Monday, December 10, 2012

Star Wars: Darth Gonzo

Disney recently purchased Star Wars - and a lot of people immediately started photoshopping Princess Leia into pictures with the Disney princesses, or putting Mikey ears on Darth Vader.

I thought it would be awesome if another Disney property was mashed up with Star Wars.  What about a Muppets Star Wars?  Obviously Luke would be Kermit...or would he? - because Miss Piggy should be Leia, but that would mean that Kermit and Piggy would be attracted to each other AND brother and sister.

Oh well...that's for Disney to figure out.  But hopefully sooner than later!

I drew this:

Darth Maul was one of the few good things to come out of the first trilogy.  Too bad his death was such a lame end.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

microstock report for October 2012

This was a pretty decent month.  We've moved on past microstock licensing and are currently working on creating an actual line of characters that we can license for real (or is it called macro licensing?).  Those are over at and we've even set up a facebook page (now in it's second month!) at

But it's nice - even though we've not contributed anything to these microstock sites, they continue to produce for us.  If you're interested in even just dipping your toe into the microstock pool - check out shutterstock first.  And once you have a handle on that, look into the other sites.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Microstock report for September 2012

Shutterstock - this was only the second time in the history of licensing illustrations from this site that we didn't make the minimum payout amount for the month (we were off by one dollar!).

We had some high numbers for August - and since we're still not uploading new images, it wasn't going to be too likely that we sustain that amount each month.  Slowly each site is selling less and less, but we have other projects taking up our time, so microstock licensing isn't as important.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Microstock report for August 2012

This is our microstock report for August 2012:

It was a much better month!  In July we saw a sag in all of the sites - none more disappointing than Istockphoto which was at an all time low of $5.38 - but this month many of the sites rallied back with high(er) numbers.

Shutterstock, as always, led the way with.  It helped to have 2 EL sales (that's a $32 download).  And it continues to sell the most on a daily basis.

One big surprise was Istockphoto - we used to have sales of almost $100 a month on this site - and it waned slowly lower and lower, until last month we only had $5 in sales.  Well this month it finally beat Dreamstime (which has been a consistent second place).

Overall it was a nice month - several sites reached their payout amounts and overall we reached $302!  Here's to hoping September continues to treat us kindly.

Star Trek Kids

We had some friends that had a Spocktoberfest party last night.  That's a Star Trek themed Octoberfest party, for those of you who didn't get the mashup.

So Tracey and I decided (mostly it was Tracey) to do cupcakes and cookies with a Star Trek theme.  We made the cupcakes and spray painted them silver (which felt more space agey) - I drew this little kid in a Trek shirt and did two variations which we cut out and (using toothpicks) placed on top of each cupcake:
There's the red shirt guy that will usually die before the episode ends, the middle one is Spock and the right side guy is based on Kirk (before the weight gain).

and here are the red shirts in cookie form:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lotzi: taught

I did this for the Illustration Friday topic this week - Teacher.  Sadly I'm finishing it on Thursday night, so it won't see much time on the site as it resets every Friday.

Lotzi's pose was inspired by my time in history class.  It was a general art history class - and even though I was quite interested in the topic, I made the mistake of scheduling the 8:00 class.  And I've since become a morning person, I couldn't get up before 10 back then...well, I could, but I need frequent naps in class.  I still ended up learning a lot, but it probably would have worked better if I was actually awake for more of the class...

I created this in Adobe Photoshop...starting with this sketch:

 Then I solidified some of the lines and revised the drawing a bit:
And then it was just a matter of cleaning up the lines on a new layer and painting color and texture on a different layer.

Oh - and I had another teacher in junior college that insisted we always hold our writing implement - the reason was that if you're not holding your pen/pencil then you probably weren't going to take notes...or, at least, you were more inclined to take better notes if you were holding something to write it all down with...

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I love zombies.  I was trying to think of a different take on it - or even a possible bad guy to accost the hero of a story and I thought, "what if it was a zom-bee?"  So here it is.

I created this in Adobe Photoshop.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Microstock report for July 2012

It was a very slow month for microstocks in July.

We barely made our payout amount on Shutterstock with $106.

Across the boards we had small dips at each site.  The only bright spot is that we had a couple of sales on Veer that finally made me add it as a category (and take Canstock off, since it's barely made $100 in 3 years and only made fifty cents this year so far).  And I signed up for a few new sites - the best one, so far, is Depositphoto - which had just about $5 in sales...not bad for a brand new site...well, in such a slow month.

August is already shaping up to be a better month.  On day one we had an EL and an OD (that's $28 and $2.70) on Shutterstock (which is already closing in on $50 for the month of August...or almost half of what we made in all of July).  So we'll see if it can continue!

Friday, July 20, 2012

IF: Carry

This week's Illustration Friday Theme was Carry.  I thought a good way to tweak the topic would be to do a drawing of the Stephen King horror movie Carrie.

I did two versions.  This first one is the pg-13 version.

This is the R rated one:

Lotzi: All three in the series

And this is all three in the series together:

Lotzi doesn't hear any evil, speak any evil, or see any evil...unless he wants to.  He reserves the right.

Lotzi: Speak no Evil

This is the third and last in the series:

Lotzi doesn't speak any evil...unless you talk about his mother, then he might have some choice words for you...

This was my original drawing of Lotzi: Speak no Evil - but it looked too much like he was surprised or horrified...and I really had to stretch his little arm to come up to his mouth, so I redrew it where he was looking down and could hold his mouth closed more comfortably.

Lotzi: Hear no Evil

This is the second illustration in the series:

Lotzi doesn't hear evil because he's too busy listening to Weezer (but only their songs from the 90s).

I adapted the pose from the illustration on 'Lotzi: See no Evil"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lotzi: See no evil

I thought of this the other day and thought I could do a series of drawings of just Lotzi - with no real bg or anything to distract from him.  And possibly do it as a way to showcase some of Lotzi's character.

First up is See No Evil:

I don't see no doggone evil!

As you can tell, Lotzi is very passionate about his senses...or is it his lack of sense?

This is also the look my wife gave me when I tried to suggest we go to Comic-con this year...

This was originally drawn in Photoshop:

 I cleaned up the lines in Adobe Illustrator (where I adjusted the horn and solidified the lines) and painted it in Photoshop.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lotzi: Off Model surprise

I liked the idea of this drawing - as a companion piece to the previous post where Lotzi is about to draw on a piece of paper...the only problem with this one is how off model Lotzi is. So please ignore this post and move on to the next one.
I just thought he looked cute enough that I should post it.  Especially how he's slightly up on his toes...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lotzi: Piece of Paper

The best thing about drawing is that you start with a blank piece of paper (or, these days, a blank screen on your cintiq) and you can do whatever you want with it.

It all depends on one's education and experience as to what comes out...

Anyway - this is my most recent illustration:

That's how I hold my pencil (only, with my left hand)

Friday, July 06, 2012

Lotzi: the big fight

Six should have been proud of Seven because he was a hero.

This was drawn and painted in Adobe Photoshop.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Microstock Report for June 2012

Here's the microstock report for June, 2012:

It was a best month ever for 123rf!  After about two years on this site (which is the same as most of the other sites) we're still getting downloads...which amounted to $36.64 - and it snuck past BigStockPhoto on the lifetime earnings (the chart above doesn't reflect this because I already saved the jpg before I switched them around.

Shutterstock still remains the only site to consistently earn above $100 every month.  We've also been on this site for over two years and there's only been one month that we didn't meet the payout amount (which is a hundred).  It's crazy to have the same images on every site (mostly) and somehow Shutterstock outpaces everyone else - even if they combined their totals! 

I didn't have time to add any new stock images this month, but it still kept pace with the previous month...we'll see if July brings us any more time to create new illustrations...

Friday, June 29, 2012

IF: Refreshing

I did this for Illustration Friday - the topic this week is 'Refreshing.'  And nothing says refreshing like a tasty drink:

And now that it's summer, refreshing drinks are at a premium!  One of my favorites (still) is a nice glass of chocolate milk.

I did this drawing in anticipation of a freelance project i just started.  They want a female character, and so I wanted to get a few drawings of girls in before I did something for them (as all I've been drawing recently is that squatty little dinocorn, Lotzi).

This was done in Adobe Photoshop.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lotzi: in space

This was created for this week's Illustration Friday topic, "Space."

This is an illustration of Lotzi in Space.  I did the rough drawing and the color in Adobe Photoshop.

I debated about giving him a full space suit - but figured that his tough dinosaur skin would keep his body from being truly affected by outer space.  And then I was thinking about whether or not he needed a pack for oxygen...instead of adding anything like that I decided it could look cool to have a tube that comes towards the viewer and off camera to sort of hint that he's attached to something (like a space ship) just off screen.  And it kept Lotzi from being too junky and busy looking.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Zombie Mario!

I saw someone wearing a t-shirt the other day that said, "GRAINS!" and had a picture of some zombie rabbits.  I thought that was kind of funny, so I thought about what else rhymed with brains and immediately thought of 'drains'.  So that's where Mario comes in.  He's everyone's favorite plumber - and although he doesn't get his due for his work with toilets (heh, toilet dues)...he's-uh the man-uh for-uh the job!

So he's either a zombie or he has a secret mushroom addiction...I mean, how else does he see turtles and why would he dress up like a raccoon?

(doesn't have the same feel)

And, of course, because i mentioned the raccoon costume - I had to draw him in it...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lotzi: Shiny Box of Coins

I had this idea for Illustration Friday's current topic, 'secret.' 

There's nothing better than finding secret treasure.  Shiny, shiny treasure.

I did this illustration in Adobe Photoshop.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lotzi: The big chase

I did a drawing of this for Illustration Friday a couple of weeks ago.  It was for the topic 'hurry'.  And nothing makes a fella hurry more than someone else chasing them with the intention of eating 'em.
It was a simpler time back them.  You saw something that you wanted to eat and you just chased them down and went at it....well, there were a lot of things you wanted and all it came down to was whether or not you were quick enough to catch 'em. 

In Lotzi's's not his fault that he's really tasty...luckily for him he has some pretty good cardio.  But with his little legs, it's hard for him to put any space between him and the T-rex chasing him...

Anyway - I did a rough drawing:

And wasn't able to finish it in time for that I let it go - but then I opened it back up and decided to finish it in Adobe Illustrator to see if it'd be worth finishing...and I liked the I took it back into Photoshop to color it.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Lotzi and his shiny horn

Lotzi and his shiny horn...which isn't supposed to light up like that...

I did this piece specifically for Illustration Friday.  The topic this week is 'shiny.'  I drew and colored it in Photoshop.

I changed the colors a little bit and softened the glowing so that the horn would stand out a bit more.  I also deepened the shadows.

Friday, June 01, 2012

microstock report for May 2012

Here's another exciting installment of our microstock report for May!

Shutterstock is terrific.  If it wasn't for them, I don't know if I'd be paying as much attention to the whole microstock business.  This May I ended up posting a lot more files - but apparently I'm terribly out of touch with what sells these I'm going to have to keep stretching that creative muscle and see what I can do for the month of June.

Istockphoto made quite a lot of  money for quite some time...but they changed their licensing payment plan to favor exclusive contributors...and the downloads have slowed to a crawl.  One good thing about the company is that they approve the files in record time.  When I started three years ago it took almost a week to get approved, and now it's within hours.  Too bad none of the files get downloaded.

The rest of the sites had small boosts this month.  I'd like to think that'll continue...but the summer months are very we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lotzi: GHOSTS!!!

I did this for Illustration Friday. There's a show on tv where a couple of fraidy guys walk into 'haunted' houses and then proceed to scare themselves silly.  I don't watch the show because it's ridiculous.  And if there really was a ghost (or in this case three) you'd high tail it out of there.

Hurry up and get out of there!

I did the illustration in Photoshop.  It was based on this quick sketch:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lotzi is faded...

I drew this for Illustration Friday - this week the theme is 'faded'.  I was toying with the idea of a ghost...and then possibly dreams...but then my wife said that faded would be someone who drank too much...

That made more sense, so I went with it.  This is a character we're developing named Lotzi.  Let's say he's getting faded on too much rootbeer...

 He's a lightweight like me.  Two beers (rootbeer, remember?) and it's time to make best friends with the sidewalk in an alley somewhere.

One thing they've been doing in animation these days is steering the artists to use a cintiq to draw.  The best part is how easy it is to edit your downside (and this is why I've been doing more drawings this way than by passing them through Illustrator like I usually do) is that drawing on the screen doesn't have the same feel as drawing on a piece of paper.  It's just a matter of getting used to (as sometimes there's a little bit of a delay...), so I just continue to work at it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

IF: Kernel three times

This week's Illustration Friday topic was Kernel.

It was a hard topic and it took me this long to finally decide that I wanted to attempt it.  And even though it's Thursday afternoon, and the week is almost at a close, I finally got my concept figured out and decided to post these drawings:

This is what gave me the most trouble - kernel conjures just one thing in my head...and that's a popcorn kernel.  It seemed like such a mundane thing to draw, so I held off.  But then I thought of a little word play and continued on with the next two drawings.

and that one led to this one:

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Pixel Art Pets

I've switched gears a little bit in they style of stock illustrations I'm doing.  I've always enjoyed pixel art (or at least had an appreciation for it) since the time of the original Nintendo video games.  You have a very limited palette in which to convey your illustration.

I started with a page of fruit:

and then I moved on to pets.  First i drew a puppy:

And then drew this picture of a kitten based on Raimi, our little runt of a cat:

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Microstock report for April 2012

This is our microstock report for April of 2012.  It was a bit of a downturn in all the stock sites, so towards the end I did one quick illustration...and I'll try to come up with some more this month to see if we can't turn those numbers around a bit.

Shutterstock still leads all the stock sites in how many sales we get each month - which translates into the highest earnings.

Istockphoto is really taking a turn for the terrible - as I can't remember the last time we made that little since we started.

 Dreamstime is slowly creeping up on Istock and could end up being our #2 lifetime earner soon enough.  It's still not too high, but it consistently makes between $20 and $40 a month.  And because of the image contest they do every month, I always want to create something for it, so we've ended up with a lot of exclusive files that sell at a higher price point on this site.

 This was the one new file I did for the stock sites...I'll try to do more spot illustration type drawings and we'll see if they sell or not.  It's feeling a little too much like clip art...

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Adelia: Space

Illustration friday had the subject of "Space" this I thought I'd revisit an old character to participate.

I did a quick rough in Adobe Photoshop:

and then decided to do the entire cleanup and color in photoshop as well (instead of importing it into Illustrator like I usually do).  And this is the final:

I always liked to use specific colors with Adelia (this character).  She's a little blue penguin and she loves the color it would make sense for her to hop around this low gravity moon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dreamstime contest: Pretty in Pink

This month Dreamstime has designated "Pretty in Pink" as their next contest topic.

I started with this rough that I did in Adobe Illustrator:
There were a couple of directions I thought I could take I printed it out and revised it in red and then blue pencil (the red to figure out my lines, and then the blue to finalize them):

I ended up really liking the little girl thinking about flowers - Once I scanned it back into Illustrator and cleaned it up and colored it, I decided it didn't need the flowers to be pink.  So I submitted it as is:

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