September 11, 2010

Etched Lines

Imagination feeds the soul. What with all of the creative streams of thought an artist conceives throughout the day, you'd think that their souls tended to be comforted. I've found this assumption completely untrue, as the artist portion of my soul is always hungry, and never satisfied. It seems that once we have a little, we must have more. There is no end to the conquer and destroy behavior that accompanies our delving into the world of art. We are constantly searching, learning, improving, discovering and creating. There is no rest for the wary. 

A by-product of our fanatic obsessiveness includes original artworks and characters that our wayward minds had invented all on our own. My good friend Eachey had often referred to the process of designing a character as "creating life". I have, over time, brought to life an amazingly vast number of characters, whose designs range from the bleakly mundane to the most exotic eccentricities. I tend to draw characters my age, it seems, unless I purposefully set out to not do so. I don't always create human characters either, so it is not entirely uncommon to see many minutely rendered fantastic beasts as well sweet monsters bordering the line between comic style and anime amidst my broad art portfolio.

These are roughly sketched thumbnails portraying just a  few of the characters I've created in the past year. The girl in the flouncy dress I call Zecarii, the wolf or dog-like creature is called Dazzle, and the last is a character I call Zach. Both Zecarii and Zach tiptoe along the fine line I mentioned earlier, that sets comic art apart from anime or manga. All three characters were originally meant to be used in the graphic novel I frequently mention wanting to create- and perhaps they will still be used for that purpose.










   

September 4, 2010

"Who Ya Gonna Call?"

 There are a lot of things a person can devote their life to as far as hobbies go. Collecting franchise merchandise belonging to the Ghostbusters and other nostalgia inducing 80's films just happens to be what my dad chose as his favorite past-time. In fact, just this evening we went to Wal-Mart to buy a binder and card sheets for his newly acquired collection of Ghostbusters2 trading cards before picking up our order at the local Pizza-hut. I don't know anybody else with a pocket-sized  Mini-mate Marty McFly, complete with an orange vest, sitting behind the wheel of a Lego-like Mini-mate Delorean-It even has the tiny license plate identical to its larger counter-part, which reads "OUTATIME".

My dad was the one who came up with the idea of me creating an original Ghostbusters fan art piece, and after hearing all of the ideas he had and listening to him share his opinions on the matter, I knew I had to come up with a design that would do the project he had in mind justice. I went all out on this illustration, making sure the initial design was gold from the beginning. The store-front background and the word "Ghostbusters" being spelled out on the street were last minute decisions of mine, although I'm glad I chose to put them in there.

For my dad who is a HUGE Ghostbuster's fan, I dedicate this picture to you. You are what made this blog happen and its your support and encouragement that has kept me at it. Love you, dad.


September 3, 2010

Serpentine

For those of you who don't know me, I have several unique obsessions. For example, one of these  is my strange fascination with the taste of gravy. I could eat gravy multiple times a day every day. I'm not sure why, but there's something about the savory twinge of salty taste and the liquid consistency of such texture that I simply can not ignore. Some people love their chocolate, and some people can't go without their daily coffee. Get between me and my favorite snack, and the consequences could be disastrous.

On a slightly different note, another of my obsessions includes drawing dragons. I had, and perhaps will always have a peculiar love for scaly creatures. When I was much younger I spent my summers in our backyard, hunting for snakes and bugs, pretending to be some sort of scientist, or Steve Erwin from Animal Planet. Our family would go swimming sometimes, driving out to the country, and I would fascinate myself by trying to catch the tiny brown and blue lizards that made their home among the rocky crevices where the water level had long ago abandoned. 

I remember distinctly being in the fifth grade and going to the Boys and Girls club after school until my mom was off work. They had an arts and crafts room, and it was there with some of my friends that I learned how much art meant to me. While I was there I would draw dragon after dragon, all kinds of species that I made up as I talked and laughed, having not a care in the world. I remember showing the adviser for the arts and crafts room one of my drawings, one of a particularly detailed (for a fifth grader) red and black dragon made out of coals inspired by a figurine I saw in Wal-Mart. She looked over my drawing and said to me, "You're so talented. But it's funny that you like to draw things like that." It was probably the first time I felt seriously offended by an adult. Was it funny that I had some individuality? Was it funny that I didn't like what other girls my age liked? I didn't stay hurt for long, however, and I soon moved on to the other pressing issues an elementary student cares about- many of which I can't quite remember.

I entered this original piece in our school art contest the past school year. It received 1st place in the drawing category of the contest (paintings and mixed media were also entered).


September 2, 2010

Sand and Seafoam

One thing people can't say about me is that I have no originality. I'm most original and imaginative, however, if left to my own devices, and not forced to work inside a box, something that many of the art classes I've taken force you to do. When I feel a surge of creative energy, I can often create something amazing in only a matter of minutes. When I'm forced to follow a tight structure, and I haven't yet gotten that burst of inspiration that makes hours of artwork fly by in moments, the work becomes tedious and agonizing-nothing short of torture. Another issue of mine is deadlines. It's not that I can't meet deadlines quickly, it's just that knowing I have to be finished with a drawing in a certain amount of time in order to be graded makes my mind work sluggishly slow, impeding my creative process. Out of class I can decisively choose something to draw on an impulsive whim. In class it could take me several days to choose what to draw for a project due in several weeks. Besides these several artistic short-comings, and my ability to quickly improvise where art is concerned, I've passed all of the high school art classes I've taken with flying colors.

This drawing shares some of my originality with the rest of the world. A small tidbit from a world of my own creation, this creature is a siren-like monster that I created for the purpose of existing in the graphic novel I wish to one day write and illustrate. Part-woman, part sea creature, with a tangled mess of what I imagine as unruly red hair and a crown of seashells encrusting her hairline, she's both vicious and cunning. One of the ideas associated with this drawing was individuality. Mermaids are typically said to be part woman and part fish. If this was true in any way, why wouldn't there be hundreds of species of mermaids to accompany the hundreds of fish species in the world? In this way, I drew my first of what may be many seawater beasts.



Fallout Boy

This is actually a drawing of a two-page spread in The Fallout Boy Infinity On High album cover. So, in case you were wondering, no credit goes to me for making up the layout of this image- I do get points for the epic shading, however. Noticeably, Pete Wentz looks the best and Joe...well, I can explain that. This was a picture I wanted to publish in my high school's yearbook last year. When I went and fished it out from under my bed (I am not ashamed to admit that's where some of my artwork is kept for "safe-keeping") I realized that Joe's face was incomplete. The deadline for artwork that was to be submitted for consideration of being published in the Yearbook was the very next day. I hastily sketched a face- not necessarily his- and then busied myself with other things. Other things being homework, chores, making dinner, and probably some other drawing I was working on at the time. Although I told myself that I would fix it up during lunch period the next day, I didn't, so I ended up submitting it the way it was. 
  There's probably something I should have learned from this, like finish something once its started, or don't procrastinate, but I never ended up buying a Yearbook, so in return I wasn't forced to be reminded of my small guilt every time I reflected on the past year. Not that it looks that bad, I just feel like I could have done better if I had taken the time to actually finish it.

September 1, 2010

Simply Brilliant

Simplicity is key in this piece. While some might argue that the tightly wrought lines and carefully blended shading suggests the exact opposite, I beg to differ. The fairy's short, cropped hairstyle, complete with various flyaway strands, creates a simple, soft contrast to the common messily swept away up-do. Her wings showcase a very minimal amount of spirals, allowing the stark beauty of contrast to yet again find fulfillment in one of my drawings. Compared to many of the pieces I work on on a regular basis, this drawing almost feels empty, like it needs a little something special, as far as details go, which is highly possible. Details happen to be my favorite thing, however odd that might sound, and it is my personal feeling that a picture doesn't come alive until the details are set in stone. By being set in stone, I don't mean that the details are necessarily obvious. If the artist can see them clearly, even if its only somewhere in their mind alone and nowhere else, the art value of the piece has already been born.

I actually started the initial sketch for this drawing almost two years ago. I only just recently finished drafting the picture, and finalized the process by going over the whole thing with graphite pencils, in order to bring out the shadows and highlights threaded throughout the drawing.


 

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