Life of an Orphan Black Fangirl

No big deal, just had some  fanart showcased at the San Diego Comic Con last week.

One of minneeee! Wheeeeeee!

The Orphan Black Tumblr is a very fun Tumblr, I highly recommend checking it — and the show it supports — out. Whoever runs it, thanks for showcasing my work! YAY!

I believe my last entry babbled about fandom and fanart, so I suppose in a way this underlines the thesis of consistently doing artwork — no matter how fannish or self-indulgent it may be — to advertise however skilled you are at your craft. It’s the same with cooking. People can when you’ve put love into your work.

On my own part, stuff like this, or the cast liking my weird little drawings of them on Instagram, are great incentives for slightly self-conscious and self-depreciating creatives such as myself to push forward through creative blocks and what-not and make better stuff.

Orphan Black completes me, what can I say.

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Greetings From Fandom Land

It’s been an embarrassingly long time in between since my last post. Ya see, what had happened was…:P…there was this television show that I began to watch. It’s called Orphan Black. It’s really quite good. One thing led to another and I found myself on Tumblr, geeking out with the best of them and, for the first time in quite awhile since Lost, making fan art.

Orphan Black fanart | By Yours Obsessed

I don’t like that I rather abandoned my primary blog and so, today, I return to a more regular babbling blogging schedule to ramble on about fannish tendencies and how they correlate with being a professional creative. In retrospect, I think that the divide I created between my fandom design life and freelance design life was for the most part unnecessary…except of course for sparing this blog of my more fannish goofiness, which will stay and can be found aplenty at my Tumblr. However, as designers, artists, photographers, filmmakers and what have you, nothing can be more inspiring than being a self-proclaimed fanboy or fangirl. When people who are artistically inclined devote themselves to a certain show or shows, they express that devotion creatively, and oftentimes, extremely cool things can come from that. Great portfolio pieces can emerge from it. Industry exposure can come from it because suddenly, as a fan, you are speaking to a broad audience of fellow fans and artists, as well as potential industry professionals who are looking for certain types of styles or creatives who are into the geekier side of things.

Tons of designers and filmmakers have found success being out-and-out fans. Wayside Creations produces a high-quality fan series based on the hit game Fallout. Illustration rockstar James White got his big break while making illustrations and posters based on his favorite movies. Mondo and DKNG are a high-end illustration studio, responsible for designing some of this generations gnarliest film and music gig posters. The only difference between the original artwork these people churn out, and the original artwork the talented individuals of the Orphan Black fandom — or any fandom really — is that the former studios and illustrators are high profile, well marketed, seasoned and generating serious income from their craft. There is obviously a divide where a person is just being a fan and being goofy cutting out pictures and applying effects to them, but on the other side of that divide is a person who genuinely loves producing beautiful and clever original artwork or photomanipulation, and has in such-and-such a show, musician or film, found their muse and inspiration. If they are particularly saavy, dedicated and/or lucky, awesome things can come from what they love do for fun.

Now I’m just going to spam some OB fanart faves. X-D

Sarah Manning | by SpinTheWorlds

Headshot | by Joan-Adler

Clone Club Riddle | by iboughtafuckingateau

My philosophy…I suppose the generally accepted philosophy, is that as creatives, we must do what we enjoy. In doing what we love, we hone our skillsets and are able to impart them onto things we might have a little less fun doing, but which will produce actual money-type green stuff. At the end of the day, we all come home to our muse, whatever that may be.

…and for me right now that’s Orphan Black, Luther and Hannibal, go watch all of those shows. And Once Upon A Time, it’s a glorious cheesefest.

Anyway. Good to be back! For my own part, here is a crude preview of a soon to come thingie. Just for fun. Something about Charlie and some Angels…

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Orphan Black – A Fedora of Crazy Set at a Jaunty Angle

In addition to being a designer and habitual filmmaker, I’m a fangirl. Perhaps you’ve noticed.

I have many many many words of kindness and fangirl worship to shower on Orphan Black, but my best advice to people unfamiliar with it is to watch the pilot. I binge-watched episodes 2-7 last week within the span on 3-4 hours and honestly, that’s something that is usually difficult for me because of my ADD tendencies when it comes to television and things in general. Orphan Black is like that one weird random book you pick up and keep flipping through, spellbound, until finally you realize you’ve come to the last chapter and blast it, you want more.

To digress, it’s a great show. The lead Tatiana Maslany is the greatest thing since the invention of the ice cream cone. To re-inforce this idea, I’m pic-spamming stills from E.4 — Effects of External Conditions. This is — I think — the third meeting between our protagonist clone Sarah, and Ukranian psycho serial killer clone Helena.

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Sarah Manning, demonstrating the inevitability…

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…of encounters with creepy-ass people in oddly lit parking garages.

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Continue reading

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In Which The Author Babbles To Herself

Ana_Times_Cover

Before design, writing was my first love. I can’t pinpoint exactly where my love of espionage thrillers and science fiction began, but it was quite early on, around the age of 11 or so. My first “full length” story was a peice of crap called Millenium Man which was about some guy who was from the future or something, and was being experimented on by a clandestine government organization, but then he escaped and was on the run, eventually hooking up with a pretty lady who of course decided to involve herself in his life and then it turned into every film noir suspense thriller that I was aware of.

Sadly, Millenium Man was lost forever in a tragic floppy drive glitch. I swore I’d never involve myself that deeply in fictional characters I created again…but that was a lie.

Since then, I’ve written a lot of things of varying lengths and varying degrees of completion. The intention was not initially to be produced, until I discovered filmmaking and realized I could do whatever the fuck I wanted, which was excellent. As of now, I have several TV series’ in the works, three in pilot stage, a number of feature length scripts in varying stages of revision, and a multitude of short fiction stories. I find that writing and design are perfect complements to each other, as they are each mediums which encourage the expression of ideas within unique visual contexts. As a graphic designer, I control pixels, paper and paint to create tangible concepts and convey interesting ideas. As a writer, I tell stories with words woven in intricate, interesting patterns. Two mediums. One goal. Fantastic.

Earlier this year I was combing through folders on my computer and re-discovered an absolutely horrid attempt at a newspaper that I did when I like 15 and still learning Photoshop. It’s just…ah, well, I can embarrass myself this one time. Mortified, but compelled by what I felt was fairly excellent fake!reporting, I did a re-design, which you can view in full above. To digress, “The Anarchy Times” is pretty much a small compilation of the most significant self-created mythological obsessions that recur in my writing. If the TV series which I have spent that last 3-4 years of my life developing is ever made, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The “1151” concept is a motif I try to make recur in some form in whatever I do. It’s akin to my own personal “See You Next Wednesday”.

To continue the trend of random writing samples/projects, herein lies another droplet in the making. A teaser of something insignifcant but, hopefully — at the very least — entertaining, thought-provoking and interesting. The trifecta I always aim for. It was originally titled “Heroes”, but sadly, that show has already been done (thank god).

I may post more snippets like this in the future. A goal for this summer is to re-join the world of filmmaking by producing another short film. The difficult thing about self-produced film if finding people with whom to produce it. As a designer, I can rock out solo, and I love it. But the thing I’m realizing is that projects which absolutely require a group effort — such as filmmaking — typically work best when all parties are equally obsessed with their craft and the completion of the thing related to their craft. Without a certain amount of obsession with perfection and completion, nothing can be exceptionally executed. Case in point: Learn to obsess over things. Embrace your inner nut. He/she can actually help ya!

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Spotify Mini. Because I Just Want To See The Muzaks

spotifymini_closed

I was looking at a lot of UI design on Dribbble today, and it occured to me that UI design must be one of the hardest categories of graphic design to be skilled in, because it truly is where information design and aesthetic are forced to bridge — nay — zip-line the gap between them. If someone had screwed up on the design of every damn interface of the Macbook I’m using right now, no doubt it would destroy a lot of the intrinsically exciting and slick mythos that Apple has created around it’s products. As it is, I understand that Jobs disliked the menu bar and it’s increased “clutter”. I don’t personally mind it. But in the greater scheme of Apple’s love of minimalism, his attitude makes sense. Even still, I must contend with the stupid leather skin covered iCal — but only because I’m too lazy to theme it with a skin someone else made that looks better and less chintzy.

To digress, I use Spotify a lot — it’s sort of the motor fuel to my designing sessions, and probably a larger distracted than Facebook at times. I’ve gone through quite a few online music streaming applications and it’s the one I love best so far, though it is synced up with my first love, Last.FM. I remember when I first used the Last.FM app and liking how light and unobtrusive it was. If you wanted it big, you could hit up the website. But for some desktop action, all you needed was the medium sized application, which was more than hi-def enough to display album art, biographies and such. And it looked great. Still does (last I checked anyway :P…) Spotify’s desktop app looks nice, but I’ve always felt it’s a bit bulky and unnecessarily shows you almost absolutely eeeverything. And it’s so biiig. Yeah, I can minimize it, but then all the windows get squished together and it looks weird. And also, the mini album cover window just doesn’t do it for me. I want to see my favorite album art BIG. And also, I don’t always need to know who’s updating their playlists, even if I do enjoy stalking my friends musical choices. Sometimes, I just don’t give a shit. With this project, I wanted to trim the fat off of the app.

With the Last.FM app and Spotify’s smaller imbedable widgets in mind, I cobbled together something that I think I personally would like to see coming out of Spotify’s design lab. It’s pretty simple–not a drastic re-design at all. A medium sized Spotify player featuring a retractible main window that highlights the important stuff — who you’re listening to; album art, navigation, playlists, and a retractible sidebar that also gives you easy access to the juicy extras — your friends & followers and the streaming timeline of info. Essentially, I like things that have lots of retractible windows. 😛

spotifymini_full

Note the Kimbra album that you should be listening to…*ahem*

I’m not a UI designer, so I won’t pretend that this is perfect at all. It’s goofy and quick (2 1/2 hours is quick, right?) and mainly for fun. But I do think something along it’s line would be a nice addition to Spotify’s range of applications. Get on it Spotify! If you don’t, though, I’ll love you anyway. 😀

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Fontgirling – Domo Arigato, Roboto

fontgirling_roboto

This will be the first entry in a category-series I call “Fontgirling”. Fontgirling is like fangirling, but you do it over fonts and typographic things that illicit the “SQUEEE” impulse, as would occur when you see something related to you favorite TV show or actor or whatever. If you’re not a designer or someone who partakes in fandom lingo, I really can’t help you beyond that explanation. 😛

As a creative of any sort, sometimes you’ll come across things that pull a chord within you that makes you just stop and go “OH FUCK YES.” Well, I was rebounding a Dribbble shot and you know how when you open someone else’s PSD and you get those little exclamation marks on type because you don’t have that font installed? Well I went “fuck that, I must have this font” and discovered an elegant new font in the process.

Roboto is really pretty and comes in a zillion weights. I love finding elegant sans serifs  that serve multiple purposes. My font boyfriend at this point in time has been Novocento and pretty much the whole Lost Type inventory (I didn’t say I was into monogamous font relationships), but Roboto will certainly be a newfound joy to plop on absolutely everything.

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May The 4th Be With You

I’ve been quiet for awhile! Still alive, though. Hard at work trying to get paid to be hard at work. My endeavor continues to become dually employed in Michigan, preferably in a field related to what I’ve studied for all these years.

My job search found me quite frustrated this week when I discovered, during a phone interview, that the place I was interviewing with was out of my reach, as a current public bus-bound commuter sans car. It irked me quite a bit that the only thing standing in my way, at the point in time, was the lack of ownership of a vehicle that I could driver wherever the fuck I wanted. And also that the public bus system didn’t serve my employment conveniences to the tee. Irately, I made this:

Designer Raaaage!

 

Would have been a sweet job, but alas. Next time. Hopefully, with a car. Next time.

I attend commencement in a few weeks to officially complete my early collegiate career. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether I will continue seeking an academic design education, seeing as I must now busy myself paying back the school I was excited to attend. Like Star Wars, I guess that exciting escape from the Death Star will conclude at some point.

In the meantime, there are some fun design and potential film related projects on the horizon. I’m not at liberty to discuss all of them, so stay on the lookout.

Peace!

An Artist…or Something Like One

It was during the making of this thing here that I think I’ve found a way to communicate the kind of artist I am and what it is I want to convey with my work.

Unlike people who can illustrate better than me, I don’t have an “artist’s statement” so much as an “artist’s defense”. I design with no intention more profound that desiring to make something that looks cool (at least to me), and moves my spirit to imagine other, even cooler looking things. I have no esoteric statement to make. There is no symbolism or hidden messages about politics, economics, religion or humanity unless you want to see it there, then by all means knock yourself out. Illustration for me is about the ideas that concepts themselves conjure. The best way I can make that make sense is to compare it to the world of fan-fiction. Fan fic writers pen their stories in order to fill in missing pages from a pre-existing story, or to insert pages where either none existed in the first place or where the writer him/herself feels there ought to be a little something extra. In most fanfic cases, this is limited to developing intense sexual relationships between characters from entirely different shows, but I digress. As fanfiction is the audiences contribution to the storytelling process, I feel my design intention is to continue embellishing on pre-existing idea and take it, if possible, to an entirely new, unheard of and perhaps ridiculous place.

With “Red” for instance, the caped woman with the white wolf at her feet became an alternate universe rendition of  the Little Red Riding Hood of fable. That in itself has turned me down a path of creating twisted versions of Disney princessess and storybook fables. Earlier on, with pieces such as the Marvel series, I was content with establishing my own rendition of a character’s portraiture. But what is portraiture but a pretty picture to ogle at? There must be a way to make it different — to prolong the period of ogling. There should be some whiff of an idea to ponder upon there. Something that is intrinsically exciting to imagine. Thanks to my recent ventures, I think I’ve finally moved beyond banal caricature. I realize that I do have a story I want to tell, but it’s a very simple one. Much less a story, as simply an idea. Simply put, I want to create a new idea from an existing concept as minimalistically and colorfully as possible.

Blooming late at 24, I think I’m finally finding my own design voice and style. It’s come comfortably to a temporary state of rest atop the themes that already exist in my creative repertoire. So far, this is what I can identify:

– the strong women who kick butt aren’t going anywhere

– striking color palettes are always first and foremost and nothing I do is complete without some kind of fabricated texture

– my lazy attitude towards environmentally realistic shadows and light sources will also stay, because I’m a fan of Mannerism

– I prefer generally proportionate and fit heroes and heroines who stand in Classical contrapposto, because I think it’s the sexiest way to stand ever

– my women continue to look like adolescent boys, because I am facially dyslexic or something

– last but not least, when possible, everything in an illustration of mine will face in roughly the same direction. I like making perspectives slightly wrong looking to create a quasi-Cubist, surreal look to an environment

Oh, and also I lovelovelovelove halftoning.

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Beverages of the Rich and Fictional

I just realized that nobody’s done this yet, ya know? That I know of anyway. Made something goofy related to the liquids of our favorite fictional characters. My list would be very limited, because all I watch are syndicated sci-fi shows, the occasional crime drama and Doctor Who. But a stab would be pertinatate, eh? Let’s give it a go. Starting here. And I’ll babble about the project a bit, since that’s what a blog is for.

Reasoning Being: Of course Firefly’s Browncoats would have an exceptionally awesome beer bottle. In my head, it looks more like those awesome colored glass beer bottles with the ornate, vintage label with lovely lettering that wraps around it. But everything comes out all granite-y and block when it’s run through my filters. And I’m slowly discovering that typography is not my strong suit. I’d rather just bastardize other people’s fonts. So this is the best I could do. And I’m fairly new to the fandom, so whether or not I got the sound of it right with the blurb is anybody’s guess. Pfft. It was fun, is the point.

Secret: I don’t actually know what “pale ale” is or if it is indeed a thing. It just sounds cool. *shrug*

Cameron’s was the sketch that started this, and is still my favorite inked. The Maraschino Cherry red was pulled from the eye of a Terminator, as the metaphor is that that this drink was kinda like the blood of a Terminator. The band around it was originally black, but I made it red because it’d be damn cool to have a pop or beer or whatever bottle that’s just so red you can’t take it anymore. Note the complete lack of sarsaparilla.

I’ve honestly never wanted anything I’ve designed to be real more in my whole life.

Ideally, River Tam’s wine (champagne? cognac?) of choice. Although in retrospect, she’s a mite bit young to drink. But whatever, space. The whole thing is supposed to be a tad off, much like her. If you distill a person into a liquid and bottle them — I’m being hypothetical and creepy at 2AM — you imagine what that beverage might be packaged like, and this was apparently as close as I got. I looked up her quotes (did not realize that girl barely says anything!) to incorporate her fragmented speech patterns into the label blurb. She’s a weird girl, so the weirder the better. I pulled the “V” from the weird-ass logo and made it the front of the bottle, then put what should be the main mark on the back, essentially reversing the usual order, because, as mentioned, River is weird. Thus is her wine bottle.

Heck, the bottle is probably empty.

What’s next? Does The Doctor have a favorite drink? We’ll make one. 😉

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Tiny Feet In Huge Combat Boots

My week has been rather military themed in an odd way. I’m writing a post-apocalyptic story about weapons traffickers, and everything I’m designing has swords or something sharp in it. I’m not complaining about this theme, it is just…odd.

Eh.

After avoiding Firefly for years, I started watching it this week and it’s my new favorite old show that is also canceled (as are most of my favorite shows, go figure). So in the next few weeks, probably going to be a lot of Firefly fanart. …mostly River related. Because fuck yeah, River!

   

Fuck yeah.

Anyway.

Quick and dirty from a sketch tonight. Something nicer within the week.

And this, from a previous sketch, is going somewhere interesting. Might have some dragons, maybe.

Mmmm, dragons.

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