Monday, April 30, 2018

Ink Drop Cafe Launch Anniversary

A year ago, Ink Drop Cafe launched!  Today, we're taking a moment to celebrate our one year anniversary with art, fun events, and a member spotlight!



For those of you not familiar with Ink Drop Cafe, IDC is a webcomic collective with a variety of amazing member comics and wonderful artist resources.  We have a thriving Discord community, and many of our members and affiliates are organizers for webcomic community events and resources.

2017 was a long, eventful year for Ink Drop.  We launched in April with eleven members and three affiliated resources.  We've now grown to 13 members and a five affiliated resources.   We have a thriving community on Discord with over 50 chatters from across the globe and across comics, and seventeen boards open to the public covering topics such as ArtShare, Critique, wip_world, and Comic Promotion.  Ink Drop Cafe's Discord server has become a great place to share your work, make new friends, and talk about comic artist life.

For comic artists who work at home, community can be hard to come by. Social networking sites promise a lot, but often fail to deliver real human interactions. Participating in Ink Drop Cafe, and chatting on their Discord has given me the online community of friends who experience the same struggles and triumphs I do. I've had the pleasure of watching artists grow and develop, read comics as works in progress before anyone else, and making new friends.

Our website is currently undergoing revitalization as we add a resource library, but it continues to serve as a hub for member comics.  There you can find links to all 13 of our fantastic comics, artist bios, and a short synopsis for each comic, as well as links to our affiliates.  The Ink Drop Site also has a useful calendar of online events that range from update days to online comic community events such as Webcomic Chat and Comic Artists Unite.

Since last year's launch, we've had The Angel With Black Wings, Peter Pan, Pathways, and Fate join our roster of phenomenal webcomics.  Shooting-Stars (Photoshop and CSP brush resources) and Archive Binge (webcomic reading list organization) joined our ranks as affiliates.

What Makes Ink Drop Cafe Different?

In Ink Drop Cafe, community support is important.  From supporting one another as members and comic artists, to supporting the outside community through online community service, Ink Drop Cafe really prizes comic artists who give a little extra back.   Our Discord server is more than just a place to drop off promotional links- it's a community where you can workshop out ideas (written and drawn), share your worldbuilding, make new friends, and share your woes.  In the upcoming year, we hope to continue this support, and extend it, creating an online library of resources to help artists and creators find what they need fast.

How We Celebrated Our Anniversary:

Morning and Afternoon Drawpiles:




Drawpile Participants

Becca

Shoona

Mharz

DracoPlato

Kabocha

quietznooze

KC(BrushBandit)

KANDY

Respheal

Keii4ii

CalimonGraal

BomberBee


Ongoing Fanart Contest:



You can find the rules on the Ink Drop Cafe site!

Member Spotlights on the Ink Drop Cafe Twitter

Anniversary Promotional Art

Daphne from Witch Carnival, enjoying a tall cup of Squiddy at the Ink Drop Cafe.  Art by Draco Plato.

Big Sis from The Angel with Black Wings, enjoying a tasty slice of cake and ignoring the cake thieves in the background (Ray and Silver).  Art by Mharz
Kara from 7" Kara enjoying a cup of hot cocoa and a huge slice of fudgy cake.


We've had a year to grow, and have added several wonderful new members and affiliates to our little collective.  Here's a revised list of everyone who calls Ink Drop Cafe home!

Promo art for the Ink Drop Cafe Drawpile created by the fantastic Shoona B!

Get to Know Our Members
We are involved in our community and love to see it grow bigger and better.  Ink Drop Café aims to provide access to the experience of members and friends through our public Discord Channel.  Ink Drop Cafe members also actively participate in online community events such as Webcomic Chat, sharing insight and encouragement freely with other comic creators.

Our members have years of experience as professional artists, illustrators, comic creators, writers, editors, reviewers, and self-publishers.  Over the past year, many have contributed their knowledge and experience as guest writers for this blog.




Elaine Tipping is a full time artist, part time teacher, living in Japan with her spouse and two cats. Most of her work is in webcomics (Peter Pan, Tales of a Gaijin, Bellanaris, Licensed Heroes, Princess Retribution, etc.) but she also does freelance work (such as being the line artist for Ododon Games Company). When she's not planning new stories, she enjoys food, video games, reading, and attending far too many Sailor Moon events.

Patreon: patreon.com/TriaElf9 • Tumblr: TriaElf9 • Twitter: @TriaElf9 • Instagram: TriaElf9 • 
DeviantArt: triaelf9.deviantart.com




Anthea West lives in the mountains in Ireland somewhere. No one's quite sure when she's coming down or if she actually exists. Could be just a bunch of sheep in a coat, who knows?
This possible-sheep runs the website Dustbunny-Studios where you can find all her links, artwork and projects, such her award winner graphic novel The Earthbound God and her ongoing series Fate.

Patreon: patreon.com/AntheaWest • Twitter: @antheawest • Portfolio: behance.net/antheawest


"I was first introduced into Ink drop Café by Respheal, creator of Galebound and I am so very grateful for that. As a collective, Ink drop Café have been nothing but open, kind and an inspiriting bunch of creators. Fate was really starting to get on its feet during that summer of 2017 and these wonderful creators really helped me to get running not just in comic updates but also when it came to running my very first and thankfully, success Kickstarter. Not only that, I’d probably still be making the Fate website if the people of Ink Drop didn’t step in a help me out with that.
By becoming a part of the Ink Drop Café collective, I’ve not only really started to feel like a webcomic pro, but I’ve met some wonderful new friends and peers. I can only hope that I’ve been of any help to them as they have to me."

Mharz is a freelance illustrator who has worked in the animation industry for three years before shifting to creating comics. Her current projects are The Angel with Black WingsThe Robonoid Fan, and various illustrations. She also shares some drawing tips based from her experience in animation.

Patreon: patreon.com/avimharz • Website: mharz.com • Twitter: @avimharz •
Instagram: avimharz

"I found out about Ink Drop Cafe from Draco Plato. I joined it a bit late than the other members and they were so nice and welcomed me. I've made some awesome friends in this community. Interacting with them has been inspiring and it helped me improve myself asa person. They also give me good advice about businessy stuffs like pricing and such whenever I asked. I'm so happy to be a member of this collective and community and I hope there are more awesome people who will join the fray in the years to come!"

Nattosoup Avatar
Becca Hillburn (Nattosoup) is a powerhouse of comics and art education. You can check out her all-ages comic, 7" Kara, or enjoy her art-education resources at the Nattosoup Art & Process Blog, How To Be a Con Artist, and on Youtube. You can also check out her online portfolio.
Patreon: patreon.com/Nattosoup • Twitter: @Nattosoup • Instagram: @Nattosoup
"This past year has been really exciting, and I'm looking forward to watching our collective grow!  We've had so many exciting launches this year for new comics and new resources, and I'm eager to welcome in new friends.  In the upcoming year, I hope to meet a few of my Ink Drop friends in person, and I really hope we can pursue more collaborative challenges- those are a lot of fun!" 
Cali is a tiny artist that mostly does art as a hobby, and is the creator of Chronicles of Fenaur (and two other comics; Psychteria and Hunter of Fenaur). She's a big anime fan and likes trying to bring her characters to life.
Patreon: patreon.com/CalimonGraalWebsite: fenauriverse.moe

Draco Plato Avatar
Draco Plato is a full time artist and comic creator with a BA in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics, who is also the founder of StArt Faire and KhyatiX. They have a passion for webcomics and the webcomic community and hope to see the community continue to grow in years to come.
Patreon: patreon.com/KhyatiX • Website: khyatix.com • Twitter: @KhyatiX

Hame Avatar
Hame is a full time UI/UX Designer, an illustrator and draws the webcomic Somewhere in the Rain on her (scarce) free time. She has a thing for watercolours illustrations and randomly sharing art resources through Twitter or Discord.
Twitter: @leilacmg • Instagram: @leila.gon • Tumblr: @encased

KaiJu Avatar
KaiJu is a two-headed monster with a passion for creating worlds rather than destroying them.
They were first published in Sparkler Monthly in April of 2014 with their debut work "The Ring of Saturn." Their next work "Mahou Josei Chimaka," won a DINKy award in March of 2016.
"Inhabitant of Another Planet," a prequel to Novae and all the previously listed stories can be found on Sparkler.

Gumroad: gumroad.com/nebulaepress • Tumblr: kaixju • Twitter: @KAIxJU

Leanna Avatar
Leanna C is an illustrator and comic artist originally from Southern California. She loves cats, coffee, and comics, preferably all at once. You can usually find her drawing, encouraging other creative people, reading a book, or listening to a podcast.

Portfolio: artbyleanna.weebly.com • Twitter: @frenchpressplz • Tumblr: frenchpressplease • 

Patreon:patreon.com/frenchpressplease


Alakotila makes comics and art, and on occasion, games. Their current focus is the fantasy webcomic "Spidersilk," though more stories may be found here. Recent publications include volume 2 of Spidersilk and a coloring book featuring women in armor. They freelance in games as a colorist and environment/ background artist, as well as freelance in comics as a copy editor. Thinks about wearing armor a lot. Probably drawing elves.

Patreon: patreon.com/alakotila • Twitter: @Alakotila • Portfolio: alakotila.com

Michelle Avatar
Michelle is a Los Angeles-based story artist who creates the cyberpunk mystery comic Centralia 2050. She loves video games, crafting, and animals, and is in an endless fashion struggle between wearing pastels+flowers or all black+skulls.

Respheal Avatar
Respheal is a system administrator, gamer, and creator of the webcomic Galebound. She laments not being able to put more in this section.
Patreon: patreon.com/respheal • Twitter: @galebound • Tumblr: @respheal

Kabocha Avatar
Sam (kabocha) is an illustrator and computer tinkerer. She creates the webcomic Linked and runs the resource website Shooting Stars.

"Having made new friends through Ink Drop Cafe has been immensely helpful for myself as both an artist and as a person. I've gained confidence in both myself and my work, and found an audience that enjoys the things I do."

Shoona Browning is a cartoonist and illustrator who makes all ages comics with a focus on middle grade and young adult stories. They hope to create colorful and lively works that make people feel good and avoid punching down.

Patreon: patreon.com/shoona • Website: shoonabrowning.com • Twitter: @shoonabee
"To be honest, when Becca first approached me about Ink Drop Cafe, I didn’t really feel like I had much of a community in comics, which anybody can attest is the most demoralizing thing. That changed immediately when I joined the discord and subsequently the collective. This is such a solid group of smart, creative and aggressively kind people who genuinely care about making good work AND a warm community. I feel so inspired every day to be surrounded by so many amazing people that I’ve come to be able to call friends. They inspire me to create the best work I can and pay the kindness I’ve received forward as much as I can. I’m so proud of this group and honored to be a part of it! Thanks for an amazing year!"


Get to Know Our Affiliates
Ink Drop Cafe affiliates strive to provide resources and support to the greater comics community.  From the weekly collation of job opportunities in Paper Cat Press, to first publishing opportunities and access to a larger audience with StArt Faire, our affiliates aim to serve the needs of the webcomic community.


Paper Cat Press is a curated online bulletin board for opportunities, creative campaigns, and resources for contemporary illustrators, writers, creative fans, and comic artists. A new Weekly Roundup posts every Friday. You can also find original articles, gift guides, webcomic lists, and creator interviews on the site.







StArt Faire is an online monthly comic magazine with an emphasis on fantasy themed comics (comics that have one element out of the ordinary in them), and has a loose PG-13 rating. It was created by an artist for other artists, and for fans of comics, as a not for profit project that aspires to unite artists in a collaborative effort to bring the concept of the Japanese comic magazine to an international and online format.

StArt Faire currently hosts the Comic Tea Party, a wonderful opportunity for all webcomic artists!   Comic Tea Party is a Discord event similar to a book club- interested creators sign up in advance, are assigned a date, and encouraged to participate in the Comic Tea Party event.  Participants discuss the comic in detail based on a series of questions generated by one of the hosts.

Many of our members are now also contributing comics to StArt Faire, one of our affiliate publications!  You can check out those comics and projects below as well.


The Nattosoup Studio Art & Process Blog is focused on a building community of students, artists, and crafters who share a passion for illustration and a vision of equal opportunity art education. For eight years, the blog has expanded efforts to help level the commercial art playing field by writing blog posts to demonstrate, educate, and enlighten fresh comic artists and illustrators. There is also an associated Youtube channel, focused on education through interviews, demonstrations, tutorials, and reviews.

Over the past year, I've run several guest posts from Ink Drop Cafe members and affiliates!  Having a community I can rely on for information and inspiration has been a wonderful asset and  




Archive Binge is a webcomic aggregator and reader. Our mission is to aggregate comic updates from multiple sources, including Tapas, Webtoons, and self-hosted comics, allowing webcomic readers to track updates and find new favorite comics more easily.

Help us celebrate our one year anniversary by checking out our webcomics, and perhaps creating an ArchiveBinge account to help you stay updated.




Shooting Stars is a webste providing various Photoshop brushes and other resources. The website has been providing these downloads since approximately 2009, and has expanded to offering image packs and Clip Studio resources.

If you haven't checked out the Ink Drop Cafe website yet, I highly recommend you do so!  Not only do we have links to all member comics and affiliate resources, we have a fantastic Calendar page that not only displays update days, but also important community events such as comic-centric Twitter chats!  The front page has a handy news rotator that announces new members, Ink Drop Cafe events, and more!

In our next year, we hope to continue to grow as a collective, with plans to welcome in new members and affiliates and find new ways to reach out to the overall webcomic community.  I hope you'll join us!