Bedtime

This happened about two years ago and my kid has only gotten better at the effortless, low-stakes roast.

I’m proud of him.

Just a sloppy lil cartoon that’s been knocking around in my brain for a while (and also this is complete self-sabotaging propaganda because the kid’s wrong, and I’m a reasonably funny fellow who would definitely last at least two hours running a joke booth, but yeah!) I should have a post of announce-y things soon! In the meantime, hope all you moofs are all right out there, in this here winter’s death-rattle…. <3<3<3

Don’t be shy now :> LIKE // EAT CHICKEN NUGGETS //

Nazgul Chara

The Nazgul (age 10 these days) was asking how come I’m always drawing other people, but I never draw him? Not true that I don’t draw him, but to prove how not true it is, I made him one of those chara sheets I sometimes do for my OCs and I think it turned out pretty good : o

A one page illustration snapshot of my kid at age ten. Click to make it bigger and or not blurry…..

He loves Russia, video games and skeletons, and he hates German homework. His current bucket list item is to get a head bump (atama hane) in mah jong. There we go. (Also, can we appreciate for a moment how pretty I made Coryxkenshin? (Guy in the top left, his favorite You tuber. I mean, he’s attractive, so it’s not like it was hard. Whee being in that weird age where you have to wonder if finding someone in their 20s is creepy or not…. I mean, it’s me… so I manage to make it creepy even when the person is the same age as me…. we’re really not making this better are we Jazzhands and falls off stage.

___ Press

Aka Please read to the end and insert your important opinion!

So I read once, that telling people about a plan or project you had was actually detrimental to your project’s success. Because, when you tell someone about your plans, and they say ‘oh wow, that sounds so cool! Oh, that will be so great!’ PING!!! you get a dopamine rush not unlike the one you get from actually finishing something. For some people, this rush becomes enough, keeping them perpetually in the talking and planning phase. Maybe I have some internal paranoia regards this, because I feel like I’ve gone to the other extreme. Even when I NEED someone’s help to finish a plan I had hatched, I am notoriously squirrely about telling people what I’m doing, involving them in the process or sharing anything unfinished— I don’t want to get complacent on praise for not-yet-done work and I don’t want to get muddled by noise feedback. But we do all need help sometimes, and that is the spot I am in right now.  So, without further ado, I’m unveiling my plans to… ta~~~~da!

Start my own press. I do have two books currently out with a publisher, and they will most likely stay there, but moving forward, I want to have more control over my books. I’m not interested in trad publishing, for the first and foremost reason that the things I make are not very… trad-y. Neither in theme, nor in execution. I do honestly believe that with a wad of luck, the book I finished this last year could be commercially successful if I sold it to the right person, but I want to keep control over my works. I would be designing and printing novels, art-books, zines (if anyone ever comes with that), and recording audiobooks.

Beyond myself, I’d also be interested in helping people who have written something they believe in, but are having trouble finding a good home for it. For people who have a specific visual in mind, but are not well-versed in book design, the myriad self-publishing options may not be very helpful. I currently have a novel and an art book I will be releasing with my press, and in the future, I would like to release some novellas, printed in the small Japanese format (there is a palm-sized book format popular in Japan, that I am a huge fan of, and I will be looking to publish novella-length stories like that.) Will others come onboard? Is it just gonna be me? No idea, but here’s my direction:

Light editing: I believe an author knows best what they want to say and would like writers to keep embellishments and meanderings, and not over-prune. I generally value mood, language and tone over plot.

Design: I love books that have not only good content, but attention to design. I am someone who notices fonts, layout, paper types, and book size. I would say most of my books and stories are mindful of an aesthetic. If someone has strong ideas for a physical product, I’d like to help actualize that! If they don’t have strong visual ideas, I’d like to help develop a direction…

Unconventionality: I am looking for the unconventional. In story telling. In characters. In final design.

In the words of Scott McCloud’s ‘Understanding Comics,’ I want to emphasize being there, as opposed to getting there. So here’s where you come in!!

What should the name of such a press be? I oscillate between simple, clean sounding words I like, or single words that somehow encapsulate what I am talking about. Candidates so far: (I’ve updated candidates that have fallen out of the running!)

Dreamer Books (there is however, another press called ‘Beautiful Dreamer Press’ and they specialize in queer lit. I am wondering if that is considered too close? Thoughts?)

Bruiser Press (I like dreams and I like bruises. Self-explanatory.)

Kave Press (Kave is the Hungarian word for coffee. This was one of J’s suggestions. Idk, it could work?)

T/raum // tRaum Press More riffing on the ‘dream’ theme–‘traum’ means dream in German, and t-raum could be ‘T-room’–could be interpreted to mean t(rans) room, or dream room. A neat idea (though I wonder how that would work, vis-a-vis internet searches, if I make, say the ‘r’ capitalized…

Lynx Books (I like the word ‘lynx’ and it’s also a bit of an unusual animal that would be nice to make a logo with. Incidentally, my name means ‘lynx’ in Polish… –crossoverrrrr-)

Gem Books (I’d use a little diamond as a logo, and I don’t know…)

Meander Books (because we’re going to meander a bit. The logo could be a little path…)

Any of these sound decent to you? Something completely different? Kick me in the shins, write a comment, let me know, I’m lost moofs, I’m excited and LOST!!! (But yeah, we’re gonna have a website, and we’re gonna have audiobooks and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa). The would work too.

AAA Press.

< 3

CMYK, Yeah!

AKA revealing my fails so maybe you don’t have to fail so hard
AKA if you didn’t have at least one mental breakdown, where you went outside and screamed into the snowy sky, did you even make anything?

If you’ve been following on the Couch for a while, you may know that I am mostly a traditional artist. I started with ink and paper over ten years ago. I slowly moved into color, and from paper, I experimented with surfaces of wood, and cardboard and canvas. If you see my room, most every surface is covered and I love the aberration and surprise of traditional media. But while I find traditional art super satisfying to enjoy in meatspace, a frustration I kept running into over the years was trying to share it online. I used to say, taking a good picture to display a piece can take almost as long as making the damn piece. There’s glare and color distortion. Like a camera filching a piece of your soul, a photo of a traditional piece is almost always missing something….

Digital art seemed a solution to that. Oh, how naive I was! I figured, digital art was MEANT to be viewed on a screen. So that means, you draw something, push an upload button, and voila, right? In my babyhood I never considered to think that while that is true to some degree– there are a myriad of screens out there. Phone screens and laptop screens and tablets. And what happens if you want to print the piece out? Why, if you print it, it will look exactly how it does on The Screen, of course! (You know, the Eternal Screen.) More naive foolishness. It never came into my head that since I won’t be printing from MY screen (but some remote printing service’s screen)–I cannot guarantee how it will look like, on THEIR screen. My preconceived notion that digital art means ‘what you see is what you get’ was totally wrong: what you see, is what is on YOUR screen—then you feed it to a printer. And they have their own screen. Then they print it onto a paper…

CMYK vs RGB deathmatch

Enter CMYK and RGB. I had ‘heard’ these terms before. I didn’t really know what they meant, and I didn’t really give a fuck. (Big mistake.) So maybe like me, you are a digital art infant, and you want to spare yourself a future headache, but also like me, you don’t deal with art problems until they are right at your door and don’t actually reserach shit. Relatable. Well, here’s the breakdown: last year, I started to get into digital art seriously, and I started to make a Big Project. I drew everything in Paintshop SAI (a digital art tool I recommend the freak out of; I find it way more intuitive to use than Photoshop, for drawing.) The thing is though, if you are in Photoshop, and you go to Image >> Mode — you will come to a dropdown menu that offers various color modes: including greyscale, RGB and CYMK. In Paintshop SAI, this menu and these distinctions do not exist. Your work will exclusively be made in RGB. Why does that even matter?

RGB stands for …..*drum roll* Red Green Blue. It is a color mode that uses LIGHT to display colors on a screen, and is great for digital artwork you expect to be viewed on a computer screen. This means that if you are using Paintool SAI, your artwork will automatically be made in the RGB color mode and there is no setting to change it to CMYK. RGB has a wide range of colors, including super vibrant neons, electric greens and blues. I drew my whole project in RGB, just NERDING OUT on the sheer color capacity and going full fuck NEON on some images. Which is fine, right? I mean, why would you even WANT to change it to another color mode? Well, because you may want to at some point…. PRINT your project.

CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. You’re thinking, wait, black doesn’t start with K. (don’t ask, I didn’t make the abbreviation.) When you add all RGB colors together, you get white. There is vibrancy and light, because the colors use the light from your screen. But when you add all CMYK colors, you get black. The colors are more muddy, because this color mode is for printing, aka using actual shit from the ground, mixed up with other crap to make INK and smearing this on PAPER (which has its own backtone, and creates its own dullness.)

tl:dr: You cannot replicate the vibrancy and richness of an RGB created image, on a printed page with CMYK. And you cannot (at this point in technological time) print RGB images using ‘RGB ink’, because that doesn’t exist. If you make an image in RGB and wish to have it printed, you must consider that the printer will be using a CMYK profile.

*me, after finishing a 130+ page graphic project using entirely RGB and deciding it would be cool to also make a physical printed A4 artbook* THAT COULD’VE BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION YESTERDAY!!!!**

So, how to avoid making my mistake?

-When you start a digital art project, give some consideration for how you will display it. Will you be uploading it online exclusively? If so, RGB away. Will you at some point print it? STILL RGB away, but consider that certain colors may NOT transfer well from your screen to a piece of paper. Having spent the last two days frantically fixing my colors, here are the colors I found were mostly unaffected by the RGB >> CYMK transfer:

-pinks, yellows, light blues, lighter shades in general, blacks. (‘some’ distortion, but in most cases, minimal and not really detrimental–a lateral, not decrease, in visuals)

The colors that really suffered and did NOT make the transfer:

-electric blue, deep rich blues, electric greens and pinks. (definite decrease in visual quality).

Pictures that were overall ‘light’ fared quite well–pictures with a lot of darkness and play of light/shadow, did worse.

Another tip that I think is good: Ask your printer what color profile they are using. Yes, they are using CMYK to print, but CMYK has specific profiles that can vary from regions/printers. (My printer for example, based here in Germany, is using what is called a FOGRA 39 color profile. If I was printing my project in the US, they may be using the US color SWOP.) Setting your color profile to match the one your printer means less nasty color distortion surprises when you get your final printed product.

This is where to find these setting when you are exporting your PDF in In Design. J showed me this, bless him. What would we do without J? ((Yes, I’m a loser who takes photos of my computer screen.)

Anyway, that’s it kids; color-profile rant DONE—I wish you all a wonderful and creative rest of January and hope you’re keeping safe, wherever you are. ❤ I also have cool news, but I will save that for the next post, this went on long enough…. and if you liked the post or just watching me flailing, give it a like and comment on your own color profile tips, if you have any~~

Death Note

When your kid gets into anime early….

[Context for the non-weebs: Death Note is an anime/manga series about a guy who finds a note book with a mysterious power: if you write a person’s name in it, they will die. The guy decides to use the ‘Death Note’ to kill people he deems morally unfit to live and the regular ethical shenanigans ensue….]

So on a only tangentially related note, it occurred to me on the tail of a manic Animorphs convo I had with J the other day at nine in the morning (I was telling a good friend, if you find someone who will listen to you rant about Animorphs at nine am, HOLD ON TO THIS PERSON AND NEVER LET GO)–so anyway, it came back to me this thing I had read? About a lot of people not KNOWING older trans people? So I wanted to make more little comics and things… about being an old tran and the convos with my kid (because he’s funny)–and because it’s sad how few things I see from other trans parents. But we’re here…! Talking about Death Note while we brush our teeth…..

Serious Anime Tiddies

This is a post about art and anime tiddies. I warned you. There are lewd pictures at the end of the post. THIS IS AN 18 PLUS POST.

So let me get this out of the way, I am going on no sleep here. Like NO SLEEP, like worst stretch of insomnia in my adult fcking LIFE oh holy balls it’s legitimately light outside as I write this level no sleep. Currently we are at **looks down at clock** 6:12 in the morning. I should be in bed. Instead, I’m thinking about——

An idea mash-up of two interesting conversations I had earlier this week: (ok, I had more than two interesting conversations this week, but the others will not be spoken of. Ever.) Convo one: I was talking to Paintblotch about art and elitists who dismiss what they consider ‘not serious’ art. And of course (because this is how Insecure Galaxy BigBrain works) I immediately got to spiraling, …do people dismiss my art as not serious? (Or not art?) Because sure, I draw about Important Things like Laugh, Pain, Death, but I’m also sometimes just ….

SMASH CUT to a convo two I was having with my other good friend G. She was telling me she had been looking up tutorials online because she wanted to draw big tiddie juicy anime bitches (she didn’t use the word bitch, by the way. I shouldn’t use the word bitch. NOBODY SHOULD USE THE WORD BITCH.) So anyway, she wanted to draw nasty juicyass bitches and later that night, I couldn’t sleep (like I have not been able to sleep every night for the last goddang three months, petition to ban the hours between three and seven??) and I was sitting at my tablet and then I was thinking about what she’d said and I started drawing a thing.

And then I started using the ‘distort’ tool…. And then I was like, it would be funny if I added veins. Veins are funny. Then I made the person look like my friend G (vaguely) and then I was like, it would be cool if I drew a big booty trans dude version that vaguely looks like me (morning confession disclosure, I have been told I have a cyberpunk 21st century man ass quote unquote and i have been trying to embrace it). So I finished me. And her (If we’re good friends, there is a high chance you will be drawn by me in a fucked up way at some point in our friendshipfulness.) And then I made it look like one of those hentai mags from the late 90’s. That last century old wholesome shit. And then I looked at the clock and was like it’s seven in the morning, I have stayed up until seven in the morning DRAWING VEINY ANIME TIDDIES. I will now put pants on, go into the other room, and wake the Nazghul for school.

Have I not answered my own question? This is not serious. I am not serious. About art. Or life. Or Anything.

And then I was like, fucckit, how can anyone look at this and NOT think it’s art???

.////LEWD////

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I’m sorry, this is CUTE???????????????? And very art???

So uhhh yeah that’s what I think about being a serious artist, life is too short to not draw pastel pornography, draw whatever you like and what makes you happy <3<3<3 going to bed now moofs, if you liked this post just teabag that like button, slash the subcribe button and punch me in the face : )))))))))))))))))))

The Hanged Man – ARCANA 2020

Whooo, the ARCANA 2020 online group show has officially launched!

The Hanged Man: Card XII of the major arcana has multiple interpretations, but for my image, I considered (upright reading) metamorphosis; (upside down reading) inability to change, stagnation. This was my rough draft for my final digital drawing, which can be seen on the website ❤

The Arcana group show first started in 2019– this year, it will be curated online, due to COVID. Artists and writers from around the world are asked to interpret a card drawn from them from the tarot’s major arcana. Last year, I had The Tower–this year, I was given the card The Hanged Man…

Final color scheme: green and pink. the color if illness……………………………..

This prompt and both drawings have ALSO been a mental (not physical) self-portrait…. I’ve been having THE MOST HIDEOUS fucking insomnia of my entire life these last months, and my body has morphed into the Wojak brain meme. (Hence the exploding brain growing over and cradling the figure.) My health is awful, I itch everywhere, I can’t take a shit or give one (wee, upside down reading, statis, suspension….) ANYWAY.

Please take a moment and check out the website!

Not only did Hazel Ang did a gorgeous job designing it and setting it up, you’ll find some beautiful pieces by artists all over the world (including pieces for purchase) and recorded interpretations of the cards of the major arcana. I AM HAPPY AND PROUD TO BE INCLUDED IN SUCH A TALENTED GROUP!!!!!

Oh, and a Happy Halloween, moofs ❤

Red and Green

… how I feel every time TERFy people throw a titfit online. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (I know this comic is hella sloppy; it’s a 2am-gem inspired by the outrage over the Clue period tracker app using inclusive language….)

‘Oh, people who menstruate. Wish there was a word for that, but we can’t use it anymore!’

Like, just stop.
Saying nonbinary people exist doesn’t make women stop existing.
Saying trans men exist doesn’t stop women from existing.
Acknowledging green (and other colors) does not now erase red, or put red under attack.

Nobody is asking people who call themselves women to stop using that word to describe themselves.

I wrapped up this TED talk fast, dontcha think?

KISSES, MOOFS <3<3<3

‘Stalgia – Digital vs. Traditional

Maybe it’s the quarantine, but this year I’ve been very nostalgic for Kyoto. (Incidentally, the city that will be me and J’s Final Resting Place, once our Nazgul is situated to do his Adult Nazgul things.) I’ve been drawing all kinds of scenes from my old city, and doing the hmm, what does this look like at night? What about day? What about fall? What about…

Then last week, I was having a convo with a good friend about art. She was saying that if she could, she would love to do a digital and traditional version of the same picture, to see what it’s like. And that made me think, oh. I’ve done that! This past year, I’ve really gotten into digital art, but I must say, there’s just something about the raw jankiness of traditional art. I love how crusty it is.

Readers: …I think that’s just YOUR traditional art, moof.

Anyway, here’s the same pics, traditional and digital ❤
(Click on any pic to make it bigger…)

Kyoto, Sanjou– 2004. Winter day. (look at how CRUSTY this pic is, like a SCAB, so i’ve gotten into this thing, I like to call it landscape gore…)
Kyoto Sanjou. 2Summer Night, 2004
Kyoto, Sanjou. Summer evening, 2004.
Kyoto, Sanjou. Winter night. 2004.

In other news, I’m happy and proud to be part of the ARCANA show again this year! We did the show in Munich last year and it was a great success. Due to Covid, it will be online this year, but the concept is the same: Visual artists and writers come together to interpret cards from the tarot’s major arcana. My prompt this year is The Hanged Man, AND I’M BASICALLY DONE WITH IT???? The pieces will all be revealed on the 31st of this month and run online all through November, but there will be posts on all the artist and writers leading up to it. I encourage you moofs to follow along and check it out!!!

On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arcana_minga/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArcanaMinga

Hope you are all staying healthy and safe—–