Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 7: Chasing The Sun

Today was another anxious sort of day.
I felt restless for most of the latter half of it, but that anxiety produced some sketches at the very least.

Classes were in the morning, and I was just starting to get over that doozie of a headache from Tuesday, but traces of it started eeking back due to the combined efforts of the early wake-up time, a very chilly ride on my moped to class, the smell of smoke on my professor, and the stuffy cold and dimness of the classroom (plus just being inside for about 6 hours will always make me feel like crap).
Fortunately we ordered pizza for lunch (which was an ordeal in itself... have you ever tried ordering a pizza at 10:40 in the morning?!?), so that satiated my appetite for a little while.
I almost nodded off a couple times in class, though, so when it came time for me to go home, I immediately collapsed on my bed and slept away the next three hours of the day.

When I woke up it was time for dinner, so Lilly and I went to Saigon Flavors.
I got half of the day's sketches in just that one sitting, so I guess it was worth the trip out there.
(That and the delicious food. :P)

Lilly and I play a game (which we both learned from others before we even met each other) where you take the straw wrapper, tie a knot in it, and try to break the knot free by pulling the two ends in opposite directions.
If the knot comes undone, it means someone is thinking of you.
Conversely, we've taken the knot remaining tied to mean that nobody is thinking of you at all (though this is probably not true).
Here is an example, and a comic to illustrate:

THIS is why I love Saigon Flavors.
They have one of my favorite foods: steamed red bean buns.
(Or as my sister calls them, "Peach Butts.")
Red bean paste is definitely among my most favored food items. :3

When I got home I realized it was starting to get late and I still haven't reached a good number of sketches for the day, so I cruised deviantART for inspiration.
Lauren Montgomery has some pretty amazing stuff and a great style, and today she posted this image of Sailor Mercury.
Now, I am by no means a Sailor Moon fan (sorry, D.J.), but this image caught my attention simply because of the clean, sleek look of it and the unique pose and angle.
Normally you'd see Sailor Moon fanart that's either shot straight on with them in their post-transformation poses, or you'll just get straight-up hentai.
This, on the other hand, is a different take, as simple as it may seem, and I have to give Lauren props for it.

I liked it so much I wanted to emulate her style a bit.
So I drew this random woman.
The pose is weird and the anatomy is all whack, but I kind of like the way it came out.
It's definitely something different.
I like exploring other styles, even if I don't intend to ever use them again.

Later, I was listening to my custom playlist on my iTunes, when the song Tiger Track by KAGAMI began playing.
I was suddenly reminded how much I love the Eureka Seven Soundtracks and put the song on repeat while I started furiously sketching whatever ridiculous action poses popped out of my head.
I have to say, I really like the results.
I may end up using a few of these in some future illustrations. :3

And they all lived happily ever after.
The end.

Thanks for reading, as always!
And (as always), I love you all!
Have a goodnight, and wake up feeling awesome in the morning! :)

Emily J Sampson

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 6: Mmmmmm Brownies

I actually managed to get a good night's rest last night and even was able to get up early (even if I didn't immediately get much work done), thanks to the wake-up text from my good friend Tyler.

Bad news is, for most of the day, on and off, I'd feel aftershocks of that major headache from yesterday.
This happens sometimes, but I have to admit, it has me a little frightened.
Hopefully tomorrow won't be any worse, and hopefully it's just the weather that's causing it.

What did help get me down to business today, though, was Tyler generously allowing me to use his space to work on my webcomic.
Making delicious food, such as Fettuccine Alfredo and gooey Ghirardelli brownies, was also a plus.

For some reason, all I could draw today (aside from the blue lines for the next page of The Adventures of Chester K. Fingkelbottom) were two of the characters from the new story I'm developing (see previous post), in various forms.
The main character, pictured immediately below, is designed around hawks and falcons.
I'm kind of digging a name I came up with in a brainstorming session: "Harriet Cooper" (drawn from the names for a couple kinds of birds of prey- the Harrier Falcon and Cooper's Hawk).
I'm still working on refining her overall look, especially her hair, but her outfit is based on different aspects of a Plague Doctor's garb.
I read up on what they used to wear and found out that they'd actually wear thigh-high boots similar to what a fisherman would wear.
I thought that was just an awesome image, so I decided to keep that aspect of their costuming.
The rest is loosely based on other items they would wear, which I'll eventually explain.

Just a derpy mini-version of the main character in full regalia.
There are some kinks to work out, I must admit, but I'm liking the style a lot.
Her scythe needs to be changed quite a bit....

Like I said before, her hair is what's giving me the most trouble.
I want it to whisp out like some birds of prey's feathers do, but it's starting to look a little weird to me.
Opinions are welcome.

This is one of the other characters, who is based off a Screech Owl.
I think I may go with the name "Tawny" for her (a Tawny is a breed of owl).
She's so darn cute and fun to draw!

Well, yet again, I feel like I've fallen short on the sketch quota for the day.
I really don't know how to make it up to you guys.

Well, here.
Have another Angry Tyler:

This drawing actually scares me quite a bit.

I'm sorry.

Thanks for putting up with this edition of my sketchblog!
I'll try to have better stuff for you tomorrow.
Love you all, and goodnight!

Emily J Sampson

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 5: These Days Are Gone

Well, today was... blah.
I was able to get a pretty sound sleep last night, but the problem was that I stayed up too late and had to wake up around 6:00/6:30 for classes.
For some reason, as I was getting ready for class, my mind started wandering and I began thinking about my future, and what I'm going to do after graduating, where I'm going to live, if I'm going to be able to be near friends or make new friends depending on where I go, if I can even finish my thesis or my comic over the Summer....
I started to get extremely anxious, and my stress levels began to rise.
It wasn't good.
Class hadn't even begun, and already I was freaking out.
And it's still only Tuesday.

To top it off, the classrooms we sit in are dark and stuffy, and that combined with the strong smell of smoke from certain people, and the fact that the weather drastically changed today, all made for one killer headache that lasted from the time we got out of classes all the way through the evening.
It doesn't help that the only pain medication that could ever help my major headaches (Excedrin) contains the two things I'm allergic to: aspirin and ibuprofen. >< href="">Back In The Day Bakery for lunch, and I decided to draw her delicious cheesecake.
It was a race against time, however, as she had started to eat it shortly after I began sketching. D:

Oh look, a monkey.
That's because of this link that Tim Loyer posted.

As for the lion skull?
Well, my awesome roommate posted a link to this, and, well, I just had to draw a lion's skull while listening to it.
So I did.
Is there something so terribly wrong with that?
We're in agreement.

After being cooped up in my house with my horrible headache, my friend Tyler kindly whisked me away to B&D's to get dinner, where I promptly popped some acetaminophen (which only helped slightly).
I also drew more Southern Drawl Cat.
Trying to finalize a design on him....
Why? You'll see... ;)

I was listening to Heaven, by Los Lonely Boys, when I felt the urge to draw this.
It's an idea for a story I've been toying with (yeah, I know... I have way too many stories on my plate, but this one seemed interesting).
The basic plot is that a human must become the guardian for an angel who lost her memories (or something along those lines).
It also gives me an excuse to draw ethereal pretty angelic beings with unusual wings.

Well, sorry this batch wasn't as great as yesterday's.
I feel like I kind of dropped the ball on this one because of my headache.
I promise I'll make it up to you.

Here, have an Angry Tyler:

Thanks again, everyone!
Have a great night!
Love you all!

Emily J Sampson

p.s. I love my dad.
He called me today and instantly made my day infinitely better, despite my headache and lack of productivity. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 4: Blake = Bowl Cake

Today started out sucky and ended in the best possible way I could hope for.

I had one of the worst nights of the year, full of confusing and emotionally intense dreams which caused me to wake up intermittently throughout the night.
This, in turn, ended up keeping me from waking up when I wanted to, and I ended up not getting the work done that I wanted to get done during the rest of the day.
I was so emotionally drained that I thought this week was doomed to failure.

Now I know differently.
I try to make it a point not to force my religion down others' throats, but this is an exception.
I know for a fact that God is watching out for me, and I'll explain that in a minute.

First, to the sketches!
I watched more Kekkaishi on Hulu while eating breakfast today.
It's not a very good series in terms of animation or general script or storyline, but it keeps me intrigued enough for me to continue watching it,
and every once in a while it stumbles on a plot that particularly grabs my attention.
Today it was Episode 5, in which Yomi the demon tamer reveals her past involving her demon Yoki.
It was actually somewhat touching when you see them meet and bond for the first time, so much so that I had to draw a little fanart of it.
Yoki is an adorable derpy demon. ^^

Below that little tidbit of anime geekdom is Mr. Southern Drawl Cat, who used to live upstairs, and would peek over the porch and say in his best southern drawl, "mayow" over and over again.
It was adorable.
I don't know where he is now.
I miss him.

Today I was a hot mess again, so my friend Lilly came to cheer me up with taiyaki (the Japanese waffle-like cakes filled with various tasties, like red bean paste or ice cream, or in this case, both.
It's my all-time favorite dessert, and it was amazing that she thought to do that for me.
I'm also wearing one of my sister's old shirts that she gave me... sort of like a security blanket.

Upon reading some words from a good friend of mine, I got this image in my head that I just had to draw.
I like it so much that I really want to take it a step further and turn it into a full-fledged illustration or painting.
Toss that in the to-do pile.

Now for the good stuff.

I must admit to you, that although I may fervently tell you I fear nothing, there are a couple things I do fear in this world.
No, I'm not telling you what they are.
But I will tell you that at the moments when I'm feeling my worst, and these fears start creeping in on me again, pulling me down into an inky darkness,
God blesses me with the best of gifts:

I was feeling extremely worn down from yesterday and this morning, and after my best friend came over to eat dinner and bowl cake (which I just now decided to call "Blake") while watching Adventure Time on Cartoon Network, I started to feel much better.
What made me feel even more up to par was a wonderful and very kind note that my friend Reed sent to me.
Basically, he told me everything I needed to hear in a matter of sentences, and brought me right back out of my funk.
To know that I am remembered by my friends, and still make an impact on their lives, even from so far away, is the most important thing in the world to me, and the little things they do for me is all the payment I need to sustain me.
It's moments like these that keep me going, that keep me living and thriving.

I have a feeling this will be a wonderful week.
And now I need a tissue.

Thank you all, my friends.
You've all been there for me when I need it the most, and I count myself among the richest people in the world.

To quote It's A Wonderful Life, "Remember, no man is a failure who has friends."

It's so very true.

I love you all.
You make me what I am, and you are the reason I keep going.
Without you, I don't know where I'd be, what I'd do, or who I'd be.

So thank you,
a million times over,
until the end of the earth, sea, and sky,
thank you.

Believe me when I say I love you.

Emily J Sampson

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 3: Redeeming Sundays

Today was sure a long and exhausting day.

Where to start?

Well, the first sketch of the day I actually did shortly after midnight, so it still counts towards this day's batch! XD
I was looking at my sister's profile pictures on facebook, and was thinking how gorgeous a sister I have.
Then I come across a picture of her making a wonderful face, which just reinforced my high opinions of her.
You get to see my rendition of it below.
Below that, fanart of a super-short anime movie called "Cencoroll," which is right up there with "FLCL" in terms of confusing and crazy and amazing and gorgeous.
I just had to draw this concept I had in my brain (it has some minor spoilers), and though it didn't turn out all that great, I'd still like to make it into full-fledged fanart sometime.
Not right now though. Too much to do.

This sketch I meant to do yesterday.
Based on a true story.
My bacon fell on the floor.
It was carpeted floor.
The 5-second rule does not apply to bacon on carpet.
Needless to say I was a very sad Emily.
A large bulk of my day consisted of me going through all my clothes and weeding out the ones that don't fit me or that I don't wear anymore.
This, of course, required trying each one of my shirts on one by one, which was tiresome.
But if there's one thing I learned coming out of it, it's this:
I look FINE in collared shirts! XD
My bestestest friend in the whole wide world, Tyler, and I went to T-Rex Mex for some delicious quesadillas for dinner.
While waiting for them, we killed time with more sketchbook fun.
In case you couldn't tell whose is whose, I labeled Tyler's to differentiate.... You know... because our styles are so similar.
Warning! Cute things (and some slightly disturbing) galore!
(Oh look, another of those weird meerkat-raccoon-fox things!)

Well... the end of the day was the most difficult part for me, but it had to be done.
It's good to finally get the air cleared and get things off my chest.
When things like this happen, I always end up doing a weird self-portrait sort of thing to record the raw emotion of the moment and devote it to memory.
So here it is.
(I'm a bit of a hot mess right now, but I promise I don't look as bad as I portray myself here. XD)I want to thank a certain someone for being so patient and understanding with me through all this mess.
You'll never know how much it means to me (although, maybe now you actually do).
Thank you... for saving my life.

Thanks everyone for reading!
Have a good night and wake up in the morning and live life amazingly tomorrow!
See you then. :)

Emily J Sampson

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 2: I'm Ready for My Closeup, Mr. DeMille

Today wasn't as productive as I would have hoped, but I still did do more than I've usually been doing.
Keeping a sketchblog is definitely something every artist should be doing.
I've noticed my speed in sketching, my sense of line, form, shape and shading, and my drive to work is improving at an alarming rate.

I did wear myself out this afternoon, however, after I visited the Sidewalk Arts Festival in Forsyth, then went to my friend Lilly's for a delightful lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and kitten cuddling.
When I finally got home, I was so exhausted I decided to take a nap, and when I awoke, I rolled over and looked at the wall next to my bed.
There I saw something I never noticed before: a strange series of bumps and small cracks in the plaster and paint that resembled some sort of animal.
I had to draw it.
So here it is: a weird raccoon... fox... red panda... meerkat... thing.
First version is my stylized view of it from memory.
Second version is more accurate to how it actually looks in real life.

After eating an early dinner of Chili's leftovers, my friend Tyler and I went to see Sunset Boulevard at the Trustees.
What a messed-up woman....
Before the movie started, though, I had some time to kill and decided to pull out my sketchbook.
I drew the meerkat thing again, being cute and reaching for something high up, and also some weird lizard monster person.
I honestly don't know where all these large-armed, long-tailed creatures are coming from. *shrug*
Below that is what started as a crane, because I saw some beautiful artwork by my friend Joanna today (Cranes at Ueno Park Zoo), and was just inspired to draw one of my own.
In the end it wound up being something other than a crane, though. I'm not really sure what it is exactly....
Thanks to the magic of Hulu, I've been watching the new series "House of the Five Leaves," coming straight from Japan.
It's great that Hulu caught on to the whole fansubbing thing and decided to start releasing the episodes online as soon as they air in Japan with accurate subs.
I also love the whole look of this anime and how they kept so closely to the original manga artist's style (Natsume Ono has such a unique way of drawing, so it adds so much to it, in my opinion).
It makes me want to get the manga now, but I still have to finish the huge stack of books sitting next to my bed (including another manga by Natsume Ono called "Ristorante Paradiso"). ^^;
Below you see Masa, the main character, who's a wimpy ronin (masterless samurai), and Ichi-San, the secondary main character, who is head of a troupe of kidnappers, and is completely awesome.

Here we have Okinu, who's the adorable young woman responsible for the start of the troupe, who call themselves House of the Five Leaves.
Below her is some odango, which are fried dumplings.
They are possibly the best and tastiest things ever created on this good green earth, and I sorely miss them from Tokyo.
If there were a place that sold them here in America, I'd move there in a heartbeat and give them all my business.

That's all for today!
I actually got this one in on time! :D

Looks like I'll be uploading these every evening before bedtime. ^^;

Thanks all!
See you tomorrow!

Emily Sampson

Sketchblog Edition 1: Oh Nooooooooo!

Oh man, my first sketchblog entry and it's already late!Sorry, guys!
I meant to upload this before Friday was over, but before I knew it, it was time for Game Night at my place, and we ran a little late, so you'll have to settle for a late-night upload.
I just wanted to share some of the first sketches from the sketchbook I carry around with me to restaurants and places like that.It's where my best concepts come from.

First up are some branding sketches I was doing for myself in Self-Promo class. These are logos based off of my old logo, which is composed of my initials "EJS."
Based on my tastes and the common theme of birds in most of my stories, and going off of the opinions of my colleagues and professors, I decided to bring the bird motif into the logo.
You can also see above the logo conceptuals, the brainstorming session I had in class with the professor on my classmates.
What we settled on was that I basically cater to females, yet not entirely feminine.
Basically, I write action stories for young women, and romance stories for young men.
I also have a unique brand of humor running through each of my stories, so the logo needed to be slightly whimsical.

These are conceptual sketches for a new story in the works.
The plot definitely needs more work, but the characters are becoming more and more amazing with each sketch I draw.
The heroes of the story are based off of the plague doctors from the era of the Black Plague, and each one is designed around a specific bird of prey (the main character being a hawk or falcon, and so far two secondary characters being a Secretary Bird and a Screech Owl).
The original idea I came up with was that souls were being rejected from both Heaven and Hell and the souls in Purgatory were being recruited to either dispose of or recycle the wandering souls and clean them out of the world of the living, but it was dangerously close to Bleach and Soul Eater.
To get a feel for what I was going for, listen to "Monster Hospital" by Metric.
That's the ideal opening theme were this ever to become an animated series. :)
The owl character is quickly becoming one of my favorites. She's so cute and fun to draw!

What is this I don't even.

I was just kind of playing around here with a new style of drawing, and revisiting old characters now that my style is more refined and defined.

I had been looking at character designs for Ben 10 earlier in the morning and felt the urge to draw random flaming creatures with big blocky hands and smooth features.
Yes, that is a Bible verse. Yes, I was in Church when I drew this. Yes, God knows.
We're cool.

If you know me at all, you know I have an obsession with birds and adore drawing birdlike creatures and people.
I was just playing around designing more characters with feathers and bird features.
I have to say, I really enjoy how these turned out, even if I may not use them in a story.
That's all for today!
Hope you enjoyed seeing a little glimpse of what goes on in my brain!

Emily Sampson

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Welcome to EJS Creations!

Hi all!
My name is Emily Sampson, an artist of many interests.
I'm starting up this blog to keep a log of my daily thoughts and creations, so I'll be uploading sketches and brainstorming ideas for new stories here.

I got my BAS in Illustration and Computer Graphics at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2007, and, having a passion for graphic novels and character design, decided my schooling was not done yet!
In Fall of 2008 I entered the Sequential Art program at Savannah College of Art and Design to get my MFA.

Some of my goals for the future include creating and publishing several graphic novel series that combine Japanese manga and American comic styles, designing characters for television, film and/or video games, and teaching art at a college level.

A little more about me:
I'm probably the skinniest person you will ever meet, and you'll be further shocked to find exactly how much I can eat.
I have a passion for life, and enjoy trying new things and easily adapt to changes.
Making friends is one of my favorite past-times, and I am devoted to the principles of honesty, perseverance, and love.
God is my guide, and open-mindedness is my philosophy.
I would gladly take a bullet for anyone I call friend, and make it a point to always be there for my loved ones.

I've been described as brave, sincere, weird, a dork, cool, awesome, and adventurous.
I love to read, write, draw, play video games, run around outside, ride my moped, swing on playgrounds until children ask me to get off, rock-climb, hang-glide, and pretty much any other exhilarating activity under the sun.
I've got enough creative juices in my brain to fuel Japan's underground samurai-robot defense system.

Please feel free to ask me questions and leave me comments!

You can visit my webcomic at The Adventures of Chester K. Fingkelbottom and view my temporary portfolio at Tsubasa-Mine on DeviantART.
I'm working on getting my personal site up and running at the moment, so your patience is appreciated.

If you'd like to commission me or contact me quickly, please email me at
Commission information can be found here: Commission Information.

Thanks for reading!
Emily Sampson