cross training

cross training

I receive book recommendations quite often, but one series is suggested much more than any other, by far. So, even though I have been slowly making my way through a couple of other series of books, I decided to finally begin reading Bared to You by Sylvia Day.

Although I haven’t yet completed the entire book, I’m already really enjoying it so far. The variety of characters and how they interact is realistic yet never mundane. Out of them all, I have to say that I really enjoy Eva! She’s full of strength and still has a playful sense of humor, even though she’s had to endure and work through a very difficult past.

Of course it’s also fun to see the relationship between Eva and Gideon develop (even with all the bumps in the road along the way).

So, instead of choosing a particular scene from the portion of the book I’ve already completed, I decided to conjure up a simple illo of Gideon post-workout at his namesake gym! That’s not to say I haven’t come across plenty of scenes just itching to be illustrated! ;)

-Victoria

15 Comments

category: Crossfire Series, illustration

prints and merchandise now available

prints and merchandise available

For quite some time, many of you have asked where to purchase the different illos seen on my site. So, I am very happy to let you all know that prints and other merchandise featuring my artwork are now available through Society6!

I’ve worked through a few different game plans for ways to offer my pieces to you, and have experienced some major frustrations spanning a rather lengthy amount of time. But now I’m very pleased to present my store to everyone! :D

Not only can you purchase prints, but also all sorts of fun items, such as: totes, t-shirts, mugs, cell phone cases and skins, pillows and much, much more! I’ve tried to provide a variety of products, but if there is something you would like, but do not see it in the store, please let me know in the comments below, or even via email or social media (you can find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.) I will try to do the best I can to add it to the store. (The range varies for each illo since the dimensions of the piece sometimes create restrictions when applying them to different product types. However, I will do my best with all requests I receive.)

A little bonus for everyone is a special Promo Link that Society6 happened to give out just this week! If you use this special link code:

https://society6.com/rufflesandrestraints?promo=PFC3824QCC7B

every order will receive FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING! Be sure to use only the above link to receive the special offer.

But hurry! This offer is only in effect through this Sunday, August 9, 2015!

…you can also click on this and it will take you there as well! ;)

society6 free worldwide shipping promo link

I hope you have fun looking around the store and I also hope you find something you’re looking for! :)

Stay tuned…I’m not just stopping with Society6! ;) Very soon, I’ll be sharing another terrific store I’ve recently found that offers some additional items that I thought you would all like!

But for now, I hope you enjoy shopping, and please spread the word if you know anyone that might be interested in what my shop has to offer!

Thanks everyone! :)

-Victoria

2 Comments

category: miscellaneous

San Diego Comic Con 2015

Comic-Con came a bit earlier in July this year, but as usual it did not disappoint! Also as usual, the weather in San Diego was perfect and the crowds were HUGE! But I had lots of fun and saw a lot! (click on any photo to see a bigger version!)

Even before setting foot on the Con floor, there were advertising wraps everywhere you looked:

Gaslamp and  Hard Rock wrap

Lego and Heroes

Conan trolley and hotel wraps

Muppets wrap

 

Spotted a Martian Colonel Sanders outside of the Chuck Jones Gallery…

Colonel Sanders Martian

 

Since demand for passes always exceeds supply, I noticed that there were a lot more off-site events and things all around the Convention Center. Just like last year there was an area near Petco Park with food trucks, music and of course attractions related to different movies and TV shows.

Point Break attraction and food trucks

Lots of promotion for the new Peanuts movie coming up…but sadly I didn’t see my friend Snoopy this year…just lots of lines surrounding the Peanuts booth. But they did have a giant slide outside!

Peanuts slide

 

While wandering the floor, my friend recognized Kevin Doyle. He had read about him in a news article. Doyle’s wife had passed away recently, so he decided to embark on a fundraising walk from Petaluma to San Diego in her memory. There’s much more to his story that you can read about here.

Kevin Doyle We chatted with him for a bit and he was extremely friendly and very sweet. He apologized and said he should stand while he chatted with us, but we convinced him to stay seated–since he had to be exhausted after all that walking. I didn’t realize until later that he had just finished his trek earlier that day! (Apologies for the less than stellar photo quality.)

 

Of course there are plenty of cosplayers to be seen!

Totoro cosplayer I kept running into Totoro everywhere. But then again, he was pretty hard to miss!

 

Aquaman Aquaman seems to have forgotten his orange shirt and decided to grow out his hair!

 

…um…

The Flash and Wonderwoman

 

…heehee…I could not pass up this photo opportunity…

Bob the Angry Flower

 

I seemed to ‘get lucky’ and spotted these great Daft Punk cosplayers! ;) Their headgear looked really incredible!

Daft Punk

 

Oh, just Hawkeye and Catwoman hanging out together, with The Joker making a quick getaway!

Hawkeye, Catwoman and The Joker

 

This Spock cosplayer was incredible! The resemblance was amazing, and even his voice was on point!

Spock

 

The booths are always a spectacle in themselves! Some are quite large, such as this ABC booth that looked like a backlot soundstage:

ABC soundstage booth

Some may have been much smaller, but still fun to visit.

Future Dude sign (I thought the name was great!)

 

Giant grabbing woman's head I didn’t realize until going through all my photos that it looks like he’s grabbing that poor woman’s head! The man to the left even looks a bit concerned for her! ;D

 

Ugly Doll booth Ugly Doll always has a great booth. This year they paid tribute to Star Trek!

 

Minecraft A huge Minecraft booth!

 

I spotted these adorable guys from the new We Care Bears animated show, and had to snap some pix…

We Care Bears front

…and couldn’t pass up taking a parting shot of their cute little rear ends! ;)

We Care Bears back view

 

Making my way through the endless sea of people, I happened to pass by Elijah Wood doing a signing. Here’s a silly gif of him showing an emotional spectrum:

Elijah emotional

Elijah feeling your pain…and a happy Elijah! (I couldn’t resist) ;)

 

The Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice costumes were quite impressive. The Batman costume is massive! Wondering if it has a bit of enhancement, or if Ben managed to pack on that much muscle at the gym!

Batman vs Superman costumes

…and here’s a very different version of Batman (and a lot smaller!)

Lego Batman

 

Batman has his Batmobile, so why can’t Spiderman have his own car too?

Spiderman and Lego car

 

I’m sure many cosplayers were drooling over these suits of armor!

suits of armor

 

There was plenty of Star Wars:

Reys Speeder

Star Wars wall

star wars helmets

tie fighter and x-wing

yoda

…even where you least expected it…

Furbacca and disco R2D2

 

Hmmm…highly doubtful that he is any relation to another very well-known Grey… ;)

the grey

 

 

My friends and I don’t normally attend any panels but this time we did two! One of my friends chose one about setting and achieving creative goals. One of the panelists, Gene Luen Yang, is a teacher by trade but self-published his own comic which went on to receive prestigious awards. He kept at it and was recently chosen to write a new Superman comic! Not only that, but he won another prestigious Eisner Award during the Con this year for his writing!

I chose a panel featuring Ruth Clampett and Linda Jones–the daughters of Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones, respectively. I had recently read some of Ruth Clampett’s writing work (and even did an illo) but was interested in learning more about how she and Linda Jones were involved in keeping their fathers’ legendary animation legacies alive. It was a really interesting panel…and with a bit of encouragement from my friend, I even got up the courage to say hello to Ms. Clampett afterwards! She was extremely sweet and I’m so glad I got to meet her in person! (Unfortunately, I failed to snap any photos!)

Every year SDCC is bigger than life and packed with people from all over the world, and it never disappoints. I always go to get inspired, and had the pleasure of meeting and chatting to a few artists I had never met, which was fantastic! I’m already really looking forward to SDCC 2016!

…oh, and in case you were wondering…
Where’s Waldo?

 

 

Waldo

…I found him! ;)

-Victoria

Leave a Comment

category: SDCC

boys and their toys

boys and their toys

In Fifty Shades Darker, Ana gave Christian several gifts on his birthday. Some were life-changing, some were naughty (and fun!) and some were sweet. I decided to create an illo showing the moment when Christian thanks Ana for the gift that belongs in the latter category. ;)

Most would not think that the solar powered toy helicopter would not be at all appropriate for a man like Christian Grey. But of course, only Ana would know they would be wrong. The seemingly simplistic toy not only represented his very own Charlie Tango, but also incorporated green power–of which Christian had great interest.

Not that she was completely confident giving him the gift. In fact she hesitated just moments before presenting it to him, taking into consideration recent events. Ana just wasn’t certain it was too soon and could upset him. But fortunately she went ahead and gave him the gift anyway, and he could not have been happier. This made her both relieved and excited at the same time. Instead of looking at what could have been, Christian was delighted and intrigued with the toy.

The birthday gift could also be thought to have a somewhat symbolic meaning as well. The last time Ana had given Christian a gift that represented one of the expensive toys he enjoyed, it was the model kit for a glider like the one they had flown in Georgia when they ‘chased the dawn.’ But he received that during a time that they would probably both like to forget ever happened. It marked a time when it felt as if an end was inevitable.

But this time, the gift of the toy helicopter came at a time of new beginnings. Not only due to their recent engagement, but also after Christian’s close call. It was a sort of symbol of optimism for the future and marked a new start for the both of them and a life together.

-Victoria

 

15 Comments

category: Fifty Shades of Grey, illustration

what’s for dinner?

what's for dinner

As I was reading Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard, I was pleasantly surprised to discover lots of humor sprinkled throughout the book. Often it’s quite subtle, sometimes it occurs in dialogue between characters, but in one particular scene it slowly unfolds as a sequence of events after a simple question is asked. I couldn’t resist trying to recreate the scene in an illo!

It all starts out innocently enough in Gabriel’s kitchen. His sister, Rachel, is in town visiting and has decided to treat both her brother and Julia to a home-cooked meal. But when asked what’s she’s preparing, her answer sets into motion quite an interesting chain of events! ;)

What unfolds next was almost like a Rube Goldberg contraption the way each reaction caused another (and more explosive) reaction! It was no surprise that part of the menu selection would provoke more than a casual response from Rachel’s dinner companions, but unfortunately for Julia, she was caught quite off-guard. Already trying her best to avoid triggering any more wrath from Gabriel, the mention of a simple side dish destroyed all hopes for an uneventful evening.

It was also unfortunate for Gabriel, since he had just changed into one of his favorite crisp, white (and of course expensive) dress shirts. But to be honest, he deserved the dousing and was in need of a cooling off! Just prior to Julia’s refreshing spritz, he had giddily anticipated–then enjoyed–closely watching Julia expertly savor her first taste of his special vintage Chianti from Tuscany. Perhaps he enjoyed it a little too much…as Julia noted to herself. ;) So even though it was unintentional, Julia put out the fire she had innocently just started!

But, Gabriel’s reaction to the events was not funny at all, and instead stoked an entirely different fire in him. Once again he manages to upset poor Julia. However, this time he realized what he had done and tried to make amends. This treated Julia to a much more pleasant interaction with him, and allowed her to experience his much gentler and compassionate side.

-Victoria

12 Comments

category: Gabriel's Inferno Trilogy, illustration

adventures at sea

adventures at sea

After an unplanned and hastily arranged stay at the Fairmont Olympic in Fifty Shades Darker, Christian later surprises Ana with outing on his catamaran–The Grace. While setting sail, he gives her a tour…and they just happen to find themselves spending a bit more time exploring the master cabin. ;) I thought I’d attempt an illo during a moment when both of them are enjoying the luxe surroundings while at sea.

A quite tumultuous few hours had taken place for the both of them. But now that they were sailing the waters of Puget Sound, things were calmer and allowed them to reflect a bit on a variety of developments and discoveries. Not only about events but about each other as well.

Emotional declarations and discoveries made by Christian and Ana gave them more strength and bravery in their intimacy and their relationship in general. At one point, both of them even noted it to the other while in the midst of enjoying the plush master cabin. ;) Their individual strengths had actually helped the other with weaknesses they were experiencing in their interactions with one another.

It’s no doubt that Christian’s traumatic childhood led to his very guarded emotional state. While Ana is quite open emotionally and has no problem expressing her thoughts, opinions and feelings. At first he most likely found it intriguing, since he had never encountered a potential partner that behaved this way. But as he became more attached to Ana, nearly lost her, then reunited with her–clear communication became of utmost importance to prevent another misunderstanding having the potential to tear them apart. So, Christian mustered the strength to open up to Ana more and more about his past. He seemed to allow himself to feel more emotions due to his feelings for Ana and became less guarded and more gentle and tender. It was no longer just a ‘session’ with a sub, as it was in the past.

Whether it being with any of his partners in the past or with Ana, Christian never had problems showing physical intimacy. However, Ana’s inexperience made her much less forthcoming in that department. The confidence and knowledge Christian displayed also quite unnerved her, which caused her to be even more timid. But as Christian became more emotionally available to her and she learned more about him, it gave her more confidence. She better understood him and the reasons for his reactions in certain situations. So she became less intimidated by Christian’s occasional unpredictability and mercurial nature. This allowed her to show more boldness about what she wanted when being intimate with Christian, and at times even taking control of the situation. (although it excites Christian so much that it often led to him taking over from there) ;)

Their moment shared together while on board The Grace was yet another instance showing the progression of their relationship, and how much each was learning from the other.

But this isn’t the only time that Christian and Ana find themselves at sea. In their further adventures, things get a bit interesting in a variety of ways…and turns out to be a very interesting voyage for them both. ;)

-Victoria

24 Comments

category: Fifty Shades of Grey, illustration

fifty shades of grey exclusive blu-ray editions

In anticipation of the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Fifty Shades of Grey, I was fortunate enough to receive several #OfficialFifty Gifts from Grey that would all help to make a movie night at home special. But what’s a movie night without the Feature Presentation?!

Well, #OfficialFifty and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment both made sure that this was taken care of as well…and in a big way! I received a special package that contained the different exclusive Blu-ray editions that Best Buy, Target and Walmart are each offering starting in the US on May 8, 2015!

After giving each of them a viewing and exploring all their extras, I thought I’d share what each has to offer:

Best Buy Exclusive Collectible Steelbook
Best Buy:
Exclusive Collectible Steelbook Packaging
This edition comes in a special collectible Steelbook packaging featuring the same graphic used in the first promotional movie poster. I have always loved tins of all sorts, so I really liked the look of this. I have to admit I have chosen to purchase steelbook packaging of other movies in the past… ;) It makes displaying your collection of movies a bit more special and as a bonus–protects its precious cargo!

 

Walmart Collectible Photo Book
Walmart:
Collectible Photo Book
The packaging of this edition is very unique! As you can see from the photos above, the case that holds the discs looks and feels just like a hardcover book! But that’s not where it ends…when you open the ‘front cover’ of the case, you will discover several ‘pages’ of stills from the movie. The pages consist of sturdy card stock, so no worries about accidentally ripping or damaging them. When I saw the description of this edition before release, I assumed it would be a small additional book packaged separately from the disc case. But I was pleasantly surprised by this packaging and how cleverly it tied the book origins to the movie adaptation.

 

Target 30 minute bonus disc Target:
Limited Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack with 30 minutes of exclusive bonus content

A bonus DVD comes with this edition and contains 30 minutes of extras! The disc is separated into five different menu items:

The Music of Fifty Shades of Grey:
Danny Elfman discusses how he went about scoring the film. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson also makes an appearance, and there are also some behind-the-scenes snippets.

Signing in Vancouver:
A short feature focusing on a book signing in Vancouver with comments by several fans and an appearance by EJ James!

Seeing Fifty Shades:
The stars of the film–Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan–reveal how they felt the first time they viewed the finished movie, while several behind-the-scenes snippets and clips from the film are shown.

Favorite Scenes:
This is probably my favorite from the bonus disc. It’s broken up into four sections where each of the stars, the director and EL James choose their favorite scene from the movie. Lots of behind-the-scenes footage help illustrate their choices.

Photo Gallery:
A montage of several stills from the movie.

But no matter which version you choose, all three include the Blu-ray Combo Pack which contains both the theatrical release on DVD and the unrated version with alternate ending on Blu-ray. In addition, there are hours of fun things to see and hear–such as interviews, behind the scenes segments, music videos, and other interesting extras.

Happy viewing! ;)

-Victoria

 

10 Comments

category: Fifty Shades of Grey

fifty shades of grey official party kit

fifty shades of grey official party kit

Just received this Fifty Shades of Grey Official Party Kit from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and #OfficialFifty, and now I can share it with all of you too!

It’s a fun collection of photos and recipes to make your #FiftyShades viewing party complete!

To get your own copy, just download the PDF by clicking on the following link:

Get your Fifty Shades of Grey Official Party Kit Here!

But a viewing party is nothing without the feature presentation! So don’t forget that the Fifty Shades of Grey Unrated Edition with Alternate Ending will arrive in the US on Digital HD this Friday May 1, and on Blu-ray Friday May 8. If you’re outside the US you can see a list of International release dates here.

Enjoy! :D

Leave a Comment

category: Fifty Shades of Grey

fifty shades darker tease

fifty shades darker still

More news from #OfficialFifty! As you can see above, a new still has just been released…but this time it’s a new film still from a special Fifty Shades Darker tease that is available exclusively on the upcoming release of Fifty Shades of Grey DVD coming up Friday May 1 and on Blu-ray Friday May 8!

Fifty Shades Darker will be arriving in theaters in February 2017!

Not only that, but there is also have a new trailer in support of the #FiftyShades DVD release as well!

Enjoy! ;)

 

4 Comments

category: Fifty Shades of Grey

passion for printing

passion for printing

Through the kindness and thoughtfulness of Neda from the lovely @THESUBCLUBbooks, I was introduced to Ava and Max from The Work of Art Trilogy by Ruth Clampett. She felt that I would enjoy the series since it takes place within the art world. While that is true, I also enjoyed the locations used in the first book: Work of Art Book 1 – The Inspiration. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting several of the places mentioned, including what has to be my favorite bookstore on the planet, Hennessey + Ingalls!

I enjoyed all of the characters, but it was fun and interesting to follow the ever-changing dynamics between Ava and Max. Both of them possessed many facets to their personalities, but I really enjoyed how strong, driven, intelligent and skilled Ava was, even when she was feeling less than confident or confused. Whenever there were times when she was second-guessing herself or at a point of weakness, she may have been feeling it internally but did not easily let it show to others. But at the same time, she did not hesitate to seek advice from her close friends when needed as well.

But while Max also had a very strong personality and did not appreciate nor accept others attempting to dictate his actions, he was more than willing to allow Ava to teach him a thing or two. ;) One such instance occurred when Max asked Ava to show him how to screen print some of his artwork. I decided to attempt to illustrate a moment of weakness that overtook them both, when they let their guards down a bit… ;)

But beware: things are not always what they seem…and events can, and do change in an instant!

-Victoria

8 Comments

category: illustration