April 11th, 2011

  • meeksp

Call for prompts! Crowdfunded illustration for independent authors

I am pleased to announce that the project I was developing in my last post is now live! For those of you who may have missed it, hi! I'm Meeks. I'm trained in illustration, and I'd love to produce more art, but I'm sadly short on ideas, so I am seeking to collaborate with writers whose creativity matches my craft.

All you have to do is send me a short scene description or story excerpt to base a sketch on, and I'll draw it for you and post it on my journal for free. If you're happy with the rough sketch, and want to use it as-is, please do! I'll be posting images under a creative commons license, so just be sure to give me credit and a link back to my site. Tips are very much appreciated, but not required.

There are, however, a few perks for both donating and audience participation, so if you like what I do, please tell your fans!

Anyone can donate toward additional work on the sketches they like, and for the next month, I will post a cleaned up (construction scribbles erased, edges refined, shading blocked in, etc) version of any sketch that gets $30 in tips, or receives feedback from 6 or more people.

I will do a full value study of any sketch that gets $75 or more. This is basically a monochrome version of the final image, and can be considered a finished illustration in itself.

I will do colour studies or ink drawings of all images that reach $100 in tips, and full-colour paintings of any images that reach $150. (These amounts may be increased for particularly complex or labour intensive scenes eg. battles between armies of individual characters.)

Tips of any amount can sponsor specific revisions or details you'd like added at any stage before the final painting.

As an added incentive, if total donations within the next month reach $200, I will do a value study of any image with feedback from 12 or more people, regardless of the amount donated to it.

If total donations in that time reach $500, I will also do a full painting of every sketch with 25 or more commenters.

Feedback is important! To encourage participation, I will be choosing a random commenter each week to receive a custom icon. Every substantial post you make gives you another chance to win! (Substantial posts are anything beyond 'that's ugly', 'nice!', or emoticon-only type posts. These posts are welcome, they just won't count as entries in the draw - my goal here is to reward constructive and thoughtful feedback.)

Guidelines for prompts:
  • Any chapter, scene, flash fiction, narrative poem, etc. that you have written, that is in the public domain, or for which you can show that the copyright holder has given explicit permission to create derivative works (eg. a creative commons attribution license or an author statement encouraging fan art.)
  • Nudity is okay, but I won't post anything explicitly erotic...I'd rather not get any complaints from scandalized parents whose kids found my work through a children's book.
  • If you plan to use your picture for anything that requires a specific aspect ratio (eg blog header, book cover) please let me know. The best way to avoid awkward cropping is for me to draw at the correct size to begin with.
  • Story text may be accompanied by additional description, photo reference, suggestions for composition - basically anything else you think I should know about the characters and settings you're asking me to draw.
This is an excellent example, taken from the notes I received from Michael Thedford, while we were working on Lorelei has a Dream:
Page 3 text: When a hedgehog's up, everyone else is in bed.

Description: (bright-eyed hedgehog peeking out from under a thick quilt on a bed so soft it resembles a giant pillow. Glasses lie on wooden nightstand along with old-fashioned round alarm clock with hands pointing to 10:30 [short hand straight down, long hand halfway between 9 and 12] Visible window somewhere in shot with view of starry night sky and crescent moon.)

Which resulted in this illustration:Lorelei Hedgehog, waking up at night

That's it!  Prompts can be left as comments on either LiveJournal or Dreamwidth, or sent to me by e-mail at meeks-at-mikaspace-dot-net. Thanks in advance to everyone who participates or helps spread the word!

Poetry Fishbowl: Call for Themes

The next Poetry Fishbowl will be on Tuesday, May 3 with a theme of "folk tales" but that is the last one I have scheduled.  It's time to brainstorm some new themes!  These are a few that I've jotted down earlier, ones that I've thought up or people have suggested, to give you an idea what kind of stuff might be suitable:

* alternative sexuality & gender studies
* arts & crafts
* humor & whimsy
* pets & livestock
* corruption & redemption

What other themes would you like to see me write about?  Suggest them in a comment below this post.  Later on I'll collect the suggestions and post a poll.  The most popular topics will be added to the schedule for future fishbowls.  You can also help by linking to this post so that more people will see it -- everyone is welcome to suggest themes and vote for them later.
elven glare

The Knights Templar/ Lost Templar Fleet historical project


Promo photo showing one of the team founders; David Jackson

The Knights Templar - inspired theatre and eventually living history and schools visit team are busily working away in the background while all seems quiet!.

Initial script for our August performances was completed this afternoon, and auditions for main roles - ideal way to develop a medieval character for later shows, visits, encampments as well - will be taking place on Sunday, in Brixham.

In May, two of the team founders will be giving a historical talk at a local secondary school - what better way to teach the childern about the history of the Knights Templar, than having two actually visit thier class? 

A dedicated page for the project has also been added to the theatre group website,

and if the response to the audition notices is anything to go by, we should have quite a few people turning up, including an actor who appeared in Russell Crowe's recent Robin Hood film!

Needless to say, just because the project centres around the history and myths of the Knights Templar doesnt mean to say that its a male only team. Medieval characters of both genders are needed, and the smallest team member (so far!) today had her first birthday!

And dont forget, heres our crowdfunding link, so that we can afford as authentic as possible kit for the team!