Saturday, December 24, 2011

3 Months out and...

I've a reason to be motivated in drawing again...

Which resulted in:

Still quite a ways till completion but I've got a really good feeling about this, plus it's The Darkness... a reason for me to finally do some 'fanart' and get motivated in the process! What's shown now could change drastically in the days to come.

I just hope I don't procrastinate and get to a point where I feel like I might not get anywhere.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reminiscence before Bed

2008 seems so far away, and 2007 even farther though in a reflected time frame it really isn't... alot happened between then and now.

I finished college... got married... been stuck pretty much with the same job I've done through college, sticking with it really to see if anything productive could come out of it. And it sort of had its perks but the glamour of being a window cleaner quickly fades away the harder I tried to stick to it.

More than most, I find myself reminiscing on things of the past; how fun college was, when it was fun (some of the prerequisite studies were a total time sink when all I wanted to do was learn to be a better artist.) Techniques and mastery aside, the journey through it all was pretty amazing, and if I could, I'd relive those moments again just for the effect but not for the experience. Was much easier remembering how nice it was being a student sometimes. But really?

I'm glad I finished.

Or so I thought... 3 years after graduating, I haven't really done much with my degree but sit on my laurels. Well all that's changed, or I think so, as I've actually gone up and out to post my resume out, apply for things... keep on the look out for opportunities and hopping onto them as early as I detect them, search for them, find them...

The struggle for discovery is hard though. For people to discover yourself as an artist, and yourself as the artist to discover those who might appreciate what you have to show the world.

I think in this regard, being an artist can be tough but worth it when you make it.

Still... in more times than most, I often think about what I was doing in college, and while I consider most of the work I did then more experimentally astute studies and 'trying to figure out what the hell I was really doing', it all sorted itself out.

I look at some of my older work and think, "I've come a long way since then," but more importantly, "There's something magic about what I did then... now how can I keep that in check, keep it nearby and have it work for me?"

It's been years since I've graduated, years since I've actually looked at some of these older bodies of work (I'd almost forgotten about them till my wife reminded me through one of them she keeps posted up in her cubicle at work when I visited her once) and it reminded me of just where I came from; the legacy I bore through.

Something to reminisce before bed...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Getting my feet wet.

Or at least believing I am...

Recently, I got in touch with an online job posting (Craigslist, really...) of a team of writers looking for a comic book artist. While I'd prefer the treatment, "Graphic Illustrator" I guess we should call it what it really is, hahaha.

Anyway I got in touch with them, there was a waiting period where they went through a slew of applicants and finally got around to telling me that I was one of three strong considerable applicants. This was my fighting chance as out of these three, only ONE will be chosen to be this particular team's illustrator.

Now I'm not hoping I win, whatever happens, happen, but how nice would the chance be, yeah?

It's the first time my work will be looked at in a professional (at least I think so) manner for the consideration of breaking into the biz, or at least taking that one chance that might make all the difference or better yet, prove to myself that I got this far and have practically 'gotten my foot into the door'. I imagine it won't be THAT big of a deal but a man can still dream big...

In any case, the three applicants, myself included, were suggested to draw up a 3-panel sequential segment of a 'test' page, for what I imagine, the team to analyze and decide which of the three illustrators they really want as to who will depict their idea the best and connect with the most.

No dialogue either, just all sequential stuff depicting mood, character development and just an overall sense of story telling, with no words except the insisted 'Meanwhile...' insert for the last panel as was detailed in the outline for this inaugurating project.

They also mentioned that this thing didn't have to be colored, but rather, it could have just been a series of sketches, or at least that's how it seemed to me... but I thought to myself, "What if that just hurts me and makes the people who are willing to take me seriously think I'm not serious if I don't show them what I'm really worth and able to truly perform?"

So with that... I went the extra measure for the sake of saving my own ass, just in case, hahaha! And in this sense, I really hope it pays off... otherwise it'll make it seem like I was just kissing ass and... well... I'd rather not think farther into it than that.

Still, this was really alot of fun to get back into the mix of things after a partial hiatus of crazy events which I'll get into, in a future post... it just wouldn't be right or keen to mention it here. As for this, this is all on the premise of hoping this will be a new chapter, an exciting chapter, in the progress of events yet to come.

(Psssst! I REALLY do hope I get the job!)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Fascinations

Know what I like about summer?

Going to the beach...

Definitely gotta be the beach.

Three Egos -Triego

Seems like the more I dig around, the more work I find based on concepts of executions I thought were good ideas that I could have run with, stuck out and done something with... but never really came through for, for some reason.

One of these concepts was the idea of presenting particular individuals, in this case, a couple of my characters in the lines of what I called a "Triego."

The concept was simple really: Use a sequential method of illustrating one character three times in a dynamic, compositionally diverse fashion. Like a snippet from a comic book page in panels, ya dig?

Well I was on a roll with four characters in particular... but the fourth one never really got done. I mean I sketched him out but...

Once again, I came short and it pretty much just stopped there...

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't want to pursue it anymore, I could I just... it's like I felt no drive to continue. I mean I could technically pick it back up if I wanted, among so many OTHER ideas I keep meshing into this vicious cycle but... well... ya know...

Spaceships and Concepts

Was about a year ago now me thinks? Had to be... well there was this contest a while back on this particular MMO I got myself lost in. I don't play that many... in fact this game, EVE Online, is the only one I play exclusively.

Well during a certain time, I was well into it and found out about this EVE Online art contest hosted through DeviantArt... the whole thing ended up being a sham and a controversy throughout the EVE Online community. CCP, the developers, had their hands full for a while but ended up redeeming themselves in the end.

From my end? I went through a painstakingly, however pleasing, experience of dealing my hand into this contest... was hoping it'd get an honorable mention but not even that. Not to sound like an asshole or anything but I, among others, should have had made it to at least that. Like I said, the whole DeviantArt hosted EVE Online contest was a sham...

I really learned alot from the attempt though.

And it was ALOT of fun, truly.

The first order of business was creating preliminary silhouettes of the ships intended. My most favorite of the four depicted was 'Testament'. Something bout the vertical hull design spoke out to me in volumes.

So I ran with the idea, flushed it out, put in A WHOLE lot of technical detailing into it the old fashioned way. Lines and drafting. I feel like I was at a disadvantage with this too... because a whole lot, if not more than 90% of the submissions entered were all done through computer-aided drafting tools or 3D modeling programs; so I really felt like a fish in a sea of sharks... granted there were some pretty good designs don't get me wrong but there were equally some pretty terrible ones that I honestly believed mine could have stuck out best among the rest... ... didn't really pan out that way though.

In the end, it was still alot of fun but I still think about how it could have (and should have) gone alot further... but what's done is done and I seriously did learn alot from this experience.

I'd thought about wanting to pursue this type of thing again as a pet project because I'd always wanted to do this sort of thing and have always doodled around with the mindset... but this was the first time I'd EVER really flushed out the concept of such a deal to this degree.

Almost forgot...

Ah man, hahaha! I almost forgot I'd done this... was an idea I had running around in a tangent consisting of Neko Neko Juju Jumbo. According to the time stamp it says I'd saved this at August 8th, 2008, ah MAN.

"Death by Jamikaze!"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Neko Neko Juju Jumbo

A long, long time ago in a time that, when I think about, doesn't feel that long ago, I remember I was attempting to look for some way to gain some exposure of my talents, skills, what have you and I found this opening for that particular kind of thing when there was something that seemed available for the University of Arizona's newspaper as a comic artist for the paper's comic section...

This was about when I first started out at the U of A in 2005... my FIRST year attending there.

I mean I showed up, got an interview from when I turned in a couple things but... things didn't work out. The guy flaked out on me, never really got back to me, made it very difficult to get a hold of; it almost seemed like he was avoiding me, that or just VERY bad luck but... ... things never panned out.

I wish it had... maybe things could have been different had things took off but I dunno... and that's the problem isn't it?

I never will :(

But in the mean stead, I still had alot of fun doing what was to be my first (and sadly, last) time ever attempting classic, 4-panel short comics.

The result was an outlandishly cartoonified aspect of my character Juju in an alternate tangent of reality which I titled:


Sometimes... SOMETIMES, I think about picking this back up but... sometimes I also feel like that ship has sailed but that it can be pulled back into harbor, somehow.

I dunno... maybe one day it'll come back.

I will say I miss the feeling I had when I thought this would have made it into the U of A's paper; the excitement, the intense hope of success it could have brought... I also miss that level of optimism. Something I should seriously reconnect with.

Still more Oldies but Goodies...

Ah man this is old. I mean REALLY old.

Good lord, man these gotta be like... 2006?

Again this was during the time I was taking those Comic Art and Illustration classes during the summer and this was the result of one of the final projects for the class... there's actually a second one from the second time I took the class but comparing that with this one, this one hands down looks better despite the fact it's actually a couple of jumps back from what I'm able to do now.

I mean I'm proud of it but... looking back at it, I kind of have to laugh at myself pretty hard for this.

Really, hard, oh my God, hahahahaha!

Oldies but Goodies...

My wife was looking through a collection of work I hadn't laid eyes on in... gosh... FOREVER and looking at it, it sort of reminded me a bit of something I had alot of fun working with.

These aren't collaborated in any way accumulative, at least for the first two:

I was still in college at the time taking a summer class at the University of Arizona, that summer class being a Comic Arts and Illustration class.

I took the class twice over the course of two years, once for each year before I graduated and was pretty proud of the results at the time... still do in fact, actually.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Spirit Channeling

Ever feel like reality isn't what it should be? That it could be something else you've always wanted?

I think that's why I chose to be an artist...

To make my own reality when the one I live in doesn't quite click the way I hoped it would.

Not escape, just... get lost in.

I've a disgusting fascination with the cerebral end of things... and sometimes I wish I weren't so enthralled by it. Other times I can enjoy things exactly as they are, what they are, what they're meant to be and nothing else to get distracted by.

Those moments are rare. And when I mean rare, I mean in the public eye of peers and others.

I often think about my conflicting desire to go to a convention one day... I'm rather deathly afraid of crowds, not so much the people, just the overwhelming numbers of people I'll never truly know, ever REALLY meet and probably don't want to mind listening to. I tend to keep to myself unless otherwise needed and most times I'll be found with a pair of headphones plugged to my ears because I tend to reject just about everything else... not out of spite, more like courtesy.

As a kid, and when I was much younger than I am now, I was told to "Mind your own business," alot. So much that instead of brooding on the effect, I redirected it by indulging and superimposing my already developed enthusiasm with music.

While I enjoy the company of others. It's the solitude with friends, sometimes family, but ultimately myself when everything else in the world just doesn't quite give in the way I'd like.

As if I truly deserve anything... but I do try hard to please others, so much that I tend to forget how to give myself some time alone, and coincidentally, when I do, I'm often interpreted as some sort of hermit, a troll or even someone who just hates company...

They couldn't be farther away from the fact.

I love my wife, I love my family, and the family I hope to raise one day... but... well... sometimes I just find myself exactly where I need to be, even it's at the expense of displeasing others. That's the cost of solitude I guess...

-LDR- (Clearing the mind and dusting off the concepts)

I can't remember how far back it's been now since I've looked at a few of my concepts for another set of graphic novels... or just ideas in general that never quite ripened to fruition. Procrastination, fear, lack of ambition... I dunno what it is anymore but everytime I looked back at what I started on, I'm almost emboldened to pick it right back up from where I last left it... and then leave it alone all together again.

I really hate when I do this to. I do it ALL the time and I've no idea why. Lack of stimuli from outside sources; that kind of thing to feed into the energy, the excitement, the attention... ... sometimes I think I should shed those layers away though because they really get me nowhere.

Mostly in trouble, sometimes.

But other times?

Mostly nowhere it seems...

Where will I be going with these things? How far will they go? Will they ever make it farther than simple concepts, sketches, spontaneous illustrations and ideas?

Who knows...

I wish I did.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shadows of Procrastination

Or maybe it's indecisiveness... it's hard to tell these days but more and more I've found myself taking comfort in the explosive nature of creativity when it comes to sketching out scenes in their rawest, earliest forms of conception.

It's something about them.

The energy.

The spontaneous nature of where they just derive out of nothing hoping to be completed.

This is a double edged sword however... for all the potential I put into these scraps/work in progresses/roughdrafts/sketches, whatever you want to call them, they have a tendency to just sit around and potentially NEVER get done... and I hate when that happens.

But it happens ALOT.

Maybe it's fear... fear that all that I hope and see in it won't come to true light when I get nearer to finishing it. Or perhaps I love the process of building and creating so much that 'finishing' is a transgression rather than the intended transcendence I hoped for.

I wonder on these things alot.

I also like to call them Shadows of Procrastination; where nothing gets done but a whole lot gets piles up.

Friday, May 13, 2011

One Must Fall 2097

Was a looong time ago.

This was back in the days when Shareware were all the rage and Intel 80386/80486 (colloquially known as 386/486's) were, from what I remember, the most practical computers aside from Apple Macs prevalent to home introduction and use. It's what I grew up with anyway, 386/486's. With that said, it was also the point where gaming as a whole made such an impact on me, that it jump started my imagination and cemented me, rooting me to the point that I wanted to exceed my imagination.

I played the lot of early computer games many people can expect from archaic titles: Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Heretic, Hexen, Rise of the Triads to name a few... quite a bit of First Person Shooter titles to be named but there was one, and probably the ONLY fighting game that ever made any success out on being a PC title (and sadly, to most these days, the greatest PC fighting game no one has ever heard or ever played)


This game was the hallmark of all great things I remember growing up. I was probably 9, maybe 10 at the time, this game came out and it was, and to me, still is, the most greatest thing that has ever happened to me as far as life experiences go. Anyone who plays it now might not see that much about it, why it's so great or why it is so profound. But that's the thing.

You had to be there.

And for anyone who was, you know. It's just that simple.

For years the game haunted me with its amazing intro music, and even before that, the opening sequence of thunder and lightning as it brought forth the One Must Fall 2097 title, and then finally, the title screen:

As a kid, this title screen mesmerized me and even growing up, I was still awestruck by it-- truly transcended by its sheer potency of nostalgia, pride and joy I partook in this game, in every facet of its creation.

What got me though was that the fanbase for this game is practically nonexistent. It exists, but its so far underground I wouldn't even go as far as to say it has a cult following. It's more like a group of people who remember the game and even fewer who TRULY embargoed their passion into it as much as I do.

So much in fact, that when I tried to search for, say, a redux/revamp/high resolution mock up of the One Must Fall 2097 title screen... I was actually surprised that NO such thing existed except for the archaic, old 16 bit looking title screen in, what is it? I think 320 x 480 resolution? This saddened me but then I thought, "Wait... I'm an illustrator! If no one's done it yet! Why can't I?!"

And so in taking the core elements of the original One Must Fall 2097 title screen, I brought a rebirth to an old friend of my youth and gave it a makeover:

First with the lineart / Black & White:

And then the ultimate justice; the fully compiled color scheme. With all the elements and fundamentally mind blowing aspects I remember this franchise delivering to me.

I did this piece more than just for myself, mind you.

I did this piece for every One Must Fall 2097 fan out there who I hope finds this and remembers.

REALLY remembers.

Because some of us never forgot, and never will. It was 1994 when it happened, and I've been in love ever since.