April and May were twin thirteen year-old girls who lived on a remote data farm on the coldest quadrant of the planet Inshi. Their father was a technician who moved the family to pursue research only possible in the constant cold the planet afforded. The only way to or from the farm was to take the airlift, and workers and family members were strictly forbidden from venturing beyond the therm-wall.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
This was supposed to be a comp for the next story, but I ditched it for another composition I am working on that has more movement and centers on the story better. Something nagged me about the piece while I was doing it. I started to get frustrated. I briefly considered doing a different piece, but I just kept working (classic art sin--don't succumb to the sunk-cost fallacy!)
I thought, "Hmm, the shapes are okay...but something is not right..."
I fussed and fussed...but the thing that bothered me was skillfully made clear by my wife, who said, "You know, you might want to get in there at eye level with the characters, since the story is about them."
Right on the money. As they used to say at work:
DO IT AGAIN!
I am really glad I got to the root of the issue instead of fooling myself into thinking this was appropriate. In any case, I still like it as a comp, so here it is. A bit too Star Wars...old habits die hard ;)
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I'm in the middle of a portfolio revamp, and I'm doing some new designs. Here are some ideas for three new creatures. They don't have interesting names yet, only descriptive names that serve as jump-off points like:
Hairy Deer Lizard
Alien Mega Vulture
Egg Sack Crawler
I still have to take these further before they are ready to finish. This is just the first exploratory ideation phase. If some of these turn out, I might incorporate them into some of my stories in the future. Sometimes it's good to let the visuals inspire a story instead of the other way around.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I went on a trip to New Orleans recently, and I brought back a gator head. I was feeling pretty uninspired today, so I set the head up on my Wacom tablet and did a little study in blue pencil.
I'm pretty well behind in the 52 stories project, but I'm still trucking. I was playing with the idea of doing some traditional work for the story illustration, and by the end of the gator head study, I decided to give it a try. I'm going to go watercolor on the next one. We'll see how it goes. I'm determined to get all 52 done, no matter how long it takes!
Saturday, April 06, 2013
The final files for the book were sent off to the publisher today. It is a great relief to wrap up work on the book. Many thanks are due to our designer Wilfred, and a big thanks to the pros who gave us endorsements. Another great round of thanks is due for Alice Carter who gave us a wonderful foreward, and Colin Fix, who gave us a wonderful afterward.
I can't wait to see the book in hand!
I can't wait to see the book in hand!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Here are some images from a trip I recently took to the desert. I have never spent much time in the desert, and I found it to be a very peaceful place. I know that Bill Watterson and Mobius found a lot of inspiration there, and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for anyone.
I ultimately found time to gather my thoughts, refocus, and get inspired again. More illustrations, stories and sketches are on the way.
Monday, March 11, 2013
There was this announcement from Lucasfilm today. That means the end of the regular seasons of Clone Wars, but they mentioned that they have plans to release more material. There was a video they featured that contained two characters I worked on, a yellow and red Jedi pair with otherworldly hair. They were really fun to work on, and I'm glad they will be seen, somehow, somewhere. The yellow Jedi was directly taken from one of Iain McCaig's drawings for Episode II (as seen in the art-of book I pored over when I was in college!) It was really fun to play with the design and make it "Clone Wars."
I post this stuff up periodically to show what I had a hand in, but honestly, as I've said before, I am just a small part of the larger clockwork that is Clone Wars. The Clone Wars team, all the people I worked with and learned from over the last couple years, you are all amazing. I am lucky and humbled to have been a part of it.
I don't know exactly what the future has in store for me, but I will count my time with the Lucasfilm Animation people as one of the high-points.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Here are some of the ideas that helped me visualize the starlighter creatures. I initially wanted spider-like creatures, but veered into strange territory thinking about starlight collection. I imagined the body parts that would allow for efficient starlight collection, and I thought of the deep sea. These were very fun to do since I have not done as much pencil-and-paper drawing as I should.
On to the next story!
There is a great debate happening regarding the present state of affairs in the VFX and animation industry. One article on the situation I found interesting can be found here.
This much is clear: something needs to happen to make American visual effects a viable industry going into the future—one that delivers quality products at fair prices and treats its workers (artists!) with the respect they are due. I don't know what the solution is, but I'm glad the conversation is getting more attention.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
The season 5 finale arc of Clone Wars is airing. I was very very lucky to be a part of these episodes; they are, in my opinion, the best of the show to date. The whole team did top notch work and really pushed the bar higher.
My contribution was character design work on Letta Turmond and the male human Jedi temple workers. I also did some underworld paintings, but the really interesting thing for me was how my designs for the underworld portal and pipe network outside the Republic military base was taken to another level by modeler Jono Farmer and the story team. They took my okay design and made it awesome. It also didn't hurt that the pipe network followed the absolutely stunning Republic Military Base design by my friend Will Nichols.
I have to say again, my work was only a very small part of a larger team effort. Any design work I did was brought to life with amazing animation, camera work, lighting, modeling, textures, voice work, sound design, music and direction.
The season's final episode airs next Saturday. Check it out! You can also see the first three episodes of the arc at StarWars.com
Thursday, February 21, 2013
In the stillness of eternal night on the dark side of the moon Aegis 3, a herd of starlighters fed. They were called starlighters by men, but men only knew Aegis 3 for a short time. The starlighters were far older.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Benjamin Cook talked to his dead wife as he did every night, but this night was special. Benjamin, or Benji, as his wife Connie called him, was very excited about a new device he was about to complete. He loved talking to his wife with the earpiece and microphone, but he desperately wanted to see her again. He wanted her to see him. It was nearly the second anniversary of her death, and Benjamin wanted his surprise to be ready.
"Honey, I have something pretty great to show you tomorrow night," he said.
"What do you mean show me Benji? I can't see anything," Connie replied.
"I know, I know. You have to wait just a bit longer. Tomorrow will be special, I promise…I just need one thing," he said.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Tyler stood of the edge of the spillway and looked down. He was sure he would have the courage to jump, but now he had second thoughts.
"C'mon Boss, piss or get off the pot," one of the jumpers jeered.
Tyler took a deep breath and tried to remember why he was there; what he had to do. It all started when Mateo crashed yesterday.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Sarina was in big trouble, but she couldn't resist giggling at her handiwork. Her pranks did not amuse the camp administrator.
"I am sure this is hilarious to you miss Tindall, but you are the only one laughing. Now, go back to your cabin and report to your troop. You will remain there for the duration of the expedition until we liftoff tomorrow morning. No more shenanigans or it will be the last night you spend with these scouts." He opened his logbook and began typing. Sarina gathered her pack and walked back down the dirt path towards the camp quarters. When she returned to her bunk and set her things down, her troop leader was not there.
"Where is Elise?" Sarina asked. Her friend Lori rolled over and looked at her.
"She's cleaning up for the night at the showers," Lori said. "She should be back anytime. What did the boss want?"
"Yeah, did you get in trouble? Spill the beans Rina!" the other scouts woke up and pressed her for details.
"Are you kicked out of scouts?"
Sunday, January 06, 2013
"Welcome to Bargain Oasis, have a great day." Stanley and Norman half-heartedly recited greetings with equally half-hearted smiles whenever the rare citizen wandered in. Most of Stan and Norm's time was spent reminiscing about their glory days. Stanley reminded Norman of the time they narrowly escaped capture when they drove through the Eastern Archibald Pass. Norman tried to best Stanley with his recollection of the time they fought off seven men in a bar after someone called them the "dickless duo."
Stanley and Norman's brawling days were long passed.
Monday, December 31, 2012
New Year's Resolutions were made to be broken, but I will make this one anyway. I propose to make 52 short stories with an illustration to accompany each one. There will be 52 stories and illustrations for each week of 2013, so if I miss a week, I'll need two for the next, etc. If I fall off the horse the best thing is to get back on, so I will try to keep it going all year long no matter how I am doing as I near the end.
Why do this craziness? Because! I want to work out my storytelling and illustration (as opposed to concept design) muscles. I will try to keep the stories limited to the realm of sci-fi/sci-fantasy since that seems to me to be the broadest palette to paint with creatively. There will surely be a lot of misses, but perhaps there will be a few hits, too.
Phew. Alright. No more thinking, just jump!
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
My little brother found my iPad and started playing with the camera. He started laughing up a storm, so I went over to see what he was cracking up about. He was using the funhouse mirror effects on the camera to take wacky pictures (a feature everyone knows about...I'm late to the game). There were some pretty pushed effects as a result, so I sketched them. Caricature artists can do this instinctually and to better effect, but I can see how this sort of tech could expand someone's understanding of what "pushed" can mean in a portrait.