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I need to start selling some drawings because right now my apartment is overflowing with drawings.  Anyway I reopened my etsy and the following two drawings are up for sale.

Semi-Realistic Peeta by Ratgirlstudios

Semi-Realistic Katniss by Ratgirlstudios

Most of the sketches you see here on deviantart I still have lying around.  Prices vary depending on the detail of sketch and what type of paper I did it on.
  • Reading: Never Let Me Go
  • Watching: Doctor Who Season 3
  • Drinking: pepsi
I recently was commissioned to do some drawings depicting Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen for the MTV Blog Hollywood Crush.   The  post went live today so make sure to check it out!…

I'll have all the images available on my blog within the next couple of days so keep an eye out.
  • Reading: Never Let Me Go
  • Watching: Doctor Who Season 3
  • Drinking: pepsi
After five years of art school I've had my fair share of critiques, whether they be good or bad and I've developed a pretty thick skin.  In critiques you are told to be objective and impersonal, take everything with a grain of salt.  However, here on DA I've found myself annoyed by people's complete lack of tack.  This does not apply to everyone, many DA users give helpful advice and wonderful support.  There is a fine line between a good, helpful critique and just being rude.  Lets look at some examples shall we?

Rude:  This isn't how I pictured them at all! No offense, but they look like a man!  

Key point: If you have to preface a comment with 'No offense' then you should be fully aware that what you're saying is rude.  Here is a kinder/more helpful way of getting your point across.

Not rude: "I love how you use graphite, however this isn't really how I pictured the character.  I think if you softened her jawline it could give her a much more feminine look."  

A good rule of thumb when critiquing is to find something you like about the piece and point that out first and then follow up with what you think could be improved.  This softens the blow and the artist is less likely to be insulted.  

Also if the artist doesn't ask for a critique or advice on how to improve their work then don't critique it.  Many people post on DA for fun, not to be ripped apart by others.  When commenting please ask yourself why you are commenting; are you critiquing because you really feel that you are being helpful to the artist? or are you just wanting to voice that you don't like something?  If you don't like something, don't favorite it or comment-it's that simple.

Also please check out :icontoerning: excellent journal entry… the Danger of Internet Wording.  

Okay I'll get off my soapbox now and get back to drawing.  

-Rat Girl
  • Listening to: Ingrid Michaelson
  • Reading: In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
  • Drinking: Coffee
Since everyone has been so enthusiastic about recommending books to me, I figure I would give you a list of my own.  I'm a Library Assistant, I know what I'm talking about so you should really trust my judgment. (:

The Hunger Games goes pretty much without me having to include it on this list, but I doubt I have many people reading this that haven't read it yet.

1. Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Impossible follows the story of Lucy Scarborough, a girl whose ancestor was cursed by a Fae thousands of years ago for spurning him.   At the age of 17 every Scarborough woman is destined to become pregnant (its always a girl) and must complete three impossible tasks before she gives birth or she'll go insane.  This book is beautifully written, intriguing, and romantic.  I love it and you should too!

2. The Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld-
Tally is about to turn sixteen. In her world your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly to a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a great time. But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns a whole new side of the pretty world-- and it isn't very pretty. Then the authorities offer Tally the worst choice she could imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.  

3. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman- If you haven't read these yet...umm why?  I loved these books, the characters and the worlds they inhabit.  A Wonderful read that is really too elaborate to try and describe.  However I will say I want a Daemon!

4. The Wall and the Wing (and its sequel is The Chaos King) by Laura Ruby.  

In a future New York City an orphan called Gurl is shunned as 'Leadfoot' since unlike everyone else, she can't fly.  However Gurl is special, she's what they call the 'Wall' one individual born every couple of centuries who has the ability to turn invisible.  This book is wonderful, silly, and just plain fun.   Its definitely one of my favorite fantastical reads.

5. East by Edith Pattou.  Based upon the fairytale East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

Rose has always felt out of place in her family, a wanderer in a bunch of homebodies. So when an enormous white bear mysteriously shows up and asks her to come away with him—in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family—she readily agrees. The bear takes Rose to a distant castle, where each night she is confronted with a mystery. In solving that mystery, she loses her heart, discovers her purpose, and realizes her travels have only just begun.  This is my favorite YA fantasy, hands down, no competition.  READ IT RIGHT NOW!

6.Unwind by Neal Shusterman.  
In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives "unwound" and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs--and, perhaps, save their own lives.  Awesome book and the sequel is supposed to be coming out in 2012(I think).  Not convinced, well go check out some of :iconburdge: drawings inspired by the book.

7.Skinjacker Trilogy by Neal Shusterman: While you're checking out Unwind you should also grab Everlost (the first in the trilogy) too.

When Nick and Allie are killed in a car crash, they end up in Everlost, or limbo for lost souls, where although Nick is satisfied, Allie will stop at nothing--even skinjacking--to break free.

That's all for now.  Go forth and read these amazing books!
  • Listening to: The Weepies
  • Reading: Beastly by Alex Finn
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: RC Cola
Wow, I am amazed at the response my 'What should I read next?' poll received.  Thank you all for the recommendations; some of those titles I'd never heard of (which for an aspiring librarian is sort of sad).  I was really on the fence on whether to read the Percy Jackson books, but considering the overwhelming response in their favor I'll have to try them.  Other titles people recommended were the Mortal Instruments series (which I've already attempted, yes I love Jace he's great, but I hate Clarey too much to continue), Artemis Fowl, Hold me Closer, Necromancer, The Skulduggery Pleasant series, and many many more.  Now that I have a fairly long reading list, I'm going to get to work on some of these books.  Keep your fingers crossed that some of these will inspire some fanart!

  • Listening to: The Weepies
  • Reading: MIdnighters: the Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
  • Watching: House M.D.
  • Drinking: Pepsi
I lately haven't liked my old blog very much.  It's adequate, but I'm not really digging the format.  I've decided to try tumblr on for size.  Please go take a look, follow me if you like, and make sure to send questions my way-  I would love to use it to field some Q&A from you guys.   If you don't have a tumblr to follow me my twitter will be letting you know when I update.

  • Listening to: Pandora-closing time
  • Reading: Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  • Watching: American Pickers!
  • Drinking: Pepsi Throwback
This morning I looked at my living room/studio and realized it was a mess.  I intended to straighten up the loose sketches and move the half finished drawings to safe places.  Then I realized I had to check my email and other online messages before I got started on such an epic task.  Well wouldn't you know it that when I got to deviantart I happened to realize my gallery was pretty jumbled, chaos reigned.  It's only natural that I set aside the task of cleaning my studio to straighten up my DA gallery- anyone can see that, but the only people in my apartment are me and my cat, Ziggy  Stardust.  Now I'm pretty sure Ziggy doesn't mind my messes, so I only made the perfectly logical decision...right? Right?

Well besides getting my real life priorities straight, I really have cleaned up the DA gallery.  I've moved a few things to scraps, took some off the featured gallery and renamed some folders.  Don't worry I haven't deleted anything, just relocated them.  I'll also be getting around to cleaning up my real life studio (aka once my living room) because I'm going to purchase a drafting table tomorrow and will need somewhere to put it.  I'm really excited about it and once I have someplace to really work I hope to be producing more drawings for your enjoyment.


Commission Status: Open…
  • Listening to: Wicked Soundtrack
  • Reading: Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  • Watching: American Pickers!
  • Drinking: Faygo cola
Since I haven't really posted any journal entries that adequately display my geekiness I figured I would take a stab at it.  Alright so who else is super excited about the Game of Thrones HBO series coming in April?  Don't know what I'm talking about?  Shame on you, go check out the teaser trailer… make sure you read the books because they're a couple kinds of amazing.  I need to become best friends with someone who has HBO.  

That said lets talk about art.  Okay, so I've been feeling artistically inadequate lately.  I really need to just need to sit and get my arse in gear, but sometimes I feel like nothing is coming out right.  Perhaps I'll get an artistic boost after the horror that is the holidays are over.  

In regards to drunks:  I'm really, really getting sick of waking up/kicking out drunk people at work.  I don't work at a bar or a restaurant, yet this seems to be taking up my days.  Okay rant ended.  

Hope everyone has a merry christmas.

Rat Girl
  • Listening to: Glee!
  • Reading: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • Drinking: Pepsi
As the Holidays come ever so close I find my bank account slowly dwindling due to higher heat bills and buying presents.  As such I decided to try and make a little extra this season I'll be doing $5 head shots.  Here's the important information.

$5- Copic Marker Gray Scale Headshot

$10- I color your head shot in photoshop

If you want me to send you your Head Shot it will be an additional $5.

Five Dollar Headshots by Ratgirlstudios

When requesting your head shot please provide the following:

Character description: If it's an original just provide a small description of their facial features (I don't need to know if they are 5'4 or like sushi) or if you have a drawing of them already send that.

Type of Headshot: Grayscale or Color

Address of where to send drawing.   

Payment is due upfront via paypal:   

Any head shots of non-original characters that are not purchased will go up for sale sometime after Christmas.  If you have a change of heart and decide you want your drawing sent just message me.

Commission Status: Open…
  • Listening to: No Doubt
  • Reading: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
  • Watching: Mad Men Season 4
  • Playing: Wild Arms 3
  • Drinking: RC Cola
Thank you for everyone who entered the Win a Pin contest.  All the winners should be receiving notes telling them which pin they've won and asking for their mailing information.  Here's a short list of the winners.







Congratulations to all.  

In other news I'm now reopening commissions.  I've made a few changes to my commission guidelines…, so please take a look and read them carefully before messaging me about commissions.  

Commission Status: Open…
  • Listening to: Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz
  • Reading: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
  • Watching: Mad Men Season 2
  • Eating: Toxic Hell
  • Drinking: Pepsi
As promotion for a program at my day job we've been making pins.  Because I was bored and we had left over pin supplies I made a few featuring my art.  What does this mean? This means I have six pins that I'm giving away for free.

pins by Ratgirlstudios

Here's the rules:

1.Respond to this thread and answer the following question: Who is your favorite artist?
2. You must live in the U.S. to enter.  
3. If you win you must send me your mailing address.  If you don't want to do that, don't enter.  

Winners will be selected at random.

Not sure when I'll close this contest, but winners will be notified by note.

  • Listening to: Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz
  • Reading: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
  • Drinking: Pepsi
I'd like to thank all my wonderful watchers for the birthday wishes and the many llamas I've been sent.  Due to your generosity he's upgraded to Albino.  Also a very special thanks to tinylittlefractures for the deviant upgrade.  

Lots of love and hugs.

  • Listening to: Lucky Jason Mraz
  • Reading: Catcher and the Rye
  • Drinking: Pepsi
Hey all,

Unfortunately I was just wrangled into designing some tattoos for a family member, so I won't be taking anymore commissions for the time being.  If you are already on the list, don't worry your commissions are my top priority.  Once I finish my current commissions I will open it up again and notify everyone.  Also a few people contacted me about commissions and I responded with a price quote and asking if they wanted on the list- If you did not get back to me after that you are not on the list.  For those few who did this if you contact me now to confirm I will put you on this list.  

Current list

Alphena-2 commissions

Commission Status: Closed
Commission Info:…
  • Listening to: Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show
  • Reading: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
  • Drinking: Coffee
Since I've started getting a few commission requests I am setting up a list so that A) You know where you are in the cue to give you an idea of how long you'll be waiting B) so that I can put a cap on how many commissions I'm accepting and not run myself down.  I'll be taking 7 commission slots at a time.  I do them in order of requests received.  If you want more than one commission it'll take up two slots.  First come first serve.  It you have questions about commission prices go here…

!. kickxdrumxheart (In progress)

2. lemurofevil




Commission status: Closed…
  • Listening to: Ghost of the Robot
  • Reading: The Bells by Richard Harvell
  • Drinking: Pepsi
I've been getting quite a few questions lately and instead of answering the same questions over and over I've decided to do an F.A.Q.  If you have any questions that haven't been answered here respond to this thread with them.    

General FAQ
Q: Do you take requests or art trades?
A: I generally do not accept requests or art trades.  While I understand that people would like there charcters drawn or see my approach to a certain commercial character, I don't have the time to take art trades.  I also find accepting these would be unfair to anyone who commissions me, since they are paying good money. Please don't send me notes asking about requests or trades. If you really want me to draw something for you I am available for commissions.…

Q: Do you use a tablet?
A: Yes.  I have a Wacom Graphire.4 tablet.  Its small and getting up there in years (I'm not sure if they make this tablet anymore).  I'm using a Bamboo pen with it since my original pen broke.  

Q: What programs do you use for digital coloring?
A: I  use Photoshop CS3 to color my work.   

Q: What size do you work?
A:  I work in various sizes when working traditionally.  When I color digitally I scan my images in at 300 DPI.

Q: Can you teach me how to draw?
A: Sorry but no.  Take some drawing classes at your local community college and practice, practice, practice!

Q: Can you critique my work?
A: No.  Critiques can be time consuming and I found people can be really sensitive about there work.  Its too much hassle for me.  


Q: How much do you charge for commissions?
A: Commission information can be found here…

Q: How long is the turn around on commissions?
A: This depends on a few factors.  Where in line you are on the commission list and what type of commission you want.  A pencil commission is going to take less time than an inked or color commission.  Pencil sketches- Once I do a rough sketch and receive the commissioners okay I estimate about a week- color one to two weeks.  I will give you an estimated time until completion upon receiving payment.  

Q: Do I get the original drawing when I commission you?
A: Yes, absolutely.  

Q: Can I make prints of the work I commissioned from you?
A: Prints can be made for personal use.  You may not make prints to sell without my permission.

Commission Status: Open…
  • Listening to: Twitch by Bif Naked
  • Watching: Farscape Season 2
  • Eating: Turkey Sandwich
  • Drinking: Pepsi
Since I live in a tiny apartment and all my drawings are pilling up, wasting valuable space, so I'm selling  some.     I'll be accepting paypal only.  First come first serve.  Shipping will be added to this, $2 for U.S. residents $5 for outside U.S.  If interested send me a note with the subject heading the title of the sketch you're interested in. Berries- $15 (Cardstock) End Game- $15 (Cardstock) Poison Ivy- $20 (Bristol Board) Peeta- $10 (Cardstock) Eliza Dolittle- $15 (Bristol Board)… Mellark- $10 (Cardstock) In the Cave $15 (Cardstock) Gale Hawthorne $10 (on sketchbook paper).

Commission info:…
Commission Status: Open
  • Reading: City of Bones
  • Drinking: RC Cola
In an attempt to keep myself active art wise I've decided to start doing daily sketches on my blog. I won't be posting many of these sketches here on deviantart, so if you're interested go check out my blog.  

  • Listening to: Liz Phair- Polyester Bride
  • Reading: Jane Eyre
  • Drinking: Slim Fast
I feel like a bad DA user since I haven't posted anything in a little while. To be fair I have been extremely busy lately, mostly with art related stuff, but still busy.  I had my thesis show (it went swimmingly) and should have some photos up on my blog wwww.ratgirlstudios.wordpress.… pretty soon.  I also graduated from college so now I'm officially over qualified for my day job.  I just entered a piece into Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts and hoping it gets in and possibly wins me some moola.  On top of all that I'm apartment hunting (with very little success) and working a lot of extra hours.  Once I get the whole living situation settled I'm going to start some new pieces and hopefully start posting again.  Thanks for staying with me.
  • Reading: The Prophecy of the Bane by Suzanne Collins
  • Playing: Final Fantasy X-2
  • Drinking: Pepsi
Art school is hard. Senior year of art school is harder.  Don't let anyone tell you its easy, because the dark circles that have been my constant companions these past few weeks will kick your ass.  Anyway I've finished all my thesis drawings, they are framed and ready for hanging.  Now I have time to actually sleep and once I've refueled I can start some more artwork that doesn't have a due date.  Anyway I've been keeping up with my real blog www.ratgirlstudios.wordpress.c… lately so you should all check it out so the only person reading isn't my relatives.
  • Listening to: Sweet Caroline
  • Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Playing: Final Fantasy X
  • Drinking: Pepsi
Okay so I'm about to gush and kind of brag in the following.  Just a warning,  

Today was amazing.  It was drawing/printmaking career day at Kendall and our visiting artists were Ethan Murrow and Dominic Cooper.  Ethan's work is also showing in Kendall's gallery at the moment.  Mr. Murrow is super down to earth and a great presenter.  If you don't know his work then you need to go check out his website like right now!  I've been drooling over his work for the past couple of years and was extremely excited when I found out he was coming to Kendall for a talk.   Imagine how geeked out I was when my professor informed me two days ago that I was one of only 15 students selected to go to lunch with Ethan Murrow!  I'm kind of surprised I didn't spontaneously combust.  

Anyway the day started off with pastries, juice, and Murrow talking to us about how he got where he's at now.  It was pretty interesting and I got a little bit of insight into artist residencies.  After Murrow Dominic Cooper talked for a bit and then both artists did a Q & A session.  Following that we headed over to the gallery space where they fed everyone pizza and Ethan gave a gallery talk where he talked about his drawings and his process a little bit.  Once that was done myself and 12 other students went to lunch with our two visiting artists.  We went to San Chez, an amazingly delicious restaurant.  At first I was initially stuck sitting in the middle of the table,  no where near Ethan or Dominic, but then my professor offered up her original seat to any of the students who wanted it and I totally jumped on that- now I was sitting directly next to him.  Myself and four other students ended engaging in some wonderful conversations with Ethan and had an overall good time that was rather informative.  I left the restaurant feeling inspired and with a big grin on my face.  I went to work in my studio filled with energy and plugged away on my drawing.  It was quite the perfect day.
  • Listening to: Poe
  • Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Playing: Final Fantasy X
  • Drinking: Dr.Pepper