Call us toll free:
Top notch Multipurpose WordPress Theme!
Call us toll free:

IDW’s ‘Ghostbusters’ Sketchcards by Cryptozoic

by Anastasia Catris in Artwork Comments: 6 tags: art, cryptozoic, ghostbusters, idw, sketchcards

IDW’s ‘Ghostbusters’ Sketchcards by Cryptozoic


I am super excited to reveal my contributions to IDW’s ‘Ghostbusters‘ Sketchcards by Cryptozoic. I have been waiting for over a year to be able to show you these cards! Sadly, due to rights negotiations within the company, this set had to be delayed a number of times (probably due to the new film coming out this year), but it was part of the huge 30th anniversary  celebration of the original films. Considering I am myself turning thirty this year, it actually seems pretty appropriate.

You may not realize this, but I am ever so slightly… okay, over-the-top-obsessed with Ghostbusters. I have been since I was about three. If you don’t believe me, here is an adorable video of me in 1989 opening a Christmas present… (most people would think that sharing a video of me as a child would be embarrassing, but no – I am a Ghostbuster for life!)

I have even been fortunate enough to meet the amazing Ernie Hudson and Dan Aykroyd in person over the years. I met Ernie at a convention and he was just the loveliest person. He always seems so happy to talk to fans. I met Dan Aykroyd when I was a student in The Kubert School and myself and Anthony Marques skipped class to go queue outside a Bottle King to buy his (then) brand new vodka ‘Crystal Head’.

3025_551012676030_7620139_n

3025_551012636110_4409205_n

As Ray was always my favourite Ghostbuster (he was the expert in the occult after all), this was probably one of the best moments of my life! (As you can probably see from the goofy smile in the photo above!) I actually made my own proton pack (only papier mache – I will make one with lights and all the trimmings one day!) for my 18th birthday which I wore with my own handmade suit. My best friend and I went as Egon and Ray and needless to say, we were awesome. I wore that same jumpsuit years later to go to the 30th anniversary screening of the first film in Cineworld…

Untitled-1

So, I think it’s pretty safe to say that when I got asked to be involved on this sketchcard set, I was a bit excited!

Sadly I could only contribute a small amount of cards, but I loved working on each and every one of them. I only hope there is another set in the works in the future considering that Cryptozoic are soon to be bringing out the Ghostbusters II Board Game.

Here are few of my favourite cards and you can check out the rest of my contributions in the GalleryYou can also check them out on my Facebook and my Instagram @AnastasiaCatris.


Chameleon Markers


I was sent a set of Chameleon Markers (22 Pen Set) in exchange for an honest review. Other pens and materials were also used to create the final image, these will be listed accordingly. You can find more about Chameleon Markers via www.chameleonpens.com


If you are artistically minded then chances are that you have heard of Chameleon Pens. With targeted advertising being the way it is on Instagram, Facebook and almost everywhere else, it was inevitable that I would be hankering after a set of these pens. For those of you who don’t know, Chameleon Pens are a new art innovation which claim to “create stunning 3D effects, smooth transitions, highlighting, shading, gradations and blending, ALL WITH ONE PEN!” Now, as I am sure any artist would attest, the idea of only using one pen to create a whole range of colours is an incredibly economical, useful and efficient innovation, that I for one was very excited to try out.

Before I begin to talk about the pens themselves, first allow me to talk about the packaging (because first impressions are important). The box itself is made of a sturdy black cardboard which I personally prefer to the usual plastic/acrylic pen boxes simply down to the fact that it will not crack during transport. As you know, I go to a lot of conventions and my plastic carry cases for other marker pens have seen some battering over the years which can often lead to nasty little plastic shards getting loose and occasionally scratching my bags interior (luckily I have not lost any artwork to them as yet). The case also works as a work station, with the lid folding underneath the box to allow the pens to lift off the desk and all lids/colours to be easily accessible. It also comes with an instruction manual teaching you some of the basic techniques and, of course, how to use the blending system, which is what we all came for.


b51330_1915dd9e25d446cfab2a5ad768aa1dcd


Using the pens may seem complicated at first, but once you get into the rhythm of placing the nib of the colour you have chosen into the mixing chamber and waiting for the toning medium to seep into the pen, it is just a case of rinse and repeat (or tone and repeat). This may seem like a bit of a chore, but when you count this against the amount of different pens you would have to de-cap use, cap, replace, in order to get the same effect, it works out to be much more time efficient than you would think (and even more so after practice I would imagine).

I decided to conduct my first run with the markers on a previously inked up sketch card of Glaceon from Pokemon (it being Pokemon’s 20th Birthday after all). This was inked up using Uni Pin Fine Liners on 3.5″ x 2.5″ Bristol card stock.


Picture 1


I will not lie, the technique of shading from light to dark took a bit of getting used to. I generally work from dark to light when shading and tend to fill in my shadows first, so working in reverse was a bit of a learning curve. It also took me a while to get a steady and fluid gradient when working over larger areas, but this is down to my being unfamiliar with the technique than the pens themselves. Using only one pen (BL3 Sky Blue) I was able to get the wash you see above.


Picture 2


After completing the initial wash of the torso, I went in with two more colours, BL6 Royal Blue and BG4 Aquamarine. I found working on the details a little more difficult due to the fact I was, again, adjusting to shading in a different direction. I am so used to directing my pen upwards (from dark to light) when I shade, that going from side to side with my pen to achieve a light-dark gradient was very strange. But, as you can see (while a bit haphazard due to it being my first run) the variations in tone are brilliant and would usually take the mixing of quite a few different pens with other alcohol based markers. I used the CB Colorless Blender to go in afterwards and clear up some of my more blotchy errors and make the gradients smoother. This added to an almost watercolour effect.


Picture 3


The background (BV4 Blue Violet) was where I ran into some trouble. I originally wanted a dark base leading up to a lighter top, but this was quite difficult to achieve on a first run as larger areas seemed to be a bit more difficult to navigate. Again, this is something that I know will come with practice and more knowledge of the timings of the pens (how long to leave the pen nibs in the mixing chamber). Once again I used the colourless blender to wash the gradient afterwards and this helped rectify a few mistakes without leaving any unsightly ‘bald’ areas as some correction pens might.

From my experience of using these pens so far, I would probably say they were best used over smaller areas, which makes them perfect for sketch cards or modern adult colouring books (due to the intricate nature of the images). However as they are alcohol based and often require repeating a wash over an image a number of times, they would not be suitable for double sided pages such as those in Colour Me Mindful or Draw Your Way To A Younger Brain, as they would bleed over to the next page. So I would stick to single page colouring books or photocopies with these pens if I were you.


Picture 4


I went in with the RD4 Crimson Red Chameleon pen to finish the small details on the mouth and found the bullet nib to be very accurate. I also did not encounter any bleeding despite having just saturated the page with the blue tones. While the brush pen went over my line art quite a bit (due to the nib slowly being ‘broken in’) it was easily cleaned using the colourless blender and did not have the tie die effect of bursting out into the other colours that many alcohol based markers do when you are working on a quick piece that you do not leave to dry.

At first I was a bit worried that the brush pen nibs were crushing too quickly and thought it might have been my own technique, or me being too forceful when pushing them in the mixing chamber, but the instructions state that this is all part of the natural ‘breaking in process’ and that nibs are “inexpensive and easy to replace” with the intention being that the fibers will separate and “perform more like a paintbrush”.


Picture 5


Above shows my final piece before going in with my Uni-Posca White Paint Pen and thickening up the holding lines with the Chameleon 0.6mm Detail Pen. I ended up adding some highlights and cell shading using my Copic Ciao Markers as well as blending in a few hues that I wanted, to make the colouring of the character a bit more accurate. The one criticism I do have of the Chameleon Pens would be that although in only 20 colour pens there are over 100 tones and hues, there is something to be said for having a pen or two that are the one colour you are looking for. If the base colour of the Chameleon Pen is not the colour you are imagining, then any tonal variation of that will not be sufficient.

The bonus of the pens’ mixing chamber technology, however, is that you can use them with your existing alcohol marker collection to create new variations of those colour tones, so it essentially amplifies your current collection.


Picture 6


Finally I used the Chameleon Detail Pen to outline Glaceon and add some shadows. I then used the Uni-Posca White Paint Pen to create a thick white holding line (no real reason except I love that style), highlights, snow effects and an icy sheen. Overall this piece took me about an hour due to having to figure out the mechanics and techniques of the Chameleon Pens, but that is something that will improve with practice.

Not including the other types of pens that I listed in my descriptions, the tones on the final piece were created using only 5 pens(!) from the 20 colours as well as the colourless blender and detail pen. The quality of the final image is one which I am incredibly happy with and the idea of taking the one set of only 22 pens to a convention, rather than the far larger amount of other alcohol based markers it would take to achieve this image, is definitely a huge selling point for a commercial artist.

I am looking forward to experimenting more with these pens in the future, especially for images where subtle gradients would be a highlight of the image (seascapes or skyscapes for example). I am also curious how well the pens work with varying skin tones and blending with each other (which I only slightly touched on with Glaceon’s eyes which are a mixture of Aqua Marine and Royal Blue). Until then, be sure to check out the final image on my Instagram and visit the Chameleon Pens website for more information. They have a bunch of useful tutorials and videos which explain how the pens work.


 

Merry Colourful Christmas


Merry Colourful Christmas


Before I go silent night over the Christmas holidays, here is a FREE printable colouring page just in time for the festive celebrations! I have uploaded this JPG in very high resolution so should hopefully create a nicely detailed print. Simply click on the image below to be take to the attachment page then drag onto your desktop or right click and ‘Save Image As’.

Please be sure to wait for your ink to dry before colouring. Whether or not the pens bleed depends on the ink you use in your printer. I would also recommend waiting an hour after printing before colouring to avoid possible smudging, or printing a test page first if you are using pens rather than pencils.

This image is NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE. You are downloading the page on the proviso that it is for personal use only.

©Anastasia Catris 2015. All copyright and reproduction rights are retained by the artist.

I would love to see some of your coloured versions on Instagram (@AnastasiaCatris) or Twitter (@ACatris). You can also use the #ColourMeMindful though this is not an official Colour Me Mindful product.


Christmas Gift

Cirque Du Mort FREE on Amazon Over The Holidays


FREE Kindle


You can currently grab Cirque Du Mort: Volume One for FREE on your Amazon Kindle or Kindle app on your phone/e-reader over the holiday season. This offer is made available by KDP Select and is only available from Dec. 22nd – Dec. 26th. Grab your copy while you can and enjoy your visit to the haunted circus with some spooky tales over the Festive Season.

‘Cirque Du Mort’ is a collection of gruesome short stories centering around the cast of a haunted circus. Their lives, loves, deaths and everything in between. From the tragic to the ridiculous, the romantic to the macabre, each character in this cursed carnival has a story to share with you. 

Meet Felicity and Mallory: the famous Janus sisters. They shared a womb, a life, a liver, a grave… 

Or Mimi the Mime. Once a chatty clown with stories to tell – she just couldn’t hold her tongue. So someone held it for her… 

Roll up! Roll up! Enter if you dare… The greatest show NOT of this Earth… 

‘Cirque Du Mort’ is a self published book; written, edited and illustrated by Anastasia Catris. It was published in May 2015 and launched at London MCM Comic Expo. 

Volume One contains 10 unique and highly illustrated short stories surrounding different circus characters and how they met their grisly ends. Told in a variation of styles from fairy tales and nursery rhymes to fiction and realism, this is a collage of style and art that is bound to delight.

Don’t forget to leave a review of the book on Amazon and Happy Holidays!


 

Tangled Up In Blue…


In early 2015 I was asked by Orion Publishing if I would be interested in illustrating not one, but THREE 51 page colouring books for adults, entitled ‘Colour Me Mindful: Birds’, ‘Tropical’ and ‘Underwater’. I had literally just moved out of my parents’ house and finished up two huge sketchcard projects for DC and IDW within the same week. The first thing I had moved into my new home was my drawing desk and computer and I spent the first few days surrounded by boxes begging to be unpacked while I furiously scribbled away. I had mistakenly thought that moving house ‘only down the road’ would be simple and of course I could take on two sketchcard projects in the middle of it – I mean, who turns down jobs from DC and IDW when they come knocking? My Kickstarter backers were more than understanding and so many of them wished me luck with the projects. I was just so proud to be working for two of my favourite comic publishers that I didn’t mind the sleepless nights.

I had been living at home with my parents for the last few years while I worked on getting my art career off the ground. It had been amazingly beneficial of course and I cannot thank my parents enough for giving me that chance to work on my portfolio, travel around the country easily and of course being there for me. But nothing prepared me for the incentive and drive having ‘the fear’ of living in a rented house again (especially when you are a self-employed freelance artist) would give me. So of course when Orion contacted me with their brief for three colouring books I jumped at the chance. This was not only an opportunity to work on a project which meant a lot to me (having studied mindfulness and art therapy in the past) but also get my name into bookstores (and of course pay my rent!).

At first things developed at a nice easy pace. The books were due in June and I was communicating back and forth as I drew up sample pages and covers, taking time to make sure they were what the publishers wanted and working up roughs and pencils before moving onto inks. As I was going to have to wait until the pages were all complete and sent in to get paid, I obviously had to take on other work at the same time, including several new sketchcard sets, private commissions and of course travelling around to conventions. On top of all of this I was determined to get ‘Cirque Du Mort’ ready for London MCM in May. I had already made my backers wait for so long due to being offered the DC and IDW work (as well as working on everything alone) and I was obviously getting worried about them becoming discouraged. So essentially, I was working on four books – the ‘Cirque Du Mort‘ and the colouring books.

It was only 10 days to go until London MCM and the final launch of the ‘Cirque Du Mort’ that I had the phone-call that boosted everything into overdrive. There had been an issue with the printers and Orion now needed the final pages for all three books by the 29th May instead of late June – giving me 16 days (not including the 4 that I would have to take out for London MCM) to completely finish the books – that’s 140 pages in 12 days. 11 pages a day. In those 16 days I think I slept for about 4 of them. My rubbish bin was full to the brim with energy drinks’ cans and when I did go to bed it was usually when my partner’s alarm went off for him to get up for work.

I suppose I can appreciate the irony that creating books to alleviate stress would be the most stressful experience of my life.

I did not have much time to celebrate getting the pages for the books in as I had to start sending out ‘Cirque Du Mort’ backer packages (now that the books had been printed and most merchandise ordered). Of the 268 amazing backers, I managed to pack up and send off 207 rewards before I got another message from Orion. They had liked the books so much that they wanted me to do another three. As I had not taken on any new work during the creation of the last books, I had nothing lined up for the coming months and of course I wanted to keep my working relationship with Orion going. They were a wonderful team to work with and they were giving me my own book series with my name on the cover – this is what artists dream of. So before I even had chance to breathe after the first Colour Me Mindful books were done and dusted, I was working on ‘Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies’, ‘Enchanted Creatures’ and ‘Seasons’.

I felt like I was ready for this series. That I knew what to expect. That I wouldn’t let any unforeseen circumstances creep up on me and force me to panic again. That was when someone very close to me, who had been in and out of hospital most of the year, became very ill. I was in and out of hospital visiting them and driving back and forth from Newport to Penarth, on top of which the emotional stress began to take its toll. I started turning down sketchcard work or having to finish projects early. I started coming home prematurely from conventions and getting my partner to post on social media for me when I was actually just zoning out and struggling to hold a pencil.

I knew the signs that my mental illness was rearing its ugly head. I had learned to spot them from a young age. So I called up my doctor for a pre-emptive strike and booked myself in for counselling. I was put on a three month waiting list. I called up MIND. Their waiting list was two months. I became even more reclusive and started cancelling social occasions with my friends (if I organised them at all). When I wasn’t traveling back and forth to the hospital, I was staring at a blank page trying to will my pencil to actually move. The publishers were amazingly understanding and I ended up getting the next books in a little late, but to a standard I was incredibly proud of considering the circumstances… You’d think it would end there, right?

Well. That was when I was asked to do three more books… Part of me of course wanted to say no, if only due to my mental health. But I didn’t want to stop working with Orion. It’s not often that an artist and a publisher work so well together. By this point I also needed the organisation of drawing every day, I felt like that was what was keeping me together. I needed a job to keep me structured. I needed to pay rent and bills of course. But mostly I had met so many people during the publication of ‘Colour Me Mindful’ who had messaged me saying that my books had helped them through tough times. I had emails upon emails from other people who had depression and felt that my work was helping them. That was probably the most inspiring thing that has ever happened to me.

Despite everything I was going through myself, there were people out there who found the fruits of my labour calming. One person even told me how they helped him stave off a massive panic attack when he was on the train. Another told me how they helped her forget her chronic pain – if only for a moment.

It was during drawing the last three books, the ‘Draw Your Way To A Younger Brain’ series, that the someone very close to me passed away. I had to take time away from working obviously, and stepped away from everything for a while. I phoned up my doctor and tried to push them to let me see a counsellor sooner and they booked me in with some local student counsellors after the books were done. I tried my best to keep on top of my mental health but everything just felt hazy. The stress, grieving, sleep deprivation, poor physical health (mostly from ‘deadline diet’ and reliance on energy drinks  *see sleep deprivation), guilt from the other projects I had allowed to fall to the wayside and those that just overwhelmed me; all hit me at once and it just seemed like everything was just too much.

I had a bit of a breakdown in front of my partner (I’m sure it was more than one of course, but one really stood out) and he just said “What can we do to fix it?” I suddenly realised that all the advice I had been giving people with mental issues, all the mindfulness I had been preaching, the #endthestigma conversations I had been encouraging – I finally needed to practice what I preached.

I started seeing the student counsellor every week. I went off my hormonal pill medication (which had been changed by my doctor earlier in the year and had been causing me a lot of distress). I started meditating every morning using mindfulness tapes. I improved my diet and stopped drinking energy drinks as much. I slept. I slept so much.

When I handed in the final three books it wasn’t to huge fanfare and congratulations, but the largest sigh of relief I have ever felt. And I couldn’t even feel it due to my anhedonia (emotional numbness) flaring up so badly. I have not taken on any new work since and have saved up enough that I can work on personal projects like ‘Cirque Du Mort’ and commissions over the Christmas, in-between looking after myself and trying to get back on a more healthy and personally productive schedule.

I look back over the things I have done this year: Self publishing my first creator owned book, ‘Cirque Du Mort’. Becoming a recognised colouring book artist. Being published in Germany, Australia, Canada, America and Korea. Publishing 10 books in one year. Working for DC, IDW, Dynamite and Marvel as a sketchcard artist. And it is still hard for me to feel proud. My depression robs me of that and that is just a sad fact. I see the loved one I lost. I see how disappointed some of my backers are that I didn’t get my books out to them in good time. I see the little things I could have done better. Those are the things my depression shows me.

But I also know that I will not let it win. I know that I got help. I know that I told those closest to me what was going on and let them help me. I know that I can get through this just like I have got through this before. I know how proud of me that lost loved one is. I know how proud of me my parents and friends are. And even though I can’t feel that pride myself yet, I know I will. It will just take time. Time, rest, help and heck – maybe even some mindful colouring in. Why not?


‘Help Syrian Refugees’ Charity Art Auction


Help Syrian Refugees Charity Art Auction


The wonderful Emily Owen (@TomboyPrincess), a regular face in the world of comic and art conventions here in the UK and co-creator of Pup & Grumpicorn is currently running an eBay Charity auction to help Syrian Refugees. 100% of the proceeds of these auctions will be going towards aiding refugees by providing them with warm clothes and bedding during what is one of the coldest Winters in the region in 20 years.

I am very proud that three pieces of my own artwork are included in this auction and with a starting price of only 99p(!) with only £2.50 thrown in for postage and packaging, it is a perfect time to pick up some original artwork for an incredibly affordable price whilst also giving your money to a tremendous cause. The three pieces donated can be seen in more detail below. Simply click on the image or the link below each picture to be taken directly to the eBay listing.


Seasons 24

Colour Me Mindful Seasons – Harvest Festival – LINK TO LISTING

250mm x 250mm

Original Page from the 2015 book Colour Me Mindful: Seasons, published by Orion Publishing, signed by the artist.

(Watermark will not be on the original page)


Colour Me Mindful Tropical – Tropical Toucan – LINK TO LISTING

258mm x 236mm

Original Page from the 2015 book Colour Me Mindful: Tropical, published by Orion Publishing, signed by the artist.

(Watermark will not be on the original page)


Ocean

Original Art Print – Ocean – LINK TO LISTING

26cm x 42cm

Original Art Print signed by the artist.


Be sure to also check out Emily’s other eBay listings for some wonderful artwork by some very talented local artists and good friends. You can also donate directly to the Red Cross’ Syria Crisis Appeal or the UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency.


Christmas Giveaway


Christmas Giveaway


How would you like a chance to win not one, not two, not even three, but ALL SIX of the ‘Colour Me Mindful’ adult colouring books released by Orion Publishing in 2015? Not only will you get copies of the most recent releases ‘Seasons’, ‘Enchanted Creatures’ and ‘Butterflies’, but you will also get American copies (yes – that’s Color without the ‘U’) of the original ‘Color Me Mindful’ ‘Birds’, ‘Tropical’ and ‘Underwater’ by Gallery Books. These books measure 22cm squared (as opposed to the UK copies of 17cm squared) with a gorgeous gloss cover and are not available in this country.

As the UK ‘last post’ date is fast approaching before Christmas, the raffle will run until 15th December so that the winner will be able to get their books before Christmas Eve (this raffle is open to you lovely lot from countries other than the UK of course, but it won’t be guaranteed that you will get your books before Christmas depending on your location).

This would be an ideal way to bulk out your stockings, great gifts for family and friends, or just a great activity for you to have fun with and relax with some mulled wine and mince pie!

And don’t forget that ‘Colour Me Mindful’ ‘Seasons’ has some great Winter images to really get in the festive mood. Why not check out the hashtag #ColourMeMindful on Twitter or Instagram to see what gorgeous holiday pictures the other colourists out there are making.

There are plenty of ways to enter the Raffle after you have entered the first two mandatory options below, from following on Facebook to posting an Amazon review (I know a lot of you have already been kind enough to do these things so, of course, your past follows count). Just follow the instructions on the simple Rafflecopter widget below and GOOD LUCK!  

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win The BRAND NEW Colour Me Mindful Series


Win The BRAND NEW Colour Me Mindful Series

Time really does fly! It seems like only yesterday I was adding the finishing touches to the next batch of Colour Me Mindful titles: Butterflies, Seasons and Enchanted Creatures; and now, in little over a week (on the 24th September), they are due to be released.

This series was a lot of fun to work on. While butterflies was fun and relaxing, Seasons and Enchanted Creatures were both interesting and challenging. Not only to come up with original content but to research interesting concepts.

Enchanted Creatures is definitely my favourite of this series and I would like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you helped by telling me your favourite magickal creatures, myths and legends. In this book you will find selkies, mermaids, dragons, magical birds, nagas, sphynx and many, many more and I really hope you enjoy colouring them all in.

The books are all still available to pre-order from Amazon and will also be available from your local bookstores, WH Smiths and Waterstones (so make sure to ask if they are due to be stocked). But, if you would like the chance to win a FREE COPY of EACH BOOK then keep on reading!


COLOUR ME MINDFUL BOOK GIVEAWAY!

To be in with a chance to win a FREE COPY of Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies, Colour Me Mindful: Seasons, and Colour Me Mindful: Enchanted Creatures, simply check out the Rafflecopter box below.

All you have to do is subscribe to this blog via email (link in the box at the bottom of the page) and comment on any of the blog posts on my website, then you will see a whole host of other options to grab extra ‘tickets’ in the raffle. Amazon reviews are the BIG TICKET! If you review the current Colour Me Mindful titles (Underwater, Tropical and Birds) you will get a grand total of 15 entries into the raffle! Significantly boosting your chance of winning.


PRIZE BONUSES!

Also – the more entries – the more prizes! That’s right, if I receive a significant amount of entries, I will add extra prizes into the raffle. So the more entries you encourage, the more prizes I will add into the mix! This will include extra copies of the book, copies of the current titles and even original pages! So if you would like a bigger and better chance to win, spread the word!

The giveaway will be running from 16th September to Monday 28th September.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kawaii Club – Back 2 School Special!


 

Yet another month has gone by and it is time to review my August Ookii Parcel from Kawaii Club Ookii Box, a Keep It Secret UK Subscription service.

As always, in the interest of honesty I will say that I am the Social Media & Support Manager over at Keep It Secret so I am sent these for an honest review as part of working for the company. All opinions of the items are my own though and I mostly just love showing you guys the super secret surprises that we ship off every month.


This month’s box theme was ‘Back 2 School’ and I have to say that this was my favourite box from Kawaii Club so far. I have always been a sucker for cute stationery and Keep It Secret have really out done themselves with the range of gorgeous treats on offer this month. With the launch of Kamio Stationery products over on their website, now is a great time to fill your pencil case with some cute erasers, sharpeners, pens and pencils, just in time for the start of the new school term (or, if you’re like me, for every day use and to just make you smile).

2015-09-07_12.39.01

The items in this month’s box are both adorable and incredibly useful, with a mix of washi tape, stickers, stamps and pencils.

IMG_20150907_124302

 

This cute masking tape measure 1.6m in all and features this adorable little bear. Needless to say some of my Etsy packages being sent out over the next few weeks will have a little kawaii love keeping them together.

 

IMG_20150907_124603

 

This transparent wallet is A4 in size and shows a chibi picture of No-Face from Spirited Away, one of my favourite Studio Ghibli films. This wallet is ideal to keep your artwork (or homework protected) and I’m sure that little soot mote won’t get dirt on your work.

IMG_20150907_124354

 

I haven’t had a secret diary in a very long time, but this Okitoki padlocked notebook might just convince me to start one again (pretty sure I’ve grown out of the AC 4 KR ((Keanu Reeves FYI)) stage, but hey he’s still a hottie).

IMG_20150907_124437

 

What do you get the girl who draws colouring books for a living? Why a set of coloured pencils of course. These cute pocket size pencils are ideal for taking on long road trips, holiday or just out in the garden while you colour in your copy of Colour Me Mindful (shameless plug – not even ashamed).

IMG_20150907_124518

 

I LOVED these pens when I was a kid so I am super stoked to have one again. They are just so wonderfully comfortable to use and incredibly practical, I mean, who wants to carry around 8 biro pens when you can just have one?

IMG_20150907_124049

I only recently became acquainted with Sumikkogurashi while I was visiting London and I have to say, I am very much in love with these tiny little mochi animals. So, the fact that I can now stick them anywhere makes me very happy.

IMG_20150907_124136

What Kawaii stationery set would be complete without the wonder that is Hello Kitty? This bento box of tiny rubber stamps is lovely and the stamps are clear and press well. A lovely way to decorate your diary so those school days don’t seem so boring.

IMG_20150907_124215

 

I love Sentimental Circus and actually have a few notebooks and stickers from their brand from visiting various Japanese stores over the years, so this giant paperclip/bookmark is a perfect way to round of my collection.

2015-09-07_12.59.04

 


Just to give you a quick sneak peek of the stamps and biro pen in action (not to mention a final little plug for Kawaii Club and Keep It Secret UKDon’t forget to sign up for next month to see what they have in store for you. I’m going to go and use these lovely gifts to help re-organise my week. 


I Failed Art

by Anastasia Catris in Personal Comments: 8 tags: a level, art, art college, artist, gcse, results

A huge GOOD LUCK to all of those getting their A Level results this week and congratulations to those of you who got into your University of choice.

Just remember that your choices today (and the grades you get) don’t have to shape who you are forever – only you can do that. Either through the University experience; going straight into a job/career; or taking time out, you’re an adult now and it’s finally your decision as to what sort of adult you want to be. Not your parents’, not your teachers’ – YOURS!

Twelve years ago I failed Art.

I ended up studying English in University because I loved it. I made great friends who encouraged me to draw again after losing a lot of confidence. My A Level art teacher had told me comics weren’t a ‘valid medium‘. I met lecturers who taught me about comics that had won Pulitzers. I was introduced to the work of Spiegelman, Gaiman and McCloud. I ended up working on an art portfolio in my final year instead of my dissertation and applying to one of the best comic art schools in the world. And I got in.

I met my heroes, lived in the US and met some of the finest artists and friends I will ever know.

Today I am a paid artist and I get to travel all over the world going to conventions. I have worked for one of the biggest publishers in the world and one of my favourite magazines. I have worked for DC, Marvel, IDW and Dynamite on some of the most kickass characters I know; from Red Sonja to Harley Quinn; Vampirella to Peter Venkman!

giphy

I get e-mails almost daily from beautiful, wonderful people who tell me that my newest series of colouring books for adults has helped them cope with their anxiety, depression or just the stress of day to day. As of this year I can officially say that my art is actually helping people!

I have people cosplay as characters I dreamed up. I have my own book which has been a number one best seller in its genre that I self published, wrote, illustrated, edited and lettered myself. There are characters and stories out there in the world now that wouldn’t have existed without me!

I get paid to draw, colour and create things on a daily basis (not much – I’m not going to lie – but it’s worth it to do what you love). People buy my art because they like it and it makes them happy – that is probably my proudest achievement.

Twelve years ago I failed Art and now I can proudly tell people, when they ask me what I do, that I am an Artist.

So no matter the outcome this week – Good Luck. You have an amazing journey ahead of you.


Stock photo used for title image – nanagirl_stock