Weekly? Monthly?? Wrap-Up

So. I want to start doing short little regular wrap-up posts here for what I've been up to, inspired by Vita's weekly round up posts on their own blog. I have no idea if or how often I will realistically commit to this though - I make no promises of anything.

Anyway, this last week I have been BUSY, busy, busy. At the beginning of October, I'm set to table at a local convention, selling my Etsy products in person to real people for the first time (I'm only slightly bricking it, I swear). It only really very recently sunk in properly quite how soon the event is though, so I am speedrunning the process of Getting My Shit Together.

In aid of this gargantuan endeavour, I've picked up the... Productivity app? Digital workspace?? Thingamajig??? That is Notion. It's essentially a kind of freeform cross between a database and a note-taking app that you can use for, uh, almost anything you like? I'm still very much learning the scope of this software honestly.
So far, I've found it pretty helpful, although even as someone who is incredibly tech literate and generally very quick to pick up new programs, I found the sheer scope of the software vs. the relatively little documentation/explanation it gives you kind of intimidating to start with. I very much feel like I am barely scratching the surface so far, but it does what I need it to for now!

A screenshot of a Notion page, titled "Today".

Currently I have a calendar page set up that I can then use to set individual tasks for each day, each with a check box and progress tracker of their own. I then also have a "Today" page, which is kind of like my general homepage for keeping track of what I'm doing each day - it automatically shows me all the tasks listed under the current day in the calendar (and I can add new ones from here if I want to!), as well as a countdown to the con and hotlinks to some of my most referenced google drive documents for tracking stuff like designs and inventory. I also have a Kanban board set up (delighted to finally learn the proper name of those) and a few different spreadsheets just to keep track of what I've got stocked where. Turns out there's a lot of logistics and planning involved in running a small business.

Beyond desperately trying to feign some kind of organisation in my daily life, I have made several actually tangible steps towards veing ready for the con, too. I'm working on a second set of nine weapons / spellcasting focus designs to match my existing DND weapons stickers - and 7/9 are ready for printing! The only ones left to finish up are the components pouch and the morningstar, which should take around half a day tops.
I'm genuinely really pleased with how these designs are all coming out honestly as well - so rest assured that I will be showing them all off here when they're ready for release. Here's an unapologetic instagram plug if you wanna see more sneak peeks meanwhile, though.

A collection of vinyl stickers on a white background. Each of the stickers features a different weapon from DND 5E. as well as the weapon's damage dice, a D20, and a colourful swirl. Sketches for two sticker designs, featuring a wooden wand and a component pouch. Both designs also feature a D20 and a magical, swirling border.
The existing stickers, and some of the sketches for the new set!

Yesterday I also dropped by the local print shop to get some tests printed for physical copies of my spell card packs, and this morning I sat down with my mini guillotine and a youtube video and cut out all 54 cards included in a cantrip pack. There's a couple of things I want to adjust for the final versions that I'll take to the con (mainly around the spacing of the backing design), but overall I'm really pleased with how these turned out:

A set of DND 5E spell cards on a cutting mat. The cards are laid out with a simple, ink-brush inspired design. One card is flipped to show a stylised black and white design of a D20 with morningstar-like spikes.
Freshly cut cantrip cards.

The card feels genuinely so nice in your hands, and the printing is really crisp throughout. I might even have to add these physical sets as an option on Etsy in the future... But first I need to figure out how best to package them.

I also got some tests for art prints done at the same time, but I need to adjust the levels of some of my pieces a little more. I have a habit of working with very deep shadows and dramatic light sources, which doesn't translate brilliantly into print, unfortunately. Hopefully not unfixible though.

Across various days this week I've also been pouring batches of D20 candles, again to stockpile before the con. Usually I would make these to order, so actually finding space to store a bunch at once is proving a little tricky! Our bookshelves are slowly being overtaken.
I was hoping to also have some skull candles ready to sell for the con, but based on my burn test I need to try a few more wick sizes in order to make sure that the candles are appropriate for selling - the wick that I use for the D20s is too thick for the skulls, so the flame it produces is too tall.

Aside from convention prepping, I've also been working on an illustration for the Tiefling Secret Satan 2023 - an art swap event themed around tieflings and similar demonoids. The Secret Satan discord server [managed by the lovely Sygdom] hosts a few different themed art swaps each year, as well as other smaller events inbetween. As the event is a secret art swap, I can't show my work in progress til the submission date on the 14th, but my sketch is finished, I've got a rough layout for colour, and I'm currently part way through inking the piece.
From a group in the same discord, I'm also taking part in / helping compile a druid (and druid-adjacent) themed collab piece! A whole bunch of folks are all drawing their own druid and nature-themed OCs hanging out at a forest tea party - my contribution is actually my Oath of the Ancients Paladin Parlay, who is like a druid but with an oath and a Big Sword. We're just moving from sketch/layout stage into everyone rendering their individual characters and background elements. And once those are all done, it's gonna be my job to compile the whole lot into one vaguely coherent image! I'm sure that will be a 100% smooth process with no complex elements.

And finally, as if this month wasn't shaping up to be hectic enough, I've been prepping for a job interview tomorrow! I'm totally not stressed-as-hell about it. But worst case scenario, they say no, and I'm not in any different a position than I started, which is okay. If nothing else, it's practice for the next one - and practice makes progess.

A digital sketch of a faerie with a jack-o-lantern for a head. It is hovering with its wings, bent forward with arms hanging loosely in exhaustion. The expression on the pumpkin is a tired, warey smile.
mfw when september

On a slightly chiller note, I've been enjoying the current Big Run in Splatoon 3 this weekend. I think Uma'ami Ruins is a pretty fun map for Salmon Run and the new Grizzco Dualies are absurd and great fun. My current high score is 89, which I doubt will even get a bronze trophy, but I have had to learn that my personal win-state for Big Run is to have fun with the novelty of the maps, not to earn trophies for my skills especially when playing in Profreshional Solo Queue RIP.

Welcome to my blog!
This is gonna be a bit of a brain-dump of stuff I like to nerd out about. You can explore by topic (hopefully, if I got the code right!), or just read through whatever strikes your fancy.

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