Showing posts with label art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art. Show all posts

13 December 2014

The Art of Not Being a Dying Art

I made a thing. 
It squiggles.

Over the last little while I've been prepping for art school. I'm going to study animation, and I eventually intend to be involved with the production of some groundbreaking 2D films.. It's been on my heart for a while, but I haven't had the courage to pursue it till recently.Just thought I aught to let you know.

2D animation is a dying art, but it really shouldn't be. Do you know how much skill, time, and knowledge goes in to a 2D production? I mean, do you even know?

I'm sorry, I guess I've just been going through a bit of a crisis of art lately. I feel like people are losing the taste for hand drawn elegance.

I'm not saying this to knock on the 3D world. My husband is a 3D artist. But in my mind replacing all 2D animation with 3D animation is like replacing all paintings with sculptures. They're in the same field, they convey the same emotion, but you cannot just up and reeplace one with the other because it's cheaper or easier or more practical.

We need a new Renascence of 2D film. And I'm not just talking a Disney Renascence, they already got theirs and we will always thank them for that. I'm talking more people need to pick up their pencils and tablets and do more art.

If you stumble upon a spectacular 2D project, let me know. I want to hear about them. Here's one that I found recently - it's kind of restored my faith in humanity.

01 August 2013

The Busy Week of Busy-ness!

As some of you may have noticed, I didn't blog on Monday or Wednesday. What some of you may not have noticed (and I mean, really, how could you notice unless you've been spying on me?! *gasp*) that I've been editing a lot of Hard Bank Left lately! I've come to several realizations, not the least of which being who the bad guys are/bad guy motivation. (I refer you to this last Friday's blog.)

I've also been thinking a lot about Krys's family relations, and her discontentment at home and I realized - though I really have no idea how - that Krys is the middle child of three. This has put a number of plot twists in my head that I really can't wait to share with you... but you're going to have to wait until the middle of Tailslide to hear about them! Muahahahaha! xD But seriously, it's killing me not telling you right now!

In other news! The first two chapters of HBL will be available for public reading in the up and coming magazine Book-it! from Chapter One. I'm so stoked. I've been working with the editor to get an exclusive look to the story, including but not limited to pictures. It's been really fun and I hope you enjoy the effort. If you don't live in Utah and are looking for a copy of my story in the magazine, you can pre-order your copy of the first issue here, subscriptions are available.

Also! super awesome bonus material alert I am holding a competition for best Steam Punk! If you are into cosplay, are an artist, or you have friends who are, this is for you. 

In Hard Bank Left, Target Lost, and Tailslide there are a ton of fight scenes. In these there are characters the have special physic abilities. The winner of this competition will get the opportunity to be written into one of these three stories as either a good guy or a bad guy with one of these abilities. Here is your chance to be immortalized in fiction!

To enter into this competition, you must submit a picture or drawing of you or one of your original characters/alter-egos to no later than August 15th. The winner will be announced the next day in my usual Fan Art Friday post.


  • The character must a specific mental ability. For a list of powers, check out my wiki page. This doesn't have to be demonstrated, just let me know in the email.
  • The character must demonstrate that they are in the Shadow Cast world by having one or more of the following objects: 
    • has objects that glow cyan
    • has an elaborately decorated key
    • has a mix of steampunk and cyberpunk tech (ie a musket and a flexi)
  •  If a bad guy, the character must demonstrate some sort of military insignia
  • If a good guy, the character must stand out as being eccentric in some way (ex. they're crazy, have no sense of style, or are a gypsy)
  • optional bonus material (please note that bonus material doesn't count toward your actual score, but it sure makes your character fantastic)
    • awesome Nerf  - glowey paint gets double bonuses!
    • making jeans look steampunky
    • dreadlocks
    • eye patches
    • kickawesome scars
    • bizarre eye color
    • curly orange hair

As a final note, keep it clean (we have young and/or impressionable audience members). I look forward to seeing what you have in store!

05 July 2013

Fan Art Friday!

Well, seeing as how another week has come and gone and I am rather short on fan art (though fortunately, I've been gaining fans!) I figured today is a day for reverse fan art!

You know how some days you're really stumped and just can't think of a thing to write? Well, most of those days I revert to scoping out the interwebs for some inspiration. The years have granted me with a wide variety of fantastic art that has inspired me, inspired my world and, sometimes, inspired specific characters. I showed you a lot of Krys last week, allow me to introduce some of my other characters!

Jeldhen was inspired by one particular character and, if anyone has seen the Mummy franchise, you just may understand why.

Mind you, Jeldhen is 21, but you just can't beat Rick O'Connell for that classic international cowboy swagger. And then you have to throw in one of my favored artists who has inspired a great many things in my world:

Then there's Ve. Well, Ve has been inspired by a number of people, not the least of which being my lovely friend Kato. Most particularly, you may recognize this as being the main inspiration for Ve's appearance:

However, I am pleased to say that Kato is not, nor ever has been mad - at least not in the sense that Ve is. For that I can only thank Joss Whedon's vamptastic character Drusilla whom I adore.

Cadence is next, I suppose. But the thing about him is that I stumbled across a random pic on a random search that kind of lead to a number of different, completely unrelated pictures that eventually lead me to an underdeveloped character that very happily blossomed into the obsessive, slightly disturbed man that he has come to be. (Wow... I'm beginning to realize just how much I like writing crazy people...)

Fes sprung out of two pictures (one comes from Kato, no idea who took the other one). But in essence, these two pictures:

 gave me an entire attitude to an entire character that lead to an entire chapter that deserved to be in her very specific voice. Thank you whomever took these pictures.

Lia, as well, came from two random pictures... both of which are results of a random search:

The top one gave me her attitude which has been my favorite part of her whole obnoxious character. The second gave me her irrational fear of heights... no idea how I got that off the picture, but there it is!

Krys is the only character left from HBL, so I suppose I might as well feature her as well. But, I have so many pictures that have inspired her, that it's difficult to count and even more difficult to credit. I can say that the second one is from The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, the first one is the lead actress from Peter Pan, and I believe that somewhere in there is a steampunk Princess Leia. So, just for the heck of it, here are the inspirations for Krys:

03 July 2013

Artists, Stories, and The World We Live In

In writing my stories, I try to keep my characters as diverse and creative as I possibly can. This is my personal reflection of a modern society put into a modern fairy tale. I live in a global universe, so do my characters. But, when my characters go to a certain location, I expect to find people living in that location that belong their. I don't expect to find Scots living in Singapore. Likewise, I would not expect to find Santa Clause (or in this case the Snow Queen) to be living at the South Pole.

That said, I've come across a post on Tumblr that has really got me seething. You can find it here. There are many arguments made in this post, which goes back and forth over many different reasons why characters at Disney look similar. Some assume that the artists are lazy, or *rolls eyes* racists. But here's what I have to say on the matter.

Individual artists, successful artists, make their money out of being stylized. This is how they make their money. An artist is selected out of hundreds of thousands because the producers like their style. Any artist or animator will tell you that!

And I would leave it with "That's it. Nuf said." but there's so much more to this than just that simple fact! I recall watching one of the extra features on Lilo and Stitch where they were talking about the specific style of the movie coming from this key animator that had been a concept artist for years and had always had that similar style. They talked about how, for animators, it was difficult for them to do because it was SO stylized, but it was well worth it!

Now, from what little I know about 3D animation, it's a lot easier for everyone to be on the same page animation wise - and by a lot easier I mean A LOT easier. But there's still a distinctive style! Looking over all the Disney classics, you can tell they're classics just by the animation style. The eyes, are the same, the proportions are the same.  Sure, the styles may vary from film to film, but they all have that classic feel.

On a different issue having to do with artistic style, has anyone noticed that you can look at a film and guess with darn good accuracy who the film was made by? This goes for live action or animated. Go ahead, explain to me why! Explain to me that directors have a specific way they want the film to look and they get it. Explain to me that they have a style to convey a theme, a location, a common thread in a series of adventures. But no, the people on Tumblr that criticize a successful person for sticking to their style is simply a jaded critic that has yet to do anything truly successful with their lives.

That said, on to point 2.

The argument of racial ambiguity really pisses me off. Disney does a good job of keeping a story's characters racially tied to their place of origin.  The Jungle Book takes place in India. The Legend of the Emperor of Cuzco takes place in the Andes. Atlantis is Mediterranean. Tarzan is about a white boy found by white people in the depths of Africa. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is French. Hercules is appropriately Greek! Aladdin distinctively reflects the tales of Scheherazade in her classic 1,000 Arabian Nights. Mulan is a Chinese historical figure, just like Pocahontas is to the new world. Peter Pan, The Sword in the Stone, and Alice in Wonderland are all British classics by British authors which they set in *gasp* Great Britain!

The point of fact is that Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel are all fairy tales compiled by the Grimm brothers. These fairy tales are from the German and French country sides and have things central to their story that require that setting. Just as I fully anticipated The Hunchback of Notre Dame to take place in *gasp* Paris!, I expect to see these classic Germanic fairy stories to take place in *gasp* Germany! Now, The Princess and the Frog, while sweet and a really creative take on a classic Grimm story (The Brothers Grimm being, of course, German) did not stick to it's alleged country of origin. Then again, there aren't very many story centric references of to culture in the fairytale which Disney botched. But, seeing as how they've completely changed the story before *cough* The Jungle Book *cough* I won't contend it.

Now, if you want to get really persnickety about this, which I most surely shall, The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, and Thumbelina are all H.C. Andersen stories. He is Danish. I expect danish influence in these movies. The Little Mermaid has Danish ships, a Danish castle, even Danish countryside. Now, seeing as how The Snow Queen is written to take place in the northern most part of Norway, or possibly Russia, and that the Snow Queen's castle is supposed to be at the North Pole... And seeing as how the South Pole is so frigidly terrible weather wise that even modern explorers avoid it at all costs... And seeing as how even the great and mighty Inca didn't sail in those treacherous southern waters - whereas the Northern Sea used to freeze over completely on a regular basis and peoples have been known to cross them - I expect that Scandinavian/Slavic touch, white skin and all.

But take heart! Disney's running out of tales from my ancestors. I believe the only the only ones left are: The Princess and the Pea, and The Troll King. But then after that, you have the stories of Baba Yaga, The Tales of Ulster and any number of Viking tales. Yeah... us crazy white people were really good at coming up with some frighteningly entertaining stories. And it's not that other cultures don't have them too, it's just that the majority of Disney animators are white, the majority of their watchers are white and they - LIKE ANY OTHER CULTURE - love sharing their favorite bed time stories! I, personally, have been waiting 13 years for them to make a featured film out of Rapunzel. From the time I was 8, it was my favorite fairy tale. 

Now, that's not to say that other cultures don't have great fairy tales and cautionary stories, they do! And shame on Disney for not drawing attention to those stories. But don't take my favorite fairy tale and try to turn it into a story about a culture I know nothing about. Turn that culture's fairy tales into feature length movies instead! Why not? There are the Native American tales of Cayote, and the Mayan tales of the Jaguar warriors, and the Chinese tales of Monkey, and you can pick from any number of Hindi stories. Then there's the African tales of Spider. Or, heck! You can go do some more of Scheherazade's  1,000 Arabian Nights. I know for a fact that they didn't even even cover half of them in the Aladdin TV series. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of other multicultural fairy tales to choose from, so stop ragging on Disney for keeping the culture that the fairy tales belong to in tact.

Now for those of you that saw this, thought "tl/dr" and skipped to the last paragraph, I suggest you go through and reread the entire rant, it's pretty interesting. If not, then I leave you with this: Disney is running out of northern European fairy tales to tell in their animation. So, now they actually have time to research some far eastern tales that don't involved being eaten by tigers (or dragons, or wild demons, take your pick), or they're going to have to move on to the Irish tales of Ulster... which aren't really that pretty either. 

28 June 2013

Fan Art Friday

This week came and went pretty fast. But with someone out there stealing your days it's kind of hard not for the week to go by fast. And with the heat and the lack of A/C, it's kind of hard to keep your mind from grogging up - therefore focus is a major issue for me.

Enough with the small talk! Here is the fan art for this week!

art by the amazing Andrea Hatch, she sent it to me with the caption "Some one's ginger has been all up in my business tonight." Oh Drea, you crack me up.

Unfortunately, that's the only fan art I've had this week. I really should work on expanding my fan base.  lol But, I figure I might as well keep you entertained with some art that has inspired me over the last two years.

crafted by  harlequinromantique 
crafted by  ~OneWeeb
art by adlovett
crafted by darzeth
 photographed by agonyinecstasy
 photographed by ~unknownandinsane29

And, for good measure, a picture of my paper mache airship - tis hanging in my kitchen. (it's not done... no gondola...)

22 June 2013

Belated FAF... I have timing issues

So, it seems that my chronomiter is really off because I swear yesterday was Thursday. But, now that I look back on the week, I seem to have skipped right over Thursday. My theory? Aliens. Yup, I was totally abducted. They must have sent down a replacement so my absence wouldn't be noticed while they did experiments on my genius brain! That's it, tinfoil hats from here on out.

But seriously, I really don't remember Thursday and all I can seriously think is that line immortalized by Martin Freeman (as Arthur Dent) in the film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "It must be Thursday. I could never get the hang of Thursdays." Well, let me tell you Arthur Dent, neither could I. Thursdays are the bane of my existence... which may be why I always miss meetings that are scheduled for Thursdays. Hopefully this will not affect my gardening. (One of my friends is lending me her garden on Thursdays - hence the dilemma).

That said! It's Fan Art Friday... a day late... again... <.<  >.>  But, seeing as how I have no NEW fan art, I'm going to have to use some of my old fan art. These are from some of my very supportive friends Chisaki and Andrea Hatch. Hope you enjoy their unique styles as much as I do.

And, for those of you looking for a little inspiration from yours truly, here are some of the newer things I've been working on featuring the WindSong crew. I know, not the best, but I'm only just getting the hang of using my tablet for artsy stuff.

 This little beauty I decided to do right before I also decided that Tailslide would be way more awesome than HBL.
And making this certainly was fun:

It was a test for seeing if I wanted to animate. The answer it: OHMYFREAKINGGOSHYESANIMATINGISSOMUCHFUN! I may do some clips for your entertainment at a later date.

You can find a lot more fun and inspirational stuff at my tumblr, which I'm trying to switch over here, but there's just so much awesomeness that it's hard to keep track of! The improtant stuff I'll put on my website... if I EVER get that up and running.

And that's a wrap! See you on Monday!... if I don't get abducted by aliens again. *shiver*

15 June 2013

Fan Art Friday! (okay, yeah... It's actually Saturday, I know...)

Well, having a little boy can have it's downsides and now FAF is a day late. Not that I have much fan art yet, but I figured I'd share some of the art I've been working on! So here you go: (the one in the middle's my favorite)

18 June 2012

Creativity Welcome

I have one more chapter to publish before I start holding them in reserve. Muahahaha! *evil face* But whilst I get to finishing that, allow me to share with you some of my art/character concepts/awesomeness that I've been working on. Mind you, I don't exactly have a working scanner, so these drawings are actually pictures of drawings and therefore don't look as good on the computer as they do in person. *sigh*

That said, allow me to share with you, Krys!

Also, Jel'Dhen!

Jel'Dhen took me freaking forever! He's tall, and seeing as how most of these drawings are to scale with one another... let's just say that he took up the majority of the page as well as an awful lot of colored pencil. Add that to his obnoxious pants and vest that both needed texturing and I can very much say that I relate to Krys in her constantly being irritated with him!

Coming soon:
I am working on a picture of Lia, hopefully she'll turn out as awesome as I have her in my head.
But, in the mean time, here's some lovely fan art from my lovely friend Dreager - who just so happens to have a web comic which I think is totally awesome and can be found here:

Anywho! Here it is:

For those who have read the first chapter, you will probably recognize the scene. ;)