Thursday, December 30, 2010

I admittedly forget..

..what I was getting at there, but no matter. It's fun to read things you wrote a while ago.

On that note, I recently came across some of my old writings. I've always had a story simmering on this mental back-burner. Looking at it is like revisiting insane and complex memories I'd forgotten. I remember vivid and countless things, all done by this strange thirteen- or fifteen-year-old kid. It feels good to witness how far my ideas have come - and how greatly some ideas have stuck.

But you're probably not here to read much, anyway. Have some wintery pictures of ice formations. Most of them are desktop-sized, too, so feel free to use them.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An Imperative Imagination

Have some random scattered art thingies.

There is a trend in all things which have succeeded. Think back to the most memorable movies you've seen or heard of.

Regardless of whether the movie was actually good or not, they probably share some common ground in world building. Media that generates fandoms, from huge convention-sized populations to elite followers, have a world that the viewer can dive into.

Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, Avatar, How to Train Your Dragon, countless animes, Harry Potter, you name it. They each have an instantly recognizable world; a world that is detailed enough for an audience to get lost in, but still leaves them wanting more.

It's comparable to a pool. A basic media grounded in reality could be a very good or very bad piece. Both, however, are pretty shallow. The human imagination can reach unfathomable depths which often never appear in such realistic creations. You may love 'The Notebook,' but there's nothing besides the movie. You can't swim any deeper into it: somewhat like a mental kiddy pool.

On the other hand, there are films, books, games, etc. that have incredibly deep ends. They are so hardcore and detailed and thought over that a person can literally drown in the sheer amount of information. People willing to take the dive are the ones who become fans. From the shallows, they look into the deep and are enveloped into the world - whether it be Star Wars, Harry Potter, or even (sadly) Twilight. The vampire movie sucks (no pun intended) its audience in by providing them a vessel into the world: the main character. She's never described, has no personality, and has no outstanding features. Once a viewer sees the grotesquely detailed world around the character, however, they suddenly have a decision of whether to fill that main character with him or herself. They take the blank slate and inject themselves into the world. Neat, huh? And rather sinister. It's like a semi-deep pool with a powerful vacuum at the bottom.

Other franchises accomplish fan bases by providing enough opportunities for the audience to see what they'd want to be. Han Solo, dude. They find core fantasies that people strongly desire, but can't delve into (because reality and fantasy shouldn't mix, after all). Creating a world for the core fantasies to flourish gives the audience member a place to go, where they are accepted for whatever or whoever they want to be. Astronaut, hero, pilot, fighter, princess, whatever. Once you leave the shallows, the depths are strangely familiar and comfortable. And, you rarely ever want to leave.

This is why such films and books do so well. No matter the quality, they utilize their audience's own imagination and curiosity to get them hooked.

Hence, world building should be considered a subliminal art. Very crafty, very cunning. If it's too noticeable, the illusion is lost. And yes, some movies have tried a little too hard.

An example of 'too deep' is the live action version of The Last Airbender. The animated show was phenomenal. It gradually gave you a new world to place your mind into. It gave you recognizable aesthetics, character-driven plots, amazingly done animations, creatures, behaviors, places, all that jazz. A viewer can easily love the show. But the movie... The movie was a disgrace in that it tried to literally cram a description of the entire world (and plot) into a single film, whereas the series obviously took several seasons to do so. Rather than a steadily descent into the imaginative world, the live action movie tied a cement brick to your ankles and shoved you into a 30-foot deep hole.

All in all, a happy middle ground seems to work better than extremes on either end of this metaphorical pool. I've been working on a world for quite some time now, and hopefully by taking these things in mind it'll prove to be a success. Here's hoping.

Next time, I'll talk at you about why the heck this is even important.
Until then, take care.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fun with Fun

Practice with new brushes turns into a sense jungle for the book project. It's not finished, as the values are way too dark for printing, but it's looking great so far (I've rarely done something of this caliber). Might even add a critter hiding in there. What do you think?


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Banter

Hello, long time no post. I said I would, but that was before the end of summer launched itself at me. Oh well.

Nutshell extravaganza:
-NYC trip
---American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art,
-GenCon Indy
---Totally awesome
---Met artists in the industry, such as my new friend Charles Urbach
---Portfolio review by Jon Schindehette; incredibly inspiring and positive
---Bought some cool things, played some cool games, had a great time
-Back to college
---Drove down
---Got stuff, rearranged room, met friends, epic classes

While in NYC, I took some pictures (of course) and I know no one cares about my blog posts unless they have pictures in them, so here's the best picture, taken in Central Park. For some reason this photo honestly resonates with me, something that only happens in my photo sessions on rare occasion.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Animal Behavior

As a quietly respectful enthusiast of the natural universe, I often find myself glued to various animal behavior displays.

Just now, for instance. It's rather late at night and I was the last person to go upstairs to bed. Before turning off the last lamp, I saw a little house fly on the couch, just chillin,' poking around, confused at the sudden waves of darkness. Instead of ignoring it or even swatting it away, I calmly reached my hand over to its side.

You'd think it would fly away, but it did not; in fact, it found my index finger somewhat interesting. After a few moments it casually made its way onto my nail, testing the surface with its strange, tubular mouth organ. It then made its way onto my skin, where I felt the typical tickle associated with flies.

I looked over this guy for a good, quick while. This was a neat chance to observe one up close and personal. Very interesting when you stop to really think about them.

Then, it flew off.

I've also compiled a few other intriguing animal behavior stories. I'll tell you these tales in the coming days. For now, here's a quick list of them:

-Damaged cicada
-Walk in park: water dog, large spider
-Friend's house: owl drama

On another note, GenCon Indy was absolutely magnificent. At the end of four days I was tired beyond recognition but I felt every penny I spent on a badge was worth it. I'll go into further details with that experience later, as well, when I'm not so exhausted.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, July 30, 2010


Dear Tristan,

You left your citrus fruits at my house. So I drew them.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Art Update 03

Another promo image for the book. A 'photo' of a creature who just detected you. ;D

Click it to see the enlarged version.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Dream & preview

I feel like spouting some deep philosophical hoots, but nothing so profound is coming to mind right now.

Instead of boring you with that, I'll relay to you an anecdotal slice from Recent Daytime Nap Dream:

T'was a video game POV, jumping around in an action/platformer with mostly flat grey colors, like a greybox. There was also Optimus Prime, and he wanted to kill me while I was trying to get some strange inter- dimension-traveling train to work.

There was also my friend and classmate Joe. I think he was the character I played.


Have a couple sneak peek WIPs:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Underwater camera

Looks like my underwater camera will need some getting used to:

Oh well. Yesterday, my sister and I went for a pleasant stroll around our neighborhood. There wasn't much to take pictures of, but here are a few magnificently cliche attempts at making suburbia look cool.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Inception of Thinking Entertainment

The movie Inception has finally come out.

After first seeing the trailer months ago, I've been waiting for its release ever since. And it was worth it.

For the first time in a good, long while, here's a movie that truly forces you to think. During the movie, my mind strained with questions, suspense, and tension. It's a rare occurrence for a film to do so well these days when it lacks mindless explosions, unnecessary graphics, and emotionless characters.

Inception has everything it needs to make you really think. Instead of dragging you along a roller-coaster ride of overly done high-tech jargon and underdeveloped character, it shows you immense possibilities, dangers, and feelings that should come naturally with any great sci-fi thriller.

Mainstream audiences may have a somewhat difficult time calling it a sci-fi because even though the filmmakers address the technology, that is not the primary focus of the film. (I'm fairly certain that many people normally associate sci-fi with space ships and aliens) But, that is how sci-fi can most efficiently catch the eye of the audience. Not to go over their heads, or dumb it down; but to intrigue them enough to want MORE. Sci-fi is about critically asking questions about ourselves, creating new and strange situations, and showing the audience how something impossible is not as distant as we think.

Therefore, Inception lives up to its sci-fi thriller genre. In fact, it should be the forerunner of the genre, alongside Equilibrium, Serenity, and Moon

Seeing a movie like this gives me unbelievable hope in humanity, for a rather indirect reason. People are enjoying this thinking film. Now, maybe, people will once again think for themselves - and will call for more entertainment that follows in this film's footsteps. Yes, many movies have done this before, but Inception came out right as the entertainment industry becomes dire. (*coughTwilightcough*)

As far as Inception itself, it is filled with spine-chilling intensity cradled by a movie that does not rely so heavily on computer graphics or brain-numbing romance or violence. Its methods are mostly, and fittingly, all in your head.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Tradigital sketch steps

Test: pencil sketch, digital coloring

Steps & result:
Please excuse the tiny-ness of the thumbnail - simply click on the image to see it much larger

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Art update 02

I made an 'Art Update 01,' but didn't post any further art entries with such a sequential title. THUSLY:

Preview wip:

Collaborative doodle between myself and Lhune, Pringles, aaand Taeso?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spectacular photos

Using StumbleUpon, I came across a series of photographs by David Doubilet, mostly of underwater and aquatic scenery and creatures. They've proven to be amazing for photo studies, because they are real places that feel fantastical. The best of both worlds!

Here's an example of a loose photo sketch study, based off a photo of his:

-click here to see the photos-

This photography makes me feel immensely nostalgic. I look into the image and want to go there, to see what's behind that rock, to explore the untold wonders and have adventures. Wanderlust drives me. Hopefully, with enough practice, more photo studies, and hard work, I can create such feelings in my own pictures.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Scary beast

Don't worry, he's more scared of you than you are of him., well, maybe not.

His name is Screamy.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some art

Here's some random art, mostly unfinished.

Mostly warm colors?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Photo reference hunting

Wow, I really do suck at keeping a blog. Huzzah.

This summer, I'll be working on a portfolio. Time to tackle my weak points:
-Human faces

I've been snooping around and taking photo references. So have some nature-y photos! They're mostly taken in the back yard.. Which is difficult, seeing as I live in suburbia. Good thing my parents are awesomely lazy and don't tend to it often; this lets the plants overgrow and go nuts. It's pretty cool.

But these photographs' fields of view, in general, feel rather restricted. When I step outside, my predatory forward-facing human eyeballs take in wider ranges of information than the camera can get.. so I tried my hand at taking multiple pictures for a panoramic-esque view. You can still see the seams.. xD But I tried.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Random update

I have a blog?

Instead of filling in weeks (months..?) of stuff no one cares about, I'll list the good stuff:

1) My artist's booth at Megacon 2010 was a huge success, despite the massive waves of FFFFFFUUUUU associated with it.
2) College is: frustrating / fun / challenging / unforgiving / almost over for the semester, thank dear Zeus.
3) Summer.. plans?
- - - Internship?
- - - Commissions (job), portfolio, messing with UDK and/or Maya
- - - Vacation maybe?
- - - Possibly working out a sketchbook publishing deal... *shifty eyes*
4) True story: