hello friends! good things have been happening lately, getting a lot of new work done, and production seems to be on the up & up here at Kreaturekastle. As such, there has been a recent pile-up of unanswered questions and comments sitting in my inbox. To help rectify this I decided to hire on a news correspondent to help keep all questions answered in a [somewhat] orderly fashion, as well as to help provide updates to keep followers abreast on further Kreaturekastle happenings.
without further ado…
Yes folks that’s right, I’m finally working on a small series of t-shirts! I have been getting more and more requests lately so keep an eye out for further updates and progress photos. Right now I am planning on selling through Society6 and/or Teepublic. If there are any artists out there reading this who have any pointers or suggestions on ways to save money on printing i would be more than happy to hear any advice!
Materials & Tutorial
I use a cheap mechanical pencil with blue lead for most of the early drawing. Then i ink over the blue pencil “under-drawing” using Rapidograph Koh-I-Noor Technical Pens. And yes, they do require regular maintenance; which I know annoys some people. The way I see it though, these pens are geared toward people who will be doing A LOT of line drawing, and like any tool, they require a little attention to stay in good condition. If you take good care of them, they should last for years.
If you are “heavy-handed” or only draw occasionally, or are just staring out, I would not recommend these pens. try and find something cheap that you can mess up and learn how to use before investing in the more expensive stuff. Before i bought my set, i bought an individual Rapidograph first just to see if they were worth it; i ended up breaking it but i liked the pen so i got the set now that i understand how to take care of them. Microns are a great place to start if you are just getting started on using technical pens.
In terms of software/hardware, I use a Bamboo Tablet, MacBook Pro, and Photoshop CS5.
I still have plans to make a tutorial, although it may be a couple months before I can get to it. Thank you for all the patience. Ideally I would like to make a tutorial for all the traditional steps and one for my digital coloring process.
Out of everything I’m working on right now this is what I’m most excited about. I am currently in the process of writing and illustrating a GIGANTIC bestiary to house all the creatures, critters, gods and other magic things I have been making over the years. As of right now I have plans to include over 200+ original characters! Plus an appendices section with maps and other info. It’s gonna be a huge, heavy book. Many of the creatures you have already seen will be redrawn and included in the book as well. My goal this year is to get this thing published and printed and into your hands as soon as i can. So spread the word, keep your eyes peeled for progress photos, and start saving monies!
This brings me to the next topic: Kickstarter! Since I am pushing hard to get this book underway I thought now would be a good time to mention that I will be choosing to self-publish and fund the book using a Kickstarter campaign.
Now, I have never published a book or launched a Kickstarter before so I am VERY open to hearing any advice in terms of how to get it off the ground, the do’s and donts of publishing in this way, etc. Even if you have horror stories of a failed Kickstarter please feel free to drop a line and share with me; any knowledge outside my own personal research would be super helpful!
I have not determined a launch date yet; but I wanted to keep everyone informed regardless.
Quest of Death
This is an experiment that I have been developing the past couple months, not sure if it will work, but I thought it could be fun if it does. Did you ever read those ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ books as a kid? Well, Quest of Death is going to be a lot like that, but exclusively on Instagram and mixed up with some RPG video game elements.
At the beginning of the story, followers of the @questofdeath account (found on Instagram) will be prompted to vote on a single hero out of a selection; one they would like to play through the story.
Based on what followers vote on, i will then illustrate that character and begin making a story out of it, it’s all up to you, im just going to draw it all and provide possibilities for the hero! Ideally, i would like to have followers vote at pivotal and/or climactic moments in the quest; to place the fate of the hero in the hands of the followers. For major-event votes like these, i will notify everyone in advance to insure each follower has a chance to vote.
On the other hand, i want to incorporate quick-votes into the journey as well. These will be quick little side-quests or decisions the hero has to make on the fly just to embellish the story further. For these votes, i will not notify followers in advance, i will leave the voting open for a small window of time and anyone who happens to be on Instagram at that specific time will get to take part in the vote.
Our hero is walking down a path when she encounters a large glowing ominous rock in the middle of the trail. Should the hero:
A) examine the rock, but no touchies, and then continue on your journey.
B) poke and prod at the rock, maybe sit on it for awhile and eat a sandwich.
C) ignore that rock, it’s probably cursed, keep walking and double check the map.
Let’s say followers collectively vote on option ‘B’. And because our hero took a break on the rock and ate her sandwich, the rock turned out to be not so ominous after all and magically granted our hero a second sandwich. the hero was pleased with this, and continued on her journey. it was only later that night when she realized the stupid rock put mayo on her sandwich, and she just hated that.
I have a lot of kinks to iron out like a map, battle system, stats, and other mechanics, because yes the hero can still die, like in a video game, so it could also be challenging as well. At all times, throughout the quest i want to display the character’s current appearance, like on an inventory screen in a video game like Skyrim or something. Over time followers can scroll down and check the evolution of the hero’s appearance and overall progress in the game.
So yeah, that’s all i have at the moment for QOD. I would like make the whole experience fun to engage in and easy to be a part of. Hopefully, the more followers the account gains the more exciting the story will become so let people know about it! Who knows, if it goes anywhere i just might turn the quest into a comic or something.
The quest begins in July!! go follow @questofdeath on Instagram, and keep an eye out for more deets and info. Im thinking about making a little trailer too.
Cinco De Mayo Print Sale
last but not least, i will be reopening my site shop (ashtondame.com) on May 5th with a whole new selection of prints available for purchase. I am working on some secret stuff that i will not be posting online until after the sale, so make sure to save the date and your monies and stop by in May to see them unveiled!