Oh hai there new year! I was pretty MIA for the past two months because my schedule was packed ridiculously full.  I spent about a month and a half laying out my new art book (Yay!!) that should release at FC this year.  It took Waaaaay longer than it should have because, a) I hadn't used InDesign in years and was rusty b) I hadn't done Layout in years and was rusty and c) I waited to ask for help for far too bloody long.  So then we had to fix a lot of things that I didn't think about/remember/realize there were better ways to do things. Luckily I have KIND Art Director and Designer friends who were willing to help me and now the book looks pretty damn sharp if I do say so myself.  At least it does all laid out and on paper... we'll see what happens when it prints *fingers crossed* As that started wrapping up I had three 12x16 pieces that I needed to get finished up (secretly) for Christmas, so hauled ass getting those done. I got them to the commissioner the night of Christmas Eve, and then Christmas night I flew down to Texas for a week with the family.  It's been lovely, but crazy busy, and gosh am I ready to get back home and just do some art for a while. Granted I still have some looming deadlines that are making me itchy to get painting now, but it shouldn't be as bad as the past two months.

I hope you all had some lovely holidays and have an amazing new year!
So I finally had my month off from travel, and while finances have certainly been worse for not having a con (and to be fair having a LOT of other stupid expenses last month coming from becoming an official Colorado resident) the art is going so much better.  Funny how not doing constant con prep and being overly exhausted/worried has had an extremely positive effect on my art.  I'm looking at it and feeling much more confident in myself, in my work, and in my chosen profession.  I ended up taking far longer than I would have hoped on my 'Pirates Meeting' piece below, but I really think the results were worth it.  I really REALLY wanted to make sure that the client got his monies worth, that I did myself proud, and that it kept true to what was showing up in my head.  And I am pretty damn pleased.

The Pirates Meeting
by ~LauraGarabedian on deviantART

The next piece up that I was pretty proud of was this caracal mage.  Doing Glowly in watercolor =hard.  As in breaking my face a few times hard. But the results seemed really worth it.  I was reminded of that thing that my art teachers always told me and somehow when I'm exhausted I always forget.  You start with the BIG brushes and work down.... Oh yeah... It helps... no really.

Caracal Mage
by ~LauraGarabedian on deviantART

So yeah.  I am really freaking pleased with those pieces... one more I'll show you guys later after I upload it tomorrow that I was also thrilled with.  The other thing that has had me super pleased with these has been getting to work relatively large.  Until these pieces I hadn't had many large commissions recently (and by large I mean anything at least 9x12 - which is a decent - though really not large - for watercolors) So that was a blast too.  The first piece is 12x16 and the second is 9x12.  On my current queue are (thankfully) a few more large pieces. I am freaking loving them, a 16x20 cave scene, a 20x30 dalek, and a 10x30 (ish - size is still in flux) asian dragon. 

Anyhoo, I AM travelling again this weekend, road tripping up to Kansas City for the SpectrumLIVE convention. Not vending, but going, networking, and hopefully learning a lot.  I am really looking forward to this convention.  Panels on WorldBuilding, panels on getting started in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy world... getting my portfolio reviewed by Disney, Blizzard, and WoC... might break my brain... but in any case I am super stoked.

Whats been going on in my personal life though?  Still seeing the same amazing guy... kind of think this one is a keeper... he is one of those people who can always make me smile.  Takes care of me and recognizes the small things when I'm not feeling up to snuff.  We went and visited some friends who just (like a week ago) had a baby, so I held the tiny little thing and kind of felt grateful that as cute as he is (he slept the ENTIRE time I held him) I have not changed my mind. Still don't want one.  I am gonna kind of freak out if I ever get an urge to have a kid... in all of my life I have NEVER wanted one... I very rarely even hold them.  Tim actually even brought it up later, saying I held out for a while he didn't think I liked kids that much and to be fair I probably held him for an hour or two... but he was asleep, you don't move them when they sleep.  At least when I hold sleeping baby goats/kittens/puppies/chickens/etc I never moved them if I could avoid it... I figure its the same with babies, if they are happy and sleeping its no skin off my back to hold the sleeping thing.  And they are kind of cute in an odd squishy human way... I just don't want one.. Catch and release, its all about catch and release.   Not too terribly much else going on - I'm playing an oddly anthro seal/anemone cyborg in a Rifts game, so thats been a blast... she can go all face huggery with tons of arms and claws and sharp seally teeth when she gets scared... which makes me giggle like a little girl... And really thats about it.

I'll try and show you all some more art before I head off to Spectrum.
So the 21st was my roommates birthday. And he has a party on the Solstice to celebrate the both his birthday and the longest night of the year.  It was my first time to attend this gloriousness but I am so glad I was around for it. It was a glorious celebration of friendship, camaraderie, and geekery, and was just an incredible amount of fun.  There were a plethora of candles, of friendship, of mugs (that I designed), of geekery, and of a genuinely wonderful and heartfelt good time.

This will be my first year not to have Christmas with my family and TBH it is kind of a relief.  I decided to leave the decision of whether or not I went to TX up to the weather, and rather thankfully two nights ago we got about a foot of snow on the ground and most of the roads leaving to TX are covered in ice.  So rather than a 16 hour drive followed by stress and trying to see family and friends in a very short a stressful time, followed by another stressful 16 hour drive back, I will have a lazy morning. With a lazy afternoon to follow. And the only things I am required to do will be to feed myself.  I may even take a day off from art (probably not, but maybe).  And just be lazy.  My only definite plan for the morrow is to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special. And to be honest, that is enough of a plan to make me happy.

So what I want to do here is just say thank you.
Thank you all for your support.
Thank you for your friendship.
And I hope you all have a chance to have beautiful and relaxing holidays, to spend however you see fit. 

Cheers to all, and happy 2012.
Hahaha, I kind of slacked of, on urm, yeah, everything internets in the past week, as I couldn't POST any of the stuff I did for people for Christmas and I was frustrated *grinz* AND I was frustrated because the internets were arguing at every turn. So APOLOGIES if I missed anything I am trying to double check to make sure I didn't miss anything, but I have nagging feelings I might have - if you sent me anything and you would have expected a response by now, my DEEPEST apologies. If you don't get an answer by tonight- please E-mail me to confirm that your stuff didn't get lost in the crazy that was last week. Happy happy now.

Hope you all had freaking fantastic holidays, doing whatever you want, be it hanging with family or by yourself, or going to the zoo or whatever. I had pretty good holidays. Spent a lot of time with my brother, minimal time with the parents (prob for the best as I am still easily hurt by their current behavior) and lots of time w/my boy.
And I got prezzies.
And gave prezzies (and by some of the giftees reactions, did a damn good job so YAY!)
My fave received prezzies were... small bag of scraps of fur and teeth and bone from a friend online, FUZZY BOOTS from my brother (not the typical Ugg tall chunky boots which I hate), a TARDIS USB splitter from my boy, a sonic screwdriver led torch from my brother, a fantastic flask from my mom, and a sushi dinner from my dad :)
My favorite gifts I gave - an egg incubator for my mom so she can 'grow her own' chickens *grinz*, various bizarre hot sauces for my dad because he likes trying new sauces, an AWESOME collar for my brothers new dog (seriously, check out Karma Collars, they have a shop on Etsy and they are fantastic - this one has the ends of 12 gauge bullets in it - and the dogs name is Chester - short for Winchester - so perfect - and has a lifetime guarantee) and also some fantastic steampunk cufflinks by luckykojak  luckykojak, really nice ceramic pots and a mug for my boy.
Hooray! I like giving and receiving, and giving...

BTW I am RIDICULOUSLY jealous of all you people with snow. Ridiculously. Just saying. I know most of you are probably over it, and whatever, but dammit, I like snow. It never feels like holidays without snow.  Or even winter for that matter. Yeah, anyhow...

And as a reminder my ACEO counting contest is on until jan 1st whereupon the ten people CLOSEST to the actual # will get little free ACEO's. and right now I only have 3 entries, so GUESS PEOPLE!!!!
rules are below

So here is the contest
How many ACEO's do I have? Including ACEO's done for commission.
They are ALL posted somewhere, but I admit they may not all be posted in one place. Honestly, I don't think they are :/ But they are ALL posted online. But how many ACEO's do I have?
E-MAIL ME THE RESPONSE! To Art[at]LauraGarabedian.com - Subject line Christmas Contest.
As a reminder the various places I have art online are...
My Shiney New Website www.LauraGarabedian.com
DA - http://lauragarabedian.deviantart.com/
FB - http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/La.....k/212014834464
Etsy - http://www.etsy.com/people/LauraGarabedian
I am holding this contest on a few platforms and don't want to be confused, so please don't comment, comments won't be valid

You must e-mail me with your guess/count of the number of ACEO's that I have to Art[at]LauraGarabedian.com
Contest is over on the 1st of January, winners will be announced that week, and I'll ship off the prints sometime the first week of 2011.
ALL ACEO's must be counted, not just ones for sale, or commissioned work.
Also included are my ACEO's that have a white border for framing purposes, (they are listed as such) I know they aren't classic ACEO theme, but they are (in my mind) ACEO's and it's my contest :)

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