Category Archives: From The Author

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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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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A place to call dot com

New website up! Powered by WordPress and themed by the lovelies at WPSHOWER. Still has a few designy kinks I’m working on that only I notice, but otherwise, she’s ready to go. Looking forward to keeping it updated with lots of fun stuff!

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On Marvels and Styles

So my friend E and I proposed an Illustrator-Off, partly because she’s learning Illustrator (at a blazingly awesome pace I might add) and partly because it’s just fun to design stuff. She’s been making this absolutely lovely little posters based off of elements from the film/comic Thor/Avengers. She has such a clean, elegant vectoring style which I love. (Em, if you’re one of the five people who read this blog, link me back to your posters so I can imbed ’em in this post! Pleasythanky!)

On my end, I’ve been doing these little “posterettes” which also feature either an element or an entire character from the Marvel comic universe. Here’s a teaser:

I’m going to dabble a bit in the DC-verse as well, because the Lasso of Truth would be excellent with my special design funk all over it. At least, it looks awesome in my head. Venom looked really cool in my head too, but then this happened:

Don’t illustration this thing at night.

So we won’t discuss that. Also I don’t recommend looking for pictures of Venom at night. Or Illustrating him. Because, you know, nightmares. Unless you’re already disturbed, in which case God go with ya.

I have a few more that I want to do and then I’ll probably move on to trying my hand at this little animation that I want to illustrate. In coming weeks though, I don’t know where I shall find the time for fun.

I had an interview a few days ago with the president of a local ad company. Really rad place, really rad office. We were breifly discussing the aesthetic look/style of the studio, as the creative director who couldn’t be at the interview had expressed to her to relay to me that the company’s style was not gritty, as he thought my work was. I think this is one of the first times I’ve had my style definitely labelled and it’s pretty excellent to hear because, to be quite frank, at this stage in my design career I honestly couldn’t define what my design style is. I can look at any number of favorite designers and instantly define their aesthetic. DKNG, Twisted Fork, Mikey Burton, House of Pretty, Signal Noise, Jessica Hiche, The Nimbus Factory — they all have their unique aesthetics that makes you go, “It needs to look a little more…Mikey Burton.” I’ve always felt that I exist in a limbo between having a definite style and just playing off of whatever cool thing I see next. I draw from so many things for inspiration, yet at the same time I have a pretty definite idea of what I want something to look like. But that it’s completely original, I’m unsure of. I suppose I could say that I think my design style is a little “crunchy”. Maybe like a Jawbreaker…colorful and really really crunchy. But then so is Twisted Fork and I don’t want to be Twisted Fork even though he is a brilliant vectoring mofo. I’m desperately seeking a way to put my own spin on things.

Like — look at some of the old nerdy shit I used to do. I can barely connect it now to any large format work I do. It’s just kind of…there. I dunno.

I’ll figure myself out one day. 😀

–FUNFACTS–
– I have a 2nd job! YEY. American Dream here I come.
– Caffeine intake: %0
– Sugar intake: %0
– Current TV show: Can’t wait for The Doctor and the Ponds to kick some ass for another season!
– Song of the Day: Disparate Youth – Santigold
– Website of the Day: Mapping Stereotypes