Thursday, January 29, 2009

Apples Alive!

Hello again!
Another week, another manic overnight piece for 'Monster' class, as promised! As I mentioned last post, this week's theme was "Transformation".

(Nobody in class seems to have noticed yet, but none of my pieces for 'Monster' actually feature any "monsters" even though I am generally the sort that is inclined to use any excuse to design a nasty critter!)

This week, I was thinking about Harvest Moon:
I. love. that. game.
It's such a silly concept, and I get endless amounts of crap from people about it, but there is something utterly charming about a video-game with so little pretense. Your farm. You fish. You woo. There's no "bad-guy" and no epic, windswept adventure to be whisked away on (as much as I love those, too). It's like "Shire: the Video-Game". Without the scouring part.

Anyways, I'd love to be involved with a project in my life that is as sweet and unassuming as Harvest Moon...I really love the whole genre of simpler, cuter video-games like that...I think the world could use more.
So...thinking about that, among other things (how much I love road-side fruit-stands) I decided that smiling apples that came to life and smoked tiny pipes would be a neat idea. I had more involved plans for the illustration, but it came down to what I could do in a day and a night with other social obligations thrown in. I wound up starting color on this last night at 1:30 :(

Anyways, It's done and now I'm looking to get some "sleep".

But, before that: news!
I just got word, and it's confirmed. I'm one of 5 RISD students who are going to be spending some of the next semester (10 hours a week) in and out of MIT for the GAMBIT Games Lab as paid Interns! (plus credit!) I'm REALLY excited. If you're interested in hearing what the whole thing's about, then click here.

Among the other Interns are my very good friends, Brandon and Fabiola (who you should totally check out!)

It's going to be a really neat semester. I'll be sure to share anything I'm allowed! (no idea if I will be able to, though)

Other than that, not much else to report on this end. I am in a strange place of feeling really thankful and blessed and being ready to fall over and sleep for a week. Which I may go ahead and do...



Monday, January 26, 2009

Turn up your Volume for Higher Maths! -or- My Teeth Aren't Really That Yellow

Do you enjoy music? How about videos? Do you love fun? Balloons? High-fives?
Me too.
That song I posted with the last entry? Yeah...I had a Music Video assignment for my Music Video class and I couldn't think of a song I like more right now.
But the dilemma is thus: I don't know anything about fractals or equations and am under a very short deadline! What to do? I love a song about math, but I don't love math.

So I made a music video about...well, let's just say it's about how much I love the song, and makes minimal reference to actual fractals. Ok: no reference.

I went to the basement of the Film/Animation/Video department and holed up for two nights with some friends and some balloons...the result is above, and I hope someone out there will enjoy it! :D I had a lot of fun, and for such a silly, quick, animation/video assignment, I'm really pleased with how it came out! Props to Lia Marcoux and Liz Mooney for hanging out and being my attractive lady-type assistants :)

It's only part of the song. The assignment was only to do 1min of stop-motion animation...and this is already over 2min.
I'm really excited for my music-video final...I have a DJ friend set to the task of mixing up some power-metal to some pop/video-game music and I've got a few ideas up my sleeve. Anyways, more pictures to come this week...
In the meantime, I hope it is sunny where you are. It is here.



Also: (and this is so this doesn't become a hidden secret of mine) But, if you think you might like to hear/watch some ESL Danish candy-pop brain-crack, I highly recommend:

Alphabeat - 10,000 Nights of Thunder

Alphabeat - Fascination

The word is on your lips.
Say the word.


Sorry for all those with "taste".

Friday, January 23, 2009

Winter After Christmas and the Silent Stones

"Why, Nick" you might say, "You have a habit of drawing small men against large monolithic structures...kind of a lot...stop it."
Well, I won't. And I've done it again.
I originally wasn't going to post this piece, because it was really quickly put together, but it got a pretty positive reception in class, so I decided I'd put put it up for the Internet to see as well. Just in case it's worth it...and at any rate it's all I can put up right now. (I'm working on some other stuff, but I can't post it).
This was this week's in-class assignment; the prompt was "Invasion".
So, like the senior I am, I went off down whatever tangent I found compelling until I came up with a piece that is more or less completely nothing to do with Invasion. Ah, well.
I was thinking about some of the movies we've been watching in class (it's a class called Monster about...well...monsters) and about how much I really, genuinely, vehemently and in lots of ways dislike the Horror genre. Among them, I really hate this tendency to leave the audience with the bleakest of all possible endings. But at the same time, it's really fascinating to me...the obsession we seem to have with hopelessness. Anyways, I was sure I wasn't going to talk much about this, so I'll stop, but I did want to do something about bleakness since it's something that's so prevalent in the subject matter I'm studying. Horror films, man...not my bag. (And neither is winter after the combination is pretty nasty) Even so, God is still good.
Hope y'all enjoy it...It was kind of funny showing the linework around...people seemed to really respond to it, but they were describing a much more colorful and thrilling scene...Not sure if that's just because it's expected of me, or if I'm just not very good at composing a 'bleak' image. :p
Anyways, here's that:

Next week is "Transformation". Fun!

And this piece was done (inked and colored) almost entirely to this song:

(best video, half the song:)

(whole song, lame video:)

I LOVE Jonathan Coulton, and I know NOTHING about higher math or fractals. Except what's in this song. Which I recommend you try.



Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy Caged-Glo-Frog Day!

Hey all!
I know I've been rather unproductive lately, but now I'm back at school, and the irresistible impetus of deadlines has me working dutifully again! This is the first real piece of the new year (happy 2009, everybody!). It was an assignment from one of my Wintersession classes (Monster: we talk about...well...monsters and stuff. It's neat!). We were asked to do a piece based on the concept of beauty vs. repulsion. Predictably, I went off on a thoroughly Illustrative, "man, I'd like to something blue and glowy" tangent and the result is what you see above! I was actually thinking about (we had just watched Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast" in class) the moment that occurs in many fairytales where the just or generous spirit disguises itself as something repulsive in order to test the protagonist and offer them a decision. I think it's neat that it seems to be a concept we understand in a broader storytelling sense; it pops up a lot. I think it's an important idea...that things may not appear as they seem: "entertaining angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:2) and all that.

So I was thinking about the moment in Beauty and the Beast (the Disney version, anyways) when the Old Hag offers the prince a rose. The result is this. "How do you arrive at glowing froggies?" you may ask. I could make up some great, swaggering "ART" statement about my motivations and genius...but really it, like much else, is the result of a frustrated evening of banging one's head against the table until th stupid idea you have suddenly seems like a good one :p My friend, Jen Hom, and I were talking about getting this piece done (how I wasn't) and the ideas I was interested roses and flowers were off limits.
J: ", like lanterns!"
N: "What about...glowing frogs in birdcages?"
J: -censored for those with delicate sensibilities-
Proof positive, that being an artist with deadlines means that even your latest, silliest, most spur of the moment spontanaety can be exchanged for hours of screen-gazing and wrist ache! ;)

(bee-tee-dubs, Jen Hom is now online with the rest of the RISD crew at DeviantArt :p) Check her out here!

Here's the lineart for the piece...I actually collaged it together because I ran out of page in my sketchbook!

Also, for those with time and interest (who haven't seen it already): this guy's lecture is AMAZING!

Here at RISD, I'm working on my last half-a-year before graduating...which means I'll be a busy guy! I'm currently looking into a few job and internship possibilities that could be really exciting! As well as continuing on my little comics mystery project, trying to pull together an anothology of RISD student work, and attempting to survive.
Hope you enjoy this new piece...expect more soon!