Friday, August 19, 2011

Rose Marie Promotional Flyer

Back in April I worked for a local Opera Production Company for their theatrical feature "Rose Marie".
Amongst the art done for the production [like the stage prop totem pole], the promotional flyer was also designed by myself. I decided to approach it in a very different stylized manner to help reflect the more contemporary edge the Opera was set in. :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wish Opera

On April 29th, the Opera "Rose Marie" debuted. I had the AMAZING pleasure of working on the production with some insanely talented people... and now that it's over, I wanted to post a visual process of creation; I summarized my carving of the Totem Pole stage prop from start to finish.

Working for the theater is the most stunning experience for me; as I said before, I am an avid traditionalist, and the theater is truly the setting for the classic arts... also demanding a different thought process and approach then most media. This totem pole is a perfect example of that- because I had to construct what would appear to be a pole made of wood, but factually an impossible task to be done in the short period of time I had. Foam was the perfect solution- I could work on every figure independently, and also care to make the cuts in the foam look like wood.

Funny when we attended the actual opera, we were so taken aback we actually forgot to take a picture while watching it unfold... so lucky me that the production staff actually did. :)

That's 10 feet of foam right there folks.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Godric- Meeting the Light

Originally this was a Birthday Portrait for Allan Hyde (Actor who plays Godric), which was drawn out on a Canson board roughly 16" x 20".

I had saved the picture until I was notified that the gift was delivered... I originally posted this on my birthday, earlier this year.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Smirky Wolf

I was doing some animal caricatures a while back, and liked this one in particular.
Certainly not an evil fellow, but I wouldn't trust him in a game of cards. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Good Words

One of the short films I have in the works.
“Good Words” is a short film that speaks about many issues in one- from conservation of our environment, as well as diversity of culture.
The audio is actually the opening to “500 Nations”... a documentary produced and release in the light of the “Dances with Wolves” phenomena. While I cannot obtain the rights to the audio, I intended to produce this short anyways… more as an exercise in animation, as well as voicing a personal opinion bout our current state of environmental affairs.

I am still working on this short as we speak- and am working with a friend of mine as well. I'm hoping to complete it within the next few months. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Star Wars Tarot- The Fool

For those who thought I had forgotten about this series: I haven’t. :)

This is the latest submission for my “Star Wars tarot” deck project I have been working on.

I think this one was an obvious decision, as I even had some people inquire if Jar Jar would be the candidate for "The Fool". I had already picked him way back in the day, but having people confirm this with their opinions made me sure of my decision even more.

Like the originals “Fool” Card, Jar Jar is aloof and seemingly unaware of the danger that lurks right around the corner- however I substituted the cliff with the war-tank behind him. The green and watery landscape of Naboo help build that contrast to the “foreboding” dark base color the card is illustrated on- and even the sky changes color from a serene blue, to a wild yellow. A card of “innocent ignorance wile inobservance” is the main criteria, and Jar Jar’s bright body color and jolly detached attitude plays the part really well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Circle of Crows

Commission for client.

She wanted to have one of three dreams illustrated in the NWP style, and I told her I would only if they wouldn’t break any taboo or infringe on cultural concepts. Lucky that after I reviewed what she wanted, nothing out of the ordinary appeared!

This was the one I wanted to do the most- simply because of the clarity of the image in my head, and the concept within it:

I was taken by the description of all the crows harassing the mother for food, and the mother trying to chide her son into calming down.
I am fond of the archetypes of Protectors, and I wanted to really have that element encompassed in the image with the Motherhood theme. But I also love the symbolic correlation to the birds, and that connection to nature. So I depicted a mother clearly relaxed and "smiling" with one hand up (the palm face forward is a sign of peace and welcome), second hand around her baby who is crying. This symbol is one of motherhood, and motherhood compassion and protection. A common motif in Aboriginal art.
Second, the ring of crows all around the mother- this visually helps that feeling of foreboding the child feels because of being encompassed by so many birds, but the relaxed figure of the mother puts the viewers mind at ease. Also, the birds are not foreboding, and their beaks- while open- not gaping wide... they are also seemingly making a pattern similar to rays of light off the Sun… and almost look like they too are protecting the mother, as opposed to serious threat.

It was a lovely commission with a really great product at the end, and both of us were very satisfied.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Black Dragon

As many people don’t know, part of the North West Pacific tradition of art, is asking permission. A lot of non community members think it's ok to randomly throw together something that looks "in the style" simply because they can, and the style is "cool".
This is NOT the case. Aboriginal art is very deep rooted in the cultural traditions, and many of them have specific rules as to how one draws something, portrays something, or if they even have the right to [which usually means also a ton of taboos that could be broken if not handled right].
This is VERY hard for non-community members to understand because they live a life of self indulgence and entitlement.
I lived and worked within the community for 10+ years now, and if there is one thing I am STILL doing is asking permission. This NEVER stops.

I was in Vancouver, visiting some friends in the local Community. I had the pleasure of going down to one of my friend’s houses and attending a family gathering, that included a lot of members from their community.
During my attendance, I had figured that I would try and “obtain” some permission to do some artwork that breached out of the “norm”. After all, this would be a perfect time, as when the Elders and family gets-together, and they ask if anyone has something to get out in the open... now’s my chance.

Push comes to shove, I asked, discussed, reasoned, and gifted [paid the price] to get the rights to do some stuff. But there were 2 instances I REALLY had to discuss my POV and this picture is a result of one of them.

Most of the Elders were not pleased with the idea that European folklore would be depicted in this style. When I asked about some of the supernatural beings, they plainly refused.
It was only after I brought up the fact that another NWP artist- who is half Irish in decent- already broke that barrier to design a “Dragon”, did some of the Elders shift their consideration. Turns out, it wasn’t that they were against me doing it; simply, they wanted me to fight for it. They wanted me to prove that I had enough of their cultural knowledge, and manners to actually request something of this sort. I was told that if I had been anyone else- including a new comer to the culture, or someone who was just "an artist" with no knowledge, I would be plainly refused. But my investments and dedication to the culture and it's rules is what "won" my right. To everyone else, they would condemn them.
That too, is a cultural mentality.

So because I earned that right, I could post this with a quiet conscious, and silent heart.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grey Shark

Some of the shapes I used in the image were to induce the "water ripple" effect- multiple lines that look akin to waves and ripples. But I also mimicked and stylized some of the shapes to be reminiscent of the traditional fishing tools of the NWP aboriginals. It gives a very all-encompassing concept, what with the shark being a predator/fisherman of it's own kind.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Green Transformation

While Werewovles do not exist in the Aboriginal cultures, the concept of transformation, and transforming into animals is a concept you see regularly in the Oral Traditions.
Here, we see a human, transforming into a Wolf... the legs beginning to deform out of shape, and the last remenance of the human body- the hand- is evident. The Hand is a symbol of Healing in many Aboriginal cultures- Healing, Medicine, and Remembrance.
I wanted the hand evident to indicate that the transformation is a Healing one, and one of remembrance- back to a time we were inseparable form nature and from The Bush.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Red Bison

In Ojibwa, "Bison" is called "Mishikode-bizhikeh". This is actually a compound of two words: "Fire" and "Cow".

The reason Bison are called this is becuase the plains on which they live are notorious for burning up- plain fires are common, and would make the Bison flee.
From here stemmed the term; whether it was because the Bison fleeing the fire would make them seem as if emerging from the fire, or perhaps the fact that they were also engulfed in the flames while running, or simply because the local Aboriginals were associating the local environment with the type of cow - it makes for an interesting term.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Black Husky

Huskies are one of the most often used sled-dogs... and quite popular with people who want to own Wolves but obviously do not actually want to OWN a wolf. XD

All the dogs I know that belong to my Aboriginal friends are also sled dogs, so usually are husky or malamut mixes. A little tribute to the Animosh that carry us when "Kissina Kwajin!"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Black Jackal

I admit, the black-gold combo was clearly subconsciously influenced by the over abundant images of Anubis in Gold attire from Egyptian culture... but rather then fight the color scheme, I ran with it.
Also, while I was supposed to keep everything monochromatic, this one felt as if it needed the 2 extra colors for effect. All in all, I am happy with how it turned out.

There is a long standing dispute in Aboriginal Myth about the existent of "Jackals". While not called by this term, they are described like "Smaller Coyotes" and darker in color. Conservationist have a similar dispute in regard to smaller Plains Coyote vs. Northern Coyotes that are larger- some even stipulating that the smaller plains coyote is a sub species or a type of jackal.
I decided to run with the theme and illustrate one of these "Small Coyotes".

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blue Raven

Back in Nov, I made my annual trip to the West Coast.
My twin sister was convocating her Masters, and both my mother and I wanted to be there.
Curing my stay, I touched based with my friends who were First Nations and lived in the local area. Quickly calling up friends, family, and extended relations so we could all hang out together and reminisce.

During the trip, I wanted to venture into making some art while challenging my design hand. So instead of dealing with NWP art via line thickness and weight, I wanted shape and color. My goal was to do a bunch of monochromatic images depicting some animals that came to mind (and were requested by some individuals).
Dealing with this style is hard, because anyone who knows anything about First Nations know that it demands a cultural understanding, lots of prior learning, and cannot be done simply becuase the illustrator "likes the style". Many non-community members take it upon themselves to dabble in this style, and create offensive and culturally insulting pieces. They are not even aware of this because they have no prior understanding to what they are doing.

Because of my connection, work, and relations to fist nations cultures and people, I take this cultural appropriation VERY seriously. I cannot fathom those silly people who think they can simply take something from someone else's culture, and think it's OK. I wan trained in the style by the people, and with the cultural rules applied, and still do.
I say this because within this series of designs, I had to come across a lot of cultural infringement- and deliberalty had to ask permission from the Elders of the local communities the right to do some of the things I did. Over the next few days, I'll be illustrating some of the events that I had to go through in order to design some of the images.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

True Blood- Russell and Talbot

Continuing with the recent theme- uploading work from Oct while I was sick. :)

I personally loved Season 3 of True Blood. I know a lot of fans just couldn't stop complaining about it, but I was on the edge of my seat pretty much the whole season. I also adored Russel and Talbot very much- for whatever their relationship might have been, it was Russel’s “Goodbye to Talbot” speech that had me in tears. I suppose it was because it was frank, true, and honest – and something we don’t get to see in relationships today anymore. Basically; love. Unconditional, and uncompromising.

That, and it was Dennis O'Hare delivering the lines. The sheer awesome of that man performing literally leaves a tear in the fabric of space-time-continuum.

I also noticed a scene where I think Russel was wearing a fish-net like stocking… and I was like DAMN… that DUDE is wearing those far better then I could EVER wear them.
Oh well.
The roses nearly gave me an aneurysm. But they were worth it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

True Blood- Bill and Sookie

Still updating form... wow, 5 months ago. I really fell behind keeping up my blog since I'm working a million things all at once.
but this changes now!

The second portraiture I did when I was really sick back in Oct.
I'm particularly proud of myself since my mom actually recognized Anna Paquinn in this one. She doesn’t watch True Blood, so she doesn't know who any of these people are... but she did remember Anna from another of her movies.

Admit it, every time you see Bill or Sookie, you think "Suu-keh"... XD

Monday, January 31, 2011

True Blood- Godric and Eric

I drew this.. wow, nearly 5 months ago!
I had the flu and figured I'd work on portraiture in order to get my mind off how bad I felt.
I passed out twice while working on it... but it still came out fine. XD
This show is my guilty pleasure. I don't watch TV now-a-days anymore.. but this show and Big Bang are pretty much the only "TV" I watch [cartoons not included. I always watch that].

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Star Wars Tarot- Knight of Swords

This one comes a little late but with good reason: I have begun production on another animated short. So my time is now dedicated between multiple part time jobs, these tarot cards, commissions, and an animated short.

Into the flames with us!

In my deck, I changed the elements of the specific suites; particularly between Swords and Staves [Wands]. Because I associate wood with air, and swords with aggression- hence fire- I switched them in my deck. While this image is reminiscent of the Staves [Wands] Knight, because of its aggressive association I switched it to Swords.
And I can do whatever I want because this is my deck so na-na-na-boo-boo.

A little note about the “horse” Anakin is ridding. Years ago when watching the prequels (Episode 2 just came out) I was a little disheveled that the “Knights” did not have “horses”. You can’t be a “Knight in shinning armor one a white horse” if there isn’t any horse!
So obviously, I took it upon myself to create horse-like creature, but keep some obvious “alien animal” qualities to it (Dude, ANLTERS!). Of course, since then there were a number of “mounts” used I the SW saga, but I’m partial to my “horse” thing because it’s mine and I think it’s cool and I used to SW RPG with one!