Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This here be a biggun'

I have so much stuff to slap on this post that I really don't know how to organize it. I suppose I'll try to do them in order, by class, and in an orderly fashion. Since my last post, I've completed 2 pieces for Illustration Portfolio (and a third in progress), and 2 flash animations for digital cel class.

ILLU Portfolio project 1:

I decided that this piece would be exemplary for the advertising/poster design side my work could suit. I took a step back and looked at my portfolio and noticed a distinct lack of animals. My first instinct was for a zoo poster of a whole butt-load of animals, y'know, for practice. As you can see by the final piece, I decided to focus it just a bit. Due to my close proximity to it, I chose Zoo Atlanta. I hear another panda was just born there...but I decided on a lion. Apologies for the lack of progress work. The files seem to have vanished, and the only other copies are on the school network, which is crapped out at the moment. Here is the final piece.

Digitally colored over scanned sketch.

ILLU Portfolio project 2:

Another avenue for illustration I'm highly interested in pursuing is children's books. So, for my second assignment, I decided to create a double page spread for one. Now it's not a fleshed out story, just imagery I found suitable for a Kellan Stover children's book. I was working on this assignment at the same time as the first flash assignment (read below) so they went hand in hand and the inspiration and designs really were compatible. I was in medieval mode.

Here are my thumbs. They're sloppy and mostly for my brain to decipher and not others. Apologies.

Once again, I don't have all the files, or I would show you the comp sketch I settled on, but I took the imagery in the thumb of the rider on the hilly path and ironed it out compositionally and color-wise and came up with this final piece:

It's still simple, but it's the most involved piece I've created in a while.

ILLU Portfolio project 3 (in progress):

I thought I'd quickly throw up these black and white value character designs for my third project. The third and fourth project are intended to go hand in hand. For the third I am making a lineup of character to then occupy a scene, my fourth. I decided, since I want my day job to be animation (while moonlighting as a freelance illustrator), I should play up those strengths with some strong character design and animation layout work. I won't talk about it a lot now, since it's not done. But I will say that it is a western theme, and I'm really excited for it.

Dat's dem. Keep and eye out for when they get to be DOING STUFF in a LOCATION which may or may not be a SALOON!

Digital Cel Animation Project 2:

A flash assignment based on simple object animation set to 30 seconds of music. No frame by frame. Just simple tweens and 'cheat' effects. Our teacher gave us the option of working geometrically/abstract or narratively with characters. We all took the bait and went the narrative route. I did so because as soon as I heard '30 seconds of music' I immediately thought of 'Her Majesty' by The Beatles, and had the perfect idea. I'll just post it without further adieu, since the due date was quick and prelim work was unsubstantial.

(there are framerate issues in the beginning shot that wouldn't get fixed no matter how many times I uploaded it)

Digital Cel Animation Project 3:

A walk cycle. We were given a week for this. It seemed a shorter assignment time than normal, but I thought 'no biggy, I've done plenty walk cycles before'. It ended up kind of being a time suck because of how far I kept wanting to push it and being a perfectionist about it. But gladly it never ever got to be draining or boring. I loved every second of it. There really is something to be said about illustrations of yours really coming to life. It's something magical. You'll recognize the cowboy design from above. I designed him in tandem and he'll show up in both. I named him Slick just for fun. I found it really interesting finding a balance between motion tweens (arm rotation and body undulation, hat, etc.) and frame by frame (legs, hand rotation, pistol grab, etc.). Any obvious valley between them would stick out like a sore thumb, yet both were necessary for aesthetic and time reasons. Working on the background was just the cherry on top. Needless to say, I'm very happy with it. Check it out.

Next I'm working on a 15 second lip sync animation. I recorded my own audio and augmented the voice. It should be a blast. Stay tuned.


Toward the beginning of the quarter Caitlin and I were informed that our work had been selected to be in the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles' Illustration West 49 annual show. Even better, we had multiple pieces selected! We had to hustle to get them printed framed and shipped to LA quickly, but it all worked out and we hung at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra for a whole week! We'll also be on the SI-LA gallery page for years to come. In the nested image gallery, I'm 17 rows from the bottom. You'll recognize my three pieces! Here's my link on the Gallery Nucleus page. The pieces are no longer for sale (even though it says they still are) since the pieces are sitting at the package center back here in Savannah waiting for me to pick them up.

These are the three accepted pieces

If that wasn't enough, a special event was held to honor all of the students from the department who got work in. Believe it or not there were FOURTY NINE of us! We dominated the competition. The school with the second most entries has 9 times LESS! If there was ever a shining moment for our department since my time here it is now. I'm so happy to be involved in such a successful program. I think our professors realized this, and even the school's president did. I mean, we were served hors d' ouevres by caterers and drank soda from glass bottles with straws and cloth napkins. It was so neat. Here are some shots of Caitlin and I in the festivities that I stole from my professor, Mohamed Danawi's facebook page:

I came home from this event feeling so accomplished. But waiting for me in my inbox back home was another shocker. I had gotten two pieces into the Society of Illustrators NY 2011 Student Scholarship Competition! A jump from west to east coast. I'm still getting details on the competition, but from what I've read so far, SCAD's going to be taking the blow for me and printing, matting, framing, and shipping my work for me this time. Here's to the possibility of a monetary prize! I'm not holding my breath, though. The work I've seen alongside mine, from all across the country, is phenomenal. Just motivation to get even better! Here's the list of accepted SCAD students in the competition. The accepted pieces are the Died Young, Stayed Pretty poster from before as well as this:

I'll let you know how this pans out!

You'll also notice that I have a new portfolio site. I decided to drop the dreamweaver made, illustrative site style I've been using for the past 3 incarnations. It became a little gaudy and proved to be too much of a nuisance to update. I had to go in and replace slice images and a bunch of garbage you don't care about. I decided on a slightly generic template site, and tried to customize it as much as possible. It's certainly lacking the personality I would like, but it's proving functional, and it's not an eyesore. So it's doing its job. Really this is just a sign that I need to learn HTML and Flash webpage development. I'm sure I'll get to it some day.

I'm finally reaching the point where I need to send out applications/feelers to possible employers. Caitlin and I plan on moving to Austin, TX, a creative mecca and all around perfect place to be right now, artistically and economically. As I said before, I really want to work for an animation studio by day. Preferably a flash/web/commercial studio, and one with a lot of the sensibilities my work has. Luckily, literally the best fit for me happens to be in Austin. Powerhouse Animation sits right off the MOPAC highway in Austin. I've watched the demo-reel, scoured the site over dozens of times, and finally sent a little how-do-you-do to the co-founder. While not a full application, just a simple inquiry on open positions, it proved fruitful. Mr. Bruce Tinnin emailed me back saying he liked the work of mine he saw and would like to see more animation (which won't prove to be difficult by the end of school). He said there may be a position open soon, and that I should get back to him in April if I don't hear from him until then. I'm stoked. It's by no means a hire, but it's a huge motivator to bust my ass to make SURE I can plop my butt in front of a cintiq monitor in their studio! MY DARNDEST!

I do believe that is everything I could possibly want to tell you at this moment. My fingers are just about to fall off if I type one mor.....Oh, there they go. I'm now typing this with my palms, as my fingers are gone. Bye bye illustration career. Well g'bye all.

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