02 February 2024

2024 January Roundup

Hello everyone, I hope you had a lovely start to the year! I can't believe it's already February. It doesn't help that after only three weeks of truly wintry weather from the end of December through the first half of January, we are once again experiencing mid-spring temps 😲 I have no sense of time because of this! But my work schedule for 2024 has been carrying me along nicely, regardless of how weird everything around me feels. Here's what I got up to in January!

Patreon Rewards

I'm trying something new this year! Instead of sending Inktober or Chibi Friday drawings as rewards when I can't get my main illustration finished in a single month, I'm sending a work in progress (WIP) reward featuring the current progress on my main project. This gets me much closer to what I always wanted these rewards to always feature: my main work! And I think it'll be fun to compare the WIP to the final piece; I hope my patrons do find it so!

Please consider supporting my work by joining my Patreon! You can choose from postcards or prints or you can ensure all your contribution goes to the studio by foregoing physical rewards. All members get access to printable coloring pages, our members-only Discord server and the custom emoji there, as well as other digital rewards and studio updates.

deviantART

One of my closest friends used the chibi gift certificate I gave as a birthday gift to chibify her sweet little pup, Missy 💕 The piece was livestreamed on Twitch, and you can watch the recording on YouTube!

Click here to view, fave, and comment on deviantART! You can commission me for a chibi caricature like this while you're there, too!

Livestreaming

My new streaming schedule has been working wonderfully this year! I am now streaming WeThFr for two hours at a time, two days of illustration plus Chibi Friday. Here's my final Chibi Friday stream from January, featuring digital work on our third custom Twitch emote/Discord emoji, Happy Ranger!

I hope you'll join me on Twitch; we have a lovely group of people in the chat, lurkers are very much welcome, and subscribers get access to these cute custom emotes! It's another way you can help support my work and have fun making art with me, too!

Charity Fundraising

Our featured charity for January was Veganuary, an organization that supports people as they see what it's like to eat vegan for a whole month. They send recipes and information to participants each day in January and continue to support with weekly emails throughout the rest of the year!

My formula for donations is $0.10 USD per unique viewer, minimum $10 and max $100. In January, we again got fairly close to our record of 26 set in June of 2022, with 23 unique viewers! This meant a $10 donation to Veganuary 💚

Our charity for February is Vegan Outreach. I hope you'll join my livestreams and bring your friends! It would be so exciting to reach more than 100 unique viewers and get to make more than a $10 donation!

Gryphia Progress

My updated work schedule for 2024 has been paying dividends and nowhere more richly than in my Gryphia illustrated novel project! I made very little progress last year, being completely derailed by my Japan adventure in early spring...

In stark contrast, with only an hour of writing work scheduled each day, I have not only finished chapter eight this January, I reached 3,100 words (of a 4,000 word goal) for chapter nine. With only twelve chapters in the book, at this rate I will most certainly finish my first draft and begin working on my first revisions this year!

Other News: JLPT N3 Results

Finally (I am sooo rushing this blog post right now; I want to post today but it's almost time to livestream!) I wanted to announce here, since I shared in earlier posts my JLPT goal for 2023, that I passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test at the N3 level! I'm now certified in my intermediate Japanese skills! And the most amusing part of my results is that the section I was most worried about, listening, I got 100% on 😆

I've been asked if I'll now attempt the N2. While I do intend to eventually, this year I'm taking it easy with just 20 minutes of Japanese study per day. My plan is to finish my intermediate textbooks and start on my N2 study materials. Once I feel confident I have enough knowledge to pass, I'll sign up for the next level of the test 😎

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That's all for this roundup post, I hope you enjoyed it! (I'm finishing it up post-stream, hee hee.) Thank you for reading to the end. Until next time, may you stay happy, healthy, and safe!

12 January 2024

2023 December Roundup

Happy New Year~!! 🎍✨ I hope everyone is enjoying 2024 so far. As usual, I've made quite a few goals for myself, this time focusing a lot on daily habits rather than specific outcomes. It's working really well! But there's one last thing to tackle before I can completely let go of 2023: my December roundup! Here's what I got up to in that busy, busy month.

Patreon Rewards

For the last reward of the year, my patrons received an adorable chibi reindeer, perfect for the season! The main drawing was completed all in one go, my final livestream of 2023, and the background was added digitally afterwards. I dropped the rewards off at the post office on my way to the annual Christmas run that I do!

Patreon is my main income stream and the biggest way you can help me keep making cute, colorful, and fantastic artwork. Currently I am saving up to buy and install a utility sink in my studio, which will eliminate lots of time and trouble when dealing with messy media! Please click here to join and support my work 🥰

deviantART

One of the pieces I uploaded to dA in December was Chibi Moon Knight, drawn as a thank-you to my biggest Twitch supporter, Exie, who had reached a one-year subscription milestone 😄 It was doubly awesome that Moon Knight was requested, because he's one of my favorite MCU characters!

Click here to view, fave, and comment on deviantART!

You can also commission me at any time for a chibi caricature of your own! Click here to get started on Square or here to go through deviantART.

Livestreaming

My last month of art streams went wonderfully! I have a new schedule for 2024 now, so be sure to check my Twitch page to verify timing and sign up for go-live alerts. Here's the recording of my final Lucky Dip of the year, which I think ended up being one of my best Lucky Dip drawings of 2023 ✨

Charity Fundraising

This is the second year in a row that I have chosen The Protego Foundation, which is inspired by the Wizarding World for its animal advocacy, as December's featured charity. It just makes sense to me, because the end-of-year holidays are magical!

We had 22 unique Twitch viewers in December. My donation formula is $0.10 USD per unique viewer, with a minimum of $10 and a max of $100. This therefore comes out to a $10 donation to The Protego Foundation!

As usual, I donated a little extra to cover the processing fees ❤️ If you also believe that all creatures are magical, please make a donation to help protect them!

Other News

I actually have quite a bit of other news to share this time! First, I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test at the very beginning of December 🤓 It was my first time taking the test and I won't get my results for quite a while (I think the soonest is the end of this month) but I feel confident that I passed!

Me at the testing location with two of my siblings, who joined me for the trip to Portland, Oregon.

Next, while I have announced it through other channels already, I wanted to share here that my illustrated postcards are now available for purchase at the new Catalyst Arts Collaborative shop here in Boise, Idaho! If you're in the area, I hope you'll stop by and support all the local artists selling their creations there 🥰 Here's a video I took to show what the shop is like:

Finally, as I promised at the beginning of last year, I'm going to review my 2023 goals and share my 2024 goals with you. Not only is it nice for me to do this and see how things went, I hope it also inspires you in working toward your own goals 😊

2023 Goals Review

  • Career 🎨 I will create 12 new, large, full-color illustrations.
    • 16% complete! I created two such illustrations.
  • Education 💮 I will sit and pass the JLPT N2 exam.
    • I dropped down to the N3 when I realized I didn't have enough study time. Other than that and the fact that I won't know if I passed for at least a couple more weeks, this goal is complete!
  • Finances 💸 I will make, rather than buy, birthday & holiday gifts.
    • I have one more gift to make, for a late December birthday, but other than that, this goal is complete!
  • Health 💤 I will go to bed on time on work nights.
    • Thanks to Pokémon Sleep coming out, I actually surpassed this goal! Ever since day one of the game's release, I have gone to bed on time EVERY NIGHT, even on weekends and vacations! I've been working toward this for YEARS so this might be my proudest achievement of 2023!
  • Hobbies 🎮 I will play Animal Crossing every day.
    • While I wasn't able to play every day, I'd estimate I played at least 6/7 days a week on average, so my underlying goal of enjoying my hobbies and switching off of work mode each day was achieved 😄
  • Travel 🛳️ I will cruise around Japan with my husband.
    • As you may have been reading in my Japan Adventure posts here, this goal is complete!
  • Family 👩‍🍳 I will host seasonal family dinners.
    • Complete! And I will be continuing this new tradition! I always wanted to do it, and I finally made it happen 😊
  • Relationships 💌 I will send a card or letter every week.
    • This was my least complete goal. I succeeded for the first half of the year, perhaps, but I realized it's ironically more difficult to write once a week than every day. Which is why I actually increased my letter writing goal for this year!
  • Reading 📚 I will read & review at least 26 books.
    • As with the JLPT goal, I dropped my expectations for this goal when I realized I wouldn't have enough time. My new goal became a book per month, 12, which I achieved! The very last book was a Christmas present I received from my sister 🥰

Overall, I'm quite happy with what I achieved in 2023! Even the goals that were difficult were valuable because they taught me more about myself and gave me a chance to practice my mental flexibility. I'm stoked to build on the momentum this year!

2024 Goals

  • Career ✒️ I will spend 50+ minutes each workday on Gryphia writing.
  • Education 💮 I will spend 20+ minutes studying Japanese every day.
  • Finances 💳 I will pay off all credit cards.
  • Health 😌 I will meditate every day.
  • Hobbies 🎮 I will play a Nintendo Switch game every day.
  • Travel 🐮 I will visit a Farm Sanctuary location.
  • Family 🕊️ I will do my pet care routine every day before breakfast.
  • Relationships 💌 I will write a letter every day.
  • Reading 📚 I will read at least one page every day.

And that's all for now! I'll let you know how these goals went next year 😄 I hope you enjoyed reading my final roundup for 2023. I'll be back with another post soon. Until then, please stay happy, healthy, and safe!

07 December 2023

2023 November Roundup

Only a few weeks of 2023 left 🤯 I spent the first five days of December in Portland, Oregon to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N3; feeling confident that I passed but we'll see 🤞) and enjoy some sightseeing and shopping with two of my siblings. The only downside is how little time it left me to prepare this post! Hopefully I can do a blog writing speed-run 😎 Here's what I got up to in November!

Patreon Rewards

Studio Mikarts Patreon members on physical rewards tiers received these colorful fire gryphons! From my perspective, it was perfect, because the weather had gotten really cold! No better way to warm up than with a fantastic flaming flyer 😆 Members receive postcards, prints, both, or neither, depending on their selected tier. Patreon support not only helps produce these lovely images, it pays for art supplies and studio improvements (I'm currently saving up to install a utility sink!), and gives me indescribable emotional support 💖 Click here to sign up!

deviantART

I know I keep saying it, but I am so pleased with myself for staying on top of deviantART uploads~ The most recent piece I added was this Inktober52 drawing, featuring my pet pigeons as little gryphons about to enjoy a seed feast 🤤 Click here to view, fave, and comment on this piece on dA, and to check out my other artwork.

Livestreaming

My livestreaming schedule is the same as always (you can check it here, and sign up to get notified when I go live!) and one of my favorite streams of November was the first round of work on a gift that's going to become a gift, and is, in itself, almost a gift to me! Ha ha, I'll explain X3 One of my most dedicated viewers on Twitch, Exie, reached a one-year subscriber anniversary and I offered to draw a chibi caricature as an expression of my gratitude. Exie chose their best friend's favorite MCU character, intending it to be a birthday gift. And it just so happens that this character is one of my favorites, too: Moon Knight!!!

Charity Fundraising

As a way to make my livestreams more meaningful for me and my viewers, I donate $0.10 USD per unique viewer every month, with a minimum of $10 and a max of $100. Even though I took a week off for Thanksgiving, my November unique viewers totaled twenty!

This meant a $10 donation to my charity of the month, Farm Sanctuary. I like to feature them in November because their Thanksgiving Adopt-a-Turkey program is how I found them in the first place 🦃💖💕

On top of this donation, I adopted a turkey using their fun friendship quiz 🥰 I got matched with Tutu!

Please consider making your own donation to Farm Sanctuary ❤️ I know all the turkeys, chickens, piggies, cows, horses, and other friends will appreciate it!

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That's all for November! Thank you for reading until the end (BTW my speed-writing worked 😎). I'm looking forward to writing December's roundup in the new year! Since I may not write again until then, let me wish you a most excellent 2024 in advance 😊 Please stay happy, healthy, and safe!

01 November 2023

2023 October Roundup

It's gotten really cold here the past week or two 🥶 It's like we no longer get to enjoy mild autumn (or spring) weather in Boise. It remains warm and summery until winter suddenly steps in! I don't mind too much, though. I much prefer going on my morning runs in the cold and dark, and bundling up in my warmest clothes all day is always super cozy and comforting 😊 Here's what I've been up to over the past month!

Patreon Rewards

On the 18th, I sent out postcard rewards featuring a colored version of my "Harvest" Inktober52 drawing. I thought this piece was a nice match for the autumn and Halloween vibes in October 🌕

All of my current patrons have selected postcards (or no physical reward) but there are also prints available, plus all patrons get access to our private Studio Mikarts Discord server and the cute custom emoji I've been making 💖 Click here to join us!

deviantART

I've remained caught up on posting to dA! It's amazing! Here's one of the pieces I created and uploaded in October, my "Demon" Inktober52 drawing.

Click here to view, fave, and comment on deviantART, and to see the other October work I've posted there 🖼️✨

Livestreaming

My Twitch streams continue to go well, and thanks to a suggestion from one of my subscribers, I added a chat overlay to the video! Now I don't have to read everyone's messages out loud in order for them to make sense to anyone watching the recording later. I'm so grateful to my chatters for making it worthwhile (by chatting, lol) to add a chat overlay 🥰

Just like Patreon members, my Twitch subscribers get access to the private Studio Mikarts Discord server and the custom emoji there. On top of that, they get to use those emoji on Twitch as custom emotes! Click here to check out my streaming schedule and subscribe to my channel 💖

Charity Fundraising

Every month, I choose a featured charity and then make a donation of $0.10 USD per unique Twitch viewer (min $10, max $100). If that charity is available through Twitch's fundraising tool, I also set up a fundraiser for viewers to contribute to throughout the month. I'm so excited this time because one of my Twitch viewers donated the full amount all in one go!

Thank you, Sarah~!! 🕊️💕

So, on top of the $10 from SarahQuilt via Twitch, my own donation also comes out to $10, thanks to the 18 unique viewers who joined me during my October streams!

I chose to feature Palomacy in October, because October 2021 was the first full month I spent with a pigeon 🥰 Palomacy helps with pigeon rescue and teaching people about these beautiful, cuddly birds, who are misunderstood and mistreated by many humans. I'm so excited that we were able to essentially double our impact so that more pigeons can live happy lives thanks to Palomacy's efforts!

If you would like to support Palomacy's work, please donate to them here. The pigeons will thank you~! 🕊️💖💕

Gryphia Progress

Even though it's the biggest project I'm working on, my illustrated novel has not made much progress this year. So it felt like an even bigger achievement than it otherwise might when I finally started writing chapter 8 of my first draft!

I've reworked my schedule so that I should have at least 90 minutes a week to write, so hopefully next month I will have more good news about my progress 📝✨ Wish me luck!

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That's it for October's roundup, I hope you enjoyed it! Thank you for reading all the way to the end 🙏 I'll be back next month with November's news. Until then, please stay happy, healthy, and safe~!