A Year After

Bilbo Baggins Says

Remember that image on the first entry of this blog? The one that started all of these? Apparently, a lot of LOTR fans loved it on tumblr. Somebody even told me that if the How To Succeed In Business… musical and The Hobbit had a kid, it would be that image. Thank you, tumblr peeps! You are so nice when you’re not super sensitive. When I was starting to make notebooks, I thought, “Hey I need that Bilbo Baggins print on one!” I dug into my old files for the PSD/AI file and I found… NOTHING. Turned out I didn’t save it. It was well past 12 am and I was feeling so sad about it, so decided that I didn’t have any choice but to do it all over again. And after some hours, hey I pulled off something nice!

I retained some shapes and orientation, but there’s definitely an improvement. You see, I was still hesitant to try out typography and lettering at the start of last year. I have really horrible handwriting, and I didn’t study letter anatomy, kerning, weights, etc. And I was pretty bad at choosing fonts when I was younger (I skipped Bleeding Cowboys though, so YAY) so I didn’t believe in my skills. But while working on many things last year, I realized that studying type was important, and this was the result of reading and practising after a year. I had more breathing space! A sense of balance! And the typefaces relate to each other! And they are more readable! If life was composed of little victories, this would be one of them. Or at least that’s how it feels like whenever I look at these two side-by-side.


If you follow me in social media sites, you know I always post references to Daenerys Targaryen. She’s one of my favorite characters in A Song of Ice and Fire (and OK sure, Game of Thrones), especially on the first three books (if you’ve read books 4-5 you’ll understand how mad I am at how her story and Tyrion’s went crashing down into Boringsphere AMIRITE NERDS GEORGE WHY, oops sorry about the rant), and I love drawing her. I drew a vector portrait of her one tiring night after a whole day sourcing at Divisoria because WHY NOT? I was pretty pleased with myself (“drew this using a trackpad with minimal sleep after a day of walking in a hot, crowded marketplace and bargaining with really noisy people!!!”) when I posted this on tumblr but after a while, I really, really wanted to delete it. So I went ahead and redid it because again, why not?

I guess I have a lot to improve on when it comes to drawing realistic stuff. Both of the images aren’t dynamic to me (I tried in the second one). I have been struggling on a style for years, and I’m really afraid to lose the things I learned to like when I take refresher courses. (I am doing an Andrew Loomis refresher, but barely!) I am in constant struggle with myself, and this comparison reminds me that I have to work on a lot of things, even though they can pass off as good enough to other people. I hope to see more improvement on my work the coming years ahead. I guess I’m pretty confident of them now: I’m selling the Bilbo Baggins Says notebook at my store and the Khaleesi print (and iPhone case, laptop skin, pilow, card, etc.!) on Society6 (free shipping until Sunday, wee!). But still. My underlying philosophy that works most of the time is: everything can suck and I must outrun the suck. Pretty negative, but hey, I could outrun some things, it seems.