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Artist Alley! GDEX, and more.

What’s going on lately? It’s fall now officially. Mother Nature decided to catchup with everyone else. The past few weeks, I’ve been clocking in overtime hours at my job; apparently everyone wants to get married in October! Now that things have calmed down a little bit, I thought I’d share my thoughts on various conventions that I’ve applied to, have been to lately, and ones that I will be attending as an artist. 

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Me at SPACE back in April. Remember?

GDEX

This past weekend, I attended GDEX, an indie gaming convention that showcased game developers, artists, and had different gaming tournaments and panels going on too! My  boyfriend and I went together, and I enjoyed watching him try out the games there. He’s a big gamer himself, and I was really happy that he was able to go. I also played some games myself too! My favorite one was definitely a game called Collapsus. It’s a simple color and shape-matching puzzle game, but you can rotate your device to see new puzzle combinations. I thought it was a very unique game that makes use of a function of phone and tablet devices that not a lot of people take advantage of. I could’ve stayed there for the rest of the con just playing that game, honestly. 

Check out Collapsus here!

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Their cute logo from the website

There were also lots of artists selling their work as well. I managed to buy a couple things and meet some new artists as well as some old friends from college. I’ve probably said it before, but I really love going to conventions! I always leave feeling so inspired!

My BIG List

On my Google Docs, I have a big list of conventions that I want to apply to. Each one has when and where it is, if their artist alley applications are open, and if I applied or not yet. The cons I have my eye on for 2020 are:

  • Ohayocon
  • Matsuricon
  • Indypopcon
  • the aforementioned GDEX

Currently, I have good news! I am currently schedule to show at Indypopcon in their Artist Alley, and I am on the waitlist for Ohayocon. Hooray! I am hoping to create completely new art for the two cons, and I want it to be my best work, since these are pretty big cons. I hope to write about my con prep experiences, and I would like to create a post on my tips for prepping for Artist Alleys as well. 

That’s about it for now. October is flying by, and I have lots of planning to do. Be on the lookout for any website updates in the future! 

<3

-Allison

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Alla’s September Sightings

Why did it feel like September flew by? Is anyone else’s mind blown that we’re almost in October? Even though it doesn’t feel like Fall yet in Central Ohio, I’m definitely ready for Fall. I usually dread the start of Fall, it’s me least favorite season. While I know that’s a very unpopular opinion, I’m a summer child at heart, and love warm weather. But it’s been so hot recently that, for the first time, I’m looking forward to bringing out my winter jackets and hot apple cider. I already have a Halloween costume in mind for the holiday, now I have to find a Halloween party to go to. 🙂

It’s looking like October will be a busy month for me; I have some overtime scheduled in at work in the next few weeks, and I would like to post more on here, and work on my comic. Wish me luck! 

I would like to share with you my favorites from this month. It’s been a month of 

1. Artist Alley International Facebook Group

Lately I’ve been interested in applying to and attending more conventions in Ohio and the midwest. I always have a good time at the conventions I go to. I love meeting new people that look at my art, making connections and of course, collecting business cards. Recently I went to CXC this past Sunday, and I was able to connect with former peers from my college, and it was great to see people tabling and selling their work.

I’ve been showing at a couple cons since 2015, starting with my college’s art fair. There’s a big list on my computer of different cons that are currently accepting artist alley applications, ones to apply to next year, as well as lists of things I need for my booth space. My partner and I enjoy coming up with unique interactive booth ideas to draw people to my table, and I love to see what other people are doing.  

That’s where this Facebook group comes in. The Artist Alley International Group on Facebook is a great space for artists to come together and discuss tips, advice, and more about booth spaces, reviews on different conventions, things like that. I find myself scrolling down the page for hours, reading discussions, making mental notes on helpful advice. I recommend it for anyone that is interested in conventions in any way, whether they want to apply to shows, or attend them. 

2. Packing Lunch

This one is less of what I’ve been doing, and more of what I want to do. I work a full time job, and while I’m close to a lot of different fast food places, I’d rather not spend half my paycheck on bought lunch. I’ve been trying to cut down my food spending during the week, but what I really want to start doing is more meal prepping on my days off. Some days I do bring some snacks with me to work, enough for me to not be starving at my desk, but I would like to start making actual meals for myself. 

I’m gonna make a challenge for myself: I‘m gonna plan a day in the week to cook a big meal and split it up 4 ways, and once a week I can treat myself to take out. Sounds simple enough, right?

3. Pleasant Sims

I’m big on watching YouTube videos on the regular, if you don’t know already. I’m also a big fan of playing the Sims 2 on the regular. One of my favorite small Youtubers in recent time has been Pleasant Sims”. This small let’s play channel is run by Cindy, and she focuses on Sims 2 let’s plays, telling the stories of the well known sims in the game. I end up watching this channel for hours, listening to the stories and gameplay go on, and sometimes end up falling asleep to them. I really like the way Cindy plays; she uses modifications and that help the gameplay, and I actually downloaded some that she recommended. She also runs a blog on her website, pleasantsims.com, which has lots of tips and advice for other Sims 2 players. 

I’ve been playing Sims 2 since I was 10 years old, and I’m always finding new ways to play from her website. If you’re a fan of The Sims and Let’s Plays, take a look at her channel!

4. Downtown Columbus

My morning commute has cut down significantly since starting my new job. I take the bus to work, which used to be around a 30 minute bus ride to the shopping mall. But now it’s a 10-15 minute trip to downtown, which always has something new on my walk to work. I really enjoy joining the hustle and bustle of the morning commute, and sometimes before I go to work, I stop by Starbucks and grab breakfast. Everything is really close by, and I enjoy going out to grab lunch a couple blocks away. I’m also close to my college, and sometimes walk by there, stopping by the grocery store nearby and grabbing a slice of pizza. 

I feel like more of an adult walking downtown to work surrounded by people in suits and business casual clothing. It’s a nice upgrade from the mall, even though I frequently miss the routine I had working at the mall. Still, it’s worth it though. My coworkers are super helpful and great, and I always feel accomplished at my job. Like I said in an earlier blog post, I can see myself at my job for at least another few years or so.

That’s about it for September! I’ve been working a lot, and trying to continue side-hustling too. My partner has been very supportive lately, and my friends and I all get together still. Life is still going along well, and my quest to becoming a full-time artist is starting to look more realistic!

See you in the next blog post! <3

-Alla

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Comics! How to Make Comics “Alla-Style”

Wanna know how I make my comics? Well, I’ll try to sum up what I learned through art school into this little post if you’re an aspiring comic artist out there.

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Me in 2016 at the zoo. Back in my college days!

For some backstory, I am an alum of CCAD, or Columbus College of Art and Design. I majored in Illustration, before there was a comics major available. I also minored in Creative Writing. My junior and senior year, I was starting to really figure out my style, and knew at that point that I wanted to make comics. I took quite a few comics classes while I was there and learned so much about the industry. I still have and use resources from school to this day. I also interned with a small comics business now known as Freestyle Komics, where my friends and I worked on comics with professionals, and learned some key things about the industry, and how to promote and market ourselves. It was a really fun experience, and we still occasionally work with the company on various events.

As for making comics, I’ll be going over the basics, showing you my processes, from writing the script all the way to the physical copy. I will also provide some handy resources for you to take a look at that really helped me along my comics journey. Most of the resources were recommended to me from my teachers at art school.

So let’s get started!

1: Write your script!

First, before everything, write a simple outline. It doesn’t have to be super specific, just a play by play of what happens. Depending on how long you want your comic to be, the outline can be one page, or 10 pages! If you want to do a chaptered comic, or a webcomic, you can do outlines for each chapter, our a general outline of the whole story. It depends on how you want to tell your story. 

Once you’re settled on your outline, and edited it a bit, time to write the script. Write down each page, explaining what happens on the page, then go panel by panel, explaining what happens in each panel, the shot that the panel is showing, and if there is any dialogue or narration. I never go past 6 panels on a page. 6 or more panels is a little too crowded for me, but it’s not a hard rule; if you want to have lots of panels, feel free. I like to type my script out on the computer instead of writing it out. It goes faster, and I can organize it easier. If i want to make edits, or show someone, I make sure that it is very organized and there is spaces between the lines just in case I or someone else wants to make notes. Here’s an excerpt from my script from chapter 3 of Jazz: 

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Here’s a rather dialogue-heavy page here. I’m really particular about how I write the script; I want it to be as clear as it possibly can.

Once I finish the script, I move on to…

2: Laying out your pages. Thumbnails!

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You can see how simple I make the thumbnails. Actual stick figures!

This is either the fun part, or the hardest part for me because it’s taking what I wrote in my script and interpreting it into a visual form. It’s a lot of figuring out, and I sometimes change a few things in the script to help support the layout of the thumbnails, or vice versa. I like to take a large piece of paper to layout my thumbnails; lately I use my 11X14 sketchbook to make my thumbnails. Thumbnails don’t have to be big; a small rectangle will do. I use a pencil to layout panels; keeping in mind how the panels will look in more dialogue-heavy pages, action pages, and other scenarios. This is where a lot of erasing and figuring out comes to play. A lot of these things are hard to understand sometimes, so I would recommend these two books by Scott McCloud called “Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels” and “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art“.

McCloud does a very good job explaining the different aspects of sequential art, character designs and expressions, and more. One of the most inspirational things I learned from his books is the idea of time passing on the pages. We, as comic artists, have the power to move time forward as quickly or as slowly as we want. With that, he goes over the different panel transitions, which are all thoroughly explained in detail. I highly recommend picking up these books and studying them if you’re serious about becoming a comics artist.

3: Drawing out your pages full size. Use rulers, or digital programs!

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My trusty Strathmore Bristol Board with the vellum surface, an 18″ ruler, non photo blue pencil, and graphite pencil. And of course Roxie the kitty.

If you’re doing your comic traditionally, a necessity will be a ruler. Lately I’ve been making my chapters of “Jazz” traditionally, and I use Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board to make my pages. I like to use the “Vellum” type of paper. It’s smooth with very little grip, which makes it good for inking too. The measurements I make my pages are 5.8″X8.9″, but you can make your comic any size. There are different standards for different comic types; single issue comics, graphic novels, manga. A quick google search can tell you the different sizing standards for the types of comics out there. Anyways, I lay out the panels based on how I drew my thumbnails. I had to buy quite a few bristol board for my latest comic; the chapter ended up being 41 pages!

If you would like to do your comic on the computer, I recommend using a program I used to use called Medibang Paint Pro. It has a feature where you can create panels right on your document, making it easy to make comics. Plus, it’s a free program for both PC and Mac! You can use whichever program you’re used to; I personally use Photoshop, and use the rectangle tool to make my panels. I’m the type to organize my layers in my photoshop documents, so I like to group all my panels together on one layer. You can also use Procreate if you like drawing with an iPad. I’m not too familiar with Procreate, but I know that it’s a very intuitive program with lots of new things coming out with it. I suggest you try it out if you have an iPad and Apple Pencil.

Anyways, I basically layout my pages and panels full size and get ready for…

4: Pencils!

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A typical workspace while I do pencils. Script on my iPad, Thumbnails next to my drawing.

The fun part, actually drawing the comic! This is where you can really be creative and use all your drawing skills to make something magical. Referencing my thumbnails, I sketch out the poses, characters and backgrounds, making sure I take photo reference for things like poses, hands, buildings, whatever I need to draw to make my panels look good. Sometimes you can catch me acting out a pose in trying to figure out at my desk; actually doing the pose you’re trying to draw helps out significantly for me. Or just get a friend to do it and take a photo!

I like to use non-photo blue pencils to sketch the very basic poses, and going back with details with a graphite pencil or a mechanical pencil. (btw remember when teachers in school would prohibit mechanical pencils? So weird! They’re so handy!) With graphite, I like to get more detailed and flesh out the blue sketches to prepare them for the next step. Depending how many pages you have to do, you can divide your work into intervals. For instance, with chapter 3 of Jazz, I have to work in 6 page intervals because I have so many pages to do. But you can work however way works for you. I have yet to create a webcomic or graphic novel, but working in intervals seems like the best method for longer comics. For me at least.

After I’m satisfied with my drawings, I move on to…

5: Inking!

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A page from Chapter 2 of “Jazz”. I thought that this page had a good ink job.

Probably my favorite step because it’s when the picture starts coming together. Inking is pretty self explanatory. However way you like to ink a piece works for you. For instance, I generally like to ink with Micron pens and Higgins ink if I’m working traditionally. I usually strictly follow my pencils when I ink, but sometimes I add in a couple more details with a smaller sized pen if needed. With my style, my inks tend to be thin, clean, and with simple blacks around the page. I like to use black spaces strategically if I can; I try to make the whole page aesthetically pleasing as a black and white piece, even if I plan to color my comic. I also like to add hatching to certain parts of my ink drawings, especially under the neck, as details on clothes, or shadowy areas. Depending on your style, you can ink however way you like, it’s all subjective!

6: Wanna use some color?

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This is the method I was talking about. I only did a little experiment here.

Color is always fun with comics. My comic Jazz doesn’t have color, but I have done colored comics in the past, mostly combining traditional and digital methods. Depending on how you would like your comic to look, you could do the whole thing digitally, using different digital painting techniques to really make your comic stand out. If you wanna mix it up a little bit, you could ink your comic traditionally, scan your drawing onto the computer, and color it digitally (which I did for my senior thesis), or you could do the entire thing traditionally.

A method I have been experimenting with is using gouache paint to paint over my pencils, using colored pencils to add value and depth, then using inks on top. This method I might do on my next big comic, which may turn into a graphic novel. You could also use other traditional coloring methods that you like as well. Things like Copic markers, colored pencils, watercolors, or whatever else! It’s all up to you, and how you want your comic to look.

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Fully digital colored comic I made back in… 2016 I think? I enjoyed the simple colors I used, and at the time was using Illustrator to make my dialogue bubbles.

7: Lettering/Post Production

Probably the most important part of your comic, the dialogue! I always do this part on the computer. I don’t like to draw and write out the dialogue by hand; to me it looks sloppy with my handwriting, but for some styles of comics it definitely works. I scan my pages into Photoshop, and I create the dialogue bubbles in Photoshop using the ellipse tool and the pen tool. I used to use a program called Illustrator for this, but it caused an extra step because I had to import the Illustrator file into Photoshop, and it ate up space in my files. So now I just do everything in one program. This is where a lot of layout and placement comes into play. I still make the mistake of having my drawings take up most of the panel, and not leaving room for my dialogue bubbles. Things would get hidden, but I’m trying to get better about that. That’s where the thumbnail stage is important. Along with the layout of the characters, make sure to leave space for your dialogue bubbles. With the bubbles, I don’t like them completely round, or too flat. I make sure that the words and the bubble have nice spacing; the words aren’t too squished, or too spacey. This part can get a little difficult, so have a second eye look at your comic to make sure they look good, and also that they flow right! Those two books by Scott McCloud I mentioned earlier talk about the flow of panels in great detail. Again, I highly recommend those books for artist seriously considering going into comics.

8: Format your comic, and where to print it

Once you have all your pages finished, all the finishing touches are done, and you’re ready to form your book. I like to use a program called InDesign to make a PDF of my comic, placing my pages in the program in order. With InDesign, it can be a little hard to figure out how it works, I could make a whole blog post explaining how I use InDesign, but there’s lots of Youtube videos out there, so feel free to do some research. This is also where I add in some extra things to the book, like blurbs about the chapter, some drawing of characters to break up the pages, things like that. For chapter 3 of Jazz, I am adding in more page breaks than usual since the chapter is so long.

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Cover for “Jazz: Interception” the next chapter!

Along with the actual pages of your comic, remember the cover of your comic too! I suggest researching some of your favorite cover artists for inspiration for creating your cover. For Jazz, I am heavily inspired by the manga I used to read as a teenager, so my covers are influenced by that. If you’re into superhero comics, independent comics, graphic novels, there’s inspiration everywhere! Go to your local comic book shop and peruse the aisles for gems.

If you’re only gonna be having your comic be online, you can get creative and layout your panels to have an interesting flow as you scroll down the PDF. I print most of my comics, so I layout my pages to make it make sense for someone flipping through like a book.

Here are the specs I use for printing my comic:

Size: 5.8X8.9

Resolution: 300 or up to 600 DPI

Full Bleed

CMYK for printing

I printed Jazz chapter 2 with Comix Wellspring, and I was very pleased with how they turned out, so I highly recommend them if you want to get your comic printed. I used to use Createspace, but they had recently changed their program, so I had to look elsewhere, and I’m glad I found Comix Wellspring. I was able to get 25 copies of my comic for $3.50 a page. With a proof, and shipping and handling, it ended up being close to $120, which is pretty good.

9: Hold it in your hands, you made a comic!

Wow, you did it! You made a comic! Hold it, read it, show it to people. It was a lot of hard work, but it paid off in the end, right? It always feels good to have a finished product in my hands, and it feels even better when people say they like it. So I hope you take your finished comic, and feel a sense of pride.

That’s about all the knowledge I have to share with you all. I hope it helps in some way, and that you feel even more inspired to go out there and share your comic ideas with the world. I know it can be daunting to have this grand idea in your head, but actually putting it on paper can be the hardest thing ever. You have to just let those ideas out, even if its a couple of scribbles on a paper, or a few words on a word document. As comic artists, we have the power to tell stories, enchant our readers, and inspire others. 

So let’s all make some good work! 

See you in the next blog post! Next up: Alla’s September Sightings. 

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A New Goal

Things are shifting, and I want to talk about it. Or write about it, I guess.

As we go into the last few months of the year, I want to spend the rest of the time planning, working, and saving. With my new job, I’ll be able to live more comfortably, less of the paycheck-to-paycheck life. If all goes well, I’d love to be there for at least a couple years. Along with my full-time gig, I want to try my best not to neglect Soft Peach. I study and create art for a very specific reason, and I’m starting to see it now. I want to help my fellow comic artists, illustrators and animators in my city.

Here’s something I want to put out into the universe. I would like to create a resource space for comic artists, illustrators, and animators here in Columbus filled to the brim with resources to help them grow. With this space, I want to help growing, aspiring young artists in my local area who want to create stories by providing them with a safe space chock full of everything they need to grow. Things like art supplies, rows and rows of computers with cintiques, art on the walls that inspire. I want to host events like comic readings, meet-ups to conventions, sketch parties, small classes. The ideas just keep flowing out!

More than that, I want to provide funding for those artists who want to make a big career move, like flying out to California to work with the big studios. Lots of artists that I know from college and are friends with are struggling to find jobs in our current city; and even if they want to go out to California to pursue their dreams, it takes months, even years to save up for a trip like that.

Other funding ideas I have in mind are things like artist alley applications and booth fees for convention artists, funding for local kickstarters, patreon artists, things like that.

I want to kill the idea of competition in the art community and embrace the “artist helping other artists” mindset. In college, the idea of our peers being our competition was encouraged, especially in the illustration department. I want my peers to feel like we’re in this together. That’s why I want to do this.

Every day during my walk to work, I daydream and plan in my head. My mind buzzes with ideas of fundraisers, spaces to look for to rent, different artists to reach out to, it’s almost distracting how much I think about my new idea.

There’s much more I would like to share, but for now I will tell you my next step to achieving this goal: I am going to start a Facebook group and invite comic artists, illustrators, and animation artists I know to join so I can share my ideas, and see if people warm up to it. I would like to know there is a demand for this in my city before I go gung-ho.

Since I’m still in a transition period with balancing my job and side-hustle, it took a couple weeks to write this blog post. Hopefully in the future, I will be able to write more for you. But for now, I added a small donation bar at the bottom of my website. If you’re feeling generous, feel free to add a couple dollars my way. It will really help support me and this blog, and I will be able to move closer to my goal of working for myself as a full-time artist.

See you in the next post! <3

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Donation!

Want to help support me and my blog? Here’s a way to give and help continue running this blog. Any donation is welcome and appreciated <3

$5.00

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Alla’s August Curiosities

August has been a month of change. New job, new comic that I’m working on, transitioning into a new type of life… all that good stuff. It still feels a little strange; I don’t think I’ve quite mastered working a full-time job yet. If you didn’t know, after college I was spoiled with only working 15-25 hours a week doing retail at one of my favorite stores. While money felt scarce during the off seasons, I had a lot of time to develop my brand and my art on the side. In the weeks leading up to starting my new job, I was even scheduling time in the day specifically to work on Soft Peach. Like a true business-woman, setting her own hours! But now, I work around 38.5 hours a week at a time, truly full time, and it’s been a challenge, to be honest.

While the job itself is rewarding and I’m learning new things everyday, taken time away from working on Soft Peach, more specifically, working on my new comic. This blog has suffered as well; I have a blog post sitting in my drafts folder that I would have liked to have finished this month, but unfortunately it’ll be pushed back to September. Sorry about that! The transition period is taking longer than I expected, and I don’t want to put my health in risk by overworking. But I’m still here!

I have some things to show off that I would be happy to share with you all for the month of August:

1. Mocha Frappuccino  

If you told me I’d be drinking blended coffee drinks two years ago, I would’ve laughed right in your face. I have never liked coffee, not at all. One day, my boyfriend made me a small cup of instant mocha-flavored coffee with cinnamon on top. I was surprised when I tasted it because, while I could still taste the bitter coffee taste that I’ve always hated, I ended up liking the little drink. It was then I started experimenting. Peppermint mochas were in season at the time at Starbucks, my usual go-to on my way to and from work, so I tried one. The peppermint masked the coffee flavor, and it was a pretty yummy drink, so afterwards, during the summer months, I tried the mocha frappuccino. It’s now my go to drink when I want a little treat every once in a while, and, while the drinks I tried probably only had very little coffee in it, it still made me feel even more like a 9 to 5 adult. My specific order nowadays is a mocha frappuccino with almond milk and no whip cream. I like to keep it dairy-free for reasons you may know, and it’s a refreshing summertime drink. As the season changes, I think I’ll keep up my coffee experiences and try a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

2. The Columbus Athenaeum

If you wanna know what my new job is, well it’s here! The Columbus Athenaeum is an old fashioned building made in the early 19th century which turned into a venue spot for weddings, concerts, and corporate events. My role is full-time sales coordinator, and I work with the director of sales to schedule tours, follow up with clients, prepare rooms for tours and events, and make sure the clients stay happy. I actually have been here a few times in the past; my college had hosted a couple of events here for banquet dinners, and it was strange to come back and slightly recognize the rooms after several years.

So far, in the three weeks I’ve been there, has been rewarding, but pretty tough on my health and well being. The job itself and running the events are all well and good, and I’m learning more and more about the roles of my job, but I was feeling the stress. Starting a new job is always difficult; starting at my past job felt almost the same way, and there’s still a transitional period that I’m going through right now. But I know that I will learn a whole heck of a lot, and take away more knowledge to help me in my own career.

3. Blogilates

I’m no stranger to Blogilates. It’s a YouTube channel and brand ran by an awesome fitness trainer and entrepreneur named Cassey Ho. She mainly focuses on pilates and cardio in her super cheerful workout videos, and she hosts workout challenges, promotes a happy and healthy lifestyle, and runs her own online shop, PopFlex, an activewear line. I have a couple pieces from her shop, and they fit me so well. I’ve been following her on social media and YouTube since around 2012-2013, and I have been doing her workouts on and off this whole time. They’re super fun to do, and they really make me sore at the end of it.

At the beginning of the month, Cassey hosted a challenge to do 100 reps of glute exercises everyday for 30 days. While I had to stop after a while because of personal reasons, I always enjoy her cheerful, positive attitude. Even through a screen, she has the ability to push you to go hard and keep going even when you’re sweating and dying from the workout. She’s an advocate for body positivity, and breaks norms of the fitness community by being real with her audience, which is something I admire about her.

Go check out her channel! Her 100 glute challenge is still happening too, so go do some exercises if you’re up for it! 

4. Super Smash Bros

I’ve been playing Super Smash Bros ever since Melee came out in 2001, and it’s always been a game series that I’ve loved for so long. Smash Bros Brawl, the third installment on the Nintendo Wii, was the first game I remember being excited to come out, besides Twilight Princess. It was the age of old YouTube, and I would watch silly cartoons of the characters introduced into the upcoming game. Good memories right there. Smash Bros is also one of the games where I met all of my closest friends, too. We all bond over playing the game together and go crazy when we do one-on-one fights with no items. Screaming at each other, and calling for rematch after rematch is usually what goes down. Back in college, my friends and I would end up playing the game until 3am, coming up with our own rules (tag smash, anyone?) and losing our minds at close calls,  hot combos, and salty moments. I’m pretty sure it’s also one of the reasons my boyfriend fell for me; he’s told me I have made him go insane with the way I play and the characters I use. Smash Bros is an important game for me, if you can’t tell. I love it.

It makes the list for this month because during the times where I have felt absolutely drained and almost sickly from adjusting to my new schedule, I turn on a game of smash bros, and it always made me feel better. The other day in fact, my closest friends and I all played smash together, and it really felt like old times back in college. I won’t say I’m the best at the game; my friends really give me a run for my money, but I have really gotten good at the game because of them, and, I just really love playing smash with my friends! It’s honestly a cure-all for a stressful time.

 

Thanks for baring with me and keeping up with me! Be on the lookout for a new blog post in the next few weeks or so. I would like to share with you my idea. So please follow softpeach.art for more updates!

^3^

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Soft Peach Comics… what’s next?

Time for an update, huh? What have I been up to?

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If you haven’t noticed, Alla’s Art Story is solely known as Soft Peach now!

 

I have had an interesting few weeks. I’ve been taking some time to see my family, my friends and my partner. I have also been very good about working on Soft Peach. I am creating a schedule for myself, taking time to work on what’s important to me. It’s very rewarding to check things off my list.

I will soon be transitioning to a new job in mid-August. It will be a full-time event planning gig where I’ll be able to be more comfortable financially, and be able to do something I find very fun. Event planning is one of my favorite things to do, and I hope the adjustment period is as smooth as it can be.

Wish me luck on this career change!

To change the subject, I have a list of goals I would like to share with you. I always love thinking about the future. As a 24 year old, I have a lot to look forward to. So, if I may, let’s take a look:

1. Buy a House

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I’ll never be able to buy a house this nice, but a girl can dream right? Photo from Pinterest (Linda Ruderman Interiors Inc) deringhall.com

Why does it seem like it was easier to buy a house 30 years ago? Student loans were a lot more manageable; people could easily find quick service-type jobs to be able to make it through college, and it was much easier to take out a loan than it is today. I could get political, as a POC millennial, but I’d rather just try to work towards this seemingly impossible goal. I won’t talk numbers, but I am nowhere near able to save up for a house right now, let alone a car, but I would love to own my own land as soon as I can. Rent can eat up income, and to me, rent is not worth the expense if I don’t own the place. If I could take my money towards a mortgage, while owning my own land, it would make me a happy camper. To expand on this goal, I want to be able to rent out the house I buy someday, maybe within 10 or 15 years, and buy an even nicer house. According to my partner, renting out houses is where the money is, and I would love to be able to provide someone a home.

 

2. Attend and be apart of more conventions around the country

I LOVE going to conventions, especially comics, anime, and art conventions. The atmosphere is so inspiring to me. I have a big list of conventions I would like to go to, some are in places I may want to live in someday. I have only been in Artist Alley conventions a couple times so far, and it’s very interesting to see what people gravitate towards in my art collection, seeing what sells, and what people point to. If I had expendable income, I would try and support every artist at cons because usually the art I see at cons is some of the best I’ve seen. There are so many talented artists out there!

Some conventions that I have my eye on are:

Ohayocon

Matsuricon

Colossalcon

CXC

Anime Expo (only in my wildest dreams)

ECCC

C2E2

Among others; there are so many cons it’s crazy! I want a full year where I do nothing but show at cons. Wouldn’t that be just amazing?!

3. Continue Soft Peach Comics self-publishing

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older mockup of the logo. Hand drawn too 🙂

If you all have been very nice and kept up with my comics Instagram, @soft_peach_comics, you’ll see that I am very slowly starting the process of the next chapter of my comic, “Jazz”. This one will be a doozy; at about 41 pages, it’ll be the longest chapter for sure!

If you are unfamiliar with Soft Peach Comics, it is my self-publishing company where I get to tell my own stories. It started in 2017 with “Jazz”, my magical girl-inspired story that I came up with during my days in college. My dream is to have tons of stories created by me under Soft Peach Comics. I have so many ideas I would like to see in comic form, so please stick around if you’re interested in what stories I want to tell. Because I am not stopping anytime soon!

4. Open a resource studio for comic artists and illustrators in Columbus

Maybe one of my biggest, most out there dreams of mine. This topic will be covered in a separate blog post; I want to dedicate some time writing about this one. So please be on the lookout for that.

If you enjoy reading my blog posts, please let me know! I really like sharing my life updates with you, and sharing things I like too. Please stay tuned for more updates!

<3

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Alla’s July Junctions

July has definitely been a month full of ups and downs.

The heat wave that swept the midwest was a huge down. I never knew I took A/C for granted; my roommate and I almost died. But fans and open windows had to do. A huge up is that I have been offered a new job that I am starting in August. My first “big girl” 9-5 job. Yay! I have been talking with this company since May, and it’s now finally paying off. I’m very excited to start, however telling my managers at my current job that I was leaving was extremely hard. Maybe I’ll tell this story another time.

Another up; my closest friends moved back to Columbus after months of planning, and I have been able to spend quality time with them. We are all just a bunch of artsy gamers, and even after all this time apart, we came together like no time had passed. It was magical.

Either way, I have a couple goodies I would like to share with you. July has been pretty hectic, so I don’t have much to show this time, but let’s see how it goes!

  1. Mellow Mushroom Pizza

Pizza might be my favorite food ever. I have always joked that I could eat pizza out of the garbage and it would still be good (If I actually do this, please stop me immediately). My friends and I, in order to catch up together, had dinner at the Mellow Mushroom pizza joint near the Sawmill/Dublin area in northwest Columbus. We all shared three pizzas together: one half pepperoni/mushroom, one barbecue chicken, and one veggie. I tried all three, and while I may be bias, my friends and I all agreed that the pizza was top notch, super delicious. The dough was nice and crispy, ingredients tasted fresh, the pizzas were hot and fresh out the oven. Along with pizza, the restaurant had board games for us to play while we waited for our food, which made the experience way more fun. I will definitely be going back, especially with my friends.

Check out their website to see their menu!

2. Queer Eye

This month, I took a week vacation and stayed with my mom and stepmom in Indianapolis. We spent some quality time together going shopping, visiting my nana, doing  my hair, but we also binge-watched “Queer Eye” most days. If you haven’t heard of this Netflix show before, it’s about 5 gay guys, all huge advocates for positivity and self-love, help a person who needs a little lesson in self-care. They help with their wardrobe, morning routine, their personal relationships. They even remodel parts of their home. They spread love everywhere they go, changing people’s lives for the better, bringing out the beauty within. Sometimes it gets emotional, and admittedly I have gotten misty-eyed while watching.

But if you haven’t watched “Queer Eye” yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a feel-good show that makes me happy when I watch it.

3. Apple

Now I’ve talked about the Apple Store’s Genius Bar before in a previous blog post, but I have to give them another shout out here. You see, my computer, as old as she is, is starting to show her age. Programs load slower and slower, the screen will freeze every few seconds, and I’ll have to force reset my computer multiple times to get things done. So I made the trip to the Apple Store, and we discovered that the hard drive is failing. I would have never figured this out on my own; I would’ve bitten the bullet and bought a whole new computer. But the associate recommended that I buy a new hard drive, and helpfully pointed me in the right direction. I now have the knowledge to purchase one and go through the process of replacing it. I really appreciated all the associates that helped me, and they are saving me thousands of dollars by helping me increase the longevity of my old, wise computer.

That’s really all I have for this month. Things look wonderful in the coming months, and  can’t wait to share with you more of my life updates.

But before I go, I have a new wallpaper for my patrons for August:

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A cute pinky Princess Chibiusa to grace your smartphone! If you would like to have this cute wallpaper for your phones made by me, consider taking a look at my Patreon! I also have a donation jar there if you are feeling particularly generous today.

Also, If you have taken a look around my website lately, you may have noticed a few changes. It’s looking more peachy, huh? Well, when I got back in town from visiting my mom, I made the decision to rebrand! allasart.me is now known as softpeach.art. I wanted to combine my life with my art, and I have fallen in love with Soft Peach; it’s kind of becoming my identity at this point. So if you would like to take a look around, here are my social links:

 

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See you all in the next post!

<3

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Alla’s June Jubilee’s

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June’s phone wallpaper for patrons 🙂

June is just about over, and its been a pretty good month, huh? Things are starting to pick up in my life, and I am a whole year older too! It’s finally my favorite season, Summer. I constantly have my fan on when I’m in my room; we don’t have any air conditioning, so it can get up to 85 degrees in my house if its a particularly hot day.

I’m itching to go swimming, or even take a trip out to the beach! A girl can only dream, though.

As for my work life, it may be picking up soon! I have the opportunity for a full-time offer, so everyone pray that my interviewing skills are good enough for me to land those gigs!

There are a couple things I’ve been loving that I would like to share with you:

Dark Angels Cleanser from Lush

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The good stuff.

 

My skincare products are slowly changing into Lush products. They’re a great company that is very conscious about their products, their sources, and their products are just good. I’ve used their stuff since I was a teenager, my favorite back then being the Tea Tree toner. Now, my skin has less acne, thankfully, but it’s still oily, and can feel greasy throughout the day. Dirt and oil get into my pores and cause the dreaded large pores and blackheads. That’s where “Dark Angels” comes in. It’s a face and body cleanser that really gets deep into my pores to clear out any impurities in the skin. I fell in love hard with this cleanser; I always feel squeaky clean after using it. I use it about once or twice a week. It’s a little strong for my sensitive skin to use everyday, but it does a good job fighting off my pesky acne and excess oil.

Dry Goods

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My haul! I’m a sucker for sales (That sweater was 50% off!)

In desperate need for clothes, I went to the mall to get some and stumbled across a shop I’ve never heard of called “Dry Goods”. There isn’t a storefront at my place of work, which is at another mall, so it makes sense why I’ve never heard of it (I don’t get out much). I instantly gravitated towards the store for their high quality and cute clothes. I’m a stickler for clothing choices; I’d rather have quality over quantity and tend to pay more for better clothes than to buy a bunch in bulk. Seems to be the reason I was so desperate for clothes; a lot of mine were falling apart, and money had been scarce except for this brief moment. While I sifted through the sale rack (unfortunately their quality clothes costed a pretty penny) I found some really cute gems that made me really like the place. The atmosphere was very homey too; very relaxing and chill. Even the way the associate bagged up my items made me feel special. Right now, I’m wearing a couple of the pieces I bought, which fit me very well might I add. I will definitely be coming back to shop there once I am in need for more quality clothes.

Driving

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I don’t have a pic of me driving, so here’s a nice shot of the sky on my birthday.

Right now, getting my driver’s license has been my biggest hill to climb. Circumstances made it so I will have to be renewing my temporary license, but no tears! The battle is not over yet! I currently feel 95% ready to take the driver’s test, all thanks to my boyfriend, who’s been a great teacher. I can see the development I’ve made in the past two months; I was once very nervous to get behind the wheel, so much so that I would make silly errors. But now, driving feels almost like a breeze. While I still drive like someone who is new to driving, (I’ll forget which direction I’m going in when I reverse) I am proud on the progress I’ve made so far. It’s been a dream to have the freedom of owning a car, and taking one more step into adulthood with having car insurance and what not. It feels like, while the dream is just barely out of reach, that I will be able to grab hold of it very, very soon. Wish me luck on this dream, it’s been a stressful one, to say the least.

Zeltik 

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His YouTube logo. Nice, right?

For my last “Jubilee” I bring you a YouTube channel I’ve been watching a lot recently. “Zeltik” is a YouTube channel that focuses on the “Legend of Zelda” series, with theory videos, unknown facts about the games, and reaction videos. I’ve been a huge fan of “Legend of Zelda” games since I can remember; the stories told and gameplay mechanics have always been fun to me. Zeltik makes fantastic videos about the series, and they’re fun to listen to while on my way to and from work, or when I’m winding down after a long day. Sometimes I find myself falling asleep to them, or popping them on when I’m working on blog posts (hint hint).

Check out Zeltik’s channel if you wanna see some fun Legend of Zelda content!

That’s about it for my Jubilees. July is now upon us, and who knows what will happen next…! But before I go, I have a new wallpaper for people who support me on Patreon:

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It’s Zelda themed! With the announcement of a sequel to one of my favorite recent games, Breath of the Wild, I was inspired to recreate a shot from the trailer as Link and Zelda explore the dark, mysterious caved under Hyrule. I’m excited to know that a new Zelda game is being produced, and even more excited for Zelda’s cute little bob!

If you would like to see the rest of the piece and have it on your phone as a wallpaper, please consider supporting me on Patreon. I’m having a lot of fun posting on there and giving you all cute wallpapers. I would like to expand once I grow, so please help in that regard. I really appreciate every ounce of support from patrons.

Support me on Patreon here! 

For those who don’t know, I also have a YouTube channel. It’s small, I don’t post on there very often, but I would like to! I have a new video up there right now. I put a little more production into it, so I hope you like it! It’s a speed-painting of the wallpaper I made for this month. I will be uploading another video very soon, so be sure to subscribe if you wanna see more art process videos!

See you in the next post! <3

 

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How it Feels Being 24

 

It’s been a week since Prince’s birthday, what a legend that left this world way too soon. I have vivid childhood memories of listening to Prince in the car with my dad and sister, listening to Prince on repeat on my iPod nano back in the day. Do y’all remember those old iPods? Seems weird to call those old now…

Oh yea, and it was my birthday too.

On June 7th, I turned 24. With most birthdays I’ve had so far, I usually feel the same after the day, and don’t necessarily feel my age. This time, it was a whole different story. While the actual day was very casual, the second I woke up, something was different. Surprisingly, I have been feeling very reflective in the week of being 24. I am now officially in my mid-twenties.

Wow.

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Me living my best life: ice cream in hand, pink shoes, and flowers.

I’m still young that’s for sure, I have my whole life ahead of me. But I am two years away from being closer to my 30s. What?! Are you sure?!

In terms of how my life is going, I am at least 75% adult, at least that’s what it feels like. I still get slightly nervous when making phone calls, I can kind of park a car, I can JUST BARELY pay my bills with the pennies I make at my day job, and I only sometimes cry thinking about my financial situation.

To be honest with myself and to you, I feel like I should be farther along in my life story, and have more things figured out by now. I know life is more like a winding road than a set path, which is something I have to constantly remind myself. But I have lots of goals and milestones I want to achieve in this life I was given.

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Me and the bf @triangletyler

I have short and long term milestones I want to reach, and some look astronomical when I write them on paper. Things like paying of my student loans, buying a house, becoming self-employed. Not to mention getting married and starting a family, because those are things I would like to do too. Shorter term goals like finding a higher paying job, paying off some smaller debts, buying a car, planting the seeds of self-employment sound slightly more feasible. I will strive to take the steps needed to get where I need to go. And now that I am feeling my age, it’s all the more motivating to do this. Again, 24 is NOT old. I want to emphasize that. But maybe I’m just mature for my age, like when I was a teen. Some things never change, y’know.

Along with goals, I am striving to make lifestyle changes for my health, my body, and mind. Eating healthy and exercising is something I have lost over time, and I want to get back into it. That means More cooking from home with healthy recipes along with doing my pilates. Back in 2013 I was very good about this, and I could tell I felt good just by living this healthier lifestyle. It wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely something good for me, and I will get back to doing that.

While on the subject, I would like to talk to you about my newly opened Etsy shop, and my Patreon. My Etsy shop, Alla’s Art Store, has lots of cute stickers, art prints, and copies of Jazz. Soon I will be listing some original pieces to the shop, so please be on the lookout for that, and favorite the shop on Etsy so you’ll know when I list new products. When I showed at the Art Fair and SPACE back in April, I had all of these products available to sell at my booth, so if you saw me there and wanted something, don’t fret! I have everything still in pretty high quantities. Also, if you would like to have a custom piece made by me, I will be soon opening commissions! They will be shown as a listing on my Etsy, so stay tuned for that too!

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALLA’S ART STORE ON ETSY!

I am sketching everyday, trying out more classes on Skillshare, and I am enjoying showing off my work on social media. I have lots more work to show off very soon too, and lots of ideas for new stories to tell under Soft Peach Comics. It makes me excited to think about adding more stories to the Soft Peach universe!

So, while I am 24, I will strive to better my life, work towards my short term goals, and plant the seeds for those long term goals.

If you want to support me in another way, consider following me on Patreon! If you don’t know what Patreon is, it is a platform where creators can make a living by offering exclusive content for viewers for a monthly price. I am really enjoying Patreon because I have two tiers right now: One is a small donation tip jar, and the other is for a cute wallpaper for your phone! So if you want a cute wallpaper for your phone made by me, consider becoming a Patron.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY PATREON PAGE!

I love writing my thoughts on this blog, so if you want to see more, follow my Twitter, @Alla_Alla_Art to see when I post, or sign up on my website to receive email notifications to know when I create new posts.

See you soon! <3