Friday, 30 March 2012

Illustration Friday 11 - Swamp

The word this week was swamp, and I had quite a few ideas on what to do. I made up some thumbnails, but as I hummed and hawed, suddenly inspiration struck. Swamps? Frogs. Frogs = Disney movies, right? I knew what I had to do.. My mission was clear.


I went with a paper art look for this one, giving it a minimalist and simple design. Perfect for a children's book.


Friday, 23 March 2012

Illustration Friday 10 - Shades

A little bit later than I would have liked, but here it is! My work for the word "Shades". As usual, I start off with something to get me going in a certain direction. Aside from thumbnails, this is also an important step. This here is some marvelous work by Bradshaw Crandell. I love his use of soft colours, and lack of any harsh lines. It is almost dream like.


My thumbnails ranged and varied, but eventually I settled one one I wanted to work on most.


I went with a very hot and vibrant feel which is why I chose this kind of orange colour. It's like sunset on the scene of some kind of action movie.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Landscape Practice

I have been dabbling a bit in landscape paintings digitally. I haven't done a whole lot yet, but practice makes perfect, so I hope to do more in my spare time.


I chose to paint a beach, because beaches have this fun and open look about them. Pictures of beaches usually mean escaping the everyday, or relaxation.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Illustration Friday Week 9 - Yield

When I saw Yield was the word of the week, I started to doubt my faith in humanity. How could I come up with an easy to understand illustration on such a weird word? But after some experimenting I found that as long as I didn't over think its meaning, I could create artwork to suit. As usual, I looked to other artists for some inspiration to what could be considered graphically appealing.


Betty Brader is the artist for this work here. I like how separate images can create one composition. Things don't always have to be touching to be interacting. I also appreciate the simple style.

I went with a simple, sketchbook style cartooning for this work. I wanted a wistful and childish feeling for this book cover.

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Fan Art

Lately I've been getting back into doing fan art. I haven't had a spree in years, and it feels good to just play off of existing ideas and characters.

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These are my fan art from a show I love called Madoka Magica. The story is deep, kind of dark, and the designs are cute and fun. One thing I'd love to try and do is design or draw one of the witches from the show. They're done in a strange paper art kind of style, and can be so bizzare! Below are some screencaps from the show itself.

Even the worlds that the witches create are works of art.

Emotional Labor

If there is one thing I learned about art as a potential career, is that it takes a lot out of you emotionally. All jobs have disadvantages or costs. A construction worker will come home feeling physically tired, because it is physical labor. They might whine or complain, but they will still come into work the next day. That's the thing; you love what you do, and you will be willing to work through the aches and pains.

As an artist, there are times I don't want to finish a drawing or painting. I'll want to give up or leave it. This is emotional labor. Just because it gets tough, I can't just tell a client I can't finish their job because I don't want to.

It happens though. There have been artists I loved seeing work from who let their idea die, but it was usually to move onto other work more meaningful to them. One girl I used to follow work from had a comic recapping the story of a video game I love, but with an over-exaggerated comedic flair. She has since moved onto other works, but I still enjoy going back and reading her comic.

One blog that I always wait anxiously for updates from is Books of Adam. He's a story teller, and uses his drawings as keypoints to his storytelling. The style is fun and comedic, and I always get a giggle from reading his crazy adventures.

He's turned his labor of love into a job of sorts, which proves a lot of love, hard work and a good idea can make you successful. It's the people that really understand what emotional labor is, and can keep doing what they love despite it that really shine through.

One spot on the internet I frequent very often is a roleplaying site called Gaia. Through friends I found a guild called This Is Halloween. It's a fun role playing story loosely based on the world of Nightmare Before Christmas. It has grown so much in just a couple short years, and one thing that amazes me is the Admins dedication to making it a fun place for members. They don't do it for profit. It's free to play for approved character quests. The amount of time and effort put into making it an active story, and constant reaching out to new members is amazing. There are likely many times they would want to just stop because things aren't going smoothly, or people are complaining about one thing or another. But they keep on truckin'. This is true emotional labor.

Organizing events, answering questions, helping with plot ideas, and so many other busy and time consuming activities while dealing with their own lives outside of the internet. To do all that, you must truly love what you do.

One last blog I'd like to talk about is a fashion oriented Outfit designer based on characters from Cartoons and Anime. I love signing into Tumblr to see what sort of outfits they come up with. Often times I'll see one and try to take inspiration from it in how I dress.

I can't imagine how difficult it is to come up with dozens of outfits a week, even if you do have multiple visual references considering what they're based on. It's a creative challenge, and one that is well executed. They don't get anything out of it other than followers and knowing their work is being appreciated.

So I guess what I want to really drive home is that things well get tough. Things will be hard. You'll want to throw your pencil across the room because of a bad comment, or no comment. This is our passion, and if you are willing to put in that emotional labour, people will notice. Not just for others, but for yourself. I really admire people who put forth great effort like this, with little to no drama. Drama comes and goes, but don't let the bumps in the road stop your journey.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Illustration Friday 8 - Intention

For this one, I went a bit literal. When I heard the new word of the week, at first I was at a loss, but then the lyrics from one of my favorite songs came to mind, and had the word intention in it. So I cheated a bit with this, but I had fun too. That's all that matters.

For inspiration this time around, I looked at the pen and ink work of Lynd Ward.


This one caught my eye, because while there is so much going on, the dominant feature in the artwork stands out the most and grabs my attention. I also like his placement of type.

Onward, to Photoshop!


I did my thumbnails in Photoshop this time around. It's easier than needing to take photos or scan my sketchbook. I had a few strong concepts, but the one I chose to finish I felt had the best potential for the type.


As you can see, I went for a painterly effect, something I've been meaning to practice a lot more with.


And Voila! You might notice I've geared away from Book Covers, mostly because I wanted to branch out a bit for the next few IFs to come.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Spring Break

Or uh "Reading Week" as the college calls it. While I sure did a lot of reading, it mostly involved online reading of articles on, an epic time eater. Oh yeah, and I did homework.

But more interestingly I drew a lot for myself and others that didn't involve getting a grade back.


"What is that" you ask? Oh, just a banshee riding a pony sized mole rat into glory.



Photoshopping some killer shades onto a previous doodle that I forgot to draw shades on.


Using graphics from one of my projects for a little fun.

The following are characters I drew for others.

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And finally a submission I did for a contest type thing.


That's all for now!