Chelsea Kenna Illustration

I will be at Wondercon this weekend (April 18-20th) in Anaheim, CA!

You can find me at booth # SP106 in the Small Press area in Hall C.

I’ll be selling prints (including new 13 x 19 prints!) mini prints, and copies of my new art book (pictured above)! I’ll also be taking a few sketch commissions during the con.

The original framed print from my Meltdown Comics show will also be available for sale.

Hope to see some of you there!

How do you manage to use textures as an overlay while keeping the original colors of your artwork? Is that what a Mask layer does?

Asked by
artsymaria

I usually just desaturate the textures. In PS, with the texture layer selected, go to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate to completely remove the texture’s color, or if you want a little of the color to remain (sometimes this creates a neat effect) go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and play around with the Saturation slider.

Mask basically allows you to control where the texture appears. For example, if you have a character on a background, and only want the texture on the character, not the background, you can select the character and then go to your texture layer and click the layer mask button (or go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection) and that’ll hide any part of the layer that’s outside of your selection.

This is an important read for freelancers. I’ve fallen into this trap a LOT lately and it has affected my health.
I’ve since made it a goal to better balance work with the rest of my life. You can’t be productive unless you take care of yourself first.
cuhelski:

saetje-reference:

juliedillon:

eskiworks:

The Workaholic Pedestal
We freelancers have a tendency to never truly be away from our work, regardless of the time or day of the week.  Especially if like me, your work station is in your home.  We work long hours and dedicate ourselves fully to whatever project we have at hand.  We loose sleep, skip social gatherings, eat whatever is quick and easy so we can get back to work. I have noticed that there is a sense of pride in general among freelancers that we are so in love with our work that we can dedicate ourselves this way.  Passion for your chosen profession is definitely a plus!
However, I have also observed a downside to this part of freelancing.  That dedication can cross the line into an unhealthy workaholic lifestyle, and other freelancers actually encourage it.  There is an underlying unspoken rule in freelancer culture that if you’re not working, you’re slacking.  I’ve seen other freelancers take subtle stabs at their peers for taking time off to see family, to tend to daily life, or to just have a day (or three) to simply BREATHE and do something other than art. Doing things like comparing your work load with others’ work load, making yourself out to be the harder working one.  Referring to things like showering, cooking, and cleaning as “free time” or “vacation”.  It creates or adds to guilt surrounding work, which is really not a nice thing to do to your friends and peers. 
The disclaimer here is that clearly not every freelancer does this, and I think those that do are not being purposefully malicious, so please don’t misread this as an attack.  I’m guilty of playing into this myself, we are just falling into a part of the starving artist stereotype;  The idea that your chosen craft/art must encompass ALL of your being, every day and every moment for you to truly be passionate about it. 
The truth is, there IS life outside of art and work, and it’s not a contest. We are living beings that must eat and sleep, and we are social animals that must have a connection with others.  So not only do we HAVE to do things other than art, but it’s also ok to spend time doing other things that make you happy.  It doesn’t mean you are less passionate about your work, or that other artists who spend more time on theirs love it more.
And yes, there are deadlines we must work under.  But none of us want to be starving artists. None of us enjoy loosing sleep, eating crappy or skipping meals, working our fingers to the bone, letting friendships fall apart…  These are not good things.  You aren’t a cooler or more a passionate artist for making those sacrifices.  So I think instead of putting that lifestyle on a pedestal, we should be encouraging one another to take time to care for ourselves, and to have a life outside of their work. Just like anyone else doing any other kind of work.  =)

YES. Thank you. It makes me really uncomfortable when I hear professionals saying things like “if you are not drawing 24/7 you’ll never make it”, implying that having outside interests or taking care of yourself means you will fail. You undoubtedly need to be dedicated and focused to succeed as a freelancer, but what is the point of having the so-called freedom that freelancing is supposed to provide you if you can’t even leave your desk every once in a while? Exercise, get outside, socialize, have other hobbies. I’ve found I’m more productive and happier and healthier and more passionate about my work and my career when I take time off, every day, to get away from work for a little while. Building a career is important and rewarding, but your life is not comprised solely of the amount of work you are able do. Your life is not defined solely by how many hours you clock at your work desk. 

This mindset is rampant throughout college and even in the professional studio environments too. It’s so sad, I’ve fallen Ill because of it and still have a hard time breaking away. I see many of my peers ruining their bodies and minds too to live up to an ideal of working 24/7.

It feels really relieving to see I’m not alone in this. The guilt of not always feeling inspired. The frenzy of not wanting to let anyone down (especially yourself) can completely break you down. I’ve been beyond fortunate to have some of the most understanding and compassionate bosses ever, so the idea of the letting them is crushing. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned since I started freelancing is to take time for yourself when you need it. Not “when I’m done with this project in 2 months I’ll relax.” Take care of yourselves artist friends. <3

This is an important read for freelancers. I’ve fallen into this trap a LOT lately and it has affected my health.

I’ve since made it a goal to better balance work with the rest of my life. You can’t be productive unless you take care of yourself first.


cuhelski
:

saetje-reference:

juliedillon:

eskiworks:

The Workaholic Pedestal

We freelancers have a tendency to never truly be away from our work, regardless of the time or day of the week.  Especially if like me, your work station is in your home.  We work long hours and dedicate ourselves fully to whatever project we have at hand.  We loose sleep, skip social gatherings, eat whatever is quick and easy so we can get back to work. I have noticed that there is a sense of pride in general among freelancers that we are so in love with our work that we can dedicate ourselves this way.  Passion for your chosen profession is definitely a plus!

However, I have also observed a downside to this part of freelancing.  That dedication can cross the line into an unhealthy workaholic lifestyle, and other freelancers actually encourage it.  There is an underlying unspoken rule in freelancer culture that if you’re not working, you’re slacking.  I’ve seen other freelancers take subtle stabs at their peers for taking time off to see family, to tend to daily life, or to just have a day (or three) to simply BREATHE and do something other than art. Doing things like comparing your work load with others’ work load, making yourself out to be the harder working one.  Referring to things like showering, cooking, and cleaning as “free time” or “vacation”.  It creates or adds to guilt surrounding work, which is really not a nice thing to do to your friends and peers. 

The disclaimer here is that clearly not every freelancer does this, and I think those that do are not being purposefully malicious, so please don’t misread this as an attack.  I’m guilty of playing into this myself, we are just falling into a part of the starving artist stereotype;  The idea that your chosen craft/art must encompass ALL of your being, every day and every moment for you to truly be passionate about it. 

The truth is, there IS life outside of art and work, and it’s not a contest. We are living beings that must eat and sleep, and we are social animals that must have a connection with others.  So not only do we HAVE to do things other than art, but it’s also ok to spend time doing other things that make you happy.  It doesn’t mean you are less passionate about your work, or that other artists who spend more time on theirs love it more.

And yes, there are deadlines we must work under.  But none of us want to be starving artists. None of us enjoy loosing sleep, eating crappy or skipping meals, working our fingers to the bone, letting friendships fall apart…  These are not good things.  You aren’t a cooler or more a passionate artist for making those sacrifices.  So I think instead of putting that lifestyle on a pedestal, we should be encouraging one another to take time to care for ourselves, and to have a life outside of their work. Just like anyone else doing any other kind of work.  =)

YES. Thank you. It makes me really uncomfortable when I hear professionals saying things like “if you are not drawing 24/7 you’ll never make it”, implying that having outside interests or taking care of yourself means you will fail. You undoubtedly need to be dedicated and focused to succeed as a freelancer, but what is the point of having the so-called freedom that freelancing is supposed to provide you if you can’t even leave your desk every once in a while? Exercise, get outside, socialize, have other hobbies. I’ve found I’m more productive and happier and healthier and more passionate about my work and my career when I take time off, every day, to get away from work for a little while. Building a career is important and rewarding, but your life is not comprised solely of the amount of work you are able do. Your life is not defined solely by how many hours you clock at your work desk. 

This mindset is rampant throughout college and even in the professional studio environments too. It’s so sad, I’ve fallen Ill because of it and still have a hard time breaking away. I see many of my peers ruining their bodies and minds too to live up to an ideal of working 24/7.

It feels really relieving to see I’m not alone in this. The guilt of not always feeling inspired. The frenzy of not wanting to let anyone down (especially yourself) can completely break you down. I’ve been beyond fortunate to have some of the most understanding and compassionate bosses ever, so the idea of the letting them is crushing. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned since I started freelancing is to take time for yourself when you need it. Not “when I’m done with this project in 2 months I’ll relax.” Take care of yourselves artist friends. <3

Using texture overlays

artsymaria asked:

"How do you do a lot of these overlays? Do you create them or use presets?"

I use paper textures (some scanned myself, some are free texture stock gathered from various stock sites and DA) and color overlays layered on top of my art. I play around with different layer modes (Overlay, Hard Light, Soft Light, etc) and hue/saturation/transparency/etc. until I get it looking the way I want. Sometimes I may use masks as well to add texture to only a certain part of the image (this is what I use for my background-free character commissions which are saved as transparent PNGs).

Hibbary on DA made an excellent tutorial on using texture overlays that covers a lot of the same methods I use. You can check that out here: http://fav.me/d4pyxrv

And here are some of my favorite texture stock resources:

http://zentextures.com/

http://lostandtaken.com/gallery

http://www.tutorial9.net/downloads/99-free-canvas-paper-paint-and-metal-textures/

http://www.freephototextures.com/

And of course you can find a ton on DA: http://www.deviantart.com/resources/textures/

When using textures from the web, always make sure to check the creator’s licensing restrictions. The stock sites I linked above generally offer royalty-free textures, but when using other sites (including DA) they may have specific restrictions on how their textures may be used (ex. personal/non-commercial use only, credit required, etc).

Hope that helps!