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Life Update

I can't believe it's already February in 2017! :faint: Time sure is zooming by lately!

My 26th birthday is just two days away, and on the one hand I'm a little shocked that my first quarter-century of life is over, but I'm also in a space where my studies and hard work are finally culminating into a rewarding career in animation. And with Valiard getting released in 2018, that will be the year I'll also officially be an author, which is a massive bonus for this little artist.

I've been busy — good busy. I relocated to the Western Cape for a month in November to work as a Character Designer at a studio called Sunrise on all sorts of projects I'm not allowed to talk about. ;) It was my first time working on location at an animation studio since I started my career in 2010 (as opposed to freelancing from home) and it was an absolute treat. I've been back home in Gauteng for two months now and I miss the studio terribly, as well as the beautiful mountains of the Cape, but I've still been working for Sunrise remotely, so I'm happy.

This is one of the Sunrise shorts I worked on in 2016 — I designed the Elf, the little boy Matteo, and his Mom:

OH! And I also saw my friend :iconsean-izaakse: interviewed on television last night in a spotlight segment on comic art in South Africa. (It's so weird but awesome seeing a friend on TV, omigosh!) He recently bagged a job at Marvel illustrating comics and I can't be prouder of him. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person, seriously. Do go check him out and give him lots of love, guys! :heart:

The Valiard Mansion Update

On 23 February I'll hop on a plane and fly to New York to work on location at Golden Bell Entertainment (the publisher of my upcoming illustrated novel, The Valiard Mansion). Since I'm taking a break from my usual freelancing to work on the Valiard trailer full-time for 7 whole weeks, we'll be getting lots of exciting things done in a flash, such as finalizing the colour and getting the remaining scenes animated. You guys will be updated with whatever content I'm authorized to release. :D

Throughout the open casting call, trailer Directors Marc Goldner and Rachel Korsen weren't able to find a voice actress with the same comedic tone I exhibited in the scratch track of the trailer's animatic (voiced mostly by me and my brother), so I've agreed to be cast as Ruth Rosewood until someone wackier comes along. Which means I'll be recording my lines in person with the Directors — something I've never done before. I'm terribly nervous about messing up, especially with the accent, but I'll do my best. My secret hope is that we find someone to replace me pronto, but time constraints might prevent that. ^^; We'll see.

Trailer casting has been otherwise finalized, and we actually got some actors pitching in who have been on major TV shows, but I don't think I'm allowed to say who they are yet. Personally, I'm incredibly pleased with each and every one of the voice talents on board the production, both on the pro and amateur spectrum. The trailer will certainly sound spectacular as far as the dialogue is concerned! (Again, here's hoping I'm not the one butt hole who messes everything up!!!)

There's also talks about an audio book, and over twenty characters are yet to be cast for that, so do keep an eye out if you're still keen to audition for a role on Team Valiard! I'm not sure yet if there will be open casting for that one. I'll keep you folks updated when the time comes.

In the meantime, I hope you guys will enjoy this Sneak Peek of the trailer. Lots of people are pitching in to help out and we have vacancies for Animators, Inbetweeners, and Cleanup Artists. Do check out for details on how to apply.

SNEAK PEEK - Valiard Animated Trailer by The-Ez

And that's it!

Thanks for the continued support, you guys. :D :heart:
Hey guys! :wave:

Auditions for The Valiard Mansion: The Animated Trailer are officially open!

If you are a voice actor, or you'd like to give it a shot, please do audition!

This animated trailer will be produced in the classic 2D style of the '90s. It will feature characters from The Valiard Mansion, a Victorian-set illustrated novel suitable for all ages.

:bulletorange: To get started, please download this PDF file:


Characters up for grabs:

Ruth Rosewood
Theodore Wythert
Chester Gangfield
Dennis Boyd (the talking rat)
Adam Rosewood
Mr. Rosewood
Emily Wythert
The Witch Melora
Millie the Maid

:bulletred: All auditions must be emailed to Co-Director Marc Goldner at Marc@GoldenBell.TV

:bulletyellow: Deadline is 22 July, 2016

:star: EVERYONE WELCOME! :star:

Please, if you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments below or e-mail Marc using the address above.
I'll also accept Notes if your query is more confidential in nature.

We can't wait to hear from you! :heart:

DeviantART Status

I'm more than a little miffed at dA, so I won't be renewing my Core Membership any time soon. However, this doesn't have anything to do with the infrequency of my posts. I'm just very busy these days, so stopping to scan my drawings has effectively become a massive hassle. :XD: I refuse to post phone-photos on dA, because my photography is rubbish. :giggle:

Plus I'm not drawing much that doesn't form part of confidential production files for the Valiard trailer, so yap. :B

Stop in at my Instagram if you'd like to see more frequent updates:…
Valiard also now has its own Instagram if you only care about the book:…

The Valiard Mansion: Animated Trailer

As many of you know, Valiard is getting an old-school 2D animated trailer, Disney style. The Golden Bell team and I are already knees deep in it, with Valiard itself having gotten one of the priority spots at the company. (I feel so professionally pampered haha!)

Team Valiard now has about 20 members, who I'm sure we'll introduce to everybody in due time. We've hired on animators and layout folks, we might have a foley artist, and we're currently looking at composers. Final touches are being added to the storyboard by yours truly, after which we'll be issuing scenes to our animators. I'll be acting as Supervising Animator over everyone, by virtue of being the only person who can keep everyone on model. :faint:

I'm also happy to announce that although much of the animation will be done digitally, I will personally be cleaning up the animation by hand on real paper, which will then be scanned back in and coloured digitally. I really like CG and digital-2D animation, but the drawback for me is that no human hand has actually touched the final product seen by the audience on-screen. I hope that by having actual pencil lines in the final product, some of that traditional magic will seep into the Valiard production.

Hey, it's worth a shot! ^^;

Still Want to Work on the Animated Trailer?

We're always open to folks who'd like to contribute. We'd never turn down more character animators and we still don't have an effects animator. :P

Attention, Voice Actors!

Speaking roles have doubled in the new trailer, so keep an eye out for updates if you're an actor and you'd like to audition for a role.

I'm sure it's okay if I gush that Lord Redmere (Joshua Valiard, Sexy Hobo Beard, first of his name) is confirmed to have a VO in the trailer — so if you fancy you can do a very ghostly, posh aristocratic accent (think Downton Abbey), we'd love to hear from you. OOGITY BOOGITY!

Ruth, Theodore, and Gangfield are naturally up for grabs. Adam and Dennis will have speaking roles, too, and more female roles have also opened up, so it's not just Ruth in the running. Off the top of my head, Emily (Theo's sister), the Witch Melora, curator lady Mrs Dunswick, and Millie the maid will need voices.

I'll make a proper post about that in the near future, though, with a character list and audition lines and the whole shebang. Fair warning: if you get a role, Co-Director Marc Goldner will likely require you to read the novel in its entirety. Which, if this isn't your kind of story, might be mental anguish cringe for you. MUAHAHA! :evillaugh:

And that's it!

Back to work, Ez! :eager: :XD:


Great news! The running time of the trailer has been extended 2 minutes! This means we'll need a few more hands on board to help out.
Please do consider getting in touch. We've got a small but friendly team already, and we'll be happy to have you. :)

:bulletyellow: :bulletorange: :bulletred: NEW DEADLINE: 21 JUNE, 2016 :bulletred: :bulletorange: :bulletyellow:


:bulletorange: UPDATE 27 April: It has come to my attention that this is NOT paid work. Send your portfolio strictly if you're willing to work on a volunteer basis.

If you are a student, Golden Bell provides STUDENT CREDIT.

Golden Bell maintains that it's a startup company and therefore can only pay artists depending on the outcome of the Kickstarter.

I would still be honoured to have you guys help out on the trailer if you want to. As long as you're okay with working for free, and working for the love of the project, then that's fine. I'm working for free, too. ;) My publishing contract didn't even give me an advance. So I'm penniless as ever, working insane hours alongside Golden Bell because we believe in what Valiard can achieve.


Hi, guys! :D

Exciting news! The Valiard Mansion's Animated Trailer is back in production, and this time around, it has a legit entertainment company backing it. :w00t:

The reason I had indefinitely shelved the animated trailer project was because times got hard around May last year, and I had to dedicate all my efforts to doing whatever paid work I could find. I didn't have the resources to contract folks to lighten the load, so I was forced to all but abandon the trailer, even though it bothered me terribly to do that. However, my priority was to finish writing the novel, because hey — if there's no novel, what's the point in a trailer?

But now things have changed!

Golden Bell Entertainment is looking for talented animators and artists to work on this project, namely
If you're interested to be a part of it, please do check out the links below.

I'll be working on it, too, right in the trenches with you guys, just like another staff member. After finishing up the storyboard and drawing detailed model sheets for the animators, my job will be to animate Gangfield, Dennis, and Florence the horse. :giggle: 


:bulletpink: :bulletpink: CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE FAQ PAGE :bulletpink: :bulletpink:

You guys are welcome to ask me any questions you have, and I'll do my very best to answer them, so shoot me a line in the Comments!

BUT! You should know I will not be heading this project, and I'm not privy to the processes followed in-house by Golden Bell Entertainment. I especially don't know about things like what their contracts look like and what software they use.

I therefore highly encourage you to direct your questions to Golden Bell Entertainment if you think it might be above my head.


Marc Goldner, CEO

:bulletblue: :bulletgreen: Marc@GoldenBell.TV :bulletgreen: :bulletblue:

Marc will be directing the trailer, so he's the guy to talk to. :aww: He's super nice, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him.

And you can always check out the Golden Bell website

:bulletyellow: :bulletyellow:

And to finish off, here's a preview of what's in the above PDF as a sample for animators

Just some cute snapshots of the characters. :D
Okay, bye! :wave:

Ruth Trailer Sample by The-Ez

Theodore Trailer Sample by The-Ez

Adam Trailer Sample by The-Ez

Mr Rosewood Trailer Sample by The-Ez

:iconravietta: tagged me, the rascal.


1) Post these rules.
2) Post 8 facts about your character.
3) Tag 8 other characters.
4) Post their names along with their creators' avatars.

Okay, so Chester Gangfield was tagged. 

Those of you who wanted to know facts about Gangfield have already read my novel while it was still up. To the rest of you, I can't share facts without spoiling the character completely. Part of his charm is his mystery and part of the fun of reading The Valiard Mansion is learning what the heck his deal is. :giggle:

So I decided to have fun instead, and to use this as a cool opportunity to shine a spotlight on some great OCs I've encountered in my time here. :nod:

8 Facts About Gangfield by The-Ez

I tag the following...

Elock by :iconthirdpersonsymphony: 
Elock Sketches by ThirdPersonSymphony

by :iconsheppard56:
Fabulous by Sheppard56

Azuma by :iconthereina:
azuma portrait by thereina

Atlas by :iconblueberries-in-july:
Carnations and Soot by Blueberries-in-July

Precious by :iconcaptainunobservant:
52: 38 - Precious by CaptainUnobservant

Salvador by :iconwhitefoxcub:
Salvador Outfits by WhiteFoxCub

Roy by :iconrenny08:
Roy Character Sheet (old) by Renny08

Andreas by :iconmaripazvillar:
Don't miss it by MaripazVillar

GO CHECK THEM OUT, even if they don't respond to my tag! ;)


Thanks to everyone who nominated characters. If this little plan of mine works out, then you guys will definitely get another chance to nominate more characters. :D


:star: :star: :star: ORIGINAL ENTRY :star: :star: :star:

Hey, guys! :wave:

Okay, so I wanna try something new, but it's a surprise, so I don't wanna say too much. What I can say is it's gonna be fun and I do need your help to do it, please. :w00t:


Rules and Restrictions:

:bulletorange: You need to simply state the name of the character AND the series/movie/game/comic it's from.
:bulletorange: A clear visual depiction of the character must exist for me to base my drawing on. If there are several versions, specify the one you want, otherwise I'll pick the one I like the most.
:bulletorange: Your nomination can be as serious or outlandish as you want.
:bulletblue: It'll make things easier on me if the character isn't from a live-action project, but I won't give preference either way. Whatever you nominate will be in the running.
:bulletred: Only ONE nomination per person, please. If you suggest two or more, your comment will be ignored.
:bulletred: DO NOT nominate OCs. Restrict your nomination to a character from an honest-to-goodness, fully completed, published property.

I will accept the first 30-50 nominations, at which point I'll formally declare this Journal closed.

I won't individually thank each of you for your nominations, since that'll be silly and take up a lot of time. So allow me to thank you in advance. ;) Lots of hugs, guys. :glomp: I really hope you guys'll like what I plan to do. :giggle: :heart:
Hi, guys! :wave:

First off, thanks to those of you who visited the Golden Bell stall the Wizard World convention in Cleveland last weekend! :w00t: It was Valiard's first promo outing after bagging its book deal, and although I'm bummed I couldn't have been there, I understand there were a few original readers who stopped by to say hello! I promise, if I'd been there, EACH of you would've gotten a MASSIVE hug!!!! :glomp: :heart:

Anyways, I worked super hard on designing the banner and bookmarks, at least, so I thought I'd post this photo sent to me by Valiard's Editor, Rob Gross. Apparently the banner is six feet tall! :wow: Imagine that — a near life-size Theodore and Ruth! Haha! :XD:

RachelKorsen GOLDEN BELL ENTERTAINMENT Wizardcon by The-Ez

The Love of a Bingle Lancer

So! Golden Bell Entertainment's President and Chief Creative Officer, Rachel Korsen (pictured above), has illustrated a children's poetry book, The Love of a Bingle Lancer by Paul
Gullen, which has just been completed and is set to be published this year by Golden Bell's Polar Press.

It's looking really cute. I chuckled really hard at the video. The characters have adorable names that I won't dare to spoil here. :giggle:


I also thought this would be a cool preview of how Golden Bell is planning to place Valiard on pre-order. Just like with Bingle Lancer, they'll leave it to Kickstarter to process the orders and payments, since it's a site that's trusted by so many and lots of folks already have accounts there. I'd never heard of this practice, but it's pretty innovative. :D So it's pretty exciting for me to see them publishing another book before they tackle mine. If anything, it means I'll be more prepared for when it's my turn. ^^; Valiard will be a bit of a different ball game, with a different format and audience, and that makes me really curious to see how it will do on a place like Kickstarter. Hmmm!

Oh! And Rachel's a real sweetheart, so check out her artwork if you'd like to. She's mostly on Instagram over here:…

And that's all from me for now!

Thanks for all your support, guys! :glomp: :heart:
  • Listening to: Hanson - "If Only" (totes addicted, guys!)
  • Reading: QI: The Second Book of General Ignorance
  • Watching: Taylor Hanson's blonde hair. I WANT HIS HAIR!! T,T
  • Playing: Pokémon Yellow on 3DS!!!! Aaah!
  • Eating: Chewing my nails, mostly
  • Drinking: Coffee
Hey, guys! :D

The Valiard Mansion's Editor, Rob Gross, and I have been hard at work getting the novel ready for print, and the publisher thought it'd be fun to show you guys what we've been up to.

So, I've updated the old Chapter 1 & 2 Preview with the latest edited-for-print version!

The goal is to make Valiard feel even more authentic, with Victorian-British flavour added to the text wherever it was lacking, removal of anachronisms, updated historical accuracy, and structural changes made to highlight the movie-like pace of the story.

But more than that, I sincerely hope this preview will serve to show faithful readers that at its core, Valiard remains unchanged. Ruth is still a reckless busybody, Theodore still blames himself for the very concept of poverty, and Gangfield still oozes with flippant dignity. In fact, the text has been polished to make the characters shine more brilliantly than ever before. :D

EditingDay3 by The-Ez
My desk on Day 3 of Editing Valiard

I'm eager and excited to hear what you guys think of this new edited version. If any of you have the time, I'd be super grateful if you'd check it out and let me know what you think. But, seriously, only if you guys want to! I dedicate hours to each chapter's edits, to make them sparkle and to give you guys an enhanced experience of the original, and only my existing readers would be able to tell me if I nailed it or failed it. :blush:

Either way, rest assured that I will continue giving this project my all. :w00t: If things keep going on schedule, this intense editing process will be completed by the end of March, and then it will be time for illustrations. Yikes! :XD: And don't worry — I'll add the final illustrations to the Preview Chapters when they're done. You'll totes be the first to see 'em! :giggle:

Thanks again for your support, guys! Lots of hugs to all of you! :glomp: :heart: :star:
Hey, guys! :wave:

Quick Valiard Update!

So, editing on Valiard is going at a steady pace. The first two chapters are provisionally edited for good together with my editor, and my personal editing is at page 93 out of 356. We're having another meeting tonight to finalize editing on chapters 3 and 4. So I'm keeping busy basically full-time on Valiard, but it's good busy. :meow:

So! Patreon!

I thought I'd take this chance to quickly let you all know that I've changed the pricing structure of my Patreon to be more affordable. You can read why I have made this decision HERE.

:bulletpink: $1.00 will get you HI-RES ART and PSDs 
:bulletblue: $5.00 will get you TIMELAPSE VIDEOS and EXTRA OLD ART 
:bulletgreen: $10.00 will get you the above and ONE PREVIOUS MONTH'S REWARD each month, so you can catch up if you're new, or if you're aching for a specific pic/video/PSD.

CLICK HERE to navigate to my Patreon Page!

I realize that folks support me on Patreon mostly because they really just want to support me. But I want to give back to the art community in every way I can, and sharing hi-res assets is one more way for me to do that. I'll still share tutorials and stuff like that for free whenever I create 'em, though. :D

Anyways, here's an archive of past Rewards if you're wondering what's up for grabs in the $10 Tier, and to give you guys a better idea of what kind of content I make available. :aww: Cheerio for now! :wave:

Rewards All by The-Ez
Hey, folks! :D

First off, I want to thank everyone for congratulating me on The Valiard Mansion's book deal. It's a huge milestone in my career, and to know you guys are supporting me as you are, well — while I'm working non-stop on the novel, you guys will be the classy wind in my cheesy sails! :faint: I simply can't thank you enough. :glomp: :heart:

Please don't forget that if you'd like to stay completely updated on pre-order and release dates, as well as behind-the-scenes goodies like convention photographs, timelines, and process updates, you can sign up for the Valiard E-mail Newsletter.
 I don't think I was super clear on this the first time around — I can only do so much in the way of updates on dA, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, as something will always fall through the cracks, but the Newsletter will be a centralized spot for absolutely EVERYTHING Valiard related. I know you guys do trust me a lot with updates here on dA, as I'm usually very on the ball, but I don't know how the next 8 months will look, and I might honestly forget something. ^^; Either way, you'll see lots of sketches from me no matter where you Follow Valiard, so that's one thing you can be sure of. But if you'd like to see more goodies, the Newsletter is the way to go. :D

:bulletblue: :bulletpink: CLICK HERE to Subscribe to The Official Valiard Newsletter! :bulletpink: :bulletblue:

Also, I hope you guys had a wonderful Valentine's Day! :heart:
In case you missed my Valentine's Special Gangfield x Reader fanfic parody, you can still check it out here:
Chester Gangfield x Victorian!Reader - SWEET TOOTHA NOTE FROM AUTHOR:
Just a little something tide over my female readers on this fine Valentine's Day. :giggle: I've been planning to do this since last year, and have been preparing it on and off for the past couple of weeks, so I hope you girls enjoy it. :heart: Written especially for the cynics among you. *wink-wink*
Go forth in love~! :heart:

    It’s a quarter to ten when you finish sweeping the front area of your father’s small bakery. You clutch the broom tighter as you wipe your sweaty brow with the back of your hand. Your father’s bakery is the pride and joy of the family, as it is right in the centre of Harbiford and boasts a vast middle-class clientele. The thriving business ensured you had a capable governess growing up and you were always dressed in pretty clothes, but none of that ever really mattered to you. You always felt you were meant for something greater th

Might give you some laughs, though quite a few folks I've spoken to found it genuinely romantic, which, although unintended, makes me darn happy! :giggle:

And that's all from me for now, folks! :wave: Hope you guys have an amazing week ahead! :glomp:

If you're a Valiard Reader, please do me the honour of watching this video

Hi, guys! Today I have some very exciting news!

The Valiard Mansion is going to be a legit, published book! Like, honest to goodness on bookstore shelves!

This has been in the works for a few months already — since right after I finished the manuscript, actually — so I apologise for keeping everyone in the dark for a bit. I don't much like sneaking around or keeping secrets, but do I make an exception for happy surprises.

Setting out on this writing journey, I decided early on to create a checklist for an ideal publisher. Anything less would be shown the door, if it ever came to it. If you're clued in on traditional publishing, you would know this checklist to be stupidly ambitious and unrealistic, but that's just how much I valued a freely distributed Valiard's potential to allow me to connect with readers. I wasn't prepared to accept anything that would impede that.

The publisher had to:
1. Allow me to do the illustrations myself
2. Let Valiard keep its existing logo as part of its established brand
3. Vote in to keep at least a few chapters for free online

Trust me when I say this was an impossible checklist. But sometimes, the impossible turns out to only be highly improbable.


Golden Bell Entertainment, now Valiard's official publisher, is allowing the above and much, much more. They understand that the very basis of Valiard, and my online presence, lies in constant communication with readers and free distribution of content and information. They have a fresh perspective on online marketing that aligns with my own in a lot of ways. I'm very excited to work with them and to learn from them.

I've also signed a merchandising deal with Golden Bell, so there will be all sorts of Valiard goodies to grab in the future. I'm talking the usual like mugs, t-shirts, and phone cases, sure — but also fun stuff like figurines, coloring books, stationery, and plushies. I'll be involved all the way, creating artwork and designs for the merchandise, so you can have the true Valiard experience no matter how you choose to indulge in it.


:bulletorange: Pre-orders will open in August, 2016.
:bulletred: Publication and release will take place in time for Christmas, 2016.

If you would like to see detailed progress updates on this as well as some behind-the-scenes insights, kindly navigate to the Official Valiard Website and Subscribe to the Newsletter. Otherwise you can catch quick updates at all the usual places.


From here on out, only the first two chapters of Valiard will remain online for free, and I'll have to be secretive about official artwork that will be in the final printed novel.

But other than that, I'll keep going as I have been, posting lots of pics, sharing fun updates, and just being my good ol' own self online. You won't even notice the change. In fact, with Golden Bell staff sharing the load, Valiard updates will be far more frequent on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr — platforms which I often have neglected in the past in favour of deviantART.


If things run smoothly for the release of The Valiard Mansion, its follow-up novel, The Valiard Mansion: Destiny & Fate, will also be published with Golden Bell.

How much you will see of D&F, and when you will be able to see it, is uncertain for now. The tight timeline for getting the first book released will encroach on my development and writing time for the second book, and it will very likely not be published online as freely as the first book was.

But trust that no matter what happens, I will finish writing D&F, and I will do everything in my power to make sure you guys get to read it. I will not allow the Valiard story to lie incomplete in your minds. Just thinking of it makes me want to go crazy.


So, yes! Exciting times ahead, but a lot of hard work from both me and Golden Bell before we get there. First priority is getting The Valiard Mansion edited and illustrated.

I promise each of my readers that I will give this my all so that you can hold my very best effort in your hands if you decide to purchase a copy. It's honestly the least I could do to thank you guys.


:star: Have a favourite scene in Valiard that you feel must absolutely be illustrated in the novel? Please mention it! We're still deciding which scenes to illustrate and we need help!

:star: Want to rate or write a review of Valiard? A kind soul had submitted it to some time ago and it'd be amazing if you could rate the novel or even write a review!
:bulletorange: CLICK HERE to navigate to Valiard on Goodreads!

:star: Is there an item of Valiard merchandise you'd love to own? Literally anything you could think of, please let us know. We're still bouncing ideas around on our side, but in the end you are the one we're making this merchandise for! We want to make things you want to own!

Remember to Sign Up to the Valiard Newsletter if you want to stay updated on Pre-Order and Release Dates!

  • Watching: Comedy Bang! Bang! S3
  • Playing: Right now I'm addicted to Mappy
Hi, guys!

So my friend :iconthirdpersonsymphony: ThirdPersonSymphony thought up a really fun idea: Flash Fiction February!

What is Flash Fiction? A short story, 500-1,000 words long.

The idea for this challenge is that you write a Flash Fic every day for the whole of February, then submit your faves as you finish them OR when the month is over. 

And then when you submit it, tag it with #FlashFicFeb — EASY! :aww: That way we all can find and read each others' Flash Fics. It'll be great!

Even I'm taking part! I won't be able to write one a day, but I'll definitely try to squeeze in a couple. Why not? It's just for fun, anyways. :giggle: And I mean, I'm a late starter, so I'm sure it'll be fine if you drop in late, too. :D

You can read more about Flash Fiction February here:
[Finished!] Challenge, anyone?? :D3/1/2016 - So the challenge came to a close, and I managed to write every day with the exception of two days. I was pretty upset with that, but I couldn't make up for it, since my schedule got busier as the month progressed. However, I'm really proud of my commitment; I have a bad habit of starting challenges and never finishing them, so this is a huge milestone for me :aww:
My word count (minus a writing bit that was unrelated to the story) topped 17,653 words in total! :la: That's also 26 days worth of story insight. :dummy: There are some shorts I want to revisit and expand upon, and others that were total failures, but the experimenting has given me lots of material to work with. Honestly, the challenge revived a passion for my story and characters that was, sadly, a bit stale. That's the best outcome I could have asked for!
I can't wait to get the ball rolling again here on deviantArt. I have bits and goodies I really want to share with you all!
Shout out to The-Ez and @Manda-of-

SO! Are YOU up to the challenge? :w00t:
I'm deciding to use Instagram as a sketch dump hub. Well, I mean, I'll be uploading sketches there that will later form part of sketch dumps here. :XD: So check it out maybe? I still have NO idea how Instagram works, so please bear with me, but I'll figure it out soon enough and I think it'll be fun! :giggle:

My username is EzzyMoneyface :D

Catch you there! If I know you, I'll be sure to follow you back! :w00t:
So a few months ago the good people at Sunrise Productions commissioned me to do some character designs for one of their adverts, a cute short for the Italian Juventus football league. I had never done character work for CG animation before then, so you can imagine I was a ball of nerves. I had absolutely no clue whether my designs would even translate to 3D at all, and here they were asking me to also take care of the T-pose drawings for the modelers to use! Yikes! :faint:

Luckily, everything went down incredibly smoothly and I learned a lot about CG animation. :D (I think everyone knows by now I'm a 2D nut, so I'm a blank page when it comes to CG.) Though, seriously now, I'm massively pleased with the end result. Sunrise's website is a bit outdated, so I didn't expect this calibre of work at all. :wow: This is definitely a short I'm proud to have played my small part in. :star:

The short's up now so you guys can check it out. I designed the little boy, Matteo, and did sketches of his mom on which the final model was loosely based. Then I did the T-poses for Matteo and the zebra toy. I'm loathe to say I had absolutely no hand in designing the big zebra, J, but man I wish I had. He looks fantastic! :giggle: And since all my design work was done in B&W, I also had no hand in the textures and colours. So you can trust the whole short was a fun surprise for me in all sorts of ways! :D

Thanks for watching! :w00t: And BIG thanks to the folks at Sunrise for their all their fantastic, hard work. :heart:

Hey guys! :wave:

So yeah, I've been a little MIA this past while. Huge apologies to anyone who's been trying to get hold of me. :blush: I promise I'm not being unresponsive because I'm a rude ol' thang. :giggle: I know you guys are used to me being pretty on the ball with replying to Comments and Notes and stuff. :faint:

My health has been a little rocky these past few months and it's recently worsened to the point where I can only spend about an hour at my desk per day, and I'm pushing that time into finishing up commissions. Family and paid work always come before anything else, and in that order, too! ;) I wish I could tell you guys what's wrong with me, but I can't, and that's the problem. My poor GP, bless him, is still trying everything he can to figure out what my body is up to, and I'm still in for more tests and meds to see what sticks. So far we haven't found a solid diagnosis, but I'm confident we'll discover the answer soon enough! :D

In a lot of ways, I can't find much reason to complain. It's nice to slow down and catch up with the things I love. :D I've been re-watching all my favourite movies and I've been re-reading my favourite books. Best of all, I get to drink lots and lots of rooibos tea, which I can do for all eternity, I sweaaaarrr. :XD:

If anyone wants to get in touch with me, please leave me a Note or shoot me an email, and I promise I'll get back to you as soon as I can. It won't happen immediately, but just know I'm not ignoring you. I'm just being a slow Sal. ^^; And know that I miss talking to you guys! :la: Connecting with you guys is the highlight of my day and I genuinely feel not being able to do that like I used to. :no: But at the same time, whenever I'm feeling especially yucky, I think of you guys and get ALL the warm fuzzies, so thanks to each of you for your constant support!!! :glomp: :heart:

Thanks also to Valiard readers for your enthusiastic response to the final chapter. You made the last five years perfectly worth it. :star: I can't ask for more. :w00t:

Catch up with you guys soon! ;) :hug:
If you're a Valiard reader who's just gotten to the end of the final chapter and you feel a little left in the lurch, or if you're set to finish the novel soon, then this Journal entry's for you! ;)

First thing's first

Before I say anything, I want to thank each and every Valiard reader out there. Thank you for investing your time in Valiard. Thank you for reading, for your amazing support, and for your kind encouragement. Some of you have been reading for years — thank you for your patience and for having such faith in me. :glomp: It's been a wild ride, and it was my honour to travel it with each and every one of you. :heart:

All righty! Now to deal with some questions that have landed in my Inbox this past while. :D

What's in the cards for The Valiard Mansion now you've finished writing it?

I haven't exactly popped the champagne for a job well done juuust yet. :giggle: I'll be spending the rest of 2015 polishing the book and doing the accompanying illustrations. I've gone to print out the full manuscript today so that I can get kicking on some detailed editing and fine-tuning, and let me tell you guys, at 140,000 words and 356 pages, it's a whopper! :faint: (Though, hopefully, with some careful editing I should definitely get that word count down.)

Then I'll play it by ear. If it feels like the right thing to do to grab the book and hit the streets to find a publisher, then that's what I'll do. In the meantime, it'll remain online. :D

It can't end like this! Will there be a second book?

Absolutely! It's been in the pipeline since the very inception of The Valiard Mansion.

Tell us everything we should know about the second book!

It will be developed under the working title The Valiard Mansion: Destiny & Fate. It will keep the dual-POV narrative of the first book, with one half following the boys on their adventure to find the Brakirum, and the other half following Ruth as she tries to lift the Mansion's curse.

Story planning for Destiny & Fate will likely span all of 2016 and I should start writing and publishing it in early 2017. However, if I can publish it sooner without compromising on quality, I will absolutely do so.

Why is it going to take so long?

All things Valiard are done part-time. I have more immediate daily concerns which have a claim on my attention. The first book took five years to finish — two years research and planning, three years writing — so compared to that, the second book actually has a bit of a head start. It's not that bad! :dummy:

So now you'll be writing Up Since Dark, right?

Well, sort of. I don't want to get rusty writing-wise, so I'll be writing tidbits for Up Since Dark as well as Gangfield's backstory, and I'll be sharing online whatever's passable. Depending on the reception of these story bits, I'll see if I'll keep posting them, otherwise I'll hoard them for complete novels later on. But most folks follow me for my drawing, not for my writing, so you can bet I'll be drawing lots and lots of scenes and designs for Destiny & Fate, Up Since Dark, and anything else that pops up. :D

And that's all from me for now! Thanks for a wonderful three years, guys!!!

  • Listening to: One Direction (why dey split up??? T^T)
  • Reading: Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth
  • Playing: Pokemon LeafGreen
Hey guys! :wave:

So when :iconthirdpersonsymphony: opened up commissions a while ago, OF COURSE I was one of the first on the bandwagon to commission her. :giggle:

I asked for a pic of Gangfield and Theodore drinking tea, where Gangfield is chatting away and Theo's just unpleasantly distracted by how spicy Earl Grey tea is. :giggle: AND BOY, DID :iconthirdpersonsymphony: deliver!! :la: I chortle every time I look at this pic. :XD:

Commission: Tea Time by ThirdPersonSymphony
Anyways, I just wanna send all my hugs to :iconthirdpersonsymphony: for being so sweet! I've never commissioned anyone before because I'm shy, but she made the process absolutely effortless from my side. I felt like a fancy client, I did. :iconlikeasirplz:

OKAY, well, I was just excited and psyched, so I shared. :giggle: Theo's face tho!!! :XD: :heart:

Now be sure to go give :iconthirdpersonsymphony: some love, okay. ;)
  • Listening to: Michael Buble this man's voice i swear ahhhh
  • Reading: Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth
  • Playing: Pokemon LeafGreen
Hey, guys! :D

Been a while since my last Journal entry, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to update Valiard readers on the status of the story (spoiler free). So if you don't read The Valiard Mansion, you don't need to waste any time reading this Journal entry. Move along! ;)

Several folks are asking me the same questions, so I'm gonna answer the most frequently asked ones here. That way, if someone asks again, I can link them here. :giggle:

How far is Valiard?

Valiard Vol. I is three chapters away from completion. 15 of the planned 18 chapters are done and published, with progress on Chapter 16 going ridiculously smoothly. I should publish it in the next two weeks. It won't have illustrations, but frankly, I'm so gosh darn excited to get to the end of this book, I just want it out of my system. :XD: I'm sure you guys want to get it over with, too. Some of you have been reading Valiard since it was first published almost three years ago! :faint:

I can't say when the first manuscript of this book will be done, but I'm confident I'll finish it before the end of 2015. Life and work might get in the way, but this horse has smelled her stable, and she's going for it somethin' fierce! :XD: I'm so close!!! :la:

You say the book is almost done, but Valiard will keep going, right?

I have only spent time planning the first novel, but depending on how planning goes from here, Valiard might be a trilogy, though I'm fairly certain it will only span two books. I only have so much story to tell, and I won't stretch it thin if I can help it.

Will Valiard be a book I can see on a bookstore shelf?

Although I've conversed on this point a few times, people are still regularly asking me if Valiard will be a legit printed book. Unfortunately, after exploring all my options, I have found that the answer to this question is long and complicated.

To self-publish Valiard properly, with professional help, it will cost me an arm and a leg, and I don't have a large enough reader base to justify the cost. I thought at first that if I lost a few hundred dollars, or broke even, I'll be fine, but I'll lose closer to a few thousand dollars, and I honestly can't afford it. My next option is to keep the novel online for free (yay!) and send the book to literary agents and hope someone sees potential in it. That might take some years, but at least I won't be sitting on Valiard like it's some golden latrine. It can remain on the Internet for folks to enjoy, which is frankly the very reason I write at all. If nobody reads it, what's the point?

I know there are print-on-demand sites, but there's little immediate quality control. I'm not selling something that's rife with paragraph spacing issues, badly hanging lines, spelling errors, etc. It's not fair to my readers, who deserve the very best product I can manage to make. And I've met several people who've gone the print-on-demand route to print their stuff to sell on their own, and they have only managed to have boxes full of printed novels that they can't even give away for free. :( If there's one thing that's almost as hard as getting people to give you their money, it's getting people to read your book! :XD:

But there's crowdfunding, right? Well, sort of. It's against the rules of Kickstarter for a South African to run a campaign, but besides that, since there's still Indiegogo, I might very likely not reach my goal. And even if my backers each get a copy of the book, I might still sit with boxes full of copies in the garage, growing damp from the summer rain and being eaten by silverfish. Yay. :stare: It just isn't a workable idea. I don't have the means or expertise to distribute a book effectively.

Which is why I'm as keen as I am on the traditional publishing route, though I won't do a thing about it until I get an agent who'll help me along my way. Publishing houses are still businesses and they need to make a profit, so they'll wrangle what they can out of unprotected authors.

Or is it better to keep Valiard online for free forever? I've often wondered about this. I know there are some of my readers who'd love to own a hard copy of the book, and getting some professional distribution would be nice, but odds are I won't make much money from my first novel anyways. The money I make might very well be negligible. So I don't know. It's something I still battle with every day, but I'm just doing my best to focus on finishing the manuscript before I go nuts. ^^;

And that's it for now!

Hopefully I've answered some burning questions, or at least shared some interesting info with those of you who are also writing your novels. :) As always, thanks to everyone for your support and for reading Valiard. I'm gonna get back to writing now, so you guys can know sooner how the book ends. ;)

And of course, if you have any thoughts about the above that you'd like to share, PLEASE DO! :la: I love hearing from you guys, and I value you guys's opinions. Goodness, you guys are the REASON I WRITE. So please, share!!! :D

HUGS! :glomp: :heart:
  • Reading: Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth
  • Playing: PlanetSide 2
Hey, guys! :D

My new video's up, and it deals with a topic I've been dying to address for YEARS, but it would've been too wordy for a Journal entry! :XD:

QUICK NOTE TO THOSE INVOLVED: If you recognize one of the messages I used as examples (whether good or bad) as one of yours, please know it was used in the spirit of helping others in an entertaining way. I originally had over 60 messages from which I had to blank out users' identifiers, and only after blanking them all out in bulk did I read them out loud for the video. Plus, I'm terrible with usernames. So, rest assured, it was pretty much anonymous all the way through. I literally still don't know who you guys are. Only one user's identity I did remember, but only because they message me regularly — and I compliment them so fiercely in the video, I forbid them to be angry with me. ;)

In short, I hope this won't deter you guys from messaging me again anytime. I'm always around to help out. :D

Hugs to everyone! :glomp:
  • Listening to: I WANT A BADGE.
  • Reading: DEVIANTART PLS.
  • Watching: DO I HAVE MY BADGE YET?
  • Playing: GIVE ME MY BADGE.
  • Eating: MY BADGE.
SHIT YES I WANT A BADGE. I missed like all the others. NOT THIS TIME, DA!!!! :la:

1.   How long have you been on DeviantArt? FIVE YEARS!

2.   What does your username mean? IT'S MY NAME (EZELLE = EZ) WITH A 'THE' IN FRONT OF IT!

3.   Describe yourself in three words. ME! WANT! BADGE!

4.   Are you left or right handed? RIGHT-HANDED!

5.   What was your first deviation? ANIME THEO AND GANGFIELD! 
      Fake Screenshot 1 by The-Ez

6.   What is your favourite type of art to create? DRAWING CARTOON CHARACTERS!

7.   If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be? THAT THING WOT MICHELANGELO DID WIFF DAVID!

8.   What was your first favourite? COOL ANIME PICTURE!
Kuroshitsuji : My Precious by kuro-mai

9.   What type of art do you tend to favourite the most? STUFF WITH PEOPLE'S OCs IN 'EM!

10.   Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist? :icontombancroft: BECAUSE HE HELPS SO MANY PEOPLE EVERY DAY AND HOSTS A FAN-FRIGGIN-TASTIC PODCAST! ALSO :iconmaripazvillar: BECAUSE WOW HER CHARACTERS!

11.  If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be? MY FRIENDS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER AND I'M SORRY IF I LEFT ANYONE OUT YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! :iconthirdpersonsymphony: AND :iconthereina: AND :iconrazorxsketch: AND :iconcassdoubleme: AND :iconravietta: AND PLENTY MORE I'M FORGETTING RIGHT NOW!

12.   How has a fellow deviant impacted your life? Here I'll answer entirely seriously because I need to catch my breath. :meow: If it weren't for the folks here on deviantART, I'd probably have zero confidence in my art and my stories. Thank you to everyone who's encouraged me, befriended me, and helped me. I love you guys! :heart:

13.  What are your preferred tools to create art? PENCIL AND PUTTY ERASER!

14.   What is the most inspirational place for you to create art? I LOVED DRAWING IN THE UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA LIBRARY, BUT DEM DAYS IS OVER!

15.   What is your favourite DeviantArt memory? TOO MANY! BRAIN OVERLOADING!!!!!

And now I need to tag it, right? WHAT HOW? 
#DeviantArtistQuestionnaire oh there it goes :meow:

*UPDATE!* I GOT MY BADGE YOU GUISE!!!! :iconcryingmingplz: :iconkimcryplz: :iconmumcryplz: :iconomgcryplz: