Tag Archives: inspiration

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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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. ūüėõ

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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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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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. ūüėõ

 

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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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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Sometimes I Sketch Things

An idea sprung upon me whilst bored and earphoneless at school, and being a compulsive sharer (at least of the less significant things) I am sharing the beginnings of whatever this idea might be. Do I know? Do you know? Does frankly anyone know?? Perhaps…

And no, it’s not related to Star Wars. I just referenced a lot of Star Wars and a few Matrix pics because I can’t draw figures straight from memory. #achillesheel

And yeah, I just used a Twitter hashtag on a WordPress blog post. #whatchagonnadoaboutit ūüėČ

HMMM

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Kimbra, In Color

Remember that sketch I did yesterday? All done! All digital. Vector paths and some creative Photoshop brush wielding.

Kimbra

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Evolution Of a Fangirl

This is totally relevant to graphic design.

Back in the day (I was like 17), I was not very¬†popular on the “iconing” circuit. Iconing is the term — among many in that corner of the internets — for making little 100 x 100 pixel squares containing artfully cropped and manipulated Live Journal user icons. I did a lot of it‚Ķand I mean A LOT, I still have about a gigs worth of icons backed up on one of my hard drives.

‚ĶAnd I had a lot of fun doing it, regardless that I didn’t have as big a following as some. But whatever, popularity, amirite? The lesson learned is that iconing, goofy as it might be in retrospect, exposed me to a quasi-design world where what I am learning to do now professionally was in practice on a tiny scale in my internet subculture. People laugh at fangirl culture, but a lot of those gals know their shit when it comes to technical stuff. They’re always trying to find the most efficient way to batch capture stills of their favorite actors in TV shows, or convert footage so that they can edit it to an Avril Lavigne song, etc. And it’s not all girls, don’t get me wrong. …but mostly it is.

Smart Fangirl-type in randomly Googled picture thinks of new ways to artfully represent the Olivia/Peter relationship on Fringe in a small but bold visual format. (this chick actually looks like she’s from the Disney Channel. I bet she is, isn’t she.)

There would be icon requests and challenges where people would vote and you’d get “awards” and all that sort of thing. Veteran (heh) iconers would post tutorials or get requests for custom designs and artwork. It wasn’t all goofy, this was actually pretty¬†legitimate¬†stuff. I learned to understand tags and terminology in CSS stylesheets because of countless hours lost redesigning the theme of my Live Journal page. I learned the basic concepts of editing films by making crappy little music videos for my favorite TV shows with the only program available to me at the time — Windows Movie Maker.

Just….ugh.

I never really suspected that what I was doing was anything near actual graphic design or film or whatever, but looking back now, I realize that it was my training for things to come. Iconing is why I breezed through my software classes while studying for my Associates. It’s why I knew to experiment fearlessly with blending modes and textures and type and other scary things like that. It’s how I learned to vaguely understand coding. It’s why I love film editing.

It’s why I’m such a damn fangirl.

But to pick up this post at it’s core thesis, iconing taught me what kind of style I liked the most. The icon designers whom I kept track of were a specific few who inspired the way I tackled my own icon design, and who really still inspire me. To go down the list chronologically, from iconer to “real” designer, these are the people whose work I always look at with a mixture of awe and envy and wish I could design like them. Continue reading

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