Thoughts & Process: 2021 Into 2022 Blogging

Whelp, somehow I did it, I made it an entire year writing blog posts. I’d like to say the usual “I’ve learned a lot, I’m glad hard work got me to this point” kinda jargon, but let’s be real no one wants to hear that. However, I did see along the way, as life happened and my work patterns changed, that some changes were necessary. After all, I value talking to you all! And I want to provide more quality content with my blog posts instead of becoming a content farm. At the same time, I need to keep making the content that makes this blog, the art. So I’m here today to announce some changes with the blog, SS:Outlook, and my current art work.

First Change: Blog Articles are Going from 2 a Month to 1 a Month

The main reason for this change is due to a couple things: the first being that I felt like when I was making my art tutorials, I had to be careful not to constantly repeat myself and make my posts so same-sy. Granted, there is some familiarity between art pieces, like with any artist, but I felt like I had just about run out of quality information to give to my followers on tips and tricks they can use in their own art. So for the sake of trimming down the fat, I felt this change was necessary. I will still make occasional side notes and tutorials about anything new I learn, but I’ve definitely put the majority out there now for everyone to read.

The second reason is that I thought that writing these articles every other week was just starting to take a little too much time out of my schedule that I could instead dedicate to art. When I began writing these blog posts, I only had a part time job that I had to go to one day a week, so it was very easy for me to catch up on any art and blog posts. However, now that I’m back into a full time schedule with my move to Massachusetts, my time is starting to become a real battle on figuring out what gets done when. With that, on top of me wanting to give out more quality information to my followers, this change to one blog post a month makes sense to me.

From now on, A Mint Word posts will happen every 4th Thursday of the month. Which brings me to the next thing:

Second Change: Blog Posts Will Become “A Mint Word” and be More Editorialized

I’ll keep this one short and sweet: it didn’t escape me that the only time I used “A Mint Word,” my write ups regarding current news, my opinions, and general thoughts only got used once, regarding Instagram’s video favoring changes. Since I don’t want to just make solely tutorials to avoid repeating myself, I believe a good transition would be to have the blog posts broken up into different sections:

  • Any small life updates/current trends that might be influencing what I create
  • Current works-in-progresses and art sneak peaks before they go live on socials, alongside any tips and tricks I’ve learnt
  • Any current events relating to creative fields that I’d like to speak on

With those subjects, I feel they fall outside the usual “Thoughts & Process” genre of mine, so I’ll just be using “A Mint Word” instead. This sadly means that this is the last “T&P” post, but I’d like to consider this an evolutionary move as opposed to abandoning a project.

Third Change: SS:Outlook Will Transition from an Illustrated Book Style Medium into a Web Comic

Yes, this means I have to go back and redraw the previous pages, but this isn’t a complete overhaul. After all, I still have my script, thumbnails, and compositions. But I felt it was getting too difficult to continue making the page illustrations of SS:Outlook with me liking each one less and less, and that not only will I be faster at churning out the work in a web comic style, but that the thumbnails surprisingly translate over the medium pretty easily. This is probably for the best in the long haul, SS:Outlook wasn’t ever going to be print published by itself anyways.

Fourth Change: My Art Style is Going to go Through Some Changes

This is honestly the weirdest one to talk about, because if I’m being honest, I’m generally really happy with the art I put out this year. I even made an art meme I’ll share below where I looked back on all my full color illustrations, and still like them all.

A collection of 8 illustrations in a 3x3 square, to represent art growth through the year
An art meme I made this year of my favorite illustrations

However, something about the coloring style just isn’t working with my actual practice. Maybe it’s because I’m so easily distracted, but I find it take way too long to color some of these illustrations. It hit me when I made the art meme that I had only left out 3 full color illustrations that I had made this year, meaning I only got around 1 done a month. This I’m also attributing to making all those grey Kya illustrations, which I also love very much and is an illustration series I want to finish. Thankfully, I only have 3 left to do: a blue, pink, and white one, so I won’t have that excuse for 2022. But while I believe the quality of the full color illustrations was decently high, for me at least, that they didn’t match the time it takes to finish them. So I’m going to experiment with how I color illustrations, how they look compared to the time it takes, and maybe experiment a bit with the lineart and how my characters are drawn. I won’t lie, I’m not expecting the lineart style to change much through this evolutionary stage, maybe just using a different tool besides the pencil brush, but there’s the warning regardless. I’m also looking to experiment so I can get more concrete designs for Ray and Cloud so I can do more with them… wink…. wink…

A rough sketch of a character wearing an elaborate costume.

As a show of good measure, here is a current WIP of my, most likely, last illustration of the year: Addo in the Ms Cameroon Universe National Costume! This will probably be the last full color illustration I make with this coloring style, so I’m at least hoping it ends up being just as good, or even better than my Ms Bahama’s National Costume illustration.

I believe that wraps everything up for changes to the blog and my projects! I’m not expecting these changes to be received super negatively, but even if so, I’m glad I got my reasoning out there. Thank you all for reading this far, and another thank you for those that stuck with me for this year. I appreciate you all and want to keep putting my best out there, or at least the good stuff! I wish you all the best, until we meet again… next year!

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