Welcome to Craf-TAY Corner, the monthly feature that showcases the creative side of Talk Amongst Yourself, and here as your master of ceremonies of all things crafty and geeky is your beloved Geek Empress. No, don't cower in fear, while I am great and amazing, I am also very benevolent. Oh well, cower a little if you want, you know, if it makes you feel better.

Anyhoo, since last month I have *still* not located my high temperature glue gun, in fact I've managed since last month to not only find it, but also managed to lose more stuff including my DS stylus and several Lego pieces (what the actual hell, are gnomes robbing me or something?) that means my BJD remains in her unfinished state. Alas, as I had really hoped to finish her before NDK next weekend. Since I can't show you any progress on the doll, I've decided to feature some of my artwork instead.

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As many of you know, I do comics for a living ('living' being a relative term, of course) so I thought I'd show you how a page of my color series, Midnight Menagerie, gets pieced together.

First I start out with penciling. Because I cannot sketch digitally to save my life, I start on actual paper. I work on 11x17 regular printer paper and use a regular pencil for the loose sketch followed by a mechanical pencil for the details. Then I scan the shebang into my computer. Because it's such a big piece of paper I have to scan it in two parts and tack it back together. Next I ink. Because I want the nicest, smoothest lines possible, I work HUGE. That already giant 11x17 piece of paper gets scanned in at 600 dpi. Once it's all inked and sexy, I shrink it down to 300 dpi so I don't crash my computer. Then I put in the text bubbles and sound effects, and start with the background color and scenery to get my color palette and light sources right. Then I put in the flats, a layer of soft colors to give it some depth, then I cel shade, add textures and finish with a round of highlights to make it really pop. A page generally takes me a good 4-6 hours to color, not counting inking and the pencil stages. Once it's all colored I crop it and get it ready for posting

If you're curious to read the whole thing, check out Midnight Menagerie for the actual story.

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As for the other creative types around TAY Damsonshee has been talking about her latest cosplay project—one I'm personally thrilled to see finished. Stormborn has been getting a lot of attention for his awesome Pokemon art (his Charizard is my favorite so far) and AstroKid and her brother recently did a very avant garde piece about the idiocy of college expenses (well, actually they took a very expensive text book that they couldn't sell and loaded that sucker with lead. Still cool either way)

If you've got a project you've been working on or just finished, please talk about it here. And if during the month you post a thread about something you're doing, please remember to tag it 'Craf-TAY Corner' so I can feature it next month.

Stay Arty people!