Thursday, July 30, 2009

Selling Out

I'll preface by saying that I'm releasing an art book early next year. Mainly for fun, but yes, I do want people to give me money also.

Ever since starting at Disney I've been moving my art towards an "animation industry"-like style, because I like entertaining people and making them laugh. And I love the direction I'm headed.

Because of this, I haven't engaged in popular art communities like CGSociety or Deviant Art. They cater to a different audience.

But when a kind reader, Katie De Sousa, linked my site from Deviant Art, my readership jumped up by about 3200 visitors (6500+hits) in a single day. And suddenly, I was drunk with power. I began planning to change my style and use online art communities for my eventual world domination.

Today the eye stars are dimmer and my hands only twitch occasionally. I remember my heart is still in family-focused entertainment. But I am weak and still a little tempted. So I might open up galleries on a couple different sites just to see the response. Yes, I am still the kid who sits on the end of the cool table during lunch, hoping nobody will notice I don't belong. But this time I'm not going to make the mistake of changing who I am.

In other news, I got an image into UDON's DarkStalkers Tribute Book. I loved DarkStalkers as a teenager. But some guys at work were joking about entering a contest with an image that makes fun of the contest subject, and I couldn't help myself. Why do I have an obsession with half-retarded superheroes? To be fair, I wasn't as mean as I could have been.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Princess Coloring Book Too

I'm once again trying to be as cool as Ryan Wood. His idea of painting a Disney princess coloring book page like a piece of classical art seemed so artistically offensive and funny that I had to try it: William Bouguereau meets Aladdin's Jasmine. And yes, I admit with some shame that it was fun.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thinking Inside the Box

I've never liked the expression, "Thinking outside the box." I'm not against the principle---advanced artists/designers/whatever often come up with amazing solutions that defy convention. But defying convention is not, in itself, a virtue. I've argued for years that finding creative ways to work within "the box," or using rules and conventions to your advantage, is an art in itself. But a difficult project I worked on for the last couple years taught me why people use that phrase so much: Stupid boxes.

Let me be clear: a great box of conditions can be more inspiring than sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper. But a stupid box creates mental paradoxes, irreconcilable contradictions that make great solutions nearly impossible to find. Not that it's really impossible. In fact, finding an elegant solution to an impossible problem feels like the crowning moment of your career, if it ever happens. But most of the time, it's frustrating for everyone involved.
I feel like I'm being too vague, so here are some examples.
Good box: design a scary monster that still appeals to children and uses projectile attacks.
Bad box: design a terrifying yet expressive monster that appeals to children but that teenagers think is cool and not goofy, and make his arms into rocket launchers, and its head should be a chainsaw, so use something other than the face to make it expressive, oh, and the rocket launcher and chainsaw need to be made out of flesh.

Anyway, I still think it's a good skill to think inside the box. But my advice is this: if you feel like the box you're working inside is stupid, and if you have any leverage whatsoever on your project, do everything in your power to change that box so it no longer makes your life miserable! Then you will be happier and I will stop ranting about it.

In other news, some art I did for the Avalanche blog:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Foresty Fun

Sorry for the gap between posts---I'm turning now to old stuff to keep things going. An environment I did at work that will never be used for anything.