Tuesday, April 10, 2012

sketchbook b/w old record terminology

Some more scrappings from sketchbooks.

gun dood b/w art history notes 
Mirabelle b/w be-hatted fox
Mirabelle b/w outfits
Me b/w creepy
silhouettes b/w incredibly insightful notes
boobs b/w cute
Jewel b/w Storm

Monday, March 26, 2012

buildings, buildings everywhere

Doing a lot of buildings now in painting class. Pretty fun stuff.
doontoon Sarasoota. wonky, eh? 
I generally think one-day studies are the most fun. They demand a kind of resourcefulness and economy which is really stimulating.
the way I did this one kinda reminds me of that Dik Liu painting of that bunny 
Progress shot 1 of a painting assignment

Praise the powers that be for it's been less than a year since my last post! Unless you hate my stuff. In which case, y'know, curse the powers that be.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

just a little sketchbook

Some more stuff! Looking forward to promising more content, and then neglecting to upload anything for another few months!
...Seriously, I'm hoping to improve at some point.

Left of the Dial
Devil
Spaghetti?
Dust 
Desk Minutiae

Sunday, November 13, 2011

on concept art

Everyone and their brother wants to get into concept art. And I suppose it's easy to see why, if most of the stuff I see is any indication it's a very nice field to make things WOOK PWETTY. Which is something an artist wants to do naturally, I understand, but there's something about the sleekness and "perfection" in most concept art that does the same thing to my brain as old documentaries. I'll try to get into them for the sake of wanting to seem informed and intelligent, but when it comes down to it I'm neither of those things, and my brain shuts off after about five minutes. Or to bring the analogy full circle, after about five drawings of the same bloody forest or the same bloody space station or the same bloody grungy ruined city.
a city AND a forest in one!
What sticks in my craw about concept art these days is very much a reflection of what sticks in my craw with movies and video games in general. There's so much stuff stuck in my craw, it's like a garbage bag full of bricks in the ocean (don't think too much about that simile, I certainly didn't).
At the risk of sounding incredibly snobbish (which I suppose I've already done by now so, screw it), mainstream products these days have become a real cess pool of creativity. Yeah, yeah, it's kind of obvious that the interesting stuff happens on the fringes... but that's not my point. Maybe I'm seeing the world through pixellated rose-colored glasses, but it seems to me like there was a lot more exploring being done back in the day, dagnabbit. When you think "shooter" these days, you're probably thinking of a brown and grey trudge through a ruined city. You can see every scratch on your iron sight, and when you get shot enough someone splashes strawberry jelly on your eyes. Compare it to 15 years ago or so. You could play Doom and fight your way through Hell itself, play Duke Nukem and visit a strip joint before blasting the alien of the month... or maybe Wolfenstein, kill yourself a bunch of blue Nazis in a big blue castle!
A very roundabout way of saying it, but my point is, which do you think is more conducive to interesting concept art?
imagine Mecha Hitler in one of the myriad WW2 shooters these days. Instantly cooler.
It's not hard to do interesting things with digital art, which is what leads me to believe that stagnation in concept art isn't the fault of the artists, but rather the environment we're being brought up under. Hell, computers in and of themselves are prime creative real estate because, generally speaking of course, no artist really knows how they work. There's so much exploration still to be done, whether it's "glitch" art (basically, taking an axe to the "codes" which make up a digital image), or just fooling around with settings until you stumble upon something you didn't expect. The issue is, these days video game and movie companies are playing their cards so close to the chest, the concepts and stories have become suffocatingly samey. Mainstream properties have basically limited creative aspirations to "how many bumps can we show on this building?" There's only so many ways one can realistically render a post-apocalyptic city and make it interesting. I think they would do well to allow a little branching out. I mean, a cartoony Fallout 3? Can I even begin to describe how awesome that would be? ...I mean, I know I totally just exposed my bias, but still!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

some notes on writing

In writing this little comic of mine, I've learned roughly a butt-ton about myself, and how I work. Or, perhaps more importantly, how I DON'T work. Learning what not to do is perhaps the most important lesson of all as an artist (or I guess any profession, though learning not to stick your arm in a wood chipper is probably a lesson best learned through advice rather than experience), and even though I wish I would've learned that by pumping out a bunch of crappy comics rather than no comics at all, it's still important, and it is something I'm improving at.
See, the reason I get so frustrated at times is because when one of my comics ends up on the cutting room floor, it's always due to the same thing. It goes a little something like this:

-inspiration. A frenzied night of writing where my music's really loud and the idea floodgates have burst far beyond the help of a small boy plugging the leaks with his finger. Probably the most enjoyable phase.
-scaling. Trying to make some sense of everything I've just written, organizing it into something coherent. At times it's not fun, but let's face it; making the crazy nonsense in our heads manifest requires some dialing down at times.
-bloating. This is, I believe, where most of my stories get killed. Taking the original bursts of inspiration and trying to make them more "epic" in scale, make them more like the stuff I grew up liking. More has to be at stake! People have to die! How can I write this?!

At the bloating phase is where I start looking at other comics to see how they did it. BLAM. Hear that? That was the sound of my story being shot right in the face by the big ol' 10-gauge of self-doubt. This next idea is capitalized just as much for my benefit as the benefit of others: DO NOT LOOK TO OTHER ARTISTS FOR THE TEMPLATE. YOUR WAY IS THE CORRECT WAY.
It's why ideas written in the spur of the moment will always be more pure and immediate than ideas that have been endlessly rethought and rewritten. Don't boil the living crap out of your coffee, and don't rewrite something more than twice. Least of all your main storyline.
I can't speak for everyone, but I've never felt the strongest part of any piece of work has been the overarching plot. Hell, look at Watchmen; you could fit the gist of that story on a Post-it note... and it was hardly a new one. It was the development of the characters and the way their struggles were presented that made it so brilliant. I've taken a new policy; if I can't sum up in one sentence what the story is about, it's probably not a good one.
If you're thinking about what the moral of your story is, what people should take from it, what it should all mean, how to make your plot different from everyone else's, take it from me: STOP. Pick a story template. Evil guy wants to take over world, evil government operation to kill millions must be stopped, some kid wants to hook up with this one girl... there are plenty. Clich├ęs exist for a reason. It's when you stop looking to others and realize that you are a completely unique vessel which can take any trite, tired plot and make something special out of it that your best stuff arises.

So, here's the Post-it version of this, um, post: KEEP WRITING.