Sunday, October 18, 2009

Custom Tabbit Hoodie (for build-a-bears)

So one of my best friends' birthday is this week. She's very much into anthros and is a furry herself. As of right now she's still on a tour called the Soldier Show. The Soldier Show is a traveling performance that the army puts on. Soldiers try out and sing their way around the country as well as a foreign location. It ends in November; but due to the lack of closer locations and clashes with normal life requirements I wasn't able to see her perform (though according to what people have posted on youtube it's really good). Anyways... I wanted to do something UTTERLY amazing for her birthday... and during her tour she has been taking a panda build-a-bear around and taking pictures of it in different locations and in different costumes. I thought it would be a nifty project to try and make a new costume for her panda. Being that she's a furry what could be better?

A while back she was thinking of commissioning me to make cell phone cases for her and her boyfriend (a furry also). She wanted a tabbit for her phone (his character) and a panda-cat (her character) for his phone. So I thought it would be cute, since the bear is already a panda, to make a tabbit hoodie (tiger rabbit). I haven't seen the panda in a hoodie yet plus it's fall so hoodies will be worn. I'd never made a hoodie before this... I've never made a build-a-bear costume either so I definitely was up for the challenge.

So rather that actually going out and looking to see if there was a pattern like the goober I am... I took the harder route and decided to make it from scratch. I modeled a pattern by using a hoodie I had and my own build-a-bear (so I hope it fits hers). The hoodie is made from orange and white fleece. It has two front pockets like a normal hoodie and has a faux zipper (it has snaps for its closure). The hoodie is fully lined and is even finished with its own tag with my signature. It was super fun to make and only took about a week. Since I've never made a hoodie or a build-a-bear suit I'm REALLY stoked that it came out SOOOO great (especially since I've only been sewing for a year). They'd probably make cute hoodies for babies as well (just would need the size). I sort of now want to make one for my build-a-bear (probably a dragon or something)... hahahaha.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Star Fairy is CANCELED

As many of you know I was working three months straight on a book in my time outside of work titled "The Star Fairy" by Chris Zuschlag. Well the finished illustrations were sent to him in August. In mid September I received an email about changes that he wanted, thinking that they were minor changes what he didn't think is even minor changes are DRASTIC in paintings. Some of the changes could have been asked for when I sent him the line drawings but I was told that they were great so I moved forward.

Now the author of the book actually wasn't a writer he was a landscaper and snowboard instructor. So honestly the book wasn't up to great par... it had some major flaws. Then because he didn't know much about publishing children's books he didn't actually know that illustrators have to be paid... >.<. Yeah... I know you're probably wondering why I even took the deal, huh? Well I wanted to be published before I was 25 (which is tomorrow so that won't happen) and I thought if I didn't take it I could lose my one shot. So I made an arrangement that he'd only have to reimburse me for my supplies along with some other demands. 

Anyways when I told him that I wouldn't make those changes, he told me then they won't go to print. When you've made a great deal like that with an artist (a $1000 dollar minimum job for $80.94)... do you really want to test them? No. First off he set a fast deadline for someone that actually has a day job to pay the bills. Then afterwards... he said they he had no deadline and you rather have it exactly how he'd like it. I'm sorry but I even dislike the book A LOT but it was a rushed job (there are some things I love which are the things he wanted changed) and time isn't endless for me when there isn't actual money coming in. So I wrote him a long letter of disapproval and advised him to find another generous illustrator because even if I redid the book I would not be doing the sequels that he's planned. So as of yesterday... the book is officially canceled.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Oracle

This is a concept painting for one of my own children's books called Milo's Study. It's a mini series of 40-page children's books. The concept started with just doing 3 books (called Buttons, Bobbles, and Beads)... but it soon grew into this massive project that I'm in love with. I plan for it to be a book series of about 8... each having it's own mini adventure but they add up to being apart of one big one.

The idea behind them is for kids that aren't just yet into young reader's novels but ready to get out of the simpler children's books. It's based around teams of families that have discovered creatures of myth... so I'm intertwining it with some of my own creatures (like the oracle). Most of the creatures for the story will be from world myths such as the gnoll/ goblin, fairies/ pixies, kappa and inari, and so on. Each somewhat having a connection to the deadly sins (why... don't ask... it's a common theme used and I thought it would be fun to play with even though it's rather complex for kids). Some of the team members are on the good side... trying to protect the creatures, their treasures, or what they represent while others are corrupted by greed and are abusing those they once went in search for when they weren't tainted by their desires. I have the books scratched out so far but not to the point of fully explaining each of them.... or want to hahaha. All I can say is that I hope that it will be great... at least in my head it sounds like a rather enjoyable and profitable project.

As for the Oracle (from book one and possibly reoccurs in all of them)... I can at least explain her. An Oracle is generally one that can foresee what will be. I thought an octopus (being that it is a smart and nurturing creature that it would make a GREAT visionary (no the octopus can't talk))... she possesses a massive pearl (crystal ball idea) that can show hints and images. She grants use of it to one of the team members (Milo- the seen as "crazy" grandfather), who is sworn to protect it from all that is corrupt. It is one of the most powerful items of the bunch due to the fact that it can show you what you question about and even don't question about. When Milo comes up missing the granddaughters are able to use it. It is what is left in the picture.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Illustration Friday

Friday, July 10, 2009

Website updating

Every year or so it's good to redesign your website. I haven't updated mine in a while... but I'm redoing it now. The changes haven't been uploaded yet.... but here are some screen shots of a few of the pages. All I have left to do is add the art for 3 of the categories (the digital page is done as you can see that it actually has roll over buttons). The theme I'm going with this time is letters and mailing since my updated logo is the wax seal. So the motif is feathers like quills and stamps. The stamps represent the portfolio categories and when you roll over them they will tell you which category each section is. Once one of them is clicked it will take you to that section of my portfolio. I'm pretty satisfied with how it's turning out. I like the crispness and the theme. It which makes it look more inviting. The size of the page is also larger which will work great since the minimum size of screens now are larger.

So what do you think... haha if you can actually see the little screen shots.

Mini Mayhem

My brother is starting a truck club and he asked me if I would make his logo. He chose the one on the bottom.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More book progress... !!!!

More book progress... all of the final drawings are done and are in line for paint..... YAY!!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Unprofessional clients beware!!!

Friday night and yesterday I made these. They are two mailers and a business card for a DJ in Worcester, MA. He's the brother of a guy my mother's friends with so even though I have projects to work on... I said I'd do it because she asked. 

Tips for you future clients or anyone... please don't think you'll get a date with me because I'm working on your business cards. Asking me my height and what I like to do for fun won't help me when I'm trying to get information about your company. Asking whether I'm single and when I reject you or make a statement leaning toward a polite version of  "It will never happen with you"... and responding "well we can still be friends"... will most likely just offend me to the point that I will  never do a project for you again!!! If you're 50, 400 lbs, and have 5 children...  be sure that I won't give you the option to make changes without astronomical fees... or most likely I'll just send you a disc of the printing files and not allow you to make changes. There's a difference from being friendly to being overly personal. Asking me how my day was while I write down your information is okay. Asking me to go to the movies with you is not. Grrrrrr wtf.

Latest cake sketch!!!

Newest cake sketch... mixing the best elements of the other cake sketches... lol

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cake Commission

I've been commissioned to make a couple's wedding cake for August... so I've been starting to prepare with some sketches. They "save the date card" is done with a cut paper theme and was created by my friend Jackie. The couple is looking to do an artisans style wedding. Rather than going to big producers they decided to use local artist in the area. Jackie did cards and such, Shawn is the photographer, and I'm the cake baker. It's not until august but I've been playing with rough sketches. Their card theme is of cut paper flowers (spiderwort and yellow wood sorrel).

THe Star Fairy continues

The project continues!!! After clearing up some snags in the project we reached some agreement. Hahaha... the author really did no research and ummm didn't realize that illustrating is well LABOR. So I cut him a deal... I'll still be not really getting anything but at least supplies will be covered. I'm going to take it as a gig for exposure. I know some people actually make deals like that to get popular. I wasn't going to take the gig after finding out that he couldn't afford services but I sort of feel like this could be the book that helps my name get out there so that one day I could be a successful artist and live off of my freelance work. So the book project will commence with just a little delay. Here are some ROUGH sketches of the book just to show you the stage I'm currently at. I've made ROUGH sketches of the book to note the placement and event in each illustration. I have lots of things to work out but again it's really just to direct me... like notes and such... but visual notes. Now I'm not going to show them all just ones that are closer to cleaned up and to give you an idea of what's going on. And yes I rough sketch in colored pencil... hehe I don't know why... It's not as easy to work with as pen or pencil... but I can see the layers of work in the sketches with the different colors I use. Well back to work.... 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sketches continue...

I said I'd post more sketches but... yeah I had a really rough week so I sort of forgot. But here you go... tell me what you think. These are more sketches of Thyme Robin. I've run into a snag with the author at the moment; but he LOVED the ideas I had. The book is written about his daughter and I apparently captured her perfectly and I had never seen her.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Behind the paintbrush- "The Star Fairy"

So a few people know that I was recently contacted to illustrate a children's book (this will be my first published book). I've worked on some but haven't been published yet so this is pretty exciting. YAY! I thought I'd share some of what I've been working on. Here are a few sketches I've done (pretty much reference sketches and character studies).

The book is called "The Star Fairy" written by Chris Zuschlag. I don't want to spoil any secrets just yet... :P so I'll just say that it's about a girl who works hard and is granted her wish. Without further ado... here is a sketch of Thyme Robin (a girl from Colorado... that enjoys working in her garden), the Star Fairy (a fairy of human size and who lives on the moon), and some plant studies for the different types of fairies that are in the book as well. Thyme has a hat when she's in her flight form but I haven't decided on how it will look; but here are some sketches... feel free to tell me what you think... more soon to come.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Le Sigh

So I turn 25 this year (5 months actually)... and sort of feel a bit stuck. I know that's a bit away but honestly, I've been losing the concept of time and day. My brain seems to just follow a ghosted routine to the point where all it knows is 5 days 9/5... 2 days off. So it tends to go a lot faster than I think.

I know I'm doing "okay" career wise for my age. Like my day job is as a designers which makes the bills, and I just started working with a client on illustrating a book so I have an illustration thing going. 

It just seems like the difference between office hours and after hours go at entirely different speeds. So I feel like I never get anything done and always have something to do. So time balancing feels like it doesn't exist at all; and there are things I want to do... have fun and stuff but it seems to completely escape me. Sometimes it's like I see no progress so I feel as though I have 70 years of just this. I really want more than just this but I don't know what to do and can't manipulate time and existence.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Trolleys and Drabbit

So I tried working on the Boston Trolley Contest... but really they were horrible at planning it. 

A: They gave no dimensions... not even a ratio. They simply said that they needed a design for a partial wrap for a 13 ft tall aquatic trolley... 

B: They wanted high res images sent as attachments. To send a high res image.... large enough for a Trolley... or so you could blow them up to fit a Trolley... it wouldn't be through an attachment. Most emails can only send between 10 to 20 mb... (10 for the more common emails). So attaching it is literally impossible.

I made sketches and planned... went all the way to color sketches. Then I got sick and I said screw it... I was getting frustrated with guessing  and was sick so I decided to draw a Drabbit instead... hahaha. It's spring so it gave me an excuse. Spring involves bunnies, chocolate, and eggs... and drabbits like chocolate and hatch from eggs so it works.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trying a new technique...

So I made a birthday card for a good friend of mine last week. We both like dragons, fruit tarts, and worked together for some time. So I made this.... not that it's new to draw a dragon but.... I was looking into using existing textures into my digital illustrations. Typically the digital illustrations I've done are very clean and have an almost shiny effect; so while I kept the dragon clean, the textures worked great since they are scaly creatures. Which I think came out quite nicely especially since I will most likely draw more dragons.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Alumni willing to give a helping hand...

So March is coming to an end and for some of you... will be getting ready for graduation. I remember what the end of senior was like especially for illustrators. I don't know if the projects have changed... but I remember having to come up with fonts, stationary, business cards, websites, and mailers... self promotion ideas. If any one is looking for help or tips... as always I am open to helping or critiquing. So don't be afraid to ask.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Commission Guidelines

Commission Guidelines: 

Caricature Work:
This section more applies to FA and DA... but if there are any other situations this could be used... feel free to ask

Digital Work:

You will receive a sketch before inking (1st sketches are free of charge... $5 for any dramatic changes: meaning you basically want something entirely different). If you are happy with it... it will be inked once I receive payment.

Sketches will most likely be a bit rough... example: 

And "inked"for digital work is generally done in illustrator (that's why they look so super clean)... example:

For those who want just inked pieces... there you go; but for those that dare go to the next level... I do a lot of my digital coloring in either photoshop or corel. Example:

*If you asked for just inked art and change your mind... just make up the cost difference and I'll start the color. Don't be afraid to ask. If you have references... references are ALWAYS appreciated. 

Price List:

Inked Work:

Busts (chest up): $5

Character Only (flat color Background): $10
Additional Characters:  +$5 each
Characters with in simple settings (or implied setting): +$5
Characters with a complex background (such as a jungle scene): +$10

Pokémon, digimon, etc (fanart): one character $7... addition characters +$4 each

Full Color Work:

Bust (Chest Up): $10

Character Only (flat color background): $20 
Additional Characters: +$10 each
Character with a simple setting: +10
Characters with complex backgrounds (such as a jungle scene): +$20

Pokémon, Digimon, etc (fanart): One character $15... additional characters add $7 each

You will receive a print-ready jpeg (aprox. 8x10 300dpi) as well as a screen ready version (approx 8x10 72dpi). I will also post a screen version in my gallery.

Other Digital Works:

*Icons (FA, DA,... blog/portfolio pages) (500x500 and full color): $5 

Promotional Assistance:
This section more so applies to everyone.

***For Blogs, Profile Sites, or Markets sites like

Headers/Banners, Avatars/Icons , Logos, Business Cards and Mailers prices vary upon client and complexity... to get details contact me (sam@samantharomage). I do not print them myself... but I can give you the producer that I use for mine (overnightprints... great quality and fast delivery... free for matte or glossy). I will size and layout them out for you... giving you the proper print ready file as well as a viewable file. If you need loading assistance I'll walk you through the website.

***I'm not going to charge a normal person or a student simply looking for promotional assistance the same as say a company or someone in a well established profession. The range on pay rate will be set at Student/Basic, Middle, and Advance/Professional. I will treat all projects with the same amount of care but costs will vary. 

***I will admit that I'm both a caring person but also like everyone else am in it for a business. So if for those who know me costs will be little to none... fellow MONSTER RATS... don't be afraid to ask me to help you. I'd be happy to as an alumni.

Traditional Illustrations:

This section applies to everyone and anyone.

I have been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil. Illustrations is a passion of mine, I have a degree in it, as well as focus a lot of my work in. I mostly work graphite, watercolor, and acrylic, but have stepped into 3 dimensional illustrations with clay, etc. I really enjoy being creative in general. Feel free to visit my website (I'm currently updating it at the moment). I do new work often so feel free to check in whenever

All prices vary on client and project complexity.

Sewn Electronic Cases: 
Sold on

Electronic cases are hand-sewn from either a wool based felt (wool and rayon) or a polyester blend and stuffed with polyfiber stuffing (for extra padded as needed). There is no difference in price and I, personally, prefer the wool based felts but you have a MUCH larger color variety in the polyester so I decided to give you the choice. 

*Any animal can be made so please don't be afraid to ask for custom commissions (the point of this post). Colors can be to your desire as well.

**All electronic cases can be made as well. Currently I'm making them to ipods, flipphones, keyboard phones, touch phones, and (sushi) ipod nanos. Please specify the model you want to cover... if you have a diferent model from those posted feel free to tell me or give me the dimensions and I'll make one for your model. 

Colors (Wool based):
Solid colors: red, brown, beige, forest green, white, cream, green, green yellow, and black
Granite colors: red, dark grey, cloud blue, light grey, green, and olive green

Colors (polyester based):
*** information coming soon***


Basic: $20 (which means standard animal)
Advanced: $25- $30 (extra detailed animals or animals with minor stuffed props)
Epic: $40 (animals with a lot of details or major props... or dragons... etc)

$5-8 added for shipping in the US and canada (depends on region).
Cost will vary for shipping out of the country. 
If you are buying more than one item there will be no additional charge as it's in the same shipment.

Cakes, Sculptural Cakes, Appetizers/finger foods/ cookies:

All prices range of client, complexity, and quantity.

Sculpture and Puppets:

Petrocks: $12 Please specify the color tone you desire (red, purple, grey, brown, green, blue, etc)... colors may not be exact as they are suppose to appear as rocks which is why I ask for tone. Example:

Hatchlings: information coming soon
Sculptures: information coming soon
Hand "Cradled" Dragon and Creature Marionettes: information coming soon
Caricature Marionettes: information coming soon
Dragon and Creature Marionettes: information coming soon

Shipping for these will vary on region and weight.

Additional Notes:

10% of all proceeds go to charities.

* All payments are via paypal or talk to me if another alternative is needed. 
** Also please note that I have a day job so patience is appreciated. Things will be completed as soon as I can though. I'm just not a magician. Hahaha.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Grand Opening... Draconos's Wonders

I am selling my products online as
I share the shop with my mother... we sell electronic cases, purses, blankets, sculpture, figurines, puppets, etc... so feel free to stop by... and check often... we both come up with new ideas often. Custom orders are greatly accepted. There aren't examples of everything... like the puppets, blankets, and sculptures are more time consuming and cost a more... but I will have them posts as soon as I can.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Trying to make the final decision on mailers...

I'm sending in my order soon from overnightprints and I'm trying to decide on which mailer to go with. Both have their advantages... the one on the left is an illustration... to show somewhat of my style. I'm sort of leaning towards that since it is an illustration. The one on the right has the stamps from my website. I like the polished look of it and it matches the website... but it really doesn't say... Sam illustrator. Tell me what you think.

So getting the art blogs rolling...

So... I started this blog last year but didn't really have much to say at the time and got a little side tracked. Now things have been rolling a little and I thought it would be good to actually start posting (and often). 

To bring everyone up to speed... I'm still working as a Graphic Designer in Gloucester. The job is going really well and meets the living expense needs... haha; and I am still in a hard pursuit of becoming an illustrator (where my heart truly lies).

I reside in Beverly and moved into a new apt mid of last year. It's roomy and suits me well. In my free time I do my usual (being creative and goofing around hahaha). I currently am finishing up with sending out my second children's book pitch. The story was written by a friend of mine for her Children's Literature class; but I thought the story was so well written and entertaining that we should try and get it published. The story is called "Dark" and is about a young girl who's afraid of the monsters that lurk in the darkness and what she does to cope with them. I'm hoping that this will be the book that gets my foot in the illustration door (sneek peek seen above 1).

I have also been working on my new "Illustrator Identity"... so my website, business cards, and mailers have been redone. I'm going with a similar motif as my old identity but with more of a polished theme (old letters vs new). I kept the spiral backdrop but add more to it giving it a more natural element. Polishing the soft tones is a wax seal and stamps (as seen in my site... I will notify everyone when it is finished and posted) (Sneek peek seen above 2).

Also, I have opened my FA for commissions.

Lastly, I have taken up sewing. I currently have a line of animal electronic cases (fits everything from ipod nanos to touch phones). I take orders and custom jobs and all are sold on This is a formal announcement of the grand opening. I finally opened the shop on Sunday, so feel free to visit (samples seen above 3).