renee's insane understanding of color come together to make one of the few comics that doesn't force me to look 'past' the art in some way to enjoy the plot.

Here's a preview of what's to come next Thursday.

If you like your art clean and your comics thoughtful, do yourself a favor and tap that little RSS button at the top right of the navbar above the comic. I've seen other pages. You won't regret it.

skin by CypherVisor

This is crossposted from an anonymous question I got on tumblr:

Q: Any tips to nailing the male anatomy and facial features?


Tips? Uhhh, manbodies are difficult. Learn the canon of proportion (google it), and also use reference. The more buff a dude is, the more likely you are to need ref. For instance, in this picture, I initially did the whole thing without ref, but his torso looked kind of odd, so I ended up pulling ref for it.

The nice thing about learning things like the canon of proportion and basic muscle groups is that when you DO need to pull a ref, you don't have to get one from an exact angle or anything - I think I had a front-facing ref, and was able to translate that pretty easily to the side.

As for facial features, it took a really long time and a lot of work for me to learn to do it well. Old pictures of Bob from between when I was trying to draw anime (and failing miserably) and now make him look like a chick. Something I do that might help is that I tend to draw heads as a circle with a bunch of rectangular prisms tacked on, as opposed to a circle with a bunch of circles tacked on. In my really loose sketches, heads are often square. This is not as advantageous when you're trying to draw females, and you have to whittle a lot of that angularity down - but for men, it's great.

Here's what I mean. Let me emphasize that there's nothing wrong with drawing men like the one on the right. Variety is key. If I want to draw a man that looks like that, I'm gonna do it. There's no need to discriminate. But, again, that's not how I draw a masculine-looking fellow.

The guy on the right still looks like a guy, though, despite not looking manly. That brings up another important thing about drawing guys - facial proportions. A longer nose (either in the strictly vertical sense, or in bridge length) is somewhat more masculine, but IMO the distance between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin is the most important. Placing the mouth above the midpoint between the chin and nose connotes a bigger chin, which I also think is a masculine trait. Drawing the lip closer to the midline - or below it - can suggest advanced age.

Don't feel pressured to draw every 'masculine guy' with a lot of chin or jaw, or without facial fat, or wholly made of angles. Here is a pretty masculine dude who, aside from having a broad jaw, relies on other 'masculine' traits (facial hair, brow overhang, receding hairline) to appear manly.

So, TL;DR my unorganized post:

-angularity and facial proportion are key indicators of masculinity, and you should keep them in mind.

-Man bodies are difficult and it's good to use reference, but you should learn the 'rules' so that you do not need it all the time (needing it all the time is limiting, IMO).

-Do not limit yourself to JUST the basic indicators of 'masculinity', branch out and embrace diversity, lest your work be boring in much the same way that the work of someone who gives every woman the same Porny McRazorFace is boring.

skin by CypherVisor


Tue Nov 30, 2010, 6:10 PM


Hey guys, I FDGB'd today.

I was running outside and tripped while listening to the Captain Harlock soundtrack (diagnosis: running too HOTBLOODEDLY). I never saw what I tripped on, but it was probably a rock. I was screaming and didn't realize it until I'd already started, it was weird! I felt like I was being a wuss. Who falls down and screams, right? Anyway, I thought I was going to finish my run until I felt something wet on my leg and investigated.

Maybe I was not being such a wuss after all.

After the initial fall, it wasn't all that painful. That could be accounted for by post-traumatic shock, but given how long it's lasted, I'm not convinced. The PA I saw thought that I might've damaged a cutaneous (skin) nerve.* Even though the leg bore weight fine, I knew there was a chance that if the lack of pain was due to post-traumatic shock, I would suddenly get hit by INSANE PAIN and not be able to get myself to the ER. I called for an ambulance. They were very nice and wrapped it up for me! I felt pretty secure in my ability to drive there and didn't want to spend the co-pay on the ambulance ride, so I hobbled back upstairs to get my keys and drive myself. My husband showed up at about that time, so he saved me the trouble. c;

I got x-rays; no apparent structural damage, which is good! It is quite deep, though, all the way down to the kneecap. The EMTs were not kidding about that. They gave me some Vicodin (even though I wasn't in much pain, I knew that flushing the wound COULD be really painful, so the medicine was given prophylactically), cleaned the wound, and then threw 12 sturdy 4.0 sutures in that thing - well, those are the surface ones, anyway, I think it's got some biodegradable subcutaneous sutures in the actual wound, which is common when you're working with avulsed skin. You want to close up any potential 'holes' to prevent bacteria from growing there/to encourage the layers of tissue to grow back together, ASAP.

Anyway, that was my adventure. Everybody was very nice! Thanks to all the concerned folks on Twitter, I seem to be holding up okay! In fact, given the apparent severity of the wound, I am doing... too well, I think, and I'm sort of paranoid that tomorrow is going to be really awful or something. WE'LL SEE, I GUESS. I could have nicked the popliteal artery in the moment of impact - didn't. I could've shattered (or at least fractured/chipped) my patella - didn't. I could have (and should have, really) been in a lot of pain - but I wasn't.


*If this isn't permanent, isn't that oddly convenient? Right? I mean, shit, temporary nerve damage to an area of skin that would otherwise be incredibly painful? What luck!

skin by CypherVisor


Mon Nov 15, 2010, 6:17 PM

T-minus about 2 hours. c:!


it's up now c:


skin by CypherVisor

External blog/article here.

I'm not going to posit an opinion on this just yet, but you guys are smart. I'd like to know what you think.

spyed speaks.


According to spyed's journal, they are not reinstituting a 'other' option (though they considered it briefly), but they ARE going to allow for a 'gender' specification via profiles.

If targeting ads (and a need to facilitate the way the agency targets ads) is the issue the sex designations hinges on, then this seems like a workable solution. I can't make any judgment calls until I see how it is executed, though. Let's all hope it isn't executed in a laughably insensitive manner!

If it DOES satisfy the needs of rational parties involved, then I must congratulate dA on comparatively fast action in resolving the problem. I am, however, somewhat confused as to why this was not addressed sooner, given the diversity of dA's userbase.

Clarification about gender designation and language, for those of you who seem confused as to why this was an issue at all!

skin by CypherVisor