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.

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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

post-Christmas

Hi everyone,

hope you all had a good Christmas. Hope everyone got to eat nice food and catch up with friends and relatives. On Christmas day we went to my aunt’s house for lunch and socialising, then on Boxing day my mum cooked a big feast of East Asian food for some family and her one of her friends too. Now I’m visiting J so I thought while it is quiet and there’s not much going on I could write a quick post just to say hi.

ink drawing

Today we are not sure what to do. J would like to relax for the day, I’m happy to do this but I think I need to give myself some tasks or things to do… I need to feel at least a bit productive, or I’ll feel restless. So that is why I decided to do a little blog update. It’s hard to think what to write or do really, I didn’t think to bring a proper sketchbook or my Japanese text book. I do however have several books to read and a mini sketchbook, so looks like my day might be spent trying to: study at least a tiny bit of Japanese, draw from reference perhaps, maybe finish the book I’m reading, etc.

As for my current art projects, I am still working on game design and also the collaborative book project I started with my friend. As I have had some deadlines for the game, I was a bit more lazy with the book project. Once I get back home on the 30th December, I hope to put a lot more effort into all my projects. I want to start again on the book project. What I am doing is illustrating, or rather, creating some art based on my friend’s poetry (although I’m not 100% certain what the response will result in). At first I was quite anxious on how to interpret them. But my friend has since written a little bit on the background of each poem, which I think will help me make something more relevant. I hope that she doesn’t mind that it has taken me a while to get going… and I hope that she will be happy with the resulting artwork.

With the game design group stuff, it’s progressing slowly but well, I will have a huge challenge creating the artwork as there’s so much to do and several new things to learn. We’ve decided to make a game for android devices, a pet game! I will give more information and pictures soon once I have actually made some more presentable art. I feel quite shy about the work that I’m producing for this game design thing, because I feel like the ideas that I am scribbling out at the moment are nowhere near the sophistication of actual game concept artists. Although I should be kinder to myself because I didn’t spend very long at all on the sketches and the main reason I created them was for the purpose of communicating my ideas quickly to my friends – they weren’t really made for an audience larger than maybe three people.

Oh well, that’s a quick update! I hope everyone is having a good holiday season… and hope all artistic, creative and other endeavours are going well. Thank you for reading!

Two weeks later

Oho… it’s been a while … Well, just two weeks, so I thought I’d update a little bit. I can’t remember if I mentioned it in my previous post, but a few weeks ago I was with my friend in the town centre. There’s a giant new library and culture centre of some sort which opened perhaps two months ago. I thought that since I’m looking for an arts job I could volunteer to get some experience. I asked them and they took my name down. They later emailed me with a list of events and a schedule, and I am now working there every Friday from 10-1pm. I also managed to sign up for a day’s paid work, packaging some books for a local artist. The pay was £7.90 an hour which is more than my usual job, so I hope they have more opportunities again soon.

book pile

There were 1000 books and we had to put plastic covers on them and slip index and interview booklets into the inside covers. We didn’t manage to do all of them.

Yesterday while I was at the gallery, they asked me to research contacts for the local Portuguese community, as well as researching two bands, which will be playing at a future exhibition. The bands were hard to find as they seem to be independent. There were no fan-run websites for them or anything. I did manage to find an interview for one of the bands, but it is in Portuguese with only French subtitles. So one of my tasks next week may be to translate the subtitles (I know French to a reasonable level, but not fluent) to try to glean more information for the gallery. It’ll probably be a difficult task, but hopefully they will be happy with me if I succeed!

In other news, I finished the illustration I was working on for my friend’s fantasy writing. It took a while because I felt pretty clueless on how to create the work. My friend sent me a file which had several different short stories in it. I picked one and tried my best to illustrate it.

… Actually, I just went on my tumblr to get a copy of the finished image and then saw that a couple of people have offered me constructive criticism on the work in progress shots. The suggestions are useful and now I wish I had seen them sooner. I already announced to my friend that the image is finished… Below is the illustration in its current form.

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 12.05.33

In screenshot form as if to say… “I can still change!”

I feel undecided as to whether to continue to work on it or to just leave it as it is. On one hand I agreed to do this illustration for a small amount of money so I am not sure I want to pour more hours into perfection, and on the other I am afraid that I will be labelled a sloppy or bad illustrator because I won’t push everything to perfection.I am still learning, so maybe I will experiment more with this picture to see how it can be improved. I feel embarrassed to post a ‘final’ image of it… Now I wonder, have I written too much about my drawing worries? No, I think it’s probably good that I’ve written about them. I like to write about my challenges and confusions. Any advice is appreciated, although preferably written politely.

Well, this is a long post so far… and lastly, I am still working on the zine (if you’d like to join in just comment and I’ll give you more information) I mentioned, as well as the collaborative book project AND the game design project. While playing a few hours too many of video games… Over the next few days I will try to push to get my to do list completed!

zine cover image

Preparations

Hiii,

This is just a short post to write what I’ve been up to in the run up to the convention for which I feel quite unprepared. People who I have on ‘fb’ will already know that I have been trying to make hand stitched felt badges for the convention. This was actually inspired by seeing hanaletters‘ shop on etsy. I really loved her work and wanted to try out something crafty. But with different designs of course! Her brooches are super and you should have a look. I hope that I can buy some brooches from her shop one day soon. I don’t really wear jewellery very much but I still admire them…

Since I am just learning I’ve been making fairly simple designs, both of cartoon characters and my own ones. I hope they are of an acceptable standard for selling at the convention. I tried hard, and learned a lot from these small things, so even if they don’t sell well I don’t think it’ll be a loss. I can give some of them to my friends as well!

Since I took these photos I’ve made a few more designs. I hope that when I gain more skills that I can create more complex and inventive designs. Other things I’ll be selling at the convention include zines and stickers that were made for my previous exhibition, plus a few greetings cards which I made ages ago and didn’t sell. They’ll be going cheap. I think my work will look unprofessional and messy but it is my first convention and I haven’t had the time to dedicate to it. Okay, well, maybe I have, but I didn’t take it seriously until a week or so ago. I will learn for next time.

As for my other projects, I’ve done page two of the comic for the game (in a previous post), I finished my family portrait commission (see below) and have started a bit on the poetry book project with a friend, but this week has mostly been dedicated to my job and preparing for the convention in between. After the con I hope to dedicate more time to these exciting projects once again.

Family Portrait

Over the past couple of days, I haven’t drawn much and have disappointed myself a little in that respect, so today armed with a sketchbook at work I started a new drawing. I hope to do some more when I go for my 5-11pm shift soon. I’d like to create a couple of new series of work and hopefully will develop and share soon! I’ve taken to keeping a personal tumblr of ideas and recorded thoughts for my own reference. Perhaps I’ll share it, but it’s just nonsensical words.

Thank you as always for reading and hope you are all well

 

xxx

November begins

commission

Dear all,

Yesterday I got back from a short stay in another town, and today I have been getting back into creating artwork… I haven’t drawn much as of late, but since returning and looking through tumblr, pinterest and various blogs, I remembered that oh yes, I want to be an artist…

So I thought I’d make a blog post today with a few images of what I have been working on. Above is the family portrait commission which I mentioned in my previous posts… I think I’ve almost finished it, I’m just waiting for the person to reply to my message and let me know whether they are happy with it.

comic

And here is  little comic book page that I started, it’s for the computer game that my friends and I made for the competition. We have agreed to work on completing the original game, and decided that it would be cool to have each diary page drawn out as a sort of comic. This is page one of the diary… there are perhaps about six or seven pages, so I’ll be working on those next. I think I’ll shade this picture a little bit more too, and then it’ll be coloured in photoshop.

It’s good to be back and actually working on active projects once again; also I’m glad to have the commission as I need to raise money for transport for the Leeds Thought Bubble convention on 23rd – 24th November (it’s on for longer but my friend and I are only doing two days). I’ll have to make some new work as well for the convention… time is running out and I’m scared that I’ll end up bringing our team down with sub par goods… thankfully from the previous exhibition I have some stickers and zines which would probably fit in at the con. Just need to get even more stuff done! Today I ordered some felt squares from etsy and some safety pins too, so that I can create some felt brooches.

While I’ve been working I have been watching a couple of different anime series, including K-On, which was recommended to me by a friend, and another new one called Kyoukai no Kanata. I also downloaded the first season of BBC’s Merlin – an extremely cheesy series about the wizard Merlin and his daily struggles in trying to keep Prince Arthur safe from harm – think bad jokes, funny CGI and so on.

I think that’s everything for this update. Tonight I’ll be shading the afore mentioned comic book page, fretting about the convention and whether my brooches will look awful or not, and watching more Merlin. I will finish up this blog post with an updated to do list; I hope you don’t mind.

Oh – also – I applied for a job as a graphic designer and unsurprisingly I did not get it. I think I would do okay although my portfolio is in dire need of a renovation and I need to learn more about Adobe Illustrator. It was kind of the guy to consider me though!

To Do List

  • Finish up family portrait commission
  • Comic strips for the game
  • Contact friend about poetry/art book collaboration
  • Illustration for friend’s tabletop RPG campaign
  • Thought Bubble convention preparation
  • Arrange driving lessons – or – study theory first

Anyway, thanks again for reading. Hope you are all doing well. Feel free to share your recent art or link to your blogs or whatever =)

priorities

sktch

Hi everyone,

I don’t have many updates to give, except that I have been drawing a lot in my sketchbook (above) which has been going well, but I do not have many new polished pieces. I’m working on a commission to draw a family portrait with cats, and it’s taking a lot of my time… once that’s done I’ll post a picture of it and then get on with the other projects. Plus, I realised that I need to get a portfolio together ASAP. I do have a rough portfolio, but a lot of it is old work and I don’t feel like it is good or finished enough.

todo nun

an example of the to do lists all over my sketchbooks

Although my days are not always filled, and I wish I could see my friends more, I have a lot of different priorities at the moment that I’m trying to work through. Along with that I have the usual worries of will I have enough money. I thought, maybe I’ll post a list here of all the stuff I have to do so that I can work through it. For people who have followed my blog for a while, to-do lists are a frequent feature… I usually make at least one a day, and don’t always complete them. I think they help me with my productivity.

Priorities at the moment

  1. Game design projects – website, polish up first game (which means maybe making more animations for monsters, comics to intersperse the levels, etc.) and consider new game projects.
  2. Family portrait commission – I’m currently inking it all and shading. Next stop is colouring.
  3. Thought Bubble convention – need to sort out transport and actually create art for it!
  4. Illustration for a friend’s tabletop RPG project – I need to get started on this once I finish the family portrait commission … it’s probably going to be a digital painting but I’m not sure yet. Maybe a combination of traditional and digital.
  5. Collaboration with a friend who writes poetry – this is probably a longer term project as it will take a lot of work and sending things between one another.
  6. Applying for jobs – preferably weekday, part time if possible… I’m looking for a ‘normal’ job to supplement my art…
  7. Studying Japanese – I want to get to a level where I can work in a job like translation, but that will probably take a long time to get to that level.
  8. Driving – I have to learn to drive as soon as I can…

And eventually, I hope I can work on some more personal work, but it looks like that will be relegated to sketchbook work for now. I’d also like to create a comic, but that’s on the waiting list too. It’ll be great to finally be able to cross off numbers 2-4 soon!

sktch2

personal work will be on the back burner for the moment … is that what people say?

Oh, I watched a documentary the other day which had been recommended to me by friends. It’s called Beautiful Losers and it’s worth a watch. I suppose you could say it’s about subculture and a particular group of artists who would be described as ‘low brow’ … Watching it made me feel more inspired and motivated to create, perhaps it will be insightful for others too.

Anyway, hope you all don’t mind, I’m never sure what to put as the content for a personal blog… I suppose the purpose of this blog is to motivate myself, share with friends, share what I’ve learned and meet people with cool art and a similar mindset. Thanks for reading, anyway. I’m working 5-9pm at the takeaway tonight. I feel pretty overwhelmed with life stuff at the moment so I hope that if a customer is rude to me I won’t get super upset…

Elysia