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Hey everyone!

I will be doing Inktober this year!
If you're not familiar with it, the challenge is to draw a picture a day during the month of October using inks only.
I will post daily on Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook - and do weekly recaps here on DA.

Have a fun Inktober everyone! :D
So I was tagged by STelari to answer this little DeviantArtist Questionnaire...! Enjoy! :D

How long have you been on DeviantArt?
12 years. Can you believe it? I feel like a right old fart, but that's alright.

What does your username mean?
Kmye is short for Camille, my real first name. Chan... now that's a longer story. My online username has always been Kmye, and back in the days when I was a teenager, my online friends and I were obsessed with everything manga, anime, Japanese, and roleplay. One of them nicknamed me "Kmye-chan", which I used as my username when I started my DA account. And it kind of stuck. I started using it as a pseudonyme last name after a few years, and have been considering dropping it altogether - the jury is still out.

Describe yourself in three words.
Artistically inclined sciencelady. Whaddyamean, sciencelady ain't a word?

Are you left or right handed?
Right-handed.

What was your first deviation?
Taken out of storage for your eyes only...! I'm not actually sure that was my very first - I may have deleted the oldest ones. But it's definitely from my first month on DA.

Mechanic Angel by KmyeChan

What is your favourite type of art to create?
Illustrating folktales and mythological characters is an old favourite of mine. Anything with lots of emotion. I need to strongly connect emotionally to the picture I am drawing, otherwise I tend to loose interest.

If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be?
I'm not sure it counts as an art style, but I have been trying to learn oil painting for a while now and am just *slooowly* getting a grip on it that I feel I can start including the technique in artworks I would be willing to share online. I would definitely instantly master that... perhaps not against my firstborn tho...

What was your first favourite?
According to DA... Apparently I liked winged unicorns when I was 17.

Phantoms Walk at Noon by amarys

Bullet; Orange What type of art do you tend to favourite the most?
A few examples will speak louder than words:

Leak by Checanty Magic is waiting ahead by STelari The Storm. by Claudia-SG The Almond Tree by AudreyBenjaminsen all's well that ends well by pettryb  Advice from a Caterpillar by AbigailLarson
8th circle by VijVij Dead man's box by ellaine The Language of Flowers by RovinaCai Hurry to love by ELK64

I...kind of feel a theme going on here...!

Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist?
Hmmm, that's a really tough one, because I don't tend to have all-time favourite artists. My tastes change quite quickly and my favourite artist of the moment as well. I love all of the above, and many others.

If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be?
Funny thing: I've actually met many artists from DA, which is a bit weird because I'm a shy little beast. Among artists I *haven't* met yet... I'd say AbigailLarson, STelari and ELK64. And many others actually, but I'll stop there.

How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?
Many people around here have impacted my life in significant ways...! Special shoutouts to zancan, who's been a bit of a mentor to me (:D), and Claudia-SG, because she's both an awesome artist and a true friend. They've both always been incredibly supportive, and I owe them much.

What are your preferred tools to create art?

Inks, markers, watercolours, pencils. Trying to get into oils, as I said.

What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?
I am not sure I've found it yet? I draw in my living room, on my dining table. My flat is too small to have a dedicated space for art, unfortunately, so it's a bit all over the place.

What is your favourite DeviantArt memory?
This is going to sound silly but: the first time my artwork made it at the top of the "Most Popular" frontpage, at some point around 2006, back in the day when the layout and popular page were a bit different. I was so stinking proud of myself. When I look back my art back then wasn't all that good, and was popular because I was drawing a lot of gothic lolita and fanart. Who cares! It felt like the be-all, end-all of the art world to me at that point (oh, sweet summer child that I was...!) :D


If you or your art has been mentionned above: congrads, you've been tagged! Do hate me.
If you haven't done this questionnaire and want to do it: feel free to feel tagged too!

Just tag it with #DeviantArtistQuestionnaire, mmm'kay?
Hi everyone!

A few people expressed an interest in receiving notifications by email when original artwork or a new print is released for sale.
I agree that such things are easily missed on social media sites...!

So if you are interested, I have set up a newsletter!
You can subscribe here: eepurl.com/5lfe9

I will also have a big prints sale on my Etsy shop, so keep your eyes peeled if you are interested! Several older artworks will be discontinued after the sale to make space for new releases. :)

www.etsy.com/shop/kmye

Thanks everyone for your support!

Kmye
Hello peeps!

There is a giveaway happening on my Facebook art page !
www.facebook.com/kmye.chan.art

giveawayOct2014 by KmyeChan
Yes, it's that time of the year again!

I am doing the Inktober semi-marathon challenge this year, meaning that I will do an ink drawing every other day! I will stick to the rule of my personal Inkdrops Project as well ie. complete all pictures in under an hour.
To get the pictures as they come, follow me either on:
    Tumblr: kmyechan.tumblr.com/
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/kmye.chan.art
    Instagram: instagram.com/kmyechan

I will post weekly recaps here on DA! :)

A little glimpse of my first drawing:

Lilies by KmyeChan



What's happening lately

Coloraptus Charity Artbook Preorders are open!
For all details: www.facebook.com/TheColoraptus…

Coloraptus by KmyeChan
[EDIT] Alright, so I have had interesting discussions with a couple of artist friends, and it turns out I may just be doing it wrong.

Apparently, most of my readers are not even aware I sell prints.
It's true that I don't post about them often, mostly because I don't want to plummel you with shameless advertisement for my shop. And when I do - these posts are not as successful according to FB's statistics, so most of you don't receive them anyway.

So, I will give the shop a second chance, following the sound advice I have received (thanks Heather and Caroline! :D )
Basically, prints will only be available for a fixed amount of time, rather than indefinitely until they sell out. (I will still be having that sale in October to make space in the shop for new prints! :) )
I will also set up a newsletter for those of you interested in new releases.

I will keep you posted! :D

Best,
Kmye

----------

Hey everyone!

Here is a quick heads-up regarding massive changes coming shortly regarding my prints sales.

I am going to stop selling signed limited edition fine art prints. Unfortunately, while the shop did well in the beginning, sales have decreased markedly for the past couple of years, to the point that it is no longer sustainable for me to maintain my giclee machine and my shop.

I am going to move my prints shop to a platform that will handle both printing and shipping for me (probably here on DeviantArt or Society6 - or both). On the bright side - it means that prints will be cheaper, with more sizes available and varied goodies as well. On the less bright side - prints will not come signed and color-checked by myself anymore. Also, prints of my older artworks (everything before 2013, basically) WILL BE DISCONTINUED, since I sold those as limited editions and it wouldn't be fair to people who bought them as such to sell them as open editions now.

I will have a large prints sale in late October to empty my stocks and give everybody a last chance to buy the artworks that are going to be discontinued. If you want any of them, now is a good time to start saving!

If you REALLY REALLY want one of the artworks I offer as prints and don't want to miss out during the sale, my shop remains open until then: www.etsy.com/shop/kmye

Thanks for your support everybody!
Hi all! :)

I am delighted to announce that I contributed to the charity artbook Coloraptus!

Coloraptus is a 52-page artbook gathering original, unpublished artworks from 35 international artists with colors of the rainbow as a theme! All profits will proceed to the onlus Matteo Fontana, an Italian charity organisation that provides support to people suffering from leukemia.

The artbook will officially be released at the Lucca Comics & Games fair (Italy), but you can preorder your copy (with a discount!) internationally!
Go to the Facebook page for all the info: www.facebook.com/TheColoraptus…

Glimpses of the artworks will also be released in the days to come on the project's page.

I am super excited about this - I can't wait to receive my copy!
It's my first artbook ever! :D

Take care & keep creating,

Kmye
Hi everyone!!

If you follow me on Facebook you will know by now that I have joined forces with the team of artists extraordinaires from Copycat Violence Art Collective, including puimun, seaspell, medusainfurs, ellenwilbergart, DivaRougeArt and many others!

We are currently holding our first ever online auction and I have two small works up for bids!
Starting bids are fairly cheap too!

Auction is here: www.facebook.com/copycatviolen…

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/copycatviolen…
Hi everyone!

[EDIT] Starting in 5-10 minutes (running slightly late here!)

The next livestreaming session will be tomorrow (March 28) at 6pm GMT!
I will try a few alterations compared to last time (if you were there), especially streaming at higher resolution and having my mic on to walk you through what I am doing and answer any questions.

I am not sure yet what I will be working on - either keep working on the Fortune Teller picture (shadowing and tinting with colour inks, perhaps some detailing with markers and pencils, depending on how fast I work), or perhaps do a small ink picture for the Inkdrops Projects.
Any preferences?

new.livestream.com/accounts/76…

See you there with any luck?

WIP - The Fortune Teller by KmyeChan
Hi everyone!

Just to let you know that I am part of the "My Master and I" group show at Gallery Curiosités, and you can take a virtual tour of the show right here:
www.curiosites-galerie.com/con…

Artwork is for sale, obviously! :)

I will upload the tribute to Egon Schiele I did for the show later today, in a censored, all-public version (the original is slightly NSFW I suppose).

Take care!

Kmye

Shipwrecker time-lapse video

Journal Entry: Wed Dec 18, 2013, 6:27 AM


Hi all!

In case you missed it - I released a time-lapse video of the colouring of "Shipwrecker" and you can watch it here : vimeo.com/82108248 !

Unfortunately this time I did not record the entire colouring, because I used my DSLR camera, which has a much nicer resolution but can only record 15 minutes of video at a time... and stopping every fifteen minutes to transfer the recording was incredibly time-consuming and frustrating, so I gave up after a few hours. However the available recording shows much of how I work...!
For next time I will purchase a remote control to shoot timed pictures instead of recording video (which will be kinder on my computer too)! :)

There are a few other time-lapse videos on my Vimeo account if you are interested in these things.

Until next time!

Inkdrops Project

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 3, 2013, 1:42 AM


Hello delicious people!

I just wanted to let you know that I have just started a new project called "Inkdrops" on my Tumblr: kmyechan.tumblr.com

The Inkdrops Project started with the realisation that my significant other usually arrives home 1/2 to 1 hour later than I do - which is too short for me to get into motion to work on a full-scale illustration. So I have decided to use this time to make small ink drawings instead as training. These will all be done in less than an hour, and I will try to challenge myself to draw things outside of my comfort zone as much as possible. The aim is to submit them all - whether they look good or are a complete failure (making mistakes and learning from them is good!).

You can also follow this project on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kmye.chan.art and I will probably submit batches of the best ones here on DA as well, but if you want to receive the semi-daily updates as they come, Tumblr or Facebook is the way to go! :)

See you soon!

Four new Giclee prints available!

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 28, 2013, 9:52 AM


Hello everyone!

I have just reopened my Etsy shop after over a year of inactivity!
Signed and limited Giclee prints of my illustrations are therefore available again, and to celebrate, four new prints have just been released: Rapunzel, The Flight, The Nest and Mademoiselle Colombe!

Postcards, mugs and other goodies of most of my recent works can be purchased here on dA.

When you buy my products, you support me and my art! :D
Thank you!

Kmye

Blending with markers 101 tutorial

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 19, 2013, 1:34 AM


Hi everyone,

I was requested a tutorial about the basics of blending with alcohol-based markers (Copics, Promarkers, Trias etc).
Here you go! :)




Postcards, mugs, magnets and more!

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 17, 2013, 1:05 PM


Hello everyone!

I have recently reopened my dA store: kmyechan.deviantart.com/prints… !
No prints there as these are available only from me (stay tuned for new releases soon!), but many pretty goodies with my artwork are available: postcards, mugs, magnets, mouse pads, coasters and more...!

When you buy these, you support me and my art! :D

Time-lapse video!

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 10, 2013, 2:29 PM


Hello everyone!

I have just uploaded an updated version of the time-lapse video for Rapunzel. If you have seen this video already, it's basically the same but the image is upside up, instead of upside down as originally recorded, so you get a better look at the picture being colored! :)
Enjoy!



Spam bots attack!

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 9, 2013, 2:03 AM


Soooo.... what is it with the spam bots attack on DA today?

I have received over two dozens of messages suggesting various ways of loosing weight and earning money from home - which I am sure I am grateful for, but still... :)

Watercolor papers review

Journal Entry: Mon Jun 24, 2013, 5:39 AM


[Originally posted on my blog but I thought some of you might find this of interest here :) ]



Hello everyone,

As I frequently get questions about the paper I use for my illustrations, I thought it would not be a bad idea to make an in-depth review of watercolour papers: the ones I have tried, whether I liked or disliked them and why, their caracteristics, and what you should pay attention to when looking for a good watercolor paper.

Keep in mind that all opinions are my personal ones, and refer to how I work - the right paper for me may not be the right paper for you, depending on your personal techniques. :) 
Also, I use watercolour paper because I almost systematically mix markers with watercolour and thinned acrylics, but if you use markers only I would not recommend them - they suck the ink out like crazy.


Watercolour papers 101

Thickness
Papers come in different thicknesses that are described by their weights in grams per square meter (i.e. gsm). Usual printing paper is somewhere around 90gsm, and watercolour papers typically range from 185gm (thin) to 600gsm (very thick). I use 300gsm, which is the most easily found type of watercolour paper. If you are going to use very wet paint (watercolours, thinned acrylics, washes of ink, etc) I would not recommend using anything thinner than 300gsm, as the paper will wobble badly or even tear.

Grain
Watercolour papers can have different textures: 
- rough grain (or "torchon"), which is a coarse, pronounced texture
- fine grain (cold-pressed paper, or NOT), your typical watercolour paper texture
- satin paper (hot-pressed), which is a very smooth, almost textureless paper.
Hot-pressed is my personal favourite by a long shot.

Fiber
Watercolour papers can be made from either wood or cotton fibers. Paper made from cotton is sometimes called "rag paper", and it is usually considered higher quality. If the fiber type is not stated, then it is safe to assume it's wood fiber. I personally like cotton papers much better, I find that they have a smoother surface and better absorbency (see below).

Archivality
Archivality refers to whether a paper is meant to last in time. Most papers contain acidic substances that, over time, will yellow the paper and degrade the colours of whatever is drawn on them. Archival papers are processed to remove acidic substances naturally present in wood pulp, and are made using a procedure involving different chemicals compared to regular papers. As a result, they are more pricey. Non-archival papers can be used for roughs, sketches, and designs that are not meant to last - but for any type of artwork you may want to keep or sell, I strongly suggest using archival paper. Most but not all watercolour papers are archival. This should usually be stated in the description - if the paper is described as acid-free and without optical brighteners, it should be archival.

Colour
 Depending on the treatment of the paper, it may be more or less white. Archival papers do not contain optical brighteners, i.e. chemical compounds that make papers very white and bright. They are usually a twinge more on the ivory, warm side - some more than others.

Absorbency
Again, depending on the treatment of the paper, but also on the fiber type, papers may be more or less absorbent. Absorbent papers will soak wet paint or ink in quickly (although on a high-quality paper, the colour should not feather or bleed either). Water will stay on the surface a bit longer on a less abosorbent paper, and sometimes even "bead" (especially on papers containing a lot of gelatine). This is more difficult to assess without trying the paper first-hand, but less absorbent papers often have a slightly waxy, gummy touch, and look slightly less matte. I personnally hate waxy watercolour papers and stay the hell away from them (yes, that's how bad I feel about them).

Pads vs. Sheets
Most brands sell watercolour paper both as pads of various sizes, and as large individual sheets (usually 50x70cm). That is very much up to your personal preferences. I love pads and always have a number of A3 ones lying around, but I use sheets as well when I need to cut out a larger piece of paper for a drawing.

Stretching
Unless you are using your watercolour paper for a dry technique, watercolour paper should be stretched, i.e. taped to a stronger support (a piece of cardboard, plywood, your table, etc). This prevents the paper from wobbling and buckling when using a lot of water. I have heard that 600gsm paper does not need stretching but I have not tried myself, and am slightly skeptical about that. :)


On with the review!

Of course I have not tried out every single watercolour paper out there, so this is by no means exhaustive, but here you go.
 These papers are pretty much ordered from my favourite to least favourite ones.


Arches watercolour paper is hands-down my favourite paper. It is known all around as one of the highest quality cotton papers you can find - and accordingly, one of the most expensives...
I have tried both the hot-pressed (which is my paper of choice) and torchon papers. Both are a superbly soft and absorbent surface on which pencils and colours glide beautifully. They are archival, and are a quite warm-toned, ivory-white colour (the warmest I have tried, I think). They come in pads and sheets - I tried and loved both.

Sennelier paper is a close second to Arches. I have tried only the hot-pressed paper. Again, very high-quality archival cotton paper, very smooth, colours glide one perfectly. It is slightly less absorbent than the Arches, and whiter as well. I think they are only available as pads though.


Hahnemühle Bamboo is a peculiar paper that comes only in one finish (smooth but not quite as smooth as regular hot-pressed paper), and is made from sustainable bamboo fibers. It is slightly lighter in weight than the other ones I have tried (265gsm) but feels quite as thick to me - it may be that bamboo fibers are less dense than regular cotton or wood fibers. It has a nice surface that absorbs colours quite well, although not as much as my Arches paper. It has a light texture that can give interesting effects. The colour is quite warm, and it is an archival paper. It comes only in pads and I am not sure there are any other sizes than A3.
This paper is an interesting choice is you are concerned by environment protection (although paper production is highly polluting, no matter what...). It is the art paper counterpart of the printing paper I use for my fine-art prints.

The very first watercolour paper I got when I was about 9! :D
I kept using Canson Montval for quite a while, but have not used it for years now (ever since I found out about hot-pressed paper). I used the fine-grained one, but it also comes in rough grain ("nuage"). It is a wood fiber paper, with a very white colour. The surface is quite scratchy, and not highly absorbent. It is acid-free but I am not sure about its archivality, as it may contain brighteners considering its colour. It comes in pads and sheets. Altogether a cheap paper that you may like for its price and texture, although I would not buy again anymore.

Daler Rowney Langton Prestige - my latest experiment and my least liked of the bunch. It is a cotton archival paper and comes in all three finishes (although I only tried the hot-pressed one). It is very white, and has a very waxy, poorly absorbent surface on which pencils do not hold very well, and that feels almost like Bristol board. I personally do not like that at all - but if you like these kind of surfaces where you can correct and retake colour easily, and have been looking for a sturdier, non-peeling alternative to Bristol, this may be for you. They come in pads only, and on the plus side, they are relatively cheap.

That's it folks!
Please feel free to comment on your personal preferences, and papers you would recommend! :)



Of art and being a scientist

Journal Entry: Fri May 3, 2013, 10:14 AM


[Original post on my blog]

Hello everyone,

I have been meaning to write this blog post for a while, but did not really know where to start or how to it would come out.

Although I do not talk very often about anything other than my art stuff here, I have mentionned before that I am a scientist. I defended my PhD last fall, and am currently a postdoc in a major research institution in the UK that shall remain unnamed... :)

The few times when I have talked about this, either on Facebook or DeviantArt, I was amazed to see all the enthusiastic comments from science students, scientists and science enthusiasts all around. I also received quite a high amount of mail with questions about being both an artist and a scientist, and balancing both an art and a science career.

I personally find it unsurprising that so many scientific-minded people are also artists - the qualities you need to be a good scientist include creativity, thinking outside of the box, dedication and patience, which can also easily be channeled by slapping paint on a canvas.

However, I feel like a little reality check is in order.
I personnally do not consider myself as balancing a career in art and a career in science.
I consider myself a scientist, and a hobbyist artist during my free time.
And as much as I would like to tell you that it is entirely doable to do both at the same time - I am afraid that I, at least, find it to be impossible.

I am sorry if I sound like dampening some spirits here... Let's face it: both careers in art and careers in science are not 9-5, 5-days-a-week jobs. They're both extremely time- and energy-consuming jobs. You know it, I know it, we've all known it from the minute we started our PhDs. Even if you are extremely good at multitasking and managing your time, it is very difficult to keep another high-level activity while doing your PhD and beyond... especially two activities that are both creative and in many ways painstakingly similar, and drain on the same source of energy.
bluefooted, who has a career trajectory fairly similar to mine (and happens to be one of my favourite artists out there - go figure!), wrote an excellent blog post about this quite a while ago that I agree with 100%.

I kept my art activity at a reasonably high level of productivity until my final year of PhD, but let's be honest: for the past couple of years, I have had very little time (and energy) to draw.
Now: thats is completely fine with me. I never seriously considered a career in art: I hate hate hate with a passion drawing on a schedule, working on commissioned art, and I have a lot of trouble staying focused on any kind of long-term art project. I draw when I feel like it - and I draw whatever I like. I have absolutely no pressure to do stuff that people like, no pressure to sell and make money, because I have a job that pays the bills, and I happen to be passionate about that job - I actually consider myself a very lucky person. I can experiment with new stuff whenever I feel like it. Damn, if I wished to become a Twilight fanartist and dedicate the rest of my drawing life to glittery portraits of Edward Cullen, I could (NB: this is not going to happen).

There are, of course, downsides to this. Of course, I wish I had more free time to draw (or maybe more free time - period!). It is sometimes extremely frustrating to see all your artist friends honing their skills and improving their art and producing amazing artwork several times a week, when you are stuck to drawing a handful of pictures a year. I feel like my art does not improve as fast as I wish it did, for lack of time to spend on acquiring new art skills. Also, as a hobbyist, you cannot expect to receive the same amount of feedback, coverage and opportunities as professional artists (although again I think myself very lucky here - I feel I receive almost obscene amounts of love considering how little active I am on the art scene! :) ). And that is fair - professional artists spend a lot of time making contacts, promoting their work: that is part of the job. But I cannot deny it is frustrating, sometimes, to see you artist friends making projects together, setting up shows and books and going to dinners and conventions and book signings, while you are miserably trying to save four hours in a row to finish that painting that has been lying around for weeks.

But if I had to do it all over again? I would still choose science.
I am sorry if this blog post sounds a little ranty, or dispiriting: I just felt slightly uncomfortable with the idea that I was, unwillingly, giving off the impression that being both an artist and a scientist is easy as pie. It is not. It is not impossible either - but it is difficult, and it is something you want to consider if you are planning a career in science while keeping your art activity alive. It takes to question what you really like, what is really important to you and what is not - and it does take to let go a little bit of the pride and ego-stroking that we all get from showing our art online. But that is not necessarily a bad thing in the end. :)

Tumblr account!

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 12, 2013, 2:54 PM


Hey everyone!

I now have a Tumblr account if you look like to follow me there:

Kmye Chan on Tumblr!

See you there! ;)