Commander Mango volume 2 is here!

Boy, have the last months been busy months. I moved to New Zealand, got a new, non-art job, and followed the most intense and fantastic art course in the history of art courses.

But that’s not all, I also finally managed to finish a new Commander Mango story!

 

And this certainly won’t be the last one. I have lots of other cat-related anecdotes floating around in my brain that would make GREAT Commander Mango stories. And if you have any interesting cat story of your own, don’t hesitate and share. It could as well end up in the new Commander Mango volume.

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So what’s with this new story? As the first volume (Commander Mango and the Ghost Aliens), it’s an 8-page minicomic in full colour following the adventures of a heroic cat, that is saving the world from mind-controlling aliens. In this episode, Mango’s arch nemesis has conceived yet another cunning plan. Will he be able to escape it?

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You can buy a PDF version of Commander Mango and the Malicious Tush here!

And if you want to (re)-read volume 1, Commander Mango and the Ghost Aliens, have a look over here.

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Happy New Year!

First of all, I want to wish you all a very happy New Year! May it be merry, and bright, and full of hope, friendship, and love.

In that spirit, I also wanted to make a bright and happy New Year’s painting. And as not everyone’s New Year is centred around a big party, I wanted to create a quiet loving moment. Unconsciously, I ended up drawing the two main characters for “you color my life“, in a moment they would really enjoy together.

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I started off with a quick sketch, and used this very crude drawing as a start. The main idea was to keep an intimate moment.

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As you can see, it’s super rough! I ended up changing the setting a little bit, and some of the pose, but the main idea did remain.

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From there on, I made some of colour comps. I wanted something warm, to reflect the warm moment the two of them are sharing.

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And man, oh, man, was it hard to choose one! I thing every one of them has some points I love, and some I don’t. The pink one, for example, was a bit too pink for me, but still it was the one catching my eye the most. I love the one on the bottom right as well, because it’s so different. But in the end I went with the golden theme, for a golden moment.

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And so I made a few more variations. I loved the gold, but I still wanted to have the warmth radiate off of our lovely couple, rather than off the whole environment. That’s why I experimented with cooler colours, or a less saturated background. So here’s the colour comp I finally choose

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And the final painting!

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And a few details for you, as well.

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The beginning of a new year. This often implies lots of grand plans, and resolutions. But to me quiet moments with my loved ones are so important as well. So, don’t forget your loved ones in your 2017 plans!

Holiday cards 2016-2017 are here!

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I’ve made some Holiday cards this year! They are sold in packages of six cards, two from each design, and include six envelopes. The cards are printed on high quality conqueror verge brilliant white paper and are 10x15cm. The cards will be send using the bpost package post within the week.

Price: € 14,00 + shipping.


 How to order.


For customers living in Belgium
Total €18.00 (€4.00 shipping cost). Pay here with PayPal.
Please send me an additional e-mail to confirm your purchase and send me the shipping address at myrjam (at) thelittlemonks (dot) com. substitute the (at) by @ and the (dot) by “.”


For customers living in Europe.
Total: €22.70 (€8.70 shipping cost). Pay here with PayPal.
Please send me an additional e-mail to confirm your purchase and send me the shipping address at myrjam (at) thelittlemonks (dot) com. substitute the (at) by @ and the (dot) by “.”


Living outside Europe? Please shoot me an email, and we’ll set something up!

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Help me get published!

The last couple of months I’ve been working my ass off to finish my entry, entitled “You color my life”, to the Yieha Young Talent Award (an award for young comic creators) . And I’m very proud to tell you that I got on to the final round! As you maybe might have guessed, the final round consists of a public voting round that is open from the 7th of October up until the 23th of October 2016.

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Progress of one of the pages

So I’m making my puppy face, and I would like to ask you very kindly to pretty please vote for me. You can do this by clicking here or copy the link below, and it’s totally free! Fill out your email address, scroll down to find my entry and click on it, and than click “verstuur” and that’s all you need to do!

http://YouColorMyLife.com

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That’s the one you should vote on 🙂

 

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After clicking my comic, you can enter your email address in the red box, and then click “Verstuur”!

 

Note for the English speaking folks that the entry on the award’s website is in Dutch. You can find the English version below.

What’s the story about?

“You color my life” is a contemporary love story that follows an adolescent girl who, by falling in love, needs to find who she truly is. Will she show her true colors so that other are able to unconditionally love her, or stay hidden behind a mask, comply with the social expectations and lose the boy she’s hopelessly in love with?

That’s the logline of the story. But for me, it’s mainly a story that comes from deep down in my heart and that I’m very proud of. For me, it’s both an tribute to the most loving boyfriend one could have, and to the most difficult lessons I’ve yet had to learn.

Below you can find the five pages that I used in my entry with English lettering!

Why vote?

Why should you vote for me, you ask? Because thanks to you I might actually get published! And it doesn’t cost you a thing. So here’s the url again: http://YouColorMyLife.com

And if I win, I’ll shower you with gifts. You can expect a huge give away of original artwork, and printed comics from my part!

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Cover design

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Happy Easter!

I hope you are all enjoying a sunny Easter weekend with tons of chocolate!

In true Mango-fashion, I drew a cat-easter card for you all. Enjoy, and feel free to send it around to friends and family!

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I also tracked my progress while working on this, and made a funny little gif to show you my different steps. I hope you like it!

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The Little Monks’ 200th comic

Here’s another milestone to celebrate! Tomorrow (7th of March 2016) the 200th page is being published on my ongoing web comic The Little Monks. It’s been a rollercoaster 100 pages and the last half year has been absolutely filled to the rim with learning, exploring, and getting better at stuff!

A few weeks ago, I was looking for a recurring heart’s background (the one on this page), and I saw that the last page I used it in was, coincidentally, page 100. So I opened up that file, and wow! I really did not expect that there would be such a big difference in that time. Have a look at a my 100th and 200th, just for fun!

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Page 100

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Page 200

It is so great to be able to see that in a few months, there really is some progress. And what I really like about the more recent pages are the facial expressions. I often start laughing at how ugly my character can look (which is, of course, totally done on purpose). So here’s a comp of funny faces of the last 100 pages – sometimes I wish I had some of them as emoticons.

Newsflash!

Last, but not least, some exciting news! I have written every comic page until the very last one, and it looks like the story is slowly coming to its end. For now, I forecast 37 more pages to go until the end! I am planning on updating every weekday (Monday through Friday) starting from the 2nd of May, to finish with a bang on the 31st of May. Be ready for some suspense!

For now, just a little sneak peek at my progress tracking file for your pleasure!

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But no worries, as the end is nearing, the next comic projects are already taking form into my head, so more exciting stuff to come! The next Commander Mango story is already written, for example. I hope to finish that one this fall!

Business cat – uhm – card

As part of the idea to go for a deeper focus on character design in my portfolio and general branding, I wanted to make a matching business card! This perfectly fitted with an assignment of my evening courses for which we were asked to develop an original business card. The idea was to make something that went beyond the very classic business card format.

It goes without saying that I made mine a cat! And a 3D cat, to be more precise. So, here’s my final piece.

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It started with sketches of a boxy cat.

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And some colour comps.

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Finally, I landed on this design, but I found it flat, and not very much alive. That is why I had some fun with watercolours. Watercolours are one of my favourite analogue mediums! I love the textures and effects one can get out of it. So here are some random and less random watercolour blobs I made.

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And once more, just for your fun, the final piece! I just got my first SLR camera this month, so you can probably imagine how much fun I’m having shooting all these photos!

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For those that still aren’t convinced of my love of cats, here are some cats I printed in the last months!

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If you would like something similar – be it with a cat, or any other character, animal, or object, or whatever – let me know (myrjam@thelittlemonks.com), and we’ll work something out!

Snowman progress

Last month, a hastag got quite popular on Twitter: #anyonecanimproveatdrawing. At that time I posted the following comparision to track my progress over the last years:

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I was quite happy to see where I came from and where I am at now, but I really wanted to redraw the snowman! The rendering, the pose, the composition… Those are things I am confident I can do better now. So, here’s my new snowman!

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Isn’t the new one cuter? With this little guy, I want to wish you a happy 2016!

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