Presenting Pindas!

As promised in my previous preview post, I am pleased to present Pandagram Pindas! Even more petite than the original card set, these are pin-back buttons featuring all 11 of the current Pandagram antics. (7 are pictured here.)

They are simple pin-back buttons, like any old “I Voted” or “Save the Whales” buttons. Pindas are 1.75″ in diameter. That’s the size kit I bought from American Button Machines; they have other sizes, but I thought 1.75″ was best for these. Any smaller would be too close to the sticker size, and too much bigger would get them close to the card size.

From the time I participated my first anime artist’s alley (back at Kawa Kon 2015), I noticed that many artists and vendors sold pins. At the time, I was not particularly interested in pin-making, but I did take note that more people were more apt to purchase small items than a big poster or art print, and buttons were a hot item in that category. (The next time around, I made sure to have a small item: Pandagram stickers in 2 designs.)

Then, a year ago November, I attended Anime Iwai in Florida and met a gal who happened to have a pin-making machine right at her booth! I asked her about it, and she showed me how to make a button. It’s quite simple once you have the right equipment. Perhaps next time I’ll post a tutorial on how to make buttons.

Preview of Upcoming Posts

My internet connection has been running a little slowly, so instead of a full-out technicolor artistic update, I’m giving you a preview of some upcoming post topics once things are literally more up to speed.

  1. The newest iteration of Pandagrams — Pindas! (Panda pinback buttons)
  2. Painting cabinets. (This is not what you think & is more exciting than it sounds.) A friend and I are decoratively painting cabinets in an important location at the foundation where we work. This will comprise multiple posts.

In addition to these projects, I continue to work on artwork for two games and have also started a sizeable art/graphic design project for a local church.

Hope you’re enjoying the Olympics!

Pet Portrait Trio

Happy New Year! I’m going to hark back to Christmas for this post.

Three years ago, I gave my mom a drawing of our dog for Christmas and put it in a frame that had not one, but three photo slots, with the promise that I would give her a drawing of him each year until the frame was filled. Each drawing depicts him at a different age (youngest on the left, oldest on the right). This past Christmas marks the third and final doggy drawing of the set! (Click to enlarge.)

Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas & happy new year!

Wanted to do a quick post before the year is out–this time, it’s not so much about fine art, but fun art for the holidays. (This is not to say that fine aren’t can’t be fun.) đŸ˜‰ Instead of a gingerbread house, it’s a chocolate house! (The bag the house is in makes it a little hard to see–I should have taken photos of it outside the bag first. Can’t do a whole lot now since it’s in another state.)

See whether you can find icicles, storm doors, a walkway, and 2 snowmen. (One is yellow; one is white with a blue gummy for a head and toothpicks for arms.) Click to enlarge.


You might be able to find chocolate house molds at a crafts store such as Michaels. Make sure to use chocolate melts, not chocolate chips or morsels. Although both kinds of chocolate will liquefy, the chocolate melts will re-solidify and hold their molded shape, but the chips and morsels won’t harden enough to stay standing. They will collapse into a pile of soft chocolate shambles.

See you in 2018!

Convention Reflections: Nov. 2017

Here’s a detailed update of the 3-day anime convention (Derpycon) I attended a week and a half ago. As said last time, business-wise, the convention went astoundingly well, better than I had imagined. Even though there were slow times, I sold enough on the first night to pay off the table! This was the first time I “made table” on the first day. Pleasantly surprised & very grateful. Also, the convention staff I interacted with was very helpful; they interacted with the artists more than the other 2 cons I’ve done.

At some anime conventions, the artist alley (for independent artists & crafters) and the vendor/dealers room (for licensed merchandise, eg. official Pikachu stuffed animals, anime soundtracks) are located in the same room; at other conventions, the artists & dealers are separate. Dealers & artists were separate at Derpycon, and artists were further separated into room space & hall space. The waitlisted space I filled was a hall space–the last table at the far end. Three tables between the rest of the artist mall and my table were empty (no-shows), so that evening, members of the con staff invited me to move closer to everyone else Saturday. Several people (con staff, other artists, & con-goers alike) came over and commented about my solitude, whether it would affect sales, etc. I don’t think it made a difference since, as said, I made table first night; as for all the people who came over to ask “Is it lonely over here?” — no, it wasn’t since they came over! It was also a good opportunity to make Hobbit references (mainly the Lonely Mountain).

Here is the Lonely Mountain, a.k.a. my booth.

Saturday morning, just as I was beginning to set up, the head of artist alley asked whether I would like to move into the artist alley proper (from the mall to the room). Free upgrade! There were some no-shows in the room, so 2 other booths and I moved in. From the ends of the earth to prime real estate–not bad! The main benefit is that the room, unlike the hall, is locked at night, so people can leave their booths set up overnight; they don’t have to take down & set up every day.

I adjusted commission prices (for drawings done for people at the convention) for Derpycon to see whether lower prices would increase the number of commissions requested, and wow! They did, by a lot, but I think the prices were too low. Next time I’ll try a happy medium.

Here are some character drawings I did during the event.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of hosting a booth at anime conventions (along with seeing the creative cosplay/costumes) is interacting with the people who connect with the art I have to share. In particular, there was a dad with three girls (and a son who wasn’t able to attend, but they purchased art for him); the dad didn’t know much about anime, but he was very supportive of the girls’ interests. He even dressed up! He works in a hotel kitchen, so he wore his cook clothes and said he was from Food Wars!, a fairly recent, popular show about (you guessed it) cooking. The family came by several times and were good patrons. There was another father with his daughter and her friend; the girls each commissioned a drawing and were incredibly excited to receive them! The dad then took a photo of me and the girls holding their drawings. There was also a young guy (probably in high school or college) who had come to buy something special to hang in his room, probably a big poster. Out of curiosity, he perused some of my art, turned to the last painting, and then he was totally engrossed! For several minutes, he just looked and kept looking at the painting. And that was it! Sold! He told me he wasn’t really into “art” art (which I take to mean anything resembling traditional art), but this was the first time he had ever looked at a painting for four minutes straight. (It was a painting I had painted for an English project in high school & hadn’t previously brought to any conventions–only decided to bring it Thursday night before the con.) He really loved it. It was very special to see someone connect so strongly and quickly with art.

Needless to say, it was a good experience. I’m glad I had the opportunity. Since my posts aren’t usually this long, I’ll also say “thank you” for reading!