Recently, I've been trying to get my office organized, and at the same time, my computer files. I have a lot of old work saved on this computer! I thought it would be fun (mostly for me, but maybe for someone else too?) to look back at some work I did in school--see whats good about it, and the many things bad about it. Because, lets face it, I have a lot of bad drawings in my past. But I'll be honest: I'm gonna hide the really REALLY bad ones, and post the almost goodish ones here. Because I do have some pride.
Since these are scattered in various places on my computer, these are in no particular order, chronological or otherwise. I'm just loading these in and typing up my thoughts about them as I come across each one.
A Sensational Team
I thought I'd lost this file! Well, I have no idea where the original PSD file is, this is just a JPEG, but still--here it is!
This is a fanart piece for the book Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. If you like good books, and strong female friendships, and also crying, go read it.
This was created in the summer of 2012, just after spending 18 months on a mission, so I was trying to get back into my digital art groove. I still didn't have my own computer or tablet at that point, so this was done on my roommates lap top. I took photos of myself using the photobooth app, used Photoshop to assemble them, and then used the little finger pad mouse thingy to paint over my assembled photo. So yeah, the characters look really similar--they're both me. Some parts of it work really well, and lets be honest, some are really really clunky/poorly drawn. But it was a great project that got me back into digital art. And it captured the book moment and characters well enough that the author not only liked the image, but she has it hanging in her office. So yeah, though its far from perfect there are things to be proud of here.
"Ten gold cups, for my sake?"
This is a poorly photographed oil painting, but you can see it well enough. And this second bit of found old art is.... another fanart piece. What can I say, I like good books.
If you haven't read The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner you are SERIOUSLY missing out. But before reading it you should read The Thief and The Queen of Attolia, which are also excellent. And then after KoA there's A Conspiracy of Kings and Thick as Thieves. So basically there is a lot of awesomeness in your future. You're welcome.
Coming back to this, I'm surprised that I actually painted BLOOD. Though this is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series, so it makes sense that I would choose it, it also happens to be a scene that includes... blood. Eurgh.
I remember that this was for one of my Beginning Oil Painting class assignments, but I don't remember exactly what the assignment was. I remember that I did one of the other assignments based on Sherlock Holmes (I actually still have THAT painting... maybe I have a photo of that somewhere too!) at the end of the class the teacher commented that I always found a way to make the assignments exciting for ME. Fanart is fun, OK?
This was for my Narrative Illustration class. We all had to read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and illustrate it in our own style. I very deliberately based my compositions on the golden section, which was a fun exercise, and generally did give me a pleasing layout. In college, where I was of course an adult (well, mostly ;-) and was surrounded by adults, I didn't have many kids to look at and draw, which definitely shows here. I really want to do an updated version of Alice falling down the rabbit hole in my current style, and make her actually look like a little girl. I love it when I see artists revisit an old image and re-do it in their current style.
Ooh, I remember this one. This was an entirely self-initiated image. I found this photo of a baby deer all curled up, and loved the simple shape of it and wanted to try simplifying it even more. Recently at work I had done a series of images using this texture and really liked the result, so wanted to experiment with it more. Speaking of...
Geog 250 Splash Package
This is one of the early projects I did at Independent Study. you can see I did a sort of collage using textured images, and it turned out pretty cool. At the time they wanted the banners to "bleed" off the top and lefthand sides, and then have them "fade" to the right and bottom without having a hard line or corner on that side, thus the unusual design of these landscapes.But even before I did this one, there was...
Japan 53 Splash Package
My very first assignment at Independent Study! So this would have been done around... 2009 or 2010 ish? I think? Anyway, I looked at dozens of woodblock prints when I did this assignment. I kind of cringe looking at it now, but it was a fun start.
After finishing this assignment, I had a couple more relating to it.
For some reason, some of the Japanese characters were "outlined" in these and therefore are still on the images, while others were not and therefore disappeared, since I don't have the Japanese font on my computer. Hmm. Anyway, these images were for the lesson about Japanese food. Maybe you can tell I was feeling a bit more confident in Illustrator at this point.
Ok, I'm having a lot of fun, but this will be my last one for now.
My three little pigs illustrations. Oh dear. Of course I basically just drew the same pig three times, but put different clothes on him to be different characters. The idea here was that each of the artists at independent study were asked to illustrate a different story (Cinderella, Thumbelina, Noah's Ark...) and that each different language course could use the same illustrations--the story could be translated into each language, and the pictures would help the students with context clues and such. I don't know if that actually happened or not, but it was fun to actually illustrate a story for once. Badly, but yanno... baby steps.
Anyway. There is still TONS of old art hanging out in various files on my computer, but I'll stop posting them for now. It's been really fun for me to go back through this stuff.
What do you think? Are you surprised that these images were created by the same person as the ones in my current portfolio, or do you see some commonalities with my current work? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
You guys, I made a thing! A short comic, that is. And the campaign to fund it on Kickstarter opens TODAY!
Take a look:
SERVED comic on Kickstarter
I've been wanting to do more with comics for awhile now and this is the first time I'm really doing something "official" with it.
Comics and me took awhile to come together. Growing up, I read and read and read novels, then drew fanart of the characters. I, like many, mistook the MEDIUM of comics for a GENRE--comics were stories about superheroes, with lots of punching and fighting and science experiments gone wrong. I had no particular interest in that type of story. (Still don't.) And Manga? Well, without getting too much into it, in middle school the group of kids who were into Manga were really mean to me, so I became unwilling to try Manga just by association.
I always wanted to work in SOMETHING to do with stories, words, and pictures. I wanted to be an "artist" for the longest time, until in eigth grade when I read School Story by Andrew Clemens and realized, not only that those names on covers were actual PEOPLE, but that I could be one of them. Up to that point I was so focused on reading the books I hadn't stopped to really consider how they came to be.
So, for awhile I wanted to be a writer... until I found that I had a hard time expressing just what I wanted with words. Reading went fine, but words were so much harder than pictures. So, I decided I wanted to be.... wait for it... a LITERARY AGENT.
Yeah, I eventually realized that that was the wrong dream too. I loved reading, but I always came back to pictures. So when it came time to pick majors, I skipped English and went straight for the visual arts.
On my application to BYU Visual Arts department, I was asked to rank my interest in the different areas. I put Drawing and Painting first on my list. I wasnt sure what to put second... but illustration sounded cool. Besides, I might only be accepted to one and then my decision would be made.
Well, I was accepted to both. So now I had to choose one... to start, I looked at the list of required classes. Drawing and Painting included several I wanted to take, many I was less excited about, and some that sounded straight-up boring. Illustration, on the other hand, required only classes that sounded AWESOME. I went to talk to the department heads to learn more, and Brother Barrett was incredibly kind and knowledgable.
So, Illustration it is.
Wait a minute. Youre telling me illustration is making pictures that go with stories? This is what I've wanted to do my whole life! Why fidn't you say thats what it was called?!?
I mean, I knew that, but I never really internalized it until then.
So, illustration. There were a lot of kindred spirits in that major with me. One day in the studio we were chatting about books we liked, and the topic of comics came up. Oh, I don't really read comics, I said. I'm just not that into super hero stories.
Well, I was set straight pretty quickly, and was lent a comic to read then and there--Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. I was fascinated.
And SO BEHIND.
Here was this story telling medium that felt SO PERFECT for ME and I was just barely being introduced to it! My classmates had been reading and making these things for ages, and I barely knew what was possible!
Fortunately they gave me some good recommendations. I was hooked! This was my thing!
And then I left on my mission and lost some steam... but not all of it. I made several short fun little comics about funny things that happened to me and sent them home. They weren't great, (actually, they were pretty bad, I'll be honest) but they were lots of fun to make.
I wasn't sure where to go from there after coming home, though. I made a couple little comics for myself, but still felt really intimidated by the medium and kind of steered clear for awhile.
But when I was invited to create a short comic for the Served anthology, I was excited to say yes. I've read most of the stories in it and am really excited to be part of such a fun project--and humbled, because some really awesome and experienced comics creators have contributed. My little story feels shabby next to their polished work, but I'm proud to have done it. I think its a really fun collection and am excited for people to read it.
Take a look.
Please forgive any typos... this post was created one-handed while nursing a baby. Because I'm awesome like that.
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