Monday, February 27, 2012

On Robots...

I like robots. C-3PO, the Tinman, Wall_E, Maximillian, the Terminator, Number 5, Sonny, Metropolis, The Day The Earth Stood Still, the Iron Giant, Robocop, Data, K9. They're fascinating. What are your favorite robots? I've drawn about five robots in my life.
My boys draw them all the time.

Ryan Wood assigned us to create a print ad with a robot selling a beverage. Here's a robot by Ryan Wood:

Rad huh?

And some of my favorites from my classmates:

Nate Call:


You can tell they've drawn robots before. Probably a lot. And here's mine:

Concept sketch:

I was trying to evoke the feeling of the old 1950's ads. I think Nate Call did a much better job. But I had fun writing it! I haven't made the changes based on Ryan's critique notes yet. I don't know if it's worth it.

But I want to draw robots more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Thievery...

Some of my UVU illustration friends and I had quite a heated discussion on art thievery. We found another artist trying to pass off other people's work as his own and we were all pretty incensed about it. There's quite a big difference between using reference to maintain accuracy and using other people's actual painted artwork in your own piece. I make no mention of giving credit. Because it just shouldn't be done.

Paint your own work.

Have artistic integrity.

Be nice and play fair.

I mention all this because for our recent assignment in Richard's class, we were to take an abstract word and create a concrete image for it. My assigned word was: Power.

I used a lot of reference for this piece. There's no way I could paint a realistic light bulb without looking at a light bulb reference. I don't have the muscles memorized (like a lot of artists I know), so I can't just paint an accurate figure with bulging muscles. But I painted it all by hand, like I was painting on a canvas (except your paintings on canvas don't just arbitrarily disappear at random times) and while it's not perfect, I'm pretty proud of it. I've come a long way since the first speed painting in Digital Painting for Illustration 1!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On Standoffs...

I love Mexican Standoffs. They are so dramatic and ridiculous. With the music, the body language, the facial expressions. Can they get any better? Or worse... I think I might love Mexican Standoff parodies even more than when they're supposed to be serious. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Reservoir Dogs

The Office

For the second assignment in Ryan Wood's Digital Painting for Illustration 2 class, we were told to create a piece featuring our first character and their arch nemesis or polar opposite. So of course, I decided to do a Mexican Standoff. Of course. And it's steampunk. Which makes it a Steampunk Standoff. Posted here with changes based on Ryan's critique:

So here is the time traveler, meeting his nemesis during a jump through time and space. You can buy prints here. I'd love to hear some caption suggestions on this piece.

Here are some of my favorite nemesis paintings from my classmates:

James Allen - Whiskey Rat

Kari Larsen - Mermaid vs. Surfer

Adam Munoa - Fight Club!

Micah Larsen - Spy vs. Spy

Nate Call - Dr. H.P. Gatty

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On Recognition...

... of your efforts.

You know how you work really hard and you keep working and you feel like the end is SOOOO far off, and you're just slogging through this super-long nightmare of cold and never-ending winter and painting and painting and painting and painting and no one is ever going to tell you, "Yep. You've arrived." You know?

If you can't tell, it's still the middle of winter, and the semester is in full swing, and this gets hard. Really, really hard.

So I walk into the GT art hallway and all my peers are milling around Perry's office, like they always do, like this:

and as I walk down to GT 413, my enormous Ogio backpack banging into everyone (it's not my fault! It's full of books and my laptop and my Wacom and my art supplies!) about three people in the hallway tell me Don's looking for me.

What? Why? What did I do? What did I forget to turn in? What did I inadvertently do to derail my graduation? What did I miss that's going to get me kicked out of the BFA program?

I go into GT413 and put down my stuff in Richard's class. Another person tells me Don is looking for me. Okay. I go up the ramp to Don's office. He's not there. I go out to the bathroom, take care of business, wash my hands, come back and sit down. Stewart comes in, "Hey, Alicia," (He never calls me Lee. He calls everyone by their full name, or adds something to their name to make it longer.) "Hey, Don's looking for you." Okay. Everyone knows Don is looking for me. No one knows why.

Then Don is there, "Lee," he says, in that quiet, world-possibly-ending, Don way. "I need to talk to you. Can you come with me?" Everyone's looking at me. I'm like, this has to be bad. It just looks so bad. I follow Don to his office. He gestures me into the big red chair. He hands me a letter.

The letter says that my piece, The Time Traveler, has been accepted into the Society of Illustrators Student Show exhibit and annual book and that it's eligible for a juried student scholarship contest. It will be shown in New York in May at the Museum of American Illustration.

You remember this painting?

So Don says, "Congratulations." And I start crying. And I tell Don, "I've been working really hard." And he says, "I know you have." And I'm thinking, You do? You know that? How do you know that? It still hasn't occurred to me that Don knows all, Don sees all. He says, "You're the only student from UVU featured this year." And that makes me cry more, because I know about a thousand artists better than me at UVU. He says, "I'm really proud of you." And then he hands me a box of Kleenex and tells me that I need to keep it together otherwise everyone will think he's been beating me up in his office. Then he walks me back out to Richard's class and they read the letter in front of everyone and everyone claps and congratulates me.

 And it's like, Okay. Okay, I can keep going. I can really do this.

Monday, February 6, 2012

On Music...

I was raised with music. Lots of music. My mother is a musician, and a singer. She taught my brother and me piano. I didn't play much after I stopped taking lessons at 15, but I would break out my Tori Amos books, Broadway showtunes and movie themes once in a while.

My best friend in high school, Karla Perez Scarff, and I would listen to our favorites: Morrissey and The Smiths, Counting Crows, Sting and The Police, REM, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Michael Jackson, Bjork, U2 (who did I forget, Karla?) constantly. It seemed as if our lives had a soundtrack. Every song had a meaning, and they all crooned us through the ups and downs of high school.

I have new favorites now to add to the old list, and good friends who share obscure bands with me. It always seems like there's some kind of music playing in our house. Which I love.

So Richard Hull gave us an assignment on metaphor. He provided each of us with a phrase and we had to translate the metaphoric phrase into an image, utilizing line and fill.

My phrase: "Wine-maiden of the jazz-tuned night. . . " ~ The Midnight Dancer, Langston Hughes. I like music, and I like night. So I was excited to work on this assignment.

I was really pleased with it. Well as much as I could be since Painter 12 kept crashing and creating artifacts whenever I tried to turn the paper texture. I must have repainted certain parts about twenty times. I'm not kidding.

Richard didn't like the figure. Which was the part I was most proud of, considering I drew from imagination and then checked with reference. *sigh*