FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Inspiration

I wish I knew. Sometimes it’s as easy as trying to combine two thing that haven’t been combined before–lemons and antelope, say, or pangolins and stars. Sometimes it just comes to me out of the blue, and an idea drops fully formed into my brain, and I have to go paint it or write it Right This Minute, or else.

Writing

A great question! Any of the standalones can be read…well…alone. However, for the books set in the universe of Clockwork Boys, which I tentatively refer to as the World of the White Rat, this is the current order:

  • Clockwork Boys
  • The Wonder Engine
  • Swordheart
  • Paladin’s Grace
  • Paladin’s Strength (forthcoming)
A lot.
Well, if you count 100+ page comic collections as a book, then over thirty. If you don’t, then still over thirty, but slightly less than before.
I hope so. For some reason, the Dervish’s story just does not want to come out. I’ve tried everything short of an icepick. Hopefully it will unjam at some point.
It’s so sweet that you’re asking! Honestly, the rate is pretty much the same across the board, so for ebooks, buy wherever is convenient for you. All else being equal, buying the print volumes from an indie bookstore or direct from Argyll Productions supports great people, and I’m all for it.
I get that a lot. I was born in Japan, my favorite book is “The Hero And The Crown” by Robin Mckinley, I wanted to become a writer because I ran out of books about talking animals to read, my biggest influence is nature, and my advice for young writers/artists is to just start, because you can’t get better unless you practice. Please refer to this, because I can no longer do homework e-mails due to sheer volume.
Sadly, for legal reasons, I can’t use fan ideas. That means that if you tell me the idea, you guarantee I will never, ever be able to use it, so please, please, don’t tell me! Lawyers make these rules! I’m very sorry.
Nope! I am flattered you want my opinion, but I really truly do not give book critiques. It is not in my skillset. I will not give you any useful feedback and I will panic and flail and hide under the rug. So I don’t critique. Ever. Under any circumstances.

Kid Books

Marketing decided to change it. If it was a nefarious plan to make people re-buy the entire series so that they matched, I was not consulted.
I’m afraid the series as ended for now. That was a decision by the publisher, not me!

Purchasing Art

You can buy prints from the awesome people at Topatoco! If you happen to catch me at a convention, I also sell them there. I no longer sell prints directly online.

As often as possible! Mostly at conventions these days, though, because I no longer make enough to sell online.

Commissions and Permissions

No. I am no longer giving permission for my art to be tubed at this time. (Too much spam! Too many e-mails! Can’t handle the load! Trying to come up with a licensing solution…)
If you include a link/copyright notice thingy, then yes.
I am not currently taking commissions at this time. I am buried in work, alas!

Technique

It’s neat. It’s a hard board like masonite, coated with a thin white layer of a gesso-like clay. It makes a really neat surface to paint on. It’s sold by Ampersand. These days I use their clayboard and gessoboard a great deal.
Ah, glorious mixed media. Mostly what that means is that I used watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, acrylic ink, and fluid acrylics in a glorious mishmash. I highly recommend PITT pens from Faber & Castell and FW Daler inks, as well as Prismacolor pencils.
Anything I feel like! I never met a medium I didn’t want to at least try. The majority of my artwork these days is either mixed media or done digitally. I like to work on clayboard, gessoboard, and plain old illustration board.
You’ll have to be more specific. Seriously, I’m delighted to give the benefit of my dubious experience, but too often I get “Do you have any advice?” which is sorta unanswerable. Clean your brush a lot? Palette knives are really handy? Wacom tablets are the best? People’s ears are bigger and lower than you think? Ask me a specific question, and I’ll go on forever, but please be specific.
These days? Procreate on the iPad. It does a lot of stuff. You can get your feet wet with that, branch out, and see what appeals to you.
These days, I mostly use Photoshop for layouts, and Procreate and an iPad Pro for drawing.

Education and Promotion

Nope! I took several art classes in college, but it’s really not necessary to go to art school–anything you can learn in the classroom, you can learn on your own. The nice thing about art classes is that you run through all the techniques and whatnot much faster than you would on your own, and get exposed to a great many new media, so they’re very useful–but at the end of the day, practicing on your own is still the way you get better.
Well, it can’t hurt. But if it’s going to bankrupt you, don’t think that you have to do it in order to be an artist.
DeviantArt is the current top. These things go in cycles, though–a site gets huge, everybody jumps on it, then it gets TOO huge, lumbers to oblivion, and everybody jumps ship to something more easily navigated. WARNING: May contain some content not suitable for children under 13.
Word of mouth, usually–I’m really bad about keeping track of cons, so I generally don’t hear about it until another artist I know goes “Are you doing ____con?” and I go “Where’s that?” People also occasionally ask me to come as a guest, which makes it easier.
“You can’t be afraid to make bad art,” as I think a painting prof of mine once said…or possibly my friend Harpold…cripes, it’s been too long.
Anything involving doing free art for “the exposure.” Do free art because you like the idea, because you want to help the cause, because you have nothing better to do, but don’t delude yourself.

Misc

The teas were supplied by Empire Teas. They make all kinds of great teas. They won’t have the fancy labels, though.
I fear the omnibus is no longer available at this time, and no, we’re not doing another Kickstarter, the publisher still wakes up screaming about international shipping. However, they’re discussing another print run with another publisher and there may be good news at some point in the distant future. At the moment, though, Sofawolf Press still has all six individual volumes.