Needless to say, these are trying times. Especially if you are an artist. Be it playing instruments, cosplaying, drawing, podcasting or being any sort of content creator. As artists, it’s a bit more insecure as it’s nothing like a regular day job. Income is not consistent, wondering if it is enough to cover expenses and if it could lead to a career. These worries are especially so if one wants to pursue it full-time without a main stable source of income. If allowed the chance, artists can present their works at conventions, be it local or international. This gives the chance for fans to meet their favorite artists and content creators. That is why a lot of convention-goers consider Artist Alley a favorite spot. Buying merchandise and art pieces straight from the artists, supporting and allowing them to create more in the future. It is safe to say that conventions are a major source of income and connections for artists and content creators in general.
However with this year being stricken with fear and worry of the COVID-19, aka coronavirus, sadly many conventions are being delayed or canceled. Just recently it was announced that Emerald City Comicon would be postponed to a later date. Disrupting those who already booked hotels and travel ahead of time. This brings up worry if other conventions would follow suit to ensure safety. E3 2020 just recently got cancelled. Will my local convention of New York Comicon or Anime NYC would come to a halt? The virus fears are pinching everyone’s wallet.
Now the main source of income for artists is in danger, and it is now more unsure if artists and creators can continue doing what they love by creating for their fans while trying to earn money for themselves. So this is a public service announcement to fans who enjoy their favorite artists and content creator. While following and supporting them on social media is nice, now and then do buy a photo, calendar, art piece or anything from them to help finance and support them as well. Especially if you see them at your local conventions. Money does help in the long run.
Toss a Coin
There are many artists and content creators that I respect. To which I want to discuss three that I have met in my last convention outing of Anime NYC 2019 or one that I have supported via Kickstarter or buying directly. Some you may know already by name and some who are up and coming that I believe should have more attention.
A quick disclaimer is that I’m not sponsored by them in any way. Just a fan of their works. Also, a mild NSFW warning as there will be some pinups that are suggestive.
Hoo-boy, where to I start with her? If you have been around during the DeviantArt days, her name should be familiar. She has consistently managed to get in the Featured and Hot section of the front page for DeviantArt. Her talent speaks for itself. Sakimi-Chan is known for drawing pinups of many games, anime, and media; Pokemon, The Witcher, Fire Emblem, the list goes on. Just recently she had a successful Kickstarter for her second art book. Namely an NSFW artbook of either yuri or yaoi preference. Her skills have grown considerably over the years and it only continues. While she is well known and has successful ventures, it is always important to don’t forget she is also just like any other artist. She is only able to this because of the support from Patreon and buying her art at conventions. Everyone has to start somewhere. She also recently started to venture into selling T-shirts of her design. You can follow her shirt designs @HighKeysakimi_T . If you see her, do consider buying a shirt or art.
And oh boy what an art it is. Whether me male or female fan-service, she has got you covered. If you are a person of culture, then she is the gal to follow. As shown as such:
There are spicier pieces that she has in portfolio which I cannot show here, so do consider following and supporting her wherever it may be. Now lets move on before my fellow staff and boss labels me as an even lower weeb degenerate.
Hammling / Hamm Liang
I had the honor of meeting him during Anime NYC 2019. If there is one thing to take away, it would be he is down-to-earth and very passionate about his craft. While he may be small compared to some, he already has a full-fledged comic called Monkey & Peach under his belt, currently at his first volume. Which is his take of the famous folktale of Momotaro, the Peach Child. He even has an art piece he created from the game, Death Stranding, which was noticed by the games’ creator, Hideo Kojima himself, even if it’s by proxy.
Asides from his own comics, his art pieces of games and comics is also worthy of attention. Special focus to his Smash Bros. and Tifa of Final Fantasy 7. The best way to describe his style is of soft style, very similar to watercolors. Think of it as Eastern landscape art scrolls. The way he utilizes shades is one of his unique specialties that makes it his own. His striking use of color is very eye-catching. This is especially so for his chibi Amaterasu of Okami.
Recently he has also made stickers from Demon Slayer with the characters in chibi form. Very adorable if I say so myself. Overall, he is an up and comer that has a lot of potential. Do check out his wares and creations either at conventions or his various links on his Twitter and on The Conbini Shop Website.
Todd Black / Triforce Todd
No, I’m being held at knife or gunpoint with this. Yes, he is a fellow member of the site and host for our Nintendo Entertainment Podcast. If you have heard our recent podcasts, you would know that he is an accomplished author of comics. Like his Twitter handle, he created the Guardians comics. 10,000 Miles, which has gone on to become a successful Kickstarter project. He also has done his iteration of the Sherlock Holmes tales. Now at the time of writing, he is on his way of doing his 8th successful Kickstarter of his 2nd volume of Blade Detectives.
What can I say about this guy and his style? Well if anything, he has a good fusion of utilizing Western comic design, with a little be of manga/anime flair. Much so in his recent work of Tokyo Blade Detective. Plus his love for wrestling is present, with odes and nods to AEW and WWE. Story-wise, his creations are simple, yet engrossing stories that anyone can get into. There’s also the incorporation at times some heavy themes like death, survivor’s guilt, and some morality issue that adds an extra dimension to his works.
If anything, the guy is down-to-earth, Nintendo loving good person. From his fandom of Fire Emblem and spirit, the guy deserves recognition for his work and talent. So if you are around Central America and a convention is happening. Do consider buying his works. Currently available on Amazon and follow him on his Kickstarter page.
Now if only he can adapt a bit more cultured appreciation of my taste on NEP.
So there you have it. Three artists/creators that deserve a spotlight and worthy of your attention. Naturally, this goes for all artists and creators as well. Be it cosplayers, voice actors, streamers, off-brand partners, they all add something to the world that helps put a smile on people’s faces. Some are lucky to get it as a full-time job. Others it has to be something done on the side. If you are a fan and follow their works religiously, remember to buy and support them financially now and then.
For the Witcher, they keep monsters at bay so as long there is a coin. For artists and creators, they keep the darkness at bay and lighten minds with their works. Especially during these rough times. So do toss coins their way, for it only makes the world a better place than it was a second ago.