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Society 6 Store Update

by Anastasia Catris in Announcement Comments: 0 tags: art, merchandise, society6

I have recently updated my Society6 Store so that it includes a few more items and some more of my most popular work including my Labyrinth print, Get Jinxed and Playtime is Over. So, if you are looking for a unique gift for your friends or family this Christmas, be sure to take advantage of Society6‘s daily deals (including FREE Worldwide Shipping today).

I personally have a Society6 Tote Bag and it is one of my favorite bags (it has Megan Lara’s ‘Space Cowboy design). The quality of the items on Society6 is excellent, though I will warn you that the ‘unisex’ vest tops are a bit roomy for ladies in the breast area (more like men’s training tops so don’t cover the bra very well).

If you have bought an item from my Society6 page, I would love to see your item in real life. So feel free to comment below with links to pictures or blogs with an image of the item and (with your permission) I owuld love to attach it to the end of this post.

Also, how many of you use RedBubble? Or Zazzle? I am always looking for different ways of selling my art and would love your opinion on those sites and the quality of their items.

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Cirque in Progress

by Anastasia Catris in Artwork Comments: 2 tags: art, cirque du mort, WIP, Work In Progress

Cirque in Progress


Do you see what I did there? Work? Cirque? … Okay, yeah, I’m pretty tired. Had a very productive day however and can safely say that two more characters are well on there way. First off, allow me to introduce you to Callista, the Bearded Beauty. I absolutely love Callista’s character. Her costume is inspired by Persian art and fashion as well as obviously burlesque. She is a thick, gorgeous woman and I love that she just oozes sex appeal while also rocking the body hair. You may be able to see I didn’t just go for the beard, she also has un-shaved underarms and thick inner eyebrows. Looking forward to colouring her and inserting her into the Cirque along with her story and center fold.

Callista

Next up we have ‘The Torso’, Miranda. When I was writing Miranda I just imagined her having this confidence and mystery (as will be shown in her story). You’re not sure what Miranda’s real story is, she never seems to tell the same story twice. She is only sure of one thing and that is no matter who you are, what you are, she is twice the woman you will ever be. I love her 1930’s hairstyle and can’t wait to introduce her to you properly in the book (Can’t show you too much in the teaser phase as I don’t want to give anything away.

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Finally and pretty excitingly, I have a logo for the book, merchandise and general publicity. I actually worked on this during Birmingham MCM the other week but only just got the chance to clean it up and scan it. Thanks to Jeremy from Zombie Bears who was sat next to me throughout the con and gave his professional feedback (see how us horror Indies stick together). I also managed to pick up some A5 backing boards and plastic dust bags, so each copy of Cirque Du Mort which gets sent out will be bell protected and professionally packaged. They will hopefully all also be sealed with a sticker with this little logo on it.

logoI can also excitingly reveal that I have today applied for a batch of ISBN numbers! This is ridiculously exciting as it means I will be able to stock the Cirque Du Mort in Amazon and other online retailers as well as attempt to sell it into bookstores. If you know a local book store that likes to encourage indie creators, please send them my way. I already have a few comic stores kindly looking to stock it, but the more the merrier!


 

Taking Stock

by Anastasia Catris in Personal Comments: 2 tags: art, etsy, society6

Every year around Christmas time I try to have a clear out of the house before the decorations go up. Almost like a Spring Clean, but… well, colder. I throw out any cosmetics and medicine that might have gone off; donate any cans and dried food that may have otherwise gathered dust to food drives; and find clothes that I may no longer be able to squeeze into but have been living in denial by having them in my wardrobe for a year and donate them to charity.

This year, however, the biggest clean out has been my office (and the longest considering I am still working in it every day, so it has been a very slow process). Looking back over 2014, I have managed to attend 21 conventions as an exhibitor! And, in that time I have had to restock my stall on an almost weekly basis, gather together commissions and constantly add to my pile of stationery, pens and paper. The office at the end of this con year was, as you can imagine, a bit of a state!

So, today was the final day of my slow clean out and I am happy to report that my Etsy stock is finally up-to-date with the correct numbers of items (so I won’t sell out of the wrong things, or oversell stock I don’t have). A lot of these prints are on a ‘once they are gone, they’re gone’ basis as I will be overhauling my stock something crazy next year with brand new work in the pipeline (which I am VERY excited about).

Cirque Du Mort itself will bring a whole host of new stock, prints sketch cards and even the exciting addition of postcards, stickers and buttons(!), but on top of that I will also finally be retiring a number of my prints which either don’t get as much love as the others or simply are getting on a bit and don’t reflect my style of drawing anymore. So, if you would still like to grab some of my more classic convention prints – this could be your last chance.

I will be running a sale on my Etsy store from now until 12/12/2014 for 20% off orders of £10+ So, simply use the code ‘COOLYULE’ to qualify for the discount. You can find my store at THIS LINK.

This will include my very popular mystery envelopes which each contain 2 art prints, 1 piece of original art and one ACEO/Sketchcard (either a print or an original). These are very limited so grab one while you can. I will also be making a limited run of these after Christmas for a New Year sale, but they will have different items inside, so be sure to grab this deal now if you want a little mystery.


Dinosaur Galaxy Preview


 

 

Dinosaur Galaxy Preview


The guys at Monsterwax have kindly given the go ahead to preview two of my contributions to their ‘Dinosaur Galaxy’ set. This is my third set working with animal likenesses (Insectae and The Deep from Viceroy being the first) and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I tried to stay clear of using any Spielberg reference as ‘Jurassic Park’ hase become a definitive mainstream view of what dinosaurs should have looked like, and most of that imagery was very dramatised. But one of the most fun things about this set is that we have no idea what colour many of the dinosaurs were! So I played around a little with the spectrum.

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This is actually (above) a dilophosaurus (or my rendition of one anyway). In ‘Jurassic Park’, you may know them as the spitting dinosaur that looked a bit like an over-sized frill necked lizard? Well, that was a very Hollywood over-exageration of the actual creature and there is no evidence of the frill or venom spitting. They were also apparently much larger than they were portrayed in the film, but Spielberg reduced their size so as not to get them confused with velociraptors.

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This (above) is my version of an Ankylosaurus. He looks a little worried about something, but I think he’s kind of cute. I noticed as I was doing this project that I tended to give the herbivores a cooler palette than the carnivores, whether or not that was a psychological choice I don’t know. I’m looking forward to getting the okay to show you the rest of the set soon, but until then, this small preview will have to do.


Blogmas 2014

by Anastasia Catris in Personal Comments: 0 tags: blogmas, christmas

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A LOT has happened in the last month since I spoke to you all.

  • My Kickstarter project, Cirque Du Mort, was successfully funded on November 1st.
  • The Perna ‘Hallowe’en’ Set was released (along with my 10 contributed cards).
  • The Kickstarter money finally made its way from your kindly pockets to mine about 2 weeks ago, allowing me to concentrate on my book full time (hence why I have been a bit quiet on the ol’ social media).
  • I went to Thought Bubble Sequential Art Fair and Birmingham MCM
  • I sent off my contributions to Monsterwax’s ‘Dinosaur Galaxy’ (just in time for the release of the Jurassic World trailer might I add).
  • I was announced as an exhibitor at the Cardiff Mini Con – my final convention of the year – on December 13th, in Nos Da, Canton.
  • And finally, I signed up to 4 new sketch card sets for the new year! (Including two VERY exciting ones that I can’t wait to tell you about in the future).

So, now that I have finally settled into the routine of drawing my own book (eep!) every day, I thought I would use this new-found structure as an excuse to actually communicate and sort my brain out through the art of blogging (Oh how I’ve missed it). And, it now being ‘Blog-Mas’, I figured this was also as good a reason as any to write.

This will be my first Christmas in 3 years where I actually get to spend Advent at home, getting in the festive spirit through normal things like Christmas shopping, cooking and watching silly films… as opposed to the last few years where I have toured around Wales with the awesome Once Upon a Time Theatre Company getting everyone else in the festive spirit through carols, jokes and generally being a darn evil ‘boo-able’ villain. I am actually really excited to go and see their panto this year rather than actually being in it (though I may get a little jealous).

Christmassy things I am looking forward to:

  • Decorating my house!
  • Getting all sorts of cute, cheesy stocking fillers for my partner.
  • Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland.
  • Watching ‘Muppets Christmas Carol’ – it’s not Christmas without it.
  • Listening to Christmas music a reasonable amount of times per day (as opposed to ALL THE TIME when doing panto – haha).
  • Getting to ‘Boo’ and ‘Hiss’ and shout ‘He’s Behind you!’ rather than having it shouted at me.
  • Going actual Christmas shopping, as opposed to having to order everything off the internet and hoping it arrives in the very small window of time when I am actually home.
  • Not having to drive through the wind, rain and snow. The beauty of drawing is I have everything I need at home.
  • My partner working in a job he LOVES. Retail is a damned hard business over the holidays and I am really glad he is finally working for a company who actually looks after him and makes him happy, especially at this ridiculously stressful time of year.
  • Christmas pudding!!

What are you looking forward to this Christmas? Personally, out of all these awesome things, what I am most looking forward to is sitting down every day to draw something I am passionate about and characters that I have seriously started to love.

I finished my final commissions of 2014 today (3 Perna Studios APs for international customers that I really wanted to get to them before Christmas) and am set to work on my Cirque Du Mort ‘Mermaid’ today. As a sneak preview, why not take a look at some of my inspiration on my Pinterest board?

Working on this book is getting ridiculously exciting and I am so humbled by all of you and your generous contributions towards making it happen. I really can’t wait to get it all finished and sent out to you. I am determined that each backer pledge package will be special and unique and a lovely gift for those of you kind enough to back the Cirque Du Mort. 

But, until then, here is a sweet little Christmas gift for you all – an adorable Christmas Pikachu! Because, well, why not! I still have to warm up my hands every morning – so why not warm them up in a nice festive way! Remember, you can all follow me on Instagram for more daily warm ups and sketches @AnastasiaCatris.

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Stock Photo manipulated in header/featured photo is by Missesglass on DeviantArt. Her textures are awesome, you should definitely check her out.

Kicking It Forward


When I started my own Kickstarter, I knew that I wanted to pledge to Kick It Forward to other projects. Kickstarter is a brilliant tool to encourage new and exciting independent projects that might not otherwise see the light of day, so the least I could do is support others on the site. Here are a couple of my favourite projects which I have backed recently and are still running alongside my own Kickstarter. Please take some time to check them out as they are all worthy of your attention and definitely deserve the praise they have been getting from Kickstarter and the public. If you are kind enough to back them, please leave a comment below – I’d love to know what you liked about them – or leave a comment on their Kickstarter wall.


F*** You Kitty Jenkins

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Project Deadline – October 30th 6pm BST

As an artist who started off life with a comic about an evil cat, with an intentionally offensive title, I have a soft spot for this mad little moggy. If you are a fan of surreal, cosmic kitties with a penchant for taking you on wild and wacky adventures, then this comic is for you. The art is adorable and it looks like a very fun project with a lot of future potential. Not to mention the creators are incredibly cool and passionate people and deserve all of your encouragement and support. This definitely plays to the Bee and Puppycat crowd while also having something unique and different about it. While the project is already fully funded, we all know the pitfalls of last minute pledge changes and the ominous threat of Kickstarter fees and unseen costs – so please go and check these guys out and offer your support. Most importantly, you can get a pre-order of the book out of it, and it looks to be a good one.

You can find the project here and also visit Backwards Burd Comics on Facebook and Twitter @BackwardsBurd 


7String Volume 2 – Ready To Launch

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Project Deadline – October 30th 7.55am BST

I have been lucky enough to know this amazing artist through conventions for a few years now and been following his gorgeous comic 7String since I first laid eyes on it at Bristol Comic Con (my first English con as an exhibitor). Nich Angell not only shares a name with Simon Pegg’s character in Hot Fuzz, he is also a kick ass comic creator and mastermind behind the beautiful world of Melodia (not to mention one of themost amazing colourists I have had the pleasure of meeting). In 7String Volume 2 you follow the adventures of Zachary Briarpatch in a world where music is a martial art, and instruments your weapons. I cannot recommend this comic series enough and by supporting the Kickstarter you are entering into a rich world with a great backstory and wonderful future to expand into. Check out the 7String Kickstarter now and secure your pre-order (there are also rewards available to purchase Volume 1 for as little as £8)

 You can find the 7String project here and also visit 7String on Facebook or Nich Angell on Twitter @nichangell


Complete Samurai Chef Print Edition

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October 27th 5.48pm BST

A story based fashion brand I hear you ask? Well, yes. This well honed, fantastically drawn comic is also a highly fashionable apparel brand with some brilliant hats and shirts which I have had the pleasure of seeing in the flesh at AniManga POP Bristol. The cartoon art is very well coloured and characters well realized, but most importantly it is incredibly fun – fighting, food, Samurai swords and adorable characters – what more could you want? They have already managed to raise a whopping 293% of their original goal of a mere £650 asking fund, but these guys deserve so much more than that! By backing the project you can get a pre-order of the book as well as some very well priced, high quality gear, so don’t miss out!

Find the Kickstarter Project here or visit Samurai Chef on Facebook and Twitter @mayamada


Canaan Cult Revival

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November 1st 4am BST

As a creator of a horror book Kickstarter myself, I felt an instant affinity with this project: “A magazine sized anthology of horror comics about demonology & exorcism” – I mean, how perfect does that sound? Artists actually pulled out from this project at the beginning because the stuff these guys are dealing with is so harrowing! The best Kickstarter by far for horror fans (okay, mine’s pretty good too I guess, but this isn’t about me! Haha), especially coming up on Halloween. The comic is also already completed and ready to ship out to people as soon as the campaign is over, if funding is successful. They are currently at $1,481 of their $5,000 (That’s about $3,124), so British backers – please bear in mind how far your pounds will go to help our American horror brethren and get supporting.

You can find the project over on Kickstarter here


Don’t forget, my own Kickstarter is still running until November 1st at 8am, so please feel free to check it out. It is fully funded, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take advantage of the pledge rewards and, of course, order your pre-order copy of Cirque Du Mort

Cirque Du Mort Fully Funded!

by Anastasia Catris in Announcement Comments: 2 tags: art, cirque du mort, kickstarter

Okay, so if any of you were following me on Facebook or Twitter yesterday you may have noticed that things got a little bit crazy! At 10.30pm on October 3rd, only 38 hours after going live, Cirque Du Mort reached FULLY FUNDED on Kickstarter! I was absolutely speechless when I found out! I have been working non-stop promoting the page since 8am yesterday morning, emailing, messaging and social media-ing like crazy (I apologize if I’ve been a bit of a nuisance), but today it all paid off!

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I even managed to get featured on the ‘What’s Popular in Comics’ Page! Thanks to the amazing help of my friends, family, work colleagues and some fantastic folk on Kickstarter itself, my project has already managed to hit its goal with 28 days to spare! I never could have imagined this happening. It’s the sort of thing that happens to famous people and people with really strong fan bases, not someone who is hosting their first project for their first creator owned book! Needless to say I am incredibly humbled.

Of course, the Kickstarter doesn’t end there – people can still drop out, change their pledges or it can just go stale in the next 28 days, so I will have to keep working at it and adding to it to keep it fresh and exciting for everyone involved; but at least this gives me a lot more time in which to do that.

Also, people can still keep on funding right up until the project’s end on Nov 1st, so if you would like to get your pre-order of the (now highly anticipated it would seem) Cirque Du Mort, then please head on over to the Kickstarter page for more information.

In the meantime, here is a small thank you video I took as soon as I found out about the funding. Thank you all again SO MUCH!

Cirque Du Mort Kickstarter Goes Live


Well, after months of preparation and panic, my first Kickstarter project went live at 9am on October 2nd. In only a few hours it has already been Re-Tweeted, Facebooked, Tumbled and Favourited by so many of my friends and family and I could not be more grateful to each and every one of them. Not only that, it has actually received a LOT of pledges already! Which I can hardly believe.

I have been working on this Kickstarter presentation since about June, creating graphics, pledge reward ideas and researching printers/budget etc… I have also been an active member of Kickstarter since 2011 and in that time have funded over 30 projects (which, when you’re a starving artist yourself, is no mean feat). Believe me, I wish I could have helped out with more – I always manage to find some awesome projects on that site. I think one of the most terrifying things about a Kickstarter is that, if you fail, your project is stuck on the internet for the rest of time and for all to see; so I really did put the pressure on when creating this project.

The book itself is called Cirque Du Mort, I’ve actually spoken about it on here before but never really gone into much depth about it as I wanted to save a lot of that for the Kickstarter. Now you can see more about it on the Kickstarter page (including some fun and creepy little videos about it) here. I came up with the idea late in 2013 when I was doodling at a convention and started drawing some circus style character designs. Felicity and Mallory, the conjoined twins, who many of you may have seen on my Facebook Page, were the first ones to really inspire a story. Before I knew it these characters had personalities, histories and origins and I knew I wanted to show them to people.

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The idea of the Cirque Du Mort actually came about after the first few characters had been written. Years ago I used to attend Summer School in the Sherman Theatre and for a few of the physical theatre pieces that we did we had to study clowning. I absolutely loved these classes, though at the time I’m sure I just found them quite surreal. During this time I created a nameless character who ended up following me into many of my future devised pieces of theatre, a blue haired clown who would eerily observe the behaviour on stage like some creepy MC. She personified calm confidence to me and maybe that’s one of the reasons I ended up dyeing my hair blue when I went to art school, as she had always been a part of my creative process.

In Cirque Du Mort, this nameless character has evolved into the Ringleader of the Circus of Death, and keeper of the unfortunate souls that reside within it. I guess it’s only appropriate that a character I have had haunting me since I started truly creating should be the ringmaster of my little book of creations.

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The whole project has got me nervous and excited all at the same time as, despite being a work of fiction, there is still a lot of me in it stylistically. And, most importantly, it is my first ever book that is completely my own, so I am obviously quite anxious to know what people think.

If you’d like to follow the project, be sure to visit the Kickstarter Page where you can back the project or just simply watch it. I’m speechless by the amount of support it has already got from so many people and I only hope it does well enough that I can show everyone what I have been working on and introduce them to my morbid little band of characters.

Cirque Du Mort is an illustrated book of 10 horror stories revolving around a haunted circus. The book will be printed in colour with 24 pages, saddle stitching. Please check out the project page for more details. You can also follow the Cirque Du Mort Facebook Page here.

Breygent’s ‘Women of Dynamite’ Premiere at SDCC


Breygent’s ‘Women of Dynamite’ Premier at SDCC


On the 3rd April 2014 I announced that I would be featuring as an artist in Breygent Marketing Inc.’s ‘Women of Dynamite’ Sketch Card set, in association with Dynamite Entertainment (Yes – THE Dynamite Entertainment! Home of Red Sonja!) Not only would I be lucky enough to be a part of this set, but it was also going to be released at San Diego Comic Con – the Mecca of Comic Cons! So, as you can imagine I was pretty excited.

Big thanks go out to Gail Simone for giving me the incentive to work on this set. I was lucky enough to sit behind her at Cardiff Comic Con last year and decided to draw her a Red Sonja Sketch Card. It was a little bit rushed and nowhere near the quality I wanted it to be and I was determined to make her a better version, so I did as soon as I got home (see below). Gail tweeted me saying that it was ‘gorgeous’, which boosted my confidence to no end as she is a creator I really admire.

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A few weeks later, I was contacted by Breygent for some up-to-date samples for a new secret set they were working on. Little did I know that it was a set that would include Sonja herself! I sent them a scan of this card and it obviously ticked all of their boxes because next thing I knew I was being asked how many cards I would like to do. So, thank you Gail for being so encouraging of emerging artists – especially when they are drawing characters so close to your heart – and inspiring me to draw this card which ultimately led to me working on this set.

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Now that San Diego is over, you can finally see the artwork I submitted to this set, as well as know how many cards I contributed (29). I decided to do some traditional classic versions of each character as well as an Art Nouveau alternative.

Below are a few of my favourite cards that I contributed to the set, but you can see all 29 sketch cards I contributed here. I am currently available for AP Commissions if anyone is interested, simply use my contact form. Please let me know in the messages below if you have picked up any of my sketch cards from the set. It’s always nice to know that my cards have gone to a good home. I am also now on Instagram, so please tag me @acatris if you picked up any of my cards from Breygent.



Cover photo is © Breygent Marketing Inc. and Dynamite Entertainment

London Comic Con Prep


Radio silence will possibly ensue over the next few days as I am leaving early tomorrow to head to London for London Film and Comic Con, my first convention back on the circuit after my month off. This is the first time I have appeared at LFCC and I am extremely excited. LFCC was actually my first convention as an attendee when I was in my first year of University in London. I met the wonderful Richard Briers and we discussed Shakespeare together. I even met Elijah Wood (my childhood crush) and was lucky enough to get a photo with him. It’s weird to think that I will actually be attending this one as an exhibitor.

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Today has been a pretty busy day. I’ve packed up all of my stock, ordered some new prints that I will be picking up from Staples on the way through to the city tomorrow and (most importantly) made some Rocky Road for my cousin who I will be staying with all weekend (it used to be her favourite when I lived with her). You can expect a full run down of the event when I get back on Sunday night/Monday morning, but until then it is very likely that I will be offline. Cons aren’t the best place for keeping your phone alive! Especially when I will most likely (/hopefully) be using it for reference.

I am looking forward to changing my table layout in a few cons time ready for the launch of the Cirque Du Mort Kickstarter. My current set up is getting a little tired and it will be nice to make things a bit more cohesive with my new product. I have already gathered some of the much needed displays and will soon be posting step by steps on how I re-purpose some of the cool Victorian/Carnival stuff I have found at car boot sales/charity shops for display purposes.

I hope to see a few of your lovely faces at LFCC and cannot wait to get going in the morning. But for now, here is my favourite song to listen to while I am prepping for cons by the awesome Kirby Krackle.