Coloring Books - Highly detailed coloring books for grown-ups.
Sketch Fest - a monthly prompted 48-hour creative jam for artists around the world.
Portrait Adoption - adopt a pre-finished character portrait that will be exclusively yours!
Ellen's Escape - my personal webpage and archive of pretty much my entire artistic journey.
Torn World - a shared science fantasy world.
Other links of possible interest:
2013 goals (6 month review)
Chopping Block of 2010 - an interesting snapshot at all of my projects of that time, including several that did not survive the cull.
Ellen Million Graphics at Facebook
Ellen Million, Artistrix at Facebook - not as frequently updated as it ought to be...
Sketch Fest at Facebook
Torn World at Facebook
Ellen Million at Facebook - mostly a feed of this journal.
@ellenmillion at Twitter - almost entirely a feed of this journal.
@torn_world at Twitter - updates for Torn World
ellenmillion at Deviantart - very rarely updated
Elfwood gallery - oldest gallery of my work (aside from my personal site, above).
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She loves reading, possibly more than anything else. She will pile our laps with books and then sign 'books' at us. "Booo? Boooo?" Nothing makes her happier than turning to her favorite page in any given book and having someone read it to her. (Almost every book has a favorite page.) And she will entertain herself with a book, too, babbling the stories to herself as she turns the pages. Yesterday, she went one step further and... well, I know it's not technically reading and is just memorization, but just LOOK how pleased she is with herself:
(7 second video on Facebook)
Today I've ordered a new printer with my Kickstarter earnings - I'm downgrading, because the 4000 is just more printer than I want on my desk and I want to get rid of the space-hogging 17 x 22 inch media. The R3000 sounds like it handles the thick media I use much better, so I suspect it will actually be an upgrade. I am eyeing a new scanner, too - but the one I really want is $2500, and I just can't justify that kind of expense for something that ultimately only serves my own artwork. The reviews make me absolutely salivate, though. It is an 11 x 17 bed, and it picks up really fine and light pencil details in sketches, which is something lesser scanners just can't do.
In related news, Fantastrix is SOLD OUT. I have two copies un-claimed, and I'm keeping them. I am going to reprint, but the second edition will be the more standard 20 page coloring book, lacking 6 of the pages of the Kickstarter edition, to keep sales simpler (and to reward my beautiful Kickstarter patrons!), and it won't happen immediately. Prices on all coloring books will be going up with the new year, just as a warning! http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/colo
I am printing the very last of the *Asterix copies now, including the +10 copies that I reserved for off-Kickstarter sales, and printing two more pages of ACEOs to replace some that got messed up. (Or missed - I think I just counted wrong and missed a page of Dotminatrix ACEOs...) I think the very last orders on my desk - just 7! - all require something I'm waiting on, I'm very excited to have this all wrapped up. Packages are arriving at their homes, and I'm gleefully imagining how happy people are as they unpack them.
I will be sending out Sketch Fest payments today, and doing laundry. Debating bread!
I got my two sketches, I really like both of them, and BAM, that's my year's goals for artwork, all completed. Not only completed, but I blew past those goals in almost every category.
Winter Skirt: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.c
My little changeling child has been sleeping through the nights until 10 or 11 the last 5 days or so. The first three days, that meant no nap (beyond a short snooze in the car, once), but this weekend, she also napped. Must be growing or milestone-ing or something. I'll take it! I've got more of my Kickstarter packages ready to go, and 20 Days orders. (Unpack these thoroughly, folks! There are all kinds of extras tucked into the corners!)
We also cleaned this weekend, tackling some piles of mail and old bills and old files and bookshelves and DVDs. We cleared up two little shelves for Guppy, so she has one upstairs and one downstairs now, and her books don't have to squeeze into unsuitable drawers. And the upstairs landing looks SO much nicer now. The difference is incredible.
Now I'm going to tackle the last of these orders - I just got some of the addresses I need, and I want to cross more of these off.
Tomorrow, locals can see some of my work and buy my coloring books at the First Friday at the Alaska Center for Natural Medicine. I will not be able to attend in person, but the lovely folks at the center will have a table with my work available. (There will be at one other artist featured, as well!)
Tomorrow is also Sketch Fest: http://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchf
If I can manage two sketches, I will have made my year's goal for getting two for each Sketch Fest in 2013. That is admittedly a modest goal, but one I feel pretty good about accomplishing.
On that same list of goals, I have a whole lot of unmet writing goals. One I think I can reasonably still make is the short story count: "25 short stories - at least 15 of which should be Torn World Big Plot stories and 2 of which should NOT be Torn World stories." I currently have 19, all of the Torn World Big Plot stories. I did exactly NO writing in October or November. I was pretty burnt out on the series and got some legitimate but discouraging feedback that the last bits weren't much of a page-turner. I have gone back and found a few nice comments that were left throughout the earlier installments, and refreshed myself on the plot, so I hope to get back in and spice them up a little, as well as get the rest done, but I'm not going to tackle that until next year. That leaves me 6 stories - 2 of which should NOT be Torn World. I could count the story I wrote for RTH that ended up being set in the wrong time and all backwards-like... if I do, there are still 5 due. I am going to aim for some flash fiction - maybe even drabbles. Maybe Jenny/Bjorn things? I feel writing-rusty. Any requests? I won't do anything formal like a prompt call, but if there's a sequel, prequel, fandom or anything that you'd like to see something short in, just ask!
In Guppy-stories, she's started saying "EW" when she wants her diaper changed, which is silly and funny, but totally appropriate. We count everything now, but she's sort of stuck on two and five, with the occasional guess of nine. Also, she doesn't like ham. This may be the first meat she doesn't like.
I ordered art supplies this morning (yay!), and tackled some programming (ugh! I wrote this script when I was just starting out and it's SO ugly and redundant!). There is laundry in the dryer, and the sun is starting to come up. (Not that I will see it today from home, but at least it's getting bright out!)
My 20 year high school reunion is being plotted on Facebook and it's rather... weird. All these familiar names, some of them vague recollections, and I have to wonder what they're like now. Would I have anything in common with any of them? My closest friends were in grades older or younger, or are out of state and touch. And me... I was such a pretentious little twit in high school. I like to think I've changed, but I probably am not all that different. Just older. No wild successes to show off. Not a famous illustrator yet. My business is hard to explain to people in person - I imagine a lot of conversations trying to explain Sketch Fest, or talking awkwardly about how I did have a modestly booming merchandise business but chose to close that portion of things because... things. And no, I never did grow out of that "fantasy thing*". Probably all of their children are older than Guppy. So... how about that weather.
Incidentally, I ran into a friend from that era at dance class last week and I DO hope we have a chance to catch up. (One person in flesh is less scary than hoards of names on a screen... and I was better friends with her than most of my classmates!)
Going to wake the baby now. I'm quite sure I won't be getting a nap out of her today, at this rate! But goodness, she clearly needed some snoozing!
*An actual comment from a visitor at the fair one year.
Blog posts brewing: high school reunions (and running into old friends!), writing, the goals of the year, next year's goals, bread (but not circuses!), artwork, and fandoms...
This blog is none of those.
I have finished mailing 90% of my Kickstarter rewards. (Exactly 90% - I did two more boxes than I would have this morning because I like round numbers!) It took two trips into the post office yesterday with toddler and 5 today, plus 45 minutes in line (for ONE international package), but all those boxes and envelopes (and all but 4 of the 20 days boxes!) are winging their way to their recipients. I did 8 packages this morning, so I'm on track to get the rest out by Thursday... except that some of them are waiting on surveys, questions or custom art (just two, now! And one is half done! The other hasn't responded and I don't know what they want!).
Guppy charmed everyone at the post office. She was sort of cute and generically funny, for the first 20 minutes or so, if a little prone to trotting off in a random direction or pulling envelopes out of the express mail display. She played with my keys. She put her hat in the bag and pulled it out. She got shy with a guy with a beard. I held her for a while, I put her back down. She played underneath an island, and then stood up and banged her head so hard people around us went a little quiet. "You okay?" I asked her, gathering her up and bracing for the inevitable tears and screams... and she just rubbed her head ruefully and went on with life. "I would've cried," the big, tough guy in front of us said wryly. "I'm impressed." People nodded.
We were finally up, and the young man at the window next to us dropped a broken zipper pull. "Rats!" he said, and Guppy trotted right over and picked up one of the pieces he'd missed. "Hee-ow!" she said, handing it to him.
Our audience melted. "She is the cutest kid," one of the clerks told us. "Every time she's in here, she's so sweet. You should leave her here to entertain us."
On our way out, she picked up trash to throw away, and she waved.
Wednesday was the adventure of the car - I spent several hours at the dealer with an angelic toddler, right through her naptime, and AFTER a turf time romp. That disrupted my plans for the day, but wasn't otherwise a terrible thing. I have the best baby ever, and she absolutely charmed the staff at the dealer.
Thanksgiving was absolutely lovely. I took Norway for a long walk, ate sublime food, and had a delightful dessert with my sister and nephews. I am never eating turkey for thanksgiving again, if I can help it. We had this incredible pork tenderloin wrap, stuffed with cream cheese and chiritzo, wrapped in bacon and glazed with apricot-chipotle sauce. NOM. The leftovers were just as good with a fried egg on top the next morning.
Friday, I buckled down on Kickstarter and 20 Days things while husband and toddler romped overhead, and made a big, huge dent in it. I may even get the rest of it wrapped up today! (But not if I spend all morning blogging!)
Saturday, more Kickstarter. Sunday, CLEANED MY OFFICE (because it was a mid-Kickstarter disaster and the workflow was suffering) and went to gaming, ate more delicious food and hung out with actual adults (and make-believe teenage demon-hunters), got most of my Kickstarter custom artwork done, finished the first season of Arrow after Monster went to sleep, and now it's Monday and I have a lot to do!
In business news!
Keep coloring books on your radar as you are shopping this season - they make fabulous gifts, and support small business. http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/colo
A facepalmingly late announcement that there is a Sketch Fest THIS WEEKEND! The poll I ran at Facebook was a dead heat, and people who requested this weekend made the good point that they'd like to be able to ship sales in time for Christmas. So, here we are!
I also realized I was supposed to run a Muse Fusion last weekend... and totally forgot. I don't think anyone noticed, which speaks volumes.
Okay, sorting through ACEOs now, and finishing these last Kickstarter/20days packages. I still haven't figured out how I'm going to get this mail into the post office with toddler in tow. They are labeled and just need dropped off, but it's going to be 800 trips in and out if I have to hold a little hand. The handcart takes both hands, and I don't want the small one bolting out into the parking lot. Maybe I can strap her on top of it...
Oh! And Portrait Adoption artists, there's a great submitted description in the queue right now - I'd love to see some sign-ups for it.
Guppy slept in a little, which allowed me to do some invoicing and work on a tedious problem for a client for a bit, as well as dig my inbox down to 477.
We then ditched the house and went to play at the Children's Museum. There was a pitstop at the post office, which turned out much, much more lengthy than I hoped because I had filled out the wrong customs form for ALL my packages, but Guppy was an adorable angel and it saved me several hundred dollars (no joke!) to re-do them, so it was worth it. (We also stopped to visit Papa, and Guppy is clearly becoming familiar with the route, because she starts saying "Papa! Papa!" as we get close to his office.)
There was drawing and windtunnels and chasing balls and pushing shopping carts and pressing buttons and the play register and STARING at other people and smiling and running and SHARING with the other toddler and LOTS of fun and she is still napping now, which allowed me a half an episode of Dr Who while I figured out how to import my Kickstarter rewards records into Paypal for WAY easy shipping that is a huge weight off my brain. I was not looking forward to imputing those one at a time.
Aaaand, there's the Guppy! Back to being Mom!
(This is a fraction of them.)
Now, I have to detangle a few hundred feet of frozen heavy-duty cord with baby in tow...
ETA: Inbox under 500 for the first time in ages!
More later, perhaps.