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?