State of the Art: October 2019

Hoo-boy this month has been a doozy. I’ve had a ton of fun with Inktober, I’ve had a few art-related opportunities presented to me, and I had to put my beloved eighteen-year-old cat Leo down due to health complications. It was…it was a lot, y’all! 

To start off with Inktober, I had a ton of fun. I had created my own theme of paying homage to the stories and characters across media that have been big influences on my creative pursuits in the past few years! It was particularly enjoyable because I don’t do fanart very often. As a kid, I was terrified of violating copyright law for some reason, and I was convinced that if I made any fanart and was found out I’d go to kid jail or something. I didn’t start making fanart until quite recently, and it’s become a fun exercise in playing with art styles, character design, and illustration composition! The conversations around fanart can be quite tenuous at times, but I think it has so much value! It’s a great learning tool on top of being so dang fun. If you’d like to check out my Inktobers from this year, you can see them all up on my Instagram!

As for the art-related opportunities…there’s not a ton I can say just yet, I think? I dunno, absolutely nothing is certain and I’m hesitant to share anything without the permission of the various parties involved. I also kinda don’t want to jinx it! It’s weird to me that I’ve been approached with these opportunities all at once. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful and excited at the prospect of these projects! But it’s one of those things that has always seemed out of reach, if that makes sense. I’ve been dreaming of life as an illustration and comics freelancer for years now, and these things (if they pan out) could start paving the way for that. I’m trying very hard to be more excited than nervous, and so far it’s been working more often than not, which is quite the win for me!

Content Warning: Sad Cat Story Ahead.

Lastly, my sweet boy. My dear little Leo. This came out of nowhere and hit hard and fast. Literally, in just a few hours. Aiden and I took him to the 24-hour vet hospital at 6 in the morning because he had vomited some blood and was acting strange. He was fine the night before, doing his usual zoomies with Tribble and being very cuddly at bedtime. The vet took him in and did some bloodwork, and it turned out he had been severely anemic and would need hospitalization, a blood transfusion, and an ultrasound to find out the source of the internal blood loss he was experiencing. We just did not have the funds to pay for such an extensive procedure. We felt awful that we couldn’t provide care for our small, hurting boy, but the vet said that it was possible he might not survive the procedure or the aftermath, and even if he did his quality of life would not be great. Around 10 in the morning, we made the decision to put Leo to sleep. It was one of the most painful things I’ve had to do. It’s a little over a week later, and we’re doing okay. I made the piece above as a tribute to my lovely Leo, my most loyal companion for all these years. While I may not be able to cuddle him anymore, he’ll always be by my side as my little familiar. 

I think that’s it for the time being, folks! Up next is November, wherein I try to decide whether or not participating in NaNoWriMo would be a terrible idea or not, whether or not to open character commissions for the very first time, and whether or not to launch yet more creative projects. I’ve got two short comics projects I’m working on as well, and I’m going to try to prioritize working on pages this month. Expect some progress pictures!

Author: Katie McMahon

Katie is a comic artist and illustrator living in rural New Hampshire in a town mostly populated with elderly folks and roving gangs of sassy turkeys. She enjoys reading comics, playing board games and RPGs, drinking fair trade tea and coffee, discussing feminism and social justice, and cracking the best groan-worthy jokes the internet has to offer.

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