incoming

Dear friends,

it’s been over a month since my last post as I have been pretty busy with a few things. Hope that’s okay! These things include job applications, driving lessons, work, etc. I might have more news on the job front shortly but for now I’m going to wait and see once things are a bit more certain before I relax a bit and will also make a proper post on it. My driving exam is also tomorrow so I’m more focused on that for the time being. Edit: I passed :)

Aside from these commitments, I have managed to do a reasonable amount of art :) I completed a new personal illustration for my portfolio, and a poster for a couple of great friends who are playing a gig in Finland on 4th July! You can see them both below. My friends unfortunately don’t have a website yet but as soon as they do I’ll probably link it. I’d like to keep making stuff for their music as I love their style and also want to keep creating things that could go into my portfolio!

Hmm, so let’s look… Last time I wrote about printmaking, painting and illustrator. Since then I have done some more work on illustrator, trying to get a bit more comfortable with the software. I feel a lot more confident with the programme, but still not great, and at the moment I don’t really have a reason to use it. I’ve come to realise that my work is much more weighted towards illustration than design (probably obvious to everyone else), but I will try to give design more of a go when I get relevant projects.

As for painting and printmaking, I haven’t done much more of those. I was planning to go to my old university for a visit to pick up some more materials, but haven’t got there yet. It is a 6+ hour journey via train and it costs a lot, but it is something I will be doing over the next month and a half. It’ll be good to see some of my friends there.

I’ve also been carrying on slowly but surely with the game design. It has been a challenge as I’ve been doing pixel art, something I’ve not done for years, and also I have had to pixel buildings and backgrounds. I try to make myself do a few hours every few days and am making good progress. I learned quite a bit about colour theory as well from reading a bit about Syosa, a great pixel artist. I recommend reading the short interview if you’re interested in cute illustrations, pixel art, and/or great colour palettes.

Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 22.50.48

So… a few other things that I have done (which were waiting on the massive to do list)… my shop is finally done and you can find it here! Recently I’ve been playing with shrink plastic to create little badges. The medium is fun although a considerable amount of attempts have been unsuccessful. It seems pretty temperamental and the surface can get smudged so easily! But I’ll keep going, continue practising and hope that over time my badge casualties become fewer.

Here’s a few examples of the badges, some of them I’ve decided not to put up in my shop as they are not quite high enough standard. I bought some acrylic spray on lacquer to protect the surface of the badges, but actually they just ended up having fluff and dust stuck to them :( so I wasn’t happy about that. Some of them are discounted in the store because of that.

I’m thinking of doing a give away too! More details soon.

I think that’s all for now. Right now I’m actually volunteering at the local gallery, I was left to look after front-of-house while the others went to a meeting. And soon, I shall be off as I haven’t yet had any lunch and my stomach is twisting around hungry.

Lots of love

Elysia

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Ooh man there’s so many things to write about. I apologise for this being all over the place, my excuse is this is a personal and non profit making blog, so a lot of this is pretty casual and non structured. So I don’t overburden this already-busy post, I’ll write about these things next time:

  • Organising life class with a friend
  • Planning an artist collective
  • Update on the poetry book project
  • Encouraging a friend to write her story so I can illustrate it :)

 

always with the progress updates

Greetings friends,

hope you all don’t mind but lately I think my blog posts are just going to be continued updates on art and other progress… I write this blog as a sort of record, I would like to make it interesting and helpful for others somehow, though? So not sure what to do. I suppose I’ll share the tutorials and art supply sites I’ve used, as before, and I hope the pictures will make it interesting too… Let’s see… I’m checking my last post to work out what I have done since then. I think I would say the website is mostly all done and waiting for a new series of work before its next update!

Printmaking: As I already said I’m waiting to buy some lino pieces off my art school. Currently the lino pieces I have here are from intaglio printmaker and they are the softcut ones- thin, flexible, creamy coloured. I haven’t really enjoyed using these ones as the lino was a bit slippery, and am hoping to get some mounted lino blocks. I think I’ll be less worried about chopping my fingers off with the more sturdy blocks which will work better with my bench hook.

photo of several pieces of lino carved with two faces and one abstract form which is similar to the gourd vegetablePainting: After ordering myself some paints, paintbrushes and bits and pieces over the last month, I finally coaxed myself into painting yesterday. I tried my hand at painting a portrait of my friend, and I am fairly happy with the result. I often have the issue of the eyes being wonky in a portrait and I’m sad to say it happened for this one but overall I think it was a good first attempt after several years of avoiding painting out of fear of failure. Last night I started on a second canvas, this time without a photo reference, but I have a feeling I may scrap it.

I’m trying to get to grips with the medium and read some tips and so on on the internet, along with that I’m just experimenting with the paints. I get pretty impatient waiting for layers to dry though, which usually ends up in me trying to paint over too soon and ruining it and having to wait and then repaint the section.

Illustrator: Thanks to skillshare offering a month free subscription to people who signed up for a prize draw, I can now start my forays into Adobe Illustrator. For several months I’ve had my eye on a couple of the courses offered and I’m happy to be able to begin them now. I’m currently looking at “Master the Basics of Adobe Illustrator to Create Awesome Illustrations” by Julian Burford and I feel like I’ve learned a lot. Another course I’d like to do is about combining usage of Photoshop and Illustrator and that’s by Lydia Nichols. I thought I’d wait for a while before starting that one so that I could learn the fundamentals of Illustrator beforehand.

mac screenshot of a poster made in adobe illustrator featuring a girl in a space suit against a dark sky

Attempt at adobe illustrator – still in the sketching phase, next stop is the pen tool!

By the way, here is a link to a free month of skillshare if anyone is interested.

Actually, I just saw an advert in the paper today about summer courses at the London art colleges. I’m tempted to take a design based course in order to challenge myself AND improve my job prospects. They are usually several hundred pounds but fortunately I’ve saved a fair amount of money through my part time work.

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Anyway, woah okay this blog post is getting a bit long so we’ll leave it at that. As for the game design we’re having a meeting tonight and maybe I’ll make a separate post regarding my progress. I have improved a lot on the game design stuff!

As ever, thanks for reading and take care, feel free to comment and share cool tutorials, links, shout at me or whatever. x

Updates on my little progress list

Website Screenshot

So I have been working on my list and as you can see above I got a basic website up and running! You can find it at www.elysiaart.com. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I’m unsure about whether to aim for an illustration focused portfolio or a fine art one … or whether I should just have two sites depending on the audience. What do you all think? At the moment I suppose it’s more weighted towards illustration, although I don’t yet feel like I have enough illustration work on there.

As for the other bits on the list, I have started a bit of lino cutting. The lino pieces I’m using are a bit slippery and not that great, but I’ll keep trying and hopefully when I make a trip back down to my old university town I can buy a load of quality lino blocks from the art school.

I also started accumulating painting supplies so that I can try to do some painting. I’ve bought acrylics rather than oils mainly because they are cheaper and don’t require as many chemicals. I’ll see how it goes and post some pictures on the blog once I start! And then depending on how it goes perhaps I will end up investing in oil paints!

Hmm, I think that’s it on the progress front. A lot more to do, of course. I’ve been working a bit more with my game design friends, so that’s slowly developing as well. I also booked my driving test and am practising for that. I’d like to get myself going and start designing some cards or prints… I’ve been doing a lot of drawing from life/photos so I want to get back into something a bit more imaginative.

I hope you all don’t mind but I’m going to post an updated list for me to work on here!

  1. Illustration for portfolio – band poster
  2. Learn more about Adobe software on skillshare
  3. Design some images for cards, prints, maybe make myself a phone case!
  4. Lino cuts – keep going with current materials and hopefully soon source some better ones
  5. Start painting soon
  6. Possible artist collective?

As always, thank you for the support, thank you for the kind comments on my last post too xxx

Sort your life out

It’s been a while since my last post and I have come to the decision that I need to play less computer games and spend more time dedicated to art. I also nearly wrote… and languages, but I think for the most part I have been spending an OK amount of time studying Japanese and occasionally revising French vocabulary (need to revise grammar though too). If my parents are reading this they’ll probably give a small cheer of victory that I won’t be playing as much, although since I’ve been working extra hours at the takeaway I’ve not really played much anyway.

I need to do more art and be a bit more dedicated to at least trying to somehow sell my work. I have very little confidence however and am afraid of dedicating myself to making work because I worry people will not ever be interested. Also I’m not really sure of what to draw and that worries me too. I am afraid.

One of my great friends started working towards selling her work, and seeing her progress made me realise how I’ve barely made any efforts in this and it is definitely something I would like to do. I just feel clueless and aimless and I don’t know who I am half the time. I definitely don’t know what I want either. So anyway I’m writing this blog post so that I can give myself a list of small achievable goals which can build towards a career in art, as well as helping me to enjoy artwork again. I want to enjoy it more than video games, I want to make it so I’d rather be painting and turning away from my work is a chore. Is that something that is possible or do you have to feel like that already? I was like that before.

  1. Create some new artwork for portfolio – perhaps a series of illustrations – character illustrations, work for my friend’s music project. I could make a list of types of work to feature in portfolio.
  2. Do some lino prints, smaller ones for cards and little prints and larger more complicated ones. I want to make some ramen bowl prints. To achieve this I may want to buy a bench hook to prevent cutting off bits of my fingers while carving blocks.
  3. Be in some sort of artist collective in order to have peers to turn to, group projects to work towards, etc.
  4. Learn some more useful skills through skillshare – like how to use Illustrator and InDesign.
  5. Actually make my website… I’ve started coding it although I need to sort out the CSS bit.
  6. Create a better working environment/deskspace.
  7. I would like to start oil painting too.

Maybe the next list here should be all the things I think I should include in the portfolio. I hope you all don’t mind that this is a personal post. If there are any people who are in a similar situation, any advice? Or people who have already been able to start making a living in art..?

Learning new things for game design

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of game design stuff. The poetry book has been mostly completed, and I have put it aside for the time being until I can arrange with Amy to meet her for a proper discussion of layout. Then I can finalise the images.

Anyway I thought I’d just write a little about the stuff I’ve been working on for the game. This week we have been considering what we want the story to be and what should be the driving purpose for the player to continue playing. We got stuck for a while, but thanks to some Skype meetings and now the addition of a writer it feels like we’re rolling again. So perhaps I should say… welcome Felix!

I can write a little bit about our plans… Originally it started out as a pet game and it has morphed into an adventure game… both are pretty exciting genres for me I think and I would still like to do a pet focused game in the future! I mentioned before about the game being about using different kinds of monsters to get about the world. We’re also trying to flesh out more of a background story as well to explain what’s going on.

Ooh, we might even have some humans involved in the story... draft design for initial animation tests.

Ooh, we might even have some humans involved in the story… draft design for initial animation tests.

Art-wise, it looks like I’m going to be both indoor and outdoor scenes for the game. My secret is that I’m someone who has avoided drawing backgrounds in personal art for a very long time. Now I’m just going to have to do it, and that means I will be working hard to learn a lot of new things. The outdoor scenes are probably going to be dominated by nature, so they are probably not too intimidating for me to work on. In particular I’ve been feeling pretty nervous about the indoor scenes, because I haven’t learned enough about perspective.

So, over the past week or so I have been trying to gain a better understanding of perspective in order to make some nice backgrounds. Our group really admire the mobile game The Silent Age, and the art is really nice in that too… since our game is probably going to have a similar viewpoint I did take some inspiration from their background setups.

The Silent Age

The Silent Age

To start off learning about perspective grids and such, I first looked at some Adobe Illustrator CS6 specific videos, which I’ll link below. There are a couple of good ones which explain perspective in a really simple way which helped me get a basic understanding of perspective… For example, learning that the horizon line = eye level.

I really like the lady’s voice in this video.

After looking at the CS6 tutorials I still didn’t have that much of a grounding in perspective, but I found a really handy link, it’s here. It’s like a mini ms paint style (although I don’t think it was going for a retro MS paint look – I have a feeling it was just made absolutely ages ago) tutorial which you can go through, showing how different objects were created in a one point perspective room. It can be a bit tedious but you can skip through it if you want. Just thought I would share it because it was really surprisingly helpful for me!

Anyway progress at the moment is… Since we haven’t got the entire story down, I’ve been spending my time making little mockups in Illustrator using a one point perspective grid. I won’t add much more to the rooms though until we know more!

This is the first proper practice I had while reading the one point perspective tutorial I just linked.

This is the first proper practice I had while reading the one point perspective tutorial I just linked. Might look a bit too 3D for our flat, 2D characters to wander around in however so we will need to find a more suitable background style.

I also wanted to make a wider room, but here the horizon line/eye level is a bit high. I think for the next go I’ll try to keep up with a wider room but see how it looks with a much lower eye level.

As you all may notice from my two above attempts, I am very much a newbie when it comes to interior backgrounds. I think I learned a lot just from the tutorials on simple perspective though, and will keep studying and practising more. I’ll probably share my progress and findings too, for other people who happen to be new to stuff like this too.

I tried to publish this post about 3 times, having lost paragraphs and segments each time! Finally, let’s hope this time will work out so I can finish with this task and go do actual game design related things!

It’s been a while…

Wow, I didn’t realise – it’s been just over a month since my last post… I’ll try to think what’s happened since then. I’ve been working on both the game design and the poetry book still… and I am happy to say that I’ve made loads of progress on the book project. Below is an unfinished drawing for the book. Most of the images for the book are inked and coloured, although they are mostly unfinished as I like to keep piling on more watercolour and more shading over time, so they all progress as a set. This is similar to what I did for my first masters exhibition piece.

If you would like to read some of my friend Amy’s work, you can find her website by clicking here. I’m going to meet Amy soon to go over layout and such… looking forward to it =)

As for the game design, I have done a fair amount of drawing, but it is mostly sketches working out the story and world design, but here’s a little picture of a background I tried making.

It was nice to try out a new style of art! And I think it was a good learning experience as I do not have very much experience at all with backgrounds or anything at all involving depth! By the way, our game dev website is here if you’re interested.

Apart from all this … hmm… I’ve been applying to a few gallery jobs and illustrator jobs. Nothing yet, of course. I don’t mind taking my time though as I build up a bit of work experience through game dev stuff, work experience at the local gallery and more. I also had my first driving lesson (since over a year ago or so) on Friday, which was quite scary as the instructor just told me to drive to see what I remembered. But I slowly became more relaxed and enjoyed it. I guess I could say I am looking forward to Tuesdays lesson, although I am nervous too. I worry I don’t break enough at junctions and so on.

Anyway hope you all don’t mind the rather short post, I hope I can finish off the book project soon, and get more progress down on the game development so that I can share more images. Also I look forward to the projects of the future!

Thanks, Elysia.

projects update

Hi all,

I started to write a blog post on my phone while at work, but I lost all the text! So I’m rewriting this again. I can’t really remember all that I wrote however. Just an update. Usually while I’m at work at the takeaway, it’s quiet. So I end up reading books, studying Japanese and drawing in my sketchbook. It’s a good place to get things done, although not a job I would like to stay in forever. I’ve been applying for other jobs in art and less exciting places (supermarkets), but without too much success. I still need more experience to get a job in the arts… Maybe one day I will be able to just be an artist full time! I’d love for this game designing project that I’m working on to take off…

Anyway, as for my recent projects… I’ve been working more on the poetry book project. After stagnating for several weeks I decided I would get something more substantial done. I got some bigger, nicer paper and started working with an ink dip pen. I’ve done quite a lot of drawings now so I’m looking forward to sharing the images once I can. I’ll check with my poet friend!

My other big project is continuing with the game design work – along with 2 programmers and a sound guy (not sure what the actual term for a sound person would be). I spent several weeks drawing character sketches to try and work out what kind of monsters to include, and we had regular skype sessions as a group. Now we’re at the prototyping stage – I think – and this week I’m trying to make a full character with some animations so that we can test with it. Here’s a little sketch of a monster pet.

petI’m learning how to use adobe Illustrator at the same time as trying to create these characters… which makes me feel doubly out of my depth. I always feel out of my depth while working on these game design projects, but I guess that means that I am constantly learning new things. Regardless, I hope that I can feel a little bit more comfortable doing this stuff at some point.

Aside from those two main projects I am still studying driving theory and Japanese, and yesterday I sold a commissioned drawing – a reproduction of an old piece of art. Turns out the customer would also like to buy the original, so he’ll be buying that too tomorrow. This is all pretty good for me since I have been struggling for money this week.

I’m not sure which of these I prefer. I spent a lot of time on the original one, and spent less time drawing the second, because otherwise I would have had to charge a lot more. I’m glad that he loved both of them, though! I will have to draw another one however to give to my mother.

I’m going to stop writing now, because I am watching Ghost in the Shell anime, first season, and I have work again from 5-11pm. Hope that everyone had a good new year and ate lots of good food.

Elysia