Delayed Introduction

  • Hi everyone, I'm Bobby. I'm still learning my way around the site, and didn't even know you had a sub forum for intros... Anyway I live in Ontario, Canada with my wife and son, but I'm a NYC ex-patriate. I went to school for graphic design, but my first love has always been portraits and watercolors. I work entirely digital now having self taught myself since 2003, and I am still learning...

    Which lead me here. I followed the bread crumbs from Will's personal site and loved his snippets of video there. My wife and son are also artists, and I thought the Children's Book Illustration class would be perfect for her. So she got that yesterday as an early Xmas present. We both joined, but she hasn't had time yet to post any work, as her main job is doing stock art.

    Something I also plan to do, have done, but want to do better. And I've noticed the style I enjoy most working in is slightly cartoony. So I am here to explore that side of myself, and learn as much as I can along the way. I love the 3rd Thursday format, and I plan to do as many as I can in the coming year, and hopefully win one! 😃

    Here is a site of old work, I am currently working on a new site, but I've had some health issues of late. I have cancer of the liver, but my condition is stable at the moment. Unfortunately a side effect of the chemo I underwent is neuropathy in my hands and feet that make them feel like pins and needles. But I have found the best therapy for me both mentally and physically is drawing.

    I was going to put off getting back to it when my neuropathy was more fixed, they say you'll get back 85% of what you had. But life is too short to wait on living it, and mostly on reaching for your dreams. So I have been more pro-active with myself, my art, and this place seems like a perfect fit for me. So I plan to make the most of it... anyway that's me in a nutshell, looking forward to getting to know as many of you as I can, your work already inspires me so much.

    My family has been wondering what's gotten into me, I've been singing Jake Parker this and Will Terry that for 3 days straight. All I can say is I haven't been this excited since I went to college. I foolishly switched from illustration sophomore year to graphic design, and I've really missed it. I finally feel like I am back on track...


    So here's some of examples of my work... it's art from 2009 -2013.

    My Old Website

  • SVS OG

    @Bobby-Aquitania Welcome Bobby - great to have you here. Looking forward to seeing where this takes you and your art going forward!

  • SVS OG

  • Welcome sir!

  • Welcome Bobby have a wonderful thanksgiving!

  • Thank you Rich, Shinji, Naroth and Leontine... Happy Thanksgiving to all of you as well!

  • 1/26/2016 Update - Not good news.

    Have to do another set of 12 chemo treatments, and another TACE procedure (Chemo beads fed up the artery in your leg to the liver directly, killing the cancer sells at the source. A simple procedure, but I hate hospitals, so mentally, very exhausting) starting this Thursday. Under chemo, I have it every 2 weeks, it's about a 3 hour session on day 1, at which I go home with a bottle attached to a port in my chest. A port is a device that allows a needle to be inserted into me, it's connected to my larger artery, as too much chemo is something your normal veins could not take...

    Anyway I sleep with it 2 nights, then at noon on the 3rd day a nurse comes to remove it. By 2 days later, my white cell count dips, and my immune system is highly susceptible to germs. I am pretty much bed ridden and on lock down visitor wise. 2-3 days later, I bounce back have about 3-4 days of normality, at which I rinse, lather, repeat...

    I was thinking of leaving SVS in the interim, they are scheduling 4 sessions at a time, then a CT scan to see how my liver is doing, then when I am strong enough, go off chemo for 2 weeks, have the TACE, then recover for 6-8 weeks. IF I have to have all 12 before I am strong enough, the TACE won't be till July. Meaning it would be September till I feel the effects, last time it gave me 6 months of reprieve. I hope this time out, it gets it all... there are cases of 3 year survivors, who've never had to have another one. A man in his late 70s...

    It's a long laborious process I am about to endure. And last time I did not know what to expect, or face. This time I am healthier, I know full well what is coming, and I still have an incredible support group (a private blog of over 50 close friends and family on Facebook, and more so the best wife ever created...) to get me through this. The meds they are using this time will not be so hard on my hands and feet. I still have the neuropathy from my last TACE, which was worse, so technically I won't reach the 1 year marker of May of being chemo free.

    So I won't know how much sensitivity in my hands I will have, right now they say you'll only get 85% back after a year. I don't know if it goes away permanently. I consider it a small price to pay for living. I can still draw. And since finding SVS in December, I have been pushing myself back into art, because it is a part of me I denied for far too long, waiting to get back 85%.

    My plan therefore is to stay.

    I love this place, I love the people, I love what I am learning here. I am not going to let cancer take that from me. So on the days I do have normality. I plan to be here. And on the days I don't, I plan to read here, and watch the courses my sub allows me to do. I'm sorry to bring this up on such a forum, but I wanted to explain in the future in case no one sees me. I am here, just on lurker mode for a time.

    Thank you Will and Jake for giving me a place to find peace in. The work you and everyone does here is more healing than I can express.


  • SVS OG

    Oh Bobby I'm so sorry to hear that it is bad news again this time. What to say, other than I really hope that this round will beat it down for good. I hope also that being healthier this time will make the side effects easier to bear as you say. What awful news but sending you good wishes and the very best of luck for getting through this.

    Glad you're not letting this stop you from appreciating the art you love. Hope we'll be able to chat again when you're ready 🙂

  • Pro SVS OG

    I'm so sorry to hear about your news and I hope this journey gets easier for you and the treatment does it's job. I'm glad you are staying and I look forward to seeing much more of your art.

  • I always thought that losing my eyesight would be a huge blow to my art--I never considered losing feeling in my hands!

    That's got to be really awful.

  • Yeah Matt, when I touch things it feels like needles in my fingertips... I've learned to ignore the sensation, it's not painful, just incredibly annoying like someone is squeezing your hand and forgot to let go. If I hold a mouse for over 4 hours, I feel a stiffness in my grip that takes a while to dissipate.

    If I am writing, and I love to do that, the stiffness happens in both hands. My feet are 5 times worse, my toes can't touch anything without squeezing sensations shooting past my ankles. I rarely cover them when I sleep, so of course that leads to foot cramps in your arches.

    Weird though if I stand and walk around the pain is a little more bearable. It has gotten better since being on my meds. But yeah for almost 2 years now, I have no sensitivity in my fingers, everything feels like everything. I can't tell how lightly to press without serious concentration.

    This is gonna sound stupid, but it's like picking your nose with a pen, the pen has no sensitivity where to scratch or pull. It can't differentiate what can be accessed. Now try doing something normal, like holding your wife's hand, and it feeling no different unless you press down so hard as to cause your grip to remind you that yes you are holding her hand.

    Thank God for a wacom stylus, I don't have to judge, it does most of the work for me. But holding it for too long, even loosely sucks...

  • SVS OG

    @Bobby-Aquitania We'll be rooting for you.

  • Hi Bobby, I'm very sorry to hear about this but wishing you all the best - love from Utah (and prayers) ...our time here is so short and it's nice to get to interact with such nice people around the world when the art binds us.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Bobby I'm really sorry about your bad news. I have really enjoyed reading your comments and seeing your art. I think its great that you are not letting this stop you from continuing to learn and grow. I wish you the best and will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  • Oh Bobby, I so sorry to hear that. My best wishes and my prayers are for you today.

  • I'm sorry to hear about this Bobby. You always have helpful things to say here. I'll be thinking about you.

  • Update:

    It's bizarre what 28 days can do to change your life. 28 days ago, my colon surgeon was worried my cancer had returned there from the colonoscopy pictures she took in December. Those came back negative, but she wanted to be sure. So she did another one in January around the surrounding area, and she told me 2 weeks ago... " I biopsied the heck out of that! " And it came back negative for sure, though she did catch some polyps both times, she has cleared me for at least 6 months if not longer... she even hinted at 5 years if I was a normal patient. I suspect it will be a yearly or bi-yearly thing to be safe.

    But because my levels were still high, was the original reason she did the first one. Something was happening somewhere. And as I mentioned 28 days ago, it had returned in my liver. Which was evident in my exterior as I was quite jaundice, even in the yellows of my eyes as a matter of fact. So they scheduled the 12 chemos in sets of 4. After the 1st one, my teeth already loose up front were getting worse, so I had to endure a day at the dentist that was right out of the movie Marathon Man.

    Last year when this had happened, I went to a dental surgeon who put me out, and removed 4 teeth total. This time, I was completely awake for each needle, and they took out 5 and 1/2, as the dental surgeon had failed to take all of it the first time. SO yeah, that day sucked eggs. And I am putting it nicely... that was all done in a week that I had chemo treatment #2, in order to stay on schedule.

    Happily today, my liver function has returned to normal. I just got a call from my oncologist at my home... so he is gonna up my dosage this Thursday for chemo #3, and if I can handle that, by chemo# 4 in 2 weeks, I will have a new scan to see how I am responding over all. If all goes well, I could have my new TACE procedure (explained above 28 days ago) sooner. Though I suspect I might have to have at least 4 more treatments to play it safe.

    But in either case, today I am celebrating. I've earned it. It's been a LONG 28 days for me. I hope I am this jovial 28 days from now. I just wanted to share my good news with my SVS friends, and that while I haven't been around as much as I like, I have been lurking as much as my body will let me. This place keeps me going with all the amazing art done here. I consider it to be a factor in my healing, and many of you have my thanks because of that.

    Have a great week SVS!

  • Wow, that's really positive news. I hope things carry on that way and there is much fun and art making to be experienced 💖

  • @Bobby-Aquitania I just read your original post and this update, and I checked out your site. I'm glad you're on track artistically and physically. Artists really need to make art, don't they? May God strengthen you on your journey. (I hope you don't mind a religious reference--it 's where my heart is at and it's coming from my heart!)

  • Not at all @anthemsweet ... I'm Filipino, and my culture is fairly religious, almost to a fault as seen by the unfortunate remarks from a certain boxer that I no longer admire. I'm not a practicing Catholic, but I was raised that way. I consider it to be a very personal thing. Above all I believe in practicing love, not hate. If cancer has taught me anything, it's that life is too short to dwell on the little unimportant things. My wife is my reason for living, my son, my friends and my family keep me sane... the rest is gravy.

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