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Hello Mastodon! It's time, the existence of mastodon.art has enticed me to add yet another social platform to my life 🙂

I'm Nat, an aspiring comics creator and digital artist based in Nottingham, UK. I work full time in an IT job and I'm not great at finishing projects started in my spare time.

I have lots of experience of forcing myself to do extreme daily art challenges, at the expense of my own self-care, but I'm still working out how to make digital art and comics in a more sustainable way.

I'm interested in comics-life balance 😉

As well as a day job free of drawing, I have hypermobile EDS and a constellation of developmental neurodivergent conditions - although not dyslexia - I tested negative for that one!

Those are a big part of why trying anything except for daily 'Got to draw it, got to finish it, got to post it on social media' routines has failed for me in the past.

I had some scary burn out last year that I've only recently recovered from, Inktober put me back into some worrying patterns so I stopped after 20 days.

It did prove to me that I can finish one page comics I'm proud of, if I spread the work out properly though.

For examples of my style, here's a selection of my Doctor Who fan art from 2008 to 2012. See my deviantART or Instagram (same name) for more.

mastodon.art/media/ov_0939zIpH mastodon.art/media/CnpmtMgF909 mastodon.art/media/lAmamkyc7ls mastodon.art/media/XdjpK8AJ5oB

This thing doesn't automatically collapse long posts for length then? Whoops!

I'll try to keep these shorter, or put them behind cuts in future!

A shorter now I have a bit more of a hang of this!

I'm a UK-based neurodivergent, easily distracted and enthusiastic IT professional with a wonky body.

I mostly work digitally, but daily art challenges, including Inktober, have improved my traditional skills.

I'm aspiring to be a comics creator, but to be less extreme about it than I've been during challenges. More self-care and fun, less argh-deadlines.

Here's some self-portraits, scroll up this thread of replies for a selection of favourite comics, Inktober entries, wildlife art and Doctor Who fan art.

@quarridors Yeaaaaah, I didn't realize that at first either.

Whups.

@Challis2070 Can I retroactively add a cut tag in there somehow or is it stuck that way now?

@quarridors I'm not sure, I only just started here as well.

>_<

@Challis2070 I'm told that there's not, and that deleting and reposting can cause duplicate posts on other instances.

So that's just going to have to live as my excessively long first post - live and learn!

@quarridors Have you ever tried field sketching at a zoo? That's my favorite.

@terridrawsstuff I'd love to get into field sketching but I'm trying not to carry too much junk around with me everywhere I go.

Do you use a compact sketchbook or take something larger with you?

@quarridors small sketchbook and a pencil! Everything fits into a backpack. If I'm going super elaborate, I'll bring a waterbrush and a little travel palette of paint. I don't bother trying to do finished inks at the zoo, it's all fast rough sketches.

@terridrawsstuff I think you're inspiring me!

How small do you go? I've seen some really tiny field sketchbooks. Would I be able to do some reasonable work in those?

I've previously discounted them but I was managing to get a fair amount of detail into 1/3rd of a page comic panels in my A5 Leuchtturm during Inktober.

@quarridors don't go too small or you'll get over-involved in trying to make it fit on the page. I don't go smaller than an A5. You want to keep yourself loose and not too worried about details, and not fighting with your materials, either.

@terridrawsstuff I'll look for a thinner, lighter paperback A5 sketchbook them.

The hardback Leuchtturm is lovely but overkill to be carrying around most of the time.

Thanks for the advice!

@quarridors you're welcome! I like hardbacks, actually, that way I'm not searching for something to prop my book up on while I draw.

@terridrawsstuff Hmm, good point. Maybe there's a middle ground, perhaps a narrower paper size like moleskine use or a semi rigid cover?

Sounds like I need to go to try out some art supplies in person 🙂

@quarridors Yeah! go hold them against your leg or propped against your arm like you would in the wild, and see if they're comfortable. I use moleskines a lot even though the paper is frustrating. If you erase too much or too hard you actually pull off that cream color of the paper.

@quarridors eh, I sketch with a blue colored pencil now, and ink over my lines later without erasing. It's only a sketchbook, it's not precious.

@terridrawsstuff I started using blue coloured pencil early into Inktober, I'd always pencilled in blue when working digitally, so it was pretty intuitive.

And I definitely learned not to be precious with my sketchbook, and to get over using correction tape and white liner when I've drawn myself into a corner!

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