Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Daily Life Goingz Onzzzzz

Hello my friends.

You know what I did yesterday for the first time in months?

Nothing.

After I got out of work, I literally laid in our living room by my book cases in my little wavy reading chair/couch thingy and did... NOTHING. I even dozed off for a spell. I intended to sit and read a bit, as there are books I have recently bought and haven't read. But I didn't. I should have been up digitally coloring or drawing my next page. But I didn't. I coulda been up taking care of my online needs but I didn't. I just did fucking nothing. And man was it exquisite! And later that night, I laid in bed and watched 4 episodes of X-FILES... a show I kept putting off for years and am now enjoying...

...because I've learned to allow myself to!

I've been in constant motion since January of this year. But after the second move this last weekend out of my (very short lived) "bachelor pad," and into my new place, 100%... I found myself with a great sense of calmness and relief. Things are settling into a comfortable routine for me here. Which is weird to say, because I've been living here for over two months! I'm just in a damn good headspace right now. I think a lot of it has to do with my new dayjob.

I am working at a place called CAP CITY REPROGRAPHICS in old town Lansing. I work with a great group of people and the work is coming easier to me. We're dreaming up new ideas and better ways to get new clients and make new products. Its laid back, but also sparks great interest. Its a fertile environment... one I haven't felt in a job in a loooooong time. I feel we're doing good work there and I am no longer focused on what I perceive as my "failures" of trying to find a job related to art. I'm helping other artists get their work out to the people. From doing art prints of their stuff, to business cards, scanning in large work, printing blueprints, color correcting painting and old photographs, designing logos and learning new shortcuts in various programs. I think I've learned more about Canon and HP printers in one week than I've ever learned in a whole lifetime. Its been a total trip.

The best part? My co-workers are good people. We all have families and our own individual things going. There's no drama and no issues at all. We're all excited for the changes happening and are looking to take the company to the next level. Its a passion and zeal for work that is rare to find in today's world. It's my kind of company and I feel like I hit the lottery with it. I'm immensely satisfied with the experience. I haven't felt that way in a long time.

I still have the night time gas station job. Its necessary for now. So my sleep is still kinda fucked. But at the night job, I do get some table time in to work on my pages and commissions. I got to watch an artist pal draw on his Cintiq the other night. It intrigued me. I've never seen one in action before. I'd love to try one out.

I guess I am just excited by all the cool things happening around me right now. New job, great new people, great customers to talk to, its very fertile and calming. As opposed to the last six months of screamers, couponers, complainers and corporate jerk offs. I'm greatly pleased.

I'm also pleased by the progress I've made in my work on Starslam 2 and Pleasant Life 2. Also that I've managed to put my comics at a higher priority in my life. I've got two live gigs coming up in Sept and October. I'm excited that my girl is supporting my efforts in change and cheers on every small victory I have with my work. Its just exciting, folks. I'm tired of the doom and gloom blog posts. This one is all about my inner smiles. Deal with me, okay? :)

BTW, I am on a thing called PERISCOPE via Social Media. Search for "Adamtalley655" to find me. Make with the add/follow and the hearts. I'll try to keep updating with videos for ya. Especially production videos of various things.

I've got some nice notes and messages regarding the Starslam 2 art I posted on my last blog. Thanks guys! You wait and see. This one is a doozy!! I actually took the time to revisit the first book this week and man am I proud of it. But the sequel, the SQUEAKWEL... holy cow and a half!! You'll see!

Anyway, just wanted to do a personal type of blog post to let you all know how I'm doing. Short answer: Goddamn Great!

Cheers, T

Monday, July 27, 2015

Finally! A look at STARSLAM 2!!!!

Hello my friends! I keep promising and now I am delivering. I am now gonna show off some preview pics (mostly spoiler free) of my graphic novel sequel to STARSLAM! STARSLAM was my most successful pre-ordered comic to date and the Kickstarter I ran for it last year far exceeded my initial expectations. Feedback was great and I know people are excited for the sequel. I got about 50 pages left to pencil and ink and it is in various stages of coloring. But I have teased for a while that there would come a day where I would share pics of progress on the book.... and that day is today!

So here we go. Mostly spoiler free and enjoy! (somewhat NSFW, but I tried to clean up the naughty bits.)

Man Superior has a special journey this time around. Kneel before... Zod? hmm... who???

Honestly, wait until this one is colored! (Hint: That ain't blood!)

Hey! I want a Starslam action figure mint in the box!!!! (Far right corner)

A first peek at a new character for the team. She's got a story to tell, that's for sure!

Another day, another Monster fight!

Starslam getting into trouble again!

Man Superior: He's on the case!

Foxclaw and the newbie doing some research...

A scene in an adult bookstore? What kind of book is this?!?!

Oh yeah Starslam! You go girl!
Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek. I gotta get back to slinging lead and inks on these pages. Stay tuned!!!!

T

Friday, July 17, 2015

Big Changes - Big Opportunity

Hey friends! Thanks for checking back. Doing another blog via my phone so please forgive any mistakes I type.

I had a crazy week. 75 hours of work and two job interviews. The first was at a cinema. I was excited for it. The best job I ever had was working at the cinema. But right away in the interview I got bad vibes. It was little pay and I would need OPEN availability. Sure, I coulda started part time (again) and worked my way up the ladder. But im 37 years old with a degree and experience out the wazoo. Plus, IM AN ARTIST!!! Id just be settling in a safe zone. I wouldnt be expanding or taking what Risks I felt I could take on.

Anyway, second interview was for a print shop here in Lansing. Sounded very interesting and certainly in my field. I had the interview and instantly liked everything about it, the people and the opportunity it presented. Hours later, I was offered the job and I gladly took it. It gave me so much pride to turn in my notice at Meijer and know that I am moving on to greater things. Things related to my field, things I am good at and things that make me happy.

I feel like I was taught a lesson that day. I cannot shoot backwards. I cannot take safe and small routes  from my past. I need to be bolder and branch out and actually take what I know I am worth. We often settle for the safe comfy places. It serves us better to be bold and soar higher.

This new job will have its challenges. It will be a juggle of a different type. But its one I am 1,000% ready for. I have ideas and dreams on how to make this place everything it can be. And what it can do for me, is equally exciting. In many ways, it is everything I have been looking for all my life. I cannot wait to start on Monday.

Of course, for a while, I will continue to work two jobs to make ends meet and save money for my future. But the plan is at some point in the future I will just have the one job. My real career. Centered around art, my first love. Im extremely grateful for the opportunity to prove myself at this place.

I thank everyone for thier thoughts, likes and well wishes over this. This whole year has been a transition period for me. I feel like the last six months at Meijer were some of the most difficult Ive ever faced. I worked two jobs while trying to deal with everything I had on my plate. It kept me paid and sane. But I soon woke up and realized that I am worth more and I should strive for it. I wanted to branch beyond a simple cashier and find my true calling. I knew what it was and I searched for it. It found me. the last six months Ive been in the crystlis taking care of my little baby soul. And now im emerging and getting ready to soar!! (And in more ways than one!)

Life hands you a lot of things. But if you know what you are worth, go out there and get it! Cause its out there. Do it.

Onward and upward! Soar!!

T

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Big Bloggy Blogggggg

Hey friends! I just got off another set of four 16 hour days, and man am I tired! But I have been meaning to post here all week, so I got lots of stuff to talk about. Lets begin!!

1- My old college newspaper, CM LIFE, contacted me a couple weeks ago and did an interview with me. They used to cover my stuff back in the ol' college days, so it was nice to hear from them again and do a follow up with me! In it I discuss my various works and then talk a little bit about PLEASANT LIFE 2... the sequel I am working on and slated to be finished early 2016. To read the interview, click HERE - Thanks CM LIFE for talking with me again!

2-I still got two more convention appearances coming up in 2015, all in Michigan. One is on September 25th in Taylor, MI. Its called the MICHIGAN COMIC EXPO. A nice one day show that should be low key and fun. The other is GRAND RAPIDS COMIC CON taking place on Oct 16-18th. Both should be great times. More details on these shows in the coming weeks, but you heard it here first. After these, I should be done for the year.

3-STARSLAM 2 NEWS: Things are progressing on the book. I think I just crossed the 85th page mark on art. I just got done inking a big fight scene, so its really gonna be a happening. I wish I could share some pics (and I will) but at "press time" for this blog, I got nothing. But two potential covers have been drawn and I got pinups galore as well. So great progress is being made. In fact, for those that follow me on Facebook and Twitter got a treat this last week... I wrote and revealed the plot outline blurb for the sequel. Check it out:

Its my goal to have the Kickstarter launched for the book by October 15th, so I can advertise it at Grand Rapids Con. We shall see. But the book will be out no later than Dec/January. Then all efforts move on to...

4-PLEASANT LIFE 2 NEWS: No new pages yet, but the plan is to crank on it in between Starslam 2 pages and then go full speed ahead on finishing it by May of 2016, so I can have it ready for convention season. Its a great story and I can't wait for people to see it. I think this one has far more heart than the first books. You'll see!

5-SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2015 -- SDCC time is tough for me because I greatly desire to visit there again. In fact, I am driven to make a potential 2016 trip a major priority. But the news this year has been great. The trailers for Batman V. Superman, Suicide Squad and the Star Wars footage looks great. So as depressing as it is to not be there with my friends, I enjoy watching their fun they post about. I am gonna make it back next year, come hell or high waters. I love San Diego. Maybe it will be my treat for busting ass for a year and a half. A nice celebration of hard work and dedication to my work and getting things in order in my life. Seems fair, right? Let's make it happen.

6-2016 CONVENTION PLANS -- I finally got a final design done for my new convention table layout and pricing plans. New backdrops, risers, displays and new products! Its gonna take a lot of time to finish and some scratch to get it done. But I am confident that I will get it done in time. I'm excited about it. I keep staring at my sketches for it and I cannot wait to start on it. Its gonna look great. Like my stuff always should have been looking like at shows. Very professional and fun. I'd share pics but... spoilers! You'll have to find me on my 2016 tour to see it! Dates coming later on. Lets get through 2015 first! But just wanted you guys to know that I'm thinking ahead to what is to come.

7-SKETCH CARD NEWS: I'm working on a new Star Wars set that coincides with "The Force Awakens." I cannot show pics yet but I will soon. My last set I did for Topps is out and you can go get the cards on the shelves and aftermarket right now. Go to Ebay and do a search for my name to see them. Enjoy!

8-Lastly, I wanted to share some more recent pics and let you know that as much as I am working my ass off, I still get some time to see my boys. They came up earlier this week and I took them to the park. I got ate alive by the mosquitos, but it was worth it.
James and I sit and watch some cartoons and he digs on some Chocolate Milk!

Here's little James enjoying a bug ride.


Busy Bees!


While we were at the park, nature decided to come say hi!
In my efforts to eat healthier, I've been eating lots of this. Rice, Grilled Chicken, Peppers, Squash, Asparagus. YUM!

Lastly, here's a pic leftover from GRASP EXPO.
So yeah. Busy and fun times. I don't think I've ever been this busy and productive all at once. I've caught a wave for the last 5 months and I've never been more happy about it. Things are rolling into the new phase and I cannot wait to show you all what I'm doing. You're going to get sick hearing about me!

Anyway, thanks for checking back. I'll share Starslam 2 and Pleasant Life 2 pics soon!

Cheers, T

Friday, July 03, 2015

Personal Life Goings On...

Hey all! Gonna attempt a blog from my phone again, so forgive any spelling errors I have. (Big fingers, small phone keyboard!)

First of all, thanks for checking the site after my appearance at GRASP EXPO. I had a blast at the show and a nice spike in readership. I appreciate it. Secondly, I will say I got two shows coming up in the fall. A one day show in September, and a three day show in October. It feels good to get back out on the road again. Im selling off all my old stuff this year to fund my 2016 revamp of booth set from books to backdrop. All funds go to that and I appreciate it. But more on those shows later.

Today I want to discuss some health stuff. Longtime readers of the blog here know that my weight has been a continuing issue. Last year in July, I quit soda. I was eating healthier and I was hitting the treadmill pretty steady. I dropped from 372 to 330. I was feeling great! Well, around December, my marriage imploded and I found that I just couldnt eat for almost two weeks. I had to force myself to eat and drink. I just couldnt focus on it. When I came to in January, I was at 318. So depression helped me drop an additional 12 pounds!! (I wouldnt recommend it as a diet plan though!) I started hitting the gym again but then had a toe injury that put me out for three weeks. I could barely walk. I found myself in a position of not finding a decent paying job so I had to get two part time jobs. Im still looking for that pie in the sky job that will pay me decently and allow me time to you know, sleep, see my kids more, etc. But in working these two jobs, on four hours of sleep, my lack of caffiene was becoming an issue. So like an idiot, I put the spike in ny veins and had a coke. Then another. And another. And here it is, July, and i was back on my old daily regimine of five-eight sodas a day. Also for some reason I became a sugar and dorito junkie. I barely ate that crap before. I fell off hard!

Today I weigh 330. Bot bad, considering all the junk and fast food Ive ate since February. But still im not headed to where I need to be. I watched a documentary called FED UP the other day and was inspired to try this NO SUGAR lifestyle. So I started it three days ago. I quit soda again and stopped the snacking. I filled up on veggies and fruits from the local markets and am making it a good shot toward where I need to be. Its been rough going, but Im coming along. Working two jobs dont allow much time for exercise, but being on my feet all day certainly helps. My knees are hurting and my feet are sore as fuck everyday. But I know it will get easier.

I share all of this because I know many of you were following my weight loss progress last year and kept me inspired. I never forgot. I just had to clear some cobwebs out of my little baby soul as I healed with everything life has thrown at me the last year. But there comes a time where you wake up and stop being the victim and you know that you are in control. And thats what I got going on now. Im awake and i am on the right path again.

Anyway, the work continues! Im doing sketch cards and commissions this week. Also more Starslam 2 pages. Ive caught the wave folks. And im enjoying it. Onward and upward!! Professionally and personally.

Luvs, T

Monday, June 29, 2015

GRASP EXPO recap at other stuff!

Hey everyone! I'm back from my first major comic show appearance at the GRASP COMIC EXPO in Grand Rapids, MI. I had to share all some pics and tales of my experiences this weekend. So here we go!

Friday night my pals Dean and Mjit came over and we got our drink on and we played "Cards Against Humanity." Lots of fun! Dean slept over so we could just leave right out in the morning. We left and loaded in the rain and got there around 9:10. I ran into my old pals Dan Hogan, Kevin Leen, Brett Pinson and Connie Pinson. Joe from migeekscene.com was there covering the event and it was good to see him again. I let him store his camera and other stuff behind my booth.

Ugh, I'm tired!

I always do a warm up sketch when I arrive at shows. This time it was a Slave Leia. Necessary.

I don't take pics that often with costumers but the 501st are a special case that I sometimes make time for. This pic was snapped at a weird time, and thus I look stoned. I assure, not the case. But still, I don't want that pain stick rammed in my ass by the Emperor's Guard. Hopefully he doesn't know I support the rebellion (Liberal!).

There was a running joke all weekend about "If I cosplayed, what would I wear?" I have an affection for the Ghostbusters and their proton packs. I want one! So my Girlfriend said she'd come home one day to see me playing Ghostbusters in the nude. I had to sketch the moment of what it would look like if she came in the door and caught me doing that.

I did a panel on "THE WORLD OF SKETCH CARDS." How to collect them, how to get into doing them for yourself. I think it went well. I had about 15-20 people in the room. Pretty much every panel was attended like that. I tried to go through my outline I wrote and I showed examples of my work and others like Katie Cook and Grant Gould to help illustrate my points. But when I got back to my table, I realized a couple points I could have expanded on. I recorded the audio so maybe I'll share it if I can get it to sound good.

It was Misty's first true comic con experience. She had fun, and I kept her busy.
Saturday went well. It was slower than anticipated, but I made decent sales. After the show, Dean, Misty and I went to Five Guys and then grabbed a few things and then hit the hotel. We took a dip in the hot tub and then tried to see if there was a con party. There wasn't, so we ended up just drinking in our room and watching boxing/UFC. Kinda a bummer, but it made for a nice relaxing night. I kinda needed that after the hell week of work I had.

I picked up a few things. An old MAD Magazine from the 80s, some INVINCIBLE comics I am behind on, some STRIP adult comics (reference), "Pins and Needles" by Jack Gonzalez, and "Teacher Strips" by Stu Rase. Some nice reading to catch up on!

Sunday was slow but I made more sales and I finally, finally, FINALLY sold off the last of the old matted 8x11 prints that I had in stock. They are gone, never to return. I sold mostly print cards, prints and some original art. The folks who put on GRASP EXPO, as well as GRAND RAPIDS COMIC CON treated us artists very well and they gave me rock star treatment. I haven't had that before. I really felt welcome and I was grateful to them for their support. I don't have one bad thing to say about the show at all. I think some might have went into the show thinking it would pull in regular comic con numbers, but its a small press show. We were the focus. Our names can only do so much, and thats understandable. But the ones who did show up, truly wanted to be there and truly wanted to check out the indie folks and their work. Its a nice break from those comic show that make you pay $65 per person, per day to go to the show and you pre-pay for your autographs and photos. I think with some small amount of retooling, they will come back strong with it next year. Thanks to GRASP, thier staff and crew, and all who came out and had a good time with us.

------

In the week leading up to GRASP, I worked a ton of hours at both jobs. My two days off I had my boys overnight for the first time. The day I dropped them off (when I was supposed to be sleeping) I took my girl to a pizza place here in Grand Ledge, my new home. Its called Cuginos. We had their pizza and breadstix. Very good! (although my stomach hurt for a bit after it. I just cant handle certain foods anymore. Boooo!!!!!)



_____

This week, a MAJOR event happened. The Supreme Court of the United States passed a law that its is now 100% legal for gay couples to get married. This is something I've supported and voted on for years. Very time the law in specific states would get banned, I would voice my outrage. The whole debate was beyond dumb. Now gay marriage (Now referred to as simply: MARRIAGE) is approved and hey, the world didn't blow up. Armageddon didn't happen. We're still here and nothing has changed! Just that those who are in love can now join in the same unions as straight people can. Oh no! How dare they want happiness!! Of course, the loudmouths came out and bitched, but nothing can stop it now. Not without years of changes. And we're not gonna let that happen. We're one more step closer in our evolution of thoughts and being the way we should be as one race, one species of humans. While horrid things are happening in the South that brings up years of racial issues, we're also crossing the finish line on other things. We're trying to get it all together. We're trying. We have hope. And it was my hope that was rewarded this week. This effects people in my family and friends of mine that I've seen had to struggle through this for a long time. I share their smiles this week. This was big time, man. And its about time!

_____

On the artwork front, I worked on more STAR WARS sketch cards but also did some STARSLAM 2 pages and a print idea for PLEASANT LIFE 2:

Oh man.... the fight begins...

Mortin: Simply Irresistible?

And now I'm home. Back to the drawing board, literally and figuratively. Thanks all for checking out the site. I'll return soon with more stuff to show. Cheers !

T

Monday, June 22, 2015

Busy Week Before GRASP EXPO!

Hey friends. I just got done working five long 16 hour days in a row, with about 3-4 hours in between the jobs to drive home, nap, get up and ready to go to the other job. By the end I was teetering on madness. Then on Father's Day, I get out of work and go get my boys and have them til 9pm, after being up from noon the PREVIOUS day. I was an absolute zombie. But... when I got back to the apartment I still put in an hour at the table to color a piece I needed for the upcoming GRASP EXPO and do some digital scans of new stuff. So yeah, I'm burning my candle from both ends and the middle. I'm virtually beside myself with exhaustion. But I got applications out for a potential new day job that will pay me decent so I don't have to do this anymore like this. Lets hope, shall we? Cause I can't keep this up forever.

This week, I got two 16 hour days, then I get my boys two days in a row, while still working at the gas station. Then a long 8 hour cashier shift, then GRASP EXPO! Its gonna be a long haul week, and I don't have any spare time to get my stuff done or packed. I'm gonna have to squeeze it in during my potential nap times. So please note what all I am doing to make this show happen for me! HA! But I'm very much looking forward to the show.






I will have a panel on Saturday at 12:45 titled "The World of Sketch Cards." I will be discussing the hobby and how to break into doing them as an artist. You won't want to miss it. :) I will have all my books there (Sans STARSLAM, as they asked me to avoid bringing porn to the very family friendly show. Understandable!) as well as prints, print cards and original art sales. So come on out and check out my new stuff! Its gonna be a lot of fun to get out and do a nice show. This little new piece is making her debut there too:


At the night job, I've been busy on new STAR WARS cards. Here's a peek at the back of them:




The new set is sure to be a doozy!

Despite my utter exhaustion, Father's Day was fun. I got my two boys and I got to skype with Cody. We talked E3 and a ton of video game stuff. Made me really want to get a 360 for the house. Although I pretty much have no time whatsoever to play games, I still would like one so I can play online with him. Would be fun. My Retron 3 is acting up and the boys are starting to want to play more video games. So I should look into investing into something for them too. We'll see. But the desire is certainly there. I'm missing out on a lot by being so busy all the time. Oh well.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this weekend at GRASP. I sure earned it, five times over! Come out and see me at the show!! But I won't be wearing glasses...


Cheers!

--T