Thursday, October 28, 2010

Going to Portland!

Hey guys!! Things are in motion again as they always seem to be! EvE Descended is on hold until a later date, so my apologies to the fans that were ready to dig on it. So here's the news! Andrew and I are going to Portland Oregon for 17 days to see if we can land some jobs! LAIKA and Cinematics are hiring animators and this isn't a bad time for some low cost air flights, so we're good to go!

We will be staying with my aunt who lives in the area, one of several relatives I have there. If we land a gig, we will do what we can to get an apartment and move permanently. If not we will be back and my project NEW DEMO REEL will begin for the winter season. Expect more than just 3D animation. Is flash animation considered traditional if it is drawn with a tablet? ¬.¬ There has been a traditional animation hanging over my head since college that is DUE to be realized. And lots of tests... many, many tests... fun things >:D

Thursday, September 16, 2010

EvE: Descended

It gives me great pleasure to at last present the fruits of my latest endeavor - page one of a comic that my Andrew and I have determined to accomplish. We have enough material stockpiled to last us about 50 pages. This was the first. It's based on the game EvE Online, a sci-fi MMORPG that we like to play.

Our arrangement is to setup a good buffer of pages before release (it's going to be an online comic) and then release one page a week or every other week. Andrew is in charge of layout and backgrounds/environments and I am in charge of all characters, even the little silhouettes.

This project has been the foundation for my resurrection of drawing. The metamorphosis from the first drawing of Taika, the woman pictured, to the last is really unbelievable. It was a bit of warming back up to drawing as well as finding a style for the comic and understanding that an action pose doesn't have to look ridiculously exaggerated to suggest, well... action.

My next step to try and improve time/work ratios is to attempt to do the entire process digitally. This would mean no sketching first. I would receive the page layout and start working on the panels in their appropriate places. This of course would entail a lot more hashing out in the beginning of precisely what we want. What I'm wondering is what will happen to the quality of my work, if it will remain on par with what I deem acceptable or if there will be considerably more error with less edit? Or if beginning digitally will omit the margin of error I have from pencil to digital cleanup. This example will show a little better of what I mean.

Here we have the original drawing and the digital finish. At first glance they could be identical, but to the critical eye this is not the case at all. Upon closer inspection (if you click on the image to enlarge it) you will see that adjustments have been made to hand position, arms, chest-line, and the thickness of thighs etc. The biggest change is harder to see without overlapping the two image. Her head has been bumped to the left and scaled up. Even rotated. These are all adjustments I've made from the drawing to digital. What I'm not sure of is if these will still be problems when beginning digitally, if I will fail to notice the problems, or if they will just not exist if I have a better eye for the screen than the paper. I suppose attempting it is the only way to know for sure. :)

The other part of the project that was a really healthy challenge was drawing the same character a number of times. On top of that rotating around having to match those crazy geometric designs: which really just helped me have points of reference to correct anatomy and scale. I had to take a LOT of reference photos of my hands and such, it was so impossible to "guess" it when it came to inking from my mitten-hand sketches.

We still have a lot to learn about layout, camera angles, and time management and process. It's been a great ride so far and I have really enjoyed the drawing. It's motivated me to want to draw more for sure, outside of projects, like I used to. Hope everyone enjoys! Let me know if you have any suggestions or advice for our comic making future!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

OC: Riona Everhart

At last, it has come to this. She's been a long time coming and at last I am elated to introduce my first concept and interactive personality: Riona Everhart. This pretty little elf had a rough beginning and as she developed with experience and player interaction, the depth of her characteristics and history evolved to what she has become today.
I have always thought of myself as elf-like, having a deep affinity for elves and their pretty/stealthy/nature loving ways as I find myself having those traits as well. Riona in appearance has long white hair, deep blue eyes, and a youthful and delicate appearance. This was devised from a small piece of art by Adele Sessler back in...late 1990s? It has since evolved into its own design of which I am rather proud of. In fact I am so proud of it I made a costume to reflect her outfit of which I've worn when playing the part of an elf for whatever occasion. She has undergone major transformations over the years, from anime-like to comic style or realistic.

But regardless of the transitions she has always been the same character. She's timid, borderline mousy. She's easily intimidated and frightened, hoping to aspire to something more than she is. Which is kind of interesting to consider when you get to know her. Riona has the innate ability to heal almost through a magical means, yet the procedure for her is entirely natural. Strange to think she grew to loathe this ability, wouldn't you think?

When there were fights or battles, Riona was there in the aftermath to do her part. This had its honest purpose of course, but the girl wanted more than just this, she wanted to prevent the harm from happening to begin with, she wanted to be a fighter, a protector. She wanted to rid herself of the healing ability to take up a sword. This is where tragedy enters her back story. While searching for an answer/cure to rid herself of the thing she despised, she quite by accident read an incantation that not only failed to assist her in the task, but further cursed her for her ungrateful heart.

Without warning an area-affect fire bomb ignites in her presence, annihilating anything within close proximity. Later on it comes to take affect during moments of distress and heightened anxiety. So now it becomes her quest to undo what she has done while living in fear of this curse and in solitude to keep the innocent safe from harm.

It makes for a lonesome and worrisome life, much like where I found myself in the years between high school and college. She moves constantly, doesn't want to get too attached to anything. She is my caution and my worry, my weakness and my shy demeanor. She will help in any way she can, but can't avoid the hunt for the core of what causes the trouble in the first place. I never settle for solutions at face value, there's always something more to it, some greater emotion behind things. She is my intuitive nature, my light step, my attractive appeal.

She is my fear of change, of doing the wrong thing, of having bad timing. But all in all she is my innocence, my idea of something pristine and yet dangerous. She is talented and ungrateful. That says a lot doesn't it? Sometime I do find myself wasting my talent. And that's what this blog is all about. This is the inspiration to rekindle that talent. To take the time and pay homage to the level of skill and creativity that only I can offer. There are many artists in the world, but no two people on earth draw the same exact thing or have the same perspectives and concepts. Sure you can copy something, sure there are stereotypes, but these are all based on similar attractive traits to an individual. It makes it no less creative.

But I digress.

Riona Everhart everyone. :3

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

OC: Tora Kaldroma

Before I move on to my final OC, there's one other OC I want to mention quickly. He doesn't have a lot of art representing him, but his presence in my writing has been the balance for my final character. His name is Tora Kaldroma.

This particular name was never my original creation, but the character and his pursuits and life goals were. The name belongs to a very good friend of mine's OC when we all wrote Star Wars fiction together. I'm sure he would be very proud of the personality I've given to it. His design was based on a concept of Link from Zelda and has yet to be refined into a pure identity.

I reference him now because his sole purpose revolves around the storyline of Riona. She has a colorful history and Tora's goals are to bring her faults to light and her association to justice. This will make more sense as I describe her in due time.

Tora is legalistic, dutiful, strong and confident. He is grounded, living in the present and never the past. His presence can't be ignored and his nature reflects security to most who interact with him, unless of course you're on the wrong side of his loyalties, or the law. He is my strongest "male" character representing all I consider to be the most most powerful male attributes: courage, strength, loyalty, politeness, focus, aptitude, and passion.

Sometimes his levelheadedness has spurred some extreme situations. His flat remarks tend to provoke the overly emotional or angry individuals. This has earned him a few stitches from time to time, and yes that can also be taken literally. He has the most literal existence, the most normal and definitive life and he's very content with it. Tora is my level head, my whit, my strength and courage.

He is the antithesis for who is to be discussed next.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

OC: Ciani D'Tyrsa

This is a name that has evolved through the years between genres of sci-fi to fantasy. But what has never really changed about the character is her otherworldly appearance. My affinity for Nightcrawler brought about this spunky lady, the concept prompted for my very first Table-top RP character. She had no history or racial equivalent, she was alone, unique, and as acrobatic as I could possibly make her. She is only slightly older than Ash in my timeline of creation.

She was, in retrospect, the cool person I wanted to be. She was friendly, helpful, vigilant, strong, and passionate. She didn't merit a whole lot of fanart, but she was certainly a stepping stone for digitally coloring my work as well as playing with cartoony chibi proportions while still remaining strikingly identifiable.

Ciani also challenged my illustration ability. Her introduction to Netherlight (yes, the same mentioned prior with Ash) was an anomaly. Her interactions with characters ranged from serious to outright goofy situations.

I was given a very broad range to stretch my creative muscles with personality traits and quirks. But I would have to gamble that this character, despite her unnatural appearance, was the most natural to my own personality. She was the epitome of the good traits I knew and exercised within myself on a daily basis. For that reason she was the safest choice for me to choose to act out because I knew her so well. Granted she was more daring and talented that I myself am, but all of my characters have to aspire to something greater than myself, otherwise it wouldn't be as exciting.

Her facial elements, I have to say, are one of the easiest to duplicate in any style. This is one of those portraits that I can whip up without having looked at any of my old art for years. There are specific shapes and proportions that are ingrained in my mind so absolutely sometimes it surprises even me. So Ciani D'Tyrsa everyone. :D

Saturday, June 26, 2010

OC: Ash Grey

I decided to go youngest to oldest for my OC Series. First I will tell you a little about the character’s evolution as a design, then how the two of us relate. So first on the list of characters is by far the most popular: Ash Grey.

His creation was hardly intentional, but the fanart that followed his birth exceeds any character of mine thus far, enough so that he has his own folder in my Deviant Art gallery. Ash was born during my Junior year in college. While on our famous trip to Ireland, I had discovered I could draw with a mechanical pencil without roughing an armature first. So no circles and wires, just instant character on paper. Needless to say I was thrilled, who wouldn’t be.

This first sketch expresses his devious nature: the shadow over his face, the sly grin, the straight jacket hinting at his insanity, and the morning star defining his violent streak. No character before him had ever been evil “on purpose”. This, no doubt, was an expression of my angst during specific class hours on the trip.

After his second rendition he was fully realized. This sketch portrays him in action bludgeoning the teacher I was utterly frustrated with. This drawing, similarly to the first, was the first truly violent picture I had ever drawn. Never before had I drawn gore, wounding/injury, or even a fighting scene. At this point Ash had a strong and easily identifiable personality. He was enigmatic and reckless, violent and sadistic. This was his definition at the time and it would follow him into his next realization: Netherlight.

As Ash Grey was introduced to this table-top environment (my whim to play a new character that was as far from myself as possible) the depth of his history and personality were realized. It gave him purpose, friends, enemies, and above all, a lasting impression among many of my friends as well as myself. The fanart flowed, searching for the right face, illustrating his encounters, and narrowing down the details that defined him. Once or twice I tried to change his outfit, but nothing new suited him. Then at the end of his chapter in the game his metamorphosis from lunatic to something human came full circle. It wasn’t until his new look came about, his more sane appearance, that the perfect face was discovered. Had this never come about he would still be hidden in half shadow for the rest of his existence. I can still do this easily enough, but now I have options, now he has a visual identity.

As I discuss his make-up I really understand now how important faces are to my characters, how they define them. All the body shapes and designs are relatively the same, but despite the pose, the face will clearly set them apart.

Now how is Ash Grey related to me you might wonder? The happy, often shy, task driven girl who enjoys company and working hard, whose every interest and project needs meaning and intention to ever begin? Have you ever heard the phrase “you think you know someone…”?

Unlike previous OCs of mine, Ash resembled nothing of me. Every trait he had was a contradiction of my beliefs, morals, and aspirations. When he was given traits for Netherlight, my goal was to challenge myself as a person, to be completely outside of myself, to try something on I was not familiar with. Now in many years prior I had an OC I referenced by the name Poe. She was a dark militaristic alter ego of mine, but she was just that: dark. Nothing else was different. Ash, on the other hand, became all the things I was ever afraid to do or be. We are all, as humans, in some way attracted to our opposite characteristics. You would think I am never like Ash, but he is the thing I understand insanity to be. His humanity is shrouded by exterior circumstance. His being is not evil because he does not perceive himself to be evil. He has no concept of right and wrong, therefore he does no wrong. Ash is completely governed by his own set of rules and judgments and no one else’s. He is my rebellion. He is my selfishness. He is my recklessness. He is my stubbornness. He is my desire to live by my own set of rules. >:3

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Little Intimidating

This theme has been ingrained in my head lately. Not being afraid of the dark. No nothing like that. But rather the feeling I get when I view my talent from a certain perspective. You might be familiar with it.

The perspective that you do the world a disservice by not doing what you're good at. I think of other cultures and how it's an insult to your whole family to waste time and not invest in becoming the best you can be. This last Sunday at the Father's Day service it was quoted (forgive me I can't find it and will add it when I have it) that a gift not exercised will whither and die. Time and time again when I begin to draw after long periods of stagnation I have to warm back up. It builds back up rather quickly but point being it has deteriorated over time. It has wilted.

I think about the things I want to do in my free time and the things I aught to do to become better, to improve myself. I realize more often how my perspective is adjusting. I have grown to want to balance my time with both fun and progressive activities. Spending too much time on one or the other just doesn't feel right.

But back to my illustration. This reflects the pressure I feel thinking solely of the fact that I should be doing something I'm not. It's scary. It's overwhelming. I want to retreat into a comfortable corner and wait for it to go away when the sun comes up. This is how it usually is for me. This is purely thinking on the notion, this doesn't include peers, family, browsing others' work, listening to stories of talent blooming, etc. Not that it compounds with these extra pressures, I suppose the point I make there is the rest is not necessary for the fact that there already is pressure, and yet it IS necessary in order to usher me out of that comfortable corner of resistance. Funny how that works.

Coming up soon will be introductions to some Original Characters of mine. They aren't getting limelight for who they are, but rather for the parts of me they represent. I've been looking forward to the series for a few days now and am very excited to share with you our "shared" traits and what I try to purvey through them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Proper Credit where Credit is Due

This would never have come to pass if it weren't for my biggest fan. He believes in me and isn't afraid to push me to be my best. And so to thank you, I wanted to give you this: a new profile picture.

But truly. You ask me to draw and I may or may not do it - ever. You tell me to draw and I draw. I find my motivation to apply to work that means something to me. Without that simple prompting I would be wasting more time. My habits require scheduling and deadlines. I believe that the first assignment to make something for something I believe in has really taken a foothold in my heart and mind. I want to apply this to my thinking as often as possible: to be and do as I am. I am a talented artist, therefore I draw. I love to be creative and write, to be in control and organize, therefore I moderate forums and lead groups in my online communities.

Too often have I just "done" to be happy. Would not becoming a stronger and more talented me make me any less happy? I don't think so. :)

So to everyone watching, consider what makes you happy, what you could do to enrich your quality of life. Would you be just as happy then despite the work if not more so? So what's stopping you? There's no reason good enough not to improve. Define yourself!

My First Blog

A lot of time has been spent lately on jobs, games, and time spent with those I love. Many around me have been incredibly inspired these days to work on projects and life goals. This environment has brought me to the place I am now: who am I? What impact do I have on the people and organizations I'm in contact with? What degree of impact could I really have if I applied myself more towards my talents and life goals? Who and what do I really want to be and how will I achieve that?

With this blog I would like to mark the beginning of a journey to become a better me. To strengthen the skills and talents that define me. To rise up a level from the day to day life that I've been living to achieve something rather than just pass the time.

To enjoy my time has been my goal for a long while. I would like to adjust this goal to be "enjoying my time while improving my quality of life." It's going to be a process for me, but I look forward to seeing the fruits of my efforts. Cheers.