Looking for inspiration? Try Instagram Collections by J. Logan Carey

I tend to save a lot of images all over my computer. I use them as inspiration for writing and drawing ideas. Having some visual reference around can really spark my imagination, but I'm always trying to track down where they end up and the folder sizes can start to really get huge. Well I found a super useful alternative courtesy of the latest update from Instagram: Collections

Now when you see an image you really love and want to hang on to, you can select the ribbon icon on the bottom right of the image. Tapping it once will place it in your Saved images, long press and you can create or select a specific Collection to place it in.

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This is great considering you really can only save Instagram posts by taking screenshots as they do not support image downloading in the app or on the web and lots of great pictures get lost over time when there's so many to comb through. It's basically a bookmarking tool for images, kind of like Pinterest, except better, and I'll explain how. 

Pinterest is, obviously, a huge digital pin board where anyone in the world can take images, usually someone else's, and dump them online and then sort of get credit for organizing the images together. Now, people can repost other people's images on Instagram too, but it's much less prevelant and typically credit is given to the original poster.  

On Instagram, when selecting an image from you Collection, not only can you easily go to the entire feed from the creator who made the image you really love, but you can personally interact with them via comments or even direct message. It's akin to Twitter in that there's much more of a one-to-one relationship with the person creating the images. 

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I have quite a few Collections going and it has really helped kickstart my inspiration levels when I'm stuck and just want to breeze through a stream of images. 

Collections are currently private only which is kind of nice, so you can't see mine, but you CAN connect with me on Instagram at @jlogancarey. Come on over, build some Collections, and gimme some emojis, you might just get some back. 😉👋 

Landscape Learnin' by J. Logan Carey

Starting to work on a webcomic for someone who isn't a very experienced illustrator leads to all sorts of interesting problems. Namely, I don't know how to draw landscapes! The backgrounds, the ground and sky that make up any given comic panel, well, I've never really drawn any of that stuff! 

I've always drawn figures and objects and even plants and animals, but sketching out entire environments has always seemed so overwhelming that I've never actually given it a shot. Well the time to start practicing is now. 

The first story in the Zodiac webcomic I'm working on will be "Gemini". This story takes place in a desert landscape following a small nomadic society who worship the twin constellation of Gemini as their deity. Deserts are beautiful. They're also roughly large chunks of similar colors, so they should be a good entry point into the wider world of illustrated environments. 

I decided to follow a YouTube tutorial on a cloudy sunset in Procreate on the iPad to test the app's capabilities and mine too.

For this I followed one of James Julier's many excellent YouTube tutorials. The end result was pretty meh, but the real key here is learning how to "paint" digitally. The video had some really good tips about lighting in clouds, sky, and horizons.

So, not the worse ever, but there's obviously a lot of learning to do here. Procreate is really versatile and I like how it's simplified visually so it's not as overwhelming to an amateur as something like Photoshop or Clip Studio Paint.

I used Mischief to make this next simple painting of some dunes. Mischief is an amazing digital sketchpad. The tools are dead simple to play with and the infinite canvas is a dream. I don't know of anyone really using it for professional stuff or webcomic type work, but if you know of any, send them my way as I'd love to check them out.

Now that I had a chance to play around, I really wanted to knock out the first panel of Gemini. It's important to finish something and start digging deeper into this. The whole project is a kind of a dare to myself to see if I can follow through and make some progress into illustrated work so now's the time to do it.

Here's the first finished panel of Gemini in the Zodiac webcomic...

Hope you like it. The text will come later. What's really going to be fun for Zodiac is that with 12 different short illustrated stories I can play with many different styles and mediums of art. The Procreate process video is on my Twitter if you want to see the whole thing come together. 

Here's to starting something new with whatever you have, wherever you are!

New project in the works by J. Logan Carey

I've been itching to get illustrating on a webcomic of my very own for a while now. It's going to be an anthology series of of the twelve short stories from my book Zodiac.  Each story is based on the mythology figures behind the constellations in a variety of genres and settings. Some take place in the far flung reaches of space, some at the edge of madness, and some in places all too familiar. 

Now, I've never done a webcomic before. Hell, I've never drawn a comic before. I've written comic scripts and drawn for fun all my life, but I've never combined the two and gotten serious about it. 

Well that's the plan. They'll be released on this site throughout the year and will be free to read. I'll also document the process of making the webcomic from an amateur's perspective and detail any tips or tribulations I run into. Maybe that could help some others looking to jump into the game. The internet is ripe for quality comic content. There are already some great examples out there, but there's always room for one more.

The first story I'll be doing will be Gemini, hopefully coinsiding with the period of the year that we're under the sign. That's the goal. Here's the first storyboard page:

It's rough stuff, I know. Still can't be but a little proud of the first storyboard page I've ever made.

It's rough stuff, I know. Still can't be but a little proud of the first storyboard page I've ever made.

This next fellow over here is one of the desert-dwelling people in the story who worship the Gemini constellation as their twin deities.  He looks a little ragged. Desert living is harsh.

This next fellow over here is one of the desert-dwelling people in the story who worship the Gemini constellation as their twin deities.  He looks a little ragged. Desert living is harsh.

That's a short, but sweet intro to the project. I hope you guys check it out and I'd love to hear what you think!

Welcome... by J. Logan Carey

...to my new website and blog.

I'll be posting updates on various projects here as well as updating the blog on a semi-regular basis. Come follow me on Twitter and Instagram as I'll let everyone know of updates to the site.

Thanks and let's do this.