Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chasing Artwork

for those of you whom do not know- this is tribute to one of the most famous and heartbreaking scenes in video game history- as a character you’ve been building up and developing for dozens of hours gets actually killed off for the remainder of the story.

as i've said before: I credit the FF7 game for really getting me into artwork back in the day, owe the game a lot.

also- on my Deviant art Account, I kept getting questions about my training/background so I wrote a uber long journal detailing my artsy journey: thought I would post here as well :)

I have been asked about aspects of my training/art background on a number of occasions- so I figured I would just tell the whole story here and be done with it.

I grew up on a farm 10miles away from the closest town with a school, my family consisted of Mom, Dad, and 5 siblings (4sisters, 1 bro), a dog named Winston (after the ghost buster) and a cat named Garfield whom refused to die until he saw his 19th birthday.

When I was about 7yrs old a particularly nasty storm blew down our TV antenna, my dad, being my dad, announced that he liked how we could no longer vegetate in front of the tv, and thus never bothered to re-attach the thing, leaving us kids to grow up without actual tv. (scary I know)

this however resulted in an increase of drawing, reading and other such activities (lego especially, god yes the Lego. I built with lego 24/7). While we did not have any tv channels, we still had a physical TV to watch rented VHS movies on (lots of copied movies as well, shhh don't tell), and eventually a Sega Genisis, then a playstaion (Final Fantasy 7 had a lot to do with me practicing illustration in a serious way)

throughout school, one of my best friends also was a stellar illustrator- and it was a constant back and forth battle/competition about who could draw the best stuff- this epic war carried over from grade 2 all the way to 12, and without it, I doubt I would have gotten into a art school afterwards. (I credit a good chunk of my skill to the competition factor. Nothing gets me more productive and rearing to create than a friends artwork upping the ante over mine.)

During high school I took any and all art courses I could get my hands on, intro to drafting, a wednesday night portrait workshop, half credit intro to drawing course... and so on (my lil school boasted about 500+ students K-12, so we didn't have a ton of course variety)

upon graduation, I immediately applied for Red River Colleges Graphic Design Program (17yrs old at this point). A cousin of mine had took it, and upon seeing my work one day she convinced me that this was where i needed to go, rather than a fine arts, to carry out my work and advance my skills in the best way possible.

Graphic design kinda rubbed me the wrong way at first (was not a fan of all the design and lack of illustration they had me doing) but eventually I started to see how all they design theory was influencing and very much complementing my illustration work- i even started to really enjoy the typography, logo design, etc, after a time. it's fantastic stuff once you dive into it. Design also got me mastering the essential programs- like flash, photoshop, indesign and the almighty illustrator :) In the end, Graphic Design helped my improve my work quality 10X, I think every illustrator should take design training. I have been able to tackle so many more projects due to my design/illustration training mix

Red rivers program is a CONDENSED 2yr course load with an optional advanced 3rd year (this same course can be taken elsewhere over 4-5 years) I took the 3rd year- which got us improving upon our strengths, and more into the heavy programs like aftereffects, sound mixing etc.

Upon graduation from college, I worked in a Design firm from 2007-2009- it was a smaller place, I worked with great guys, and learned a god-awfully large amount about how to properly set up print files, pre-press procedure, good layout etc, etc. but this was by no means a "creative solution" kinda job, they wanted it done and out the door, then onto the next brochure (creativity took a back seat, and that slowly drove me into more and more freelance creative work/personal projects)
sadly enough, I feel that only a small precent of my skillset was being used at the firm, and so leaving that position was a bit of a relief.

Although- I will have to give that firm credit for my Shattered Vector Painting style. lol, the only way i could work on my own stuff during company time was to have my screen looking like I was just working on some illustrator file, so I would just have my painting stuck in the corner of a logo file and slowly chip away at it while working on the logo.

2008 I attended my first comic convention. I printed out about 10 things at Staples, had my sketchbook, and got my artists alley table (no idea what to expect) I HAD SUCH A GOOD TIME. I only sold a couple things, but got just hooked on the con scene. I also made contact with a ton of local talent, and a group of us started getting together once a week just to sketch jam (practice, that is, in my mind, the only flipping trick worth remembering: just keep drawing, painting, writing, learning,) and again, the competition factor between fellow artists also keeps me from slacking :)

Next year I rolled back to the con with a huge print selection and my A game- sold a ton of work, had even more fun. shortly after I started signing up for every convention within driving distance. Comic conventions got me inspired enough to keep improving my stuff, constantly getting new and better work ready for the next show

THUS the name and my philosophy: • Chasing Artwork •
its like a carrot on a stick, your next best piece is just out of reach, and the one after that is going to be even better. start chasing.

Currently I am working as a concept artists/designer at game company called "Complex Games" and it's becoming blatantly obvious how much quality of work improves when your truly passionate about your job. I am also working on a childrens book about electricity basics with a freelance client, as well as some comic pages for Bluwater's "Sinbad, Rouge of Mars" I also still attend a weekly sketchjam with friends, and get involved with every workshop and art show that comes my way.

wow. thats about me... let me know if you have any questions :D
cheers mates.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The almighty thumbnail sheet

a how-i-work kinda post.

the very last thing that goes to the printer before a convention is my thumbnail sheet. (one thats not all marked up for my printing references)
the x'd out thumbnails are for prints that I currently have sufficient stock for a con- the red numbers are how many new ones I need to print.

These are SUPER helpful, since I attend a lot of conventions, this sheet really helps me keep track of what is really selling, what is sold out, etc.
Its also interesting how much of an attention grab this thing is, people almost seem to love looking at this more than flipping through my portfolio to find their favorite pieces.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Black Rock Shooter

Heading to a small Anime Con this weekend, so I felt the need to build a new flashy fanart print :)

this may not be the final-final, as I am finishing this piece on a computer with horrendous colour calibration- I need to get back to my mac to double check everything before she goes to print :)

for those of you unfamiliar with this girlie: BRS

Monday, January 10, 2011

in progress work...

I will do a full update soon...
going to a toronto con soonish,
I now own a cintiq
Have a new job at a gaming company

cheers mates