Thursday, April 4, 2013

West! or The Dream List

So, THIS Freaking Place

Hello, humans!

As seems to be the pattern, it's been a while since my last post- but I am back once again!
And most recently, I am back from San Francisco. A city which, due to the hype that has been laid down by many of my west coasty friends, I was totally prepared to be disappointed in.
Well. I wasn't. It was magical. It was won me over for California- though I am no fan of the palm-tree-ey bits that look like saved by the bell and trapper keepers- the northy bit is neat!
I also happened to be in town on the exact evening that a Beauty and the Beast singalong was underway (after which I proceeded to get lost in the Tenderloin with no money and no ID at midnight, but that is a much longer story for another time). And my very wonderful best brony Liz Mooney's family whisked me away into the hills of Petaluma to smell all the flowers (they do actually have flowers there! LIVING PLANTS, NEW ENGLAND!) and basically drive windingly through a giant Eyvind Earle painting.

But that was not why I was there! No no no, dear reader- I was there on business!

Business indeed- because (and it only just occurred to me that most people don't have a clue this is the case) I am now an employee of EA Games!


I am a character concept artist working a remote contract from my home base in MA. And I got to fly out to the left side of the country to meet my colleagues and see the project first hand. It is a great gig, a fun project, and a team full of excellent folk!
I can't tell you anything about it (and sadly it will mark a return to the making-almost-entirely-secret-work lifestyle of those employed in pretty much any creative industry) but I can at least show you the art test I did that got me the gig- 


It is a timely gig, and one I don't have to relocate permanently for, which is a blessing I cannot do justice in words. God is good, and merciful. 
Regrettably, this comes on the heels of the first round of Jellybots graphic novel pitch not-quite-working-out with publishers. Which was, frankly, kind of heartbreaking- I really really want to  make this book happen. I'll be looking into what to do with that whole thing, and in the meantime I'll at least be able to feed myself and maybe take a nip out of the crushing college debt that prevents me from taking bigger risks.

Still, all this got me thinking about art and life and God and hopes and dreams and what is it that I actually wanted to do with my life, again? 
So I made a list. 
And I'm going to publish it here in the hope that somehow the internet will hold me accountable to having some dreams and hopes and maybe even one day achieving them. SO, help me not give up, internet! And if you happen to be one of the people who could actually help me do one of these things, then fiiind me!

Without further ado (and in no particular order):

The List Of Things I Want To Do (Mostly Art Related, But Not Exclusively) Before I Die:

Write and create my own graphic novels
Work for Disney on an animated feature
Work for Dreamworks as a character artist
Do color-design for a movie
Work with That Game Company
Do any kind of story for First Second Publishing
Travel to warm places, far away
Work on something unabashedly adorable
Work for Laika
Teach Art
Make watercolors of things and be paid for it
Design Pokemon for Gamefreak
Design absolutely anything for Skies of Arcadia 2
Ditto for Jet Set Radio
Oh, and anything Myst related
Be paid for actual voice acting
Be involved in story meetings on an animated feature
Work on Avatar/Korra
Be involved in adapting Redwall for...anything
Harry Potter graphic novel
Work in any capacity on an animated musical (please please please)
Develop dream projects and contribute to the vision of a small company at its outset
Work on something for actual kids. Not grown-ups who have the minds of kids.
Work on Tinkerbell (yes.)
Work on anything remotely as rad as Gravity Falls
Be surprised by something not on this list
Do something non-art related in a beautiful place
Give professional hugs
aaaand eat all the cheese.

So that's all I got right now!
It's really cathartic to get that out there- It's not a comprehensive list, and what's neat about dreams is that they change and grow and die and return. But sometimes it's hard to remember what it is you're even shooting for, and then it's easy to get stagnant and stop trying. SO LET'S NOT DO THAT!

I'm curious, wonderful and patient readers- what are your hopes and art-dreams?

I hope you are better than me today. I came home from travel with the 24 hour death-flu. I will be ok soon. Or I will be dead.
Either way, have some Pokemon!

Much love!



Ryan said...

Exciting news! I'm so glad you found a good job, it sounds like a gift!

Chuck Scott said...

As always, a great inspiration.

Adam Hunter Peck said...

You're a great guy with great skills and you're gonna do great!

Seriously, I can see you accomplishing all these dreams. They all sound perfect for you, and there's a bunch you can start doing without anyone's permission.

Also, as usual, all your Pokemon are spot on, and you've managed to give them even more personality and depth than the originals! That Nidoking is... sooooo coooooool.

Keep doing your thing and great things will happen.

sindos said...

That's an adorable list!
I've been trying to do more of a "who I want to be" list… I should do both lists o,o *epiphany*

Amber McDonald said...

Oh man! That's awesome! Right now I'm working on graduation with my BFA and I'm looking for publishers for my comic, I'm hoping to get my prologue up on lulu. :) On top of that I'm going to a couple of conventions this summer, next week is one of them. I hope to get accepted to get my MFA at SCAD and be recruited by Dreamworks or Disney (just for one movie at least would be awesome! I would love to do Disney comics! Or a Dreamworks comic for RotG!!!)

Kirbish said...

Congratulations on the job buddy, you deserve to be back working in the industry; the world was missing something without you!

Neat list too, I definitely agree that keeping one is a great idea.

I think the only thing on my list at the moment is "make something that influences someone's life in a positive way". It's vague, but I like it that way. It's more of a general direction than a goal, which is cheating a little, but it keeps me going :)

Anyway, I hope you have all the fun with your EA gig, and I look forward to more pogeymans!

Heather said...

I'm so happy to see you have a cool new job! It was great to read your art dreams! I also like to aim high. One of my dreams is for Fumito Ueda to tweet positively about my future game, because the implications of that would probably mean that a of ton of other cool stuff has happened. My other big dream is to collaborate with Yoko Kanno on a project.

Chloe Scheffe said...

Nicholas, I have to tell you that you are awesome. I've been thinking a bit lately too about dreams and how far off they seem for me, and then I had the wonderful realization that life is long, and God is good. That is a killer combo.

Also, Redwall was my childhood. So much love for that series.


baby sister said...

Congrats on the new job!

Lady Teacup said...

1. Finish outlining my gorhammed graphic novel!
2. Join you in eating cheese (please, lets!)
3. Spend a good chunk of time in my kitchen making it the perfect kitchen and then spend another good chunk of time playing Julia Child.
4. Paint that mural I've been meaning to do for far too long.
5. Meet you. Hug you. Thank you. For being awesome/cool/wicked.
6. Strive to live my life even more so like the quote, "Never lose the chance to say a kind word." -William Makepeace Thackery

You can live the dream, Nicholas. Do it.

Adri H. said...

Congratulations on the new job! Yay for you!

Andrea Laura said...

The information that you provided was thorough and helpful. I will have to share your article with others.


alex said...

love you're writing! thanks for sharing :)

Emerson Tung said...

Excited to see what the project you're working on is. And I'm really curious about that Tenderloin story. Didn't know you were in town, :( would've loved to meet up. Good to see you're doing good, mate! Cheers!

Seeing your list made me realise I should be making mine too. Haha.

Kasia said...

Oh, so nice that you have a blog actually! I played Rosemary and fell in love with your art, it's beautiful! Go on with the good work :)

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JK Riki said...

Nice list!

One of my art dream-goals is to make a 2D animated feature film. Try to get some of the hand-drawn magic back into theaters one day!