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Business…Man!

2020 has thrown everyone for a loop. Despite all the chaos and ominous events, I finally reached one of my long-term goals – I officially have an LLC! Taking this creative journey has tested both my will and patience as I faced some unexpected barriers. Getting the funds to finally register my buisness has been a long two-year process. Between big bills and unexpected expenses, I had to prioritize other needs over my dream. Then, there’s “it that shall not be named” threw off my first quarter plans. But eventually, some help from the Small Business Administration allowed me to get the process started. Of course, while I waited to hear about my registration, I began marketing Patreon and Etsy pages as another way to get funds flowing in for future projects.  Now as an official creative business, I can really start bringing in a client base and pursuing my passion. Being creative during this “thing” has been draining and trying to say the less. But finally getting my LLC started has been one of a few bright spots for me this year. Now, I can get the necessary equipment needed to fulfill my creative dreams. I’ll update you when that starts coming together.
man wearing black crew neck t shirt using black headphones reading book while sitting

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

While I seek independence for my creativity, more freelance opportunities have been coming my way. The pandemic had put a stop to my freelance work for a while, but with the economy slowly reopening, more people are willing to hire freelancers and independent contractors. Some new opportunities haven’t panned out, but I’m still grinding to expand my client base. I’m still working on my personal projects as I mentioned before. After a month or so of teasing, I’ll be putting up some of my work pretty soon.

Back to Work

After taking a week break, I’m back with more about my ongoing projects!

As I previously mentioned, I’ve spent week or so working on interior designs for Brothas. Working on my main characters’ safe haven has led to some interesting work. I’ve made the space personal by using inspiration from childhood items to flesh my characters’ world. Along with childhood items, I incorporated some childhood hobbies and activities such as astronomy and racing to add more personality into space. Basing the series in contemporary times has allowed me to include modern technology like video consoles and tablets into the space. Just like Losing Valarie, I tapped into their “Blackness” by having items here and there as cultural signals.

The next step is developing more interior and exterior designs for the series before the end of the year. I hope to creating more character designs for the series by next year. In the near future, I’ll start posting my progress on this site and Patreon in the coming months.

Soon, I’ll switch my focus from Brothas to Losing Valarie in the next week or so. I hope to venture more into exteriors for the series soon. By the end of their year, I want to get back into my character designs.

Once I’ve done enough work on my current work, I hope to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. I’ll start with the character designs before attempting background designs. I hope to start around later this year or early next year.

Social media presence is finally attracting some potential clients. Despite the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, freelance work is starting to pick back up with some potential prospects.

Just remember all the hard work will pay off in the end.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

The World According to Design

My approach to designing for Brothas has become more about having my characters’ world reflect them in every way.

I’ve spent the past week concentrating fleshing out my main characters’ bedroom as my first interior for the series. It is still taking shape as I play off the boys’ color palettes while introducing new colors. Being two young Black boys, I’ve decided to draw some inspiration from my childhood with particular themes and concepts. I plan on placing more personal items into the room to accompany the twin beds. I even plan on drawing from some childhood hobbies and activities to bring more personality into space. As Gen Zer’s, modern amenities will be incorporated into the room. In creating the room, I wanted to tell as much of a story as the character does. Like Losing Valarie, I’m tapping more into their “Blackness” as I explore more of their story.

The next step is to develop designs for some more interior and exteriors for the series before the end of the year. By next year, I plan to do some more character designs for the series. Hopefully, as the year progresses, I’ll be able to show more on this site or on my Patreon.

As I focus on the world of Brothas, I put Losing Valarie on the back burner for a bit. I still have more details to work on when it comes to the main protagonist’s bedroom. I hope to venture more into the exterior soon.

As I’ve stated before, I have yet to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. I’ll start with the character designs before attempting background designs. I hope to start around later this year or early next year.

Social media presence is finally attracting some potential clients. The well of freelance work is still a little dry, but I am definitely put into the work to expand my income.

Just remember all the hard work will pay off in the end.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Giving Your World Personality

My approach to designing for Losing Valarie has become more about displaying my main protagonist’s personality within the world I’ve created for her.

I’ve spent the past week or so concentrating fleshing out my main protagonist’s bedroom. Besides a distinct color palette and black accents, I’ve tapped into her personality more by adding more personal touches. As an aspiring writer and blerd, I chose to fill her room with posters of Black female writers along with a bookcase filled with books. I showcased more by placing items related to anime and music. As a Millennial (or Gen Zer), modern amenities are very much seen throughout the room. In creating the room, it wanted to tell as much of a story as the character does. Tapping into her “Blackness” is something I plan to explore more of – from the designs to stories.

The next step is to develop designs for the series’ exteriors along with some more interior shots. Within the next month or so, I plan to do some more character designs for the series. Hopefully, as the year progresses, I’ll be able to show more on this site or on my Patreon.

Within the next week, I plan to start the interiors for the family home in my children’s series Brothas. If things go according to plan, I hope to venture into more exterior settings. Developing more character designs may come up in the future as I plan to expand into supporting characters.

As I’ve stated before, I have yet to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. I’ll start with the character designs before attempting background designs. I hope to start around later this year or early next year.

Social media presence is finally attracting some potential clients. My freelance work is still a bit slow, but I am definitely put into the work to expand my income.

Just remember all the hard work will pay off in the end.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Seeing the Full Picture

As progress in my work, the backgrounds are starting to take shape as I build my animated worlds.

Fro the past week or so, I’ve been shaping the world for the teenagers of Losing Valarie. The high school setting is your typical high school atmosphere with a modern look to better reflect the advancement in design and technology. Like I mentioned before, I wanted a color palette filled with pastels and dark colors to reflect the light yet dramatic tone of the series. I kept the high school palette limited to blues and whites with pops of color here and there. As the idea has progressed over the years, my approach to design has evolved as I became more comfortable with digital art.

Along with creating the high school setting, I have concentrated my efforts on improving my main protagonist’s refuge – her bedroom. Much like the previous background, I limited the color palette to her favorite color – pale pink (or rose gold). Everything from her bedding to the walls is covered in it. But the break up the monochromatic, I decided to use black to again fit the series’ tone along with more vibrant colors for visual appeal. I’ve steadily built up the room to illustrate more of her personality as an aspiring writer and bleed. Along with personality, I wanted to highlight my protagonist’s “Blackness” through her choice of artwork and posters.

Hopefully, soon, I will illustrate the actual exteriors of these places to give a better look and understanding of this world. I know to see what the characters’ world looks like will create a connection with potential viewers.

Within the next week, I plan to focus more on my children’s series Brothas by concentrating on the interior of the family home. I might even deal with some more exterior settings in the main characters’ world. Much of the look and feel will still retain the child-like look of the series.

Focusing on the two previous projects, I have yet to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. The series draws shows such as the original Teen Titans, Justice League, and Batman the Animated Series so my palette will be using more subdued colors and neutral tones – browns, beiges, whites, grays, and black. I’ll start with the character designs and work my way from there.

While background design will be my focus, for the time being, I will eventually turn my attention to character design for my next set of characters. As I start building up more work, I put some of it on my website (be on the lookout!) while others might be Patreon exclusives.

 

Social media presence has continued to play a role in attracting clients. My freelance work is still a bit slow, but I am definitely put into the work to expand my income.

Just remember all the hard work will pay off in the end.

 

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Working on the Back – The Re-do

So last week turned out to be more writing-focused than anything so here is a repost of last week’s blog. I’m still working and striving to create the environment for my characters.

While I’ve been focusing on my character design work, I decided to concentrate on developing my background designs. I want to develop more of my look and aesthetics for many of my projects. For Losing Valarie, I wanted a simple color palette of pastels and dark colors to reflect the nature and subject matter of the series. I decided to keep my backgrounds limited and monochromatic to fit the characters and style. But ever since I’ve been working on this project, I wanted my characters and world to complement each other in the grand scheme.

My other project Brothas is the opposite of Losing Valarie with a bright color palette centered around primary colors. As seen in my character designs, I wanted the backgrounds to match more with my characters to reflect the style of the series. Whereas Losing Valarie is heavier in tone, I want the children’s series to be brighter and happier for families.

My still-untitled project leans more towards a teenage audience in the same vein of the original Teen Titans and Justice League. I eventually want the color palette to reflect the darker nature of the action-adventure series. I haven’t designed anything yet, but I already know what it may look like. 

While background design will be my focus, for the time being, I will eventually turn my attention to character design for my next set of characters. As I start building up more work, I put some of it on my website (be on the lookout!) while others might be Patreon exclusives.

Working on these projects allows me to tap into my creativity while creating something tangible when I get ready to present my ideas. While I prepare to get these shows off the ground, I’m still a few contests here and there as a way of getting my work seen.

With so much going on in the world, my social media presence has increased its importance in my work as I try recruiting more clients. My freelance work is coming slowly but surely, but I am definitely put in the work to expand my income.

Just remember creativity can lead to a lasting legacy.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Working on the Back

Working on my personal and professional creativity has been an amazing outlet for my mental health.

While I’ve been focusing on my character design work, I decided to concentrate on developing my background designs. I want to develop more of my look and aesthetics for many of my projects. For Losing Valarie, I wanted a simple color palette of pastels and dark colors to reflect the nature and subject matter of the series. I decided to keep my backgrounds limited and monochromatic to fit the characters and style. But ever since I’ve been working on this project, I wanted my characters and world to complement each other in the grand scheme.

My other project Brothas is the opposite of Losing Valarie with a bright color palette centered around primary colors. As seen in my character designs, I wanted the backgrounds to match more with my characters to reflect the style of the series. Whereas Losing Valarie is heavier in tone, I want the children’s series to be brighter and happier for families.

My still-untitled project is leans more towards a teenage audience in the same vein of the original Teen Titans and Justice League. I eventually want the color palette to reflect the darker nature of the action-adventure series. I haven’t designed anything yet, but I already know what it may look like. 

While background design will be my focus, for the time being, I will eventually turn my attention to character design for my next set of characters. As I start building up more work, I put some of it on my website (be on the lookout!) while others might be Patreon exclusives.

Working on these projects allows me to tap into my creativity while creating something tangible when I get ready to present my ideas. While I prepare to get these shows off the ground, I’m still a few contests here and there as a way of getting my work seen.

With so much going on in the world, my social media presence has increased its importance in my work as I try recruiting more clients. My freelance work is coming slowly but surely, but I am definitely put in the work to expand my income.

Just remember creativity can lead to a lasting legacy.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Forging My Own Path

Before all the chaos, pandemics, and civil unrest took over in 2020, I decided this would be the year I finally took a risk on myself and create my content on my terms. So far, forging this path hasn’t been easy.

silhouettes_logo

Character silhouette

In creating my own path, my eyes have been opened to how hard it can be for someone like me with all the creativity but minimal business sense. In order to make that transition a little easier, I’ve decided to make to create Patreon and Etsy pages to help me not only fund my own projects but to sell some of the design work I’ve been stockpiling the last few years. I see this opportunity to make help my creative dreams come true while giving to those who have supported me over the years.

For years, I’ve had certain ideas floating in my head with some of those that can be seen on this website (check my “Multimedia Art” menu for more). I want to do comedies, dramas, action-adventure, mystery, sci-fi and so much more. On top of the fact, I’ve been sitting on scripts, designs, story bibles, and so much more ready to be seen. And I’m tired of waiting for my chance. So I decided, in order to create the content I want to see, I will need to recruit other creators of color (especially Black ones) to help make animated content for the marginalized and underserved. But I need funds, that’s where Patreon and Etsy come into play. Plus, Hollywood is rushing for anything animated given the current state of live-action fare so strike while the iron is hot.

woman writing on her notebook

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

With that said, I’ve been concentrating on my personal projects for the past month or so. Most of many work can be seen on Instagram while some will be revealed over the course of the summer. It’ll definitely be worth the wait.

While I seek independence for my creativity, more freelance opportunities have been coming my way. The pandemic had put a stop to my freelance work for a while, but with the economy slowly reopening, more people are willing to hire freelancers and independent contractors. Some new opportunities haven’t panned out, but I’m still grinding to expand my client base.

I’m still working on my personal projects as I mentioned before. Some of those results will start to pop up on my site pretty soon so be on the lookout.

 

Celebrating Black Music Part 4

Sadly, this is the last post of my Black Music Month series

This week, I dedicated a post to the music superstars and game-changers from the 1980s through the 2000s. I wanted to highlight the men and women who took Black music to new heights while setting the blueprint for today’s music. In the process, I decided to highlight some groups from the time period. I drew inspiration from constellations, heaven, and the sky to tribute these true icons and legends. I also felt the need to highlight some legends we’ve lost in recent years.

Just like last week’s post, I will showcase my sources while giving a peek into my process.

Here are my source images:aaliyah

Aaliyah

al_b_sure

Al B. Sure

alicia_keys

Alicia Keys

anita baker

Anita Baker

ashanti

Ashanti

athony_hamilton

Anthony Hamilton

beyonce

Beyonce

Billy Ocean

bobby_brown

Bobby Brown

brandy

Brandy

Brian McKnight

Case

chris_brown

Chris Brown

ciara

Ciara

d_angelo

D’Angelo

deborah_cox

Deborah Cox

Donell Jones

erkyah_badu

Erykah Badu

faith_evans

Faith Evans

fantasia

Fantasia

freddie_jackson

Freddie Jackson

gerald_levert

Gerald Levert

ginuwine

Ginuwine

jaheim

Jaheim

janet_jackson

Janet Jackson

jill_scott

Jill Scott

Jody Watley

Joe

Keith Sweat

kelly_price

Kelly Price

keyshia_cole

Keyshia Cole

lenny_kravitz

Lenny Kravitz

luther_vandross

Luther Vandross

mariah_carey

Mariah Carey

mary_j_blige

Mary J. Blige

maxwell

Maxwell

Michael Jackson - 1983

Michael Jackson

monica

Monica

mya

Mya

patti_labelle

Patti Labelle

peabo_bryson

Peabo Bryson

Purple Rain (1984)
Directed by Albert Magnoli
Shown: Prince (as The Kid)

Prince

r_kelly

R. Kelly

rihanna

Rihanna

stephanie_mills

Stephanie Mills

tamia

Tamia

01/01/1985. Close Up Tina Turner

Tina Turner

toni_braxton

Toni Braxton

usher

Usher

whitney_houston

Whitney Houston

 phase_0_BL_50_70phase_1_BL_80_00phase_2_BL_80_00phase_3_BL_80_00phase_4_BL_80_00phase_5_BL_80_00phase_6_BL_80_00

phase_7_BL_80_00phase_8_BL_80_00phase_9_BL_80_00phase_10_BL_80_00phase_11_BL_80_00phase_12_BL_80_00phase_13_BL_80_00phase_14_BL_80_00phase_15_BL_80_00

If you want to see the final result, check out my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Celebrating Black Music Part 3

Back with another Black Music Month post!

This week, I decided to dedicate a post to the musical pioneers and innovators from the 1950s through the 1970s. I choose to go with the men and women who blazed a trail for Black entertainers of today while laying the foundation for today’s music. In the process, I decided to highlight some groups from the time period. I drew inspiration from constellations, heaven and the sky to tribute these true icons and legends. I also used the post to highlight some legends we’ve lost in recent years.

Just like my previous posts on Hip-Hop, I will showcase my sources while giving a peek into my process.

Here are my source images:al_green

Al Green

aretha_franklin

Aretha Franklin

barry_white

Barry White

betty_wright

Betty Wright

Bob Marley

chaka khan

Chaka Khan

chuck_berry

Chuck Berrycurtis_mayfieldCurtis Mayfielddiana_rossDiana Rossdionne_warwickDionne Warwickdonna_summerDonna Summerjackie_wilsonJackie Wilsonjames_brownJames Brown

jimi_hendrix

Jimi Hendrixlittle_richardLittle Richardmarvin_gayeMarvin Gayemary_wellsMary Wells

miles_davis

Miles Davisnat_king_coleNat King Colenatalie_coleNatalie Cole

nina-simone983j27.7765.23

Nina Simoneray_charlesRay Charlesrick_jamesRick Jamesruth_brownRuth Brownsam_cookeSam Cooke

sammy_davis_jr

Sammy Davis, Jr.stevie_wonderStevie Wonderteddy_pendergrassTeddy Pendergrass

 phase_0_BL_50_70phase_1_BL_50_70phase_2_BL_50_70phase_3_BL_50_70phase_4_BL_50_70phase_5_BL_50_70

If you want to see the final result, check out my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

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