Thursday, December 31, 2009

Death Valley '09

The camping trip to Death Valley was a lot of fun.

We had a nice camp site nestled in the hills.

Day 2 was met with a 8.4 mile hike up Death Valley's second highest peak. We were quite optimistic here at the start.

Then it just started getting cold...

We still made it to the top in the 20°F breezy weather.
No matter how tired, hungry, cold, and sweaty we were.

Day 3 we hit up the sand dunes.

It was the warmest we would be all trip (about 50+°F) .

Salt Creek

Golden Canyon
We saw some rocks that looked like steps. So we followed them. They went no where. And I almost fell to my death. Good times.

But that didn't stop me from climbing more rocks.

There was something about this place that made me think: Tatooine.
I just can't put my finger on it.....

Then we went to Artist's Palette for sunset.
It was quite a view.

I made a sculpture by stacking rocks.
A random man complimented it and said it looked like a duck.
I proceeded to knock it down by throwing more rocks at it
(contrary to his advice of leaving it be).

I think I made a bigger statement by not letting him tell me how to make my own art.
Also--they were stacked rocks for heavens sakes.
(my intention was target practice anyways)

All in all, it was a great trip. Had lots of fun. Saw lots of wild life. It was a great way to end the year. I didn't get a chance to water color like I wanted to, but that was because our days were quite eventful. I only got a page in a my sketchbook in, but nothing worth mentioning.

The night sky was absolutely wonderful. The moon is incredibly bright--you really can't appreciate it in the populated places with so much light pollution, but it casts so much light. It really makes it easy to see at night. And once the moon was gone--the stars were AMAZING.

2009 in Review

This year caught me by surprise and it was the good kind of surprise (like a Sunday morning when you wake up and its raining). I had no expectations for '09. For some reason, this time last year it was in my head that this year was going to be a lot more of the same; that couldn't be further from the truth.

Of course my adventure with the Imagineers played a big part in making this an exciting year, but I feel like I have talked great lengths about that. And maybe I should just shut up before my stories grow too old for re-telling.

I had some commissioned work this year. It was my first time freelancing and it was quite an interesting turn of events and I did make some decent money from it.

I definitely see a huge improvement in my work and I am definitely happy for that even though it is still not enough in my eyes (but when will it ever be?). In many ways, I feel like the things I have been learning and working on are beginning to click (especially since last year was particularly frustrating for me). I have been thinking about it, and I would say that I feel more like a knowledgeable artist vs. a skilled one. This of course is owed to the great program I have at my school with very talanted professors as well as my own personal efforts. Which isn't so bad I guess--the skill will come with time and practice and if I can set my impatience aside, maybe just maybe I'll get there...

If could boil down this year to one word it would be: progression. I think that serves a justifiable overall theme for everything that has happened.

2010 is sure to be an interesting year. So much to look forward to: interning at Nickelodeon, graduating college, and spending a month in Europe just to name a few. Not to mention the loads of job hunting I will be doing... (yaaaaaaay)

-Write more short stories
(and actually finish one this time)
-Time lapse video of me growing my beard
(currently a work in progress)
-Storyboard my April Fools story and Rocky Raccoon music video
(potential portfolio pieces?)
-Work on stand up comedy routines
(look into amateur nights-signing up optional this year but mandatory next)
-Epic road trip
(this one may get skipped due to Europe trip)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pearls of Wisdom: Public informational #3.141

(photo courteously stolen from The Bui)

I have always fancied the thought of me being a person of good (dare I even say "great") ideas, but the all too evident truth is quite the contrary (I know of a certain skateboarding monkey who could attest to many of my short comings). The beautiful and wondrous thing about ideas is that they stay in our heads--occasionally we may have a slip-up and the "profoundly" conceived images of our brains gets spewed out into the open and serve as a great platform to be mocked and laughed at. Which, as my buddy Jake would so eloquently put, is total Asscheeks.

And, alas, I have done it again! Oh, how easy it is for me to take a half-baked idea and cement its existence in this world by documenting it (in video form no less). What can I say, my friends? I am a natural at this (just wait until I unveil my grandest invention: The Fandelier)

The preface:
I needed to make my animated film presentable to the class. It shouldn't have been as daunting task as it was, but I didn't give it nearly the attention it deserved. I would like to blame my lack of productivity on having 3 part time jobs this semester as well as being a full time student, but then I would just be making excuses for myself.

So, while I worked away my final hours, I had the brilliant idea of documenting the event. Looking back on it now, I realize that it was a moment of high stress and even higher caffination.

The following are some clips of the footage taken and are being shown for educational purposes only:

(about 1:50am)
I have no idea why I thought any of the was relevant information to.. well... ANYTHING. The list of "twos" went on for a while. It was shortened for the interest of time.

(about 2:10am)
It is important to take frequent breaks so you can rest your muscles and your sanity but I think I began losing mine about here.

(about 2:20am)
I have nothing to say about this one to justify myself...

(about 2:30am)
This would be the moment of pathetic realization--as seen in my Phases of Storyboarding cartoon. By that I mean, I begin to realize this isn't a smart idea, however, it doesn't stop me...

(about 3:00am)
Yes, breaks were quite frequent.

(about 5:30am)
Notice how I start talking to the camera as though it is actually a person? I don't I would be able to tell the difference between the two in that state of mind.

(about 6:10am)
I'm not really sure where those voices I make (or the sandwich) came from.

(about 7:30am)
Unexplainable burst of energy and talking faster nonsense are common symptoms of me under stress.

(about 3:00pm)
Here we have the anti-climactic ending to my day. Where I was just too tired to feel. A bit of a low point in the day which ended in quite the epic nap causing me to stand up my friends and previously made plans.

So the lesson to be learned here is a bit of an interpretative one. It could range from staying on task, keeping excessively hydrated to stay awake, giving your ideas a second thought, etc.

But really, the lesson to be learned here is don't make an ass of yourself. And do not proceed to film it. And do not proceed to place it on the internet. Have a little more dignity for yourself. Having over 22 years of experience of making a fool of myself, I would like to say I am an exception to the rule, but even when I do it, it is totally, utterly, completely, 100%: Asscheeks.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Battle Plan

(quick little SpongeBob warm up)

Looks like I have my work cut out for me. Classes are over and now it's just a race to finals. Everything is due on Wednesday and as soon as I am done with them, it will be time to wrap up the rest of the year and relax a little and work on my own things for a bit. I sent away for my post-semester gift (I usually like to treat myself to something nice for all my hard work) so I am looking forward to it!

The battle plan:

Today (Friday) we'll finish the SpongeBob storyboard. It's almost all roughed out (and I have to add the changes Chuck suggested) then I have to clean it up. If I devote the next 10 hours to it, I should be able to do it AND have time for Amber's party at the karaoke bar. There will be little to no drinking on my part, which will severely inhibit my motivation to actually karaoke (I'm not much of a singer, but I love to ad lib lyrics and make the songs about my friends--usually get some good laughs from my friends and weird faces from other bar patrons).

Tomorrow (Saturday) I have to be at work bright and early to do whatever I have to do there. My guess is it will just a be a maintenance/cleaning day for the computer labs. Then home (probably nap).

And the rest of the day, plus Sunday AND Monday will be devoted to finishing up my film. Wont have too much time to animate anymore but I'll be making it presentable and cutting sound into it. No sleep 'till Brooklyn. (Beastie Boys said that--they also said "Ain't no faking - your money I'm taking. Going coast to coast - watching all the girlies shaking" which may or may not also be applicable to this entry)

Then Tuesday will be spent putting final materials together--scanning, portfolio, DVDs, letters, etc. As well as addressing any last minute items.

(or an internet publishing equivalent--CANCEL THE DATA TRANSFERRING)

So I just received a call as I was typing this up. Nickelodeon wanted to schedule an interview for an internship! The interview is this Monday, this doesn't change my plans too much, but a good night's rest and a shave will be a must. I'm glad my boss gave me the first three days of next week off from work.

So much to do.
Better get started.




Monday, December 7, 2009

The Science of Bad Ideas

Fact: the mass population likes unoriginal garbage. It has been proven scientifically. Case-in-point, the following scientific graph:
This evidence clearly illustrates that coolness is based on how many commandos and helicopters Godzilla could take down (or vice versa--I'm not sure so I couldn't really say).

Could Munk E. take down Godzilla and or commando helicopters? Short answer: Yes. I mean look at him!
(Yes. I drew AND colored another one...............)

Long answer: He's a chimp robot that was developed by gnomes to infiltrate the human world, but Munk's knowledge of the humans is limited to 90's pop culture due to the research resources available to the gnomes as well as their own incompetence.

Maybe it is not the WORST idea I ever had. There was Hambo (part pig part Rambo) and then there was Snakes-For-Arms-Boy (pretty self explanatory...).

Or maybe I should just keep some things to myself...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Today in doodling we ask the question "Why?"

Meet Munk E. the beat-boxing-banana-board-riding-urban-colloquialism-speaking chimp:
I drew him just now as a post-dinner warm up to get back into my animation and couldn't help wonder the following:

"What the hell did I just do?"

I think I ineffectively crossed two video game apes:
(Funky Kong and Diddy Kong)

Except that Munk is part gnome AND robot on top of also being a chimp. Another possible '90s urban-outreach mascot influence may include:
(Poochie the Rapping Dog)

Well we all have our moments of being generic and uninspired, but I think I just sank to a new low. Something tells me there is a pearl of wisdom to be found here, but maybe I need to ruminate on it further and address it properly at a future time. So instead I'll end with the wisdom of a hairier, albeit fictional, mammal:

"And remember kids, always recycle... TO THE EXTREME!!!"
(they never did make it to the fireworks factory....)

I think I'll be referring to all my future project failures as Munks now...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Human Cali Sweat Pants

So for my storyboarding class, I opted to take the Sponge Bob Square Pants test over the Fairly Odd Parents test. A storyboard test consists of a portion of a script of the show plus model sheets for characters, layout, props, etc.

The process has been... well.... met with multiple phases:
Maybe if I spent less time doodling and more time working, I would be more productive...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This Week in SUCK

Things are feeling very one-step-forward-two-steps-back these days. I wonder if it is just because it is the end of the semester and I am feeling drained. But now is not the time for complaints--it is the time for action.... umm... starting tomorrow.

I've been having too many off-days where my drawing is concerned. Funny thing about that: the next two weeks will consist of the most drawing I have ever done in such a short period, and if today's hours of life drawing is foreshadowing the weeks to come, it will be filled with a whole lot of suck indeed.

Chuck gave a pretty good and helpful lecture about trying to find work as a production board artist (which is what I want to do at present). So, I have to make a portfolio geared to that, meaning I need a portfolio to show off my ability to story board. Meaning I will only have a page or so of life drawing tagged on at the end anyways. For our final, he is requiring a production board portfolio be submitted for the Storyboarding class. I have a feeling mine will be pretty rough, but if anything, it will be a good jumping off point for refinement in the coming months.

Important thing to remember: draw less suck.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Revisting an Older Post

Something I forgot to mention in my last post--I had said something about that drawing being a culmination of many of the concepts and skills I have been learning in school, but I left out one of the most important things: the process!

As a young artist I always wondered:
And as much as I still find myself asking that kind of question (because every artist has their own process), some answers just end up being the definitive:

Simple shapes.
Figure construction.
Working in layers.

I was first taught these concepts in life drawing. And still hear it all the time from professors and professionals. It's fundamental knowledge, but for some reason it only really started sinking in towards the end of my college career. And of course I am still working on it like I do with the rest of my craft.
Life is filled with so much learning...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Revisiting an Older Drawing

What's this? New, completed, and colored artwork? How dare I do such a thing! I would almost be impressed with myself if this wasn't school related. But the assignment was to take an old drawing from class and recreate it in a personal work. If you remember, this is based off a quick sketch I posted last month.

I attempted to do somethings that I have been wanting to do (mostly based off some stuff I have been seeing on the internet). And I had some fun doing it.

This piece isn't perfect (the line work is unrefined and the brush-work boarder looks too mechanical for my tastes) but it is nothing I can't address at a later time (oh digital work--how convenient you are). But I feel as though it is a culmination of my time in art school: life drawing, anatomy, design, composition, photoshop, illustrator, and, the newest friend of mine, tvpaint.

Also, becoming more fond of my TabletPC (probably because it is working a lot better and getting comfortable with it too). So don't be surprised to be seeing more work like this one from me (but you will be allowed to be surprised for seeing finished work--because that is the real shocker).