Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×
KABAM!!!: www.kickstarter.com/projects/2…

Big news! Jeannine Schafer and I are going BIG with volume 3 of Snorffles n’ Meeps, and for that to happen we need your help! Please share and reblog this post to get the word out about our campaign! We can’t do it without you guys!

<3
  • Listening to: Ranma 1/2 episodes. Aw yeah.
  • Drinking: Blueberry tea
I was so surprised to login today and see such a full inbox - thank you all so much for the support and kind words for Panda Culture Shock! It was a collaboration between myself and my partner in crime Jeannine Schafer (Neenerbot) to cap off last year's animal art book and one of our favorite pieces. It makes me so happy that other people dig it too!

Many, many warm thanks to :iconastralseed: and :iconstatunascendi: for making it possible <3

I hopefully will have a surprise or two to upload in a few weeks... I am simultaneously exploring the wonderful world of mold making and overseas book printing, so there are headaches to go around, but I think it will all be worth it. I hope.

<3
  • Listening to: Ranma 1/2 episodes. Aw yeah.
  • Drinking: Blueberry tea
Since I get asked "What brushes do you use?" quite a lot, I decided to post 'em here in hopes that folks will see 'em, download 'em and spread the word. I use the dry media and watercolor ones quite a bit lately.

DOWNLOAD BRUSHES HERE!

Don't let this short list fool you, there are TONS MORE of Nagel sets available for free online, just google them. There are a few brushes in my arsenal that I can't share since they are proprietary brushes from studios that I worked at, but they aren't anything more sophisticated than what the Nagels can do. :)

Also, I am 99.9% this is where the rake brush came from: 

I hope this helps! Go get 'em and PLAY!

In personal life news, I am in the thick of convention season. APE was a few weeks ago, CTN-X is in a week and a half, then it's the Bazaar Bizarre Holiday Fair and Night Life at the Academy of Sciences in December. Then ECCC in March. PHEW! Each show forces me to push a little harder and make new art, plus I meet new friends every time, so it's all worth it. I'll sleep when I'm dead.

I hope to see you guys at any or all of my upcoming conventions!
  • Listening to: Ranma 1/2 episodes. Aw yeah.
  • Drinking: Blueberry tea
Aaaahhh, I was so stoked last night to find out that Raturdae got a DD today! Thank you to :iconcakecrumbs: and :icontalty: for making that all possible! <3 And also a very belated thank you to :icongunmetal-rat: for the 3 month sub! You guys make me feel amazing :)

Since I haven't updated since like January, here are things in a nutshell:

-Raturdae is in a gallery show which opens tomorrow. Exciting!

-This seems to be the year of the Con! I've been to ECCC for the first time in March and loved it, I will have a table again next year for sure. I will be at the Cherry Blossom Festival next weekend to sell prints, books and now photo necklaces of my artwork and then at Maker Faire in May to do the same!

-I did my first ever pitch for a cartoon short last week and it seemed to go well. Hoping for a green light for sure! Even if it doesn't work out this time, I've been bitten by the dev bug and want to try pitching again.

-I've taken a few stop-motion classes earlier this spring and I really really really just want to sit down and work on my stop mo film but life keeps happening WAAAAH.

Things are a little up in the air, I have lots of ideas but my schedule is really unpredictable while I wait to hear from the studio and stuff. I hope to knock out a couple more personal pieces before Maker Faire at the least... and I am possibly moving in June, two of the rats need surgeries gaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

Ok, out of panic mode. Thank you to everyone, old and new, who stops by here to see my art, truly. It warms my heart and motivates me to put down the ipad and pick up the pens!
  • Listening to: Ranma 1/2 episodes. Aw yeah.
  • Drinking: Blueberry tea
First and foremost, happy belated new year DA! May you all have a productive and rewarding year :)

Second, I regrettably am closing commissions indefinitely. :( It's no one's fault, everyone I have had the honor to work for has been wonderful and patient, in fact! I just have a lot planned this year in terms of conventions and furthering my own art education, so I won't have the time to do commissions or trades for at least a year. There are a couple of group shows I will be participating in however, so there will still be chances to pick up an original feltie or two.

Third, I am partnering with my friend Bill Robinson www.facebook.com/flimflammery?… to make another art book in time for Emerald City Comic Con in March! I hope you guys like awesome, cartoony fish as much as we do ;)

That's about it! I will announce our table location at ECCC soon, as well as our location at WonderCon. Be prepared to see lots of fish spilling into my gallery in the meantime... maybe a feltie or two as well. ;)
  • Listening to: My amazing air purifier. Rat stink be gone!
Snorffles & Meeps has gone live! Check out my shop to pick up a signed copy of the book and maybe some prints too, if you're in the mood.

stephsketches.bigcartel.com/pr…

If you have a hankerin' for some secret alpacas, then stuartngbooks.com will also be selling the book in the near future, only his store will include the exclusive convention-only alpaca prints we made, at no extra cost. Why? Because Stuart was at the convention when he grabbed his stock. Everyone wins!
  • Listening to: My amazing air purifier. Rat stink be gone!
To kind deviant who surprised me today with a 3 month premium membership, holy crap. Thank you for your act of kindness! I'll pay it forward and surprise a random deviant with a sub this weekend <3 You friggin' rock :icongunmetal-rat:

Also, you guys have probably noticed a surge of animal illustrations on here lately and that's because I am self-publishing a 36 page animal art book with my talented friend, Jeannine Schafer. It's at the printer's at this very moment and I will be selling it at APE and CTN-X with an exclusive print! I will be selling the book itself online in the next week or so as well, and I will announce that along with the link to my shop if anyone's interested.

I haven't forgotten about needle felting though! With the exception of the last few felties I have on my plate, I have decided to stop taking commissions indefinitely :( No one did anything wrong, it's just that they are so time consuming that it becomes impossible to make something I am proud of and keep my prices fair to everyone.

On top of that, I have decided to actively pursue my goals of working in feature animation, and to do that I need to devote my free time to drawing classes and a mentorship. I am lucky enough to have a kick-ass fulltime job on top of it all, so for the time being, I think it's best that I draw until my fingers fall off to try and level-up. We don't grow unless we commit to doing the hard work.

Back soon with book details :)
  • Listening to: My amazing air purifier. Rat stink be gone!
Current Status: CLOSED UNTIL 2013. I am no longer making Appas, I want to move on to more challenging stuff! Thank you so much to everyone who inquired <3

Hi guys! With the attention that my latest Appa feltie has gotten, a lot of questions gave come up about commissions, process and pricing. Here is my attempt to explain it all and invite you to ask any questions you may have!

How much for an Appa/Pabu/Rat/Fledgie/etc?

-I'm really sorry, but as of July 2012, I am no longer accepting Appa commissions. They were fun to do and I <3 Avatar and the fandom, but the Appa felties have run their course and I want to make other things now. Thank you for understanding ^_^;
-Rats without a wire base are $50. See sample: cre8vsteph.deviantart.com/art/…
-Rats with a wire base are $100. See sample: cre8vsteph.deviantart.com/art/…
-I have not made a Pabu yet, so his price will depend on what the commissioner wants.
-Fledgies like the cockatoo are $60. steph-laberis.deviantart.com/a…
-Prices can fluctuate based on the level of detail (or lack thereof) requested or how quickly you need an item. Once we settle on a price though, it won't change. :)

YOU JERK, WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE?
So here's the deal; I don't sew these guys using a pattern or a sewing machine. They aren't even sewn at all. They are made with a process called needle felting. There are no patterns to be used or made in needle felting. Every project, even if it's the same character in the same pose, starts from scratch.

Needle felting is a very simple but very time consuming process. It uses a needle and fiber, but the similarities to sewing stop there. Check out this video for an explanation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkdGCi…

So with that in mind, I have to set a price that reflects the hours I will spend on a piece, and often the length of hours I spend on a piece is reflected in the level of detail you want. The size of a piece and amount of material used to make it affects my prices *much* less than the hours that I spend on it. A piece that is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand but very detailed (like Appa) would be more expensive versus something larger but much simpler (i.e. a life sized felt watermelon). While wool is very cheap as a material, that allows me to be more flexible in the size of piece that I can make for you for the quoted price. The Appas that I have made so far were requested to be small enough to fit in your hand and highly detailed and the rats were requested to be life-sized to their IRL counterparts.

tl;dr IT TAKES FOREVER! ;)

Do you have any I can buy right now?

Negative. Because felties are so time consuming, I don't have the time to make a stock of them. I work a day job, I freelance and I felt when I have a little downtime or a commission comes in. Plus, it feels more special to me to make one just for a customer and to give them a say in how it will look, etc. I share process photos with the customer so that they can art direct or just see how it's all coming together.

Will you show me how to make an Appa?

Not specifically an Appa, but I will happily direct you to needle felting tutorials online and I am making a video of how I make my rats. The thing is, once you learn the basic process, you can make just about anything, and I'm not BSing you on that one. It's as simple as sculpting, only you can potentially stab yourself more often.

Great felting videos:
www.youtube.com/watch?feature=…
livingfelt.com/feltingvideos.h…

Also, I post a lot of process photos on my FB page: www.facebook.com/stephlaberisa…

So how do I commission you?

Drop me a note and we'll take things over to email! Right now I am backed up until August with commissions, but I am open to talking and sharing ideas for the fall :)

If I missed anything, please comment and I will add it to the FAQ if it seems pertinent!
  • Listening to: My amazing air purifier. Rat stink be gone!
Just got a sexy little webcam setup and I am getting my laptop fixed in preparation of some felting tutorials! I will be creating a little rattie like Splash, so I can show you how to make armatures and use foam and whatnot. I hope to have it done in the next week or so.

Are there any other types of felties or other processes you'd like me to document into a tutorial?
  • Listening to: My amazing air purifier. Rat stink be gone!
The timing of getting a DD on my Splash Feltie could not have been better, as I just said good bye to one of my own rats yesterday morning. I am still feeling heavy inside about it, her name was Boo and she was an amazing little blue rat who loved to bounce around in zippy circles after you scratched behind her ears and return for more scritches. Sadly, even at only 6 months, she was gripped by a terrible respiratory infection, and 5 antibiotics, 3 days and nights in an oxygen tank couldn't release its hold on her, so I let her go to a place where she could breathe freely and feel whole again. Her cagemate, Rocket, is equally devastated, but she will be attempting to bond with another playful little rat soon enough.

Ooh, sorry, tangent. I guess the timing of this DD confirms that Boo had a parting gift for me and that the community on DA is friggin' awesome, huh? If you want to see some pics of how she was made, I have them posted on my facebook page and my tumblr.

www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi…

stephlaberis.tumblr.com/post/1…

As always, never be afraid to ask me how I make things. I love teaching and sharing technique. And for those who asked about commissions, yes, I do accept them for felties, sculptures or character designs. The price range for felties is rather wide, depending on what you want, and it runs higher than most plush artists might charge because each feltie, unlike a plushie, is not made from a pattern and thus takes a while to do. Typically I would charge $50 for a rat like Splash and upwards of $500 for the big Flammie you see in my featured gallery. But again, it all depends on what you want. :)

Deepest thank again for the honor, DA. I really needed this sunshine today. <3
  • Listening to: My amazing air purifier. Rat stink be gone!
Just what it says :D

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jedRhh…
  • Listening to: World's End Dancehall
  • Drinking: cold green tea
I have an art page on facebook where I update my photo albums as I work on projects. Typically I'll do a photo dump all at once on my blog or tumblr, but here you can see things as they happen! I updated with pics of my largest feltie to date, still in progress, if you care to see :)

www.facebook.com/pages/The-Art…

I think you have to "like" the page to see the whole album, I forget how FB works and shit always changes. X_x Anyone have any tips for doing a plush overlay or skin to a felted base? I'm not sure if stitch witchery will cut it, so I am hoping sobo glue with re-enforcement from a high temp glue gun will hold. YAY LEARNING AS WE GO!
  • Listening to: World's End Dancehall
  • Drinking: cold green tea
I am using this entry as a mini rant. You've been warned.

I've gone a little hog wild joining groups on DA in the last few months and for the most part, I think this is an awesome feature. That is, when I am not bombarded with terrible fan art of Link making out with Edward Cullen. ANYWAY. I have discovered lots of new artists thanks to the groups and I have started to notice that many of these artists are incredibly territorial about their process, to the point where they will state in the deviation's description that "NO, you CAN'T ask how I did it, DON'T ASK K?"

So. I get that some artists want their space and techniques respected. I don't think that it's helping anyone though, particularly yourself or your image you put forth. I am all about sharing techniques, tutorials and processes. There is nothing, NOTHING that I do that is a magic potion, a special sauce, or a trade secret and from the looks of some of the projects in my feed that will NEVAR HAEV A TUTORIAL, there's no special ingredient there either. If someone really likes what you are doing, they will either reverse engineer it or do a little research for a similar effect. Being retentive and secretive about process hinders other artists and stands to hinder you.

Why? Well, I make shit up as I got along, sometimes it works, and then I make a tutorial or post a series of process photos. My techniques are not perfect. By sharing that openly, it invites helpful critique and suggestions os alternative materials or programs to use to improve upon what I've been doing. On top of that, I think it's a show of confidence in an artist to show their process in that there's no fear of "OMG if I show you this, you'll copy it and then I won't be a special unique snowflake and all my watchers will leave me."

So here's the thing; no one can do what you do, how you do it. That's called style, and style is composed of the mistakes that only you make. I've enjoyed seeing how other people have used my digital papercut process to make their own pieces, some artists have completely one-upped me in style and skill by doing so, but it's not some horrible catastrophe. I'm still me, I still make things and you're you and you're awesome and I like giving back to the artist community.

That said, I am documenting my latest feltie/plush attempt and will try to do a little time lapse video this time around. I hope you guys get somethign out of it and maybe think twice about grinching your process all to yourself.
  • Listening to: World's End Dancehall
  • Drinking: cold green tea
stephlaberis.tumblr.com/

I'm  catching up with you kids, I have a tumblr now! You can go there if you like seeing art but don't wanna read the usual ramblings from my blog. :B

I have a twitter now too but I'm finding that kinda pointless. Well, that and all I seem to do on there is complain.

<3
  • Listening to: World's End Dancehall
  • Drinking: cold green tea
Dropping in to say thank you to everyone for the support and feedback on my recent uploads! I am soaking up my class like a sponge and I am really happy to be able to share my work and get opinions from everyone here. Things are wrapping up in the next 3 weeks and I feel like I have grown as a designer, so I will have to work extra hard after class is over to keep that motivation up. I may join some of the challenges here on DA or CGHub, who knows!

Also, CTN-X is just around the corner! I will be at booth T-81 with Brianne Drouhard :iconpotatofarmgirl: AND we will be selling our limited run of collaborative sketchbooks! We split the 44 page book in half, my side is called "Mildly Afflicted" and hers "Topsy Turvy", as we printed our halves upside down from one another to make perfectly clear that there are two different artists involved. Though I am pretty sure that our styles are different enough to make that clear. I hope.

For an expo map and preview of the book, check here:

stephsketches.blogspot.com/

See you guys in Burbank!
  • Listening to: World's End Dancehall
  • Drinking: cold green tea
Class is going great and I will be uploading the fruits of my labor when I have a chance to do some polish. The teacher's crits have been very helpful and the lectures get me giddy. I've missed being a student so much that I might take another course in the winter because I love the community and the feeling of being lead around for a bit, instead of the constant pressures of work and up until recently, the pressures of leading. Either way, I am very optimistic about what I will be getting out of this and kind of don't miss the freelance that I had to drop to take the course ;)

I also added two new ratties to my hoard, we're now up to 6! I will post pics when I can, I have been swamped with work and homework and life things. Their names, for those who give a rat's ass (I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE) are Rocket and Booster, since they are the spazziest, bounciest, fastest damn rats I have ever owned. And this is coming from someone who raised the late, great Cookie, the spring loaded rat.

YAY.
  • Listening to: World's End Dancehall
  • Drinking: cold green tea
Well, maybe not that crazy happy, but good news is good news! In about a month I will be starting the character design course at Animation Collaborative, a new school founded by Pixar artists (where the hell do they find the free time to do this?) and will be trying to up my game. I know I have been slow as ass when it comes to doing 2D updates, or really any art, since my job became very difficult and consuming for the last few months. I am hoping this class will help me to be productive again with characters and show me all of the flagrant errors I make that seem to be completely invisible to me.

If you're curious about the school, check it here:

www.animationcollaborative.com…

They're offering classes into 2012 and if the character thing works for me, I want to follow up with the story class. It's pretty expensive but honestly it seems worth it - two teachers who are working pros, guest speakers, tiny class size and hell, it's all a tax write-off! There's no way to lose here.

Things are quieting down so I hope to have more doodles at the very least up here soon.  How do you guys kick your muse in the face when she gets lazy? Mine needs some kind of wake-up call.

-Steph
  • Listening to: World's End Dancehall
  • Drinking: cold green tea
First off, big thank you to everyone who voted in the plushie poll from the spring. In the end I am sad to say that the timing wasn't right to do a plush run (as in, I would not have the funds I needed by the manufacturing deadline nor the table space for Comic Con this year). I am setting aside some extra funds this year in hopes that I can do a production run for WonderCon or Comic Con next year though, so all is not lost :)

Second, some of you guys on here are connected with me on facebook, but in the last month or so I decided to create a page just for my artwork and to ask the kind folks whom I haven't really met IRL to watch that page instead of my personal one, in the interest of downsizing my friends list to just family and close IRL friends. I figure that way, I can still keep in touch with the artists I've met online and not have to filter my posts when they have to do with personal matters. I know it seems like a bitch move to some, but understand that I live 3,000 miles apart from my entire family and facebook is my main means of communicating with them - yes, even my 89 year old Grandma has an account and she totally knows how to use it! So I can keep posting boobie and fart drawings on my art page, sparing my relatives the pain and keep in touch with the artists who support and egg on my immaturity <3

All that said, here's the link to my art page! Please "like" the page so that you can see art updates and so I know we can be in touch.

www.facebook.com/pages/The-Art…

Of course, you can always check my sketchblog too, but I tend to post rough ideas and fun doodles on the facebook page that don't make it to the blog.

I hope everyone is well and keeping healthy; I've been fighting a summer flu for the last week and a half but managed, against my better judgment, to hitch a ride to LA to see Hatsune Miku's MIKUNOPOLIS show at AX. Yes, I am sicker now, but also richer having seen my second favorite holographic idol singer do her thing... my first favorite being Sharon Apple, natch. ;)

-Steph
  • Drinking: My disease-ridden saliva.
I met a plush manufacturer while at WonderCon earlier this month and we're talking shop! I wanted to ask you guys which of my characters you'd most like to have in snuggable form so that I can figure out which character to produce. Keep in mind that some designs are more costly to produce than others and that may ultimately determine what I do make, but that's more for me to figure out. Just let me know in the handy poll beneath this journal!

<3
There's a tutorial right here!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8JYOh…

I learned how to felt via youtube, so that's sure proof that anyone can do it ;) The publisher of the video also sells the felting supplies that I use online. Kind of a weird craft when you think about it - you're basically playing with wads of tangled animal hair XD