Ramadan

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Last summer I attempted to work of a special book that was based on a series of free tutorials that artist Ady Almanza was posting on her YouTube channel. The gist was that each week she would put up a new tutorial and viewers would follow along. All we needed to do was to get one of those baby board books and various materials. I was eager to do it in an effort to learn something new. There were challenges early on because I realized that the board book I used had more pages than the one that Ady Almanza used in her videos. So I compensated by having two-page spreads.

There were supposed to be ten lessons in this series. Well, anyway, I watched the intro video to learn what materials I needed for the project. The following week I followed along with the first lesson as I painted the entire book cover. Then I spent the next two weeks following along with lessons two and three.

On week four I looked online and I found that she hadn’t added any new lessons. I assumed that she was taking a week off for some reason. Since I had more pages than the book she was using, I decided to improvise by just making two-page spreads. The next week there was still no new lessons but I saw on her Facebook page that she was on vacation so I wasn’t too worried. I made another two-page spread. The following week there were still no new videos so I did another two-page spread. Another week came and went with no new videos. Finally I posted a notice on her Facebook page asking if she was going to post any new tutorials soon since she said that she was doing a ten-part series. She responded the next day saying that she had been on vacation for a few weeks but now that she’s back she’ll post new videos online soon. So I waited another week with no new videos and I decided to do another two-page spread.

So it got to be a cycle where, each week, I would look on Ady Almanza’s Facebook page and YouTube channel only to find no new tutorials so I would end up doing another two-page spread where I winged it with my latest art page. Eventually it got to the point where I had only one extra page left to fill in then I would have exactly the same number of blank pages that Ady Almanza had left in the book that she was using in her video tutorial series. So I did one last mixed-media work in August, 2015 and I decided to put that project on hiatus until Ady Almanza resumed her tutorial series.

Except she never resumed her tutorial series. I see her post new work on her Facebook page all of the time. (She’s a very prolific artist. She seems to churn out one new work either every day or every other day.) But she has yet to post any new tutorials in her ten-part series and I have a feeling that she abandoned it for whatever reason.

So my own project was left uncompleted for the next eight months. A few days before the Memorial Day holiday weekend I scheduled an appointment to speak with someone regarding a potential art-related opportunity that I originally found on Craigslist. I responded to the ad and the person immediately emailed me back because he really liked the samples of my work that I submitted to the email address that was listed in the ad. We agreed to meet on Memorial Day itself at a Panera Bread in Silver Spring to go over the details about this potential opportunity, which ultimately fell through when I never heard back from the guy I met with despite the fact that he seemed to like my work when we met together in person. Anyway before that meeting I decided to bring smaller samples of my art that I could carry in a bag because I was traveling via Metro. (I wasn’t able to drive to Silver Spring because, at the time, I had a flat tire that needed either to be fixed or replaced and my car had one of those temporary tires that I was not supposed to drive on too much.) I found a couple of smaller paintings to bring then I found my incomplete Doll Dreams book from last summer.

I decided to bring it despite the unfinished pages in the back until I came across the last completed work I did that was based on my Pinkie Cooper anthro doll. I saw that it was a one-page work and it was facing a page that was covered in white gesso and it was completely blank. Here is what the page looked like before I covered it in gesso last year.

page16

For some reason I thought that showing someone a book with a completed page facing a blank white gesso page was even more embarrassing than having a few blank pages in the back so I decided to rectify the situation by quickly covering that blank facing page with more art.

Since Pinkie Cooper is an anthro who’s supposed to be a mix of a human and dog, I thought doing an anthro feline would be the perfect compliment to the previous facing page. And I happened to have the proper doll that I could use as a model for that page. I have a Monster High doll known as Toralei Stripe, who’s a werecat. So I did this page using only acrylic paint.

10-page16

I showed this book to my contact at Panera Bread on Memorial Day and he liked it but then I never heard from him again after that meeting. As for the rest of the book, I’m definitely going to fill in the rest of the blank pages because it would be a shame to leave this book unfinished. I haven’t yet decided whether I’m going to re-do the three tutorials that Ady Almanza posted online before abandoning this project altogether or if I’m going to use free art tutorials made by other people or if I’m going to simply improvise. I’ll probably do one or two pages a month until I fill in the book.

Subsequent Entries in This Series

Part 11
Part 12

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