Author Archives: Mili_Fay

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. When classical animation virtually disappeared from North America, she turned towards illustration, painting, and drawing. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Fantasy Character Designer: Online Scavenger Hunt Challenge

Have you ever wished for a professional character designer to design you as a character? If your answer is “yes”, here is your chance to win a fantasy character design in the Elle Burton Style.

Warriors of Virtue Logo

This Saturday (September 10, at 5AM Central Time) my interview with Peggy M. McAloon goes live. I’ve met Peggy Maud McAloon in D’vorah Lanskey’s Book Marketing Challenge, and though we’ve never met in person, I feel like I’ve known her forever. I admire her greatly and when she asked me to illustrate the cover for her rather unique Elle Burton fantasy series, I could not say “no” (even though I’m not looking for work, because I’m desperately trying to finish Warriors of Virtue before the clock runs out).

Peggy M. McAloon and the first two books in her Elle Burton Series.

Peggy M. McAloon and the first two books in the unique fantasy series about a little girl who (with the help of magical Fiori) solves terrible problems facing children today and faces against the terrifying Zorins.

Once the interview goes live on Peggy’s blog, you can find out more about Peggy, our collaboration, my process, and a fun-fact that is not well-known about me. At the end, I’ve issued an Online Scavenger Hunt challenge. The first person to complete this challenge wins an original design of themselves (or whomever they choose) designed in the Elle Burton Style. To complete this challenge all you’ll need is some patience, the ability to comment on social media, and to know how to cut and paste URLs. For the winner I will draw, clean-up, color, and light a full-body, three-quarter character against a simple background. (Note: If I was to charge for this service it would cost several hundred dollars.)

Make sure to follow the instructions exactly and join Peggy and me this Saturday for some online fun here.

Cheers!

Mili

Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, an award winning artist, trained as a classical animator at Sheridan College, but when computer animation took over the field, she decided that she loved drawing more than animating. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time. Today, she passionately creates imaginative artwork and stories, always graced with a humorous modern twist.

Currently, Mili is working on an epic YA fantasy series, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess, Lauraliee, who learns to become a queen as she defends Ardan from dragon-people (people who turn into dragons).

Warriors of Virtue Episode 3 Cover ArtWarriors of Virtue Episode 2 Cover ArtWarriors of Virtue Episode 1 Cover Art
 
“Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”
Posted in Digital Art, Interview, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , |

BACK TO SCHOOL DEALS AND OTHER NEWS

Before getting into this week’s post…

Warriors of Virtue Logo

WARRIORS OF VIRTUE
Review Crew

Read Warriors of Virtue for free in exchange for honest reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and the Web. If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings, Sailor Moon, Avatar: The Last Air Bender, Chronicles of Narnia, fairytales and mythology I believe you will enjoy this new fantasy series. Review Crew spots are limited.




 


school-starts-sep-4-resistance-is-futile

As a Trekkie, this image always brings tears of laughter to my eyes. The person who did this is a genius!

This year school starts September 6th for the students in Toronto, and though most of the students starting first grade or preschool have no idea what Star Trek is, it is important to make them laugh, too. For this reason, I’ve decided to create some deals for my book Animals In My Hair.

Note: The Countdown Deal price range is CAD$0.99 to CAD$4.99

Note: The Countdown Deal price range is CAD$0.99 to CAD$4.99

I created this picture book to be the greatest picture book on the planet, but if you don’t believe me, or the 5 star reviews, maybe you’d believe the pirates.

That’s right, my book was pirated last week by a really sketchy site most likely full of all sorts of viruses. I’m not going to say where you can find it, but if you find it on your own, I hope you are smart enough not to risk your computer for the usual price of CAD$9.99. If you are fast you can get the book for $0.99 during the Countdown Deal.

Today is Monday, and though you have come to expect Mini-MEs on Mondays, the Mini-MEs are postponed until I finish illustrating the YA covers for Warriors of Virtue.

As I paint these covers, I’m becoming more and more aware of the differences between traditional and digital painting. If I was painting the covers traditionally, I would have several brushes in my hand to achieve the textured or smooth look I need. However, painting digitally, there is a lot of trial an error, playing with different brushes and opacity, levels, layers, textures… I’m really grateful to the Schoolism students and DeviantArt artists who have helped me improve Episode 1 Cover Art.

Here you can see the version before their input:

WofV Episode 1 Cornelian

Thank you to Sarah Gaudette, Ella Ben Yacov, Rajen Ramkallawan, and especially to Evan Winston and Wildweasel339 for taking the time to pain over my work.

And here is the version after:

WofV Episode 1 Cover Art

I added more light contrast compared to the previous image. The awesome font I’m using is Immortal by Apostrophic Labs.

I’ve decided to add the extra background element to show more about each featured character. For Episode 1 you can see Cornelian and Artemis in the alcove of their cottage (a scene from the first chapter), and Cornelian’s cottage in line art in the background.

Episode 2 features Lauraliee Lumijer as Nenya the water warrior. The wave showcases her powers, while the background is a scene of the Empyreal Castle, her home, and the seat of power in Ardan.

Warriors of Virtue Episode 2 Cover Art

I’ve made several minor changes to this artwork in the last few days. The final was changing the position of the eye highlights. At one point I forgot that the inside of the cloak needs to be iridescent and I WROTE THE BOOK! 🙂

I’m currently working on Episode 3 featuring Vladimir DePompier as Narya the fire warrior. I’m not sure what to include in his background. His family is famous for raising fire steeds, so maybe I’ll create a sketchy version of a fire horse…

WofV Episode 3 Cover in Progress

Thus far I’ve painted the background flames and blocked in basic character colours.

In other news… Mili Fay Art finally has an Instagram account: mili.fay.art

If you see Mili.Fay note that this is not me. Someone opened an account with my name, and thus far has kept it blank. Since I’m new to Instagram, I’ve been posting my progress there rather than on another social media account. Does anyone know how I can post an image in a rectangular format rather than a square?

However, I’ll be posting on Facebook and Twitter, too.

I cannot believe the summer is almost over! I’ve been working to have Warriors of Virtue out by mid-September, and have unfortunately spent most of my summer indoors!

I weep for the passing sunshine. Maybe, I’ll just forget about everything for a while, and go to the zoo and other places while the weather is still nice. If you don’t hear from me, you know that’s what I’m up to.

Until next time…

Keep smiling!

Mili

P.S. My favourite Star Trek team is of course The Next Generation. However, I really like the new movies (I managed to see Star Trek Beyond this past Friday in 3D—wish I could have seen it in IMAX—it is soooooo worth it for the flying scenes), and currently I’m watching Voyager on Netflix. The last couple of episodes in Season 4 were really funny.

OK. This geek is out of here! Live long and prosper.


To watch time-lapse videos and receive free full-resolution artwork join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

 


 

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Posted in Animals In My Hair, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Free YA Fantasy Books Online And Epic Hero’s Journey

Before getting into this week’s post…

Warriors of Virtue Logo

WARRIORS OF VIRTUE
Review Crew

Read Warriors of Virtue for free in exchange for honest reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and the Web. If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings, Sailor Moon, Avatar: The Last Air Bender, Chronicles of Narnia, fairytales and mythology I believe you will enjoy this new fantasy series. Review Crew spots are limited.




 


This week’s Mini-ME:

Merry and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings surrounded by stolen food.

Merry and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings


I have been talking about Warriors of Virtue, my upcoming fantasy, since I first decided to publish the series in November of 2014.  It has been almost two years, and my first Episode still needs to make its debut online. People are beginning to ask me: “When will it be done?”

This is a difficult question to answer, because publishing Warriors of Virtue is just as great an epic story as the fantasy series. I am the hero of the epic, an artist/writer fighting for a dream, against vast competition and prejudice on a non-existent budget.

I believe it will be soon. Currently I’m seeking readers willing to read the series for free in exchange for honest reviews. This is the first time I will be publishing a book I will markup myself (this is why I took Ryerson’s Digital Publishing and Design course—my current average is 96.96%), adding illustrations to a format that is more suited to reflowable text. I need readers to let me know if the books work technically before I extend them to the general public.

As you may have realized, I am a perfectionist. If my stories are not good enough not only to compete with trade publications, but to surpass them, there is no point in my self-publishing work at all. I firmly believe that Warriors of Virtue is a great epic story that will survive long after I am gone, but I am also open to second opinion. I am Arthur, but I need Merlin to guide me. The Review Crew is to take that role, ensuring that the book produced is the greatest work of fiction to hit not only digital shelves, but world-wide trade publishing shelves. Are you willing to step forward and join the crew? Space is limited and perks go beyond getting the story for free. You can stimulate change, and be a part of a revolution that has not been seen since Harry Potter. Not only will this story entertain, but I hope it will inspire the readers to make a positive change for the entire world.

I believe this so much, that I challenge you to prove me wrong. 🙂

So, though I think I can have the first few episodes in the series done by mid-September/beginning of October 2016, I will not release Warriors of Virtue until I am 100% confident that the fantasy is the best YA fantasy not only since Harry Potter, but since The Lord of the Rings.

The Beginning or Why have I quit my job and have spent the last few years living at home trying to bring my vision to fruition?

After my grandfather’s surprising death in 2009, I have lost my will to live. Nothing mattered. I have never experienced such grief, and everything seemed pointless. It has been the lowest point in my life. So low in fact, that I found myself leaning outside of a seven-story window wondering if I should just let go.

But as in every story, as in mine, when a low point squashes the hero, the hero fights back. I pulled myself back into the apartment and decided that instead of ending my life, I need to change my life.

My grandfather’s death has been the catalyst, the “Call to Adventure”.

Prior to my grandfather’s death, I lived in the “Ordinary World” (If you have no idea what I’m referring to study the Hero’s Journey). Before his death, I was a people-pleaser, believing that if I was as good as a Disney Princess, life would reward me with my happily ever after.

After my grandfather’s death I realized that I have only one life to live, and that I should do everything in my power to make my own dreams come true. So, even though I never sought to be a leader, I decided to stop working for others and to bring the gifts I was given to the world. This was my “Call to Adventure”, “Refusal of the Call” (fears of failure if I strike out on my own), “Meeting the Mentor” (I was encouraged my teacher Mark Thurman, and inspired by Bobby Chiu.).

The way I use to believe in fairytales, now I know that art can change the world. My vision is simple: create fabulous art; sell fabulous art that will create a positive influence in the client’s life; use 30% of profits to help others.

I “Crossed the Threshold” when I decided to quit searching for further jobs, and created Mili Fay Art.

I am fortunate in that I have a very supportive family. When I told them I was quitting looking for further jobs and instead decided to work on my art, they said OK.

You see, I’m the only artist/writer in my family. My family members are all down-to-earth practical people who believe that happiness is found in a steady job and healthy family life. I on the other hand believe that I have been showered with gifts to change the world. It may be hubris, but as a very logical person, I cannot see what the point would be otherwise. If Forces That Be wanted me to find a steady job and a healthy family life of my own, instead of showering me with visions of other worlds and characters that appear more real than a lot of the living people around me, they would surely have presented me with job opportunists after college and would have made me feel more passion for the members of the opposite sex?

I have met my “Test, Allies, Enemies” as I was working on Animals In My Hair (the first book I self-published which thus far is enjoying unanimous praise). I continue to face Tests (new unfamiliar challenges, such as publishing a reflowable book), Allies (friends and fans), and Enemies (competition, lack of funds, etc.) as I continue my journey, and as I “Approach the Innermost Cave”. Most of the time, I am confident that Warriors of Virtue will be fabulous, but there are days when I wonder if maybe I’m just crazy.

You can continue to follow my journey, you can participate and become my Allies by joining the Review Crew, but until I face my “Ordeal” I also hope you will find entertainment in the fantasy Mini-MEs I’m creating to distress and find more Allies.

Lastly, I want you to remember that this is my Hero’s Journey, and though you are not the hero of my journey, you are the hero of your own, so when your “Call to Action” comes, when you reach that low point in your life, decide to be a Hero, too.

Wishing you only the best!

Mili Fay


To watch time-lapse videos and receive free full-resolution artwork join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

 


 

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Posted in Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , , , , |

Warriors of Virtue Episodes 1-9 YA Fantasy Rough Cover Art

I’m currently seeking fans of fantasy who would like to read Warriors of Virtue in exchange for an honest review. If you liked The Lord of the Rings, Sailor Moon, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and love mythology and fairytales, join here.

To watch time-lapse videos and receive free full-resolution artwork join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

 


If you are new to this blog, I have been writing and sketching a fantasy series, Warriors of Virtue, since I was sixteen years old. Currently the text is with my editor, and I’ve been illustrating the entire series while I wait. However, after speaking with several fans who cannot wait for the illustrated edition, I’ve decided to release a limited text-only edition. This edition will feature more realistic cover art appropriate for a YA audience. Each episode features one of the main characters.

Episode 1: Featuring Cornelian and Artemis

Warriors of Virtue Episode 1 Rough Cover Design showing Cornelian and Artemis at the cauldron.

Rough sketch showing Cornelian and Artemis looking inside The Cauldron. I was inspired by some Arabian designs for the cauldron. This moment is the catalyst for the entire series.

Cornelian the Great is great because he helped defeat the Dragon Lord Malachite approximately 150 years ago. He is the greatest wizard in Ardan (the land where the story takes place), and a catalyst for Warriors of Virtue. When writing Cornelian I was inspired by Gandalf the Gray and Merlin from Disney’s The Sword in the Stone. Cornelian has a quite complicated story of his own that I may write in the future, in this series he serves as our heroes’ teacher and guide.

Artemis is a descendant of Athena’s Little Owl. He’s lived for millennia, is immortal, arrogant, and brilliant. He did something terrible to anger the gods and has been sent to serve Cornelian as punishment. However, by the time this story takes place, Cornelian and Artemis are friends, colleagues, and companions, not master and servant. Artemis loves tea and manicures.

Episode 2: Featuring Lauraliee as Nenya

Warriors of Virtue Episode 2 rough cover art featuring Lauraliee as Nenya, the Water Warrior.

Lauraliee as the Water Warrior, Nenya. Lauraliee at sixteen has a freakish talent with a sword. She has not been defeated in a swordfight since she was fourteen.

Lauraliee Elizabeth Vickomtessa Lumijer (I have included her full name but am excluding all the exalted titles) is the sixteen-year old main character of the story.


Warriors of Virtue is written in the third person omniscient point of view, follows the point of view of many characters, but if Lauraliee is in the scene the reader is focused on her experiences.


Lauraliee is a reluctant princess, who knows that one day she will become Queen, longing for an ordinary life. However, she has also been raised well by her mother, the reigning Queen Dragana, and takes responsibilities of her stations seriously. She is the eldest child in her family, and strives to set a good example for her sister and cousins. Lauraliee loves to read and paint, and has an unusual talent with the sword. She has not been defeated in combat since she was fourteen.

As the story progresses, she becomes Nenya, the Water Warrior.


Warriors of Virtue (originally there were five: Nenya/Water, Narya/Fire, Viliya/Air, Terrya/Earth, and Mettya/Metal) were created by Mistress Nature (creator of Ardan) in the Great War to stand against Lord Malachite. Malachite killed the Earth and Metal warriors and managed to capture the spirits. As our story begins, there are only three Elemental Spirits free: Water, Fire, and Air.


Episode 3: Featuring Vladimir as Narya

Warriors of Virtue Episode 3 Rough Cover Design featuring Narya, the Fire Warrior.

Vladimir at fifteen is the Fire Warrior, Narya. Even though he does not use the bow and arrow (in the first volume he only uses darts), he is superior in archery.

Vladimir Nicholas Alexander DePompier is Lauraliee’s fifteen-year-old cousin. His mother is Queen Dragana’s sister. His father’s family is famous for breeding fire-steeds, horses of brimstone and living flame. Vladimir is a quick-tempered, charming prankster. He’s been living at the Empyreal Castle most of his life, and is more like a brother to his two cousins. He’s in love with Anuck, the only child of chief Muhawaka. Vladimir loves Mushwaki and often argues with Nikolina over games. He is also a talented archer.


Mushwaki is a sport played in Ardan similar to soccer but at a certain point before scoring a player must continue the game keeping the ball of the ground (without using his hands). The ball is smaller, and the goalie must prevent its entrance by using a racquet-like instrument.


He becomes Narya, the Fire Warrior.

Episode 4: Featuring Nikolina as Viliya

Warriors of Virtue Episode 4 rough cover design showcaseing Viliya, the Wind Warrior.

Nikolina (fourteen years old) is the Wind Warrior, Viliya. She has the ability to speak with animals.

Nikolina Katherine Marissa Lumijer is Lauraliee’s fourteen-year-old sister. She is extraordinarily beautiful, sweet, and kind. However, she is not afraid to get in a skirmish with her cousin. She is a tomboy, who loves exploring nature and can speak to animals. She adores her sister and cousin, but just because she’s the youngest does not mean she will let them get away with anything.

Nikolina becomes Viliya, the Wind Warrior.

Episode 5: Featuring Srdjan

Warriors of Virtue Episode 5 Rough Cover featuring Srdjan.

Srdjan knows how to use a wooden staff. He also has more Earth than he should and becomes Cornelian’s Apprentice.

Srdjan Jović’s parents are court ambassadors. When he and Lauraliee were seven they met, got into a fight, and became best friends. He moved into the Children’s Tower and has been tutored by Cornelian with his new friends. He has a talent for wielding a staff, and has more Earth in him than any human should, eventually becoming Cornelian’s apprentice.

Episode 6: Featuring Vert

Warriors of Virtue Episode 6 rough cover art featuring Vert Swiftwing.

Vert Swiftwing is Prince Diamond’s best friend and Captain of the Guard. He can transform into a green dragon of Swift class.

Vert Swiftwing is Prince Diamond’s Captain of the Guard and best friend. He is about 200 years old but appears to be twenty. This is because dragon-people age slower than humans. Vert can transform into a green dragon of the Swift class. He has no issues with humans, but must follow Lord Malachite’s orders. Unlike Diamond who never ventured far beyond Storm Rock, Vert has spent his life exploring Ardan. He is witty and charming. His weapon of choice: throwing daggers.

Episode 7: Featuring Diamond

Warriors of Virtue Episode 7 rough cover art featuring Diamond Pendragon.

Prince Diamond Pendragon was a ruler of the dragon people for hundred and fifty years. He does not know whether to believe his father when he says that humans are evil.

Diamond Pendragon has ruled his people in a hermit kingdom at Storm Rock after the defeat of his father, Lord Malachite, since he was five (or should I say fifty) years old. He witnessed his father’s imprisonment (and—he thought—death) at the hands of the Warriors of Virtue. In the hundred and fifty years of his rule, he never returned to the council of Ardan, keeping his people to themselves. After his father’s miraculous escape, he argues with him against a war on humans. However, what if his father is right and humans are a plague that will destroy Ardan in the end? Diamond wishes he had bothered to find out more about humans when he had the chance.

Episode 8: Featuring Lady Avalon

Warriors of Virtue Episode 8 cover art featuring Lady Avalon Starshine.

Lady Avalon is an accomplished witch and in the author’s opinion a total nutcase.

Lady Avalon Starshine is Diamond’s Aunt, twin-sister of his mother, Elonway. Daughter of a dragon nobleman and a star, she’s extraordinarily beautiful and well-versed in magic. She practices all kinds of magic, including Dark Magic, but she is not as powerful as Malachite, Cornelian, or Mistress Nature. She loves Malachite Pendragon, but is not particularly fond of her nephew.

Episode 9: Featuring Lord Malachite

Warriors of Virtue Episode 9 cover art featuring Lord Malachite.

Lord Malachite has a very good reason for hating humans to the point where he wants to exterminate them.

Lord Malachite Pendragon, a.k.a. the Dragon Lord, is the ruler of the dragon-people and Diamond’s father. He learned to hate humans and has spent the last portion of his life trying to exterminate them from Ardan. He hates humans so much that he tried to get rid of his own human side with Dark Magic, but instead managed to get stuck in a form neither human nor dragon. Malachite is the most powerful sorcerer in Ardan, only Mistress Nature can match his magic and she’s a goddess. His goal in life is to destroy every human in Ardan, thus saving all the non-human residents, and rule as his people have ruled for generations.

Well, there you have it: the first nine YA covers. Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you are interested in reading the first 9 episodes in exchange for an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads, please contact me.

All the best!

Mili Fay

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Posted in Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Empathy: A Neverending Pain

Unexplained pain in the body. Feeling sad when I should not be sad. Unable to work, because I feel overwhelmed… I think it may all be related to being an empath and not knowing how to separate what I’m feeling from what others are feeling.

If you would like to watch time-lapse videos and receive free full-resolution artwork join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

 


Last weekend was a long weekend. My sister and parents were away, and though I love them more than I can say, I was looking forward to being alone for a few days. My plan was to finish the Mini-ME, as well as the remaining three rough covers for Warriors of Virtue on Saturday and Sunday, see friends I have not seen on Sunday for lunch, and meet another friend and hang out with her on Monday.

The reality of the weekend was that instead of work, I spent most of my time sleeping, eating, and watching TV (I watched a very silly show Good Morning Call—it reminded me of Sailor Moon—on Netflix.) I did have friends over for lunch on Sunday, but on Monday my friend must have forgotten we had plans since she never responded to my message. I’m not upset, because being alone, I realised how much I needed to be alone. I needed to decompress, and though I’ve been resting all Saturday and Sunday, I do not feel particularly rested even today.

I thought about: “Why?” Why have I become so anti-social this weekend, to the point where I did not leave the house for two days?

I am an introvert. Borderline introvert, but still I’m over the line according to the 16 Personalities Quiz. I have also recently become aware that I am an empath. At times I am grateful, because empathy allows me to put feelings into my work as an artist. I believe this makes my work come alive better than if I tried to put feelings I did not feel into a work. However, most of the time, being an empath is a curse.

“It is estimated that around 15-20 percent of the population is highly sensitive and another 2-3 percent of the population are empaths.” [1]

According to this article, I’m both highly sensitive (I felt queasy in my doctor’s office when it was decorated in purple gray and maroon—”dead armadillo” colours) and an empath (I feel what other’s feel).

I have stopped watching news, because it takes me hours to “get over” hearing about disasters. My mind goes into a tail spin as I try to comprehend how people can perform such horrors upon one another, and I walk around in a daze not getting anything done.

Last week’s Tuesday, I was happy: my Digital Publishing and Design class ended on a positive note; I spent the evening with friends I have not seen in a while; I got a new haircut; and I felt healthy. Then I walked into my house and found out that my sister’s boyfriend’s father was dying. It felt like a punch. All the happiness was swept of away by waves and waves of pain. I felt my sister’s ache, my mom’s worry, and the memory pain of my grandfather’s death all at once. I hid it well, because I tried to be supportive, but a selfish part of me kept on screaming inside: “WHY? Why could you not let me feel happy for a little while longer?”

On Wednesday morning the poor man died, and I could not focus. My mind kept on reaching to comfort, while a part of me tried to protect myself and focus on work. For the next few days I was mentally “paralyzed”; I could not work; I could not think; I felt pain, though I have never met the man. I kept reliving my grandfather’s death, imagined losing my parents, and was so overwhelmed by grief that I could not function. I decided not to go to the funeral, because as I said I did not really know these people (I remember wishing all the strangers at my grandfather’s funeral would go away so that I could grieve in peace), and also because I do not know how to block people’s emotions from overwhelming me. Then I felt guilty for not being more supportive, even though I told myself I was doing the right thing.

If you are not an empath you have no idea what I’m talking about. Most people have sympathy for others. Sympathy allows one to feel compassion, but it keeps one detached. Empaths feel what others feel. When people tell me they hurt, I begin to physically hurt. If they feel sick, I feel sick. If they are sad, I am sad. The only bright side is that most of the time the emotions are not as strong as the person’s actually feeling them. I try so hard to separate myself from the feeling of others by imagining putting up mental walls to keep the feelings away, but it rarely works. By the end of the struggle, I feel so tired; the only way I can describe it is to say that it feels as if someone has stepped on me. Even on happy days when I am out with my friends, I feel tired the next day. I’ve read somewhere that this is because we empaths are like energy plugs in society. People plug in and drain us dry. If my life was working out according to plan, I would not mind because happiness would recharge me. However, as a struggling artist, who is building something from nothing without a guarantee of success and instant gratification, I do not have energy to spare. Sometimes, it is all I can do to get up in the morning.

I’m always cheerful in company. I even gave birth to this awful chuckle, which I employ relating horrible things as if by chuckling at the end I can almost make it into a joke. It is quite dreadful; I’m working on stopping. This too stems from being an empath. Feeling others’ misery, I work insanely hard to never bring misery to others. As an artist and writer I create comedies instead of tragedies. When I feel small, weak, and defeated, I put on a smile and act powerful, strong, and energetic. Only when I’m alone in my room, or as I’m showering, do I sometimes let negative emotions surface as I try to observe them and put them aside. I say “sometimes”, because I rarely allow myself to feel anything negative even when I’m alone. I was raised to be strong and to be an example to others, so I must never admit when I’m broken. Inevitably there come days when I cannot pretend any longer, and I go into a hurricane of grief, despair, and anger that is scary for anyone around me. When this happens I usually barricade myself in my room with a box of tissues and do not step outside until the storm passes.

I’m always there to lend a shoulder, and people have told me in the past how I seem to know just what to say. However, I cannot seem to find a shoulder to cry on. I try. I try with my sister and my closest friends, but once again I’m unable to let everything go, because I do not want to hurt them.

Sometimes I wonder if the ability to place emotions into a work of fiction are truly worth the miseries of life.

Are you an empath? Do you have advice on how to protect yourself? Please let me know in the comments.

Mili Fay

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , |

Strider: The Lord of the Rings Mini-ME

The Lord of the Rings Mini-ME: Strider

The Lord of the Rings Mini-ME: Strider

This week I’ve been to busy trying to create a .mobi file out of .epub for my Digital Publishing and Design final assignment. The .epub looks great, but .mobi’s formatting falls apart on iOS devices and some Kindles. I do not know why. I have contacted Amazon, but thus far have not received an answer. There is a new KF8 format that is replacing .mobi, so maybe I’ll use that to create Warriors of Virtue.

Sadly, I have also managed to accidentally pause the screen recorder so there is no Time-lapse video available this week.

My favourite moment with Strider is when he is hooded in Bree; the very first time we see him in the film. However, that moment hides his face so I chose the time when he defends the hobbits from Nazgul. I did take some liberties with his costume. Feel free to use this illustration as long as you give credit for the drawing to Mili Fay Art. Contact me for a higher resolution image.

If you would like to see other time-lapse videos and receive free full-resolution artwork join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

 

Which The Lord of the Rings character would you like to see me draw next? Let me know in the comments and if I choose your character you will win the full resolution poster.

Cheers!

Mili Fay

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Posted in Digital Painting, Mini-MEs, Uncategorized Tagged , , |

Samwise Gamgee Mini-ME and WofV Progress

It took two weekends to complete the Samwise Gamgee Mini-ME from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I love Sam, because he is so good. If more people were like him, this world would be a much better place. I confess, I do not remember the character from the books, but the way he was presented in the movies–he is basically the hero. Without him Frodo would not have survived long enough to destroy the ring.

Samwise Gamgee Mini-Me

Samwise Gamgee and pony Mini-Me

For this Mini-ME I’ve played around with proportions a bit more to make them even cuter. What do you think? The drawing took much longer, because there are 2 characters (Sam and the pony). In total, the time it took to create this Mini-ME was about 12 hours. I tend to charge 30-50$/h for my work. (The price varies depending on what the work would be used for and what rights I’m selling.) Therefore, the cost of this Mini-ME is $360 – $600. The image is created in Photoshop CS5 on a Cintiq Companion. The final PSD image has 2 rough folders, clean line layer for each of the characters, 3 background layers, and 3 colour layers (colour, shading, and highlights).

You can watch the Time-lapse video by joining Mili Fay Art Fan Club below to access the YouTube Playlist. Unfortunately, you will not be able to receive the colouring page and full-resolution PDF image this week, because the mail has been sent. However, if you do join you will get the PDFs for the following Mini-ME.

Why do I insist you join Mili Fay Art Fan Club and not just give away my work?

  1. I do not believe in giving away art for free. I need to sell art to survive. Even if I had a patron who would pay my living expenses for the rest of my life, there are other artists who may not be as lucky. It is wrong to give away art, because this creates the impression that art is free, and each free artwork is taking away food from an artist’s mouth. As is, you can enjoy the low-resolution image, but it will not work for commercial purposes. By joining Mili Fay Art Fan Club, you may help me spread the word about my work at least, which I consider a fair trade for some artwork.
  2. I’m working on a fantasy novel. I need to find other fantasy fans out there who like my work, who may be willing to purchase some of my work, or at least know others who would love to purchase my work and can offer advice on how I can improve my work. Currently, I’m looking for people who liked The Lord of the Rings, Avatar: The Last Air Bender, Sailor Moon, Chronicles of Narnia, fairytales and mythology, because I believe they would like my fantasy series, and I need to find these people so that they can read my series in exchange for advice and honest reviews.
  3. I like to meet people with similar interests and exchange ideas. It is great to work from home, but sometimes it can get really lonely.

I have not done much work last week other than my assignment for the eBook Publishing and Design course I’m taking and this Mini-ME. I’ve been drawing so much lately that I’ve hurt my drawing hand. I do not know quite what I did, but I can no longer lean on my right hand. Then I managed to electrocute myself by accidentally touching an exposed socket. I did not know the socket was exposed, and I got a nasty shock and a bruise. I can only be grateful that I’m in Canada and not Europe.

This week, I need to finish an eBook and Mobi for my class, so I may not have much time for drawing, but I’m still working on Warriors of Virtue. On the subway, I have worked out Vert’s basic design as a dragon (and let me tell you he will look amazing!). Remember, I have decided to paint more realistic covers for the text-only edition, and to use the first 9 episodes to introduce the main characters. Below are the final rough sketches for Episodes 1 – 4. I want to create all the rough sketches before I start to paint, because I wish to see how they will look together. The font is only placement font for now (I may create my own if I can figure out how), and the blue border gives me cutoff space. If you are reading this, I hope you will take some time and offer me advice if you see anything I can do better.

Warriors of Virtue Episode 1 Rough Cover Design showing Cornelian and Artemis at the cauldron.

Rough sketch showing Cornelian and Artemis looking inside the cauldron. I was inspired by some Arabian designs for the cauldron. This moment is the catalyst for the entire series.

Warriors of Virtue Episode 2 rough cover art featuring Lauraliee as Nenya, the Water Warrior.

Lauraliee as the Water Warrior, Nenya. Lauraliee at sixteen has a freakish talent with a sword. She has not been defeated in a swordfight since she was fourteen.

Warriors of Virtue Episode 3 Rough Cover Design featuring Narya, the Fire Warrior.

Vladimir at fifteen is the Fire Warrior, Narya. Even though he does not use the bow and arrow (in the first volume he only uses darts), he is superior in archery. (You may recognize this pose as the one I used for Legolas 😉 ).

Warriors of Virtue Episode 4 rough cover design showcaseing Viliya, the Wind Warrior.

Nikolina (fourteen years old) is the Wind Warrior, Viliya. She has the ability to speak with animals. She is surrounded by a unihorse, phoenix, griffin, and is holding her pet dog, Lunja–a mutt.

That’s it for now.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Mili Fay


Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

 

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Posted in Mini-MEs, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , , , , |

Are Disney movies bad? Does Disney make fools of us all?

The past two weeks have been tough. I have not done much work, because I was paralyzed by fear. My dad is not well. We have been visiting hospitals to see if there is an operation that can be performed to make him feel better.

You may not know this about me, but I was an award winning student. Since we’ve moved to Canada, everything I wanted I was able to achieve through persistence and hard work. The world made sense during school. It is when I left school that my professional life fell apart.

Life is nothing like school. Nothing. No one ever bothered to tell me this when I was young. The real world makes little to no sense.

My dream is to work as an independent artist, create beautiful things, and make the world a little bit better through my work. I also want to take care of my family in comfort; especially my parents, who had nothing as immigrants and yet somehow still manage to give my sister and I everything we need and a lot of things we want.

I’ve realized after a few years of struggling with jobs, that to “make it” as an artist, I will have to put my name into the world. I cannot hide behind a studio. I will have to become famous. The funny thing is, I do not want to be famous. I would like my work to be famous, but I do not want to be in front of cameras, or to spend my life giving speeches.

Privacy is one sacrifice I made, and I accepted this the moment I created Mili Fay Art.

Now, I’m fighting for my dreams, and though I have achieved successes. I have not “made it” yet. With my dad being ill, I may have to contribute to my family more, which means that I will have to find a stable job and career, which means that Mili Fay Art may not survive after all.

With the horrors piling up around me, my mind has gone into its Thinking Mode, which almost always results in a Panic Mode. This can be put into a sentence: “What a %$#@ am I doing with my life?!”

I have this beautiful vision of what my life should be, but am I just delusional? Have I been fed too much Disney growing up? Is being an eternal optimist actually bad for my life and sanity?

Warriors of Virtue might be my last bid for creative freedom. I believe in this story so much, but I’m not sure if the rest of the world will care. Thus I am terrified, and when I’m terrified, I spend my days “thinking” and not “doing”; Paralyzed by Fear.

The only way to combat fear is with hope and faith. I have to believe that my life will work out in the end, because everything I’ve struggled with, and all the sacrifices I have made would have been pointless otherwise.

So, no. Watching Disney movies is not bad. Life often does not work out the way it does in a Disney movie. However, when it does… It is beautiful and it is a life worth living.

Stay Hopeful!

Love,

Mili Fay


Though I have not done much regarding Warriors of Virtue these past two weeks, I did create a couple of The Lord of the Rings Mini-MEs. Enjoy!

Gandalf the Grey Mini-ME

Gandalf the Grey Mini-ME

Legolas Greenleaf Mini-ME

Legolas Greenleaf Mini-ME

If you would like to see the time-lapse videos for free and get the full-resolution images join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

Check your Inbox and Junk Mail Folder!

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Mili Fay

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Posted in Digital Painting, Mini-MEs, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , |

Frodo Baggins Mini-ME and WofV Progress

By now I’m used to working on the Cintiq. I’ve spent so much time painting digitally that I almost forgot what it feels like to hold traditional mediums. Now that the weather is beautiful, I only wish that the screen did not get too dark when I’m outside. You would think that with all the technological advancements, someone would have solved this problem by now. Sadly, I spend most days slaving away at the hot computer staring at sunshine and greenery through my bedroom window.

Not this week. This week, I went back to the traditional medium of ink and paper.

At first I was terrified. It’s permanent ink and there is no undo button!

After a few deep breaths and telling myself that if I made a mistake I could always start again (which I did a few times for the following drawings), I remembered how much I enjoy traditional medium. I traced my sketches onto paper, dug out the old drawing board I bought in college, and settled myself in the back yard. Listening to A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, I dipped my crow quill pen in a jar of acrylic ink and spent an enjoyable afternoon drawing.

Cornelian has perfect timing.

Cornelian has perfect timing.

Queen Dragana is startled by the scream.

Queen Dragana is startled by the scream.

Vladimir waving.

Lauraliee finds Vladimir and Nikolina have come through the secret passage in her closet.

I only hope that the gamble with Warriors of Virtue pays off and that I can spend the rest of my life working from wherever, doing what I love. I think other than finding true love, that is the greatest personal happiness we mortals can hope to aspire to: enjoying work, so it does not feel like work.

I’ve tried to record my traditional progress using iPhone 4S, but the video is not that great. So, to give you something to look forward to each week, I’m going to create a Mini-ME. This week, it’s Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings.

The Lord of the Rings: Frodo Baggins Mini-ME

The Lord of the Rings: Frodo Baggins Mini-ME

Feel free to use this illustration as long as you give credit for the drawing to Mili Fay Art. Contact me for a higher resolution image.

If you would like to see the time-lapse video for free join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

 

 

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Mili Fay

————————————

Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Posted in Digital Painting, Mini-MEs, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , , , |

Grown Up Cover Art: John Polidori’s The Vampyre

Updated June 12, 2016: I’ve updated the cover art, see below.

Thus far in my career, other than portraits or the few pieces I’ve done for National Geographic, I’ve never really had an opportunity to work on something that is more adult oriented. Until now. As you may know, I’m taking a Digital Publishing and Design course at Ryerson College. Assignment 3 is to create an eBook using the free text of John Polidori’s The Vampyre. I have finally read The Vampyre, and all I can say is, Mr. Polidori is the poster child for flowery language and run-on sentences. I did not like his misogynism and was baffled by the two letters at the beginning and the end of the story as well as the need for Introduction. The story itself was OK, though I’m sure in the hands of someone like Stephen King it could have been great.

Instead of just creating a plain cover, I’ve decided to use the opportunity this assignment presented to create a cover geered towards adults. The story is not that frightening, so instead of showing the horror, I’ve opted to show the allure of the villain.

What do you think?

The Vampyre Cover Art

The Vampyre by John Polidori – I tried to make him as compelling as he is in the story.

I’ve decided the cover would be more effective by brightening the font and the character’s eye, so I edited the original image. You can see it below:

The Vampyre Cover Adjustment

Can you see the difference?

If you are wondering why you have not received an email with a new Time-lapse video link, it is because I have had the stuffing kicked out of me by QuickFix Appliances, and did not have the time to work on the video as I hoped.

I posted the time-lapse video of The Vampyre, so check the Playlist Link. As promised Time-lapse videos are only free for Mili Fay Art Fan Club Members, so if you are not a member but would like to see the videos join below. I only write to keep you in the loop and to send gifts. I hate spam and will never share your e-mail address.

 

Until next time!

Love,

M

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Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, and author, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

Posted in Digital Painting, Ryerson Digital Publishing, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , |