Tag Archives: graphic design

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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Fontgirling – Domo Arigato, Roboto

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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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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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Bits-O-Planets; Part of a Healthy Breakfast

This one is pretty straightforward. Been wanting to do Galactus for awhile. …in the PG way, obviously.

 

For my usual unrelated commentary, I watched the first season of Sarah Connor Chronicles after avoiding it for years. People need to stop selling awesome shows to FOX so they can cancel them mid-run. Just…STOP.

…yeah that’s all I’ve got today. This toothache can go away now. Goway. 😦

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Limitless…

Me and the mum have been watching “Limitless” a few times over the week and it’s actually a pretty cool movie. I can’t help but wonder how far I could go, with a pill that unlocks access to the rest of my thinking brains. All the math I would know! All the monies I could make! Space! The final frontier! Or something.

I actually think that having no school to stress over is a sort of a more realistic (and safer) key that unlocks a dormant part of your brain — the part, anyway, that could be illustrating pretty things, job hunting and creating branding material to promote yourself and your career so you can finally start paying back all the loans that put you through college. So that’s essentially what I’ve been doing all week, with my sudden copious amounts of free-time. I’ve developed something of a new style, which stems directly from the DKNG project a few weeks back. I’ve been using the textures I made on the Kimbra piece on just about everything, and playing with halftoning, which is really fun. There’s more where this came from and it’s dripping slowly out of the Wetcloud faucet. Remember, I’m on The Book of Faces if you want to keep traaa-aaaack. 😛

 

I don’t know where, in the depth of my mind, The Monk came from. I found an old sketch I did and I was all “aaagggh Hulk desiiiiggggnnnn!” So then I did that.

This guy is from a sketch before, if you recall — and let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you. These were both pretty quick and just for fun, but good exercises.

Below are one in progress, which will follow a growing theme of Disney Princesses with a twist, and something…else

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?????

So anyway, time for the Doctor. Who, that is.

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Desk Notes from a Fangirl: Part II

I almost forgot to share my final Kimbra gig poster from the DKNG project! Two, actually. Because I’m bad at choosing just one of things and I enjoy doing alts.

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Kimbra-PosterFINAL_2

 

Fun!

Aaaand, my “Triumphant” rockstar from yesterday is still in progress! I gave him a new hairdo because the mullet-thing wasn’t workin’ out.

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I’m moving my rough work over to my Facebook page to keep things a bit neater over here, and allow for more discussion and meet & greet. This blog will stay pretty babble-y though, because, blogs are better, yo.  Hop over to my Facebook page to get both sides of the picture though!

So non-design related (at least for now) I just saw Hunger Games. It was okay — lots of fun and such. I can’t quite be a fangirl about it because, frankly, I’m all about the Tarantino blood-fest stuff. But in some parts it was a very touching and poignant film. However Winter’s Bone was the flick that created a Jennifer Lawrence fan out of me. I didn’t really get all the hoopla at first, and was determined actually to not be a fan because people kept going on about her. But after seeing Winters Bone, and even her role in X-Men: First Class, which was first class, I decided that she was actually rather likable as a character and an actress, and therefor, not so bad after all. And you don’t get a good picture of  a person until you stalk them via YouTube and watch all their behind the scenes stuff, which I may have done/be doing. I really like actor-types who present themselves as relatable people, not just as robots with an obvious celebrity persona who have to *deal* with their public in a respectable way and such. Those people remind me of crappy customer service reps or social workers, who are clearly there to be the face of a company, collect a paycheck and go home. They grin in your face, but they could care less. I like goofballs, people with personality and character that they don’t hold back. People who don’t bullshit and who also don’t give too much of a shit. Rockstars!

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The Process of the Process

Commandante! Fetch my weapons!

I occasionally am asked about my workflow when it comes to the stuff I design. Short version: uhhh…I don’t…have…one? Watching DKNG’s workflow presentation during their Skillshare event last week made me kind of embarrassed because I realized that, as far my own personal organization goes, I’m kind of sloppy. If I’m doing client work, I’m suddenly Borg-like with my organizational efficiency, but for my own stuff, my workflow is to have no workflow. Or at least, a very loose one. I typically know where all my stuff is, so it isn’t a big deal. For client projects, I designate a folder for that project, then I make sub-folders according to the kind of media or stage of the project that I’ll need to access. For myself, weirdly, it is not that straightforward. I will have multiple files from scans of sketchbook comps to digital comps scattered in various design oriented folders designated with a colored label cipher that only I can crack on my hard drive.

So…a early-mid-year resolution could be to be as fastidious with my own work as I am with my client work…

Yep.

Anyhoo! I’m bored and I felt like posting something. So here, previews for two new pieces I’m going to be working on:

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“Triumphant”. This one was doodled around a quarter to 1AM last night. A little fun with posture.

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This is based off of a drawing in a book I found at my library called “WOMEN: A Pictorial Archive From 19th Century Sources”. Basically it’s full of naked renaissance ladies, but the contrapposto postures and clothing are good references for practice. I call this one, Young Athena!

Stay tooooned.

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Last One From The Trenches

This has rather become my goodbye piece to art school. For financial reasons, I’ve decided to stop study — mid-semester even — and focus on working. I’m sure I’ll face the repercussions of quitting while I was on financial aid, but I’m already facing wage garnishment over an issue which I’m still perplexed by and have been hiding my head in the sand about for quite some time. So I’ll brace for what’s to come, try to be an adult about it and work these issues out and hope that things will get better again.

I finished this (on my last day?) on campus today. After watching DKNG’s final lecture for their Skillshare event, I felt brave enough to play with halftoning. May have gone overboard with that plus my usual texturing. But whatever. Red Riding Hood is pretty chill about it, I think. Isn’t her pet wolf adorable?

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