The Newest Children’s Book

You are So Special TeaserHere is a little teaser for the next book that shall be releasing soon! I am quite excited about this fourth title I was blessed to illustrate for Barbara Poor!

This one took me 7 months. I am praying that it makes little children smile.  I absolutely loved illustrating this one.  Barbara is such an incredible author, poet, and lyricist. She never ceased to amaze me with her unending talents! Stay tuned for more.  Those who follow me on Patreon have had a greater behind the scenes tour of this and all of the books I have illustrated.  If you think that sounds like something you would be into, be sure to follow me on Patreon.  It comes with tons of perks.  You can check it out here.

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The Year Is Almost Half Over

The Year Is Almost Half Over

Wait, what did I just say?

The year is what?!?!?!?!?! Okay, can someone please tell me where this year has gone? For me, quite possibly, it has gone to sleep.  This Graves Disease is kicking me in the rear.  Post my last Endocrinologist appointment, my medication has been increased.  Crossing my fingers that this helps.  The symptoms of having my thyroid ablation are certainly taking a physical toll.  I went from a multitasking maniac to a lazy blob! My ambition to do anything other than sleep is at an all time low.  I am not sure how long the increased dosage takes to make an effect, but it has now been 4 days. So far, I have been a bit more productive, albeit not as much as I would like. On the upside, my ophthalmologist says I am at 20/20 and my vision issues are simply eye fatigue.  Guess all this sleeping makes my eyes tired?????

My over ambitious self has a million tasks that I want to do, plus a million more that are presently incomplete…  The biggest of which being the book I am presently illustrating.  It has been 5 months now….normally by now, I would have had everything complete, and here I sit still working on the illustrations! Thankfully, the author and the production company are completely understanding and patient with me. I wish I could be as patient with myself.

One of the illustrations I am presently working on

I have acquired new tools to begin my greeting card line endeavor. It seemed silly to allow another company to sell my cards and reap the rewards by keeping the lion’s share of the profits for my work and design. Thankfully, my family is extremely supportive in this expensive venture. Anything artistic I try to do, they always allow me to dive in head first.  Their support is an amazing blessing for which I shall always be grateful.  I also know the investment is not foolhardy when my daughter is a creative artist too.  Now, if only we had a home that would support this both structurally and specially we would be set! If I sell enough cards…

First trial making a shadow box card

I also received my new set of lenses.  Photography has become one of my favorite hobbies lately. There is something so incredibly satisfying about capturing what I see as I see it and being able to share it with others.  My art is always fantasmical and photography has become my realism. Nature is simply too gorgeous to not photograph.

cool mishap, picture of the lens

Then there is this little high schooler here.  How my baby has turned into a high schooler seemingly over night is beyond me.  With high school comes career choices and extra studies, college focusing and testing.

Adding in the little other chores life provides, cooking, cleaning, pets, review, etc….

So sleeping over 8 hours each day is not acceptable, yet if I get less than 10 I am unable to function lately. This is even with coffee!

 

 

 

 

Living The Dream

I always giggle when someone tells me they are jealous of how I can sit around and draw all day. I have been told by several that I am living the dream.
If that were what I did, I could see why someone might envy me. However, that could not be further than the truth. In a year, I earn less than what an average minimum wage salary provides. And for that I work, on average, 120 hours a week. Out of those 120 hours, you may be surprised to learn that approximately only 30-40 hours are actually spent ‘drawing’. Behind the scenes, I do way more. I am doing social media managing and marketing, all PR, all advertising, and customer service completely alone. I am not allowed to use my own Imagination on every project and have to create what another wants. This means multiple revisions to achieve what a client sees as perfection. On virtually every book, with the exception of two children’s stories that I have illustrated, I also did the editing, formatting, cover creating, and submitting to the printers as well as all advertising, social media and book trailers.
Why do I bring this up today? Because I just spent my entire morning and afternoon updating my own website, http://www.alysathena.com/ to reflect new laws. If you are anything like me, you really never read the “terms of service”, “privacy policies”, or “use of cookies”. Yet I had to add these lovely bits of information. So when you think I am doodling and drawing all day long and how lucky I am, please realize, I work. I work VERY hard. It is incredibly time consuming and hardly lucrative. Most part-time workers earn more in a week than I do in two months.
I love my job because I am able to do it even though I am disabled and can still educate Kira.
I am not complaining at all, I know I am blessed.
But, please, never confuse my hard work for luck.

Welcoming May

Is it only me, or is anyone else also finding it hard to believe that this year is nearly half way over? I think time has somehow sped up. I hear it goes faster the older you get, and with this pace, it has me envisioning that soon a year will feel like a day used to. I swear it was just February.

With summer rapidly encroaching, the temperatures are drastically increasing.  Gone are the days of doors and windows open and enjoying the beautiful breezes.  Only to be replaced with hiding indoors with the house sealed up like a drum and the ac running full blast!  Oh, how I miss my pool; which reminds me, hurricane season will be here shortly as well.  Remind me again why people love Florida?

I have ten million (yes, I am absolutely exaggerating) projects running at once here.  From gun powder art to virtual sculpting.  It seems my art projects are as disorganized as my thoughts lately.  I have so very many things I want to complete yet seldom seem to find the adequate time to do so!

Here are a few of the artistic projects I am amidst presently.  Eventually I will complete something, maybe!

This is *Prismatic Lepidote* The Wayward Discus Fish, a part of my Wayward Critter Series. This series combines artistic creations in multiple mediums from digital to hand-painted characters of a surreal nature.

This is a peek into the next book I am amidst illustrating for the incredibly talented Barbara Poor.  I am quite honored to be working with her once again; this will be our fourth title together!

I have begun hand painting cameo style pendants that will feature my original lowbrow characters.

Here are just two of the many virtual reality sculptures I am amidst creating. They will be included in my Wayward Critter Series once they have been completed.

This is another virtual reality venture.  This one has a steeper learning curve, as you can see.

Here are two of the paintings I am currently working on.

As you can see, I have quite a bit going on at once, and this is not everything.  There is much, much more. Stay tuned to for a post on making water color paints and painting with them!

In the interim, I am off for now to try and actually finish something, if anything, that I have started!

Sculpting Virtually

I may have previously mentioned sculpting and art within virtual reality, I do not remember if I have. Another fun health issue, my ever failing memory.  I combed my previous posts and did not site one addressing this, and as it is one the mediums I seem to be adoring the most as of late, I would be remiss to not mention it.

The above is a quick burst of some of the sculpting I have been trying to learn in Virtual Reality.

When I first tried VR a while ago, it was on a unit that went with my cell phone.  The VR Gear from Oculus, designed specifically for Samsung.  I knew the minute I “stepped in” that I would be hooked.

Many moons ago,  (1995 to be specific) I fell in love with a television show called VR5*.  The concept behind this show truly drew me in. Once the show stopped airing, my fascination remained.

Fast forward to 2015, a friend tagged me in on a post via Facebook.  The post showed someone immersed in a virtual reality scene and drawing all around them.  I swear to you, my heart stopped.  My eyes filled with tears.  Okay, even now as I am typing this, I am welling up with tears.  I really cannot explain to you the feeling.  It was just incredible. I knew I HAD to have this.

When it was time to replace our cell phones, I was surprised to see that as a bonus, the company was offering the choice of either the VR kit or an expanded memory card.  My husband chose the expanded memory card and I, obviously chose the VR. Thankfully, later my husband gave me the memory card too as between the VR and my propensity to take pictures of everything and everything I needed it.

When the kit arrived, I dove right in.  I was a bit gutted to then realize the art program I was tagged on earlier was not available on the phone based VR.  I was shattered.  Okay, that is a bit dramatic, I wasn’t shattered, but I was a bit saddened.  Nonetheless, the fact that this amazing device made everything look better to my failing eyes was amazing.  Plus, well, I am a gamer, so I got straight on that aspect and began playing non stop.

Suddenly, I started reading more and more about the virtual art.  I found one app that actually did work on the set I had.  Sadly, it was just not as intuitive as those I was seeing advertised and boasted about.

My husband is an amazing man.  He is not an art fan, whatsoever. However, he has always been extremely supportive of me and my career and the many financial burdens it places on us as a family.  Let’s face it, artistry and illustration is hardly lucrative. Nonetheless, he has never once suggested it is a burden. So, it should be no surprise that he went in head first and purchased me the full system needed to use Oculus Rift. Though my computer was not that old at the time, it certainly lacked a lot that was the required minimum to run a Virtual Reality system. As if the system itself alone weren’t expensive enough, this required a brand new computer and monitor. Did I mention he is amazing already?

It has been a love affair ever since.  I do not manage to do art and sculpt nearly as often as I would like to enable myself the time needed to learn it all.  However, for now as I am amidst normal day to day chores, home schooling my beautiful teenager, and illustrating children’s picture books, I realize any time at all to do anything else at all is precious!

My eye sight is worsening and I missed my last appointment and must reschedule it soon.  I fear I may not be able to achieve all I would like via VR as if I cannot see, that will be something I absolutely cannot do.

To see my sculpting progress please feel free to follow my Oculus Gallery.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel. For now, I am not publishing sculpting videos, I hope to once I learn more.

 

My first attempt at sculpting.

 

 

 This is supposed to be a love monster.

 

 Tried making a lighthouse.

*To learn more about VR5 please visit it’s Wikipedia Page or the IMDB Page. Episodes are also available on YouTube.

March

A quick little post wishing everyone a blessed March.  Hard to believe we are already passed the middle of the third month into 2018.  I swear, the older I get the faster time flies!

Here are a couple of my March doodles.  Once celebrates today, St. Patrick’s Day, the other for Pi day, March 14.

pi st pattys day

I Am Excited!!!!

new curly

I am beyond excited to announce that I am presently amidst illustrations for a fourth children’s book written by the incredibly talented Barbara Poor!
It is an honor to be allowed to illustrate for Barbara once again. Her stories inspire my inner creativity and help me grow immensely as an illustrator. Barbara is always kind and goes above and beyond in all that she does. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and look forward to this new artistic adventure with her. Stay tuned for more!