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Conventions:


I'll be attending at least another three UK cons this year:

MCM London [May 26-28], London Super Comic Con [August 25-27] and MCM London [October 27-29]. Feel free to stop by and say hello if you'll be attending also :)

How-To Books:


* 'Digital Manga' is available for humans to buy on my website at www.benkrefta.com/shop/digital… : An in-depth tutorial book teaching virtually everything I know about Photoshop and colouring characters.

* 'The Artist's Guide to Drawing Manga'
 is also now available on my site www.benkrefta.com/shop/artists… : A beginners guide to manga and character creation. It's effectively an updated version of my older book 'The Art of Drawing Manga'.

With, 67,000 words of written content across both books, I'd like to think there's at least something in there that most artists could benefit from and enjoy :)
Both titles sold with free postage within the UK. I can also ship to Europe, US and worldwide also.

Art Related:


* My portfolio is now at www.benkrefta.com 

* I'm still tattooing part-time, having carried out over 300 tattoos or sessions to date.

* I've got a vague idea for a new book project, but no publisher on board thus far, so might just release pages as a series of Blog posts on my website?

* Commissions open, so if interested, send me a message :)


Social Media Stuff:

Follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/benkrefta
Add me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ben.krefta.1
Like my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/animemangaart…
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/BenKrefta
Follow me on Tumblr: benkrefta.tumblr.com/
Watch my Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/b0mu
Follow me on Pinterest: pinterest.com/benkrefta/
Connect on Linkedin: uk.linkedin.com/in/benkrefta
Follow me on Google+: plus.google.com/11163092596226…
Conventions:

I just finished attending 10 of 10 UK comic conventions over the last 10 months. A great experience, which I hope to write more about in the near future.

Chatted with loads of great people over the course including Deviantartists:
:iconyoneyu: :iconflyingviperart: :iconentenn: :iconpauscorpi: :iconm0zch0ps: :iconcoldcoldethyl: :iconkittyillustrations: (sorry if I missed anyone out)
Was great to meet so many artists all doing their own thing and making the effort to put themselves out there :) (Smile)

Currently plans are to slow it down- attending two or three cons a year unless I decide to create more con-friendly artwork, i.e. fan art to make it financially worth my while.

How-To Books:

* 'Digital Manga' is available on my website at www.benkrefta.com/shop : An in-depth tutorial book teaching virtually everything I know about Photoshop and colouring characters.

* 'The Artist's Guide to Drawing Manga'
will also be available at the end of August : A beginners guide to manga and character creation. It's effectively an updated version of my older book 'The Art of Drawing Manga'.

With, 67,000 words of written content across both books, I'd like to think there's at least something in there that most artists could benefit from and enjoy :) (Smile)


Art Related:


* I created a new portfolio at www.benkrefta.com to replace my previous personal site Organic Metal.

* I'm still tattooing part-time, coming close to having carried out 300 tattoos or sessions to date.

* I've got a vague idea for a new book project, but no publisher on board thus far, so might just release pages as a series of Blog posts on my website?

* Looking to do more sketching and produce more personal artwork over the coming year. I don't feel as though I devote as much time to my artwork as I should at the best of times and would like to change that and execute some of the ideas that have been rattling around in my head for years!


Social Media Stuff:

Follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/benkrefta
Add me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ben.krefta.1
Like my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/animemangaart…
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/BenKrefta
Follow me on Tumblr: benkrefta.tumblr.com/
Watch my Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/b0mu
Follow me on Pinterest: pinterest.com/benkrefta/
Connect on Linkedin: uk.linkedin.com/in/benkrefta

Follow me on Google+: plus.google.com/11163092596226…
For artists interested in learning digital colouring and character creation with Photoshop, check out my latest book- 'Digital Manga'.

 

I’ve wanted to create a book on how I colour my character art for years. Last year I pitched the idea to my publisher and began work on the project. It was published in 2014. With around 40,000 words of written content and 400 images and screen captures, the 160 page guide contains over double the content of my previous 144 page 'Art of Drawing Manga' title and IMO is a far superior book all-round.

There are so many aspiring anime, comic fans and artists who want to learn how to get great digital results and tackle Photoshop's steep learning curve but don't know where to begin. The book's aim is to deliver all the tutorials they need in one package. Or at least teach everything I've learned over the last 15 years of using the software.

I want to say give a big thanks to the following talented Deviant artists for sharing their advice within the Tips chapter of the book. Check out their work- it's awesome!:

:iconedwinhuang: :iconinma: :iconshinryushou: :icondanimation2001: :iconnataliadsw: :iconkimmymanga: :iconogawaburukku: :iconeinlee: :iconyuureikun: :iconpoeyon: :icondomdozz: :iconkuridoki: :iconvolvom:

If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy and has a Paypal account, contact me direct and I'll make sure it's signed, sealed and delivered ASAP ^_^
UK: £7.00+ £3.20 postage
Europe: £7.00+ £8.05 shipping
Rest of the World: £7.00 + £12.85 shipping / £8.00 Economy shipping (takes approx 4 weeks)
If you need me to translate prices into your currency, let me know.


Art Related:


I've got a few potential projects in the pipe line:

* Half the art I'm doing right now are tattoos on skin. Slowly building a local client base and looking to get a web presence and portfolio online for some of my tattoo work over the coming months.

* Possible new How-To-manga drawing book. Publishers have expressed interest and currently waiting to see if the project gets the go-ahead.

* Looking into the convention scene and thinking about attending a few in 2015. If so, I'll think about getting some prints or something to sell?

* My homepage Organic Metal www.organicmetal.co.uk is still online after nearly 15 years! I think it's about time I created a smaller, up-to-date portfolio for my artwork.

Social Media Stuff:

Add me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ben.krefta.1
Like my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/animemangaart…
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/BenKrefta
Follow me on Tumblr: benkrefta.tumblr.com/
Watch my Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/b0mu
Follow me on Pinterest: pinterest.com/benkrefta/
Connect on Linkedin: uk.linkedin.com/in/benkrefta

Follow me on Google+: plus.google.com/11163092596226…

THANKS:
First I want to say a big thanks to everyone who checks out my page and comments on my art. I really appreciate it! Although I don't always have time to thank everyone individually for their comments, I like to read them- it's very cool! ^_^

Art Trade Status:
I decided to take on a few Trades at the end of last year to help get me back into drawing. It's fun, but still owe a few people art and vice-versa.

For: :iconalas-carmesis: fav.me/d5ogrdd By: :iconalas-carmesis: fav.me/d5on0rp
For: :iconnay-hime: fav.me/d5oye9n By: :iconnay-hime: [***]
For: :iconnataliasoleil: fav.me/d5quh81 By: :iconnataliasoleil: fav.me/d5pbdq3
For: :iconkittirawr: [0%] By: :iconkittirawr: [***]
For: :iconsolversion: [1%] By: :iconsolversion: fav.me/d5q0pwp
For: :icondiamond-fairy: [25%] By: :icondiamond-fairy: [***]
For: :iconcupcake992: [1%] By: :iconcupcake992: [***]

Commission Status:

Open (but a little bit busy)

See fav.me/d5n8qq2 for prices and info, or for bigger, commercial projects please contact me.

Nikki Art:

If you're bored and would like to draw my OC Nikki, that would be great!
Nikki 2012 by Bomu
I'm still waiting to check out some Nikki art from others after having won prizes for their respective art contests, but I imagine that might not happen- been waiting a long while :/
If you draw her, please send me a link so I can add to my Favs :)

Art Related:

I've got a few potential projects in the pipe line:
* A new book project focusing on Photoshop tutorials. Basically putting a guide together to feature everything I've learned about the program over the last decade.. Well, everything I can fit into 160 pages at least.
* I've started working part time as a tattooist at a local studio. Am hoping once I begin to master inking on skin, I'll be able to start specializing in more custom work. Maybe focus on manga influenced tattoos? I'd like to end up getting away from tattooing typical stars, butterflies, tribal pieces and basic lettering.
* My homepage Organic Metal www.organicmetal.co.uk has now been tweaked to the point where I think I'll leave it alone. I'll keep it online but only ever carry out minimal maintenance on it from now on. I have plans to create separate new websites for my character art and illustration, one for my graphics and designs, and another for my tattoos.

Social Media Stuff:

Add me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ben.krefta.1
Like my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/animemangaart…
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/BenKrefta
Follow me on Tumblr: benkrefta.tumblr.com/
Watch my Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/b0mu
Follow me on Pinterest: pinterest.com/benkrefta/
Connect on Linkedin: uk.linkedin.com/in/benkrefta

I don't update these sites as much as I should (same with Deviantart), but they're all there if you wanna check em out!
I've been updating my personal website Organic Metal with 16x+ new artworks, 17x new photos, 3x new projects pages and an extensive, general tidy up. I'd love for my Deviant art visitors to check it out! www.organicmetal.co.uk :)

I'll be posting some of the new works here too as they'll get a more views and perhaps promote a little more interest in OM? People can also keep more up to date with my artistic and site related 'doings' via my OM mailing list: www.organicmetal.co.uk/info_ma…

Deviantart is a great community with a ton for features, but as an independent web designer, I hate being tied down to it's layout, format and restrictions and just feel it's unfortunate that I'm using Devianart as a less significant, secondary means of displaying my work, yet it generates far more regular viewings than my primary, larger and more in-depth homepage Organic Metal! Such is life!

Work-wise, I'm sure the ressession has something to do with my illustration productivity, although been doing a lot of logo and web work recently which is all good!

Just wanna finish by saying thanks to everyone whose has checked out my work, added a comment or +Faved it! Really appreciated ^_^
  • Listening to: Assassins Creed 2 OST
  • Reading: Wikipedia, Philosophy texts, Psychology texts
  • Watching: Darker than Black, Monster, Real Drive
  • Playing: Rage, Deus EX
  • Eating: Subway Italian BMT
  • Drinking: Monster Juiced!
Ben, where have you been?...

Decided to set up a Devianart account 5 years ago. I liked the idea of my art getting a little extra exposure than if I were to just post it on Organic Metal and thought the whole community networking thing is pretty neat.

But then the internet went a bit mental with pretty much everyone getting into social networking or getting their work on Deviantart, or mySpace or Facebook. I can't exactly explain why, but the more people that seem to get into the whole internet scene, the less I like it. I'm now only logging into my DA, MS and FB accounts a few times each year, and even then I can't say I'm particularly interested in checking out what people are up to or updating my own pages.

Maybe I'm taking things too seriously, but there seems to be a lot of 'competing for popularity' on a lot of these kinda sites and I'm bored of it (or maybe I'm just jealous? :p). Also, after reading hundreds of journal entries, thousands of comments, tens of thousands of forum posts, I feel I've come to a point where there's no a lot left on net I haven't read or experienced!

So, things seem to have pretty much gone full circle for me. I've gone from being one of those internet virgins that does little more than Google a few random sites for research purposes, to someone who got heavily into forums, social networking sites, IM, gaming, downloading etc. for several years, and now I'm back to mainly using the net for a bit of research here and there and checking my email every so often! It's quite weird when I think about it.

I've got no immediate plans to get back to regular posting on Devianart or any of site for that matter. Just happy living life unplugged and doing my own thing :)

I do feel a guilty for not staying in contact with the hundreds of web buddies I've made over the years or not living up to expectations of my small niche fan-base, but I feel that in life you just gotta 'do what you want' and be prepared to migrate from one phase in your life to the next without giving it too much thought and being weighed down by the past.

Other than losing interest in DA and the like, I wouldn't/don't have had much time to visit anyway. I ended up staying on for another year at Uni to get a BA and successfully graduated top of my class (take that Keel Toys, you bstards!*), as I mentioned in the last entry, I was also working part time with Optimum Fitness for a while, followed by a short spell of retail work, followed by running a video game business, while taking on the odd freelance design job. I've now traversed into a new art-based career path which is looking promising (I wont go into details right now though ;))

Before I sign off for 2009, I wanted to say a big thanks to anyone who visits my DA page or Organic Metal and leaves a positive comment. Really appreciate it.
  • Listening to: Feeder
  • Reading: Gantz
  • Watching: Dragons Den, Ultimate Fighter
  • Playing: Dead Space. Puzzle Quest, UFC Undisputed
  • Eating: Crispy Strips @ KFC
  • Drinking: Lemon Suso
Since Last year...

:: Drawing issues ::

Without wanting to repeat how I -haven't been- drawing as much as I should, I'll just mentioned what I -have been- doing. Worked on character mascots for companies: "Cybernetik Game Repair", "Fantasy-Card", "Female Driving Instructors Online". The last of which also asked if I'd design their website, so I'll be working on that until the end of the year. Unfortunately that kinda means no time for drawing practice. I find drawing is very much like trying to learn a new language- you do it every day for a few months and you start to get good, but neglect it for a year and you'll soon forget nearly everything you once knew. Perhaps it's just me? (I hope not!)

:: Current aims with my work ::

Ha- after reading my 'Volume 3' entry, I have to admit, little has changed over the last 13 months! My main aim still needs to be remembering to have fun while I do it, otherwise, there's little point. A few other things I've identified that need some work include; Scenes, characters interacting with environments and the time it takes to finish a pic. My other main aim will be to try fitting in some drawing time into my shcedual!

:: Life Update ::

Two thirds of the way through my Graphic Media uni course. With the option to earn an easy BA degree by staying on for a further year, it's difficult to know if that's something I should do, or maybe I'd be better off getting back into full time work?

On top of uni and the odd bit of freelance work, I started a part time job back in August designing graphics and coding front end web stuff for Optimum Fitness (who offer training programs and interactive software). It's not a bad job and there's the offer to stay on full time after uni is finished. But, I can't help but think trying my hand at full time freelancing (again!) might be the way to go. Unlike a few years back, I'd need to get my act together and find decent work, rather than waiting for the odd job to turn up in my email in box. This was fine and still is, while I'm living at home with parents, but I dont intend on remaining in this situation forever :)

Xmas is once again on the horizon! Wanna take the opportunity to have a bit of a break, maybe start a new game or RPG? The fear of knowing most RPGs are likely to take an average of 50 hours to complete kinda puts me off, but they can be so fun :D I've got no plans on buying a next gen console this Xmas. Like always, I'll likely sit on the fence for the next 6-12 months until whatever console has a decent line up of at least 6-12 must have games. Obviously it's cool to have a new, powerful console, but for me it's 100% about the games! I might as well add, I general dont like the style or feel of western-produced games, so unlikely to purchase anything Microsoft. *Wonders what he'll be getting for xmas*
  • Listening to: Tales of Symphonia OST
  • Reading: Bank statement *cries*
  • Watching: Fist of the North Star OVA
  • Playing: Devil May Cry 3, Metroid Prime, Paper Mario. Kinda
  • Eating: Angus Burger with Bacon abnd Cheese @ Burger King
  • Drinking: Tropical Fruit Juice!
:: Drawing issues ::

I still feel I'm probably not drawing as much as I should (Majority of DA members probably think the same about themselves?) but I've got a few commissions on the go at the moment, so that forces me to get drawing on a more regular basis. I don't think anyone would argue that practice is the main cause of getting good at drawing, so I'll just have to keep it up. Perhaps try some Scenes, backgrounds or just something other than constant character design?

:: Current aims with my work ::

Wanna try to keep it fun! I do look at my work and feel a bit guilty for indulging in too much straight-forward character/outfit design mixed together with a large helping of sexiness, but at the same time I like it like that! And don't wanna start doing stuff I don't want to just because I feel I'm expected to know it all. Or maybe I'm just being stubborn?

It also wouldn't hurt to get back to basics. I've spent so much time trying to polish up my line art and CGing that I'm forgetting how to draw! ..Did I ever know how to begin with? :s

As with the last 4 years, I'll need to start thinking about a Xmas pic design too. Probably featuring Nikki. I dont think I've drawn her since last year's card! Man, I'm lazy >_<

:: Life Update ::

After 8 months of full time kitchen design and admin work, I decided to go back to education and am doing a two year "Graphic Media Foundation Degree". It's all good stuff and gives me the chance to expand my graphics, illustration and multimedia skills.  

Most days after college I'm working on commission stuff, gaming on the PC, PlayStation or Gamecube and getting a weekly dose of snooker or pool.
Xmas is coming up! Looking forward to going away again this year. Not looking forward to Xmas shopping.. Will I make another Journal update before December 25th, I wonder?
:: Drawing issues ::

So far this year I've half drawn 1 full pic. Started a new job the other month so that's totally restricting me from going all out with the artwork. My only issue at the moment is not drawing enough, I probably need to start by getting back into the swing of things with a few quicker pencil sketches or oekaki, so will try to get a few of those done before March is over.

:: Current aims with my work ::

Last time, I wanted to focus on stuff like backgrounds, sequentials, dynamics, anatomy, composition and characters interacting in an environment. Had a stab at backgrounds again- if I use reference they're always a little restricting, so I might try some made up stuff some time.

And if I get the time to start drawing again more often, I'll try to make sure it's doing more fun stuff. A lot of artists get criticised spending to much time doing what they feel comfortable with, but if they enjoy it and it's just drawing for fun, I'd say go with it.

:: Life Update ::

Been getting a lot of positive feedback from the new-look Organic Metal site. Still a few tweaks I'd like to perform, but I'm happy to keep the majority of it how it is for now.

No big commissions recently, which is just as well since I've started a full time job designing kitchens! Never planned to be doing this as a job, but for now I'm happy to see where it takes me.

After work I've been going crazy on my new metal dance mat for PS2 DDR (Dancing Stage) dance games. Other than a few goes on the arcade I'm pretty much a newbie to dance games and they're great fun! Hoping to start Metal Gear Solid 3 over the weekend. Only came out last week here in the UK but I've been eagerly waiting on it for years!
:: Drawing issues ::

I've completed 6 personal artworks since the start of 2004 so far! How can so many other people can manage 6 amazing full CGs per fortnight? It seems I'm obviously just not as passionate about my art and I wouldn't be lying to say drawing simply stresses me out most of the time! Heh, I wonder if I'm the only artist here who actually doesn't enjoy drawing?

However, I get a lot of satisfaction for actually completing a work and knowing it's my blood sweat and tears that's gone into creating a decent illustration.

:: Current aims with my work ::

I've always been most interested in designing characters. Giving a character subtle touches that I think look cool is what I like most about drawing. However I've realised perhaps I spend too much time on the little details and less time on other more important aspects of a drawing. I'll still be looking to pump out some clean, polished looking designs, but will try to expand my repertoire of techniques by also focussing on stuff like backgrounds, sequentials, dynamics, anatomy, composition and characters interacting in an environment. There's so much to think about!

:: Life Update ::

Been working on a new site design for Organic Metal for ages! I'm hoping rikfuzz will continue helping me with the final touches next week so I can launch some time soon (doing a good job so far). It's become a pretty big personal project, but It's been fun and I hope visitors will enjoy the new content and features. Once it's finished, I can begin concentrating more on artwork (perhaps!)

Since my last Journal entry, I didn't end up working on any more books. I think mainly 'cos the publishers got someone who could bung out a loada stuff quickly and didn't charge much : Just as well really- If I ever did another book, I'd hope to produce quality over quantity, which will always be my philosophy.

Not done much exciting work over the last few months except for a character design project called "Spellcasta" which allowed me to design some great characters much more in-keeping my preferred modern/futuristic style opposed to traditional old skool pointy hats and cloaks!

Been neglecting comics, anime and games as much as I have my artwork so should try at least starting another RPG if I can keep sane after hours spent leveling up my character instead of doing something constructive >_<
I've had about a week off working (which is cool!). I'm waiting to find out if I will be contributing to 4 new 'How to draw manga' books and if not, I don't quite know what I'll do.

Do we really need any more how to draw books? I don't really think so, but if it will pay my bills, then of course! :D As I have been working on a few "How to draw manga" titles, I have seen the same techniques are being used in more than one book and feel the market for manga techniques books aimed at kids is getting a little crowded.

Maybe if I end up without work, I'd like to work on producing a book marketed at a slightly older audience and cover aspects that other books don't go in to. Working on previous titles has given me ideas, but producing a book solo, without guarantee I can sell it for a decent amount, or at all, is putting me off starting already. Unlike my previous titles, I would spend more than a few months on making a decent production. Maybe 6-8 months, as I'd also like to design the book and take on a bigger project management roll...

It's an idea I'm considering, but wont know if it will become a reality for a few weeks yet...

---
On a non-work related topic, I'm having troubles deciding what topic to work on as far as my artwork goes. I'm in a struggle between my love for; sexy babes (as seen in Masamune Shirow's artwork) and 'kick-yo-ass' warrior characters (as seen in Fist of the North Star and the like). I've considered a mix of a cute/sexy girls and macho fighter guys, but after recently watching the anime 'Ikkitousen', I don't think it really works. Ikkitousen is a fighting anime which involves panty shots of the girls at any opportunity! I find this pretty distracting, although I'd have nothing against the panty shots without the fighting! :p...

Hmm, maybe less thinking and more experimenting and doing from now on.. :)
For anyone that visits this page- thanks!

In reply to: Hey Bomu, stop being so lazy and draw!...

...Well it's not that I haven't picked up a pencil, in fact I must have drawn about 100 illustrations over the last two months! but it's all project work for a new book I'm creating about drawing manga artwork. I probably have at least another 100 images to supply by mid feb, then I want to take a break from it.

After that I'd love to get back into MY art and not worry about drawing for other people. Even if I get paid, drawing to other people's strict specifications is never fun. Especially if you end up having to do it for months. It can really drain your enthusiasm.

As a reminder to myself:

After recent experiences, when it comes to art, remember to make 'Fun' #1 priority. Money should never come first.
It's just a shame everyone needs money to live!
For anyone who stops my to check out my page:

Thanks for looking! Right now I'm busy with two projects on the go-

Compilling a portfolio for Hothouse video game company here in the UK, whereby I need to knock out some expressive life drawing, gestures and have a go at some textures. I've not done any 3D textures before, so it'll be a challenge!

I'm also hoping to be working on my next How to draw manga book- a 64 pager which needs to be completed by January!

Hope my cold goes soon >_< Better get my skates on!

cheers
Thought it was about time I joined up, since it seems fairly popular with artists. I'm not the sort of person that would become a regular, but will no-doubt stop by from time to time. cya