Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, all that jazz

Hope your season is going as great as mine so far!  WOOOO HOOOO!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kansai Scene

Hi folks.  Here are the bits of a job for the Kansai Scene in Japan, an article on a Shinto cat funeral.  This has been a two day job, drawing the first day and color-finishing the second, so I hope they successfully take me into the wonderful world of Japanese magazine publishing.

I was lucky to actually visit a Shinto Shrine and Cemetery in one afternoon after I explained to some Japanese friends that I was making images for the article and they took me.  It was a nice afternoon and proved to me that I work in the nicest school with the nicest teachers in the whole country.  So without further ado...

Monday, December 8, 2008


This is sketch I did a while back and started experimenting with today. I'm more ok with it now than I was before, so I guess that's good.
Water ripples? Also thinking of someone standing on the hole's edge, their reflection blurry in the water's reflection. That might finish it off.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Music Animal Variation and Zipline Illustrations for Allen Broussard Conservancy

More for the Allen Broussard Conservancy:

They really liked the Harvest Music Jam Poster from October and asked if the animals could be re-cast for Christmas.  It was a fun process, deciding on a role for each.

Afterwards, they explained how in January, they are beginning their process of promoting a Zipline that they are setting up on their nature preserve as part of their Eco-Tourism. Continuing the animal theme, we decided on using the Florida Panther as the Zipline Spokescat, since tons of Florida stuff already uses an aligator as a mascot.  I think they turned out fun!  And I've totally got dibs on that zipline.  It makes me think of Medicine Man with Sean Connery and Loraine Brocco (sp?), going thru the treetops to a heavenly Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack (and which btw, made me really excited about environmentalism in the 8th grade - the circle is complete...).  

(Quick personal fun fact: The day-care center I went to from around 3 to 7 years old had a zipline from the top of [what at the time, seemed like] a huge hill all the way down to a space between two trees where you would be jerked to a swinging stop.  The way that one was built, it seems now like something too ramshackle and fun for a day-care to have for their kids today, but it was awesome.  It almost made up for the terrifying and mentally unstable male owner of the place.  Oh, memories...)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Happy Place: December Hyogo Times cover

For Assistant Language Teachers, December in Japan means cold. Whether huddled before a kerosene heater or under your kotatsu, this is the season for seeing your breath in your apartment (or my kinda gross favorite: seeing steam rise from the toilet as you use it...).

In this spirit, I considered an image with a class being conducted in a frozen wasteland, students in their uniforms (girls still insanely in their officially-required skirts!), with polar bears and penguins in attendance for pronunciation practice. (Of course the focus would be L's and R's...)

However, I simply couldn't face it. Ladies and gentlemen, I just had to go to my Happy Place. And this Happy Place is what I drew. Maybe you'd like to spend the winter there, too. Plenty of room in the pink castle...

In actuality, this is all just a giant rationaliation for a drawing I had the urge to make after seeing one of my student's drawings of a unicorn, or Pegasus or something. As my English club kids sat discussing their school festival project in Japanese, I sat sketching out the composition for my idea of the girliest drawing I could imagine - something that would have been on some 4th grade girl's Trapper Keeper.

I couldn't fit in the group hug between the teddy bear, kitten and puppy, but maybe next time. I'm kinda proud of the dolphin's splash and the sparkles. The grass was purple at first, to push the insane "Barbie - isle - at - Walmart - feel" that I was going for, but the green really helped the wee cutsie primary-colored citizens of my Happy Place stand out better.

I've realized that its so much easier for me to get my shading completely worked out on the sketch beforehand than to do it later on the computer, which I use primarily for color and emphasizing the shading I've already done. The flexibility of digital colors has really allowed me to experiment while letting me retain the sculptural quality that I like in drawings.  

Some things I wanna work on are 
-Really integrating the pieces that I make separately because initially I am unsure about composition... in my October cover, I made all the figures together in one drawing and its one of my favorites... can get back to that approach.
-Seamless use of imported textures.  I really try to use textures that I find in my everyday life, and stay away from internet finds, even if I alter them beyond all recognition.  The ingredients matter in voodoo spells.  Regardless of where they originate, tho, I want them to blend better. Upcoming personal projects demand this.