Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Candy Girl

This is a digital painting I made last summer to practice my skills in coloring and figure drawing. I also had a close friend who was moving to the other side of the country at the time, so the figure was loosely based on her. This is hands down the most colorful piece I have made to date. She does not dress as colorful in real life as I portray her here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Design for Media: "Project DuBoe"

For the pipeline project in our Design for Media class, I'll be working as the Documentary Director for "Project DuBoe." Project DuBoe is a book trailer for the Grimm's fairy tale "Snow White & Rose Red." The story is about two children named Snow White and Rose Red. These children befriend a talking bear during the winter. When summer comes, he warns them about an evil dwarf. The girls wander the forest and on several occasions helped a dwarf in trouble who is rather ungrateful. One day the bear kills the dwarf and turns into a prince. The prince and Snow White get married while Rose Red marries his brother. For a more detailed summary, click here. For the full story, click here. For the official group blog, click here.

As the Documentary Director, I will be responsible for making sure the crew and I create a thorough "making-of" video. That might be the better way to describe it. The documentary will be about the stuff that happens off camera which goes into making the final product. It will be my responsibility to thoroughly document the process through video and present it in a way that is professional, short and intelligible so that someone who did not work on the project can get a sense of the work that went into it. Overseeing my work though are Molly Mickley, who is the head of editorial, Lindsey Spitz, who is the production manager and Beth DuBoe, who is the director of the project. Clicking on their names will take you to their personal blogs.

While I don't have any visuals in the form of pretty pictures, I do have a scan of the notes I've been taking to help in forming a final plan for the documentary and what needs to be done for it.
The scanner used could not capture the whole page, but I believe the ideas are still present. These are just notes of my thought process though and will be polished and refined for the final plans and guidelines which will be typed up to be more legible and professional. That is all of the updates I have for this project at the moment, but if you would like to see more I highly recommend that you visit the official project blog at for more behind-the-scenes information.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Wonderland" is presently shelved

Results of the voting for the Pipeline Project came in and Wonderland did not make the cut. Oh well, that's how life goes. You can't win all of the time. This is not the end of "Wonderland" though, as it is only being shelved for a later date. I congratulate the two winning projects and I look forward to working on one of them. The first meeting to generate the groups and determine roles for the two projects will happen tomorrow morning. Expect my first post about the next project I'll be working on by Tuesday at the latest.

Paintings 4

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


1. William R.

2. Makaylee W.

3. Matthew S.

4. Alan S.

5. Jamie P.

Clicking on the names will take you to their blog post that I commented on.

Design for Media: "Wonderland" (Project Pipeline Proposal)

 For my project pipeline proposal, I would like to make a 2-D animation which I've given the working title of "Wonderland" to. Wonderland is about an imaginative little girl who goes to the store with her mother and becomes lost. While searching for her mother, we delve into her imagination and see the world from her eyes. Below I describe a lot of the thought process and ideas behind my proposal as well as a list of roles and a timeline for in case the idea is green-lighted.

Original sketches:
The thought for the child is she would have large, orange, curly hair with a large jacket and scarf. She would be very colorful. The stranger would be some towering monster with lightening bolts in the background. All manner of creatures and settings would be present in the store as her imagination is the limits while searching. Different types of creatures that could exist in this imagination might be washcloth rabbits, shower nozzle elephants, tape dispenser turtles, and the list could go on and on.

Storyboard sample:
The story begins with a mother and daughter entering a store. At some point, the mother and child are separated and the child goes in search of her mother. As she searches, we begin to see this store from the child's point of view as the whole store takes on a new persona. As the child is searching, she accidentally bumps into a stranger. Since children are taught about "stranger danger," the atmosphere turns to  horror as this stranger towers over the child. Frightened, she flees into the clothing aisle in the middle of one of those circular clothing displays. As she cowers, footsteps followed by her mother's voice are heard. now crying, the child steps out of the clothing display and walks up to her mother. The mother picks up the child and they have one large hug. Both relieved that they found the other.

This is just a rough sample of what the final storyboard might look like. this is more to give an idea of the direction and essence I want to go with. There may be parts that need more added to them or parts that need to be removed entirely once it goes into the finalization process.

Style samples:
This is a colored concept sketch for the style I would like the animation to be in. Since this is supposed to be a child's imagination, I want brighter colors with these sorts of textures added that "change" as the character moves. Technically speaking, what I want is texture artists to create texture paintings that can then be clipped onto different objects. The objects would be moving, but the texture paintings would not. I know this might sound awkward and it is honestly just a tad difficult to explain properly. It is lucky for me that I brought a couple more visual samples with me. Below is a sample texture painting I made:

I took this image and then clipped it onto a quick bouncing ball animation to give a rough sense of what this style of animation might look like:

In the animation, I have a moving, bouncing ball. The clipped texture though, stays completely still. The ball moves across the screen while revealing different portions of the texture painting from above. I would want this style done throughout a large portion of the animation, primarily in the portion where the girl is separated from her mother. This style is meant to be used to show her imagination while she is searching.

Below is the flowchart of roles and their organization:


Monday, February 11, 2013

Design for Media: Phobia-Dolls "Final 1"

The reason I put Final 1 in quotation marks is because this post is for the present state of the dolls for the deadline of the project. I made a number of failures as well as discoveries as more described in this post. I do want to work on these some more outside of the class, but here are the photos of where they currently stand:

1. Death

I spent the most time with this one, which did hinder the process of the other two. The doll itself I am happy with, the cage still needs more work though. My plans for that are to sew the sides together and stuff them adding more solidity to the form and make it seem more like a cage.

2. Control

I did begin to feel the pressure with this doll since the fabric would not cut or be sewn as easily as the others. I would like to completely remake this one taking a little more time and care into working with the fabric.

3. Flying

The layout for this one is made and the pieces are cut out, but due to time constraints, this one has not been fully sewn together yet. 

Final thoughts about the project:

While above I listed things I would like to do with these dolls or failed to do, I did enjoy the challenge. I am an animation major, but I decided to challenge myself with a sewing project. I have done very little sewing before. It forced me to go out and do research, make plans, practice samples, and create a time schedule for myself. These are things that I need to bring into the other aspects of my work habits. It's so easy to slip into doing the same routine projects and styles in my comfort zone, but this made me step out of my comfort zone and take risks. I may make it sound like I made a bunch of failures, but that's because I did. Failure is not always a bad thing. My failures re-sparked the love of the process while teaching me what I need to do and how I can save more time on future projects. I've learned from my mistakes and those can form some of the greatest lessons a person can be taught.

Design for Media: Phobia-dolls Process

I severely underestimated how long it would take to create these dolls. Even with all of my previous plans and practicing, it still took a lot of time to even create one of these dolls. I had to draft several different patterns in order to find one that would work for each doll. To test each one, I would cut them out of paper and assemble them  out of the cutouts. In the end, I had to simplify my plans quite a bit. Even after the simplifications, I still had to simplify the dolls to complete them by the deadline. That being said, I believe I have a good start and a better understanding of what works and doesn't work in making these dolls. Given another week or so, I could have the dolls completed in a way that I could be more satisfied with. Below are some of my process photos.

1. In process of making the Death doll. This was the stage where the body was about to be sewn together. Those diamond patterns took quite a bit of time to sew on.

2. Body is being sewn. Preparations had to be made in order to get the ribbons on the bottom to form the dress.

3. and 4. Body is sewn together. Decided to revert back to the headless idea for the doll. Cage needs to be made.

5. Post dolls. My desk is a mess of scraps and remnants of necessary supplements. While the dolls may be in decent shape, my desk is in serious need of cleaning.

6. The mess extends to the floor as well.

7. I piled up some of the more obvious scraps in an attempt to begin cleaning.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sketchbook 1

One of the things I'm going to start doing is posting pages from my sketch books once every one or two weeks. I believe sketchbooks give insight about the artist, their style, and their thought process.

Apologies about the image qualities. I need to invest in a better scanner.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Phobia-Doll Color Choices

For the phobia-dolls project, a number of people had questions about my color choices both this week and last week. This post is to try and clarify the thought process behind my color choices just a little bit more. One of the biggest sources of inspiration for these dolls come from the show Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Below is a video clip of one of the more well known battles with Charlotte, the dessert witch.

(Warning: Fantasy Violence)

What I wanted to take from the show is how the fear factor of the witches don't rely on color choices, but rather what they are and what they do. Charlotte's color palate doesn't read as fearful to me, but she still becomes this fearful creature that eats people. It gave me a little freedom to think that I didn't have to limit myself in any way because I'm making dolls based on fear. It  meant I could create something that's both dark and beautiful at the same time. That being said, I can still bring in more of the fear aspect when I go to setup the photos. Atmosphere and lighting will play a big role in the presentation of the final dolls for the blog. Hopefully these dolls will become an ongoing project that I can continue outside of class.

I hope this answers some questions, but if there are still some unanswered questions or concerns about the project, please feel free to leave a comment below and I'll try to get to them as soon as possible.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Design for Media: Phobia-Doll Progress 2/4/13

After sorting through a number of different responses to my questions from this post, I have narrowed the selections down to three different fears: flying, death, and loss of control. Each design had me thinking outside of the box since I am now basing the menagerie on the use of cages instead of the same color palate for each doll. I had to find a way to represent these fears while incorporating a cage into the final design. Below are all of the sketches and the color palates for the final dolls.

1. Fear of flying.

“I have the worst fear of flying. I know, weird right? Well I've never been on an airplane before and we were going to go to Disney World in the spring of 2002, but after 9/11 my mom said no more flying. But my fear isn't of the heights it's more about the crashing and dying part. I know there aren't many plane crashes but it still scares me.”

For this doll, I played with several different ideas. Especially with the wings. I thought about airplane wings, buildings and arms for the wings and even using the cage as the wings. I knew I would need a doll with wings if I was creating a doll based on the fear of flying. I also played with the cage acting as a corset and having a dress made of dust. The three above sketches were about seeing the idea on paper before making a final sketch. I ended up taking the aspects I liked about each doll above and included them into the final doll sketch below.

The final design uses both the cage wings and the cage corset for its part in the menagerie. Inside the dust dress, there are reaching hands and fire for the crashing and dying the person replied with. The long sleeves are also a more abstract way of portraying falling. The sleeves drop from the arm and hit the ground as the result of miscalculations, much like a plane crashes from either miscalculations or a freak accident. The next step is coming up with a color palate for the doll.

I wanted a lot of grey for this doll for smoke, dust and metal. Black is a necessary shade for all of the dolls since black and fear usually go hand-in-hand. I chose to take inspiration from the colors of Steve Argyle and keep them in a style similar to Puella Magi Madoka Magica for this doll. That's why I chose to use a slightly darker palate with pops of color.

2. Fear of death.

“I'm afraid of death. It is because my fear for what I'm leaving behind and the grief it will cause others.”

For this doll, I tried to look up some different symbols for grief and found torn ribbons. I combined this with the cage theme to create an idea of hanging. I found the one on the right to be more on the dot with what I wanted to do with this doll, so I give her a head and redrew her without the cage overlaying her.

The idea for this doll is similar to a birdcage. The doll will be hanging in the middle of the cage that also can take an abstract meaning of coffin as well since we are dealing with a doll representation of death. In addition to hanging, I gave her a dress of torn ribbons to act symbolically of each persons' grief at her loss. Each ribbon can represent a single person or family that will be affected by her death. I then took the final design to the coloring board.

I took inspiration from both Studio Ghibli and Madoka to create a more colorful palate. The surrounding cage stays grey and brown to help serve the abstract meaning of both cage and coffin. I chose to use several blues for suffocation to go with the idea of hanging.

3. Fear of loss of control.

“I'm afraid of the dark because it hides things and I don't know what's in it. and my greatest fear is not knowing something because it seems everyone turns to me for answers, and when I don't know I feel like I'm letting them down. so I guess the root of those fears is maybe loss of control. damn I'm getting all psychoanalytical here.”

This response was loaded with possibilities, but I went with what they believe is their root fear. I took that lack of control and turned it into a marionette. Not knowing answers took the shape of blank pages and books. Each desired aspect went into the final design.

The final design turns the head into a cage for trapped knowledge and darkness. Blank pages and a blank book help form the dress and for lack of answers. Like the previous dolls, this one too went into the coloring phase.

This doll takes inspiration mainly from Studio Ghibli with some Madoka influences to form a cool color palate. 

I can't wait to start finishing these dolls. Expect to see pictures of them in a week.