progress

Stage Fright

roughcut

 

LOOK AT THAT ROUGH CUT! STARE INTO IT!

So the first episode is going to be Iron Who, I just filmed it so next is figuring out graphics. I’m still using the on board sound mic for the camera so BARE WITH ME. One day I will get you lavalier mic, ONE GLORIOUS DAY!

God, now I have to maybe deal with being a LADY ON THE INTERNET. I haven’t had much trouble before because I guess I’ve always picked gender-neutral handles. I also never use my mic during games unless I’m playing with people I already know. NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS ON THE INTERNET, PEOPLE.

I feel like this is less embarrassing than my first video attempt, maybe because a) I scripted it out a bit and b) it’s not about ponies. I also put on a fancier top. Classy.

achievement unlocked!

The Metal Nerd

So hey! If you haven’t noticed by the obnoxiously large banner, I’m re-purposing the blog to talk about the new project I’m working on, the Metal Nerd.

The Metal Nerd is going to be a video series geared towards talking about metal bands and other similar projects. After working on Drop of Fuel for so long, my favorite part always was making jokes about metal. And the highest compliments I ever got were when someone told me I got them into a new band.

So I decided to cut out the middle man! The thing is, comics were always a hobby of mine — my real passion is video. I’ve always wanted to work on a video series, and I realized I needed to break down and make one of my own to do that.

….I went to a liberal arts college that didn’t know there was no job market for this kind of thing. Seriously, their recommendations are to move out to California and if you don’t die in 5 years you’d have enough “job experience” to work anywhere else.

So far I’ve been hammering out scripts for the first two reviews, and trying to figure out whether or not to do an introduction video. I’ll be using this blog to document some of the stuff I’m working on. I want to try everything for this project: hosting, writing, editing, special effects, marketing. I have a lot of faith in this project, and I know I can create something people will love with this.

The main site will be at themetalnerd.com (there’s nothing there yet) and I might just keep this as a process blog for people who want to see the behind the scenes stuff. I’m going to want some feedback while I’m working as well so…please comment on stuff. Discussion would be nice. Especially at the Facebook page.

 

the bowels of tumblr

comic68

Wow, it’s been…awhile. Let’s just say awhile.

I quit the comic almost a year ago, wrote a big ol’ post about it on tumblr…then I quit tumblr.

Basically tumblr is like crack. It’s all fun and games until your life is in shambles while you’re crying in a corner because someone told you to “DIE CIS SCUM” because you said you prefer turkey bacon with your pancakes. It made me a nihilist. I wanted to break my addiction and make new things…but where would I post these things? To tumblr? Oh, so it’s okay for me to break my own addiction but everyone else has to keep theirs? Okay, fine.

Some really funny things happened on tumblr, I’ll admit. But those things I liked were mostly done by other Sonata Arctica fans. Who I am assuming are my friends. So I basically don’t need to rejoin tumblr to find them again. Just, hop on twitter or something. Find them on facebook. Whatever.

Tumblr is where you go to see fandoms collapse in on themselves. You see people harass other people for liking things. You see that it’s a public forum, but people still get pissy if they post something “private” and it gets passed around. There’s no policing on tumblr. No admins or anything. So everything turns into a giant, pointless fight.

So I quit, I check twitter for my social networking posts, but anything I find that’s related to tumblr is either a single funny image, or an “oh no, look at what tumblr’s fighting about AGAIN”.

I will probably post to tumblr again if I have something worth sharing. But I won’t stay logged in. Not again.

illustration job hunting

Storyboard Test!

A year out of school and I finally got to do a Storyboard Test! They passed on me for the job but I was just excited about taking the test. I found a job posting for Regular Show on some random site, so I sent them my resume really quick and they sent me a test. It was so exciting! The test was totally writing based; they wanted a sequence out of a paragraph synopsis. I’m used to being handed a script and going from there.

Woo! Warm-up doodles of Mordecai and Rigby

I think I did alright on the writing, but what tripped me up were the character designs. They sent a lot of source materials and basically nothing had construction lines. (So we’re all on the same page, I am referring to the lines you use to construct the drawing, like a circle for the head or an eye-line for the face.) I got trained into using construction lines so long ago, it was weird making up my own until the characters looked more on-model. It’s just really awesome going from having every teacher I ever had tell me there is one right way to draw, and get my first professional test telling me to throw that out the window. Which is fun! That’s life for you!

Even though I got passed on the job, overall I am pleased that I got the test done and turned in. Not everyone can say that, and that’s good enough for me.

Here’s hoping I get this lucky again! Gotta keep one ear to the ground, folks.

illustration

Who’s Your Brony?

I created another metal pony and I just wanted to share the more technical aspect of it. I broke down and made a Lordi pony because it was begging to be done, and my warm-up sketch just needed to be completed. Here’s the full finished piece…

And here it is in all it’s wire frame glory. I think I prefer Adobe Illustrator to everything else, because it caters to my engineer brain more than any other art program. This also gave me an idea for a new tumblr…

Perhaps a very terrible idea.

 

illustration job hunting

Statistics and then some Philosophy

So this year instead of just drawing whenever I feel like it I’m keeping track of my hours. So far I have increased the time I spend drawing! I have some problems tracking my time because I get distracted easily. Actually, in art I learned the average attention span of a person is 15min, so it’s kind of difficult to count in 15min increments. Was that an hour? Or did my 5min break set me back?

Then again my work allows us breaks every 2hrs so maybe I should follow that.

I have also learned it takes me about three sketches before I am properly warmed up. Yeah all those times I started drawing and went “oi this is terrible”? I just needed to keep drawing. So yes I am basically telling the Internet so I can keep track what I’ve learned.

****

So instead of the finding a job route, or even the going back to school route, I am now barreling towards the “work your ass off until you’re great” route. It just seems really silly that I waited a year to do this, but honestly in film and art, they make it sound like you just do it fresh out of school with no problems. They talk about the middle or end results but gloss over those initial years of “what the fuck am I doing”? A few weeks ago I found out Matt Stone and Trey Parker, my ultimate “oh man i want their job” people, didn’t do their first South Park cartoon until three years out of school. Three years! And they didn’t just do it for no reason, someone asked them to do a little Christmas short and they just obliterated it. And no one mentions this. Just like no one wakes up being the best, no one wakes up with employers saying “oh? you want to figure yourself out here? oh okay!”

A few times I have thought of giving up, but there’s nothing to give up to for me. It seems like when I’m ready to be done trying to be a video-cartoonist type person, work gets too stressful or I keep getting rejection letters and I am like “OKAY LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN”. Sometimes it feels like I just have a big ol’ list of people to prove wrong, and there is so much against me, but right now it’s like I’m in THE EYE OF THE STORM. Going back to school isn’t going to guarantee employment and other places aren’t hiring someone who isn’t experienced in what they do, so right now the only thing I can control with some certainty is my artistic ability. Now if only I can get everyone else to understand this. HMM.

I think the key thing to remember is that this isn’t about proving people wrong or jumping on a hobby and saying “here give me money”! You also can’t just create when you feel like it; you have to keep pushing yourself. And I think I distilled what keeps me going.

There was something that I learned in art history back when I first started college, and it was something Michelangelo once said. He said that his mind controls his hand, but God controls his mind. Do you want to know why I started drawing Drop of Fuel again? I got my Sonata Arctica Live in Finland DVD. Sat down to watch it. And started to draw.

I control my own work and what I do, but metal is such a positive influence on me that I cannot help but pay it back.

So let’s make 2012 BAD-ASS.

achievement unlocked! comics

Oh wait I guess this is relevant



YEAH. WOW. THAT WAS WEIRD FOR ME. Honestly I entered the contest over a year ago and when I didn’t win I went OH WELL and figured they just forgot about all the entries. But it’s on the DVD. Which made me realize YOU SHOULD TOTALLY PUT YOUR NAME ON ALL YOUR WORK FOREVER. But honestly you could just do a google image search and probably find the entry along with my deviant art.

And the comic is pretty much back, I’ve been updating 3 times a week for at least three weeks. Getting the Sonata Arctica DVD brought it to a head and I just started rechurning out comics. ON BLACK FRIDAY WEEK. I AM AMAZING.

So yes the comic is back and HOLY CRAP. I MEAN…JUST…WOW. I still can’t believe that is a thing that happened. Maybe I will talk about giving Tony a comic in the future, but right now I have to do a regular comic update.

illustration

Sketching on Paper vs 100% Digital

(Final piece on the right can be found at FurAffinityand DeviantArt.)

When I first went to college I studied Graphic Design for two years, and one of my best professors flat out forbade us from turning in any digital work until 2 weeks into the project. We had to do +50 thumbnails by hand to start out each assignment that first semester. This is why I don’t understand working 100% digitally.

The reason she made us start out by hand is that it’s very easy to get lost in the options available to you. She showed us two examples of thumbnails; one set had a variety of different ideas and the other had several close versions of the same, very primitive idea. The difference? The first set was done by hand, while the second was a tweaked set done digitally.

Yes I am totally biased because of this but I still have a greater success going from a pencil sketch than from a digital sketch. Maybe it’s because when I sit down at a computer, I want to be finishing a project. But honestly, I think it’s because I have less options when I draw with a notebook. I can’t tweak an image with the idea that one little adjustment will make it perfect, I just have to fix it or start again. Plus pencil sketches look better anyways, because APPARENTLY (according to tumblr) since a sketch is rough, it mimics how we don’t see everything in focus all at once, so it looks “better” to us than a 100% smooth image. HUH.

So job still sucks. But I got a new PC and I am in love with it. I will keep bugging you guys with terrible fan art then. DFTBA.

P to the S — the comments on Fur Affinity already made me laugh. COMMUNITY LOVE.

comics illustration

I am so exauhsted (and sorry).

These were some of the sketch cards I did at Summit City. It was an eye-opening experience and a great opportunity. BUT the next “day” (more like 4 hours after I got home) I had to work until 8 am, and it’s been downhill ever since.

Guys, it is VERY IMPORTANT to not let your job consume you, especially when it’s something outside of what you want to do. Well, guess who let their job consume them? That’s why I’ve been in a comic rut; when I started, I made it my personal policy not to do angsty, sad comics about how HORRIBLE MY LIFE IS *LE SOB*. For me that’s a big draw back when I read someone’s auto-bio work, because it often dissolves into a vicious cycle. Not to mention there is always SOMEONE who has it worse than you, especially when you have a roof over your head, food at normal times and no one is abusing you.

Unfortunately every day I don’t do creative work I’m dead in the water, and slowly increase the amount of time it will take me to move on in my career. I’m really grateful to have some form of income in this economy, but the work can get draining.

I want to say ALL THAT IS GOING TO CHANGE but honestly, it’s just going to take time and patience and regaining a work ethic.

On another note, my application to Valve is public! And even though I haven’t been doing the comic, I still try to keep up with my FurAffinity and DeviantArt accounts.

Which includes drawing a My Little Pony Tony.

…I really need to use Illustrator from here on out.

job hunting

“You Work 18 Hours and What Do You Get?

Your parents sell ya to Paris Hilton.”

Butters, South Park

So I sort of found a job! Kind of. It isn’t a very big one, just work at a local place so I can “save money” and “take responsibility”. (Yes, totally not mentioning their name on purpose thank you!) Which I don’t really understand because by today’s standards, everyone is getting their loans deferred and this wouldn’t pay enough to move out or anything, but ehh.

This is pretty much the most laid-back job I’ve gotten; it’s easy to contact managers, and you don’t need to request permission to go on break or use the bathroom. This is a company I was thinking about getting advanced in; they like to brag about how many people start out at minimum-wage and move on up to managers and corporate. But I’m not really sure now that I’ve actually started working there.

My original plan was to keep doing my art and video, but more as a side project until it can thrive as it’s own source of a career. But it’s only been a few days and I am SORE all over, from running around and moving boxes and things. I don’t want to move, let alone draw things. Plus I have earlier hours, so I have to go to bed early and what kind of creative person does that? But it’s REALLY NICE to be out of the house and doing something, and honestly I’m kind of happy with the people I get to work with. Everyone is friendly and I think a lot of people are just happy to have a job. But I don’t know, I need some real discipline if I’m going to do my career on the side now.

So yeah, not giving up on the comic, just super tired. Also Summit City Comic Con is coming up, yay!