11 November 2011

Art Today - Opinions vs. Expertise

First off, my apologies to Mr. Cliff Cramp after a short but spirited conversation we had over 2 weeks back. I said some upstartish things that not only were less than sparkling, but I formulated an opinion that normally I would definitely not agree with.

A nasty incident on the Internet recently brought me back to my senses. I will not name people or entities but refer to them only by their first initials.

A popular webcomic, X, came under fire a few months ago because the author, S, decided to incorporate side-stories because his normal artist, G, has been going through rough times. Keep two details in mind:

  • The makers of Webcomic X make no money off what they are doing. None of the so-called fans are paying them.
  • Author S has made it clear from the start of Webcomic X that he was going to encourage outside artists to work for him, so none of the "fans" should have been surprised by what happened.
Still with me so far? Now fans are allowed to comment on each of the pages as they crop up. Of course, since this is the Internet, 1) Etiquette is an illusion, even though there are some rules governing the comments, and 2) Comments that aren't even germane to the page or comic flare up like wildfires.

Having engaged in nasty debacles on deviantART many, many moons ago, I've learned to be VERY careful about what battles I engage in on the Internet. People can be very nasty and rude, and even when foul language is not involved, stupidity is pandemic. So ordinarily, I keep my mouth shut. However, the slew of complaints leveled against Author S and his artists who worked on the side-stories really raised the hairs on the back of my head. Surely, everyone is entitled to make opinions, but some opinions are better informed than others. Quite frankly, most fans of anything, whether of Star Wars or some obscure band, don't understand the processes that go into creation. Out of professionalism, we creators try to keep our mouths shut, but that does not mean we believe that the customer - or consumer, more accurately - is always right.

Back on track: Webcomic X arrives at a side-story that I've been anticipated for a while. Author S has chosen Artist B, whose work is not stunning, but at least I know his style is unique to him. He isn't trying to mimic anyone, just to satisfy the demands of ravening "fans," and for that, I commend him, and I commended Author S for choosing him. However, most of the "fans" are outraged as usual. "His style is ugly!" they rave. "Stop making these side-stories and bringing in these horrible artists!..." and so on and so forth.

At first, I wasn't into Artist B's style, but it grew on me as the pages kept going. And I'm already riled up from the "fans" criticizing what I feel they don't understand. So finally, I posted my one and only comment, not knowing how well it would be received.

And of course, I'm attacked from all sides:

  • "Great... another one of THOSE..."
  • "Your comment makes no sense! How can you make assumptions about what you don't understand?"
  • "So just because I'm not an artist, you're telling me I'm not entitled to an opinion? I don't have to be a doctor to know my dad just had a heart attack. I don't have to be a mechanic to know something is wrong with my brakes."
  • "Pal, you're as arrogant as hell. Get over yourself."

Mr. Cramp, sir? I can't come into the studio today. I've come down with a nasty case of Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome. I'll have one of my friends shoot over my project for the next meeting. Talk to you later, Mr. Cramp.

Folks, just because I know my dad had a heart attack, does that automatically mean I have the know-how to operate on him? Am I suddenly a mechanic because I realized, "Jeez, my brakes aren't right. I'll just pull my car apart myself and put it back together. Easy cheesy!" Okay, I've spotted a flaw, but does that mean I have the authority to fix it? Not without the proper knowledge and experience, I hope!

I never told these "fans" that they weren't entitled to their opinions. The only thing I was questioning was expertise: Can we as fans explain in a non-savage manner what is wrong and HOW to fix it?

Apparently not.

Then the "fans" further complained that another artist, M, had been rejected to do the side-story for political reasons. They complained that he still should have been on board, despite the differences.

Folks, if Author S has a disagreement with Artist M, and he doesn't want to invite him, that's his discretion! It doesn't matter if M is "better" than B - it's Author S's story, and he has the executive decision as to whom he brings on board. (And trust me, Author S even addressed that same issue on the website regarding M - it just would have never worked - end of story).


Anyone is entitled to say they want, but not everyone has the expertise to back up their opinions.

10 October 2011

Society of Illustrators - Contest!

Wish me luck, folks! I entered 3 pieces of illustration into the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles this year. The prizes are pretty big, so heap the blessings on me heavily.

Also, give props to my illustration prof, Cliff Cramp! His digital painting was chosen for the cover of the new Star Wars Blu-Ray:

The Art of Cliff Cramp

The guy is not only a great artist, but he's a fantastic human being. He won't mince words; he'll tell you what needs improvement, but he won't tear you a new bum-hole. He's a total father-figure. Check. Out. His. Art.

That is all.

14 September 2011

Father of the Legend

Nothing like a crazy father to balance out his crazy son.

Paragus in Western Style (2011) PhotoShop

Paragus © Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation. Artwork by T. Antoinette.

26 August 2011

China and Secret Detentions

You know, it's articles like this that remind me of this: Just because the economy has been shifting towards Asia doesn't mean Asia is necessarily better than any other continent.

Chinese law would legitimize secret detentions

This isn't necessarily new news - not by a long shot. And no, the US isn't perfect - the US government does the same thing to people, citizens or not, holding them without trial. But please, blacklisting songs by Gaga and Beyonce? Just because some people in the US don't like them isn't grounds for blacklisting them! Why not turn a deaf ear? Why not have an open dialogue instead as to why something is "bad" or "good" as opposed to shutting it up altogether?

I might not have as much money as a Chinese bank, and living freely is a paradox in the US. But at least I can speak openly among friends what I dislike about my country, and I can crank up the Monster in my car, if I so choose.

19 August 2011

Western comics look to Asia

Since I've enrolled in a sequential art class, I thought this brief article on BBCNews was interesting to read:

Comic giants battle for readers

It's absolutely incredible how markets overall have shifted from the West, especially the United States, to the rapidly growing powers in Asia. Now more than ever, it seems like being an artist means stepping outside of the studio and beyond the bounds of being technically strong. If you lack any knowledge of established culture, popular culture, politics, anthropology, religion, and the like, you can't really call yourself an artist.

18 August 2011

Back to the drawing board...

... or I guess in this age, "Back to the Wacom tablet!"

But before I stray from traditional for a whole semester, I just wanted to upload a couple of pieces that have been sitting on the shelf, waiting for attention.

Fauvist Athena (Water-based Oil Paint)

Magenta Alex Grey (Gouache)

The painting on top is of Sarah Raine Behl, a friend of mine who dates back to around high school and Drawing and Painting major. The one below that is a shout-out to Alex Grey, who creates the album for the band Tool; it's also a little nod back to Christian Hill and his eyes project from Spring 2011 in Digital Illustration. Huzzah!

19 June 2011

Thrax Family - Sketches

Dear Warner Bros.,

Forgive me all the mindless fanart and other derivatives of your character Thrax. Osmosis Jones was not exactly the best movie ever (to put it very lightly), but you created such a Magnificent Bastard that he begs to be immortalized somehow.

Sincerest regards,


From left to right, top to bottom: Áine, Sdia, Herne, and Judicaël. Photoshop 2011.

27 May 2011

Project 4 - Beorn's Hall Finished

While sniffing around for internships and jobs to go along with the OC Fair, I decided to go ahead and post my interpretation of a Tolkien paradise:

Beorn's Domain (2011) PhotoShop.
LONG list of sources for the collage! Used paint brushes and MANY blend modes to create a very painterly composition. I mean, this is Tolkien we're talking about. Too bad I didn't incorporate any of those giganto bees - they're crazy big!

06 May 2011

Project 4 - Phase 1

While I'm up and not lying bedridden, I might as well also post my processes from my final project in digital illustration:

Beorn's Land (2011) Photoshop

Vectors in Photoshop (2011) Photoshop
 I don't think cells phones existed in Middle-Earth, but I'm sure Bilbo and the Dwarves would have appreciated a working GPS device.

Project 3 - Children's Book

Man, this is not my week. First, my presentation day goes nightmarishly awry. Then I wake up with anxiety-induced influenza! I tell you, this semester is literally killing me.

Anyway, here's a digital painting for a short story idea:

No Other Choice (2011) Photoshop

No Other Choice: The Process (2011) Photoshop

The original story I wrote goes like this:

There once lived a family of Daemons in a forest, not far from their village. They peacefully went about their daily lives: cooking, cleaning, fishing, and hunting. One day, as the father and son were playing outside, a great two-headed serpent awoke because of all their noise. The creature lunged for the boy, but the father shoved his son aside. The serpent poisoned the father and escaped. The boy rushed his father home to the mother, who immediately recognized what type of bite it was. She told her son that she needed the rare Yatro plant, or else the father would perish into the Land of Spirits.

The mother could not leave the father’s side. The village was at least one day's journey, and the route to the closest known patches of Yatro were dangerous. Feeling responsible for his father’s injury, the Daemon boy took his faithful steed in secret, vowing to return with the plant. However, as the boy entered the mountain, he crossed paths with the pack of ravenous Hadean wild dogs that live on the mountain. The boy and his steed fled, only to find themselves cornered at the edge of a cliff. By incredible chance, the Yatro plant was on the other side.

With seconds to spare, the Daemon boy and his steed leapt across the rift. The boy grabbed the plant as the steed landed, and they hurried back down to the valley, following a safer path home. The mother took the plant, mixing it into a brew, and administered it to her husband. The father survived and thanked his son for his incredible heroism.

P03 Thumbnails (2011)

P03 Creature design (2011)

P03 Devil Boy Design (2011)

P03 Creature Design 02 (2011)

02 May 2011

My First Gimp Sketch

Thanks for all the wonderful comments and helpful criticisms, first of all. I really appreciate constructive insight into my work thus far. And secondly, here's a quick, 30-second sketch on GIMP using a mouse:

My First Gimp Sketch (2011) GIMP
Plans to complete in the future under way! I've been inspired by Genevieve's proficiency and quickness in digital media, and it's definitely something I aspire towards.

28 April 2011

Filter Jam, in the meantime

While browsing copyright websites, I had to fiddle with Photoshop and create a composition using filters only.

Subliminal, yo! (2011) Photoshop

Some Helpful Copyright Websites

Since intellectual properties, such as copyrights, are so involved and controversial, I've decided to pass along some websites that other persons have passed to me or that I've found:

U.S. Copyright Office

Direct Legal's Copyright Guide

Brad Templeton's Guide to Copyright

Plagiarism Today: Main Site

Plagiarism Today on: Fan Art and Derivative Works

Hopefully, these websites can help you avoid headaches in the future, whether you are making original art or - dundundun! - making art or writing work that is based off another existing piece!

Also, take good notes on the differences between copyrights, trademarks, and patents. You would think it's simple, but it isn't! This stuff gets pretty confusing, and people aren't 100% protected, of course. But, like I said, hopefully all you guys and gals out there can arm yourselves with knowledge.

Happy creating!

20 April 2011

Candle Light or Moon Light?

What do you find more romantic: candle light beside a random apple and banana, or moonlight to go with the demons chasing your tail?

Hats Off To Eiffel 65 (2011) Photoshop

Value Tests (2011) Photoshop

14 April 2011

The Argus Project - Week 11

For this project, we're supposed to take a "famous" eye, 50 years or older, and post it. I chose Michelangelo Buonarroti's David:

David's Eye (2011) Photoshop

12 April 2011

The Color Wheel and Color Blindness

I just found a super-informative website on color blindness. It's by Archimedes' Laboratory:

Color Blindness Test and Facts

For any graphic designers and web designers, there's an article on "How can I create a colorblind friendly website?" Overall, the page looks like a superb stepping stone regarding color blindness, its whys and what-to-do's.

07 April 2011

The Argus Project - Week 10

Eyes done in the style of (from top to bottom):

1. Vincent van Gogh
2. JC Leyendecker
3. René Magritte
4. Rembrandt van Rijn
5. Franz Marc

StylEyesd (2011) Photoshop.

03 April 2011

Dr. Photoshop

... or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Digital Revolution.

Let me begin by saying that I respect digital media. I believe that Adobe and other companies have devised powerful software that enhances the lives of not only artists, but other individuals, from the common person on the street to the self-taught aficionado, seeking to spice up their photos and the like. I have seen my competition within and without the Internet, and I must confess, I am envious, inspired, and fearful that so many people are far more advanced and proficient at Photoshop than I am. I only wonder how skillful such hands are with traditional tools, but glancing only at their digital art works, I can only assume that these digital masters must be proficient with pencil and paint.

With that disclaimer in mind, I'd like to go on to say: Photoshop hates me. Or I hate Photoshop. I don't know yet. We're going to counseling on the weekends only because Photoshop insists.

Joking aside, here's the upload for the Technical Illustration Project:

(2011) Photoshop.

(2011) Photoshop.

Yeah, but it does get better:

Spheres (2011) Photoshop.

So yes. Slowly but surely.

Actually, I've been working with Photoshop for a couple of summers now. It's just really awkward working with a medium you can't touch or mix. It's like the difference between reading off a Nook or reading from a real book - I'm sorry, trees, but I'll take my paperbacks any day. :) But we'll see. After weekends of counseling.

02 April 2011

It's Tarzan Saturday!

While painting spheres in Photoshop, my mind roaming as usual, the oh-so-polically-correct 1932 Tarzan the Ape Man was on TCM, followed later in the afternoon by Disney's 1999 rendition, which is no closer to Burroughs' story, but what the hey! Listening to Brian Blessed (the Brit who plays Clayton) ham it up is the LOLz. So, I decided to go through my mountainous portfolio and scare up some of my artwork:

Age-Regressed Clayton. Pencil.
Sheeta, Sabor's Daughter. Pencil and colored pencil.

Brother and Sister. Colored pencil on colored paper.

Tarzan, Clayton,  Lady Waltham, and Sheeta © Burroughs and Disney. No profit has been made or will ever be made off these derivative works.

01 April 2011

My quick landscape

So we had to paint a quick landscape in Photoshop and make a new brush.

... My eyes! They burn!

Amoeba Snowflake Brush (2011) Photoshop.

Snowy Practice (2011) Photoshop.

18 March 2011

Argus Project - No. 4

More eyes! I need more eyes!

Patternish Eyes (2011) Adobe Illustrator
Self Portrait No. 2 (Eye) (2011) Photograph

17 March 2011

By the devil's bazzer, garsún!

While everyone else gets to have a relatively good St. Patrick's Day, I've gotta take care of a sick kitty - which might possibly turn into all three of my little monsters sweethearts, depending on the diagnosis. Meanwhile, here's another one of those "I should have been laboring on homework, but I decided to let it slide for this week" kind of thing:

St. Padraic's Day (2011) Watercolor.

Ye does be wishing me cat some good Irish luck, and I'll be bidding you a fair Slán!

 Prof. Ratigan © Eve Titus. Disney 1986. Not for sale.

12 March 2011

He's so wicked...

... so delightfully wicked! God love Vincent Price.

Wicked Studies (2011) Pencil and colored pencil on colored paper.

"To Ratigan! To Ratigan! The world's greatest criminal rat mind!"

Prof. Ratigan © Eve Titus. Disney 1986. Not for sale.

10 March 2011

Technical Gag WIP

For a gag illustration, to be done in the Airplane Safety Card style.

Gag Illustration (WIP) (2011) Google SketchUp and Photoshop

I wasn't born for lovin'...

... I was born to raise HELL.

Born To Raise Hell (2010) Adobe Photoshop
Inspired by a crazy piece of animation with an even more fantabulous soundtrack, the movie Rock & Rule. Find it. Watch it. Marvel over it!

At least the soundtrack. And MOK.

09 March 2011

24 February 2011

Duplication - Exercise #3

Note to self: Osmosis Jones is heckahard to mimic!


Character Design No. 430

Water Leaks and Cancelled Critiques

Well, this week is off to a great finish. ::coughsarcasmcough:: For starters...

My house was FLOODED at 1:30 this morning! Our washing machine, which was completely turned off, mind you, broke - mind you, again, my mum and I live in a 30-something-year-old house, with the original piping and everything. Since my mother sleeps downstairs, she managed to turn off the water before the worst could happen, but right now, our recently remodelled home is torn to pieces and filled with obnoxious dehumidifiers.

Right on!

Then - and this is my fault - I did not have the foresight to check my e-mails before going to class. Mind you, I usually check everything within 24, if not 48 hours. Not this time, and I reach school, only to find out the class is cancelled for today.

Me screameth: WHYYYYY!!!

Luckily, I wasn't the only one who hadn't checked the e-mail, so I didn't feel like an utter dunderhead. Since I have had some time to recover this afternoon, I can finally post the ideas for Project #2:

16 February 2011

Eye Eye Eye, Man!

It's as if the class plans to make a life-sized model of Argos the Many-Eyed Giant at the end of the term... O_o

Eye (Self Portrait) (2011) Pencil on colored paper.

 I also: 1) redrew the gouache eyes in Adobe Illustrator, and 2) created a new brush to use on another eye study. First, the new brush, then the Gouache 3 with the new eye:

XY Brush (2011) Adobe Illustrator.

Simply Add Subtract Then Multiply (2011) Adobe Illustrator.

14 February 2011

When I should be doing classwork...

... I'm having fun doing other things...

What A Lovely Way To Burn (2011) Watercolor and pencil.

 ... O_o... Any and all questions should be directed to my secretary, as it would take quite a while for me to explain what the devil is going on here, and seriously, I need to get back to "real" work.

Happy Cupid Day or Lupercalia or whateva it is ya'll celebrate, foos!

Thrax © Warner Bros., 2001, yo!

10 February 2011

Duplication - Exercises No. 2

I went digging around for other artwork to upload, you know, practicing different studio styles. I ran across my muse that I ever-so often encounter: DRAGON BALL Z, yo! With the unbelievable muscle masses, the LONG power-ups, the bad American English dub actors, and everything in between!

Bido's Condition (detail) (2009) Pencil, ink, and markers.

I don't know why I enjoy Bojack Unbound so much. It isn't one of the better movies, but dang, man! The villains look cool! Their color palette is just so pleasing!

Tired of being a fan-character (2009) Ball point pen, ink, and markers.

I guess this is supposed to be a female version of the villain Cell. I was one of those teenage fans who just had to Rule 63 everything or hook a canon character up, hoping love would change his heart.

:SNORT: Fat chance... So I redrew this character looking tired and cynical.

The Universe's Greatest Criminal, Period (2010) Ink and markers.
Recently, I've gotten back into Disney, and I must say: I love Disney. I also love Akira Toriyama. And Toriyama was inspired by Disney! It all works out! So how about drawing Freeza as in the ensemble of the "World's Greatest Criminal Mind"?

Bojack, Bido, Cell, and Freeza © Akira Toriyama.

09 February 2011

Duplication - Practice No. 1

Some head studies of one of my favorite characters, Thrax from the Warner Brothers film, Osmosis Jones (2001). I want to get accustomed to the different styles of animation that flourish in studios, and Thrax is rather interesting the draw, with all those pointed angles and those crazy dreadlocks.

Eye Eye Eye!

Eyes, guys! And apparently, there will be a lot more where this came from.

Simply, Add, and Subtract (2011) Gouache.

And furthermore, I have thumbnails! And not just the ones on my hands either!

Stay tuned for more hair-raising action!