Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Portent of Things to Come!

My teacher liked my least favorite and most last minute color study (purple) the best :p That happens a lot...once again, the tighter you hold something...
So I've done a few variations on that layout with some modifications from crit and some color schemes I'd be much more pleased to work out for the final piece. It's fun, doing these! Anyways, I'm posting these to show process and also because I need a link to refer my prof to so he can check up on my progress (I'm partial to the middle one, but that's because that's the palette I'm envisioning Kojo in, and it's a little hard for me to stray too far from that here)

Well, finals are upon us all over here! Things are starting to move towards completion and I'm prepping to say a tearful goodbye to Character Creation class :( For our final assignment we were charged with redesigning/tweaking two of our preexisting characters and doing a variety of color studies for a final piece in which the two (protagonist and antagonist) confront each other. SO: I'm doing a Kojo piece, since I seem to have stumbled across a new little world to develop.
It's been hard because the idea for Kojo kind of came in a bit of a dream (not to get too weird or pretentious) but It's hard to let go of that imagery and color palette even for the good of the piece. Anyways, the top study is my favorite to that end, but here were a few studies I put together for today. I also did some redesign sketches for Kojo and his foe (the big white element in all the sketches stands graphically for what will be the montser) but I'm still working on redesigning the two of them, so I won't post those just yet. It's been a rough week, but I think I'm coming out of the woods! It's been a lovely weekend thusfar, and I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving break! I am in need of a change of scenery and some serious stuffing!

Oh, and before I forget, part of this crazy week was having a portfolio review with Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of Dexter's Lab, Samurai Jack, Clone Wars etc.) which was WAY neat. Although I did leave the meeting feeling very vaguely that he disliked my work, aparently that was not the case. Still, he did mention a lack of readability in terms of value-range in my work and so I spent a good while of this week's process hitting the drawing board with a lot of simple value studies. I actually left the interview and immediately went to my room to work on little value studies. So that y'all can see how I think through this sort of stuff, here's those:

Also: I just snuck away with some friends to see Disney's 'Bolt'. Which (having no expectations to begin with) was pleasantly surprising. Really nice color and background painting, and excellent character design. Bolt himself was freakin' CUTE as crap. And the gestalt of the little group running around, chubby hamster in ball, emaciated cat, and huge-headed pup, was rally nice. Some really touching and sincere character animation as well. I do not regret seeing it, and would reccomend you not write it off completely if you're considering seeing it.

Well, I'm going to get some much-needed sleep...but be on the lookout: In the next two weeks I'll be finalizing a redesign on Kojo and the monster, putting together a full-sized finished piece based off of one of these studies, and finally putting together and launching my website! Fun!

Much Love and Enjoy!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Kojo, Monster-puncher and the Nipplebeast

Hi all!
I'm really flattered that there are actually watchers to this blog once I posted that gadget...I never knew if anyone actually read this or not, but now I feel somewhat heartened: at least 21 people plus my parents read this blog on a regular basis! :)
So, full of vim and vigor, I hasten to post!

This week's assignment was a neat one. Another good/evil pair, this time a protagonist and antagonist based out of our life experience. It's all very similar to the other assignments, but the point is essentially the critiques and improvement over the class. Each assignment could be the same each week and the variety of the work on the wall would be pretty immense, and this class would still rock.

Anyways, I started out pretty strong this week, got my sketchbook out and started doodling right out of the gate. But the middle stretch killed me. I just kept running into this wall. I wanted to deal with the idea of brotherhood in a very positive light, but all my very hairy muscle-y multiple-faced barbarian men with their beards braided together looked a little negative. I was way stuck on this Celtic thing and I couldn't get away from the bare-chested warrior motif. Not that there's anything wrong with that (I'm going to have to do one soon, just to remind myself that I CAN) but it just wasn't working for me. I also have this concurrent running design of this translucent jelly-suit with things suspended in it...but that wasn't really doing it for me either. I'll have to come back to those, but in the meantime I was just frustrated and the week was wearing on and I still didn't have a design. So I stayed up late sketching Wednesday night and ultimately decided that the best thing I could do was just sleep. I got into bed, on a whim put on the Yoshida Brothers (I had never played their stuff much before) and had some very grassy, windswept dreams ideas before I drifted off to sleep. I woke up Thursday morning, still humming the Yoshida Brothers, and went down to the library picture collection to look up Chinese costume and came back to the studio with Kojo and the Nipplebeast.

Just to lift the veil on the concepting process a little bit, with Kojo (I know he and his little brother are pretty soft and androgynous...I may tool with the design to clarify it, but they're meant to be male characters) I wanted to communicate the idea of brotherhood and protection. I used the arm shapes of my jellysuit to make the stone slabs over his arms, and reworked the idea of the inter-braided hair...the ideas of weaving and braiding were pretty important to me. I was really touched by this picture I found in the costuming file of this little Chinese boy with his hair in a long braid and his little baby brother slung over his back.
I sort of brought the Celtic vibe back in, but I found that the best way to get to the good stuff is to let go of whatever it is you're clutching tightly at the time. The principle has applied so much with God, why shouldn't it with art? (or vice versa)

Ultimately I'm pretty psyched about the design and the vague notions of the world I'm forming. The name is very silly, but I haven't started disliking it yet...and I think it's kind of silly-fun :)
In terms of the 'Nipplebeast' (a working title ;)) I think the design speaks pretty's pretty repulsive. I apologize to those with frail constitutions...but my thought is, if you're going to design a monster and talk about evil: it should look way evil. Likewise, the cute should be very cute. So: it's a nasty, blind, sunless, wretched thing with the mouth of a frill shark and caterpillar breasts all up the front. Sorry, Mom. :)

The next week's assignment will be the character final. I'm looking forward to it! We get to work up a protagonist/antagonist pair (I think I may do another pass on these two) and do a variety of color sketches for a scene with the both of them in. Ultimately, we'll be designing the scene. Fun! I really like color sketches and we saw a book of really gorgeous ones today.

I'll see y'all then, but for now: Enjoy!


P.S. my personal soundtrack for these two, and the most played track of the last two days: Frontier - Yoshida Brothers
so. good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No DreamWorks Today

Thanks to everyone who wished me well on the DreamWorks interviews that were supposed to happen yesterday. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances on their part, they canceled their trip to RISD and there were a number of us who had rushed to put together portfolio packages to no avail. I've just sent off my cover letter, resume, and portfolio to DreamWorks since they did still ask to see our materials's possible that they'll be coming back next semester. Just thought I'd update y'all on the current circumstances. So I put together a Portfolio CD (I'd like to finesse the production more as the semester goes forward, but the above image is the little cover for that portfolio CD...kinda neat, I thought)
Anyways, to tell you the truth it's kind of a seems a bit early in the year to be rushing to apply for work. Albeit, DreamWorks is a long shot! So anyways, it's nice to have a little more time to mentally prepare to look towards the future.
Soon enough!

ALSO: I have enabled the "Followers" gadget on this if you visit regularly and read, click that little button that follows this blog and it will keep you updated when there are new posts. Neat, n'est pas?

Lastly: A friend of mine, Sindy Limin, just sent me her half of the art trade we agreed upon and I think it is, to recoin a streetsharks phrase, pretty "Jawsome". Here it is:

And you should definitely check out her work here.

More work soon,


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Yes, you can has Veggiemancer!

Hey all!
I'm back and thoroughly alive...sorry for the brief silence. I had the week off and I didn't really know what to do with myself during all the free time :( Still, finally I'm back in the saddle and character is back on. It was a relatively small load this week...just one character. We were asked to thoroughly research a culture of our choice, and then use the research to inspire a character design for the week. So I picked Russian, because I feel like I haven't done much in that way before. It was good fun. I looked into the Russian folk tales a lot and was really intrigued by the visual gestalt of Baba Yaga. So basically I set out to do a riff on that.
So here she is, basically a traveling asparagus-haired vegetable-lady with a magical swimming squash, a giant wooden spoon and, yes, tomato-bells! :) I think I could have pushed it further, but I'm pretty pleased with the result nonetheless.
It's been a crazy week.
I don't generally get too political online in any way shape or form, but I have to admit to a great sense of relief and excitement about the results of the election! I'm thrilled, actually.
On Tuesday night I walked out of studio and onto the Providence streets to be bombarded by a half-naked crowd of my friends whooping and hollering in the street. It was awesome. I ran downtown with them and eventually we joined a group of what must have been over a thousand college students to take the steps of the capitol building and show our patriotism. There was no fighting or contention...everyone in the city seemed happy to see each other. It occurred to be as I was standing with so many other college-age kids singing the national anthem that here is where the victory really is.
I think regardless of your political views you have to agree that anything that gets this apathetic generation on it's feet and passionately engaged in our country, not to mention patriotic, is HUGE. It's been a long time since I could feel unabashedly patriotic. I've always loved my country, don't get me wrong, and I am proud to be an American...but over the last eight years it's been hard (especially living overseas) to feel anything wholly positive about my country without a sense of irony. I'm not saying that's great...but it's true. And I think that's been the experience of a lot of my peers...we were predicted to be so detached and disinterested that instead of being involved with the election or voting, we'd be at home on our x-boxes. But voting was a proud and exciting thing to do...I saw many friends just standing in line waiting to cast their ballot, and the campus was abuzz with activity over the last few weeks. Rather than sitting slack-jawed before our x-boxes, Tuesday night I saw hope and excitement in the faces of an underestimated generation. That's just cool.
There's so much more to say about the whole thing, and I won't bore anyone with further blabbering, but I will give props to my Dad for writing a kickass story that's up all over the web!

Other than that, this week was RISD's famous Artists' Ball (masquerade dance extraordinaire) and I went as Buzz Lightyear with a huge group of friends all in Disney attire. It was a blast. I will leave you with these parting images: