Did you ever hear about the term "aceo" or "atc"? Or perhaps, if you live in Germany, you may be more familiar with the term "Kakaokarten" (and no, what I mean has nothing to do with the warm beverage I like to drink in winter xD) - or is it that you don't know what I'm talking about? They're teeny-tiny artworks of the size of a common trading card (2,5''x 3.5'' / 6,4 cm x 8,9 cm), made by artist and can feature both, original art, as well as sometimes fanarts.Very much like the standard trading cards, artists also trade these, or sell them, too and there's a whole community dedicated to them.
About ten months ago I became part of it all - and yesterday I finished my 100th aceo! This is what this post will be about - and of course, I'll also include pictures of ALL aceos I drew
and painted - so please take a look! ;)
So...Where to start? Maybe I should begin with a little known fact: I received my first aceo many years ago. It was drawn by a friend and showed my main OC, altbeit back then I didn't really know what a "Kakaokarte" was. In the following years I stumbled upon the term ever so often, without ever understanding the concept behind it - and truth be told, I never made the effort to inform myself, either.
This changed in the end of January 2015 when another friend finally introduced me into this wonderful world of 'artist trading cards' - and I'm not kidding, it was the best thing that could have happened to me! I soon learned that it's a rather welcoming community and I quickly made many great acquaintances, as well as some friends - and not only that, drawing these cards taught me so much! But I'm going to tell you about this in a moment ;)
First I want to tell you why drawing them feels so utterly rewarding to me: see, I always had a weakness for details, so naturally whenever I drew, I tried to add as many details as I could. Oftentimes I got so distracted by doing this, that I didn't only lose sight of the whole picture, but I also lost a lot of time on unnecessary little things, so in the end, a single picture took days, weeks, sometimes even months to finish - that is, if I finished them at all! I was left with a heap of unfinished WIPs & sketches and a discontent feeling - honestly, I finished so few drawings, it frustrated me so much! But with these aceos it's different - they're so small, that I can easily finish one in a day if I really focus on it, which means that in the evening I have this nice feeling of "having done something great" which I've been missing for years. And as for my love for details? I still indulge in it, of course - maybe even more than before! *laughs*
If you take a look at my aceos, you will notice that I keep challenging myself and I can only begin to make a list of things I learned by drawing all these one hundred cards - there's too much to really mention it all, or else I'll never finish to write this post :D .
Take for example my experiments with special lighting effects: be it the glow of a magical flame or the atmospheric light of either a flowstone- or a lava cave, these were things I never tried before, until I made myself draw them on my cards. I generally try to become more and more bold when it comes to backgrounds, after all I always thought this was one of my rather more lacking aspects of art - and oddly enough, I sometimes catch myself thinking that I enjoy coloring the background more than the characters themselves.
And regarding the characters: my way of portraying people has drastically changed if you ask me o_o
It always bothered me that people thought the way I drew persons was rather... Well, "Manga-Style". I think I mentioned this before, here and there, but nowadays people usually describe my style
as 'fantasy art' or even 'realistic', which admittedly makes me smirk, considering that I used to get so defensive when I was told 'try to draw more realistic'. I always said I didn't want
reality to "invade" my art - but now I learned that only by embracing this more 'realistic' style, I can make my drawings come to life. If I draw my own characters in my new style for example,
they almost look the same way I always imagined them and this really makes me happy.
I will admit another thing though - it's not entirely due to the aceos that my drawing style made this unexpected turn, it's also thanks to something that holds a special place in my heart... And it's called Dragon Age.
Fans of the series will notice that many of the more recent aceos feature motifs of said series and I am beyond happy that I found my way into this fandom in late April/ early May. Ever since
then I've written so much again (some may know, I love writing fanfiction - and my Dragon Age Fanfic has around 160 pages - and counting *laughs*), which is something else I sorely missed and it
taught me to draw things I couldn't before, such as older people, beards, armors - oh, and so many other things, too! As I said, there's so much that I learned, I can't even name it all!
One last thing worth mentioning though is that due to painting some of my aceos with watercolor, I think I finally got the hang of using this fickle medium - or at least, to cooperate with it *laughs* (really, the way the color behaves on paper sometimes leads me to believe it has a mind of its own and 'lives' to mock poor artist like me who try to bend its will xD). Aside of this, I also taught myself to use alcohol-based markers, commonly known as "Copic Markers". Previously I shyed away from using them, they simply were way too expensive for me to even consider messing with them, but now I've come to enjoy working with them.
In any case...This year hasn't been easy for me so far and after the previous entry I wrote last month, you can probably imagine that I'm not exactly feeling happy either, but to see all these one hundred cards I drew - to remember all the kind people I traded with and thanks to whom I have a splendid collection of beautiful cards, many of them showing my OCs - it's just such a overwhelming and fantastic feeling.
And can you imagine? Two of these cards are commissioned pieces, at that! If you read this: I'd like to thank you both again. To know that you appreciated my art so much, that you were willing to
pay me to draw for you.... It means the world to me and encouraged me to trust more in myself and my skills >///< ♥ I know I'm still far from my dream of being an illustrator and making a
living solely through my art, but this is like a little first step for me.
With that being said, I hope you will now enjoy to take a look at my whole set of 100 aceos.I submitted the first one on the 27th of January and finished my most recent one on the 15th of November.
If you'd like to see any of them in detail, you'll find all of them in my galery on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.695982313854197.1073741834.684663794986049&type=3 - and don't forget that I also publish my most recent sketches and WIPs on my art page there.
Well - that's all for today! >u< ♥ Do leave me a comment below and let me know what you think - or if you have any kind of question, feel free to message me! And to wrap things up, here are the cards:
I've been meaning to talk to you, to tell you in person how I feel, but I'll be honest: I've been too afraid, too hurt. Thus I hope you see this and will get my meaning.
See... What I need to tell you is that times change. This is an inevitable fact no one can deny, and I'm sure you'll agree when I tell you that within the span of this time, people change as well.
Its a simple rule time teaches every human being - nothing lasts forever.
You know I've been there, you know what happened to me the past few years, you know what I've gone through and what I lost. I've come to realize that there comes a day when even the largest, most
sturdy tree falls and one day even an ocean dries out. A person may try desperately to cling to what they hold dear, but the harder you try and the more you refuse to let go, the sooner it slips
through your fingers and will be forever lost. I know and learned that not even tears can bring back what once was, nor can they make things undone or words unsaid. It's simply impossible to turn
Or let me pick an entirely different example:
Imagine a city - and now picture a house, a single building amongst many. Do you see it in your mind? Good.
It may be brand new, gleaming in the faint winter sun or it may as well be old and withered, covered allover in twines of wild ivy, it makes no difference. As time passes, there will be cracks in
the walls and the windows will break. The owners will try to fix it, multiple times perhaps, over and over they're trying to restore its old splendor, but at some point they have to realize that
it's all in vain - the once comfortable home has turned to naught but a ruin.
Now there's only so much they can do, once it's become futile to fix it. They have to make a choice, either to accept it and keep living in this ruin, till the day it breaks entirely or tear the house down and build something new.
Do you understand, or am I being too cryptic?
I remember you've always said I was the one of us who was good with words and who used too many metaphors. But let me make it simple for you - what if the house in this picture was our
friendship? Think about it. And think about the past months - about the silence that wrecked the house like a storm. And now tell me, what kind of building do you imagine?
I know I'm seeing a ruin in my mind - and now that times change, I find myself wondering, how would I decide, if I was to make the very choice about this ruin of mine?
The honest answer is that I don't know. I don't know where to go from here, I find myself at a loss.
But I know I can't keep going like this, shrouded in suffocating silence. Still, I deliberately chose not to be the first to utter a word.
Not again, no.
Very much like the one who kept fixing the ill-fated building, it's been me who always kept making the first step when silence ensued and I told you that I can't keep going like this. Now here I am, waiting and wondering what you might be doing, or if you're even thinking of me at all. But time passes and all that remains is silence. Days go by, without a word, leaving more and more cracks behind in the walls.
I know, if this keeps going, the ruin will collapse.
But who knows... Maybe you think I am the villain of this story, because I don't write you anymore? I don't know. I only can tell you truthfully, I've been here, all along. I've been waiting for a sign, for you to reach out - but I've been waiting in vain.
And now, as I stand here, I feel how the earth shakes and I watch the walls tumble down. There's a deafening noise in the air, as well as trails of dust that casts some tears into my eyes - but I doubt you hear it, nor do you see it, for you cloak yourself in silence.
In any case, this is all I wished to tell you. Perhaps you won't even see this, or maybe you won't understand what I was trying to say, but I could no longer remain silent as I have been the past few months.
Hello everyone – once again some time has passed ever since I last updated my blog, but those who read my previous article can imagine that I haven’t been feeling well. Truth is, I still haven’t recovered entirely, but I still wanted to write a small entry to update you on something I did just recently: I went social.
Yes, indeed - I joined facebook. Here's the link, for those who are interested in visiting me. (You'll also notice that I added share buttons to most of my previous entries.)
In this entry I will tell you why and what I’m going to do with this in future.
Also, as always, I'll show you some new drawings I did.
First things first, though – it might be a little late, but may I bid you welcome to the year 2015?
After all this is my first entry this year and I hope to update my blog more frequently this time around.
I know I’ve been slacking off a little last year, but it honestly wasn’t a good year for me. Sure, I successfully managed to get my certificate from the design school in summer 2014, but otherwise things haven’t been so good. I’m unemployed ever since then and although I have been trying to spend the time working on my novel and shaping up my artistic skill, I also spent way too much doubting myself. Doubting, wether my drawings are any good and whether I’ll ever be able to work as an artist.
I kept telling my family I want to study art in 2015, but it was mainly due to the fact that I felt - and still feel - like I’m not making any progress at all and hoped an art school might help.
Yes, my drawing style may have changed, but I don’t know whether this means it improved or not. That why I still do plan on studying (although I still don’t know where or what precisely) but the
fear of being just a dreamer with a hobby called art and writing kinda... Well, let’s just say, it isn’t the best thing to keep yourself sane, especially if you're having a bad time in general
So then I thought - how can I know, if I am any good, if the only people who see my art are my family and my few friends? How could I become famous, only keeping my work to myself?
Last year I thought my blog was my first step of going “public” and it already took a lot of courage for me to take this step... But the lack of feedback built some kind of uncertainty, because I never knew if anyone looks at this website at all. I told my mother about this – and my brother as well, and it was him in the end, who said I should consider joining facebook.
Now, those who know me probably know I always purposely avoided this social network. I never liked it much of it and truthfully... I never had a high opinion of facebook altogether. This still hasn’t changed, I’m still in doubt whether this was such a good idea... But time will tell, I suppose.
At least this way I’m able to reach more people and that’s also why I keep writing my entries in English, although German is my native language. Thankfully I had a rather warm welcome on facebook though, due to my brother and his friends showing me their kind support.
I know I already thanked you all over there, but I want to repeat my words: thanks for welcoming me in such a friendly manner and leaving me a few likes already <3
A “like” may not be the same as a comment, but at least it’s a direct way of knowing people appreciate my art.
...So, to wrap things up:
What will happen to the blog and what will be published on facebook?
I think I’ll keep sharing my future blog entries on facebook to notify everyone there’s been an update here.
Finished artwork and work processes will still be published here exclusively, however I’ll use facebook to share WIP images and sketches that you wouldn’t see otherwise.
What do you think of this idea?
Do you like it or do you perhaps have some suggestions or wishes? Please let me know! You can either leave a comment here or over at my facebook page.
And now, finally, to end this entry on a positive note, here’s some sketches I did recently.
And if I say “sketches”, I really mean sketches, although some of my friends might disagree. These drawings are really just some “finger exercises”. Since I’ve been working a lot on my digital
art recently, I wanted to give traditional art another try so I wouldn't get out of practice (also because I got some neat new colored pencils for Christmas and I couldn’t resist to try them out
All those drawings show my own characters from my stories called "Tales of Yokai", which are inspired by japanese myths and legends.
To those of you who're new here:
Well, now that really is all for now.
Hope you enjoyed it - and see you again later, with hopefully more art!
I know I haven’t written in a while and though I wish the occasion for me to write a new entry could be happier, I never had to write something that feels so difficult.
It’s a dark day today for me and my family. Today I lost someone I held more dear than anyone else. I called him my baby, called him “Spatz - today I lost him, today, on the 16th October 2014 I lost my beloved pet bird, the most beautiful mistle thrush Piepsa.
Many people say “he was more than a pet” and find it silly to mourn over an animal the same way one would morn a person, but Piepsa certainly was more than a bird.
He was my baby – I mean it, he was like a child to me. I was his mother and today I lost my only child.
Whenever I came home, he happily greeted me – he always began to chirp loudly when he heard my voice. Any only my voice – although he also loved my parents and my brother as well, he only called for me. When I wasn’t home, he pouted and the moment I returned, he jumped around excitedly and called for me. Because of this, my mother also always said I was his mom, but is it any wonder?
I raised the little boy.
I met him when he was a little chick – he was still covered in his yellow down feathers and could barely eat alone. I was still in primary school and fed him with my own hands and gave him water, until he became old enough to eat and drink on his own and got his adult plumage.
I watched him when he learned to fly, encouraged him and was so happy when he was old enough to let him go.
We wanted to set him free.
My father told us not to get too attached to him, for he was a wild bird. As a thrush the woods would be his home, not our house, not a cage... So we let him go. Twice he flew away, twice he returned. The little boy melted my father’s heart, until the topic of letting Piepsa go was no longer a matter.
He was always there.
When he was young, he used to sit on the large pendulum clock in our living room. During dinner I would call his name and he would fly to my shoulder, so I could feed him tiny pieces of potato and noodles, a little bit different things than his usual mealworm, dry food and forest bird treats diet.
I have so many beautiful and amusing memories of him jumping down from my shoulder onto the table, to land amidst my plate. He was such a funny little bird. I also have so many cute memories of him bathing in the kitchen – he set the whole room underwater then, when he flapped his wings in the bowl we gave him as a bathtub. I loved to watch him do this, and loved how he always ran to me when he was too drenched to fly. Then I always held my hand in front of him, he climbed on it and I carried him to his cage.
The doors of his huge cage were always open – during his early years he was free to fly about the whole house.
As he got older, he remained inside his cage and began to develop an adorable habit of humming along whenever he heard the dishwasher or the kitchen hood over the oven. I often wondered what he spoke about to the machines, why they made him sing like this. All I know is that it always made me smile.
In spring – and throughout nearly the entire last year or his life – he also had another habbit: as soon as it got bright outside or someone would turn on the lights in the kitchen, he’d begin to call out noisily. Mating calls, my mother would say and smirk – but I think he simply hated to be alone. Because whenever one of us was in the kitchen, he would be silent, except if I went up to the cage and talked to him – then he would sing a little song, only for me.
Just two weeks ago – a day before my birthday – when I was baking a cake, I was in the kitchen and played some music. As soon as the chocobo theme played, he began to sing along. It was so cute – he was cute. The cutest bird I ever knew.
There were signs though that it was going to end.
He was old, I know that. Also, he was half blind, but still he had no trouble feeding and drinking – I taught him early on to eat from a dish on the cage floor, and to drink from a small bowl. And as he got older, and was too weak in his tiny legs to sit on the bars, he spent his days on the ground. Still, he ate his mealworms, pecked away at an apple we provided sometimes as a special treat and jumped up whenever he heard me.
Still I won’t forget that dreadful morning in August when Piepsa was acting crazy... He jumped around as though in panic, screamed and was breathing heavily. I was scared, I cried and thought I was going to lose him – a thought I couldn’t bear. Later I found out he suffered some kind of seizure, but he recovered and the next morning I woke from hearing his usual calls. I was relieved, had hope he was going to be fine – and for a little while longer, he was his old self.
All changed this morning.
When I woke, it was silent. When I went to his room, he didn’t answer – and when I approached his cage, he didn’t move.
Now he is gone.
My beloved bird is gone and nothing can bring him back. I couldn’t even watch as my mother buried him in the garden... It hurts too much to think he’s gone. I’ll never hear him sing again, he’ll never welcome me home again. He was the only one I always talked to about everything, the only one who kept me company when I felt sad.
I didn’t lose a pet. I lost a friend. A family member. A child. My baby. My Piepsa.
I will miss you...
Sometimes I just need to leave home - sometimes those otherwise comfortable and safe walls of my room just seem to be closing in on me and block out every creative thought.
In times like these I am lucky to have parents who enjoy hiking and since my parents offered to take me to Trier (a city in the Eifel, not that far from Luxembourg), I gladly accepted. This saturday I went there and this entry will be some kind of short travel log – including photos of course! :)
But also to those who aren’t that interested in reading my odd rambling (*laughs*) it’s definitely a good idea to take a short look, because as the title says: I will inform you about some updates and changes I made on Fare off Visions.
Well, where to begin? I guess I should start with how the trip begun, huh? I can tell you that: with me being absolutely drowsy. *laughs*
See, recently I developed a rather bad habit of sleeping in late, but my father told me we were to depart to Trier on 7:30 am in the morning, which meant I had to get up at 6 am. Not too bad, many of you might say – but although I used to get up at 5 am every morning the past two years, I was really tired. Fortunately we traveled by car and the way to Trier took two hours, so I could rest a little more on the way.
During the car ride I didn’t nap, however. Instead I had a rather amusing discussion with my parents about... Volcanoes. Yes, volcanoes.
You have to know, due to the recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland (the Bárdarbunga . What a funny name for such a powerful volcano. The images of the eruptions I’ve see look spectacular though.) I’ve read up on the topic of volcanoes. It’s something that always scared and fascinated me at the same time and I’ve been following the news about Iceland constantly... But it also got me thinking – I don’t live too far away from the Eifel and there’s a part of it that’s called the “Vulkaneifel”. People say the volcanoes there are slumbering since about 10.000 years, but I was like “What if a volcanoe DOES erupt there?”. So this was the topic we spoke about and I made jokes like “I have my umbrella and my sunglasses, but damn I forgot my fire fighter suit. I wanted to take it with me - ya know, just in case.”
Truth is though, despite all joking, I did make myself a little paranoid with thinking about the volcanoes in the Eifel and so I went there feeling uneasy ...
Finally arrived in Trier, we were welcomed by rain. Later, at a bookstore, the shop owner promised us sun however and his words would prove to be true later on, just another rain shower later.
The first sight I saw after a small walk, away from our parking lot at Trier’s soccer stadium, was the splendid sight of the Porta Nigra. I had seen it before and I recalled the image in my Latin textbook, but it was far bigger than I imagined it. Too bad there were so many people though, otherwise I’d have been able to make many more, nicer photos.
It was also there, at this ancient roman gate, that we split up – my father went to take the train (or rather, was going to, but apparently the German train services chose to mock my father by
cancelling the train >_>) to go on a big hike, while my mother and I went to the city.
After a brief visit of the tourist center, equipped with a new map, we were going to follow the tourist’s trail...But then we saw said bookstore *laughs*. They had a discount there on many used and damaged books and I love to “adopt” those poor things. I jokingly went like “I wouldn’t mind a new Pratchett book” – and what happened? And just as I said this, I looked underneath a few books in the box and saw “Nation” by my favorite author Terry Pratchett. Well, that’s lucky, huh? XD And it was a real bargain, too!
Next mom and I decided to have breakfast, so in search for a restaurant of some sort, we went to a shopping mall. The sign inside said there was a restaurant called “Historischer Keller” (German for “historical cellar”) and oh my god... You can’t imagine how beautiful it was there *O*. The moment I went there, I nearly felt like crying because I felt so... At home there. It looked like a medieval wine cellar and it was rather dark there, with a comfortable, warm atmosphere. There were fake weapons and animal heads mounted on the walls, just like you’d imagine from a medieval dining hall. Honestly, I never had such a great breakfast before – it felt like the background made the food even more tasty than it already was (really, it was good <3 and for a rather decent price).
Afterwards, after a good breakfast, mom and I returned to the modern world and although our mood was great and we were about to continue our sightseeing tour, we had to postpone our plans a
little. Dad called to inform us about the problems with the train and I felt bad for him, because he really seemed disappointed that the train thwarted his plans. I was worried this meant his
hike was ruined, so naturally, my enthusiasm dampened. Still, dad told us to stay in the city and enjoy ourselves, but both, mom and I, eventually decided to go back to the car after a while and
after we strolled through the town for a bit. Trier wasn’t as exciting as I had expected anyway – it reminded me a lot of Bonn in a way (mainly because of the many large marketplaces and because
there were way too many shopping districts for my taste) and was less....I don’t know, old (?) than I thought.
On our way back to the parking lot dad called again though – he said he was on his way to his big hike after all (even though the train made yet another mess by not stopping on his station so he had to wait for another train to go back a few stops =.= Honestly, the “Deutsche Bahn” didn’t offer good services on saturday). Still, mom and I headed back to our car and I rested a little while there. Since the weather had changed and the sun was blazingly hot, I wasn’t feeling well. Laying down on the backseat and closing my eyes worked wonders though, so soon I felt better and I was ready to walk again.
We spent most of the afternoon at the banks of the Moselle.
It was pretty there – and calm. Very few people actually went there, because most tourists stayed in city centre, so we were able to enjoy the sight of the water and the company of some animals.
We watched some cormorants on the water, met a few little lizards on our way and simply enjoyed the air and the good weather.
Only as it was growing late, we returned to the car and spent the last few hours of daylight by sitting in the luggage trunk, in the back of our car. There, mom and I fooled around a little and played small games (for example an odd kind of ABC game XD We both had to name murdering methods starting with A, with B, with C and so on. I was both, surprised and amused that my mom actually was up for such a morbid kind of game but it was really fun).
Soon after it was getting dark and bored as I was, I toyed around with my camera. I experimented a little with it’s settings, mainly with the exposure time and made a few silly light painting photos. Aside of those, I also attempted to take pictures of the moon – it seemed so large that night and it was shining brightly – and was rather successful.
You can see a photo of it – and other pictures I took in Trier right here:
This also concludes my travel log. Because otherwise, nothing else happened that’s worth to explain in detail, so I’ll just summarize the rest now:
It was late when dad returned, something around 10:00 pm, but before we drove home, we paid a short visit to Luxembourg. We tanked up our car and mom bought a little something in a store at the highway, but afterwards we drove toward home. It was around 1 am when home came in sight, but we only arrived there one hour later, because we made another small stop to have a very late dinner somewhere else.
When we came home, we were welcomed by the chirping of my pet birdie. He probably knows the sound of the keys turning in the lock, because the instant he herd this, he began to sing loudly,
although it was the middle of the night. I guess he missed us *laughs*.
I was so glad to be home though because I was really very tired and slept in until after noon the next day.
So yes, this is all about my trip to Trier. :) I hope I didn’t bore you to death *giggles* and you actually enjoyed reading this.
Now, as for the updates (I’ll try to make this brief):
I really hope you like those new changes. Why not let me know what you think? :) Also, if you have a wish or something alike for future updates, do not hesitate to tell me!
...Which means, autumn is here at last! Some of you may be sad that summer is over (and some, especially some of my German readers may ask “Which summer? You mean those last rainy months with temperatures that were way too cold for this time? That wasn’t summer.” ) but let me tell you: I love fall!
To me it’s the most beautiful of seasons – with the trees all painted in different colors and Halloween (and my Birthday in early October XD) just around the corner, it’s no surprise I enjoy it, hm?
And since the new season deserves a celebration, why not do so with some sneak peaks on some of the drawings I’ve been working on recently? Do you think this sounds good? Well, then why not take
But first let me tell you – the leaves outside aren’t the only things that’s been raining down upon my head recently: I’ve been going through some old boxes stacked with papers and old magazines
from about ten to fifteen years ago and my, did I find a lot of...Odd things.
I threw away a lot (well, most of it), but I also found and kept some weird old exercise sheets. I suppose you aren’t surprised to hear that most of them were doodled on. It was a weird feeling to see my old scribbles again but it was necessary to clean up because I got a few new shelves for my room. (Now my Manga are finally all properly lined up and my collection of Action Figures got a worthy place in a glass display case ^_^).
Anyway, enough of this off-topic mumbling, on to business! *Straightens her imaginary white gloves*
The drawings I promised!
Here, let me show you – and if you are interested in some details behind those drawings (as for example who these characters are if you don’t know them or some other background information), simply scroll down.
In any case – this is all for now.
I hope you enjoyed to see those WIPs! As always, feel free to leave a comment.