Today I finished the 50th page of Digger! Woo! I feel strangely celebratory.

I also finished another cover and another one of these splash illos for the animation guys. So it was productive. However, what I really wanted to share was a follow up!

Remember http://www.livejournal.com/users/ursulav/100953.html ?

Well, the reply finally rolled in!

| At Fri Oct 31 01:18:16 2003
| Meanie
| ()
| IP#:69.3.93.36
| Referring to: ursula/cerberusmusic.jpg
| “whatever its still ugly and you cant draw well at all
| LOSER!!!!!!”

I don’t know what gets me more–that vicious, butter-knife sharp wit, or the fact it took ’em six days to come up with that…

The amount of joy I derive from things like this is undoubtedly wrong. But I’m okay with that.

So I watched CSI tonight, as I do regularly, and it was the furry episode. A number of friends said they couldn’t bear to watch and asked me to tell ’em how bad it was.

And yeah, it wasn’t great. But it was funny.

The standard disclaimer for any readers who may not know the drill–obviously, that’s not what the furry thing is like. I’ve been several conventions selling art, and no one has ever made any kind of weird advance at me, I’ve never witnessed people in giant suits getting it on, and people generally don’t just start randomly grooming perfect strangers, because that’s a good way to get your arm broken off and inserted someplace where it would require a forensics lab to locate. And most of the people are pretty normal. I always compare it to a Star Trek convention–sure, there may be some people in Klingon suits somewhere getting it on, but you’d really have to go looking. The average run of fans are just your average geek. (And to hear my father talk, neither Star Trek or furry conventions are as weird as a dog-grooming convention. I’ll take his word for that…those things sound frightening. I mean, I may have drawn chunky tapir women, but I’ve never spray-painted the dog purple and put glitter in its fur.)
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Verbal Brain Vs. Non-Verbal Brain Vs. Workload

Tuesday was insane. Yesterday was also fairly insane, although not quite the brain cracking madness that Tuesday was. Tuesday I have a vague memory of finishing one cover, starting another, doing two spot illos for a horror game, finishing the obscenely complicated background for one of these splash illos for the animation studio, and finishing up a page of Digger. Yesterday, by comparison, I only did a spot illo, another animation background, and most of a cover involving a dragon statue surrounded by neon signs (for a sourcebook on Hong Kong gangs.) Practically restful by comparison.

The funny thing is that when I get that busy (and I’m still that busy, for that matter–this is the clinging-to-coffee-cup before storm, right here) the non-verbal chunk of my brain that handles painting takes over the show. Normally, when I’m painting, I gradually hand the reins over the non-verbal half, which is only really noticeable internally because I stop thinking in words. And I almost always think in words. I can practically hear the mental relays clicking over when someone addresses me while I’m painting, and I have to go collar my verbal brain from whatever it’s doing in the back of my skull and shove it at the conversation. But once I stop painting, usually the guard changes, and the far more dominant verbal brain takes over again and continues steering me through the arcade game of life, while the painting brain presumably flops on the mental couch and says “Unngh.”
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Well…uh…err…it seems terribly immodest to mention this, but what the heck…

I’ve been asked to be one of the guests of honor at next years Midwest Furfest! Wooo!

MFF was the first convention I ever went to, and it was really a great experience–everyone was SO nice and helpful and friendly that it really put me at ease about doing this whole convention thing. So I’m delighted to get to go back–money is preventing me this year, alas, but as a GoH, that won’t an object for 2004. So I’m jazzed. (Particularly since I was sent my very favorite glass, with a wombat and the label “Vombatus ursinus” AND a teeny little froggy, as a bribe some time ago, and I was very sad I couldn’t make Furfest this year. ‘Cos man, I love that glass.)

So hey, if a year and some change from now, you’re in Chicago, come by!

This reminds me that I really gotta put up a convention schedule on my website…

Elfwood is just on a roll this week…I mean, normally I go at least a month between blatant idiocies.

+————————————— –
| At Sat Oct 25 22:25:01 2003
| Meanie
| ()
| IP#:66.167.78.15
| Referring to: ursula/cerberusmusic.jpg
| “how ugly! HE DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A REAL DOG AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!
| EEEEEEEEEWWW I HATE IT!!!!!!!!!! ANYWAY DONT COPY HARRY
| POTTER ITS MY FAVORITE MOVIE!!!!”

I think what scares me the most is the possibility that there may be people out there who do not realize that Cerberus was not an invention of J.K. Rowling.

Ursula Vs. Porn Spam Part V

Today’s porn spam may have reached a new low.

“Hick Town Trailer Park Girls”

This does not get me hot and bothered. In fact, were I already hot and bothered, the inevitable image of an uneducated redneck with bad teeth and a trailer full of molding buffalo wings would be nearly as effective as a cold shower. Trailer parks are not neccessarily an abode of the damned (though many are) but when combined with “hick” and “porn” I am not getting good mental images. (Actually, I’m not getting any mental images–my brain, in a desperate attempt at self-defense, has blanked completely and is singing “The dragon with the flagon has the potion that is poison,” etc ad nauseum, very loudly inside my skull.) (Twenty points to anyone who can spot that highly dated reference!)

It is perhaps a sign that I have been too long on the internet that tentacle hentai fetishes no longer make me bat an eyelash, but the notion that there may be a hick fetish can still make me wince.

I just watched footage of a lemur biting a millipede to make it spray chemicals, then rubbing the chemicals all over it’s body.

Then it got a blissed out look, dropped the millipede, sprawled on the branch and drooled happily for awhile with that heavy-lidded expression seen wherever people gather ’round a bong.

Nature is cool.

Skunk auction closes today!

http://www.furbid.ws/cgi-bin/auction.pl?furry&1067121045

Other than that, not much of interest to report…painting. Painting, painting, painting. Lots of painting. The cover that we had finally, painstakingly, wrangled down to a battleship in the fog, which I had begun painting, is now momentarily on hold because the author decided to get rid of that whole military thing and make it a 1930’s merchant ship.

He means well, has supplied plenty of photos, and was appalled to learn I’d already begun painting, so I can’t blame him–these things happen, and it’s not really anybody’s fault– but I beg of you, O writers and prospective writers who may read this–if you’re gonna make sweeping changes to the theme of a piece that will reflect upon the cover, please do so before the designs have been approved, and preferably more than a week before the final is due. Your cover artist will be very grateful, particularly that she does not need to spend her meagre earnings treating an ulcer. I have had this happen a few times, and it always seems to be the writer who does it, or who decides, two days before the deadline, after having approved everything up to that point, that, well…they just don’t really like it…could we do something like this other cover, here? With a completely different figure, maybe?

Now, some of my dearest friends are writers, and as fantastic human beings as anybody, who would never dream of doing this, so I am quite sure this does not stem from malice or failure of intelligence, or any trait unique to the writing breed. Therefore I’m just gonna assume that perhaps some writers are unaware of the agony that last minute sweeping alteration inflicts upon their artists. So–if you don’t like how it’s going, tell them in the initial stages when there’s still some hope of fixing it, and if you have set up a complicated period piece that requires researching obscure historical images, for the love of god, do NOT change the period a week before deadline. A good cover artist will forego sleep for you, but there is simply a physical limit on how much paint one person can slap down in a set period of time, and if your artist holds a deadline to be a sacred trust (as well they should!) the odds of them, say, gouging out their spleen with a palette knife rise astronomically.

End of public service announcement. Thank you.

Every now and then I get such wonderfully venomous comments that I gotta share. These things always make my day.

+————————————— –
| At Thu Oct 23 15:27:31 2003
| Anonymous
| ()
| IP#:12.149.224.245
| Referring to: ursula/dreamagain.jpg
| “Maybe having the dream is just whatever humanity you may
| have eating away at you for being pro-murder. the embryos
| in the grapes could symbolise all the babies that you
| support killing. Im sorry that such talent is wasted on
| someone with no morals”

I feel the love!