Tuesday, March 31, 2015


So, this probably has nothing to do with what you might have first thought of when you looked at the title.

I just got my acceptance letter from my local community college for their nursing program. I get to start this fall!

I am learning to balance working on both of my businesses (Gothic Panda Studios and Holistic Birth Care) and keep up with my school work and the needs of my family. It helps that I have an amazingly supportive family. It helps that I am somewhat ADD--it's why I have a bazillion craft and art projects going on simultaneously and why I keep a lot of things going on in my life. I actually get twitchy if I don't have anything to work on. I'm also a big fan of life-long learning, so if I want to learn more about something, I will pursue it.

Anyways. I'm excited.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Magic Girl Art WIP

I have a lot of things in progress. This is because I have some form of ADD. It really is amazing I ever get anything finished. XD

For this point, I'm going to give you a sneak peak at one of my archetypes. One of my current projects involves drawing my archetypes in a style inspired by art nouveau and noir. This is in addition to adding new archetypes to the collection (my goal there is for a total of 52, so I can make a deck of cards featuring them). The first three archetypes that will appear in this set are the Magic Girl, Evil Overlord, and Steampunk. The reasoning behind this is that I am working (very slowly) on a comic for the archetypes, and the first story arc features these three.

I have really been enjoying working on this one. It has been nice to step away from the computer and work with traditional art mediums for a change. This art will be 11x17 and done entirely with pencil, ink, and markers. Pictures are taken with my phone because I do not have a large scanner at home.
Pencil with Original Badge for the design 
Ink added and some shading

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I have a new love. I finally sat down and watched RWBY--my cousin has been trying to get me to watch it since it came out. I really meant to watch it sooner. I'd seen the trailers and wanted to but... you know... life and stuff.

Can we talk about how awesome this series is? Ok, the story is mediocre, and animating in Poser is definitely not as smooth as what I'm used to watching. I'm still enjoying the story, and once I get used to the style, the animation isn't bothersome. In fact, the action is truly amazing--some of the combat scenes, I feel, qualify as absolutely brilliant. The characters are fun, and as usual, I find the side-characters especially interesting.

So, what's RWBY about? It is about four girls (and some others) who attend a school for hunters and huntresses, people who fight monsters called grim and otherwise protect the civilian population. The characters follow a color-theme (Red, White, Black, Yellow--Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang). Each has a unique fighting style in which they are very skilled. That's the basic premise. The series is fun, and fairly fast-paced. Episodes in the first season average 6-7 minutes and increase to 12-13 minutes for the second season. Check it out on Crunchyroll. It doesn't take long to watch, and if I can manage to find some time to get through it with everything I
have going, then so can you. =P No excuses.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Website!

My website at gothicpandastudios.com went down because of issues with hosting--not their fault (we were going through some personal family stuff that was expensive and could not afford the hosting renewal fee, so we let the site go). Since the site had to come down for a couple of months, I thought it might be time for a redesign. It's had the same look and feel since 2010, so it was about time for an overhaul anyways.

I have put together a new site. I also have a new domain name! For now I still own gothicpandastudios.com, but I'm probably going to let that expire, since I now have gothicpanda.com. =D I was incredibly excited to see that domain was available. It had been owned by someone with just a placeholder site there for the last several years (since 2008). Nothing ever went up. So, you can now visit my new website at: http://www.gothicpanda.com. The old domain will redirect to the new one for the next little bit--at least through this fall. Well... it'll redirect once I get it set to do that. XD I'm slow about doing these things because honestly, managing websites and whatnot really isn't my thing, so it tends to get delegated to the end of my to-do lists.

So, my website has a new look and a new name. It's not 100% finished. The galleries in place now are really just place holders for the new projects I'm putting together right now. If I haven't mentioned before, I'll just say it now. Almost everything you have seen finished before is going to be put on clearance. Things are changing around here. Ok, they're not changing that much--like I will still be doing a lot of parody work, and maybe a few things that are not as funny.

So, what is changing? Print quality is going to be better. Badges are going away. Prints will be available in multiple sizes (after many requests to do such). All prints will be limited. I will have a set number printed, and that's it. I will not be reprinting prints. Almost everything coming will be new sets. I am only keeping and continuing a couple of my older sets--actually only 3 (hint: they're the ones on the website). Out of those 3 sets, 2 will be changing formatting (remember the no badge thing and alternate print sizes). The new formatting will change with new designs to be added to those sets, but I'm not telling what those are going to be. Mwahahaha. You'll just have to keep an eye out. I'll slip some hints on the blog here... maybe on Twitter too.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Back in School

You guys may have noticed the lack of new things recently. There are many reasons for this. First and foremost being that last year sucked--had several family losses that made for a miserable year. Yes, this is why there were only 2 posts all of last year. Enough on that. Another reason is that I have gone back to school. 

A little over a year ago, I posted that I was going through training to be a doula. I'm still doing that, and I love it. Well, last summer, I decided that I would like to take a leap and start working toward providing medical support during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum, not just non-medical. I am following the (long) path to becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). Although there are Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) and I greatly admire their model of care, it is a felony to practice as a CPM in my state (go NC--can you read the sarcasm?). So, I am taking the longer route to be a CNM. 

The first step in this process is getting my RN (registered nurse) certification and associates degree in nursing. Subsequent steps will involve transferring to a 4-year to convert my associates to a bachelors and then completing a masters of midwifery program. So, right now I am enrolled in my local community college taking pre-nursing classes (since, you know, the last science related course I took was high school chemistry almost 20 years ago now). If things go according to plan though, I will be starting part time nursing classes this fall and finish in two years from that.

In the mean time, I'm going to continue working as a doula, and I'm going to keep working on my art. It may seem like a lot, but I really enjoy doing this work. In many ways, it's now what I do to wind down. Well, maybe "wind down" isn't the right phrase. "A change of pace" might be a better way of putting it. I enjoy my classes, but they can be quite stressful. I could probably get by with doing less, but it's important to me to take the time necessary to actually learn the concepts, not just memorize what I need to know to pass the tests. Life long learning ftw! 

There will still be new art and new things posted here. There just won't be as much as there was when I started this blog, back when I was trying to make this into a full time thing. Full time art did not work well for me; I ended up getting burnt out after about a year of it. I'm happy making it a part time thing now. I'm also learning to be more purposeful in the time I have with my art... well at least some of the time. I am sure there will be plenty more of the impulsive projects and whatnot because that's just what I do. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Art WIP -- Bravely Default Buttons

If you read my review of Bravely Default, I'm sure you saw this coming. There's going to be more after this too; I'm just not going to tell you what just yet. *blows raspberries* Immature. Yes, but then I feel that maturity can be quite overrated (at times--all things in moderation, right... except cosplay. No need to moderate that).

But I digress. I have been wanting to make buttons for Bravely Default for a while. My problem: what do I put on them. I could draw just the main 4 characters. Then what outfits do I pick. Do I go with the basic Freelancer job or do I go with the special outfits you can earn through rebuilding Norende? Or I could just pick my favorites, but there are quite a few of those. @_@ I'm still not 100% decided. I'm not sure I could draw all of them, but I might try, since, you know, I'm a sucker for large impossible projects. If I drew every outfit combination for the main four, including the special ones, then I'd be looking at 100 button designs plus a couple more if I feel like including the vestal garb for Agnes, as an example. You can see my quandary. So for now, I have the characters drawn, but they're naked. Ok, not entirely... they have undies on because I don't draw nudity. =P Yes... I did draw undies so they can be decent until I decide what to clothe them in. Yes... that means I'm concerned about the modesty of two-dimensional fictional fanart characters. I never claimed to be in my right mind.