Nomica & Tabena in Full Colour!

by Zephos on December 12, 2012

As it turns out, it has been more or less eternity since I uploaded a new coloured illustration onto these interwebs! I’d like to blame rampant video game addiction yet again, but oddly enough I was actually legitimately busy this time!… that almost NEVER happens. No more excuses though, here are two hot off the press illustrations of Nomica and Tabena, the stars of Under the Toilet Paper Tree!

 Under the Toilet Paper Tree is a short side story I wrote  for the anthology book Fearsome Fables! Written in the style of a Japanese Light Novel and part of a larger story called Nomivore, the tale follows two young ladies on one of their days off from competitive eating on a bitter Halloween night! Also, it has cat-girl outfits! Definitely a selling point! Unless you’re one of those people who does’t like cats… or girls.

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Recently, I have had the honour of having my work published in Fearsome Fables, a collection of mighty spooky comics and stories from Ink’d Well Comics! The book recently went on sale this Halloween season making its debut at Hal-Con in Halifax with all proceeds going to support the charity Child’s Play!

Fearsome Fable showcases the talents of writers and artists from the west and east coasts of Canada! “What about the middle of Canada?” you may ask? Well, as you may know, the middle of Canada doesn’t actually exist… but we pretend it does for the sake of the children, just like the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and 3-Year Warranties!

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Gallery Upgrade Complete!

by Zephos on December 10, 2012

It’s that time when I put on the good ol’ website designer hat and upgrade the site! Unfortunately, sometime in between now and when I had originally designed this site, I had completely forgotten about CSS, SEO, PHP and a whole lotta’ other three letter acronyms of highly probable importance. So there’s good news and bad news.

First, the bad news. I have about as much insight on how to make this site mobile device friendly as I do on how to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey without someone violently dying from food poisoning. As for the good news, the Gallery part of the site is now all nice and pretty like and now comes with BANNERS! In your face 1993 cutting edge of website design!~^_^~

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Epic Clean Up Time!

by Zephos on November 27, 2012

Thank you everyone who attended my webinar in partnership with the Vancouver Animation School last weekend!

I had a great time demonstrating my drawing process live for the first time in front of other people! I was a bit nervous at first, but thanks to the awesome enthusiasm of those who attended, I quickly forgot my inhibitions and just had a heck of a lot of fun drawing! Incidentally, I didn’t jump off the third-story window! Which is great, because I just checked and my home doesn’t have a third-story.

The webinar was only an hour long, so there were a lot of things I wanted to follow up on in depth, including a request to go over my rather unconventional sketch clean-up method, and what better example to use than the very sketch we were working on during the webinar!

During the webinar, I asked participants to pick various character features right as I was drawing, and the result is what you see here! A saddie sad, sexy girl with long hair and an apple in her hair! All she needs is a name now, and I figured since she was drawn for a demonstration, why not Demo-chan? …Yeah, with a name like that I’d be crying too. Okay, how about Saddie? She’s a Saddie Sad Saddie!

Step 1: Scan it in!

Clean Up: Step 1

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Do you dream of drawing your own anime & manga characters but have no clue where to start, possess mad procrastination skills or are carrying  a surprisingly light wallet this month? No problem! That’s why there is the Introduction to Anime & Manga Design webinar!

This November 24th, 2012, yours truly in partnership with the Vancouver Animation School is offering a FREE webinar to give aspiring anime and manga artists a taste of our full Introduction to Anime & Manga Illustration course! Also, did I already mention that it was FREE?! Sorry, it seems my capslock automatically comes on when I type the word FREE… let me see if I can fix that.. ahem, FReE, fRee, free. Ah! There we go. Also, this webinar? Yeah, totally free.

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Floating Ball Fan Art Forever!

by Zephos on November 6, 2012

Fan art from uber awesome fan Aira!

Did you know that certain fast food restaurants have secret items on their menu? For example, try visiting a Fatburger joint and asking for the “Hypocrite”. What you’ll get is a delightfully vegetarian burger… with bacon! It’s contradelicious! Well, either that or a crime against humanity. In the same spirit, if you should ever visit me at artist alley, I’ve been known to store a few secrets under my table, including an art card of Vippy the Floating Ball of Doom!

Having only ever been sold individually to two people, the Vippy art cards have become somewhat of a rarity, mainly because I discontinued them after my very first convention. It can only now be found normally “hidden” in the Collector’s Edition Album (2012). So did anyone actually buy a card of Vippy the Floating Ball of Doom at my first convention (Minicomi 2011) when it wasn’t actually a secret item? Why yes, and this is when I first met Aira, a girl who would soon become the biggest fan of Vippy I’ve ever seen!

Not only was Aira the first person to buy a print of Vippy, she was also one of my first customers ever period, and this was back when I considered like five and a half customers a day to be a sales record! Since then she would come to visit me at every single anime convention I’ve done and recently drew and delivered this awesome illustration of Vippy resting in a bed of furballs above for me to see!

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Introduction to Anime & Manga IllustrationHave you ever crammed a 26 episode anime into a single sitting, accidentally read normal comics right to left instead of the other way around or salivated over the breath taking concept art of your favourite JRPG? If so, the thought of bringing your own anime & manga characters has probably invaded your mind more than once. “But I have zero talent for drawing!” or “I don’t have the time to learn a new skill!” you may say! To which I say that if you can afford to make a mistake without the universe instantly imploding, you most certainly can, and I will show you how!

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It happens to every artist who’s ever owned a personal printer, after toiling for hours to put the finishing touches on your visual masterpiece, you finally power up your printer ready to materialize your baby into the real world, only to be greeted by this:

Printer Low Ink

I feel a song coming on. A song called "Let's Smash the Printer!"

Now I love my printer as much as the next person, that’s why when my printer encounters even the slightest snag in performing its sole purpose of existence, I immediately look for a flat durable surface to repeatedly smash it into until it isn’t the same shape anymore. Still, wouldn’t it be great if there was a better solution for when you need to print something other than really long emails regarding your newly found state of bankruptcy?

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Zephos’ MiniComi Adventure!

by Zephos on July 26, 2011

In all my years of drawing anime/manga art, I’ve yet to have attended a single anime convention – partially because I’m a misanthrope with a history of anti-social tendencies, but mostly because I really like staying at home a lot (Staying home is awesome!). Now I can finally cast away my convention goer virginity and say that I’ve attended my first anime convention – now with 100% less lying about the “attended” part!

MiniComi Poster Earlier this week on July 23rd, the first MiniComi convention was held in Vancouver, BC and I got my very first gig as a vendor selling prints of my artwork with all proceeds going to help Japan via the charity organization Direct Relief International. I would like to thank all those who looked through my work and purchased prints, this endeavor would not have been possible without you! – well technically, it would have still been “possible”, but  in the same way that crashing a car into a convenience store is still technically “entering” it.

The two months leading up to the event was like a crash course in Murphy’s Law 101 as prints that I’ve ordered encountered existence failure issues, unpredictable events in the town I grew up in had me emotionally divided, and my limited budget started to wear frighteningly thin so that my idea of fine dining became a hotdog from Costco (They are crazy delicious though!). Also, the whole “Massive Artist’s Block”  thing that I’ve been already going through for the last few months wasn’t doing wonders for my self confidence. In the end though, it all worked out with the help of some very good friends and family and it was worth every minute of it!

MiniComi Table Here’s a picture of my humble little corner of heaven at MiniComi taken by fellow artist and good friend Albert of, who has also written an article about the convention complete with pictures of many of the best cosplay outfits that were there! Albert was also the one who convinced me to participate in the first place to the point where he was practically dragged me across the road to do at least one convention this Summer, for which I am very grateful of now in hindsight.

A heart felt thanks also goes to a certain follower of my work on Flickr who gave me some incredible words of encouragement right at the point where I thought I had run out of options. Thank you, it meant the world to me, you know who you are out there! ^_^

Now without further ado…

The Top 5 Things I Learned about Being a Vendor at MiniComi!

1. When in doubt, you WILL run out of table space – think vertical boards, hangers or use albums or portfolios!

2. Variety might be the spice of life, but it sucks at retaining customer attention – Pick your best stuff and focus on it!

3. If it can be read, the customer will not read it – prioritize text and make the letters freaken’ ginourmas!

4. Always be open to negotiation and feedback, the customer always comes first!

5. Female cosplayers are extremely attracted to plushies in the shape of a giant Pepperidge Goldfish cracker!


Valentines 2011: The Power of Love Hates You!

by Zephos on February 14, 2011

Heart Attack!

The Power of Love Hates You Too!

Happy Valentines everybody! – The one day of the year we can blatantly tell borderline strangers that we love them and not be charged with sexual harassment!

Valentines day is also that one day of the year in Japan (Among other countries in Asia) where your entire validity as a man is determined by the amount of chocolates you secure by the end of the day from girls… go-go entire male population of Japan! Let the lack of sugary donations of goodness from the girls in your life grind your self-esteem into a fine sandy paste!

In this illustration, we have the lovely Gitynia with a super compact version of the Cross Light dress to fit an extra compact body looking for love in all the right places!… but with the wrong tool. I wanted to try super bright saturated colors this time around because I hate people who love love and love people who hate love… wait, what did I just say? Anyway, coloring with really bright colors is dangerous, don’t do it kids.

Hope all you lucky boys and girls out there with someone to love have an awesome day! Please rest assured that I will not stare at you with utter contempt as I  proceed to stalk you throughout your day to cope with personal inadequacy issues.