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Friday, October 1, 2021

Inktober 2021!

 Inktober 2021 has kicked off, and I'll be updating this post with each piece! But Patreon is where it's really at for Inktober each year - patrons get to see all pieces a day early AND this year there is a daily patron-only auction where the originals are offered at rock bottom prices - do not miss out on the best Patreon event all year! www.patreon.com/tortoiseharecreations (**Special Thanks to Riley Black ( www.twitter.com/rileycantwrite ) for all of the italicized descriptive text this Inktober!!**)

Day 1 - Crystal

Most would call wizards who achieve immortality by infusing themselves with undeath a "lich". Erdmon calls them "unimaginative". Why spend eternity as exactly the thing you spent so much effort to avoid becoming? Iron and stone, diamond and clay - these are what a wizard of true vision like Erdmon would choose to house their soul. For what on earth could be more enduring than the earth itself?

Day 2 - Suit

Crispus the Tailor does not care for the scruffy "heroes" who lumber into his shop, begging to be made presentable. What he does with the exorbitant sums of gold he charges them is unclear, because he certainly doesn't spend it on more comfortable quarters than the simple bunk tucked away in his office. His customers get the feeling he sees them as mere canvas for a painting he can't quite get right.

Day 3 - Vessel

"Roleah should have known better than to trick a trickster god, but such is the hubris of mortals. She gained the immortality she sought through her deceit, but must now spend it pouring all the world's rivers from an endless procession of pots flown to her by the aggrieved god's crows. He has long since forgotten the slight, but will never forgive it."

Day 4 - Knot

"When warlocks speak of "binding" demons, it is not usually in so literal a sense as is the case with Aztriz. A sanctified rope, delicately woven from the hair of angels, restrains her both physically and astrally. Whoever holds the other end may command her, but Aztriz is patient, and knows that a rope may be pulled from either end."
Day 5 - Raven

"Life as a street urchin in the slums of Cortis is hard for anyone, but harder still for someone like Norveau. He could never hide in a crowd, so he learned to hide in the shadows, and to take what he needed to survive. But after a robbery gone wrong and a narrow escape, Norveau found that what he enjoyed taking most of all was lives."

Day 6 - Spirit

"Gaddi has a long way to go before she'll be a full-fledged spirit-tender, but she's learning quickly. Getting the little rascals properly cleaned and separated is a taxing job - especially when they get rowdy - but she loves the way they sing to her. She wishes the others could hear them sing, too."

Day 7 - Fan

"The high priest's voice fades to a dull hum in Rosa's mind as she dances. True, the whirling arcs of her fan and body are as much a part of the rites as the words he intones. But she doesn't do it for him, or for their god. The dance is hers, and others can only witness..."

Day 8 - Watch

"When Baron Ivo scalped the War Watch from some junk-merchant for a mere five crowns, he joked that he had practically stolen it. Seconds after activating it, as his body was aging into dust, he would realize the watch agreed."

Day 9 - Pressure

"Breaking rocks was supposed to be Cristo's sentence, but he found it was the only thing that made sense to him. When his time was up and the gaolers unlocked his irons, he gave them only a glance before going back to work." 

Day 10 - Pick

"A desire to master the lute just so happened to grip Garrence hours after he heard the women of the Adventurer's Guild love a good bard. A month later, having mysteriously failed to achieve worldwide renown, the impossible instrument would take up permanent residence in Garrence's closet, between the grimoire and the broadsword."

Day 11 - Sour

"Looking back with the benefit of experience, Miss Cordelia knows being expelled from the Academy of Sorcery was the best thing that could have happened to her. Being sent back to the orphanage put her in position to one day become its headmistress, after all. Now Miss Cordelia can keep a watchful eye on the children, and firmly stamp out any notions they develop about pursuing such foolishness. They will surely thank her, in time."

Day 12 - Stuck

"They had to know. Standing was impossible, and his punctured lungs burned like hot coals as he shouted, but they had to hear him and look, had to see him die on the wall. Not in his sleep like a sick animal. Like they thought he would. He gathered his last breath, pushing the pain away, and shouted again. They had to know."

Day 13 - Roof

"The peasants called Nick "The Saint," and the irony was not lost on him. The feasts he would throw for them, the gifts he would have delivered to them by his agents - these cost a good portion of the wealth he robbed from careless merchants and nobles traveling in his territory, but their silence when the Sheriff's men came sniffing around was of far more value. Still, as the years passed Nick found that giving his plundered riches away made him happy. Jolly, even."

Day 14 - Tick

"No vampire needs a blade to draw blood, of course. But the Golden Duchess finds using one's own teeth to be uncivilized, like a child shoveling soup with its grubby little hands. She will not stand for that sort of thing at her dinner parties. You will use your utensils, or you will sleep in the sunroom until you learn some manners."

Day 15 - Helmet

"The Luminous Nibbler may be the most curious little creature in the depths of the Ebonsea. It has no defense mechanisms, no ability to hide from or fight off predators, no means of taking down prey. What it does have...is a friend."

Day 16 - Compass

"They called him Walking Ben, because he always was. Rain or shine, day or night. He never hurried, but also never stopped, never spoke, and never stopped smiling. He hasn't been seen in over a hundred years, but his body was never found. Maybe Death couldn't keep up with him."

Day 17 - Collide

"This was not how Khanli had planned to reveal her identity to the crowd. She'd pictured herself dramatically ripping her helmet off from atop the Champion's Dais, taking in the crowd's shocked gasps as her hair spilled out over her armored shoulders. But she had to admit - losing it in the second round got the same reaction, and hearing those gasps slowly turn into chants of her name as the tournament wore on made her heart soar."

Day 18 - Moon

"Brandolyn knows the magehounds will soon catch her and bring her back to the Thaumaturgium, like always. But maybe this time she'll beat her three-hour record, if her new scent-mask cantrip works like it did in her room. Not bad for a girl who's not even allowed in the libraries!"

Day 19 - Loop

"Jin closed his eyes and took slow, deep breaths. Maintaining focus was difficult, but the energies began to gather around him. Slowly, carefully, he coaxed them into the necessary pattern. Occasionally, for one perfect moment, the flows would align and stay balanced against each other. Jin threw himself into this moment whenever it came, because it was the only time he could forget. The only time the flames died out and the screams went silent."

Day 20 - Sprout

"The Cortisian necromancers could coax dead things into moving around, and the golemlords of Kel-Salazar could do the same for rocks piled in the shape of men. But Jonah was not impressed with such counterfeits. He could create life far more authentic; all he needed was sun, soil, and seed."

Day 21 - Fuzzy

"Brand scratched at his uncomfortable fur. A month's salary for one night standing guard at a wizard's costume party - even with the stipulation that he, too, would have to be in "costume" - seemed too good to be true. Had Brand noticed that the job contract didn't include his return to human form, he would have realized that it was." 

Day 22 - Open

"When taunting a vampire, one should choose their words carefully. For example, "I'd like to see you try" can be an invitation."

Day 23 - Leak

"Any competent ranger can identify which mushrooms are poisonous if not properly prepared. But actually preparing them is quite a different skill, as Kagnass would learn over the course of thirty screaming hours."

Day 24 - Extinct

"In the morning, Zina declared that she wanted to be a dinosaur when she grew up. By noon, she changed her mind and preferred to be a princess instead. That evening, when a djinn sprang from the ring she'd found and offered her a wish, she realized she didn't have to choose."

Day 25 - Splat

"Grinky never see such slow, fat bird! Grinky kill, never be hungry again! Grinky dive fast, fast, fast! Hit fat bird right in eye, easy kill! Stupid fat bird never know what hi-"

Day 26 - Connect

"Casey jacked in as the Tek-Noman-C exec listened to his demo. Binding a Time Elemental to a neurolink session, he explained, would let him operate at speeds to make an AI jealous. Think of the applications! ...In the nine days it took his body to die of dehydration, his mind spent fifteen years as the spirit's plaything."

Day 27 - Spark

"Lucille Knight-of-Storms hates that nickname. She'd rather be known for her expertise as the barony's financier, or for her exquisite pottery. She isn't even really a knight! But you incinerate one warlord..."
Day 28 - Crispy

"Many a would-be pyromancer gives up the first time a spell goes wrong. Not Jayce - he knows that every scar is proof that the flame returns his love. You wouldn't abandon a dog just because it jumped up and licked your face, would you?"

Day 29 - Patch

"When Serkhen destroyed the malfunctioning golem that took her eye, the clan-council sympathized. When she killed the artisan who created it, they forgave. When she began hunting down anyone who knew any part of the process of making them, they began to think there was a problem."

Day 30 - Slither

"Sssssss sssss Ss'ss-sssss's sss... Ss sssss ssss sss.  Ssss, sss ssssss's ssss sss Sssssss'S'sss Sssss. Sssssss."

Day 31 - Risk

"Months of negotiations with demonic agents. Endless nights spent with barrister-arcanists examining clauses in minute detail. Fortunes paid to diviners mapping out every possible outcome. All leading the king to this moment, this one signature. His peoples' safety and prosperity guaranteed for all time, and not one soul for Hell in exchange - just a few earthly concessions. No tricks. No loopholes. No unforseeable consequences. It would be unconscionable for him NOT to agree, and he knows it. So...why does he hesitate now? Why does he want to drop the pen and run? And why is the demon still smiling?"

Monday, March 16, 2020

Life in the time of Corona

In this sort of uncertain time, one of the worst things is dealing with the sense of pervasive helplessness - I can't really *do* anything to help, and that suuuucks. But then, while I can't financially or directly assist people, I thought maybe I can help lift the burden of boredom if it becomes oppressive! It's not much, but it's *something*!  Here then is a list of things on offer from Tortoise & Hare Creations to hopefully provide you a moment or two of serenity. :)

First up! I've uploaded ALL of my coloring pages (both published books as a PDF download in full or by page piecemeal) to a new page today, which can be found HERE! https://tortoiseharecreations.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html  (Or just click "Coloring Pages" at the top bar of this website). 
Cover wrap for Dragons & Dragonkin - the Coloring Book - available for free download now 
Second! I've got a few hours of timelapse videos, most a bit older but with a recent parts upgrade on my system, I've started doing these again and am prioritizing them to provide a little more content for everyone stuck at home! Find those videos HERE!  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVIlag32xT3mHLogJVYqu9wkuzhmcwKUy  Channel is not monetized, so just the normal sort of YT ads I can't control, none of that mid-video business. 

I52 - Hammer: Latest piece up on the YouTube channel! 

3. GINA HARWOOD NOVELS (Free for Kindle Library Users)
A lot of people aren't aware of this, but if you have Amazon Prime, you have access to the Kindle Lending Library which is MAAAASSSIIIIVVVE!! There are *so* many free books available to read, if you have a Kindle or - I believe, don't quote me - one of the Kindle reader apps for your phone or tablet. I'm an analog reader myself, but I've heard this comes in really handy! Just select "Kindle" and "Library" from the options on any of my novels HERE: https://www.amazon.com/Indi-Martin/e/B00D6O29QA%3F   The Gina Harwood series is a cosmic horror/urban fantasy series in the vein of X-Files or Supernatural, and I hope you have as much fun reading them as I did writing them. Behind the Veil is the first, followed by Descending, and then Into Dreams wraps the first trilogy. 

Okay, this last one's not exactly free, but it's close - for $1 a month, you can both help support the creation of all of this art and gain access to THOUSANDS!!! of posts to peruse! Behind the scenes stuff, timelapse vids and gifs, process wrietups, sneak peeks of future projects, all kinds of things. Check it out and please consider throwing a buck my way if you find any of this useful and you can! If you can't, I totally understand and please feel free to utilize ANY of these resources without guilt, but do spread the wealth and share the page with other people so they can use them too! <3 Stay safe, friends. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

So much News!

Ooowee it's been a while! Do I have a lot to share with you today!

1. FOIL PRINTS! The Etsy Store is *finally* open again - now, much of what was previously available is available no longer, as I've decided to retire pretty much everything pre-2019 with the exception of my coloring books in my shopfront. But, there is an entirely new segment that didn't exist before - I am very excited to introduce a limited (run of 50 in each design) foil print in six design combinations: Examples below! Or check out the full offerings here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TortoiseHareCreate

2. STICKERS! These exclusive foil prints aren't the only new item kicking off this season's relaunch, I also present to you my first ever sticker set - a set of 5 vinyl die-cut 3" stickers! These too are limited, so get them while you can! That link again: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TortoiseHareCreate

3. EVERYTHING ELSE YOU COULD EVER WANT! In addition to relaunching my long-dormant Etsy store, I'm finally doing something about the dearth of t-shirt offerings, and thanks to TeePublic that extends to hoodies, different cuts of shirts, coasters, shower curtains, leggings, tote bags, journals, clocks, and phone cases - among other things, that's not even comprehensive! :o I personally placed the image on each item, some are patterned and some just feature the design center-stage, some have backgrounds, some don't. TeePublic allows you to select the background color on all your clothing - Please, check it out! I'm very excited to finally be getting this off the ground!! LINK! http://tee.pub/lic/-b7Q9rLqGPM 

4. AND FINALLY! If you want to know about new things added to either shop, and score discount codes and heads-up on special sales, join my Launch List! https://mailchi.mp/72c292965340/thcsubscribe

See you in a month for the Year End By the Numbers post! :o Can you believe it's already been a year?! It's going to be 2020, guys. I was promised flying cars, what gives? Happy December!

Friday, December 21, 2018

2018 - By The Numbers

It’s December and we’re fast coming up on another click of Earth’s odometer, so it’s time for the annual By The Numbers retrospective for 2018, wherein I throw out a lot of big and not-so-big numbers to try to quantify the year. :)

Client Work & Personal Pieces 

101: Client Work/Commissions: 101 total (2017: 113; 2016: 108; 2015: 74). This year struck a slightly better balance and let me pursue some personal projects, as well as pick up a new medium - Acrylics! - though tbf, I initially picked up acrylics due to an acrylic client project. :)

Collage of some of my favorite commissioned digital pieces of 2018

10: Commissioned Color Works:  Something I haven’t had the chance to do in past years is colorist/painter work for others’ pieces, and it is a blast.

67: Traditional pieces complete: The overwhelming majority of these pieces were personal pieces in 2018, either pieces designed to help me learn a medium, Inktober pieces, or inks intended to end up as coloring book pages for the upcoming Dragons & Dragonkin coloring book (11 acrylics on canvas, 2 acrylics on large wooden shields, 12 watercolors, 42 inks on bristol) (up from 23 pieces last year). This is a huge jump in traditional pieces for me, which is a trend I’d like to continue!

Collage of some of my favorite traditional pieces of 2018

Patreon - www.patreon.com/tortoiseharecreations

2018's THC banner

211: Number of posts made to Patreon in 2018, the overwhelming majority of which are private to my Patrons. Patreon continued to be a huge deal for me in 2018, and I am immensely grateful for every single one of my Patrons! Another number in this category: 1,063 - Number of total posts made to Patreon since launch in late 2014. Holy crow! Surpassed the 1k mark this year! (This is slightly down from 276 in 2017, as I’m trying to post bulkier posts a little less often now that I’ve figured out how to include wips in the actual posts instead of having everything be its own post!)

53: The number of amazing, beautiful, glowing human beings who support my Patreon. 2016 ended at 30, 2017 at 42, trend is looking pretty good - thank you! <3

15: Number of new stock art pieces released to my Patrons in 2018, bringing the total number of stock art pieces available for Stock Art Patrons and higher to download to 46! The $3 stock art tier was introduced mid-2017, and allows anyone at that tier or higher access to all pieces, with at least one being added per month!

Miscellaneous Numbers

15: Number of conventions attended this year (compare to: 38 in 2014, 17 in 2015, 24 in 2016, and 19 in 2017). That trend line is going down as conventions become more saturated in this area and attendance has dropped; I’ve chosen my favorite/best-performing conventions from previous years to attend this year, and had to nix a few larger ones that were just too expensive up front. It has opened up more of my weekends for work, though, which let me finish a lot more pieces in total this year than in years past!

9: Number of time-lapse paintings I’ve recorded and published to THC’s YouTube channel (subscribe!), including a Portalarium team member portrait, “Mermaid,” “War,” and “Alien Landscape.” Three of the videos are only available to Patrons, as they are of a piece still in progress. BAD NEWS: Since the forced upgrade to Mojave in early November, I’m now unable to run my Wacom tablet, Photoshop, and QuickTime’s screen recording simultaneously without quite a delay in brushstrokes, rendering me currently incapable of more time lapses. I’m hoping to find a remedy for that in the next few months, but I may have to break down and upgrade my system. ><

1: Editing hire in 2018. Yes, I still need to update my rates page to include that service, something that has been pushed back on my to-do list for months now. Grr.

60: Number of comic pages completed this year - Shroud of the Avatar: New Beginnings #2 is COMPLETE and off for final review, and is a much, much, MUCH larger book than previous issues! (This number was 42 last year, with both SotA: NB#1 and a commissioned comic for the Festival of the Silver Serpent, so quite the increase!)

7: Years of Tortoise & Hare Creations. I am unbelievably proud of this number. I thank every client, every company, every Patron, every follower on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for helping me along my career path and improving my skill set - I aim every year to improve as an artist and a writer (though 2018 was not personally a publishable writing year, I penned many a post). Consider joining my Patreon to help make sure THC survives for years to come (and get lots of cool rewards for yourself, too!) - www.patreon.com/tortoiseharecreations

Previous years’ By The Numbers posts:
2017 By The Numbers
2016 By The Numbers
2015 By The Numbers

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Shroud of the Avatar: New Beginnings #2 Kickstarter NOW LIVE!

Final standard cover for SotA:NB#2

The Kickstarter for Shroud of the Avatar: New Beginnings #2 is now live and smashing through stretch goals! We've already unlocked a bunch of stuff, the KS-exclusive alternate cover and oracle commemorative pin (design below), cover prints have been added to all physical rewards tiers, and in only SEVEN backers, all those tiers ALSO receive a free enamel pin ($12 value) - there are some crazy value adds coming up, help us get there and grab your pre-ordered copy with exclusive Kickstarter swag (and grab your only chance to create content for this issue in the community content tiers!) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/relicsbyrild/sota-new-beginnings-no-2-fantasy-rpg-comic

ONLY 15 DAYS TO GO! Don't miss this! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/relicsbyrild/sota-new-beginnings-no-2-fantasy-rpg-comic

Oracle enamel pin design!

Also - INKTOBER IS COMING! Patrons will get first view and first chance to snag originals and way lower prices than they will be offered if they reach public sale - www.patreon.com/tortoiseharecreations 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Online Original Art Auction - This Weekend!

Watcher in the Crystal Caves - 11x14, acrylic on canvas
Join me this weekend, Aug 30 - Sep 2, for an online original art auction here https://www.facebook.com/events/1022320857929454/

Around a dozen originals will go on sale at 3pm this Thursday (Aug 30) and remain open for bids until Sunday, Sep 2 at 10pm. Check out the event for more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1022320857929454/

Monday, June 25, 2018

Quarterly Patreon Giveaway Announcment - Join by June 30 to enter to win Hatchday!

Join me on www.patreon.com/tortoiseharecreations by June 30 to be entered into the quarterly original art giveaway! This quarter, I'm offering my 11x14, acrylic on canvas piece, "Hatchday" (which was also released to patrons as Stock Art this quarter - join at $3/month or higher to gain immediate access to 40 pieces of downloadable stock art with license, plus new stock every month!).

"Hatchday" - Indi Martin, 11x14, acrylic on canvas

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Bunnies! The Coloring Book coming soon!

 Coming soon!!! New coloring book - clock here to be notified on launch! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/indimartin/bunnies-the-colorin...