I’ve been everywhere, man….

…I haven’t, actually. I’ve physically occupied space claimed as the territory of many states, particularly the Western ones; but this was mostly from the innards of a vehicle in-transit to other states. I’ve only properly visited a handful unless you count visiting relatives as a baby (I feel like it shouldn’t count if I don’t remember it). I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually left the country, and I’ve definitely not set out on a variety of epic road trips for the sheer joy of being stuck in a smoke-belching tin can for hours on end while the scenery whirs past too quickly to appreciate and everything blurs into one pulsing headache-inducing rhythm.

But some people have, and some people find the prospect of making a short, possibly crowdfunding-related, video to that effect a bit daunting. Soooo, I’m working on a little something in my spare time. Yes, this is my current excuse for not having any paper drawings or witty commentary this week. You have to admit, the excuses themselves are on their way to becoming an art form, are they not?

Not?

Well, that was a rhetorical question anyhow, so joke’s on you for answering. Ha! Ha! ~Damaged!~

Wait, no, scratch that last one.

Anyhow, here’s a small beige sedan traversing the West. PSE is *not* the most robust animation tool, but for a quick preview it does have the advantage of … being the program I already had open.

Shipper

Your wish is my command….

Sometimes I have all sorts of drawing ideas, and there’s not enough time in the day to get them all down on paper.

Other times, I have an entire day off and the library’s closed and the errands are as done as they’re going to get, and I don’t feel like drawing or finishing up a single thing. What’s a girl to do?

Well, in days past she might have had to figure something out all by herself, which of course is sorely taxing to the fragile artistic mind. (Being an artist has exactly one perk, and that is the fact that you can blame nearly any personal flaw on your mercurial Artistic Temperament.)

But as I’m a modern sort of person, with a VCR and everything, I took the modern approach and enlisted the help of social media! In my case, this meant asking my friends to please suggest something, anything (well, anything at least vaguely animalian in my case) for me to draw. My rules for myself were that I couldn’t erase (due to the terrible paper more than any wish to make things interesting), that I couldn’t start over once I’d begun, and that I should try to keep it at ten minutes or less. I wound up with some of the usual requests — puppies, kitties, bunnies, and a sort of unicorn thingy — but a few definitely required me to push right up against (or exceed by a couple minutes) my self-imposed time limit.

PangolinHere we have one of my personal favorite Semi-Obscure Mammals, the pangolin (which, as you can see, I had to tie to the world of Pokemon since it is basically a Sandslash)

SphinxFor simplicity’s sake, suffice to say that this is a guardian Sphinx and she is none too happy with intruders.

DragonOkay, the dragon lighting a torch wasn’t that hard because I draw a lot of dragons, but I really like dragons so there.

Oh, and finally I cheated on the requests for cats, bunnies and penguins and just threw them all together:

Penguinsetc.So, what started out as a superbly nonproductive day without so much as a sketch for my blog turned into a DRAWING EXTRAVAGANZA that also brought me considerably closer to my goal of using up this new pencil. I normally wish for my pencils to be immortal, of course, but these were a gift and I can plant them when I’m done with them. It’s a whole herb garden’s worth, but I decided to start with the Rosemary one because rosemary is amazing and can do no wrong unless you put it in pot roast.

What’s new, pussycat…

While I’ve pretty much unofficially switched to Sundays for this blog, I feel I had an extra-special good reason for not posting it yesterday. See, normally I just work until 6ish, but yesterday was a Grand Event beginning with a visit to some out-of-town friends and ending with my getting locked out of my apartment for rather longer than I strictly needed to.

Aaaand I suppose this is the part where I explain.

The locking out of the house was partly accidental and partly voluntary. I realized someone else had the other key, and that I could just call the landlord and probably get myself back in faster, but then it was a really nice night and there was that grocery store I wanted to go to….

I exhausted my repertoire of “things to do downtown on a Saturday (when you only have ten dollars on you)” right as it was time to be let back in, so things actually worked out way better than I would have expected had I known ahead of time I’d be locked out of my apartment for two hours. It didn’t even rain on me, which would have happened virtually any other night that past week. Heck, if the library had been opened I probably would have forgotten I was stuck out there. However, one thing I was not able to do was write any portion of a blog post before nightfall. Valid excuse! Huzzah!

The visit to friends is fairly self-explanatory, though I do feel the need to take a detour in which I ponder the Nature of Cats. You see, two … three? Two and a half? Nine-year-olds make addition difficult — anyhow, a quantity of these friends are in possession of two tortoiseshell cats who are not identical, though they do look dangerously similar at first. “Dangerously” because one is by all appearances a Standard Cat who is intensely interested in shoes, feet, the floor, and anything that isn’t you until you look demurely away from her for an appropriate amount of time (preferably whilst offering to scratch her neck, if your coordination allows for such a feat).

The other is still well within the range of normal feline personalities, but she skews more toward the “spontaneous violence” axis than the “coy aloofness” one. While I instinctively wish to be charitable to all cats, with them being superbeings and all, the “maybe she’s achy/nervous/in high spirits/half-blind” line of reasoning I bring out with all “hey, how you doing, YOU DIE NOW!!!” cats didn’t work so well in practice. This is clearly just one of those felines who is not willing to put on a veneer of politeness with guests and pretend we are not bumbling disgusting lesser beings. I accidentally stood in a place where she wanted to be standing, and got hissed at and batted for my insolence. But she doesn’t just hate being touched or approached in general — her favorite people, such as the one who feeds her and can hook her up with some catnip when necessary, are allowed to carry her around like a pharaoh (though these, too, may be cuffed and sworn at for setting her down too close to aforementioned filthy human strangers).

Artist’s rendition of the being in question (unwitting Standard Cat about to be glomped by enthusiastic mini-person in background)

FriendsCat

But you know what the thing about cats is? Even though they are tiny psychopathic murderbeasts who by design are utterly lacking in much of the devotion and empathy that apparently draws people to dogs, and even though the most average cat could seriously MESS YOU UP if it really set its mind to attacking your face, somehow cat-grumpiness seems to have the exact opposite effect of dog-grumpiness. To cat people, at the very least. Like, if a dog growls at me, even a little cute dog, I get uncomfortable. Suddenly you wonder if you can trust this fellow, and how well he was brought up. But a cat? They’re far better at making you feel like it’s *your* fault your hand is now covered in bloody flesh-ribbons, and that maybe if you really devote yourself to it you can one day earn *their* approval.

It helps that the Angry Face of a cat involves squooshing the ears, mouth and eyes into a fangy and terrifying but also adorably rounded and kittenish look that leaves the enemy paralyzed with indecision — should I hug it or try to exorcise it?! Look at that nose! It’s so scrunchy and grumpy! Can I boop it without losing a hand? If not, is it maybe almost still worth it…? AAAAAAAHH WAIT WHAT AM I DOING.

It’s really no wonder that cats are associated with sorcery.

Girls, girls, girls….

I’m still getting over this season’s persistent little cough-and-cold combo, so not much writing is going to happen tonight. But here’s a sneak peek at the current progress of a design that’s been occupying most of my time this past week. Basically, there aren’t enough girly dinosaur things that aren’t pink, glittery and/or wearing lipstick (that’s right, lipstick). I like pink fine, okay, but let’s face it: there aren’t a ton of intimidating sparkly pink things. It’s just how things are. When I need a shirt with a giant Velociraptor on it, I’m not going to be looking in the girls’ section, is all I’m saying.

Now, seeing as how all the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, not to mention that one kind of embarrassing Godzilla that nobody talks about anymore, were female, you’d think we would have gotten SOMETHING besides “clever girl” out of all this. But alas, we have to work with what we have … or expand upon it, as the case may be.

girls

And yes, despite eventually separating Bold and Strong, I do still wind up with “I Will Wait” in my head every time I start working on this. Hazard of the job.