Saturday, December 31, 2011

Zoo/Museum Sketching with Mike

Went out sketching with the awesome Mike Yates yesterday.  He gave me a lot of food for thought, but the most poignant advice was one of the most simple - that we should always be thinking about making a story when we draw from life (includes people and objects).  Think - really observe, don't just move your arm!

Field Museum

Note to self: do more cafe sketching.  Quick drawings = blocking out movements + proportions + building upon those lines = more loose, storytelling drawing.

Second note to self:  Study more illustrators.  We should study them and take influence like we do with movies.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Poor Walter

Poor Walter couldn't feel the Christmas spirit anymore and didn't know why.  Nothing worked, not even reindeer antlers.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Digital Doodling

Trying to get back on the Photoshop horse as of late.  I'm having difficulty figuring out how to render representatively, but I do like playing with those marker-ish effects from doodling.  I tried doing some more anatomy studies digitally but my progress feels restricted because of my limited knowledge of the software.  Most likely going to go back to traditional mediums for those figure studies until I getter a better grasp of Photoshop.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Problem Solving

Did some quick anatomy studies with the tablet (finally replaced that pen!) in order to isolate some of the bumps I run into during figure drawing.  I started out by sketching the skeleton, which came with a bit of ease since it's been one of my main focuses and I emphasize it as the basis for movement during gesture drawings.

Then I discovered my big problem in the next step: draping muscles over the skeleton.  It came out really awkward and with a lot less fluidity than the skeleton.  Even though I was using reference, it showed that I'm still a big stranger to how muscles weave around the body and hook up to the bones themselves.


Limbo & Paralysis

"Stop reciting theory and hit me!"

That's a bit of a paraphrased quote from the film, Ip Man - relatable because I feel like I've been talking more about drawing rather than actually drawing.  There's quite a few reasons why I've been slacking lately, so what better way for me to lay out my thoughts than to drop by the ol blog?

Firstly, I'm still wrapping up my Ringling application because I'm afraid I might have mis-clicked something or filled out the wrong information in the wrong section.  I think it's been eating an obscene amount of my time because I'm a bit paranoid... but I'm on the brink of turning it in.  But after that, it's just a matter of playing the waiting game.  I'm a bit anxious because this could finally be it - getting that full blown animation and art education I've been waiting years for.  It's been a bit tough relying on drawing independent drawing and artistic research because I've been so hungry for that guidance and push.

Which brings me to my next thought - Character Design & exaggeration.  This kind of goes back to my CalArts portfolio critique where they said "You can draw, but what can you do with it?"  I'm more or less struggling taking my knowledge of anatomy and fine arts and translating it into something more exaggerated and subjective.  I've been designing characters for a story lately and it's been feeling incredibly aimless.  Very little of what I make feels right - I only have a very small handful of people that can help me out, but they're all busy with their own stuff.  This is kind of where that guidance I've been craving comes in - especially in a school environment (pushing that comes not just from teachers, but from creative/artistic peers).  Do I try and figure this stuff out now, or do I wait until school comes around?

Right now I'm leaning on just going with more fine arts-related practices, solidifying as much of the ability as I can.  Then when school comes around, I'll have a bit more guidance to crack the creative side as opposed to doing it right now... it just makes me feel paralyzed and I end up not drawing anything because I don't know where to really begin (no matter how much I study procesess in concept art books, character design blog interviews, etc).

There's so much more of this I want to elaborate, but I'm going to cut myself off for now.  I want to do some skeleton studies tonight before bed.  I also think maybe the written portions of this blog are outweighing the visual portions.  Can't have a visu-blog without the drawings, so it's off I go!

Getting back on the horse: figure drawing today at George's

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Photo A Day

On November 30th, I started the "photo a day" self portrait challenge after being inspired by a video of a girl who has been doing it for the past 4.5 years.  Even though I think enough people are doing it where it's no longer an incredibly original idea, I really wanted to participate because I think it's such a fascinating way to document one's self - to see your physical self literally flash and change before your eyes.

For now I'm aiming to do 3 years, but I might end up doing something similar to what the girl did in the video where she updates it every 6 months.  Aaand there's really no excuse for me not to follow through with this since it's just one photo of yourself a day (which is practically effortless) and having patience - something I think I've already proved with shooting for Ringling.

Day 2

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Application Wrap Ups & Adventuring Into New Lands

Hey blog, haven't been posting as much lately since I was busy wrapping up my CalArts portfolio.  I still can't believe it's already that time of year to submit applications... it was such a big learning experience since this whole year I've been all about the technical side to drawing when I also should've been thinking a lot more creatively and emotionally.  It wasn't until a day or two right before I completed my application that I finally felt like I was grasping their drawing philosophies of keeping loose.  A bit of a shame that the epiphany didn't hit me until then, but I'm proud of what I was able get done and turn in, knowing I've accomplished a lot just to get to this point.

So now with CalArts out of the way, it's one down and one to go - Ringling.  I think I've finally finished creating my Ringling portfolio, so now it's just a matter or organizing and tying up the written portions.  Can't believe I'm really saying this, but I'm actually confident in my body of work... which would (I hope) be normal since I've spent the last 7 months portfolio-building specifically for this school.  I want to get this all done before Christmas so I can kick back and enjoy my holidays.

Buut now with things slowing down, I've been taking a bit of a break from drawing and just trying to loosen up and live life a little.  Be a little more adventurous, take some risks, y'know?  Creating my portfolio for CalArts really opened my eyes - the way I draw is intertwined with my personality, so I figure it's tough to draw loose if you can't keep your living loose!  Walt Stachfield encouraged his students to try new things and build new good habits (the other day I took a different route to work, freshen things up).

So today I tried something new - visited my old friends at Columbia's Asian Student Organization for their poetry/spoken word workshop.  We each had 10 minutes to write a short poem about an important event in our lives, so I chose when I discovered a new way to draw via the "sacrum technique" in George's class.

It was dead silent
Just another night with my ink
For the first time taking her to dance
Weaving through motions unexplored
It was new yet old, uncharted but still home
One world I sat
The other I glided
Taking her hand
And left behind the imprint of man

I never understood poetry, but everyone seemed to like what I had to share.  I think it's because I took something personal and didn't water any part of it down.  I was tempted to play down the female personification of the pen, but I just told myself to go for it.  Deep down I really felt this symbolic imagery of dancing with a beautiful girl, but I was worried that people would think it was cheesy.  "C'mon man," I thought.  "Give this thing some personality."

PS- I also uploaded my original writing as a reminder to keep myself loose again.  Usually when I write, I just kind of sit there and wait for the perfect words to come to me.  Instead, I related this to drawing and let the words flow out of me and my emotions, not particularly caring how they came out as long as they got a loose imagery across.  Then I went back and added some stuff here and there, crossed out some other stuff too.  I looked at Rebecca Sugar's original writings for lyrics for her Adventure Time songs and I think she has a similar process based on all the scribblings.  Hm... looking back, this isn't so different from drawing...