20230201 – Recap of January

Popo Potato goes Uiiiiiiih

January is over, which means my experiment has come to an end.

In January, I indulged myself, deciding on a whim what I’d work on that day without regard to the future or past. That was the idea, at least. Of course, mentally, it wasn’t that simple, and there’s quite a bit of backstory to this experiment that I won’t go into.
I learned a couple of things. For example, I was having the most fun and happy when I was doing the Pirate Zombie Snails. Also, music plays a huge role in my life. I want to share the things I like, music, illustration, design, art, comics, books, and whatever else; because there’s happiness in the appreciation and sharing of the creativity of others. Unfortunately, I can’t use this blog to simply share all the things I want to share or do so in the most convenient way for myself or others(no youtube-embeds for example, because of GDPR concerns. I can’t upload other people’s artwork here, because I would be breaking copyrights, etc.)

I also noticed that while I am content in the moment, forcing myself to deliver daily art posts here meant that I did not follow motivations to do longer form explorations. The rigidity I set upon myself of drawing every day and posting art every Monday-Friday started to feel oppressive towards the end of the month.

I will continue with self-indulgence for now, but I will likely post less because I want to work on some things more extensively. Whether or not they bare any fruit worth sharing, I don’t know.
In February, I will also focus on learning a bit more. Workshops, courses, more experiments.

At this point, I don’t know where this will lead. Even if I recover fully, I don’t think things will go back to how they were. The way I work will change.

20230131

Two less complex experiments using noise/texture to break up the digital feel.

This one I consider a fail. The idea was to have a man kneel in front of a woman, head resting on her legs. I was attempting to convey solemnity, solitude, loss, and hopelessness. I wanted the darkness to creep in, the outside light to promise nothing good, for the inside light of safety (candles) to reach nothing. I hoped that going for a straight-on shot with a ~28mm lens would increase the distance from us to the characters.

As I mentioned, I consider this one a failure. It doesn’t convey the feeling I wanted to convey. The use of noise/texture doesn’t add to the intended emotion. I have this image in my head of b/w prints made from etchings or B/W Riso prints. I did not manage to reference these enough.

This one is a bit more successful. Feels a bit looser and less contained in execution and exploration than the above one. From the start, I did not try to be “correct” with this one; I was a lot less concerned about correct perspective & lens use, instead executing more and better on the intent. The final looks more like done using spray paint or an airbrush with a splotchy nozzle. Which is better in my opinion, it’s a bit more varied and organic.

Music:
Maxx LL – Sundered
Steven Price – Our Planet
Pinar Toprak – The Wind Gods
Carved into the Sun – Carved into the Sun

20230130

This image started with me not knowing what to draw.

Like many artists, I have folders upon folders of inspiration saved on my hard drives. Some are artist-specific, some are themed, and some are just random images I found and liked but was too lazy to sort. This image started by looking through one of my landscape photo collections.
The winter-lake image you can see at the bottom center made me stop. Maybe it was the image by itself; maybe it was the soundtrack of “Jotun” by Max LL that I was listening to at the time, which made me pause. Something clicked and I knew I was going for some temple/structure in a lake that would fit into a Conan-like Sword & Sworcery story. With that idea in mind, I collected the other reference images from the web, then I just worked.
The references I used are Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin, Japanese woodcut printmaker Yoshida Hiroshi, and French comic book artist Moebius.
Also, one thing that you’ll probably see reoccurring in future artworks is the exploration of “noise” or “digital texture.”
It’s something that I explored in the past, specifically for some of my bird stylizations. With my current exploration, I’m trying to add texture but to do it more deliberately than the previous technical explorations allowed for.

Stuff I like: Comic – Betty Boob

Betty Boob is a comic told with almost no words. The drawings are expressive, sometimes a lot of fun, sometimes conveying heart-crushing sadness – beautifully written by Véro Cazot, and illustrated by Julie Rocheleau. Betty Boob is the protagonist of the comic; she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer and lost her hair and her left breast. The comic shows the impact of those events on her life.
In German, the comic came out in 2018 and was published by Splitter.
The English version was published by Boom-Studios.
The French original was published by Casterman in 2017.

20230127

What if I made a card game? It’s battle-focused, very interactive, and the energy level of UNO. I need clearly identifiable colors, easy-to-read central elements, and status indicators. And what if I depict only characters, but all the characters are fruits? And they are all melee combatants, like Pummeler, Blademaster etc., because most fruits don’t do well with melee combat. And what if I did 13 cards, so 13 colors, 13 fruits, 13 melee types, and eight status effects? And what if I throw in a blender or a smoothie, …?

I ended up sketching a bunch of characters and developing the color scheme. But I only drew four cards so far because I can’t figure out the actual game.

Stuff I like: Comic – Ultralazer

I just got two volumes of the French comic book Ultralazer, published by Editions Delcourt.
The book is created by three people, two of those are the two artists doing the artwork. Maxence Henry drew the characters, while Yvan Duqe drew all the backgrounds. You can see a few pages from the first book and some prelim sketches on this Behance site.
I can’t say anything about the story; I don’t speak french. But the art is gorgeous.

20230123 – I like the way you dance

TLDR: Every now and then, I leave my wife a note on her desk with a compliment or anecdote on why I love her. I did that again last Saturday, and it inspired me to do some postcard designs.

I’ll talk a bit more about the cards and process; if you want to read that, click on “Continue Reading”.

Continue reading “20230123 – I like the way you dance”