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Wow it's been almost half a year since my last journal.
Wanted to let you guys know I'm sending out Holiday Cards!
I'm ordering 50 or so. Feel free to fill out this form with your address if you want one :>

docs.google.com/forms/d/1Gsf-D…

If you're sending out your own cards, let me know as well!
Heyy :D

Now that it's summer and I've graduated from art school I'm here to hit up all the cons!

This is my schedule so far:
Anime Expo E41/42
Otakon
Tampa Bay Comic Con
Anime Weekend Atlanta
Youmacon


If there are any other cons you guys are going to and would like to see me at, let me know and I'll look into it! :>
Ahhhhhh I got invited to some SS's this year so here's my wishlist:

My characters!

Rose Reference Sheet by Kafai Gillian Reference Sheet by Kafai
pick whoever you want!

If I have time I'll try to make some reference charts for some of my other characters as well.
 But if you don't need strict refs you could browse around in here:
kafai.deviantart.com/gallery/1…
It's a bit late but I thought I'd say something LOL

I'm not 21 and legal to drink BD
(not that I really plan to)


On another note, I'll be sharing a table with my buddy :iconkabalyero: at Otakon this year!
Hope to see some of you there :D
Hello, I'm participating in two Secret Santas this year so I need to throw this together fff.

I would like art of my characters ahhh
Here are refs:
Temporary Rose Ref Chart by Kafai Temporary Gillien Ref Chart by Kafai

Sorry super old ref sheets @_@ 
Thank you in advance!
Hello!  Letting you all know that I'll be at Anime Expo this year! :D
My table is E12, and as soon as I can find a map I will post it here too.

This is my first time going to AX so I'm super excited!  Hope to see some of you there <3
This summer I'm going to be flying around the country quite a bit!  I hope to see some of you at the cons I attend! Ahhh! I'm really excited >w<

So here's the forecast!
June 7th-9th Animenext (NJ) -100%
July 4-7th AnimeExpo (CA) -100%
July 12-14 Natsucon (MO) - Just for cosplay, no Artist Alley for me this year
August 9-11th Otakon (MD) -100%
AUgust 16-18th San Japan (TX) - 100%
September 27th-29th AWA (GA) -100%

Are any of you going to these cons?  (Are there other cons you would like me to hit up?)

I also really want to try some gift trades!  But not just handing out something I'd be selling anyway, I want to make something more personalized. If you'd be interested in doing a trade like this, send me a note or comment on this journal.  I hope at least one person will want to do this LOL
Is there an easier way to send everything to scraps?

Idk, I like seeing some of my old stuff sometimes to see where I came from and how I've improved but at the same time I don't want it in my main gallery askdhfkshdf.
* m *

I want to post pretty art again.
Thank you everyone who came by :iconteenermeener: and my table at the Artist Alley!
I had a wonderful time meeting people :D

I also got to meet some really cool people like:
:iconhamletmachine: :iconinterminable: :iconamsbt: :iconchiou: :iconjamknight:
and Sodii, Aimee, Scot, and Mookie (I don't know your dev accounts ahh)

So! for the review!

Travel:
I came up from Savannah GA, and took the train with :iconteenermeener: and :iconlochi: and it was a nightmare.
First off, our cab to the train station was like 20 minutes late.
So we get there, and the Amtrak staff are rushing us to get on.  Lochi checked in fine, but me and Tina had baggage to check.  And also about 2 minutes before the train would leave.
So, we were getting our things checked and suddenly the staff lady tells us that we can't bring our stuff because they're in plastic storage bins.  So I had to buy three cardboard boxes from her at $5 each, and $20 each to check on the train.  I also had to repack everything and deal with her yelling all these things at me in the two minutes before the train left.  And then she tells me I can't take my dollie cart (which I just bought for $80 the other day), there's nowhere to store my stuff that I leave behind, AND the luggage that I checked wont arrive until 13 hours after we got to our destination.
But I was panicked and really had to get on the train, so I paid $65-$75 for the boxes and ran out to just barely catch the train.  Leaving my cart and plastic bins behind.  
Tina had to call a friend to come pick up the cart and bins the next day, WHO I LOVE FOREVER THANK YOU SO MUCH.
But when we arrived Thursday night we still didn't have our luggage so we couldn't do the early artist alley setup.
And we had to pay for two extra taxi trips to get to the station to pick up our things and then go back to our hotel before getting to the convention.


Hotel:
We stayed in the Sheraton 5 miles away from the convention, so we took a taxi back and forth each day.  We booked it kind of late, so we didn't have many options and it was a lot cheaper than spending $400+ a night at the Gaylord.  We had a wonderful hotel mate, Aimee, and had a lot of fun hanging with her in the room.
The room itself wasn't very big, but it worked for the three of us.  We had a king bed and a fold out couch, just not very much walking space.  It was nice and quiet during the night too.
On the second night though, I noticed some bug bites on my legs.  And I even caught a flea that was biting my foot.  :(
We didn't have any pets there, but the hotel was pet friendly.  Tina and Aimee didn't get bitten, but I got a bunch of bites ahhhh.  I've always been a bug bite magnet.  Tina joked that I was the cat of our room.

But there were some ups to our location.  We were just a couple blocks from a fedex office, trader joes, and this cool hobbit themed restaurant called Bilbo Baggins.  I managed to get a few extra prints Saturday morning, but when Tina went on Sunday it was kind of a nightmare as well.  But, we did get some relatively inexpensive trader joes food and we ate at Bilbo Baggins one of the nights.


Table:
The table itself was made of two smaller skinny tables placed next to each other, which made it slightly thicker than I expected.  It came with an orange table cloth, but we covered it with our own.  We had an awful location though, because we were in the back corner opposite of the entrance, and facing the back wall.  (similar to what happened to us at AWA actually lol)  And I had originally made my table setup expecting to NOT be on a corner, so that squished our stuff as well.  (We had a pvc thing that was supposed to display our prints behind our chairs but we couldn't put it there because it would overlap with the ladies next to us.)
But we had some nice neighbors, and I still got a decent amount of sales.

People:
The attendees at the con were SUPER cool.  There were a lot of cool cosplays, and a lot of nice people in general.  Like I mentioned early, I met a lot of cool artists.  And I totally geeked out with people about Daftpunk and Hobbits.  
We also met these really cool Homestuck cosplayers who were just super nice all around.  They kept coming back to commission Tina, and she ended up drawing like 20 Homestuck characters lol.  
But like, I got this commission from someone else to draw a Homestuck character, and when she came back for it she ran off without paying.  She looked pretty young, so it was probably just an attention lapse thing, but I was a little bummed.  But then!  These two Homestuck cosplayers came back, one of them cosplaying the character I just drew.  When I told them about what happened, they were shocked.  And one of them was like, "Whoa, wait. That is totally not cool.  I hate it when people do that and especially in this fandom."  And so she pulled out her wallet and gave me $5.  It totally made my weekend.  

Also, Saturday morning when we were getting out of our cab at the convention center, something really strange happened.  I was sitting in the back seat trying to pay the cab fare while Tina and Aimee were getting things out of the trunk.  The door was open, and out of completely nowhere this chubby asian guy started snapping a million pictures of me with his giant camera.  And as soon as I looked up to see what was going on, he turned around and started prancing away laughing.  It was a very animated looking run/prance.  Like, completely ridiculously so.  Like what?
I was wearing a dress, but I wasn't cosplaying.  I had a jacket, tennis shoes, and no makeup on.  I was just really really really confused.
There are all these other people walking around with amazing beautiful costumes, and you decide to run up and take a picture of some girl sitting in a cab, and laugh manically in the process.  That makes sense.


Sales:
It's definitely been one of my better cons.  Things were super super super slow on Friday and I was afraid that I wouldn't break even, but then things really picked up on Saturday.  I think I sold the most prints ever at Katsu.  But part of that might've been because I cut the price on Sunday to $5.  (I only did it to get rid of inventory because I didn't want to pay so much baggage  fees on the way home).  Despite our kind of sucky location, I did pretty well.  

Overall I would rank my experience a 8/10.  If I didn't have so many traveling issues and our table wasn't in such a horrible spot, it totally would have been a 10/10.  Definitely going to try to go again next year!
And I need to draw more.

Okay.

No more runescape until I have at least one painting done.
Hey guys, last minute I'M GOING journal.
I'm sharing my table with ma schoolbro :iconteenermeener:

we will be here:
i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm…
(stolen from Tina)

LET'S DO THIS.
EDIT: Thanks guys for watching :)
finished product here: fav.me/d5cnjso



Working on a Legend of Korra piece :>

www.livestream.com/kafai
Hey everybody!  I just slept for a good 9-10 hours and thought I'd get up and write a review!  (at 4 in the morning lol)

So!  Overall I had an okay time.  I would have to say though, that this is not the best Natsucon I've been to.  
But first, there were a lot of nice people who came and looked at my table and bought somethings, and I want to thank you all for being so supportive and nice > m < !!!
If it weren't for you, my "okay" would have been an "awful".  

The con itself was pretty disorganized this year. After I finally packed up my stuff on Saturday and stuck around for panels it seemed like there was never any staff person around to turn on or off the locked lights in the panel rooms between panels.  During the day, people kept making huge lines right in front of the main event room, and the line continued into the artist alley where it blocked a lot of tables for 30-40 minutes at a time.  After I and some other artists complained to the staff, they did start redirecting the line towards the other end of the hallway that was completely empty.  That was nice.  

My bad experience wasn't entirely the con staff's fault though.  Most of it was probably from the negative experiences I had with some con goers.  It's not everyone, but there were quite a few instances that made me sad.  Like, after I packed up my stuff, I left my table cloths and my wire cube setup on my table.  I walked by after a panel, and there were a group of people hanging out at it.  Which is fine, but one of them was sitting in the chairs and had their legs propped on the table and their boots on my table cloth.  I just kind of sighed and let it go.  There were also several extremely obnoxious people who don't seem to know anything about con etiquette. They mostly didn't visit my table though or pay attention to the artists in general.  My guess is they either didn't realize these were all artists selling their own works, or didn't care for the artist alley via lack of experience with it.  It was really different from the feeling I got at Sakuracon, where everyone knew what the artist alley was and actually had respect for artists. I think this is largely because all the local cons in St. Louis are pretty small and really new.  And for some odd reason we have 3.5 anime cons around here, and all of the same crowd usually goes to them all.  So maybe to them it seems like they have a lot of experience with conventions, even though they've never been to a large, well organized, convention?  idk.
The things I listed above are just little things though, that probably wont stop me from going again next year.  I just wont get two tables or bring quite as much stock next time.  

I have to say though, that I did have one particularly strange and off-putting experience.  
On Friday or Saturday when I was setting up a few last things, this guy came up to me and started asking about my mini comic book I had out.  I printed like 5 copies of the first chapter of Gen X, full color, to try to promote it.  I was pretty excited at first that someone was interested in it since it IS my baby.  But what followed was weird, awkward, and unpleasant.
He asked how much they were, and I said $4.  (Which really only covers the cost of printing it: I wasn't planning to make any money off it but I wanted to get it out there.)  And he proceeded to tell me about how he was some hot-shot on youtube and how he had this great idea for a story he always wanted to make but he just needed someone to draw the art for him.

I've pretty much heard this a hundred times before.  Everyone thinks their story is the next best thing and all they need is some underpaid artist to eat it up.  But honestly, unless they are extremely dedicated to it and actually know all the work they and the artist will have to put in it; it's never going to happen.  This means you're probably going to have to PAY the artist upfront to do your work for you.  (Wow what a radical idea!)
It's just how it works.

Anyway, he gave me his business card and kept talking.  Up until this point everything was pretty normal and checked out.  Usually I'd give the person the benefit of the doubt and follow up to look into their story even if I don't have the time to actually do the comic.  But here's where it got weird.  After he gave me his card he said,
"So, why don't I take this and you can write your name/email/phone number down and if I like it I'll contact you about working on my comic."
what?
I was just kind of like "uh okay", because I was confused about the situation.  
And I was hoping really hard that he wasn't about to be a dick and just take the comic for free.
But then he was like "Okay thanks! Bye!" and walked away without paying.
=________________=;
I think I just got played.  

The rest of the conventions I just couldn't stop thinking about it.  Did he just forget to pay me?  Did he really think he was such a hot-shot that he didn't have to?  Should I say something?  I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt though and stay with thinking he just forgot, but something just didn't feel right.
I felt really used and it didn't sit well with me.  Normally I would've just let it go, I mean it's only $4, but he was just so arrogant about it and I wanted to know for sure.

So on the last day, I saw him again walking by with his friends and I put all my courage together to confront him.  I called him over and at first I think he didn't hear me, but his friend pulled him back because she did.  And I said:
"Hey, are you the guy I gave my comic to?"
Him: "Uh, yeah?"
"I think you actually forgot to pay for it.  You kind of walked off and I didn't realize it until you were already gone.  So, can you pay for it now?"
He kind of made this sad looking face, I think I caught him off guard and he didn't want to look bad in front of his friends.  
Him: "...I thought we had a trade?"
What exactly did I get out of this?  I was about to snap at him but I stopped because I didn't want to embarrass him in front of his friends.
So I just shook my head and said "mm, no.  I'd still like you to pay."
So the next two minutes of him getting his wallet out were really awkward, but he did pay me and then he left.

There was still a lot of stuff I wanted to say to him but I think it ended alright.  
And HEY, if YOU ARE THAT GUY AND YOU'RE READING THIS: HERE IT IS.

Do you really think I give a shit that you cosplay and make pokemon fan videos on youtube?
Oh man, you play Ash in a bunch of fan videos and I guess you wrote it into the script to make all the female characters faun over you.
What a hot-shot.
I guess you can just take whatever the hell you want because you're SO ENTITLED.



If you want an artist you can expect to work for free,
YOU go and spend 5 years vigorously training in art.
YOU go and learn how to use all the adobe programs.
YOU go and spend $200k on art school.
YOU go and create your own original style.
And then YOU can have fun spending 10+ hours on each page of your comic and hoping anyone will actually care to read it.

If you're legitimately interested in having a decent artist do that FOR you, then learn some professionalism.
Unless they are coming to you and looking for any cool-story you conjure that they somehow can't just make themselves, these are probably some things you should consider:
1. I barely have time to work on my own comic, why would I want to take up yours?

2.WHAT IS THIS? i691.photobucket.com/albums/vv…
It literally looks like you took a screenshot on powerpoint, printed it out on copy paper, and called it a business card.  
It was also sweaty when you handed it to me.  If you want to impress an artist, giving them this low-tech crap isn't going to do it.
If you don't know how to use photoshop or illustrator, go pay someone to make your business card and go pay to get it professionally printed.

3. Why should I give you my comic, which I've invested a lot of time in and I'm not even selling for a profit, for free?  How much does that show about you and how much you care about an artist's work?

4. Have you ever considered how little self published comics actually make?  Or how hard in general it is to make money off of them?  If you have and artist you want to make a comic for you, you pay them up front.  And for a ballpark on a price to pay:
If they spend 10 hours on a page, which for a standard page gets you inked lines and some flat colors, that's already $72.50 A PAGE if they're getting minimum wage.
A 20 page chapter would be $1450.  Dedicating time to making a successful comic is the equivalent to a full time job.  
The artist could probably make more working at Walmart on minimum wage.  And for a 50 hour work week, they would be getting health benefits too.

5. The majority of artists who make comics and have actually trained in comic making have their own ideas for stories they want to do.  The reason they spend time on them is because they want to see that their own stories get out there.  And that's something you can't buy from them, so you can probably expect for your project to come after theirs.

6.  And don't you dare try to tell me, "Oh, but the Japanese artists can make 40 page chapters a week".  Yeah, that's because they literally spend 3 hours a WEEK on sleep and the rest of the time working non-stop to get their work done.  They also have dozens of assistants working under them and a professional publishing company backing them.  They are also treated like rock stars and celebrities and their manga makes millions of dollars.  If you think you can give all of that to an artist, be my guest.  Though, that 160 hour work week would probably be considered exploitation in the USA.

7. If you still manage to find some poor artist who is willing to help you, you have to remember that it's not their job to see that the entire project goes through.  That's your job.  You have to be on top of everything and write out clear scripts for every page.  You have to be the driving force in the project, because they're not going to be.  Even if you make the website for it and do all the promoting, they'd still be doing 90% of all the work.
Unless you're going to draw it: without the artist you don't have a comic.

And no, I don't treat every person who proposes a comic idea to me this way.  
In fact, only one other person bought a copy of my comic this weekend.  He asked me to sign it, just like you.  But the difference was he actually cared that it was a copy of Genocide X and it was signed by it's creator.  He actually drove all the way up from Texas to go to this con, and spent half the time sitting with me and helping out at my table.  He is probably my comic's biggest fan.  And we've actually become really good friends.  When we first met a little more than a year ago, he also proposed a comic idea to me.  We never ended up working together on it, but now he's planning on going to school for art and learning how to make it himself.  And I'm more than willing to give someone like that advice and help.

So think about that the next time you walk up to someone and ask them if they want to make your comic for you.  Because the answer is "no", they don't want to do it for you.  You have to give them a reason to.  Learn how to not be an arrogant asshole and actually give them some respect.
Woooo it starts today! :D
just got most of my stuff packed and ready to go.  Hope to see some of you there!

If you're interested in prints, make sure to come by my table early because I only had enough time to get 10 copies max.
I don't know where/how I got this one day sub but hey, if you post I'll feature my favorite piece in your gallery.
If I like your stuff a lot, I'll post three pieces of yours.

Go go go go!

Darlington's Day Out by Crimson-Jazz :thumb303533292: :thumb295768670:
The Actress by Bubblette Matryoshka by KowareYume Managed to Avoid Drowning by Dragonblade-Dreams
Jack the Ripper by Dragonblade-Dreams Virtually Unchanged by Dragonblade-Dreams Hobbs Commission by chi-u
Twin Tongues by Plusook Dinner Havoc by Plusook
Thanks guys who posted on my profile for my birthday :)
I didn't do anything particularly spectacular, but I had a nice time with family.

I'm currently getting ready for Natsucon and AWA.  Hope to see some of you there!

Also, I've decided to give SCAD another year.  I think it wont be that bad now that I'm starting classes in my major.  Summer rest has also softened my bad memories.  
I still don't feel like I draw enough but akshdfkasdf I'm working on prints now so hopefullyyyyy I get back in my painting game.
We'll see!
I've been debating with myself lately on whether or not to continue going to college. I'm currently finishing my freshman year at SCAD (an art school).
My older sister just graduated from the same school a year ago and is now living on her own and working for a TV show (she does animation). She's doing really well and gets paid a decent amount, and also gets benefits.
We grew up both wanting to be artists, so I followed a lot in her footsteps.

I worked really hard all through high school to tailor my grades and portfolio specifically for getting scholarships to this school. I landed myself a $28,000 yearly scholarship with my efforts, so I know I'm on the right track. (it's about 33k a year for tuition alone) I know I'm really serious about making my career with art and improving my own technical skill. This is what I want to do for a living.

But there are so many sides to "Art as a living"
- I could work for an official studio company like my sister
- I could do freelance and make money off individual clients
- I could go into fineart/prints and make money of selling pieces or copies of my pieces directly.
- I could try self publishing books/graphic novels
- I could travel around to different conventions and make money off Artist Alley (I actually know people who do this full time)
If I really dedicated my time, I could make a living off of selling plushies/fursuits/merch on etsy LOL

Of those choices, I know landing a studio job would be the most stable. (And would be a lot more likely attainable with a degree) But I feel like I would enjoy any of the other options more, and they don't really require a degree. (Though I would probably have to get a day job of some sort just in case)

And what happens, if by some chance, I spend three more years getting the degree and then can't find a studio job? .__.; At my skill level, college isn't really about improving my art: it's all about meeting people and making the connections and the degree title that comes at the end. The bulk of the improvement I can make now is from practice and doing, which honestly I haven't had any time for since I've been in college.
Seriously: I've only made one serious illustration my entire year here. When I was in high school, I made a new illustration every couple of weeks. If I didn't have school obligations, I would paint things every day.
And I also get extremely frustrated when I have to take useless classes that have no benefit to me other than being a graduation requirement. COUGH COMPUTER APPLICATIONS COUGH.

So now I'm stuck with a decision. Should I stay in college, spending three years and thousands of dollars, to get the degree? Should I drop out, get a part/full-time job in retail,and try any of those other options I listed before?

I'm really considering taking a year or two off and "testing out" how I'll do without a degree. But I'd lose my scholarship, have to reapply, my parents might not have the money to support me, and will be a year behind everyone when I come back.

Your thoughts?
I swear I'm going to hurt someone.  ._________.
I'm so god awful with names, and now I have 6 pages full of name changes in my inbox.
I'LL NEVER REMEMBER WHO YOU CHANGED TO.


;___________________;
Working on a commission, join and keep me company! :>

www.livestream.com/kafai
Wow!  The whole weekend seemed to go by really fast, even if slaving at the table seemed like eternity.
Ignore my last journal post, I was totally sleep deprived BD
I shared a table with :iconcrossexe: and :iconviolatown:
(Well, kim had the table next to us, but sammmeee thingggg)

Thank you everyone who stopped by my table :>

So, here's my Sakuracon in review!

First off, the flight was absolutely terrible.  I flew to Seattle, Washington all the way from Savannah Georgia!  That is almost literally across the entire country.  East/West and North/South!
And of course, there wasn't a straight flight so I had to mess with transferring planes and all that jazz.  (I had 5 total)

But!  Seattle is absolutely gorgeous!  I've never been in such a large USA city before, and everything looked so urban.  Sooooo many glass windows!  And hills!  (I'm from the midwest where everything is flaaat)  It was super cool to see the city though, looking across the water at the hills of sparkling lights in every direction.  (Even though we were just driving around lost)
It's not at all like St. Louis, where everything looks really run down in the downtown area.

The tables themselves were pretty standard.  We didn't get a spot facing the entrance, so traffic seemed kind of slow at times.  I think our traffic wasn't too different to the traffic I get at my local cons?  Even though there were more people, there were also a lot more artists to compete with.  And it seemed a lot of people just walked on by.  

We also didn't really figure out how to handle our table display until the last day lol.  Everything before that looked super cluttered.
I didn't do as well as my friends, but it was a nice learning experience.  

I did however, experience for the first time selling a decent amount of prints!  I sold 29 copies of my daft punk print, (I ran out before the end of the con).  And Crossexe also sold a bunch of prints for the first time too!  Her print that was selling was of Sherlock.  In the future I'll probably make a Sherlock print hurp.  (But first I have to watch the show!)
Usually I get like one or two people that buy a random print and it doesn't seem to have any correlation to anything other than personal taste.  I just kind of figured I'd use my prints as advertisement more than money.

Another first experience was using PVC pipes for our table display.  At times it seemed like it would fall apart, but it held together.  Usually I use the wire mesh cubes, but they were going to be way too heavy and bulky for the plane.  I think if we had a bit more pipe, and structured it a little differently, it could've been pretty sturdy.

So yeah.  Overall, I didn't do as well as my friends, but I about broke even so I guess it's okay.  And, I got to see Seattle and meet Crossexe and Violatown :D
And all you cool-cat cosplayers as well.  

I might not have the money or time to go next year, since I'll still be in school.  But!  Hopefully this wont be my last across-country con!