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After 9 months (or so) of being unemployed (without government aid thanks to their own paperwork f-up screwing me over) I can finally say I have a job that will cover my bills again. Starting tomorrow I will be back to the 9-5 grind, 5 days a week. This means that I will have less free time again, but hopefully I will soon be able to afford to do things with what free time I have again.

Also, I hope that this also means that my drive to create more often will return. Being out of work and doing the hopeless job search was good on the creative front. I don't do well when stressed and depressed.

The only down side is I have to start getting up early and driving a ways to work again. The new one is a bit farther than my last one was, but I have a Hybrid now (purchased right before I lost my last job) so the overall gas costs should still end up being better than it was before. We will see.

Mostly I am just glad that I will have a regular income to cover my bills again, instead of all the questionable odd jobs and family & friends help I have been getting.
  • Watching: Shark Week
  • Drinking: Water
I am still out of work but I have a good feeling about a recent application at Apple. We will see if it actually goes somewhere. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

But the real good news is I am coming out of my funk. I am starting to feel good about working again and I have started to actually get the artwork done for the next Lootin' Wizards expansion. I have also accepted a piece of contract work for a friend, designing a logo and website for her upcoming business venture (which I may also do more for when it gets closer. When the site goes live you can check out the rest of my work there (themuse.cc), but in the meantime I posted a couple pieces of the logo work I did for it.

I am writing code, I am writing stories, I making art, and most of that is for my own stuff and not for others and feeling forced. It feels good to be coming out of the funk. I hope this means my job interview and everything will also be positive and lead to landing a job soon.

I am also still open to do commissions of all sorts. As you can see, I am not just a puff artist.
  • Listening to: The Lost Podcast with Jay & Jack
  • Watching: Veronica Mars
  • Drinking: Water
Through no fault of my own or my boss I am now out of a job. Through a series of events out of his control he was forced to pretty much get rid of everyone. I wish it didn't have to happen and He seems to feel just as bad about it, since it screws up his life as well, but it happened.

Why do I bring any of this up here? Not my usual place for this kind of sharing. Well... this means that I have both free time (as I look for work and wait for call backs) and a need for extra cash. Could this mean I am open for commissions for the first time ever? It sure could.

I have no rates since I never really do this over deviantART (and my professional rates are not what I would expect to charge here), but I am open to offers. No trades please, as I am not in need of new art when I am worried about how I am going to pay my bills. The more complex the art you want will mean higher rates, but a simple puff character of what you want shouldn't be too much.

In the meantime I am still working on my own site, games, and writing when not working on getting a new job.
  • Listening to: Radio Tiki
  • Drinking: Water
So I was working on a burst of inspiration, which was going to delay Lootin' Rogues a little but get another expansion out for Lootin' Wizards, when disaster hit. I back-up my whole system about once every week or two, which is way better than the average person, and sometimes back-up certain things onto my iPod drive more often then that. It has served me well for years and I have only ever lost one important file in about ten years (and that was like ten years ago).

I had been working on the new Lootin' Wizards expansion (currently named "Quick Change") for just over a week and figured I better back-up everything. When I went to do that I found that my entire work folder was not only corrupted or empty, but missing. It had been there the night before (as I was working on things in it) but now it was gone.

So I immediately shut everything down (as to not overwrite anything) and ran recovery software on it. This is the same superpower recovery software we use at work on our clients computers. It was finding files and fragments of things I had deleted like four to five YEARS ago, but couldn't find a SINGLE art file for the new expansion. The only things I didn't have backed up yet and it couldn't find them.

So I have been disheartened and have to start all over on the artwork for the whole set (luckily the text files containing all the card text and rules were still there). It's been a week since this has happened and I have not started working on it again yet. I know I will at some point, but I just can't bring myself to start on it yet. Good thing this is something I do for myself and not on some company deadline.

I am really gonna miss the Skull and Bones I drew for the Death Mark. It was so cool. I know no matter what I do the redo of that one will never be as good in my mind...

At least you all have a new expansion to look forward to at some point in the coming months. The text has all been worked out and tested, so it's just down to getting the art and layout finished.

TTFN

-Dragavan
  • Listening to: Skepticality
  • Drinking: Water
The expansion to Lootin' Wizards was released this week. www.rpgnow.com/default.php?man… It's called "Lootin' Wizards: Curses! Foiled Again" and adds more fun cards and boards to the game. The main mechanic it adds in the new trap-like Curse cards that cause all sorts of mayhem.

This was not a large chunk of work right now, I just had to finally polish and set it up for sale, as the majority of the work was done months ago. The thing was that getting the website up and running for the RPG was taking up most of my time. The Land of Karn site is now live (www.landofkarn.com), although nothing is for sale related to it yet. The site has a TON more work being done to it that you can see.

I am trying to make the entire rulebook (including extra and optional information that is not going to be found in the print edition) available on the site to people who purchase the books (once they are out). But to do this I have to create and organize and reformat and even rewrite (in some cases) the information for the new form. It is being organized in a wiki style (although not a publicly editable wiki), so that you can link from all over the place through keywords. Just a lot of work.

So now I keep going on the site and look forward to the days when It will just have to be updated and maintained (as opposed to filled with tons of data). I also look forward to the further establishing of Lootin' Wizards towards the eventual print publication. In the mean time I keep myself busy with LoK related work. So much work.
  • Listening to: The DragonHearth
  • Drinking: Water
It's been busy for me, just not doing a whole lot of art that would get displayed on here. Work has me mostly doing variations of the same art I have done before and I don't feel like sharing variations (although a couple are coming). The rest of my time I spend writing stuff for my game site (www.landofkarn.com), although most of it is for a private area nobody will have access to until it's finished. That is pretty much where I spend all my free time these days, and none of that is doing drawings or that kind of art.

Unfortunately that means my DA account seems to be ignored a lot too. I come here and see I have 1000's of deviations and 100's of messages and notes waiting for me (most of it not actually messages to me, so I'm not missing a lot there). No way I am going to actually view all the deviations... sigh. Well, back to working on the website.

Laters all,
Dragavan
  • Listening to: The RoleMonkeys
  • Drinking: Code Red
It's Done!

Lootin' Wizards is now for sale. edge.rpgnow.com/product_info.p…

The game is a card/board game about nine Wizards (whom you have seen in my artwork for a while now) battling it out for the recently vacated position of Royal Mage. To do this they have to create spells, using the creative three-card spell system (which leads to well over 25,000 different possible spells), spring Traps and Side Effects on their opponents, and collect and use an assortment of Items and Treasures along the way. The first to collect enough loot and successfully get it home wins.

Playtesting has gone really well and everyone seems to love the game once they play it, so I hope it sells. If you are at all interested, check out the site on RPGNow.com where you can buy it: edge.rpgnow.com/product_info.p…

The next step for Lootin' Wizards will be to establish it as a viable game and myself as a real creator, so I can sell the print publishing rights to another company and finally see it as a physical game in print. Not to get ahead of myself though. That step should be many many months away now. For now, I have a PDF game out there for anyone who wants to play it. Enjoy.

Dragavan
Well, it's been a good long while since I really posted anything and even longer since I updated my journal here. It seems like a lot has happened and not a lot has happened. The card/board game, which is now tentatively called "Lootin' Wizards", is pretty much done and is just waiting on some final playtesting and layout tweaks before I start selling it as a PDF game. I have also started working on a new one that has no name or art yet, still in the early design stages. So those seem to be gaining steam while my writing on the RPG (The Land of Karn) continues to go slow and falter again. It will get done eventually, but the process seems to be a slow one for that.

In my personal life I have quit my old job (the one you saw the Seattle Laptop art for) and got in on the ground level of a new shop here in town that a former coworker of mine has started. It's called Advanced Laptop Service LLC www.advancedlaptop.com and does pretty much the same thing as our old job, only better, faster, cheaper, and actually organized from the ground up. I get to help set up the inventory system and organize how it's being run, so I am much happier than I was at the last place (where organization was something that lasted a day or two if you were lucky). It also comes with perks like free food, better pay, and completely flexible hours (even with some ability to work from home on the art parts).

Not a whole lot else to say, except I continue to spend a lot of time with my 3-year-old little brother (yes, I know, HUGE age difference) and enjoy the hell out of that. I am getting a Utilikilt in the next week or so. A "Mocker" if you know what that means. And I am still single, but that might be because I don't really look or go out to bars or even clubs any more. But at least the Stargates have new seasons now and the 4400 is new right now and both Kyle XY and Eureka look interesting. Then come October I will get my Battlestar Galactica and Lost back... So there are plenty of other distractions to help me pass the time. Heh... yeah, not the same.

But that's all for now, and I will hopefully be adding new stuff from my work and new Card/Board game I just started working on soon. When "Lootin' Wizards" get set up for sale I will most definitely let whoever reads this know. Toodles for now folks.

Dragavan
The second major playtest of my new Card/Board game was this last weekend and it went very well. It was played over 6 times (lost count of exact number in the fun) with a good mix of different people over the course of the day. I got some good feedback (nearly all of it overwhelmingly positive) and don't see a lot of changes needed before I go into final draft for sale. I don't think I have a runaway hit here, but it does seem I have a damn good game. I'm sure I will make a post when it goes on sale (most likely though rpgnow.com or its small press imprint).

Not a lot has been posted here recently (other than my big dump of some older stuff I had in the works). I have been adding to my story over on infinite-story.com though. As is the reason for the site, the story is a Choose Your Own Adventure style story. It's called From Darkness it Comes and takes place on a college campus where evil things are stirring. It is far from done, but feel free to check it out (feedback would be greatly appreciated) and enjoy the site: www.infinite-story.com/d/story…

I have also been encouraged to continue with my LEGO comic, which I only have enough pictures already taken to get us through the next 3 "pages" (so far we have only seen "page" 1 according to how I numbered and named them). I have script well passed that but no pictures or even sets made yet... Oh darn, I have to play with my LEGOs again. I have not heard any feedback on my novel chapters yet, but I expected as much. One can hope though.

And lastly, I did not win a FatBat plushie in the devilita Chinese Food Girl contest. *pout* Oh well. At least I am damn proud of the quality of my entry. I loved how it turned out and devilita herself told me how cute it was, even if her boyfriend didn't choose it.

The new year is here, new work to follow (I hope), but not before my birthday (tomorrow, the 11th). Have a great new year everyone and toodles.

Dragavan
It's the start of a new year and I see my little artistic dumping ground here has surpassed 500 hits already. That just amazes me. I am not going to do some special picture for every small milestone, but I do think if I pass 1000 that is a good enough one to make something for... but that should still be many months away, if ever. Not going to count on it.

The Chinese Food Girl contest JENJYart is throwing is not over yet, so I am not sure if I am going to get a plushie Fatbat like I really want. The nice thing is I don't have to win first place to get it, since even third place gets a plushie. First place just gets a bonus picture and second place gets a larger plushie, so I would like to get second place or better, but would not complain about third either. Contest ends on the 8th so I may know by my birthday if they judge fast enough.

Christmas is over and as you may have noticed by my recent obligatory iPod picture I got an iPod finally. I thought I wasn't going to get one for a long time (since I figured I would have to buy it myself), but my mother decided to go and get me one as a joint Christmas/birthday thing so I am not complaining. Other than that it was a rather "meh" holiday, except I did get to see my cousins I rarely get to see so that was a bright spot. For the most part I just really don't like the holidays (mainly because of how my family handles them).

Right now (mainly due to the doldrums the holidays brings to me) I am feeling unmotivated and uncreative, so my artistic endeavors seem to be at a loss right now. My writing is at a standstill (except for the little bit I need to force myself to do for our weekly game) and I had to force myself to even do my iPod picture (which was days later than I had wanted to do it). I need to shake this so I can get back to it, although I do think I may start posting some of my writing along side my art. I don't think I am going to open a second dA account for writing, since it's all done by me.

Well, that's enough ramblings for now. If anyone is reading this feel free to comment (I always love to hear from anyone). So I say toodles to you all for the time being.

Dragavan
Not that I think there is actually anyone reading this, but I figured it was time to change it again...

Art amazes me. As soon as I think a jump has been made and it will level out for a while it jumps again just a couple days later. I don't think my brain really wants to draw puffs, but it still can't wrap itself around the concept of how to draw hands and feet. So they stay amputated and I and sure my art is going to Stay Puffed (no relation to the marshmallow man), so I alter it to feel more detailed and give me more outline control than what I am doing. Gonna stay stuck doing just Puffs s bit longer at least.

Then BAM I find myself working on feet and end up with something I kinda like for the style. This also leads to slightly longer legs. This means tomorrow or sometime soon I will have to work the arms (got to get a little longer as well) and figure out how I can make hands with little sausage fingers that match the style of the toes. The Puffs are shifting again and will soon be more into the Chibi world rather than Puffs. I like this. I want to be able to do some things that just look wrong or strange in the puff world that I think I would be able to pull off as Chibi's. (Puff Nudes are just kind of wrong.)

Mind you this does not mean I am leaving the Puffs behind. I still like them and will still do them for fun and certain projects. I still want to do a whole set of Puffs based on Firefly/Serenity as well as more Lost scenes and others. Plus my card/board game is still entrenched in puffness... Puffitude? Puffocity? So don't freak out that they are going away. I have all sorts of things I want to eventually do with them, but right now I have to follow my brain as it struggles to learn and improve.

As this progression happens I would always love feedback on what anyone thinks about how it's going or what I can do to get better. Not that I expect much since I am sure nobody reads these (as stated up top)... Which also makes it safe to pimp myself when I say I am willing and able to do commissions too.

Dragavan
Okay, so NaNoWriMo is over and I don't want to talk about it. Let's just say it wasn't the fun experience it was last year. Nuf said...

The Ballard Bays commission finished up and paid, so that was good. You can see the completed work in my Gallery. It's always nice when you actually get paid for a commission, rather than put through the corporate paperwork wringer of departments and faxes and mailings and tax forms and accounting... ugh. Small clubs and businesses are so much nicer to deal with, even if they do tend to pay less. This means I am commission free again, so anyone out there wants to hire a Puff artist... *nudge* *nudge*

The Card/Board game of wizard combat and loot grabbing is pretty much done. With all the card art done all that is going to take place now is one more fun round of playtesting with the completed cards and if all goes well it will be up for sale next month (or two). You can check out a bunch of the art (not all) in my Gallery. In total there are 189 Cards (each with their own artwork), 8 game board tiles, 6 two-sided entrance board tiles, 9 mini stand-ups of the Wizards, and the Map Key art for the rules all done and drawn by me. All I have left to do is come up with "Cover Art" for the set once it is ready to package and sell. When you see that in here you will know the game is for sale.

And finally, I wanted to say Woot for 250. In less than double the time it took me to get to 100 I am already at 250 hits from 0. With the game done now I can start working on other art again, so the gallery should start looking more varied again. Hopefully that will bring in some new people and perhaps some more favorites or watches. Or better yet, some more commissions. Thanks to all who have already come and come back, especially you Mr. D., your comments are always appreciated.

Toodles for now, and happy Hollidays (no matter what hollidays those are).

Dragavan
Well, work is certainly going to slow down a bit now. It's November and that means NaNoWriMo is in effect (www.nanowrimo.org). So I will be spending a LOT of my otherwise free time working on my NaNovel during this month. I still hope to move forward with my illustrations for the wizards card/board game, but it too will be at a much slower pace than the 8-10 or so cards a day I have been doing. Between the two, however, the NaNovel comes first since this is a once a year one month only event.

Do not expect to see the NaNovel anywhere since this is a writing exercise that is used to strengthen your writing and get you more comfortable with slogging through without editing as you go. The slogan of NaNoWriMo is along the lines of "No Plot? No Problem." and this year I think my story is really going to fit that slogan. Last year it was too easy, since I was writing characters I knew well and had the whole story pretty much planned out before I started. It just flowed and I plan to clean it up and hopefully post or publish it some day.

So this year I decided to start with NOTHING. No ideas. No Characters. No plot. No planning. Just start on day one with whatever popped into my head at that moment. So I did. I am over 2500 words into it and still have no idea where it is going. I know I have two characters and they don't know each other. They have their own lives and dreams. I am bouncing between them on the day the story starts, but neither of them are really taking me somewhere solid yet. We will have to see where this goes.

In the meantime I will still try to post the occasional set of card images as they get made and I should post all the new Wizard character blanks I made (since I have fronts and backs now due to the making of standing pieces). They will end up in scraps if I get around to them. As for new Lost and my planned Firefly/Serenity Puffs, those will have to wait for now. NaNoWriMo is upon me and I have to win again.

Dragavan
Well, the last week or so has been hectic for me. I had my first full playtesting session last week and since then I have been driven nuts again by the urge to complete this game. I have changed the rules slightly and moved some card effects around (changing usage slightly or adding new effects) but the game remained mostly unchanged. I think I have something good on my hands.

My playtesters also loved the filler art I made for the wizard, spell, and treasure cards (none of which I considered finished work) and wanted to see the whole game made with that art. So I am doing just that. But that means I have over 180 cards to do art for, while still playtesting and designing the game itself. I redid the 9 Wizard cards and have 27 of the spell cards done now. This is going to take a while.

Unfortunately this means I won't be doing much other puff art in the meantime. More than likely anything I post will be related to the Card/Board game that still has no name (although Puffy Wizards was tossed around). I hope that doesn't disappoint those few who actually watch my stuff. I do want to get back to some Lost and comic related puffs and do some Firefly stuff as well, but they will have to wait.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who made me actually get to 100 pageviews... Nothing I have ever done on-line has had this much action. I know it's nothing compared to some of my friends out there, who get 1000's of hits a day on their sites or blogs, but this is a big deal to me. Again, thanks for the comments and the hits... Laters.

Dragavan
Thank you Mr. Bowie...

Yes, more little technical changes have come as this new style and direction for me (the whole Puff thing) continues to grow and move on. I will get to that a little later. I have also been really ill this last week (nothing serious, but several not so serious things like a big head cold all happening at once) so my work has been kind of slow and mostly just tweaking things already in the works.

At least this allowed me to burp out the Travelers of Karn picture I have been slowly working on between other things. It also required me to redo them all in the new style I worked out before making it, and then altering them to fit the scene the way I wanted them to, but I am not complaining. Plus, you get a first look at my Puff Powerbook and my friend's Puff iBook. Puff Macs rule.

I am also reworking one of my favorite characters (and first character puff I made) in the new size and style for a new image. Batpuff 2 will be out there soon (I hope). Same basic look, but taller and able to be posed more... Well, as much as you can pose a thing with no natural joints, hands or feet.

Okay, so on to those technical changes I mentioned at the start. Stop reading now if you get bored easy by technical crap. Rather than just using two basic line widths (inside lines and outline) I moved to three basic widths (inside lines, inside outlines, and character outlines). This allows a little more appearance of depth inside the framework of the character (mainly used to separate hair, head, and clothing objects that are supposed to be away from the surface a little). I also moved to only using outlines outside of the object by doing them behind the object rather than on them. This gives the insides a little better detail control on lines themselves (which are always the smallest of the three sizes).

I also changed the default form a little to make the arms more movable and easy to pose, as well as altering the female form to make it look a little more... well... feminine and not so pudgy (as my best friend put it). She wanted to see more of her curves reflected in the image of her Puff without losing the "Puff-ness" of it. I feel I achieved it. Unfortunately that was right after I made the X-Puff girls, who don't use the new form. Oh well, I could always redo it if I really wanted.

Dragavan
Puff Madness Continues. No matter what I do I can't shake the urge to draw these things. Sure, things have slowed down due to other work but they are still there and wanting out. I think it's nearly time to pop out a couple more comic characters. I am not sure who is going to be next, as all the big names that interest me have been done (all three) and there are dozens of lesser known characters I want to do. But who will be next? That's the hard question.

Also, the Board/Card game I drew all those wizard and treasure pictures for is pretty much done and just waiting for some friends to be available to test it out. I did some preliminary testing on my own, but there is only so much you can do alone (even when playing multiple players yourself). So hopefully soon we can find out if my creation is any good or not. I like it, but then I am a bit biased.

I have also had a couple commissions recently, as you have seen a couple that made it in here. My new direction (with the Puffs) sees to be popular at the moment. This is still all so strange to me. Oh well, I guess I will just go with the flow as long as it lasts.

Dragavan
Well folks, this is my first post here and a newly created account. I have recently started going crazy and making Puffs (based on the style started in PowerPuff Girls), which is nothing like my previous art styles. I don't know where it came from (especially since I haven't even seen the show in like three years) but it happened one night when I decided to see what I would look like as a Puff. Yup, that's me in the little icon over there. It didn't stop there though and the next thing I know I have several friends and a few superheroes done as Puffs.

It was suggested that I get a Deviant Art account and start posting them. I figured it would be something I could do, at least as long as my puff craziness continues (since I don't feel my usual art should be forced upon people's eyes). Most of these just popped into my head as the next logical thing I need to draw as a puff, not that I can explain why I chose the subjects I did. Spider-Puff, however, was a request of my friend Todd (you can see him as a puff in the sketches section) even though I had planned to eventually do Spider-Man as a puff at some point anyway.

What does the future hold for my Puffs? Who knows. There will be at least a few more as I can't seem to stop and I have been commissioned to create some for my co-worker Jeff (yup, he has a puff in both the sketches section and as a finished work) and his Bay Window VW Bus club he is forming: the Ballard Bays. After that I don't know. I guess it would depend on several things, including what kind of feedback I get from people here and how my writing goes (as that is what I usually spend most of my time working on).

For now that's all I have to say, but if you look hard enough you will find Dragavan all over the place (Livejournal, Infinite-Story, gaming forums, fan sites, etc.) and it's a pretty good bet that nearly all of them (except that strange Dr Deborah Dragavan from Mexico) is me.

Dragavan