Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Star Wars Tarot- Master of Energy

Dear Mr. Jinn,
Your hair is red-brown. Not white. Even thought you insist in every design of mine to HAVE white hair, it is indeed red-brown. Being so adamant is only trying my guilt of Fan Accuracy vs. Guilt of Artistic License and puts me in a fowl mood.
I understand you have are the “Grey Jedi”; however that is a metaphoric reference, not a physical trait. Please make that distinguishing differentiation as to allow me to proceed with designing your cards without the need to foam at the mouth.

Your much-needing-a-Valium fan,

Like it’s family-card (Padawan of Energy), Master of Energy depicts not only the “flow” of energy, but also the associative element of Water. “King” of this family, it once again amused me how accurately Qui-gon’s character description modeled the King of Cups- from the diplomatic and non-aggressive approach to disputes, all the way to the tirelessly devious attitude if crossed. Obi-wan predecessor without a doubt.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Star Wars Tarot- Master of Planets

This was a card that started off as very plain. I realized that it would pack a punch after the color was applied- and it did. However, during the course of it, there was an off-again, on-again love-hate relationship with the card. And I just kept reminding myself to hang in there- the color would vastly improve it.

Also, during my time working on the card, Jason Derulo’s “Riding Solo” came on the radio at least half a dozen times. This only made me laugh every time it did- because the first few times I heard that song I couldn’t help but think about Han Solo when he hit the chorus. So eventually when the song came on, I would hold up my card and point when he said “Solo”.

Han Shot First.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bison Concept

Back in 2003, I was attending my first year at Animation. During that time, I had caricatured one of our teachers [Kaj Pendal] as a Bison. This was amongst the first concept for my “Raven” film.
However, as time went by, I realized there was no place for a Bison in a film that was NWP… and I don’t like mixing concepts, so the Bison had to go.
It was about 2006-8 (can’t remember the exact year) where I stumbled upon a powerful opening dialogue/forward to a television documentary series. It immediately sparkled a idea for a short, and what do you know? The retired Bison was the perfect visual match to the talking voice, and to the concept. I brushed him off, and re-designed him to fit the new short.
The design isn’t complete, but it’s a current stand in for the boards. I completed them [the boards] and will be doing a full character rotation.

I have a very good, talented and devoted helper this time in my endeavors… and she will be helping in the production process of the film. So let’s hope in 2 months time, we will have polished final!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Star Wars Tarot- The Sith

One of the most intriguing cards of this deck (I think so at least) was also one of the ones that simply “came to me” image and all without any fighting. In fact, I didn’t have to maul over the idea at all! *BA BUM CHING!*

In consistency with the Star Wars theme, the changing of the suits, and some of the titles/names, “The Devil” card is hereby known as “The Sith” card in the deck.

I had a busy week these past three weeks, and so I wanted to make up for it by putting out at least 2 cards this week, and I’m aiming for a grand total of 4 cards. I also have to make some arrangements, as I wan to reopen commissions for a couple of months now- so hopefully I can see through my 4 cards this week.
So far, it’s off to a strong start!

Piercing eyes are piercing.
Can’t go to sleep- Mauly’s going to eat you!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Star Wars Tarot- Master of Swords

The Master of Swords- both the suite and the SW universe- would obviously be: The Master Swordsman; Mace Windu.

I really saw a very strong, dominant figure for the card- a pillar, if you will. But lots of fire- as in my deck, the Swords are the suite for Fire. That in itself is the reason for the bright, sun heavy and warm palette for the card. I also used the iridescent colors for the border and this time the Lightsaber as well!
Funny little fact, when I was coloring the sky, had forgotten to leave space for the Lighsbater blade- so I had to continue and figure out how I would implement it. Enter one of my favorite mediums: Gouache! So the Lighsaber blade is actually gouache.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Star Wars Tarot- Padawan of Energy

The suites in the Star Wars Tarot are different then the regular Tarot decks. I’ve seen decks that equate the Swords, Wands, Pentacles, and Cups to their elemental concepts, or change then to fit the metaphorical concepts to better suite the content of the deck- and mine is no different.
Instead of “Cups”, I worked off the concept of water- the flowing, calm aspect of it, and reached a verdict that it best suits energy. So this is the “Page” of Cups... now renamed “Padawan of Energy”.

Young Obi-wan fits the category well. I also have a special connection to this card as it was my card in my younger years- so I was tickled pink that Obi-wan matched the content of it as well.
Even though I was removing the “Earthly concepts” form the deck (Zodiac, religious, or concepts non-relating to Star Wars) I opted to leave in the elemental significance as the elements are present in that universe, and are universal. They also serve as a good visual identification to some of the metaphorical concepts.

Obi’s belt buckle is done with the iridescent ink, as is the borders- I only wish the iridescence could be conveyed through a scan- let alone the quality of the images that I feel would be better if I had a better scanner.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Star Wars Tarot- The Lovers

It was a no-brainier to figure out that I would use Anakin and Padme for the Lovers card.
This was one of those pieces that I started originally on a different color- and after a little while realized it was NOT the right color I had in mind. But I never blow steam or go crazy for having to re-start a piece. From previous experience, having to restart usually means any errors get ironed out, and the second time around always come out ten times more glamorous than the first try- so I was delighted to start over.

I kept this card dominantly warm. The only “cool” colors are the green grass and blue waters of Naboo… and this was important in order to include all 4 elements in the card- Fire is the sun behind the Lovers, Air is what they are being formed form (the smoky/cloud) water and earth are represented by the background. I also wanted to include the balcony with the silhouettes to give the image a more vast and epic feel to it.
I also really liked the idea of having Anakin’s both arms embrace Padme- all the while keeping the “flat” style of the art intact. This also proved a good design tool to create that circle effect to really convey that wholeness of both figures together. Another fun tid-bit was trying to simplify Padme’s wedding dress.

A lot of people keep assuming this is Pastel- actually it is not. It's colored pencil on Canson board. Maybe the blending is too smooth for what some people consider pencil art- but these are truly done in colored pencil. In fact, they are being done with the set of 400+ color pencils my Grandmother bought me as a birthday gift- the last one she ever did before passing away.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Star Wars Tarot- The Empress

Like “The Hermit” card, some of the titles themselves are obvious give-aways to the content.

However, it is to note something interesting: I cannot “read” Tarot cards. I have my own deck of cards I “read” from but they are not Tarot. This series is a result of a sort of “epiphany” I had one night… and I decided to run with the idea. After all, Star Wars is full of Archetypes that are found within the Tarot Cards as well, so I decided I would just illustrate what I “felt” fit the image/meaning of the card, and look for the “official” meaning/content after I was done. This way, I wouldn’t be swayed by the pre-conceived notion, but run with my instincts. As an artist (and generally as a person) I run by instinct over knowledge most of the time. My gut is my best intuition so I never ignore it.
What’s funny is after I design the image and then check its meaning- the meaning and my “gut” usually coincide.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Star Wars Tarot

In order to console myself for not being able to attend Celebration V this year, I decided to take upon myself a project that would include me in the shenanigans of the fandom. In fact, I would even extend the fun to include a GIANT project that would take me a LONG time to complete, there fore making my indulgence grossly enormous.
I decided to design a deck of Tarot Cards based off the Star Wars universe.

The first card in this series features not only my favorite character of the Saga (For those who can’t tell, Obi-wan Kenobi), but seems very appropriate for my current situation; after all, I’m all the way here, and the party is all the way in Orange County.

While these cards are based of the most popular deck (the Rider-Waite Deck) I adjusted some concepts to better fit the Star Wars universe, and of course my own artistic vision in the matter. The style I am using is a merge between Medieval Tapestry, and some sort of
flowing geometry that I felt appropriate for the card series.

Two things to note about this Hermit Card: I purposefully left out the stars in the image to keep in tune with the empty void/loneliness of the card. I also added the Homestead in the distance; this to better get that distant feeling through environment and location (in relation to Ben), but also to give the sense of the Guardian and Protector (Wise man) bidding time, quiet reflection, and introspection; common motifs with this Tarot card.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

BoY- Werewolf

My Second Submission to the Beasts of Yore Portfolio!
After doing the Wasgo piece, I had selected to do a more “common known” beast, but with a personal twist. I went for Werewolf, and playing of the old Hungarian/Romanian (Bohemia) lore and time period, I grew up with.
I adjusted the contemporary “look” of the Werewolf- from the popular “simply a wolf standing on two” design- to something more relevant to the time period of the 15th century and cultural ethnicity, along with a merge of Wolf-and-human anatomy. You will notice the long curly locks of hair that was relevant fashion for the men in that time period, along with the floral design of the frame- predominantly Hungarian. The horse- tack-like apparel/garb he is wearing is also modeled of the actual horse tack of that era in Bohemia.

Watch his blind eye though- approaching him on his right side, might end up being the last dangerous thing you will ever do.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hye, Hye, Hyena

Some time ago we had some aboriginals from Africa come to the NCC.
Around that time I had doodles a Hyena, holding pencils in both hands and big monicals (5th down from the left hand side). The story behind that one was pbulished on my blog a few months ago:

A friend of mine and myself were bringing up bad animal stereotypes believed to be true way back in the day.
I WANTED to say that "Hyena's were thought to be Hermaphrodites"... but somewhere along the trail of thought, "Hermaphrodite" became "Androgynous" became "Ambidextrous".
And so I said: "People used to think Hyenas were ambidextrous!"
Pretty smart for fellas who don't even have any thumbs.

Well, when I related the story to the group of Nigerians (who were delighted and laughing at the thought of a Hyena with glasses and writing), they asked that I draw more Hyenas. Well, more like one had asked that I draw a Hyena in his likeness (this fellah laughed so much and at everything that his colleagues had called him "Hyena" as a nick name). At the time I was looking for a small design project to challenge myself, so I agreed.

Seen here were Hyenas based of the group of singers/dancers that came to visit, 3 plain caricatures for fun, and the ambidextrous Hyena.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Circus of Animals IX - XI

More animals for my design project.
The Bison and the Blue Footed Booby are for Tiffany mans- BFF!
The Giant Anteater was one I did for myself- because I love Giant Anteaters.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Circus of Animals VII - VIII

More animals! I have quite a few more to go! I think my grand total is 16.
Fox: for Mom
Shark: for SPUUUUUDDDDDD (Tara Burk) BFF!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Circus of Animals V - VI

The next two in my Animal Design project: The Cheetah and Snake.
The Cheetah wasn't requested by anyone in particular, simply I had drawn one in the process of making all the animals. The Snake is for my BFF- Adri- who was born in the Year of the Snake.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Circus of Animals I-IV

I finally had a day off in 2 months.. so I decided to indulge the day in a design project for fun. I let all my family and really close friends choose their favorite animals for me to draw. While I sketched out many more, these 4 were completed today:
Lion- for my twin sister
Tiger- for Eric Kuba Ash, a close friend and Tiger Conservationist
Wolf- for my Grandfather
Bear- for my mom

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Underworld Valentines

I figured I'd take my favorite Romance Story/Movie and make valentines out of them for this year. I'm a little late- I was busy in Feb.
My favs are the first and last- primarily becuase I love Selene and Michael. You have to admit, Selene- best female role model ever. And the ONLY one I have after 28 years of not having anything to go by.
I want a bustier. And a werewolf boyfriend.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Shadow of a Trickster

Another image made for the Round Dance, hosted by the NCC on Feb 27, 2010.

When you look at something for what it is- you are only looking at a fraction of it. Reason, symbolism, and intent remain by the far the most important driving force behind why a person does what they do. Like a shadow that is cast behind them after they move- it's the remain of what was done.
Similar so is our spirit- that drives us to do what we do.

Here, Raven's spirit becomes obvious in the sunset's light- the trickster revealed in a world of cast shadows- where the actions have giving away to reveal the intent- the spirit of someone's actions.

If all that is left are those shadows- let us hope that we can leave behind the reminiscences of good actions, and not the bad- the way Raven left behind the light.
May we leave behind wet-lands and rain forests, good natured people and peace; not the catastrophes of war, and not the the sentiments of extremist ideals and fundamentals that have left the word in anger and hate.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spirit of the Hunt

One of many images created for the Round Dance, hosted by the NCC on Feb 27.

This image is reflective of the spirit of my driving force, and the bond of nature that keep us together. The necessity to hunt and provide is not only one that keeps a family together, but it also turns strangers into relations. We depend on one another, we seek comfort in one another, and it's those bonds of love that make us who we are. So many people are so bent on exclusivity and segregation- which only leads to hate and deliberate ignorance.

Listen to the voices of our ancestors- the reason why we are here; becuase if they didn't depend on each other, and care for one another, they would not have been able to exist. It's time we opened our eyes and realized this for ourselves, before we go destroy one another in attempt to prove how much better "we" are.

What keeps us together isn't the knowledge that we are better. It isn't the fear that "they" are coming to get us. It's the reality that we all- irregardless of our heritage and ancestry- have to learn and want to survive. And that is good enough to unite every individual in every species on this planet.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Horse and Eagle Dancers

Commission for client.
This and other images- Aboriginal, Animals, and the Natural World- will be on display and for sale at the Native Canadian Center on Sat. Feb, 27th.
We will be hosting a round dance, and everyone is welcome to partake in the event.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gothic Logos I

I am designing a series of Gothic themed Logos to be applied on Shirts, Bags, Key-chains and other items. This is the first- a Werewolf Logo featuring the Gothic Knots and a Gothic inscription (in Ulfalias' Alphabet). It translates to "Wolfman" ("Ulfmanna" in Gothic).
I've already have had a few commissions on this shirt alone... so no doubt in the near future I'll be screening a small quantity and putting it up on an Etsy site.