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Today I did something stupid that resulted in having a pretty good day. I wanted to go and paint with my friends that I haven't seen in awhile who always paint at one of their houses on Mondays. So I went in to town with David so he could drop me off there. Only no one was home. I should have called first, right? That's what a sensible person would have done. *facepalm*

I couldn't get a ride back home until David left to pick the kids up from school. But I was able to sit in David's office and do some anatomy drawings, which was something I really need to do. So I did accomplish something that I needed to. The really fun part though, was walking around on the campus grounds and taking pictures. The Centenary College campus is covered in the most beautiful gardens and even has a wonderful arboretum featuring so many of the most fascinating native Louisiana trees (even a water locust, which is the freakiest looking tree that has clusters of five inch spikes spiraling up the smooth trunk. It's the most "metal" tree there is!LOL) So during the springtime, those grounds just come to life...And I even got some wonderful up-close pictures of a young mockingbird that I may use as references for a drawing. And on top of all of this, I got me some sushi! :3

So this is a good way to start of the week. Especially since I needed to calm the heck down. It's seems that I know two different modes: lazy as molasses, or so anxious over getting work done that I can't get any work done. Ugh. But I'm feeling like I'm in a balanced enough state right now to actually accomplish things this week. So that's good.
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The other day, David asked me to come up with a sort of business plan and decide what I want to accomplish this year. He's just trying to help me out, and I see where he's coming from on this, of course. He doesn't want me to get lost in my process without a deadline. And, I'm afraid, if he hadn't pushed me on my last book, I would have put off finishing it indefinitely. But the problem is, I'm doing something here that I've never done before, so it's impossible to give myself a timeline on this project. I've illustrated children's books, of course, but I didn't write them. When I have my book written, I can give myself a deadline for the illustrations. But before that, I'm just not sure.

But after talking this over some more, he understands what I'm saying. And I think that I will aim to get my book done in time for Christmas, but if I can't, then I'll just promote the Owl and the Pussycat book that I've already done. That sounds like a good plan.

Right now I'm still gathering ideas and brainstorming. I have a story idea, but I'm working on figuring out how I want to tell that story. I could go at least three different directions with it that I'm seeing right now, and I'm not sure which one would work better. I think I'll just start exploring these different angles, which means, of course, that I'll be doing a lot of writing that I'll end up scrapping. And it's hard to work for hours every day with nothing tangible to show for it. But I just need to be patient with this part of the process.
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There have been a few times over the last couple of months where I have considered quitting all involvement in fandoms. But I think I'm starting to get to a good place in regards to fandom stuff. This may sound unusual, but the Green Lantern fandom is the first fandom that I have ever participated in. I've done fan art before that, but didn't post it online or join discussions or anything. And really, I haven't maintained a presence on the Internet for more than about four years. I was forced to create a webpage and do research on the Internet in college, but avoided it after that. (It caused me too much anxiety. If I seem shy now, that's nothing compared to what I was before. I'm awkward enough IRL, but at least then, I can read body language and facial cues to help me communicate with people. And not being able to communicate as well made me feel paranoid. But I've since developed some coping skills and learned to be less shy since then, thank goodness.)

But I'm starting to finally get to a place where things aren't bugging me so much. Things started out fun enough; I connected with people with similar interests to me, which is hard for me to do where I live, and I felt inspired by what everyone else was creating. But then I started experiencing a lot of crap that for a time made me debate with myself over whether or not I wanted to participate in fandoms at all ever again. And it's all the usual crappy stuff that everyone else is used to and just takes for granted as being part of the territory. But I wasn't used to it at all and really wasn't sure how to handle certain things.

But I have gotten to the place at this point where people are no longer taking me by surprise and I have my own ways of dealing with them. And I've decided that it's worth it for me to overlook all the annoyances because I have made some wonderful friends from different part of the country and around the world that I would never have met otherwise. And I treasure those friendships and look forward to making more friends. And I've discovered that it's much easier to connect with people based on fannish stuff than it is with anything else. I don't know why this is. I've tried connecting with people on social sites based on motherhood, religion, non-fannish art, and other things, but I was never able to actually connect with anyone for some reason. I've tried to analyze this, but I just can't. That's just the way it is for me. *shrugs*

And also, I find myself drawing things that I love I never would have done had it not been for the influence of another creator in the fandom. And it's just the absolute coolest when something I do influences someone else! Ah! I could just about do backflips when that happens. I won't be able to do very many elaborate pictures while I'm working on my other projects, but maybe I can work on certain pictures periodically, whenever I get the time. I do a lot of quick sketches too, and surprisingly I keep getting more followers because of those sloppy sketches. But then I guess it's just about sharing a mutual love for those characters with other fans that is the real draw for people... So, yeah, I think the good for me greatly outweighs the bad in this case. And when I get hurt or PO'd again, I'll just remind myself of this.
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The other day on tumblr, I asked for some constructive criticism on my drawings. And I'm glad I did because I got some really helpful comments. But as much as those comments helped me see some mistakes that I've been repeating, they have made me realize how much I could really be helped by taking some life drawing classes.

There was one mistake that a couple of people talked about that I had absolutely no clue I was making. They mentioned the breasts were too high on the females, but when I really took a look at my figures, I realized that even the pectoral muscles on the males were too short. And this has been throwing off the rest of the torso on most of my figures. And the odd thing is, that now I realize that even when I was drawing from good references, I was still making this mistake. And I was still doing it this morning when I was drawing from an art anatomy book. I had to keep erasing and look at the reference harder. I can see the mistake so clearly now that it's been pointed out to me, but there was no seeing it before.

So now I'm thinking that if I could get even a little bit of instruction, even just enough for an instructor to simply point out to me all the mistakes I'm making that I can't see, that would help me immensely. I just can't correct mistakes that I'm unaware of. I know that there are a couple of places in town that offer life drawing classes during the summer. Of course, that may be problematic for me, but perhaps there are some night classes I can find.

I am glad that I have continued to improve, and I'm glad that I've improved enough that one person commenting even noticed this. And I think even if I do nothing but draw from my books, I'll keep improving. But I know that I would improve a whole lot faster with some instruction.
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Trying to get a handle on how I'm going to prioritize things and organize my time so that I can accomplish all my creative goals. And I think I'm starting to get a better idea of what I need to do.

My weekends are a bit chaotic with my family being with me all day, and I also want to give them my attention when they're with me. So I'll pretty much leave Saturday and Sunday open to do whatever I can manage, even if it's just a 30 minute sketch to keep me in practice. I'll try to do more than that, but if I can't, I won't fret it. And most Wednesdays I'm allowing my self some time out of the house so I don't turn into Gollum. LOL I'll go into town with David during the day and do whatever. And Wednesday night's, I'll continue to go to the prayer group that I've started joining.

So that leaves me four days out of the week to get some serious work done. I figure I'll spend three out of those four days working on my children's books, or any project that I've been hired to do. And I'll leave one day open for any other creative project that I want to work on (My original comic, my oil paintings, whatever). And I also want to spend 30 minutes to an hour every day doing some academic drawing exercises (mostly anatomy, but also perspective).

My fan art will just be the simple sketches that I've been doing in between working on other things. Those serve to loosen me up a bit and keep things fun for me.

I'm curious to see how this summer is going to go for me. It looks like Sean will be starting his new year-round school this summer, so I'll only have Elliot with me seven hours out of the day. The kids are a whole lot easier to manage when dealing with only one of them and it's possible that I could manage my days better during those months enough to continue my work for the most part. I'll try having a couple of structured hours with Elliot practicing writing, identifying letters, and doing art projects and then let him play while I work in the same room. I've now moved my drafting desk, computer, and art supplies into the living room so that I can be with the kids and work at the same time.

I'll have to give more thought to my actual goals. I know I want to focus on children's books, but I have no idea how many I can do in a year. I'm sure that will change as I improve, and maybe I just need to give myself this year to find a work pace that works for me.
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Today has been pretty good so far. I got out just to clear me head a bit. I usually only get out to go to church on Sunday, and all the dull sameness and isolation during the week has made it hard for me to focus.

I normally just have David pick up the comics, but today I hung out at the comic book store and chatted with some folks. Mostly about our favorite sci-fi TV shows. And that was really nice and reminded me how much more fun it is to geek out with people IRL than it is online. No one ignores when I say something (not that I usually have any interesting opinions, but it's nice when people respond anyway). And when I don't know some geeky fact that they do, no one ridicules me for it, but they are happy to tell me all about it. So that was fun. And besides my usual pull list, I made splurge for the month on a beautiful large hardcover "The Art of Steve Ditko" Aww yeah!:)

I also walked around the gorgeous college campus where David works, taking pictures of the beautiful spring flowers. That was a whole lot of fun as well...

And I was able to clear my head a bit. And I realized that I'd forgotten about the sketches that I need to do for my mother-in-law's mural work. Oops. At least she doesn't wanted me to get started right away, but, I know her, and she's super picky and it takes her a long time to make up her mind about things when it comes to decorating especially. So I'd better go ahead and start sketching on ideas, because this could really take awhile.
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I'm getting tired of being so unfocused and unaware of where my time is going. It just dawned on me that today is not Monday but Tuesday. So I pretty much accomplished nothing yesterday, but still felt like I had the time today to do some fan art. Ugh.

This kind of thing wouldn't be a big deal if I didn't have plenty of important stuff that I need to do, but I do. But the hard thing about being alone for several hours a day is that I start to get very detached from everything going on around me. And it takes so much self discipline to get things done when no one is watching you work. I should probably just start writing out a schedule for the week and make checklists and stuff. I've never been a checklist sort of person, but short of hiring someone to be my boss to oversee my work and make me do the stuff I'm supposed to be doing, this is the only solution that I can think of.:/
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I've come to a pause with the major art projects that I've been working on because I'm feeling the need to, yet again, reevaluate which thing needs to take priority.

The thing is, the most successful thing I've done in a very long time has been that children's book. Those are continuing to sell, and I'm starting to wonder if maybe I have more potential of gaining some success as an independent children's book creator than a comic artist. And that is certainly a much bigger market. People are always willing to buy stuff for their kids, even when they're broke. I know I am.

I do enjoy creating comics so much, and I love some of my OCs, but maybe I should just keep that as a side hobby? This is what I'm considering at this point anyway.

And another thing to consider is that I can do exactly the kind of books that I know my kids will enjoy. They really like verse a lot more than prose (they enjoy listening to the rhythms of the words when I read to them), and I know they enjoy my art (maybe because it's familiar to them, IDK, but I know they respond well to it). I've been thinking of doing some Bible story picture books, actually. It would be a bit of a challenge for me to write the stories in verse form, but I think I could pull it off.

I'm not going to do all of the stuff I mentioned the other day, though. David thought that would be way too much for me to take on, and suggested that if we decide to do the crowd funding thing for Elliot, I can offer prints and signed books for most giving levels, and only offer paintings for the higher giving levels. And he thinks we should wait and make sure this school is really all it's reputation suggests. And we won't know that until we see how well Sean does in the program. So I won't concern myself with that for now.
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Today some people from the private school Sean will be attending soon came over for a kind of evaluation. And I'm feeling very good about things, actually. They were surprised that with the low level of functioning they have that they can respond and behave as well as they do. And they made me feel a lot better about what I've been doing with the kids. They said that talking to me and David was "like a breath of fresh air" because we have a detailed understanding of our kids and practical ideas and goals for them. That means a lot because I so often feel like I don't know how the heck to raise these boys. They really throw me a lot of curveballs! But it's great that I will be working with therapists and teachers that value my input.

They really want both boys to go to this school, and, of course I do too. It's not that Elliot's education isn't worth the money, we just don't have the money. David has an idea though. Apparently there is this site called GoFundMe. It's a funding site, as the name implies, and people have used it to fund tuition. He figures that we'll let Elliot go to his current school next year while we raise the funds we need for him to go to the better school.

You're supposed to offer rewards, of course, but then, I can always offer my art. I'm not sure exactly what kind of art to do for this kind of thing though. I was thinking that at the lower giving levels ($10-$50) I could offer digital drawing commissions, for characters as well as portraits from photos. And for the higher giving levels, some paintings. But then, I'm not sure if I should offer paintings I've already done, or do painting commissions... I'll have to give this more thought.

But I hope this option will work, because Elliot no longer has qualified teachers working with him and both kids have really stagnated this year. And there are no plans in the works for this situation to change. I really want what's best for them both. I've just got to believe I can make this happen.
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Crap bunnies. Manga Studio just crashed on me and deleted the drawing I was working on, and it was a really difficult drawing for me to do. And I've just been having more difficulty with drawing than usual. That really does not put me in the most creative mood. I think I may just do some housework right now so it's not waiting for me in the morning and I can return to my art after a good night's rest.

On the positive side, I finally drew a good design for one of my characters that I just couldn't picture before. And I have what I think really good idea for a bird-like alien character. I really think it will work, I just need to try and flesh out the idea and see... Also it always cheers me up when Sean and Elliot give me such smiles when I read to them the children's book that I created. I read it to them before sending them to bed and they just love it so much. Just for that I think that book is the best thing I've ever created, and I don't feel so down on my self when I see how much my boys enjoy it.:)
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Today's GLTAS episode "Larfleeze" was so wonderful that it just made me sad. And I know I said this elsewhere, but I was starting to let go of the show at this point, but then the show has to go and be all wonderful again just to make sure I'll really miss it. *sigh*

My consolation as a GL fan is that I'm starting to feel really hopeful about the new creative teams for the comics. Johns is good at introducing wonderful concepts and characters, but then he doesn't know what to do with them. But these are some talented teams and I'm excited to see what they will do. And I'm thrilled that Keith Giffen and Scott Kolins are creating a book for Larfleeze, because honestly, the Larfleeze shorts have been the best part of Threshold. I've been enjoying the series, but the Larfleeze shorts steal the show. Giffen and Kolins are just a really good creative match IMO. And I'm not usually a fan of Kolins, but he's perfect for this project. And I know that this isn't a popular opinion but I actually thoroughly enjoyed the part of GLNG annual that was done by Giffen and Kolins. The opening bit with Bedard and another artist (can't remember who) was just, meh. But Giffen and Kolins made it really just so much FUN. So really after reading that annual, I wanted to see them team up on something again. So that makes me happy.

And I'm liking the way the GL titles are wrapping up so far. I'm actually enjoying the titles again (well, RL is still not that great, but the rest are really picking up for me). I've realized though that I am emotionally invested in certain aspects of the characters and stories that other fans I'm hearing from are not. The last two issues of GLNG were very emotional for me in a good way, but it seems other fans aren't caring for it that much. To each his own, I guess.. I also think Valthoom is a really interesting antagonist and even though its obvious where the story arch will go at this point, I'm still looking forward to seeing how they are going to take us there....

So anyway, at least I'm enjoying the comics again. So my life as a GL fan isn't over yet.
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I'm not feeling a lot of inspiration from this week's GLTAS to say the least.

The positive aspects were that I liked seeing the Star Sapphires in action, Atrocitus making an appearance, and the episode certainly gave me some good Hal/Carol feels. But overall, all that happened was that a good character that I love is continuing to get more insanely evil and is now murdering people. And we lost a character with so much potential. I was not expecting that at all.

I really don't know what I'm going to draw this week, but Id like to try to think of something that will feel uplifting after all of this.
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I'm having a much harder time this week thinking of a good idea for a GLTAS fan comic. I know I won't have much time today to work on it, with everyone being home now, but I at least wanted to have an idea for the comic by now. I'm hoping that when I get some time to myself to think that I can come up with an idea. I thought about asking for prompts on tumblr, but honestly, I'm nervous about the kinds of things people might ask me to do. That's really one of the main reasons that I don't want to do an ask blog. I'm afraid I'll get a bunch of questions that I don't want to deal with and also I'd feel pressure to produce things quickly.

But, I don't know. Maybe it would be a good idea to go with some sort of ask blog because at least I'd have some input from fans to help get the creative ball rolling for me. Maybe I wouldn't feel as stuck as I do now even if I might have to deal with questions that push me outside my comfort zone. And I'd have a better idea of what others would find entertaining, I guess. But then, I'm not even sure what character I could work well with for such a blog. I've considered Ganthet simply because I feel there are so many more possibilities for stories that that character could tell, since as Guardian he's privy to more of what goes on behind the most important events in the stories than most other characters. Plus I really like Ganthet.

But I don't know. Maybe all I need is a day to myself to come up with an idea. And I'm actually thinking about fan comics being my focus right now rather than illustrating old comic scripts. I think the latter might be good to have for a final portfolio, but as far as simply learning the basics of narrative art goes, I think creating fan comics is a good way to go about that. Plus it's just more fun.
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David just off-handedly said I look like Annie Lennox! I said, "You noticed the hair?!" And he said he noticed the moment he walked in but was afraid to piss me off by saying the wrong thing! And that he's been trying to think the whole time who my hair makes me look like before he said anything about it (he wanted to think of someone pretty) Haha!!! Oh, I just had to give that cutie a big hug for that!
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I'm sitting across the table from David right now. I haven't said anything about my buzzed-off hair and have just acted like nothing is different. AND HE STILL HASN'T NOTICED A THING!😆 LMAO!!!

I mean, I know he can't tell if I'm wearing makeup or not but this is nuts....
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I buzzed my hair off today, don't ask me why. Sometimes I just have a need to do things just because I'm curious about what it will be like if I do them. I don't know why...

And now my hair is 5/8 of an inch short and I look like a boy. Well, I was curious about what it would look like and now I have the result. David hasn't come home yet and I'm not sure how he'll react. I put on a little makeup so I'll look more feminine, but, um, I'm not sure it's doing the trick. Lol Oh, well, he's used to me doing random shit by now. This is the least of his worries really...
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I posted a GLTAS fan comic of mine on tumblr that was full of flaws that I felt were just screaming at me. But it's the best I can do right now and I felt like it was cute and that maybe someone would like it. And I've gotten such a positive response so far! I don't think I've ever gotten so many warm comments (mostly in the tags) on a post of mine before and I only posted this a couple of hours ago. And even a comment from Giancarlo Volpe, the producer of the show that inspired my comic! How about that! ha! I'm honestly so surprised. And this is so nice because I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed with everything that I still have to learn to draw decent comics. I've got a a long hard way to go with this learning process, but it sure is great to get some pats on the back for my effort. I'm already looking forward to drawing another fan comic next week.:)

Really my greatest challenge right now is figuring out how break up the story in my head into panels in a way that flows. My drawing and everything else needs improvement, for sure, but that's my biggest obstacle. I keep trying to add too much visual information that is not necessary to tell the story. It's difficult for me to figure out what visuals are essential to telling the story, and what details only get in the way. But, I really am enjoying learning to do this. As much of a challenge as this is, it's a really fun challenge.:)
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Yesterday was eventful enough. I was absolutely delighted by the latest episode of Green Lantern:TAS and I have so much inspiration to work from from that episode that its just overwhelming. I mean, the hardest thing for me is trying to figure out which of my ideas for fan art are not too overly ambitious for me to attempt. It's good to keep reaching beyond my grasp, that helps me improve. But if I delve into a bunch of stuff that is too far over my head, I crash pretty hard and take a big blow to my confidence. Don't need that. But it would help me decide what projects to tackle if I could stop vacillating between having zero confidence in my abilities to being utterly quixotic. I've got to find a happy medium between those two attitudes, but I guess I'm a woman of extremes...

Also, I am all a-flutter over the gorgeous commission that http://mek.dreamwidth.org/ did for me! Really, I just keep gazing at it and it just makes me feel so happy. It's such a happy, joyful picture that cheers me up.:) It's a color drawing of Saint Walker possessed by Adara (the Hope entity). Mek's design for that that I absolutely love and I've been wanting a picture of Walker-Adara from her for so long. And I was pleasantly surprised at the idea she came up with for the picture. I couldn't think of any creative thing to tell her that I wanted so just asked for the character flying around and looking pretty, but she drew him witnessing the birth of a star system *_*! (Adara would give Walker god-like powers like Ion gave Kyle, so this would be a possibility). So I could not be happier with this picture!

And on an unrelated note, I've been puzzled lately over general reactions to my fan art on tumblr and DA. On one hand, I'm happy with my progress this year. And the past couple of months my art has gotten a lot of very unexpected attention from talented artists that I really admire. That's a nice new development.:) But the puzzling thing is that my art is much less popular with fans in general. For example, I'll post a pic on DA, and rather than getting 50-80 "favs" like I would earlier last year, I get 5-20. But on the positive side, I get more comments from talented artists. Similar experience on tumblr too. I wondered at first if it was my choice of characters, but, no, the same thing happens when I draw a character that used to get me a lot of attention. My only guess that makes any sense is that the GL fandom has gotten an influx of very talented artists and my art is closer to the bottom of the pile now. And that's fine because I've been so inspired by all the art I've seen lately from new talented fans that have been drawn in by the animated series. So if that's the reason, then, I'm fine with that. But I still can't help but wonder if there is any other reason why my art is much less popular with fans. Something I'm doing wrong now maybe...Hmmm... Best not to let this bother me since I have no way of knowing what the fans are thinking. I'll just keep doing my best to improve. Favs and notes or whatever aren't the best indicators of how much one is improving anyway.

And on a more personal note, I had to deal with an old issue of mine once again. And that's that my general policy of non-confrontation doesn't promote the peace that I want. My avoidance only ends up hurting the feelings of the very people who I'm trying to spare. But I did make amends with someone in this instance at least.... Eh, well boring personal stuff and I've rambled on long enough as it is...

But to throw in one more random thought, David just made me laugh. We were debating about who in the GLverse is going to die during this Third Army crap and he ended the discussion by suggesting that the arc should end with Sinestro killing Geoff Johns. Lol (And yes he was joking. He's not one of those crazies who make death threats to comic book writers.) Gettin real tired of your shit, Johns!

Blue Hope

Jan. 12th, 2013 01:09 pm
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I really can't say how much I enjoyed this episode! It was more than I was hoping for for so many reasons. Brother Warth really came alive as a character for me here.
Man, I loved his voice! And I want to draw him even more now. Lol

And I loved Razer's interactions with Warth and Walker. I find it interesting that every time Walker mentions hope to Razer, he mentions love in the same breath. And if I thought it possible that they would ever write a male Star Sapphire, I would be wondering if that's were this is going. Razer learning to hope for love first, and then becoming devoted to love. After all it was his love for Aya that got him angry enough to use his ring in the presence of the blue energy to save her. And, yes, this show was more than I could hope for for in another way in that I had such feelings for Razer and Aya in this show. I thought perhaps the fandom had killed my enjoyment there. But this episode was just that good!

And also Worm! Another unexpected pleasure! looked through the GLTAS tag on tumblr and I'm glad to see that others appreciate Worm as much as I do. Hehe I even have an idea for a short comic that I'll try to draw out tonight with him. Not sure how it'll turn out, but if its any good, I'll share it.
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I'm looking over comic book scripts that are online that I might be able to illustrate to gain some some more skills... I like some of Chick Dickson's scripts. For some reason, the way he describes things is very easy for me to picture. I may start with a Nightwing script of his. I'm familiar with the character and the script will give me some challenges that I need to master like drawing weapons and fight scenes. Some exciting sexual tension too! That should be a fun challenge to convey visually.

There's a Geoff Johns Green Lantern script I found too, but man, it gave me a headache! The dude is so nit-picky and goes into so much detailed description that I can't even picture. And I've actually read the comic! Lol heh, forget that!
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