Flash going away and Pandagotchi

I can’t believe it’s been 12 years since I created my very first game. Very first *complete* game, anyway. Well, not that I ended up making a whole lot of games after that but I probably started a bunch and never finished them because programming never stuck with me. Someday I’m sure I will make something else though.

Anyway, Pandagotchi. It was a Flash game that I made as my final project for EMS I (Electronic Media Studio), a required class in my very first semester in college. Until the end of this month (this year really, which is in like 2 days) supposedly there will be no more support for Flash, so if you can,

please play Pandagotchi here!

After Flash is gone and whatever’s in that link (or the whole link) dies, I’ll at least have video of gameplay. One important thing I’ve learned as a gamedev:

The best way to preserve your game is to record gameplay of it with video.

And audio of course, if it has audio. I’ve realized that playable files go out of date with new hardware and things don’t always stay where you put them online for one reason or other. It also might be extra work to update the compatibility and so on.

Here’s my recorded gameplay footage:

This right here hits pretty hard for me:

I used to think life just *had to* be like this, that burnout was totally normal and it was just going to be like that for the rest of my life if I was successful. It really doesn’t. Especially if I do everything with a strict schedule and don’t take on too many activities. I’m an adult, I’m in control of my life. I’m just really glad those stressful times are behind me, but I still have nightmares about them all the time still 😛

It’s too bad that the world is moving on. I don’t know much about Flash actually nor the reasons why or why we shouldn’t keep it around, but I do feel sad that it’s not going to be supported anymore. It’s a small reminder to me that I’m getting older and that time flies.

Maybe I can remake Pandagotchi in a more modernized playable format but I’d also like it to be playable in the browser. *Shrug*

Cheers to old fun relics of the past. Have a very Happy New Year!

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Art Fight Student Showcase

Phew, that’s a lot of image downloading from the Art Fight website. I haven’t featured student work in a while and I’ve been wanting to. I’d also been featuring just one student at a time, so I felt like it’d be a good idea to showcase a bunch in one post and have it coincide with the end of Art Fight. I’m really proud of my students who participated!

I’m so happy about how many did Art Fight this year: eleven! I mean, a handful of them already knew about Art Fight and were already participating for years. But I was surprised to discover how many students had no idea about it. It certainly ended up giving more motivation to just about every art student who joined.

To recap on what Art Fight is:
Art Fight is an annual art trading event that usually happens every July for the whole month. You join one of two teams (this year was Sugar vs. Spice!), and you try to get the most points for your team. Whichever team has the most points at the end of Art Fight wins. To get points, you draw/illustrate an original character (OC) of an opposite team member. These are called “attacks”. You can get more points by drawing multiple characters in one attack, and also by putting in more detail, like drawing backgrounds or full body shots instead of head shots. It’s sort of common courtesy to attack back when you get attacked, aka “revenge” attack. There are also revenge chains. It’s all done in good fun, of course!

I’m going to present my students in alphabetical order, and try to feature mostly their Art Fight-related pieces. Some of them didn’t make that many, which is okay. Not everyone has such a free schedule and some may have been motivated to create works outside of Art Fight. Some of them are just looking to do art as a hobby, so there’s a wide range of skill levels. I also want to try to represent the best of their works they’ve done more recently, or this year at least. Some students submitted an insane amount of attacks on Art Fight, so I’ll limit the featured pieces per student down to 6.

You’ll also notice a disproportionate amount of us were on Team Sugar, myself included (lol). Teams are assigned and the system tries to keep it even and balanced. You can switch teams up to 3 times, though it looks like that doesn’t usually happen. For most of this year’s Art Fight, Team Sugar was losing 😛 As I’m writing this, this year’s winning team has not been announced.

Alex (age 28, Team Sugar)

Here are Alex’s attacks. He’s done a great job doing a lot of head shots and has improved so much with character portraits! He’s come quite a long way with creating complete and polished pieces. When we first started lessons earlier this year, he mostly created pencil sketches and studies. As shown by his pieces here, he has gotten quite a grasp on clean line work, colors and shading!

Annabelle (age 16, Team Spice)

Here are Annabelle’s Art Fight-related artworks. After I painted her OC, Warryn, she attacked me back by painting Cactus Cat. Cactus Cat was awfully popular this year lol.

Because she wanted to spend more time on other artwork during Art Fight season, here are some of her other recent pieces. She’s been really pushing her limits on her bigger and longer illustrations, incorporating more sophisticated lighting, perspective, figure poses and color palettes.

Blu (age 15, Team Sugar)

Blu is a professional artist who makes fursuits and furry illustrations. Visit their website here! Blu is quite multi-faceted. They are also a 3D modeler, creating 3D prints to make parts for their fursuits. I haven’t done any 3D art since like 2012 and have not been teaching 3D art at all, so Blu was motivated and has worked long and hard on their 3D work all on their own! Their body of artwork has come such a long way since we started lessons together in 2017!

Here’s also a relatively recent piece they did that I’m very happy with, and I believe was also well-received on Twitter:

Please also feel free to support Blu on Ko-Fi!

Evelyn (Age 17, Team Sugar)

Evelyn’s style is incredibly relaxed and absolutely adorable. She effortlessly comes up with the cutest pastel color combinations. Her OC, Brawn Bagel, is the funniest. He goes up to people who are about to bite into a donut and turns the donut into a bagel and when they bite into it, they get disappointed. But if I remember correctly, Brawn Bagel just wants to change the hearts of everyone to make them realize that bagels are just superior to donuts. XD…

She’s also quite popular on TikTok as a cosplayer!

Jacob (Age 24, Team Sugar)

Jacob puts a lot of time and effort into his work. I’m glad he joined Art Fight, because I was able to notice an improvement from one head shot piece to the next. He also got much more familiar with drawing the muzzle on canine portraits, which is a significant milestone for drawing a lot of animals.

Here’s some of the work he did during some of our classes together, copied from references:

Karen (Age 16, Team Sugar)

Karen did so many attacks this season, and her pieces were pretty different from each other. It was hard for me to choose the “top 6,” so they’re probably just among my personal favorites out of her body of Art Fight pieces. Outside of Art Fight, she has a very generous habit of creating fan art of other artists in the Instagram art community. She even friendly-fired me on Art Fight! Please feel free to follow her on Instagram and support her on Ko-Fi!

Lily (Age 13, Team Spice)

If the stats on her Art Fight page are correct, I believe Lily attacked the most out of all my students this year in Art Fight, with a total of 30 attacks. So again, I just had to pick the pieces that are probably among my personal favorites. This is her first year participating in Art Fight. She seems to be motivated to draw pretty much every single day she possibly can! She recently put up her portfolio website where she is taking commissions, and has also been building a Youtube channel where she usually features timelapsed videos of her illustrations and animated memes.

Luiza (Age 13, Team Sugar)

Luiza seems to have a limitless amount of patience when it comes to revisions on her artwork. We work and work on the same pieces for weeks, stretching her range of capabilities by a lot because of her diligence. For most of the time we’ve had lessons together, she’d worked on paper. She has such a willingness to erase to get her drawings just right, I’m surprised she still hasn’t put a hole in her paper yet!

Here are some of her Art Fight pieces:

Here are some of her more polished, ambitious pieces she’s done:

Again, it’s tough for me to choose the “best” pieces of art because there’s just so many of them, so you should check out the rest of her work on her portfolio website!

Mae (Age 13, Team Spice)

Mae didn’t launch any attacks on Art Fight, but she certainly created some pretty awesome references images of her OCs! Time always flies as we’re working together on her OCs during our classes.

She has such a way with color design. I certainly don’t think I knew my way around colors like she does when I was her age! I believe she’s more experienced in traditional media, using inks and tons of Copic markers. Do check out her other pieces of artwork here on her Pinterest.

Megan (Age 17, Team Sugar)

Megan is competitive, so after introducing her to Art Fight, it seemed to really rile her up to complete ambitious illustrations in short periods of time. I found it quite amusing and impressive. Nothing quite motivates Megan like the chance to beat somebody. I’ve already known that Megan is very skilled at her craft, but I was still wowed by the work she created for Art Fight.

I’d also like to show a piece she did for a school assignment. It’s got an interesting design, and she seemed to work on it very thoroughly. Lol, wow.

Mia (Age 14, Team Sugar)

Last but not least, Mia has no end to the amount of different ideas she has for her OCs and original stories. She seems to come up with a new OC every single day, because during our classes, we’re always working on a new character she just made up. She is a creative writer, a theater kid and a musician. I also introduced her to Art Fight this year. Since it’s tough to balance between creating good reference images of your own OCs while having the time to create good attacks, she submitted just a few of her myriad original creations.

Really cool story with one of her OCs in Art Fight. The one with the white cape is named Blank or “________.” Right after Mia submitted ________ on Art Fight, the character got its first attack in just 30 minutes!!! Within the same day, there were a total of 5 attacks with that one character! People are really into Mia’s OCs!

Here are some of her attacks:

And here is one of her other OCs she illustrated outside of Art Fight a few months ago:

I’m truly proud of my students, and I’m amazed by how Art Fight has been motivating so many artists every year. It really brings out the best things about art-making, in my opinion: Fun and hard work.

I want to thank my students for participating in Art Fight, for bringing so much enthusiasm to the community and continuing to have me as their teacher. I’ve learned so much over the years as a teacher, and I look forward to more fun-filled enlightening hours of teaching! You are all a true pleasure to teach! :D!

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Artfight Entries on Student OCs

I first joined Artfight 2 years ago, when Blufoxdog roped me into it. That year I only did one entry for Artfight, and it was an illustration of one of their OCs. I’m really glad they got me into Artfight, because this year I asked all my students if they wanted to join and many of them did. Most of them got extra motivated to draw even more, and some of them drew each other’s OCs.

In this blog post I’m mostly going to feature my own artwork. I’ll do a separate post later featuring my students who participated in Artfight this year.

In case you don’t know what Artfight is, it’s an annual event that happens every July for the whole month. This year they ended it just yesterday because the site was so slow and it was down more often than anyone would have liked.

Anyway, it’s basically like free art trades. You join one of two teams, and every year Artfight has a different theme. Two years ago it was Coffee vs. Tea, this year it was Sugar vs. Spice. I was on team Sugar, and for most of the month I think Spice was winning. But I didn’t really do it for the win so much as getting my students motivated and to draw some stuff for them for free to make them happy. After you join a team, you can start either by attacking or by putting up reference images of your original characters (OCs) so that you can get “attacked”. You attack by drawing/illustrating an OC from the opposite team. You can draw multiple characters for more points, and also the more complex or detailed your illustration, the more points it’s worth. You can also friendly-fire teammates, but it won’t be worth any points. Whichever team has the most points at the end of Artfight wins, presumably.

Here are the pieces I did of my students’ OCs.

Here is Annabelle’s OC, Warryn:

Here is Mae’s OC, Charlie:

Here is Lily’s OC, Horizon:

And then because Karen friendly-fired me, I had to revenge-friendly-fire her back. So I drew her OC, Rover:

I mostly tried to illustrate these quickly, like in one night for each. Pushing myself to draw quickly for my students over the years has helped me draw way faster. I also just have a lot of fun drawing my students’ OCs for them.

This year most people who attacked me on Artfight seemed to really like the new OC I posted on my profile, Cactus Cat. I kind of came up with them spontaneously (I still don’t know Cactus Cat’s gender actually… maybe I’m leaning towards a girl.) But here’s the reference image I’d posted for Cactus Cat, which seemed to be my most popular new OC I came up with this year lol.

Originally she was meant to be a thing you clicked on for a clicker game that I wanted to make in like a weekend. The idea was to constantly click the cat, as if to pet her, so that she can be happy and you can… have more cactus cats >_>. The game was to be modeled after the Cookie Clicker game. So in the case of Cactus Cat Clicker, you’d be a very altruistic person to be constantly petting this cat to make the cat happy and… uh… make more cactus cats so you can get even more cactus cats? Lol it’s supposed to be modeled off of the Cookie Clicker game which is just you clicking the cookie constantly to make more cookies so you can make more cookies faster.

Uh, anyway.

I really love the turnout of my students in Artfight this year, I’m excited to publish the next post featuring their artwork.

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Sephiroth Re-paint and FFVII Remake Rant

This painting has been long overdue. I’ve been meaning to make a new painting of Sephiroth for a bunch of years with my “updated skills”. This illustration is basically a repaint of this one I did back in 2008 (yes, almost TWELVE years ago):

I have all kinds of lame excuses as to why, at least in my opinion, this doesn’t look like 12 years of improvement but I’m not going to make an exhaustive list. Long story short, I didn’t want to spend some 50 hours on the new painting of Sephy, like I probably did back in 2008. Actually I don’t even know how long I actually spent on the one from 2008 (probably not 50 hours), except that I probably spent at least a week on it and at least a few hours a day. The new one I wanted to get it done in less than a week, mostly because there are other things I’m way more interested in working on at the moment.

I just really wanted to push this painting out. I want to do another Sephiroth painting soon but take it much slower and be okay with it taking a longer period of time with smaller work sessions or whatever while I dedicate more time on more important things. But also I did this for the Character Design Challenge for this month. I’ve been wanting to leave that group for a while because it depresses me a bit. I keep wanting to participate in each month’s challenge but end up not doing so for whatever made-up excuse I come up with in my head. But when I saw this month’s challenge, I absolutely could not refuse. I had to at least paint Sephiroth again. So my other excuse… there’s a deadline, but then again I also don’t want to work on this up until the last minute of when I can submit it to the challenge.

In case you didn’t know, Final Fantasy VII is probably my most favorite video game ever. Of all the things I made fan art for, I made the most for FFVII. Fan comics (hundreds of pages I made as a kid. I didn’t scan/upload them all.) and illustrations, and from middle to high school, I played FFVII music on the piano.

The other night, I loaded up the old FFVII on Steam again. I remember re-playing it about 3 years ago. I didn’t realize how close to just, completely complete I played through it. I forgot I got like, all the master materia, and two of my characters were at level 99 and another one was at like level 97. All that was left to do in the game was to beat Ruby Weapon, and I didn’t think I could do it. I beat it in like 15 minutes after dying once. I even got all lucky 7’s for the first time ever in my life. I always vaguely knew about it but didn’t know exactly how it worked so I got a bit confused while it was happening.

After I beat Ruby Weapon, I felt a horrible sense of emptiness because there was basically nothing left to do in the game. I already had a gold chocobo. So I kept the desert rose. Like seriously. By the time you wanna try killing Ruby Weapon, you probably bred the hell out of your chocobos. This play-through was the most exhaustive I’d ever played and I feel almost as if I could recite the Final Fantasy VII game from beginning to end including the side quests. I mean, no I’m not one of those hardcore fanatics who does play-throughs with no materia or no attacking or whatever. But I can say I’ve never made more fan art for anything else than I have for Final Fantasy VII.


The new remake of the game came out.

Two main things I want to say:

1. I don’t have a PS4 (but honestly now that I think about it, buying one wouldn’t be that much of a problem for me these days)

2. Even if I did have a PS4, I get extremely nasty motion sickness if the camera is too first-person and/or moves around way too fast.

I’ve tried watching some gameplay. My motion sickness comes in within like 10 seconds. It’s really bad.

I’m really, really sad and kind of depressed about this.

Yes, yes — in the grand scheme of things, given that we’re in a horrible pandemic, I don’t actually have anything to complain about in terms of what’s going on with me personally, day to day. I’m absolutely not suffering at all compared to people who are really suffering in the world. But just within the bubble of the world of Final Fantasy VII, I’m intensely sad.

Second thing that’s making me sad, aside from basically the motion sickness:

Since I became an adult, I’ve come to hate anime. So when I watch cutscenes from the new remake, oh boy. Cringe fest for me.

Look, I don’t really really have anything against anime or anime fans. I just grew up with it, was heavily influenced by it and also a bunch of manga in my development as an artist. I learned so much from them. Honestly, the sight of anime and manga still makes me really excited and makes me want to draw more. But once I start watching the stuff and the characters open their mouths, I’m reminded of why I stopped watching anime. Yes, there are a few shows or movies that I would still like, almost whole-heartedly, but the vast majority of them just make me want to go away and do something else with my life. People will make recommendations to me. A lot of the times I give them a try. Most of the time it just doesn’t do it for me.

But what else did I expect? I played through Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII. (And watched Advent Children.) Well, FFX wasn’t nearly as egregious as FFXIII but still, the dialogue is just like — I can’t help but think, “You people just sat around in a conference room, did a read-through with voice-actors and nodded your heads and patted each other on the back and… this is what you went with?!”

I haven’t played FFXIII in years but one thing I do remember always thinking: “SHUT THE !@*& UP VANILLE, YOU.ARE.SO.ANNOYING!!!!”

Script-writing aside though, all the Final Fantasy games I’ve played have been really good. Okay, I tried to play Final Fantasy X-2 and I just couldn’t. It looked soooooo interesting with all the different classes for the characters, but come ON. The game was like, pure and obvious fan service, like “Can’t get enough of FFX? Here’s some more but with ONLY BOOBS!” I couldn’t stand the dialogue at all. Playing the game was like trying to live the rest of my life with my head underwater.

All that passionate disapproval aside, the Final Fantasy games I’ve played, especially FFVII, is always going to have a very special place in my heart, even if I’d have to tolerate anime-standard writing that just isn’t to my taste.

But do I see myself dying without having ever played through the remake of FFVII?


One day, perhaps when it comes out for PC, I’ll probably play it. If it doesn’t come out for PC, I’ll just get a PS4. Whatever. I’ll probably try some anti-vertigo drugs that don’t put me to sleep or something. I’ll probably blow chunks into a bucket next to me while I power through. I’d do it for FFVII. I may not be a hardcore-no-materia-playthrough fan, but I think I’d be a throw-up-for-500-hours-of-motion-sickness-playthrough fan.

*Sigh* there are a lot of re-draw illustrations of FFVII fan art I want to do. For now though, here’s the new Sephiroth with my “updated” art skills.

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Skillshare Class Sample

Here’s a sample/promotional video for one of my Skillshare classes on digitally painting hair.

You can find the full, premium Skillshare class here.

I believe you can get 1 or 2 months free if you don’t have an account yet and you make one. The full class can be viewed if you have an account, I think.

Hope you find the tutorial video(s) helpful!

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Intro Animation finished in Krita tutorial

I finally finished my intro animation for tutorial videos a few weeks ago, after starting it like a year ago and putting it off a lot.

You can view the first tutorial it got edited into here:

I have a lot of video tutorial ideas. I’m going to make a bunch of short technical videos as well as lecture-style tips on Youtube, and make longer project-based videos on Skillshare. I know that when I look up how to do something with software, I really like when the videos are short.

Hopefully the intro animation makes an impression on people and draws in an audience.

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Inktober Entry #3

For the prompt from the 5th of this month, “build.” I referenced this weird thing. It’s still the 5th of October somewhere in the world…

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Inktober Entry #2

Yay I did another one


Now I have to get on another call lol 😛

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Inktober Entry

A student of mine suggested I do Inktober this year and I have no real reason to say “no,” so here’s at least one entry:

I meant for it to only take me half an hour… then I found myself still drawing after an hour, then I was like “this needs more contrast…” and then stopped at 1.5 hours because I need to be doing other stuff 😛

This was a pretty impulsive drawing though today’s Inktober prompt was “bait,” so I rolled with it and scribbled something together I guess.

I forget what a good influence my students actually are for me. When they put out something every week or every day, I feel inspired (or really guilty as an artist who has students who sometimes work way harder than I do lol).

Yeaaahh, I’m procrastinating on other projects right now 😛 I was totally planning on finishing this in half an hour but then I got a little OCD and was like “no no, I need to add some other stuff…”

Hooray for publishing more artwork.

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Student Animation: “Santa Cause” by Roshan

Here’s a new animation recently completed by my 14-year-old student, Roshan:

Our first class together was just over a year ago. For the first few months, our lessons consisted of some animation exercises.

He started his “Santa Cause” animation last December on his own, and then I helped him work on it once every other week for about half of this year. I think he has a very particular sense of humor that he puts into his work, and what better way to demonstrate it than in animation?

I’m so proud of Roshan because he had an awesome idea for an animation and followed through with it to the finish line. I think a one-minute animation with this much drawing is tough for anyone, and I’m so happy that he has worked this hard and long on a project like this and actually completed it. These kinds of projects usually require patience, persistence, hard work and a sense of grit to produce.

I truly had fun helping Roshan with this project. Every time I opened his updated animation file during our video calls together for our lessons, I would look at the progress he made. I’d always forget how incredibly hilarious his work is, and then I’d laugh all over again at the work he had done.

I hope you continue to make more awesome hilarious animations, it’s been so much fun working with you Roshan!

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