Happy Holidays 2017!

Happy holidays, dear readers!

This pic was drawn by Ben and painted by me! 🙂

No, we’re not dead! Ben just has an enormous amount of freelance work to do. He can’t post what he’s been working on publicly yet because it’s for a kids book series that isn’t complete yet. There’s also an animation and app tie-in, which is pretty exciting! We’re looking forward to sharing the final product with you! But for now, gotta keep it on the down low.

From both of us here at Cottonstar, please have a wonderful festive season and if it’s a stressful time for you, just remember that you’re not alone. A lot of people find it stressful, including us! Just reach out and talk to someone you trust.

<3

Danelle & Ben

Latest from the blog

FanCon 2018 excitement & life update

Hey guys!

Long time no see! (We know that’s on us. Sorry. There just hasn’t been much Cottonstar news. </3)

FanCon 2018

Readers Den are back at it again with FanCon 2018 promising to be the biggest and best so far! Following the great success of FanCon 2017, Readers Den have applied for space in the new section of the CTICC and we are excited to see the venue. It was completed only in the last few months, so we have never been inside that section. We’re very glad the event is in a space with air conditioning and ample parking. The air con is not just great for us and the customers, but also for the cosplayers and fursuiters, who always suffer the most in the stuffy heat of exhibition halls.

You can buy tickets at Computicket here! Tickets prices are as follows:

Saturday 1 Day Pass – R 150.00

Sunday 1 Day Pass – R 130.00

Weekend Pass – R 230.00

Children 12 and under FREE with accompanying adult (limit 2 children per adult)

All one day tickets will also be for sale at the door (unless pre-sold).

Note: Weekend Passes are limited and will only be available for pre-purchase. No Weekend Passes will be available at the door.

You can view the floor plan here!

Now I know what you’re all wondering…

What’s new for FanCon 2018??

I’m glad you asked. We have:

– A werewolf colouring book by Ben!

– A bunch of new stickers by myself!

– 8 super cool sparkly prints by myself (yes, really! They’re printed on sparkly paper!) including some designs never seen before!

– A lot of new originals from both Ben and myself!

About The Werewolf Colouring Book:

Ben didn’t have time to work on new prints for this event, nor has he had time to do any Cottonstar stuff. The werewolf colouring book was compiled from werewolf art he already had, with some minor tweaks. It is A4 in size (that’s 21cm x 29,7cm) and has 16 pictures for you to colour, two of which are double page spreads. We wanted people to be able to cut out the pictures they’ve coloured without losing an image on the reverse side, so we’ve put a bunch of (mostly spurious) “werewolf facts” in there for some added entertainment. Thanks very much to the werewolf community for helping us out with these! You guys are the MVPs (that stands for Most Valuable Pshifters).

We got our proofs on Wednesday 11/04 and we are super pleased with how it’s come together. In field testing the proof for different media, we’ve determined that the paper is really nice for coloured pencils, and holds up fine to light-handed watercolour use. We wouldn’t recommend using a ton of washes on it all at once, because the surface is not sized (a special coating to prepare watercolour paper for paint) and the paper weight is quite light, which means your paint will soak the page fast and you’ll get a lot of buckling. If you paint over a single area too much, you will also get paper disintegration. However, as shown in the samples below, small areas of wet media at a time works perfectly fine! Markers also look really nice on this paper, but be warned that because this is porous cartridge paper, your ink will get soaked up faster than on coated paper. When working with markers, it’s best to keep a sheet of coated paper behind your piece to prevent bleed-through on the pages underneath.

You can PREORDER YOUR COPY HERE! They are $10 each (add $10 to ship internationally). South Africans, contact us for postal rates and alternate delivery options!

Here are some sneak peeks:

Werewolf Colouring Book by Ben Geldenhuys

Werewolf Colouring Book by Ben Geldenhuys

And some previews of how it looks when coloured by different media:

Werewolf Colouring Book by Ben Geldenhuys

Werewolf Colouring Book by Ben Geldenhuys

About My Stickers and Prints:

The sticker designs I’ve put together consist of four sets and a couple of single stickers. The sets are A5 (15cm x 21cm) sheets that come with a whole bunch of individual stickers. There are two leaf sets (Loamy and Autumn Crisp), an Origami Dachshund set, and an Inky Shrooms set. The loose stickers include Stag Skull, Dogpile and three different Eevees which I’ve never made available before. There’s also a sticker that I’ve made to give away and not sell, but that’s for my online orders mostly. :3 Here are the designs:

FanCon2018 Sticker Sheets by Danelle Malan

FanCon2018 Sticker Sheets by Danelle Malan

FanCon2018 Sticker Designs by Danelle Malan

FanCon2018 Sticker Designs by Danelle Malan

And here are the prints (minus the secret one I won’t reveal yet):

FanCon2018 prints preview by Danelle Malan

FanCon2018 prints preview by Danelle Malan

General Life Updates:

In case you’re wondering what we’ve been up to…

Ben finished his 6 month contract with Shattered Realms, the brawler being worked on by Kopskop Studios. (You can download the demo here!) Unfortunately the game has not been picked up by a publisher, and Free Lives were unable to continue incubating the project, so Ben has been unemployed from October 2017 to March 2018, which meant he had to do so much freelance that his cintiq practically caught fire. Guys. It’s been stressful. 8) But we made it somehow, thanks to buyers of both our work, and family who were kind enough to feed us when we had nothing. THANK YOU! Ben has now been hired by Studio Muti in town, and so far so good.

Our housing situation is changing, too. We have been fortunate enough to rent from family for the past 8 years, who have given us a really good rate, but the time has come for all of us to move on from that arrangement. The flat we stay in has been put in the market, and we have been told to find alternative accommodation. This is pretty tough, because in SA we have something called the Consumer Protection Act. This in general is a good act and does protect the consumer. But it also means that according to legislation, we are not allowed to rent anywhere that costs more than a third of our total household income. Furthermore, we need to provide three months of bank statements, and credit checks apply. These are all good things for people who rent out property. For two people whose bank statements are a total mess due to unemployment, not so much!! A typical two bedroom place in the area we stay in costs anywhere from R14k a month and up. That means we’d have to earn R42k a month (around US$3500). Where the heck do people find these insane paying jobs?? I guess it’s all a part of climbing that art career mountain. We’re hoping that our income stablises enough in the next three months that our bank statements won’t make potential landlords just throw our application forms straight into the trash. 8′)

Once things calm down and we no longer need to spend every waking moment thinking of ways to earn money and sell our art, we will get back to Cottonstar, which we miss dearly and long to get back to! We already have the next page roughed out. We both really hate how long this hiatus has been. Life just gets in the way of love projects sometimes and it sucks, but we just have to keep on trucking.

Last but not least, since we’ve both been in dire need of cash, we’ve opened up commissions for the first time in a long while. Ben does just about any kind of piece, from twitter icons to multiple character scenes with complex backgtrounds. You can contact him for a commission on his Twitter or Furaffinity or Facebook.

I am still struggling with my dominant hand, so have decided to try doing pet portraits, which I can produce at a rate of around 1 per week, as it is all my dominant hand is capable of at the moment. If I push myself hard, the pain and weakness come back instantly. I’ve discovered that by maintaining a slow, calm pace of work, I can in fact make some right-handed work that doesn’t look awful. You can order your own pet portrait here! Or, if you want something ready made, there are a lot of original artworks eager for new homes. :3 Leftover stickers and prints from FanCon 2018 will go up in my shop early next month.

That’s all from us for now. Thank you so much for sticking around, buying our work, liking and sharing our social media posts, and just being awesome. You guys are the best.

<3

Danelle & Ben