Sunday, October 31, 2010

Queen of Awesome Intro

I present to you the first page of The Queen Of Awesome.
I'm semi-happy with this. I can't figure out how to efficiently add borders on gimp, so I kind of just gave up on that idea. I'm mostly unhappy with the poses, they always turn out really stiff once I've drawn them on a tablet a couple of times over. That and I feel that my backgrounds and coloring are lazy. Gotta work on that!

The next page is already in the works

Actually looking at this, there are many things I want to change. I'm undecided whether or not I'll put the effort into going back and redoing most of it....hmm...or just keep moving forward? Tough choice.
I also forget a header o.o And the boxes (hyopthetically) are cut off because of my dumb camera.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Influence Map

I saw this in someone else's blog and just had to do it myself. Rather than putting down artists that influence me (because there are so many even I can't keep track of them) I put down other things that inspire me and things I keep in mind when I try to create something. I just realized I didn't include as much animation as I should have. If I had remember, I would have included work from Pixar and Miyazaki probably. I would have also put in Rhapsody in Blue from Fantasia 2000. That short is what I would pinpoint as the work that made me want to be in animation.

1. 90s Nicktoons
2. 90s Cartoon Network (remember cartoon cartoon fridays? me and my brothers used to wait for that all week long!)
3. Other people's sketchbooks
4. Kurt Vonnegut
5. Indie Rock
6. Sci-fi, space travel, etc
7. The coming of spring
9. The human form
10. The Colorado Rockies (or just nature in general)
11. Felicia Day, Ellen Degeneres, Tina Fey
12. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
13. Road trips, travel, adventures
14. TED talks
15. Student Films (examples here are Pull, Crater Face, and Work. Some of my favorites)
16. Funny comics
17. Steampunk
18. Graffiti
19. Street Art
20. Random ass silliness, like Flaming Chickens
21. Pretty much every other page in Illustration Now
22. Fantasy art. Elves, fairies, dragons, etc
23. Video game art and animation. Legend of Zelda is one of my all time favorites

Yea, definitely should have included Rhapsody in Blue....
Actually, just looking at this, I can think of a zillion other things. Oh well. Perhaps I'll make another some other time...when it's not 3 am...

Friday, October 29, 2010


You know that feeling you get when it feels like someone is pressing their fingers into your temples really, really hard and it feels like your brain might pop out your skull? Yea, I've totally got that right now.

I went to my boyfriends apartment in Mississauga with the intention of staying one night and it kind of turned into 4. So there was a lot of work I didn't get done this week that I was going to do. I guess that's what happens when you get to be an adult for the first time and don't have parents that make you come home or kick you out of your boyfriends apartment. :( Sigh, another lesson in responsibility. Whats even worse is that I left my sketchbook there, and I was going to do the majority of the work I needed to do in there.
So that leaves me with all the photoshop work I set for myself, and a cardboard head to make. Neither of which I really want to do.
Guuuuh the more I think about how much time I have left (about 7 weeks) and how much I have to do, and when I look at past portfolios the more stressed I become. I still have to get 2 recommendations as well...I asked my art teacher from last year, but I'm clueless as to who to ask for the other. Is there anyone else in the world who has the authority to tell calarts I'm awesome and knows who I am??

Monday, October 25, 2010

Graffiti Figure?

Sketchbooking a lot. I had this great idea about incorportating figure drawing and graffiti, I'm thinking it could make a really cool portfolio piece. I just can't figure out how to do it right...turning the figure into its own piece makes it seem very cubist and odd, but including it with words seems extraneous and out of place. I am having trouble finding an inbetween spot. Opinions?
The one on top below is just a word ^.^
Also...having issues with character design. I want to peg down the character for my portfolio this week, but I just don't know where to begin, or what they expect to see, or anything. I guess I should look at the rubric again.
I've also been mapping out and writing the first few pages of Queen of Awesome, so I can hopefully finish up to 4 pages and include that with the calarts portfolio...also gonna do a page of hands and possibly some longer pose stuff. I'm also planning on including the graphic novel piece I did in IB art last year, some of my sheridan portfolio, maybe some paintings (if I ever sit down and do any) or digital paintings (if I ever do some I kind of like). After that, all I have to do is fill my sketchbook up, and the portfolio should be set to go. 1 month and 3 weeks to go!! Ahhh!

As far as Sheridan portfolio goes, this week I hope to achieve some character design work (maybe begin the rotation), do the hand portion, and also begin the line room drawing.

On top of that, I have to do a 3d cardboard bust of myself, research and an annotated bibliography for a report on graffiti, and I'm planning on going to extra life 3 times this week.

Ahhh so much to do!! It's hard to be organized, I write lists and set goals each day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Reading week

This week there haven't been a lot of new projects, so there isn't much to say school wise. Above is a paper bag painting I did in class for color theory. I chose to turn this one in over my grey scale box painting from last week, I think this one looks a little more interesting, although I had to rush the shadows, and they look very flat. I don't like having to finish entire paintings in a two and a half hour time limit, it is very stressful, especially with my crazy teacher running around and yelling at everyone. Plus, we're not allowed to listen to any music, which makes it terribly hard to get in the zone for painting. I get really distracted.
Extra life didn't go super well this week. Most of these are from a batch I forgot to post last week. I forgot how well they went. I did a lot of quick blind contour work, then went back and put in the final lines darker. It led to some very exaggerated figures, which I liked a lot. I should try it again some time.

I did eventually decide to start looking and drawing though. It went well, I think the blind contour was a good warm up exercise for me. Sorry this pictures are at a bit of an angle. I'm not the most determined person in photographing my drawings professionally, there are just too many!

This is my favorite, although I did a little doodle off the side and I'm really mad I did >_<

This stuff is all from this week on wednesday. We had a terrible model on thursday, I didn't get anything worth posting from her.

Highlights from the week:
Tuesday was ribs night at the local sports pub. 1 rib for $1.70. Drink required. 3 ribs and a coke for less than $10. I will be going back, that's for sure. Later that night I went on a late night walk down to the lake with Tahini and my friend Josh. We talked about many things, and enjoyed the stars and the moonlight on the lake. It was very nice.
Thursday night me, Tahini, Mike, and Christian planned on going to see the midnight showing of Paranormal Activity 2, but there was a mix up and the theater went to that was supposed to be showing it (acccording to the internet) wasn't. So we saw Case 39 instead, which was alright. I don't really like horror films much, not because they're scary, but just because I don't think they're very interesting in the end.
Friday night I enjoyed some drinks and company down the hall with my friends and our RA. We hung out and talked. It was nice. Tonight was much of the same, except with a few less people and tacos. Then Bryce gave me 2 gigs of music from his computer. I will be compensating him with some from mine tomorrow. Most everyone has taken off, since we have the next week off. This is known as reading week, which is supposed to help us catch up on homework/a time when teachers can give us super big projects. I don't really have any, nor was I given anything big. I considered taking a trip, but I will be staying here and working on my portfolio a whole bunch instead, although I may go for a drive later in the week somewhere to see the fall colors, maybe do some landscape sketches. I also want to visit the zoo to do some sketching, although the price is a little outrageous. $23 to go to the zoo for the day, how ridiculous.
Other than that, I will be doing more photoshop experimentation, as well as real painting and experimenting with other media. I'm really looking for a factor that's going to set my calarts portfolio above the rest. I also need to do some comic book/storyboard work for my portfolio, caricature investigations, and filling up my sketchbook at the mall. Besides that, I want to begin my sheridan portfolio, so I'll be working on the character design portion quite a bit, and maybe the hand and room drawings too. Extra life is still on this week, so I'll be doing that too. Sounds like a lot of work, but I'm looking forward to all of it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Digital Art

Been photoshopping it up.
Above is a pony, that's really ridiculously cute.
Below is something I was messing around with, one of my recent drawings. Didn't finish, don't think I will
This one I did directly over an old picture of mine, rather infamous in my mind. I wanted to do some painting with something of a better reference. It was supposed to be a split complement color scheme, but my exhaustion and bad lighting made me go with yellow instead of orange...oh well. Looks nice, but I think color theory is getting to me.
Every time I browse digital art, I'm always amazed at how many different styles people create. I can only figure out one way to paint on the computer, but I really want to try more! I guess I should keep messing around. It's a nice medium mostly because of how clean it is. The paints never dry out, and if someone knocks on my door, its not a problem for me to get up and talk to them. But there are just so many things I don't understand, the whole process feels oddly unnatural to me. My hand doesn't feel odd.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sketchbook Updates

See? I told you my pencil sketches were better. I've been doing some character design research/practice. I'll need a really solid character for my sheridan portfolio.
Above, left to right: The Queen, Mae, Popsicle
Below, left to right: Bears, Magee, Sally Mustang, AJ, Jet Sinister (I'm undecided on his hairstyle atm), Aya

Sound familiar? Thats because I came up with most of the character concepts in July 09. In fact, the sketches are in one of my posts on this blog.
Here's some other sketchbook work from recent


In 3D yesterday we had to make a giant cardboard shoe. This is what my group did in 2 and 1/2 hours. Not bad, although I don't think she was pleased that we chose a flip-flop, which has very little form. But we destroyed the detail on the strap, so I think we should be a decent grade.
Whats up in drawing class? Here's what!
Gonna do the refined piece for this next week:
Extra Life Drawing yields:

Last weekend we went to a haunted house emporium. Basically a bunch of walk through thingys where people in costume do their very best to freak you out. I only made it through 1 of the 5, because Christian freaked out and we decided to sit out the rest of the night. I had an awesome time watching all the performers walking around the lines scaring the crap out of people, even chasing some.
Also of note was a party I went to friday night which was EXACTLY like the halloween party in Mean Girls. It was uncanny. Weirded me out. They even had the same music.
Yep, so thats been life lately. Been very busy arting it up. The more I do it, the more I enjoy it and get into it. I'm loving this!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Photoshop skills fail

HA! Told you I would do something for fun.

Ok, story time.
So if you remember last May I got accepted into Ringling College of Art and Design for computer animation, but the main reason I turned it down was because a rep during my visit told me they do EVERYTHING on the computer, even figure drawing. I SUCK at tablets, photoshop, etc. So I opted for a more traditional program. But, after thinking about it, I'm probably going to need those skills in the future for my job anyways, because virtually everything is done on the computer these days in animation, even a lot of the 2d stuff.
So, I'm taking it upon myself to start doing some comics and such on photoshop (gimp, actually)

As you can see here, this is going to be a lot of work (my sketchbook designs in pencil for this were MUCH better, I'll post them later so you can see) It doesn't help that this pose is full of fail.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Artist's Statement

This is just a working draft. I might trash it and go in an entirely different direction. Then again, I don't think it really matters. But I did think it might be interesting to post here.

Two years ago, my junior year of high school, I made the tentative decision to pursue animation as a career. That’s right, I didn’t always dream of being an animator. There were no childhood moments watching a Disney movie where I went home thinking “that’s what I’m going to be when I grow up!” To tell the truth, the idea had never even come across my mind.

I clearly remember an AI representative coming in to our art class my sophomore year of high school and presenting on a number of art majors. One of them had been animation. And he told us “to be in animation, you have to draw all the time. You have to do dozens of drawings day.” I can remember thinking how intimidating that was. I never considered myself very good at drawing, nor did I really like it all that much, mostly because I was bad at it. I was into photography and graphic design. It was something I was good at. I was planning on studying advertising design, I thought it was fun.

In fact, I can’t recall exactly when, why, or how it was that I changed my mind. Looking back, it all seems like a blur. You might say that it was just a series of random events that lead me into looking into animation. The next thing I knew, I was attending a free figure drawing course for teens at a local high school. And so it began.

At this point, I think it’s important to know that I am an overachiever. When I want to get something done, I’ll do it. I made straight As throughout middle and high school. I always gave it my best, and I always was one of the best in most of my classes (save perhaps gym class and physics). I don’t mean to say this to sound arrogant, just to be honest. I was good at being an academic student. I had just the right balance of intelligence and work ethic to be exactly what public schools want their pupils to be.

I was terrible at figure drawing. I had no idea what I was doing, I had never been instructed in drawing the human form before. I didn’t grasp any of the ideas very solidly. The simple concept of a gesture for example, didn’t make sense to me until months of study and practice. I felt incredibly intimidated. But, instead of getting frustrated and giving up, I only wanted to improve even more. Over the summer I had friends come over every week and model for me. I went to public places and drew people. I scoured the internet for whatever information I could. I checked out dozens of books on drawing from the library. I found uninstructed sessions to attend. I did everything I could to prepare a portfolio that would send me to the ever so exclusive “calarts,” the school guaranteed to work me harder than I ever had before, and deliver me to the world as a trained animator.

I worked myself crazy. There were emotional breakdowns every week. I was exhausted. And when March came, I found myself sitting on my bed with a plain white letter explaining why I could not be accepted into the school of my dreams. I never foresaw myself ever getting rejected to any school, art school or not. I was the perfect student, but I was not the perfect artist. I had expected myself to have a huge mental breakdown if I had gotten rejected, but strangely I felt oddly passive to the fact. Perhaps I had been led down such a path of insanity I had completely lost all sense of rationality, or perhaps I was relieved because I truly hadn’t felt ready, but there was only one thing to do: move forward.

I told myself to do my own animation, my own short film. I made a vow to myself that if I could finish it in time for my IB art examination at the end of April, that I was meant to be an animator and that this wasn’t a foolish choice. I cracked out my animation books, and I spent the next month going without sleep to complete a 1 minute film. Miraculously, I found success. I made a film. I felt dead inside, but it was the good kind of dead inside. I guess you can say I found hope, and that now I continue on to study animation in whatever way I can, although with some luck, hopefully it will be at a decent school, like that of Calarts.

So, how did I switch from photography and graphic design to animation, complete opposites on the spectrum of art? Why didn’t I just give it up, even after all the obstacles I found? After I couldn’t draw, after seeing everyone’s amazing portfolios, after being rejected, after slaving away at a terrible film that will hopefully never again see the light of day? I have pondered this fact many a time, and here’s my explanation: I crave the challenge. It’s not fun unless there’s something I have to figure out. Why would I pursue something that is easy to me, why would I bore myself for the rest of my life, when I could be constantly tearing my hair out, staying up until the sun rises trying to get an animation done? I like working hard. It’s in my nature. Calarts is one of the only schools promising to kill me repeatedly each year with work. And animation is the only subject that I have found to be so difficult that I’m not one of the best goddamned students out there. It is one of the only subjects in the world worthy of being my “bitch,” if you will. I’m not going to give up on it until it is, which could very well be the rest of my life.

OR I could go with something a little more straightforward in response to their's what I'm thinking

Issues that impact my art-making:

Food mostly, I like to eat a lot. Also those hairless, skinny, pasty freaks out there in the world we like to call “people.” I guess if you want to sound arty you could say they inspire me.

Why I am applying to Calarts:

I love paying 37k and up for advice on how to draw better, and I’ll be damned if I don’t know someone who doesn’t.

Artistic Goals:

To rule the world, duh.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


So....last weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada. I spent the whole thing holed up in my room doing homework. Literally, 8 hours a day of homework. I didn't get ANY personal artwork done, like I promised myself. BUT SOON.
I DID do some pumpkin carving. You can see mine on the right up there, a pumpkin saluting the world with a martini glass (it was supposed to be a beer, but the martini glass got the idea across better) We did these carvings at maybe midnight on Saturday. After some consideration, and the realization we had nowhere to actually put our pumpkins (the hallway??) we decided to go have a little fun and leave them around the school. So we did just that.
My friend Curtis (who incidentally looks exactly like Zac Efron, just for reference) did most of the work (kudos to him). His first choice location was on a ledge over the door to the SCAET building (which houses all of the computer animation and film classrooms) Of course, the SCAET building is made completely of windows...and a spot for one of the security desks. Actually, you can see it in this picture above. He jumped up there, a security guard appeared behind him, and didn't even see him as he jumped down and we ran off. We came back later to do some adjustments to the pumpkin, as it was meant to be puking. Me and Tahini's pumpkins landed in a similar location by the A wing, although in an area with less windows.
The pumpkins are still there too :)

Last thursday I went to extra, didn't get much I liked though. The model had some intense black dreads (extensions) that got in the way of a lot

Here's some handiwork from my other classes:

This is the continuous line/atmospheric drawing we started in class, which I finished up later during the weekend. Still some kinks to work out, some things that aren't angled properly, little details I need to add. She is a wicked hard grader, I don't expect much from this, but I am trying to pay more attention to line weight and sensitivity here.

2D Design-
Our latest project is about rhythm in architecture. Here are some thumbnails of old photos I took (Left to right, bottom to top: denver art museum, san diego convention center, the arc de triumphe, my basement, florida beach house, the golden gate bridge, music experience museum seattle, sheridan) I like it because it reflects all the trips I've been on over the years :) I do love me some traveling
This is the final I did, 8x13 on 10x15 illustration board in gouache

Color Theory-
Finished the DAMNED motifs. Turned them in today
Also got assigned this "fridge" assignment, which I adapted to my pantry. We were to mix swatches according to the items in our fridge. Mine sucked, but I still got 8.2 out of 10 on it...which apparently in Canada is an A? WTF mate. (its messy, I know, I glued everything down an hour before class)
In class today we did our first still life (finally, REAL painting!) It was dreadfully boring, as it was all white objects. The only thing that bothers me about this is how unstraight everything is...she forbids us from sketching it out with pencil first. It's all in paint. (this is SLIGHTLY bent over in the picture though, I'm not that crappy at it) I kind of felt crappy about this work, but whenever she came over she never had anything to say (and trust me, she always has something to say) At the end of class she looked at it for a minute and asked "have you painted before?" I told her I took a class (well I did....two years ago) and she said something about how it worked and blah blah blah. I think that means it was good??

Drawing Systems-
More perspective. This is the toy I'm designing out of shapes in 2 point perspective. It's going to be a race car :D
Some shapes in 1 point
Aaaaand in 2 point.

So that's what I've been up to.
I keep seeing all this crazy cool work online, and it really makes me want to break out and just get really creative, some time really soon.
Reading week is in two weeks. As for right now, I'm just staying here, maybe driving to Michigan one day to get my noodles and company fix, or maybe around upstate New York to see the fall colors, but mostly I'll be doing homework (we are supposed to get assigned extra work over the break) and hopefully portfolio work, and some fun stuff (that still contributes to my portfolio). You know, comics, illustrations, and the like. That'd be good.