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 in...how roses and flowers were off limits.
J: "I...er, 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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU

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!

Cheers!

-Nick

7 comments:

Inverce said...

I want a glo-frog!
And thanks for the link, I really enjoyed it.

Niko Geyer said...

The lecture was indeed very interesting as well as inspiring, and I'll follow the example of some of the people in that video and make an effort at "connecting" by saying thanks to you for sharing it.

On that note, your artwork is -- as always -- beautiful and well-crafted. I absolutely enjoy how expressive your characters are, and your wonderful coloring skills never cease to amaze me. I'm looking forward to more posts!

agnes said...

Gorgeous piece, love the glowing frogs! Also, thanks for the video, there's some really interesting facts he states :O

Kate said...

Hey! Email me vest stuff and the place you get those nibs!

baby sister said...

That looks like grandmas arm...are you using her as a reference?

jennifer ngai hom said...

HOW DARE YOU CENSOR ME!! haha hearts to you anyway :D

Anonymous said...

I love the colors, the idea, the glow. Well done. Aren't you glad you got to play on your mom's MAC when you were a kid? Too bad she never got this good ;-)