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Hey guys!

I've been a little busy prepping for four conventions at once right now, so my apologies for any missed messages! This month/beginning of next month my work will be at

Spocon
SlcSteamfest
Osfest

And I'm still finalizing details for the panels I'll be doing at the last con.

IF YOU GO TO ANTHROCON REGULARLY; I am looking for a possible agent to take my work there next year. This is all hinged on my being accepted to show there, but I would be willing to compensate the person hanging my work either monetarily or in trade. It would require receiving my art in the mail, arriving to the show early and checking my work in, hanging it. Then at the end of the con, checking my unsold work out and shipping it back to me (I pay for shipping of course). Please message me if you're interested.

If you attend other cons and wish to see my work there, please let me know! I'm back in the game!

If you are an art show director and have last minute conventions happening, I do need *at least* two weeks notice (to account for shipping), but I am in a really feisty GET WORK DONE mode so don't mind last minute requests to show.
Hey guys. So... I was talking to a friend and something occurred to me that I don't think many of us really think about. While doing a demonstration for her, she expressed how much she loved the really fancy watercolor paints I was using. I talked to her about how they were bound with honey and I love them, and then she saw the price and blanched.

"They're HOW much?"

It threw her for a loop and frightened her from working with quality materials, because of how much they cost. Her work currently is not priced at a level that allows her to purchase new supplies, because she's always selling at just barely enough to get by. Maintain the standard. And there's the first really rough part, is slowly putting your prices in a place where you can afford to upgrade your materials.

I know it can be scary, looking at all the materials professional artists have and quelling at the expense. I've seen some artists just LEAP into it, dumping their life savings into the best quality materials right off the bat. While it'd be lovely to do that all the time, most of us don't have that luxury. But.. you know what? You really don't need to just leap into the fray like that. Not if you're living paycheck to paycheck. It will take patience, but I believe that you can slowly work your way up to those high end tools you adore, without breaking the bank.

One thing I suggest is making a list of all your supplies that you have on hand. Now make a list of the ones that you *need* (high or low quality) to continue working. From there, prioritize what you wish to replace first. When I started to seriously watercolor, I actually didn't replace my paint first. I started with my brushes, because an artist is really only as good as their tools, and mine were frayed and just horrible. I didn't start swapping my actual paints until I had started consistently using nicer boards, and nicer brushes. Then I began to slowly replace my tubes with better ones.

Always keep your eyes open for a sale and don't be afraid to buy things out of order of your prioritized list, if a great deal comes along.

The great thing about this, is that the higher end goods USUALLY last longer than the cheaper. So you'll find yourself replacing things less often, and have more money for upgrades. That said, do your research! Don't let price fool you, it doesn't always mean quality. Talk to other artists, see what they can't live without.

Pace yourself. Set goals, set small amounts aside for those goals, and then BE PATIENT. Don't expect immediate results when upgrading your materials piece by piece. But also don't forget to slowly adjust your pricing to take into account the finer grade supplies.

You can do it!
It's the little things. A friend messaged me noting that I've been a lot happier lately and I wanted to just share what I've been doing, on the off chance it might help someone else.

I'm starting slow because I'm pretty broken. The slightest bit of negativity can send me spiraling down out of control in a heartbeat. So first.. I am doing the forgiveness challenge regularly, even for little things (because it's the little things that bog me down).  I'm slowly training my brain to... let go.

I've joined a tumblr blog called 'unfuckyourhabitat', that is all about just.. blunt reminders every day that you can do it, when it comes to self care. It gives you little daily steps to help cut down clutter, get through the mess and get yourself together. Plus the writer casually cusses the way I do, so I feel comfortable reading it. I've been doing at least ONE thing towards self care every single day. Sometimes it's making my bed. Sometimes it's just.. brushing my hair. But either way I do something to say 'I deserve care'. it's easier to get motivated to make big changes, when the small ones start building up.

I'm taking time to appreciate the recognition I receive each day. You know, so many of us glance over the positivity we receive in our art, but then focus almost obsessively on the bad. Have you ever noticed a large portion of artists will not respond at all to the flood of positive comments, but then... that one negative one gets a response? Or if they do respond to all their comments, inevitably the negative ones get addressed first? And get the bulk of their attention? While positive comments generally get a 'thank you' and are forgotten? I know that's how I've been in the past, and part of it was just the overwhelming amount of comments I had to get through made it all become a haze. But I've been approaching it differently now. I set aside the negative to reply to later, and then bulk myself up in basking in the positive. I try to devote a bit of time with each comment, even something as simple as 'nice!' gets a moment for me to stop and go... hey. This person liked my work enough to stop and post something, rather than just clicking by after looking. I affected them. I achieved something here. The negative stuff? I can look at it after I've taken some good quality time with the positive.

What happened at Westercon was a HUGE wake up call for me. A wall of ribbons. And then a wall of empty panels when I went to collect my unsold art and I had practically sold out (only two prints didn't sell, the rest that didn't sell was nfs). Guys... how can you possibly say louder to me that I am on the right path with my art? That I should continue? That I NEED to continue to grow and evolve and create and share? When I moved out here I had put all my awards into storage and hid them away. Now I feel like that was a mistake, because seeing those ribbons, seeing *people's choice* and *judges choice* and.. best in show... I just... you guys chose me. you said 'that is what I like'. And you've said it in the past as well. It's time I put those up where I can see them every day and when I'm having crippling self doubt I look up and go.. hey, it's okay.

I've also started to slowly take the things I wished that others would do for me in my times of need.. and applied it to those around me. Lots of pay it forwards happening around here. When a friend is showing signs that I recognize in myself from being in distress, I am taking time to stop what I am doing and do what I can to offer support and help. I cannot offer much, but I found that when my friends are in a happier, secure place? I am too. Call it selfish motivation but their emotional state affects mine, and so it's in my best interest to see that they are happy.

I still need serious medical care, 'think happy thoughts' isn't enough to combat the hallucinations, seizures, mild strokes, etc. But they are enough to keep me from feeling hopeless and like I should just give up. Happiness is really important.

So that's my update on my emotional state and why I seem so up lately.
I am currently at Westercon 67, and I just want to say that today has been the most awesome day.

I ran into Peter Beagle (Last Unicorn author), who remembered meeting me around ten years ago because I made a total fool of myself, and we had an awesome conversation about poodles. Cause he met Zeus.

I struggled with Monster in an Hour, because I seem to have pulled a muscle in my arm so drawing upright was painful, I am slightly ambidextrous so swapped hands frequently so I didn't miss out though.

And... I went to the art show and discovered I won FOUR awards.
Copper Dreams by JessicaMDouglas  won Judge's Choice

The Dreaming Tree (edited/new upload please view) by JessicaMDouglas won second runner up to best in show

Vance's Dragon by JessicaMDouglas won both People's Choice award AND Best in show!
Hi everyone. I am pleased to announce that the 78 Tarot kickstarter has gone live!

www.kickstarter.com/projects/1…

We have 78 artists including people like myself, Larry Elmore, Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Meredith Dillman and more!

My card is the 4 of coins/pentacles. And while the original painting as sold, this is your chance to snag it in it’s home in the deck!
Someone darling gifted me a premium membership and...

... I have no clue what to do with it! I haven't had one in a long time and I'm not sure what all I can do lol! Help I would love suggestions!
So following my dear friend Ang's advice, I've set up a patreon page. This is a page for those who do not wish to buy individual pieces of art (or only wish to offer some support once in a while), to be able to be a patron of the arts.

My immediate goal with this site is to raise the funds to be able to purchase recording equipment, so that I can film tutorials of my process for you all to utilize and enjoy. This is not something I wish to charge for, but something I wish to offer as a way to give back to the community that has given me so much. The videos will be uploaded on youtube with free access for all... once I get the right equipment to do so! So far I have reached the monthly pledge requirement for me to meet my goal in one year. Obviously more will make it possible for me to put this into motion faster.

How the site works is that you pledge a certain amount of money per painting or sculpture I complete each month. You are able to cap it out (for example, pledge $1 per painting, with a maximum of 2 paintings a month), and edit/cancel your pledge at any point in time. I will be offering exclusive content, rewards, art, prints, and even commissions through the site as thanks to my patrons.

If you have any suggestions of rewards you would like to see, please feel free to message me with the suggestions. I cannot guarantee that I will implement them but I am always grateful for more ideas.

If you are interested or wish to learn more, please check out my page here: www.patreon.com/user?u=168847


Also for those that want to keep up with *constant* works in progress, feel free to follow my tumblr. I also use it to randomly babble about WoW, talk to friends, and look at pictures of derpy animals. But while I am working on new paintings you will see updates every few hours as I make progress on my paintings.   drovie.tumblr.com/
So I haven't done an exploring art journal in a while, I thought I'd post one now.

I was doing a little reading in some art history books a friend gave me, and stumbled on a recent history event that evoked an artistic form of protest.

Starting September 11, 1973, Chile became a rather...  horrendous place to live. People were kidnapped, tortured, jailed, abused in a dozen ways when the elected president was overthrown by the military coup of Augusto Pinochet. I don't know much of anything about this situation, but... one thing that came of it was a rather subversive form of protest in the form of beautiful embroidery and applique art.

People who were kidnapped, who mysteriously vanished, were remembered in incredible textile art called arpilleras. They were bright and beautiful. Images of happy times, celebrations and life in general. They often had bits of old clothes from the missing added in, parts of photographs, and so on. In this way the families of Chile could grieve and remember their lost ones when they couldn't speak out for fear of their own lives.

It's... very intense to read about, I've only just touched on the topic a little. Here is a rather well written article about the subject with several examples of this artform: cachandochile.wordpress.com/20…

It's humbling to read about people who have taken art to change the world, to move people, to speak out when their words have been taken from them. To grieve. What myself, and many others, take as a casual thing to doodle while bored can mean life or death for another in some pretty profound ways.

It makes me stop and look at my art from new eyes. Re-examine the work I've done and the goals I reach for. Perhaps change my priorities a little.
Thirty days ago I sat down with my therapist and discussed serious life changes, one of the things he suggested I do, was to try the thirty day forgiveness challenge. One of the things I struggle with the most, is forgiving others for wrongs done. It's so bad that it EATS at me, and devours me until my life is spent angry at these people and wanting them to pay for their wrongs, and not spent being the shining person I used to be.

I'm tired of it.

So... I started the challenge. I was wary when I started it, because there was mention of religion, and it had a very new age feel to it. Don't get me wrong, I think the new age movement has a lot going for it. But sometimes it feels a bit like a con game rather than people genuinely trying to find peace and goodness for others. That may be why I never really got too far with those groups.

Anyway, I began the challenge and picked someone who, in all honesty, is easy to forgive and still a part of my life, but who I have trust issues arise from time to time because of past circumstances. I took this challenge seriously, walked into it and just.. went with it.

... and it worked.

I'm kind of astonished, because my ability to trust has been broken SO BADLY at this point that I really did believe that I was not capable of trusting anymore. It was a startling change, surprisingly fast, and surprisingly all encompassing. I didn't learn to hide my feelings and not speak on it, or to just keep my mouth shut while I still felt hurt (which is what past attempts at resolving this had lead to). I felt.. closure. Completed. It was finished, it was no longer a source of pain. It was done.

There are no words for the relief I felt. Even if it's just a tiny little step, the fact that I can look at my friend and not feel that itching distrust that was always under the surface, not question their motives every time they spoke to me... It's not just that it's calming an existing friendship, it's that it proves that I AM still capable of trusting others. That I am not broken beyond repair.

So, I would like to link the challenge here, and say if you have something you need working through? Conflict with a friend? Give it a try. It might help.  

forgivenesschallenge.com/
Had to put down my dog Joe today. This was him back when I first got Zeus. He'd just snooze and let the puppy climb all over him. I got him years and years ago when I ran into a girl who was crying because she had moved here from montana with her new puppy only to find out that they weren't allowed dogs, and she didn't want to take him to the pound. So I bought him for twenty bucks. He was so tiny then.

RIP Joe. by JessicaMDouglas
I'm organizing/making space for a drafting table and went through some boxes. Found some prints that had gotten a bit damaged, so am listing them on etsy at a MUCH reduced price. I've also found several prints that I forgot to list entirely.

www.etsy.com/shop/Vestaka

Once they're gone, that's it. I'll be posting more prints throughout the week as I get through these boxes.
I just found out that my friend Vance died this morning.

He used to come to my house and sit and talk art. Sometimes we'd just draw. Sometimes we'd do matting.

He brought over a bunch of pictures of dragons, wanting me to do a chinese dragon for him, for his tattoo.

I never found the time. Always putting other people's work ahead of his. He said it was cool, just to let him know when I get a spare moment.

I should have found a spare moment. I will do that now.

He was on deviantart. He did some beautiful photography, and very dark photomanipulations.

wreckles.deviantart.com

I went through his gallery with him several times. We would talk about art and the work he was doing. Not nearly enough, there was so much I wanted to talk with him about. So.. the least I can do is share some of his work. 

One of his favorites was his Dreamking piece. He was so struck by the Sandman comics, that he wanted to do a piece for it... eventually it went in another direction, but he loved this piece evne more for it:  Dream King by wreckles



This was a book cover he did, that was one of my favorites of his. I kept trying ot coax him into doing a series of dark fairy tale art, but he had turned more towards religious pieces at that point, so put a continuation of this series on the back burner:  Iodine by wreckles



This piece I remember well, because he got an award for it at a convention we both attended. I can't remember if it was best monochromatic, or best photography.. or maybe it was best photo manip. But I do remember the way he GRINNED when he got it. I don't think I'd seen him that happen before. But he was so overjoyed to be recognized for his work. The Baron by wreckles



His first DD. We talked about it a few weeks ago, and he was still floating on cloud nine from it. He had been doubting doing pure photography with minimal photomanipulation. He wasn't sure about his skills as a photographer, and so was anxious to do anything serious. But he got a model, he took a photo.. and this came into being. Such an intense statement, something os many of us can understand. Slave to the Wage by wreckles



he was SO SCARED when he did this piece, to post it or show it to anyone. He wanted to make statements, about religion, but at the same time didn't really want to be hateful? He wasn't sure.. but he loved this piece so much that he just took a leap and DID it. I was so damn proud of him when he finished this piece.  Bones of Saints by wreckles



This was probably my favorite of his photomanipulations. It is so compelling, and so frightening. I loved every bit of it.  Fear Creeps In by wreckles



And this piece, he was such a spaz. He got it printed on metallic paper, just to make the fire glow. Then sat there for an HOUR, kid you not, rolling that paper back and forth to make the fire dance. He got very fond of metallic prints and how they just.. sparked life through the piece.   Nightmare by wreckles
Hey just a head's up. I'll be posting WIP's of my dreaming tree project on my tumblr account. Keep in mind, I also reblog pretty things that are enjoyable/and talk about world of warcraft with my friends on there. But I'll be updating the works in progress fairly often if you all wish to follow it.

drovie.tumblr.com/


Also I will be putting up new prints, some random handpainted jewlery and.. THE TOKU PLUSHIES ARE MAKING A COMBACK. For those that don't remember, about ten/fifteen years ago I did small plushies of my toku (dragon like bugs). I've had a request for another to be made, and I'm almost done revisiting the patterns and recreating them. They'll be listed on my etsy account as I go along. I aim to mail things out the day after they are ordered, and I ship priority mail for the most part. However if you need any sort of special shipment, please let me know. I am more than willing to work with you all.

www.etsy.com/shop/Vestaka


I've also started the 30 day forgiveness challenge. It's something my doctors recommended as a way to deal with my anger when people do bad things (since it tends to eat at me and I really don't want to waste time with that any more.), and as a way to have a fresh outlook as I start on the path to my ultimate dream. If you'd like to join in, by all means!

forgivenesschallenge.com/


So please drop by. Feel free to talk to me about what I'm working on, discuss the nature of the pieces I'm painting or just talk art in general.
I just want to give my thanks to you all for the wonderful birthday wishes.

It was a great day. I didn't make any big plans, mostly it was a day of being with friends, gardening, painting, thinking zen thoughts and being with loved ones. I had cake, and was given a beautiful new chair for my desk.

Thank you so much everyone for adding to the awesomeness that was today. I really appreciate you all.
One of the hardest things I'm learning right now, is how to turn away from negativity. There has been so much bad that's happened over the past.. while... that I find it's easier and easier to sink into just hating everything. If I think too long on it, I find myself actually filled with a loathing for people that I cannot even begin to express, because there is so much bad out there.

In an effort to combat this negative energy, I've started a new piece.

It's called The Forest of Dreams, because one of my favorite movies that inspired me was the Field of Dreams, and I always just..loved the concept of a place where dreams can be nurtured and grown.

My goal is to express how I feel, what my thoughts are when I think about my hopes and dreams, my feelings for friends and family. I may be broken, but I have a metric ton of gold here to mend it, and carry on.
I've gotten a few interesting messages over the past few days, so I thought I'd just.. do a random list of things you may not have known about me. Feel free to ask for more info about any of this.

1. Sweeney Todd is my favorite play. I first saw it when I was 8. I assisted my dad in building the sets for it.

2. Nothing will kill Disneyland for me. My dad would take me there every single year, and like clockwork we always did the pirates of the carribean ride and the haunted mansion first. Then hit the rest of the park afterwards.

3. I went to college multiple times. The first time was art, but the second time I switched majors and careers three times before I went back to art. Those three times were Religious Studies, Psychology and... Astronomy. While all three subjects are incredibly fascinating when I take them on my own terms, I've found that the overwhelming information you need to learn in order to be competent in the field is.. kind of boring. Particularly Astronomy, my first professor spoke in a monotone. To this day I cannot hear the distance of the earth from the sun without just hearing a steady hum and no numbers at all.

4. I was first published when I was 12 years old, in a book called Saturday Afternoon. It was an underground book full of famous actors and musicians who had a dream of being authors as well. Generally they were short stories or poetry, my dad got me published as the artist in it.

5. Elliot Gould asked for my autograph, for said book.

6. My biggest dream in life has been to have a small bit of land in the middle of no where, where I didn't have to go near people unless I wanted to, and could simply paint. I don't particularly care one way or the other for fame and fortune, mostly I just want to be able to continue painting because I have so much to express I feel I might burst if I do not express it.

7. That dream is going to be coming true very soon.

8. I know how to bake. And make candy from scratch (and if I don't know how to make a particular one, I learn very fast). I also can make wedding cakes, from an early career of doing that part time with my mother when I was very little. I do not LIKE to make wedding cakes, and frosting flowers generally end up eaten before they get to the cake. But I can.

9. The first book I ever owned was "The Sleeping Beauty, and other fairy tales" illustrated by Edmund Dulac, and republished in 1978 (the original was published in 1910). It was given to me by an aunt and uncle for my first birthday. Said aunt and uncle also gave me my second book, "The Flight of Dragons" by Peter Dickinson and Wayne Anderson the following year in 1979.

10. I wasn't able to read either book until I was six.

11. I am currently working on four paintings simultaneously.

12. My favorite food is tomato mozarella salad, which consists of cherry tomatoes, artichokes, green olives stuffed with blue cheese, mozarella balls, and slices of sundried tomatoes.

13. I once painted two chow chows to look like foo dogs when I was very little.

14. I got grounded for a really long time for that.

15. I've been on, and assisted in building, the sets for Babylon 5. It was one of the perks for having such an amazing father, who builds sets.

16. I first read the diary of anne frank because we were building the sets for a play about her, and I wanted to learn more after building walls that had interesting broken out parts for the audience to view the people behind the walls.

17. My grandmother was Choctaw indian, on my mother's side. My dad's side is pure scottish, and immigrated from scottland not that long ago. I identify with the scottish, and was not raised with any native american history. On the scottish side our family kidnapped the king. Because we could. We did not succeed in that particular bid for power *cough*.

18. I have testified to the fbi and in court against two different family members for wrong doing. Both went to prison.

19. My favorite monster is the werewolf. Because when I was very little (8), dad had me convinced that he was a werewolf. Including pretending to transform into one during halloween, and howling at the moon and chasing me home when the moon was full. To this day werewolves in movies make me grin like crazy.

20. My birthday is in two weeks, and I still feel like a teenager. Sometimes I stop and blink when I realize my age and go 'what.. when did that happen?'

oh god, the dam in my head just broke. Little holes dear friends have been poking into it over the past two years have finally done the damage needed to remove the blockage, and now I can't stop the flood. Unfettered by worries and fear, dozens of ideas and concepts are just tumbling eagerly to my feet to cling and go IT IS MY TURN YES? And that damnable muse who has way more arms than eight is reaching down and patting them all on the head at the same time, saying 'yes of course it is'.

I need to grow more arms.

As some have noticed, big changes are happening around here.

I'd like to kick off the new changes with announcing my participation in the 78 Tarot project. It's a deck that features the art of 78 artists, to create a full deck (not just the major arcana).

There are so many incredible artists in on this project that it's a little mindblowing, but it features names such as Larry Elmore and Jasmine Becket-Griffith

I'm doing the four of pentacles card and I would love to hear your personal feedback of what this card means to you. As you may have noticed, I'm starting to drop back into my old school roots of doing art for the meaning and the soul, and while I am not particularly well versed in the tarot, I know this card has had influence for many who do use the tarot. So give me your thoughts and opinions, what does this card mean to you?

And please, come and check out the website and see the incredible work that everyone has done:
www.seventy-eight-tarot.com/
Well played.

That's an april fools joke I can get behind.
You're going to see some hardcore changes around here over the next two weeks.

I've made some serious decisions about my life, and am just waiting for the neurologist to do the mri before I set things fully in motion. Just to make sure I don't have some crazy medical thing to add to the equation (but the changes are happening).

I hope you guys like crazy.

I hope you like crazy art.