Tag Archives: art

An Art Post: My Dark Creations

Earlier today, after I gave my update about why I wasn’t active yesterday (Read: I Took a Mental Health Day). I wanted to see if I still had ‘it’. It being the good ol’ photoshop skills. This year was to be my year off from working for clients doing book covers and Burning Willow Press, but when Burning Willow Press announced closing its door (Read: Goodnight Sweet Burning Prince), I had to get back to work.

In a recent podcast (which hasn’t gone to live yet) I announced (basically) that I wasn’t ready to go back to graphical work for another publisher if they were to want to hire me (as of right now) but maybe in the future.

I also realized that earlier this year when my website changed and moved to WordPress I didn’t migrate my portfolio. With this most of my art hasn’t been up, in some form, here yet. So with that, I’ll be creating a section for my old cover art for all to see again.

I use the program Adobe Photoshop and my old copy of Paintshop Pro when creating. The above are all digital photo manipulations created strictly in Adobe Photoshop. I used images with free commercial use licenses from the public domain ‘free stock photos’ to bring them to life. I have watermarked them as I created the art.

My Writer’s Manifesto

Recently, I came across a post from www.ebookandpod.com about A Writer’s Manifesto and became inspired. I highly recommend everyone read it, not just writers and published authors.

It reignited me after a few days of feeling down and doubting myself, possibly even quitting the industry altogether. I had, a few days ago, began staring at my screen with my head down trying to get those words typed, get those scenes written, and that formatting handled.

Small detour into my past year

I experienced a complete burnout last year. It was bad, it effected my graphic work and I didn’t realize my burnout was beginning, that I had moved into a deeper part of it, or that I growing resentful and miserable. When I began stepping back the weight was lifted and it was almost instantly my work level changed, it improved back to what my name had grown to be and my clients expected of me. I still wasn’t writing much though and that greatly bothered me.

Back to our scheduled post

This year is to be my year off, but honestly it’s my year of refocus on myself, my goals, and the things I’ve missed doing most writing and producing my own work. I still wasn’t looking around at the environment I had created, just muscling through getting things done I hadn’t.

Knowing that manifesto is meant to be highly personal I wrote it in my notebook but being inspired I have typed it word for word for this post. Mine does look a bit different than the post at the above link on ebookandpod.com, but again this is an individual practice.

My manifesto is as follows

In my life I have always been a very open and honest person because of this I will carry this over into my work. I will continue to be honest and transparent for my supporters, co-workers, clients, readers, and fans.

I will continue to filter myself professionally, when to let things go, and when to stand-up for myself.

As in my life, I will remain positive and optimistic most of all when I am feeling down about the direction, I am moving in. Through these things I will always find something humorous to laugh about to brighten my day.

My art matters, to me. I will continue to do it no matter the outcome and take away another may have. Whether my art is created in a written form, digital, or upon a canvas. I vow to always create while I still am to.

I promise myself to improve on my craft at any available moments.

I am unsure if I am inspiring others, but I will continue moving forward hoping that someone somewhere is aware they’re not alone. I will continue to be open as possible about my life knowing that my soul will connect to another’s in my sharing. Even if for a moment another doesn’t feel alone.

I will continue to be charitable, not for recognition, but because I know it’s the right thing for me to do.

I will continue to live by my life motto, life as you climb. If for no other reason than to be there when someone may need it. I know what it’s like to need someone and have no one there.

I promise myself if I come across something, I want to submit to not to hesitate and miss out on an opportunity. I will no longer allow myself to be left behind.

Continuing with this exercise

I followed the ‘Hot to create your manifesto’ only after I had begun writing the above. I wrote down writers that inspire me and why.

I wrote Anne Rice. I chose Mrs. Rice because of her class. She has a way about how she carries herself in interviews and with the videos she’s made for her fans that have really stood out to me, inspiring me to be a better version of myself. She embraces who she is unapologetically. This is something I struggle with often, accepting myself for who I am and what I’ve become at the age that I currently am. She is an inspiration and has been one to me since I was much younger.

I also wrote down Stephen King. I mentioned some years back how I’d not read his work but had seen movies based on it. I wrote this author down because of his attitude and abilities. He has an ability to find inspiration in ways that are amazing to me. I admire that. I enjoy the sense of humor I’ve witnessed in interviews.

My manifesto was dated April, 8th, 2019, but as I’m not sharing it on here it will be dated to the current date.

Think you’ll do a manifesto? Has this helped you in any way? Let me know! Let’s start a discussion.

Some of my favorite modern artists (dark, whimsy, and surreal)

I’m constantly on my Instagram. It wasn’t always like this, but with a beautiful gift of a phone upgrade I have been able to discover a whole new world I never knew about that introduced me to so many wonderful artists! Now, these artists’ styles may not suit you, but I absolutely love them. I have been able to follow all of these artists better with Instagram, but a few were not discovered there.

I, sadly, will not be sharing their art here for copyright reasons, but definitely check them out. I did do my best to describe their style though.

Mary Doodles

This artist was one of the ones I did discover first on Youtube, but after joining Instagram I was able to see her work more often. Check out her website. She has a dark whimsy that I love. I have attempted many of her tutorials on her Youtube channel. This artist has inspired me so much in the art-creating realm. She was there, though she doesn’t know it, when I needed to try something new. Check out her Instagram account. It’s hard to narrow down which of their work is my favorite. I do love what she has done featuring Stranger Things.

Brian Serway

I can’t remember the day/night, but I came across a beautiful artwork of a celestial image of an animal. I didn’t know the artist and still haven’t found them, but while flipping through Instagram I discovered Brian Serway. He does some of the most beautiful dark/night celestial animals and scenes. Check out his website or his Instagram account.

Felix Dolah

This artist’s style is hard to describe. There’s something about the long-legged people they create that has me super interested in their work. It’s not often that I can’t figure out why I like someone beyond them being eye-catching and beautiful creators. This person is a mystery to me. I have noticed their art has become popular tattoos. Maybe I’ll find one to get for myself. I found them originally on Instagram, you can find them at their Instagram account and find some of their work at Nadia Arnold, an online gallery. There you can see some of my favorite works called ‘flies in a head‘, ‘Fighting moods‘, and ‘Reigny day‘. I also love their work featuring plague doctors. I have a soft spot for those.

Daniele Serra

Some of the things, as a graphic artist, I end up being apart of on Facebook is groups. People sharing their favorite artists, recommending, and people trying to get some work for themselves. At one point, Clive Barker, put out a contest looking for an artist for the cover of a book and it popped up in one of the groups I’m in. I’m a fan of Barker’s work and kept up with this eventually the winner was announced and that is when I was introduced to this artist. I eventually found them on Instagram and their website. Their work has a dark style to it, but it’s just so beautiful. I eventually learned he had done work for Stephen King. I eventually found videos of him working and even a small interview. I highly recommend checking them out, all their work.


Like Brian Serway, this art has done some celestial animal images, but though their celestial animals are beautiful, my favorite images that they have created aren’t those, but their detailed monsters. Some of their work has even been featured on Anchorage Brewing Company ‘s products. I found them on Instagram so check them out, then discovered their website, and found them on Facebook. I recommend giving them a gander.

What is WIHM?

The Official description is: Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre. (This is taken from the official website.)

My understanding of it is:  Women in Horror Month is a month-long celebration that occurs every February. It celebrates women in all areas of horror. Why? Well, many have different thoughts but from my understanding, from the writer’s aspect of it, it’s to celebrate women that love horror and create it. Many believe that again from my understanding, that women ‘just can’t write horror very well’, but I believe that to be such an outdated and misogynist outlook on writing and other creative avenues in this day and age.
There are many that love horror and want to celebrate. Whether talking about their loves of the genre or sharing someone they love that creates in it whether officially jumping on the bandwagon or unofficially. Official? Unofficial? What does that mean? Well, there is an actual website that talks way more about all of this, more than I could post here.

A bit more personal: I personally have grown to love this genre. I began my writing career not realizing I was writing horror. My mindset was, it wasn’t scaring me so this isn’t horror but turns out through talking with other authors/writers, it was horror/thriller in many ways. Now, I don’t just write horror, but I’ve come to accept that my art and my writing can fall into this area more often times than not.
My mindset was, it wasn’t scaring me so this isn’t horror, but turns out through talking with other authors/writers, it was horror/thriller in many ways. Now, I don’t just write horror, but I’ve come to accept that my art and my writing can fall into this area more often times than not.

The Women in Horror Month Website

It is great. It even links to events, meetups, and all the ways to find a horror creator that is a woman or men celebrating the women! Ain’t that great? I was invited many years ago to take part in this and in some shape or form, I have done just that.
This year marks the tenth year of celebrating! Go to the link above and find out how much is going on and perhaps find something to get involved in…I highly recommend it.

The Dreary Darlings

“From the darkness, the light shall shine” – This is something that I’ve come to believe as a great fuel for my creativity. Many characters in my stories came from something I was working out and I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to find an avenue that was creative to express these emotions. I’ve spoken about publically how I began writing as a child to create something I could control since my childhood was filled with things I couldn’t control. I’ve also publically spoken about having a ‘rough childhood’, but the depths of this has never been shared in the public eye. My childhood as led me dealing with many anxiety issues that I luckily have control of now amongst other health-related issues.

I’m not blogging this to speak about my childhood traumas, but to speak about the other side of the darkness, that creative side I firmly believe saved me from a worse mental fate. Dreary Darlings are a recent creation of a more recent depressive state I went through. I began doodling in my silence not sure of what would really come of it other than idle entertainment and to shoo away those saddened thoughts and doubts. One by one I saw characters coming out in my drawings, my sketches began to show a pattern. First Peter Plague Doctor came out, then his cloaked bloated little body began to appear again and again. Eugenia, Nan, and others came out. It wasn’t until I looked back over my sketches that I realized I had filled page after page with these eyeless little alien-like creatures.

It’s hard for an artist to find their ‘style’. Through this came to life a style I’d not done before. I had done quick sketches in the past, shared with friends and others, rough sketches and polling for opinions, and these ‘darlings’ have that feel. I don’t know if this style of work is going to continue or just a stepping stone along the way, but it’s a very comfortable style for me. I think fast and it’s obvious in my work with the multiple lines and the rough curves.

I hope you all can see something in them the way I did after they appeared and spoke to me.