Friday, December 21, 2007

christmas means refurbish and resolve.

so i'm home for winter break and apparently incapable of inaction, so i spent the last couple days uploading new work to my fancier, official-er website and revamping the navigation/design a bit (and waking up at 7:30 sans alarm or reason--why, god, why?). i like it much better now, so go see it in all it's splendor! the link is to the left.

also, maybe even more exciting, is the debut of my daily illustration project on my site, something never before seen, never gracing the pages of this blog! i (try to, anyway) do a daily illustration, and select a series of sixteen for each month (since i'm not quite up to daily after all.) to function as a loose visual journal. june through september are uploaded and available for viewing under the new 'projects' section of my portfolio, so go take a peek!

my new year's resolution? *DAILY* daily illustrations, so i would literally have one-a-day for, um, forever. october was a dicey, dicey month and december, ummm, was a miserable failure, so the rest of 2007 will not grace the site until january-ish (because i have a lot of work to do on them, and also because my scanner is 1700 miles away at the moment.) but i'll do my best to salvage them. but! 2008 will be a whole different story. probably. maybe.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

who says finals can't be full of love?

hooray for hugs and love and plush and joy! this was the final version of the sketches for my "hug-a-city friend" that i posted a bit ago for my "character designed for a site-specific outdoor environment." final. she is almost all fleece, with felt mary-janes, hair, and facial features. her shoes are even removable yay.

the first photo is the "aw, look how cute!" one, so you can actually see her. the series of five photographs below that are the actual documentation of her serving her purpose - to go hug sad metal things in the city and cheer them up. she has super-strong magnets in her hands (underneath the hearts!), so she sticks to all manner of city objects. she also has one in the back of her right hand, so that she can hug around non-metal things and stick to herself.

photographing her proved to be hilarious, as cars were slowing to a crawl, pedestrians were talking to me (and her), and one guy even came and took a picture of me taking a picture of her. the weather was perfectly sad and overcast. and brian loved it. and so do i. also, for never having made anything 3d, and for *never* having made anything plush, or even sewn beyond like, a hole in my clothes, i was pretty damn pleased with myself.

swappy pen-pal art.

so this was a book cover design for "the book of lost things" by john connolly. we were partnered with sophomore illustration students in the u.k., who we art directed to design a cover for us (mine was "harriet the
spy" by louise fitzhugh) and vice versa. it was a really obscure slash jam-packed book to try and illustrate without having read it, but ultimately, i think it turned out pretty okay, if not a little confusing. not an easy assignment to get fully invested in for a final, but a lot of people had a lot more trouble with the art direction coming from their person, so i think i got off lucky.

departure, or, wow i love being not a fine-artist.

so here are a couple things from fibers, the only really substantial things i made in that class. the other large projects were a weaving (in which i wove mostly yarn, but also blue painter's tape and vcr cassette tape) and a presentation on victorian crazy quilts, spawning the first image, my final for that class. the rest was just in-class putzing around. overall, i suppose i really enjoyed the techniques we learned in that class, that was basically every type of fibers manipulation ever, but the class was still steeped in the crazy fine-arts attitude that i had forgotten existed since i'd been in illustration. that part pretty much sucked beyond the telling of it, but other than that, i was okay with it.

so the crocheted crazy quilt is not so much a quilt at all, but a glorified blanket, essentially. there was a loose concept tied into the fact that crazy quilts were luxury icons of "look how much expensive scrap velvet and silk and time i have on my hands that i can afford to lavish the surface of this quilt with embellishments and stupid little butterflies, etc.", while crocheting was considered "low art" associated with prostitutes. there was a bit of research i found indicating that they were called 'hookers' for all the crocheting they did (though nichole gives a different version of generation of the nickname). the surface has my full name, "alissandra corinne kachidurian seelaus", and the year crocheted on the surface, as an "IN YOUR FACE" signature, claiming the supposedly low art piece emphatically as my own. plus it's, you know, prettier that way.

the bottom part is my screenprint, painstakingly cut out off contact paper leaf by leaf on three screens and printed. i printed about two yards, and each leaf is about the size of a quarter. it's printed with dye, so it's embedded in the fibers of the cotton, not a surface treatment.

the end. i like the idea of making things (scarves, blankets, etc.), but fibers doesn't like being commodified. which is too damn bad, because i did it anyway. having these non-illustration classes is pretty okay in that regard, getting to make actual tactile objects (last semester, i made a book in photo.) next semester, the non-illustration elective will be ceramics. tea and coffee and such abound.

Friday, December 7, 2007

nothing ties a nice neat bow at the end of a narrative like automatic weapons.

this is it. my very last weekly double-page spread for concepts. this one didn't come with a word, only the goal of concluding the story. this one was called "deserving death", about a hit man/assassin whose family thinks he's a traveling salesman, who finds out that another agent similar to himself has been charged to take him out in his home. last page was him as an old man, wondering if he'd live long enough to see that age.

i now wish he was wearing a tie that was flapping emphatically over one shoulder as he dives dramatically through the air, guns a-blazin'. i kind of loved this assignment. next week we get to keep books in the order of highest sketchbook grades, so we'll see what all this work earned me, if anything worthwhile. there are a couple books that i have my eye on, i won't lie.

until then, i guess i'll have to settle for working my ass off on finals. monday will yield my final book cover (we haven't critted yet), and tuesday will produce my foray into the third dimension. unfortunately, the rain/snow/sleet has made baltimore extra-disgusting, so photographing my hug-a-friend hugging the city will be, um, gross. bummer.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

hopefully it's not an even trade.

this is a little something i like to call "ultra-mediocre". i could be worse, i suppose, but whatever. i had absolutely no idea what this book was about, so i did what i could. the word was "aglow", which is what outside the windows is. not my best work, but there is some definitive shrugging going on in that regard because i have some much more important work to be done for finals and national portfolio day is this weekend, thus sucking any and all of my free time away from me. i did what i could with what i've got. so sue me. my other projects are shaping-up pretty a-okayly, so we'll see if the mediocrity was worth it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


so today in class, much to my "oh man i hope we get out early"-shaped chagrin, we had a surprisingly great in-class exercise in character development. it won over my lazy butt real fast. it was a collaborative assignment, to design a toy line that worked singularly and as a set, that somehow combined (think voltron or power rangers) into a more exciting new toy if you bought the whole set. so my group developed the tentatively named "friend-versibles", a series of plush dolls that flip inside out to form parts of a larger animal, corresponding to the environment from which they come. here, we see the safari photographer, part of the "jungle" series, who combined with her other two counterparts (a hawaiian-shirt-and-sunglasses-donning tourist and a khaki-and-combat-boots safari guide) who all flip inside out and attach to one another to form an elephant. other proposed series included a cow/farm series, a bear/forest series, a dragon/fantasy series, and a whale/ocean series (with flippers and scuba gear!). better yet, each individual animal part could be velcroed to the other animal parts to form crazy new animal friends like the cow-lephant-ragon, or whatever. and each human character would have removable accessories to mix and match with other human or animal characters. cool! now please don't go be a douchebag and go market our brilliance and make our millions. copyright, patent pending, blah blah leave us alone. anyway, super fun.

also firmly entrenched in the three-dimensional world is my final for that class, since it, well, has to be 3-d anyway. my super-well-received proposal was for another plush doll, this one with super long arms with magnets in the hands so she can hug the sad metal city things. hug-a-lamp-post! hug-a-fire-hydrant! hug-a-street-sign! hug-a-mailbox! awwww, right? everything needs a hug. she would also wear a mustard yellow jumper, which is also great. brian loved this, and i was super-glad because i love it too. i'm excited. excited enough to teach myself to make plush dolls for this class, and go gallivant around town photographing her hugging every sad metal city thing.

can i also put out there as a side note how much i hate formatting multiple image blog posts? they never work and the images go all crazy and align themselves willy-nilly with nothing in particular and throw off the nice aesthetics and no matter how hard i try they won't go where i want. pout.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

when in doubt: GO CRAZY.

awww, crazy tin-can robot tirade. can't really apply the blanket "story of my life" caption to this one, go figure. the story is about, well, a a tin-can robot looking for his future, though the story digressed into, i don't know, a whole lot of weird shit, like carousels and bagpipes and bobcats and sexy android ladies. i was unclear about what was happening, so... TIN-CAN ROBOT SMASH. what an eloquent solution to my confusion. he goes crazy, swats all the weird shit in the story away, so i guess the next person can decide where he's going. also, my original word was "airbag", then i unceremoniously cheated and swapped it with rebecca for "fish", which worked out because a seahorse had already shown up in the narrative. weird story, that's for damn sure.

p.s. happy thanksgiving! i love cranberry sauce.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

done and done.

this is it: the culmination of all my work on the pitch package for my animated television show. in order, we have the title page (or potential opening credits still frame), a "screenshot" from the show, with all characters in their environment, and the synopsis for the show and character bios. these, combined with all the other full-size characters, costume changes, turnarounds, facial expressions, etc., make the entirety of the packet. it went over well enough in our quasi-crit, which was us basically playing show and tell, passing the packets around and writing commentary.

i felt like a toolbox because i completely spaced the whole, "hey, you need a synopsis/character info" part of the packet, so if people hadn't heard my original pitch, they were basically lost. but the aesthetic response was mostly positive, so that was nice. ultimately, i like my solution for the character bios, a solution born out of the unfortunate issue of having already printed the character designs at a rather steep price, i could not afford to reprint them all with their bios attached, nor did i like the idea of sticking/taping on an bio addendum sloppily to each page, so, instead we have plan c, seen below, which i rather like.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

an unnecessary lack of loyalty.

these two are lovely playing card designs for the three of hearts and seven of spades. the idea (i thought) was to propose an entire deck of cards that could be hypothetically executed, and do the two cards we were assigned as a finish. so i proposed a deck of fairy tale playing cards that would, from 2 through ace, tell the story associated with that suit. so, diamonds (which are associated with material goods/wealth) equals cinderella, hearts (associated with emotions/relationships) equals the little mermaid, spades (associated with intellect/wit) equals rumplestilskin, and clubs (associated with power) equals... UNDECIDED. fail. whatever, it didn't so much even matter since we didn't need to have an entire deck proposal anyway. i wish i'd known that before i spent my entire saturday researching fables whose morals fit each of the suits' motivating forces for my first plan for my deck. thirteen for each suit. i'm dumb.

anyway, so each story is broken into thirteen pieces and here is the third scene from the little mermaid and the seventh scene from rumplestilskin, as indicated by the number of filled in suit symbols on the side of the card. neat, right? these went over really well in class, so that was nice, especially since i was a bit nervous about the crit. watercolor and ink is good for me, but i still feel the need to, i don't know, not use that media? maybe i need to get over that. or get better at other things.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

for your eyes only.

so i know, lame, lame, just a sketch. but i had double-sketch week last week for concepts and character development, and this sketch got a big, fat, emphatic thumbs-up from brian in the context of a slew of "eh, c-minus" hand-wavering sketches. i was both shocked and ecstatic. full color final is finished but TOP SECRET, for no particular reason other than i haven't turned it in or printed it yet. mild changes to nigel in the front (his fatty arm is out of the frame and he's leaning on his other regular-sized one instead). otherwise, it's essentially the same, and digitally colored to keep it consistent with the rest of the packet. i'll post the finish on tuesday-ish. whoo bravo-sketch crit! that never happens to me in that class.

inching toward that threshold that i still can't find.

my latest weekly two-page spread. this is not only a book i've worked in before (see below,re: girl at the convenience store counter), but also the one i blurbed to start with (identifying the hero, setting, and goal). i like it. better text this time, colored after the fact instead of sloppily before. angsty as per usual, what do you want.

also exciting - got my schedule, and i got all my first choice courses, which was something of a miracle. i understand the registration process zero percent, but i am so not complaining. i will be taking two art education courses for mat, concepts two with rebecca (because i love her), which is the required junior spring course, the illustrated book, in which i will illustrate a complete story book throughout the semester (perhaps "the twelve dancing princesses", says my 'thinking-miles-in-advance' mind), and ceramics. also for mat. i currently have two days off (monday-tuesday-four-day-weekend-what?!) but i am contemplating t.a.-ing a class for warren, in addition to the whole, "hey, three jobs" situation. we'll see how badly i feel the need to adjust my life's calendar for maximum likelihood of suicide and i'll get back to you.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

third post's the charm

p.s. my feedback-thirsty self has made it so non-blogger users can comment on the work i post, if you are so inclined. and by "if you are so inclined", i really mean "if you know what's good for you". in the least-threatening way possible. if something needs a-commentin'-on, by all means. i'm not shy, why should you be?

okay, that's all. for real. no more blogging tonight, which really translates to procrastinating the tiny bit of fibers work i have left that i should be doing that i'm avoiding by refusing to end this sentence in an economic or timely fashion... damn. back to work.

feigning adulthood, or, thinly veiled pinocchio references.

this is the latest of the sketchbook two-page spreads, titled "a squid-farmer's diary". i realize, exactly at this moment, that no one writes in their diary in third person. sigh.

anyway, so this guy was attacked by a squid on the previous page, and my word was camel. and also he was on a search for a friend. and on an earlier page, he'd met this lovely woman (because someone else was sadistically given the word 'bouffant' earlier in the book's history, apparently), so i decided if i were drowning in the ocean and was being forced to free-associate about camels, that i would dream of exotic vacations with bouffanted buddies.

not so happy with the text on this one. it's suppose to read "as he drifted off to sleep, he dreamt of exotic locales and warm companions." but, too much paint, and not enough character to the type. i believe future endeavors with colored type will involve more careful application of paint to the letters after being blocked in, as opposed to this hasty pre-lettering application. ulgh.

incidentally, i'm still considering posting my writing to this blog, though the semester is nearly over. i like that class a whole lot. but until i bite the bullet and actually post my adventures into the literary, you'll have to endure my constant musings on the idea with no follow-through. extruciating, i know.

also, i am meeting with the gallery coordinator for my very own solo show on thursday! it will be in march and april at the sparks filling station, (an adorable gas station turned coffee shop/gallery), so i have developed a proposal for the body of work (exclamation points plural!!) that i am planning to execute over winter break for the show. it will basically be a combination of the things i do by default, the things i do automatically. but what does that mean, you ask? all right, i'll quit the cryptic.

i will be taking the pages in my sketchbook that i particularly enjoy, usually with both text and image, and executing them in full color (as opposed to pencil and/or ink, as in the sketchbooks) in the manner that i have been completing these double-page spreads in concepts. it occurred to me that when i was given a prompt that i needed to fulfill quickly, immediately, and usually without thinking, that the method that i used for such a thing would be something inherent to the way i work naturally. of course i would be most expedient doing what i do best, by default. so i am using flowy acrylic with loose brush ink on top for clarification, but of things actually relevant to me, instead of, you know, camels. a secondary part of the show will include essentially amped up versions of my dailies, done in full color acrylic to be scanned and layered with my original ink drawings. they may be grouped in threes or fours, or they may be available as singles as well. these will include a tag or card of some kind that essentially says "hey! here's what day of my life you bought!" with the original text that accompanied the image and explaining the daily illustration process it was a part of.

anyway, so that's the plan, ish. there are still some details to work out, but overall i'm pretty much evenly jazzed slash terrified. hopefully things will err toward the former as i get going, but man, nothing strikes fear deep in my heart like facing what happens when i grow up, go out into the big scary world, and become a real boy.

or, you know, girl.

who needs subtlety anyway?

just a little quick post for you, with the facial expressions of my main character for my animated tv show pitch package. we have, clockwise from the top left:

1. grimace-y unpleasant situation face
2. lovelorn sheepish smile face
3. "i just said something awkward" face
4. surprised and possibly distressed face
5. sad and lonely isolation face

not a real optimistic bunch, nor are they very disparate from one another. but luke is not a "wild-and-crazy rollercoaster of emotions" kind of kid. so i feel like his face shouldn't look like it's made out of jello, jiggling and jostling in all directions at once to show how crazy everything is. i guess it's back to that subtlety thing that i so desperately seek, but is not so much congratulated.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

it's pretty much my own fault.

day of the dead. dio de los muertos. the lovely festive post-halloween mexican holiday in which the dead ancestors of a family and heralded and celebrated by the living instead of mourned. so we have a lovely image of the feast of one particular family through three decade-ish periods, with everyone gathering and loving and sharing, so though even as those the table, well, um, grow old and die, they remain with the family in spirit and it's precious. watercolor and ink. the holiday is generally full of almost caustic colors and garish imagery, so my idea was to communicate the idea of the holiday and the vitality of the palette and decorations with less intense saturation. it came across a little more muted than i would like, but i like the inking, i think. this piece was a big ambitious one for me, when the assignment was "something day of the dead-themed" and i said, "hmmm, hyper-detailed triptych sounds like a brilliant plan", i was probably asking for trouble. but i'm pretty okay with it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

the elusive profile view, or the magnetic three-quarter view.

more animated tv show pitch package material for you, this time, a costume change for luke, in winter-wear, and three rotations each of nigel, olivia, and ashley, aka, fatty mcfat-fat. hilariously enough, i stole his sweater from tyler's wardrobe (and changed the colors) and then coincidentally used a tyler-ish button-up underneath, so as to inspire a wave of curiosity about why luke stole tyler's clothes. oops. i guess he just had the urge to dress like a snappy graphic design nerd.

these went over well in crit, and i was really happy with them as well, since i am generally, um, not real strong when it comes to technical anatomy with my characters. the fact that they were specifically noted to have interesting but well-rendered poses was a big victory for me, a rarity in this class. the only glitch in the system was that, try as i might to put these guys in profile for the center drawings, i always ended up with a smidge of three-quarter view in there, so they end up in like, i don't know, seven-sixteenth view, or some such nonsense. nigel's big arm now prominently featured as a means of causing him some serious anxiety and also giving him a bad-ass left hook.

Monday, November 5, 2007

acid yellow angst-fest.

so here is my latest book spread, based on a hitman-ish guy who can't unclench his fists, and is on a mission to find a cure for his condition, and also love. my word was "blossom".

i also decided that i am creating a body of work for my solo show, a weird amalgamation of my sketchbook pages, this brushy acrylic/ink painting style, and my dailies. so exciting slash terrifying. winter break is gonna be fun-filled, that's for sure. but the notion of closing the gap between all these different directions that i've been heading in is really motivating, and will hopefully be gratifying to accomplish.

working title.

so here are the initial character designs for my animated tv show, "the not-so-secret diaries of luke merriweather". from left to right in the group shot, we have miss ray, the mentor; olivia, the love interest; luke, the hero; nigel, the best friend; and ashley, the bully/nemesis. i would give you more show details, but i'm short on time and will have more posts on this later this week, so for now, stick with "malcolm in the middle" meets "x-men: evolution" and see where your imagination takes these guys.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

fuck daylight savings time.

so i finally pieced this thing (meaning my map from concepts) together crappily, but at least you can see it, though seamless it certainly isn't. i was able to do this because, well, i maybe forgot that it was daylight savings today and thus woke up at 7am. on a sunday. wtf, self. anyway, you get the idea. also, it's big. like 22x30-ish big. the goal-ish was that it was interesting enough to look at from afar but also draws you in to examine and pore over the details and text. does it?

Monday, October 29, 2007

i wish i could fly too.

so this was a rapid-fire, priority-zero, slap-dash piece, i won't even lie. i did it in twelve minutes at like 1am, sliding in to beat the clock and finish up before rounds on halloween duty. awesome. it's about a bird-child of some sort, seeking a smooth white rock, and my word was "bathe". he wears a red t-shirt also. whatever. i sort of like the process of doing these, sloppy acrylic and brush ink to tighten it up... even if this is not necessarily a shining example of the merits of this technique. god knows i prefer it to the fucking pen tool in photoshop for digital color. blegh.

i have yet to scan the massive map. almost, then change of plans. perhaps, then more immediately pressing concerns present themselves. there's been a lot of that lately. bear with me.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

it's "malcolm in the middle" meets "x-men evolution".

so i know it's been quite some time since i've shown my face in this joint, for which i express my most sincere apologies. it just so happens that fall break, in conjunction with a couple longer-term assignments has stretched out the availability of final products for me to put on display for your viewing pleasure.

i have here my last on-going sketchbook contribution, a cover design for this book on octopi. my word to include was cyclone, as exhibited by the scared octopus running away from a water-tornado of some kind.

in other news, i am attempting to scan my bad-ass (translation: really really big) illustration map from last week's concepts class. once i do that, it will be uploaded, but a few things have come up and pushed that to the back-burner for now. also keep your eyes peeled for the first of my character design for my tv show pitch, "the not-so-secret diaries of luke merriweather". it's about high school and nerds and magical powers and angst and video diaries. you can barely contain your excitement, i can just tell.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

the sears side.

the final for my roller girl poster came out pretty okay, i think. i am slightly full of rage about how i managed to mis-proportion her shoulders as i did, but other than that, i am pretty pleased with this one. it went over well enough in crit, as a welcome change to the zombie-fighting, blood-spewing, spine-smashing alternatives that littered the wall. it made me feel sort of lame, to be all, "awww, whimsy and childhood and preciousness abound!" but whatever, i am not the one you call when you want blood and gore. it was a pretty successful venture in digital work, but i've concluded that minus the time constraint, i would have preferred to do this piece traditionally.

i discovered, while working on the previous post's piece, that my inking is much stronger when i loosen up and care less, like on, for instance, these continuing narrative sketchbooks we've been doing. if you compare the inking of my initial roller girl character designs to that book and to this final, the differences are startling, with, sadly enough, the ultimately unimportant book spread taking the throne as most successful, with this final clipping at its heels, and the sad, sad rollergirl from last week barely limping across the finish line. i tried to approach this one with the same vigor and momentum as the sketchbooks. my plan is to try and revisit my "default technique" of acrylic and brush ink to see if i can't better control my hand with ink. i'd also still like to better expand the language of my characterization to include more stretched out (read: normally proportioned) figures in the context of the squatty folk, so, tall people can actually be tall instead of just marginally less squatty than their present company. i'm working on it.

also (sorry to be so text-laden today), i am not a slacker and have been working on my "everything happens for a reason" map in concepts which is why i have nothing to show this week for that class, since the final's not due until after fall break, which is really just a four-day weekend. it's going to likely be large, like 22x30, so we'll see if i can manage to scan the beastly finish to upload on here. also, i will maybe--and this is a really big maybe--be posting my screenprint final for fibers and my writing samples for creative non-fiction on here soon. ish. maybe. we'll see. i love love love my non-fiction class. right now i'm writing about harriet the spy. amazing.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

i spent too much time on this and not enough time on the dishes. meaning none was spent on the latter.

here's my latest contribution to the sketchbook swapping exercise in concepts. the previous page showed a drowning kitty swimming after a bat? and my word to incorporate was "belt". so we have old man finding soggy kitty while looking for belt to hold up saggy pants. he's got coke bottle glasses and super-squinty eyes, to better emphasize his lack of sights and explain how, while looking for his belt amongst the swamp he apparently de-belted in earlier that day, he might stumble upon a drowning cat instead. i always hated that whole, "grab 'em by the scruff of the neck" thing, even though it supposedly doesn't hurt. it seems to me like the feline version of a half-nelson, how can that possibly be a "sure, no problem, dangle me in the air for an indeterminate amount of time as my skin gets all smeared out of place and pulls my limbs in funny directions" sort of experience? whatever. i am really loving this ongoing assignment, which i'm pretty sure i said already. point is yesterday was supposed to be "crank out the hero book assignment and sketch and ink my rollergirl final" day, and instead it was "muse and dawdle over an excessively involved hero book then not so much finish the rollergirl sketch" day. what's prioritizing?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

arthur was supposed to be an aardvark too? bullshit.

i forgot we did these animal mascot sketches for the zoo this week too. we were assigned aardvarks, anteaters, or sloths, and had to make them appealing and one (in my case, the bottom one) had to fit the side of a bus. imagine wheels beneath his belly and tail. cute, simple. brian said he liked that is wasn't a straightforward cartoon anthropomorphic animal like a lot of the others. way to go me? i also learned that things look cuter, more innocent, and way less creepy with no mouth. who would've guessed?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

i am not a sexy vampire robot from outer space.

so this week in character development marked the first half of a two-week assignment involving roller girls. we had a model, julia, who was actually a roller girl in the charm city roller derby, come in last week. the first part of the assignment was to characterize her in a resting and an action pose, to be used in a larger , fully rendered poster design (due next week). we had to keep it grounded as the specific roller girl who modeled for us (her derby name? "essie ecks". get it, get it?) , and communicate the essence of her. i was trying some things with total simplification of shape, line, and palette (since i'm usually such a fan of detail and
clutter), as well as digital coloring. also, i decided she was going to be ready to hit you in the face with a folding chair, and i planned to move forward with a final poster design of the badass roller girl in a rink of tiny little girls skating around joyously (hence the pink).

my crit proved to be a little frustrating when, taken out of context, my characterization of essie appears boring and starightforward, expecially compared to other student work that featured "essie the slutty amazonian goddess" , "essie as tank girl", or a sweet "essie the communist". simple looks like crap pinned next to the hyper-detail-oriented. anyway, so i was getting sort of frustrated at the notion that every character design in that class had to be insane and ridiculous (see above, re: title), because i really hoped to be able to use that class to inform my work (which is not at all flashy armor and explosions) and render subtle differences in body type and facial expression as a means of differentiation. of course you can tell that a brute is a brute when he is four times the height of the other characters and he has four arms whose biceps are as big around as the other characters' waists. i wanted to learn to communicate those differences without screaming them at the top of my lungs. and i also didn't want to abandon the goals i had or the work i wanted to be making to make a less successful version of what everyone else was doing, because i was catering to what i thought brian wanted to see. so i explained to him that i thought i would die a slow, painful, character development-related death if i did such a thing, and he was really understanding, and when i spoke to him toward the end of class about my sketches, he seemed jazzed about my final poster concept, even if it didn't feature zombie warriors riding giant porpoises that breathe green smoke. this week's legitimately mediocre work notwithstanding, i hope that i can prove i don't suck during the course of the rest of this class, and also not accept defeat and draw the fantasies of twelve year-old boys.
*NOTE: all superlative character ideas were actually, seriously, discussed during crit yesterday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

because cover bands are just tacky.

when rebecca told us we would be doing actual concert posters for the 8x10 club here in baltimore, i was stoked. kaki king performed there last year, and in my head i was playing out grandiose fantasies of rendering some amazing illustration for an up and coming band that would be loyal to their fledgling artist and when they hit it big, use my work for t-shirts and album art and i would be brilliantly famous and well-paid. and then, we got our bands. dreams shattered, i got "weekapaug orchestra", a (now wait for it...) phish tribute band. i emphasize tribute because i was sharply corrected when i referred to them as a cover band. so to jam band hell i was banished. it was okay, ultimately, i went in a tongue-and-cheek-y direction and made the lovely poster you see here. it was my first real venture into digital coloring, and in print the orange came out a little yellower than it is here which bummed me out a bit, but overall it was a pretty okay experiment, me and photoshop's pen tool are now bffs. it went over well enough in crit, minus any orange-related trauma.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

highly ineffective procrastination post.

so i'm posting this more as a means of avoiding doing other things than anything else. here's my fourth weekly narrative double-page spread, this week about a weird elephant-ish hero looking for the sun, to incorporate the word "bedouin". obscure much? this one's only so-so, as far as i am concerned. in other news, i saw andrew bird perform last night and holy god he is amazing. unbelievable. orgasmic. see him live. no life is complete without it. anyway, that's all. more stuff next week after my crits. that barely helped me procrastinate at all.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

mild self- and other-proclaimed victory.

so here it is, the much-anticipated re-design of a childhood staple: mr. yuk. now apparently, mr. yuk was not as far-reaching with his influence as i thought, and i had to explain to a lot of people the whole deal: poisonous substances used to have the skull-and-crossbones image on them to ward children away from them, but then kids began to associate that symbol with pirates, and everybody loves pirates, so they'd see the symbol and think, "pirate juice!!" and drink it, but it would be drano and then they'd die. so they developed mr. yuk to be extra-unappealing and not at all pirate-y so that kids wouldn't drink deadly things thinking that they'd wake up with a peg-leg and an eyepatch. anyway, so we had to redesign him to make him both disgusting and terrifying, and extra child-unfriendly. and i know that when you think of my work, that those are *definitely* the first two things that come to mind, right? right? yeah, not so much. so in short? really hard assignment for me. also, i'm using this as my first venture into digital coloring, at long last, and umm, it's hard. and this was only two colors. i'm sure i'll get better at it as i go, but man, annoying. blah, blah, important skills, blah blah, get with the times, whatevs. okay, so enough whining because-- brian thought as far as impact and actually deterring kids from drinking death in a bottle, that mine would work best, as far as the simplicity of the graphic and the menace of his angry pointy eyeball sockets. hooray! plus, i mean, he's all gangsta and bad-ass, and what kid's not afraid of a bad-ass slimy skeleton? or something to that effect.
i'm glad there was at least a little payout on this one, because it was a really hard assignment for me, since i'm trying so hard to not be all stubborn and "well, i don't *do* gross art, so i'm just gonna not and be lame and cross my arms tight against my chest and pout."