0015: The Rough Life of an Artiste, Part Deux

So here I am, finding out that I have something of an extension to get this calendar done. When I say “extension”, I mean until 6:30 pm tomorrow evening. When I say “until 6:30 pm tomorrow evening”, I mean that’s when the client wants the calendar in their hands, ready to deliver to the intended recipient. When I say that, I repeat what I said last night…

…I’m screwed.

Now, it’s not ALL bad. I did manage to wrap up those 12 sketches last night – now what needs doing is getting them digitally inked and prepped to be put into the “final package”. Just gotta keep focused long enough to do it, and make sure I get enough rest for a “cluster day” tomorrow, where I meet our Chief Information Officer at work for the first time, learn about our I&IT cluster and what we do, etc. Then have the bi-weekly OLA business meeting after dropping the goods off to my client. Yes, this is how I roll. I will earn the sleep I get tomorrow night.

I was thinking lately about the things I’d like to have as an artist.

THEN I thought about the things I already DO have and SHOULD use.

I think I’ll take some time to put both together and see if I can get some input from everyone on what’s good, what’s not and how you best see me using things.

But anyhoo, there’s a calendar to be made, and it’s not going to do it itself.

Peace y’all – keep drawing!

–case p.

0014: The Rough Life of an Artiste

You ever have those days where you wish you weren’t “that guy(/girl) who draws”? I mean, don’t get me wrong; I love drawing – I wouldn’t be who I am without it – but… okay, let me explain the situation…

So one of my old jobs has requested my services – my old manager is leaving for another location, so they want to give her a going-away present that’s very individual. So they called me a while back to ask me to do this, telling me that they’d discuss with me further in September to figure out the details. Which was fine and all… if they’d called me back at my correct number. Instead, they were trying to get me on a work number that no longer applied to me. The only reason why they were able to get a hold of me is because my friend who still works there sent me a text saying that they still wanted me to put this together for them.

  • They sent the text Thursday
  • They want it by Monday.
  • It’s a calendar of 12 images.
  • Plus a cover.
  • Thursday I was at band practice.
  • Friday they sent me the details.
  • Friday I was out with friends.
  • Yesterday was a housewarming for the girlfriend, and I spent a good chunk of the day cleaning.
  • I wrote this blog entry in a notebook while I was at a Quarterly Business Meeting for church after the service, which I’d already gone into early (tired as heck) because I was operating the sound board

Yeah… I’m screwed.

In other news, I’m getting a little revved up as of late to really getting FNC up and running again – I think it’s partly due to seeing this piece by Aaron; it reminded me that drawing cities wasn’t nearly as difficult as I was making it to be – sometimes you just gotta go and do the damn thing.

Anyway, I’ve got a calendar to do with my name on it.

Until next post,

–case p.

0009: Here Comes a New Challenger!!! (How Doomz Creates Characters.)

Hey all,

Here’s another Saturday, and another sketch session that’ll be missed due to me and my absenteeism πŸ˜‰ (But really, it’s due to a conflicting schedule. Alas, this is ME we’re talkingΒ  about here – I’m always doing something.)

Now that I’ve actually managed to find a few hours before I’m obliged to do anything (except, of course, getting keys cut, tying up the boxes in the back for recycling and mailing off a package), I’m looking to get a decent blog post put together.

So yes, character creation – how the heck do I do it?

Oftentimes, I’ll come up with ideas for my comic, Fish & Chimps (which I really do hope to start re-releasing sometime soon) where I haven’t figured out what characters will be used, or even if they exist as of yet. Without spoiling too much of my story or thinking, let’s observe one character I’ve come up with recently – it’s one that’s still in the works, so if anyone has anything to say on it, feel free.

There’s a situation later on into FNC where I need Yeti-like creatures in order to better develop a key character. I wanted them to look extremely powerful and somewhat aggressive, but also like they could be their own race with their own culture, etc. I didn’t want them to just seem like your basic enemy threat, something that’s only around to be defeated by the protagonist. So, since this is based on a Himalayas-like mountain range, what do I know?

  • Need to have bodies that help shield them from the elements
  • Need to have bodies that look like they could haul massive loads
  • Need to appear as if they’re slightly more “primitive”, in that they haven’t been touched that much by the technology and “progress” of the world
  • Need to be mostly white to help blend them in with their surroundings

So this is a good start – parameters that I can work with to define what kind of character I’m creating. Now that I know what kind of character I want to create, I need to figure out what kind of factors from the rest of my comic will affect how they’re going to be created. I ended up taking these into consideration:

  • As the type of characters in my webcomic are Planet of the Apes-esque, I should try to keep that in consideration for this new character
  • I don’t want to have any one-dimensional characters in my comic – I want everyone to be the type of character that people could see themselves caring about, no matter if it’s only a little bit
  • Even though I like detail, I don’t want the character to be so overly detailed that I won’t want to draw them repeatedly – I need to keep in mind that I’ll probably be drawing a TRIBE of this character at a time

So, keeping all of this in mind, I went to work. I think this exercise was likely the epitome of the statement you see on all those infomercials for self-help products – results may vary.

I figured that the most powerful primate that I’d thought of using in my series so far was a gorilla, so I decided to base the Yeti design around that. Taking a look at G, my gorilla character, I decided to start basing the Yetis around him.

The first sketch was a rough one – with rough being the operative word:

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White Gorilla: First attempt

As you can see, this is what I like to call trΓ¨s horrible. It was a rough to more or less figure out the look I was going for with this new set of characters. Though, it wasn’t a complete failure. What I figured out from this exercise was:

  • This race would need to have a lot of fur/hair on their bodies to survive cold, mountainous conditions
  • I wanted them to have strong-looking jaws to show that they could rip through a variety of foods, since they’d likely have to hunt some tough creatures for foods
  • I didn’t quite know what I’d do to show that they have to deal with a lot of snowblindness from the sun always reflecting off of the expanses of white around them, so I settled for black surrounding the eyes – what I felt that this could show is that the rings could help absorb the excess light so they could still see in those conditions (yes, I have an explanation for everything!)

So, great. I have something to work with. Let’s try again:

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Second attempt: Starting to get a better idea of form

This was starting to get closer to what I was going for – looked a lot better drawn, stronger and put together than the first attempt. However, if you clicked on the link of G I posted above, you might agree with me when I say that this just appeared like G with white fur to me. Obviously this is due to using my “gorilla” body style as a base. I need to figure out what I can do to make the White Gorilla a little different. Back to the drawing board – literally:

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Third attempt: Really starting to figure out how big and powerful these things will be.

This is where I felt it really started to come together. This version involved a lot of pencil layering and redefining to capture a few things:

  • The density of the fur
  • How freaking massive these things will be
  • The degree of their musculature

I thought I’d really hit the nail on the head here and asked a couple of co-workers if it reminded them of a Yeti-like being. They said yes, BUT the posture was way too humanoid.

facepalm Let’s try this one more time:

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Attempt cuatro: This is where I’m at for now.

In the end, I ended up with a more primal version of what I’d come up with on my third attempt, and that’s okay with me for the time being. As I get more comfortable with the character, I’d likely draw group scenes with males, females and children to get a better idea of what they look like, how they interact, their size relative to others, etc.

So I hope that gave a little bit of insight into how I go about creating characters for use in FNC, and now I’ll open up the floor to questions and comments.

Have a great day, one and all!

–case p.

0005: www.getyourdamnwebsiteup.com

About to grab a pizza with double pepperoni! Yeaaaah boyeeee!

Today after running a number of errands I didn’t necessarily want to do (but were good to get out of the way, nonetheless), I started working on what will be my website. I was chatting with mi hermano de otro padre German earlier about the fact that what was stopping me from getting my website done before now is the fact that I didn’t have a clear vision for what I was trying to accomplish. So instead of taking that approach, I figure I’ll just start throwing in all the things I think are relevant and just go from there. Other than having some issues finding the embed codes for individual sites I use (right now, I’m looking at you, Flickr!) it was going pretty smoothly, but as usual, I got sidetracked. From writing that first line until now, about four hours have passed. I don’t even think y’all are getting a sketch today, but you shall soon. I’ll explain why.

Today I:

  • swapped my hard drives around so that I created one 1.25 TB drive in one enclosure and had access to all of my stuff at the same time
  • combined all of my random text files all over the place into one MASSIVE mind map
  • found lots of old ideas for my website
  • found lot of sketches that I should really combine into a sketchdump

So you see? I’m not up to nothing. Promise πŸ˜‰

–case p.

0004: Dear World, I’m Tired of Ballin’

World, I’m tired of:

  • Too many birthdays to celebrate
  • Too many going-away parties
  • Too many expectations of chipping in for overly extravagant situations
  • Too much costing too much too much of the time

Yes, I work a job that pays pretty well. But I work hard – I work DAMN hard. And things just keep coming up. My weekends are full of events all over the map that require my time, effort and dollars… and I think I’ve reached my limit. Art – oftentimes it costs nothing. The resources I use are my imagination and the tools I choose to use to create. The return I get from what I invest is more often than not guaranteed to be what I expected. I just can’t live a life that isn’t reflective of who I am anymore. I can feel it chipping away at my sanity, and I think I’m having no more of it.

But back to what this blog’s really about with that rant out of the way. Why do I draw? Funny story: last night I was in the Yorkville area of town with the girlfriend and some of her crew, and as the night progressed (literally, as we were at Remy’s for 6-7 hours) I busted out the pencil, some paper, and while the red wine was knocked back, the sketches went a-flyin. Our waitress, Celeste, was very complimentary, but what was surprising was that some hot chick (though not as hot as the girlfriend, obviously) randomly made her way out of the crowd and suddenly appeared to my right:

Her: “Are you a designer?!”
Tipsy Casey: “Kinda sorta – I tend to draw tons of different things!”

We talked a little about how she has numerous friends who’re designers and whatnot, and hopefully she’d see my work on the cover of Vogue in the future or something.

Yes. Vogue. Let me clarify.

So when I busted out the drawings, what had been on top of the stack this time were photos of runway models and their crazy outfits. So I began sketching away as I do with anything else. Now, let’s translate this into a mathematical equation:

Yorkville hangout (i.e. Place where people want to act richer than they actually are) + drawing pictures that make you look like a stylist (looks like Cosmo magazine has a purpose after all!) + copious amounts of alcohol (which, of course, is instrumental in many equations in life) = girls coming to talk to you. Learn from me, men. I will show you things in life which you have never imagined. πŸ˜‰

So right now I’m at Marben Restaurant on Wellington just at the post-meal bill-waiting. The food was alright – your standard small portions, costly place-type fare – but the dessert was pretty interesting; “home-made” sorbet in the following flavours:

  • Strawberry Mint
  • Lime Basil
  • Blueberry Cinammon
Media_httpolastudiodyvcomdoomzfiles200909sorbetsjpg_cliuwaikjgkfehv

The Sorbets served with Marben’s prix fixe menu…

Blueberry Cinnamon was whatev (for I don’t like blueberries and rarely eat anything cinnamon), to me the strawberry mint tasted like… strawberry sorbet… but the lime basil – SO GOOD. They took two of my favourite flavours and combined it into something EPIC. It makes me want to learn how to make my own sorbet so I can make MORE.

Anyway, we got back home in one piece and I’m in dire need of rest, so I’ll close this chapter shortly, I suppose. I’m thinking perhaps next blog I should just upload a ton of sketches and no words? Would y’all like that? Are you tired of my verbose nature?

Holla at a brotha.

Until then, I remain…

–case p.

0003: Growing Up a Little Bit at a Time

Today is one of my groggier days. After staying up late sketching and just cleaning a few things up in general, I’ve been definitely feeling the effects this morning. I didn’t end up buying those DS games last night, so I’ll venture across the street to the Eaton Centre and see if I can get my hands on some copies. Taking a look at the current to-purchase list, we have:

  • Drawn to Life
  • Locke’s Quest
  • Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro Lens (import from Japan!)
  • Macbook Pro quad-core laptop (doesn’t exist yet)
  • iPod Touch with camera (also doesn’t exist yet)
  • replacement parts for a 5th gen iPod Video 80 GB
  • SmartDraw 2010 (expensive software that will be used to make stronger documentation for OLA)

But in all honesty, you know what I’m starting to find? The longer that you go without something, the more you realize that you don’t really need it to do what you do. Yes, it would be NICE to have certain things, but how did you do what you did without them? You just found a way, right?

[Lunch Break]

Both Drawn to Life and Locke’s Quest are discontinued – I did not expect this! It’s almost as if God is telling me not to spend any money on big items… no iPod Touch, no DS games, no Macbook Pro… I didn’t even go for the lens after looking it up… wonder what this all means….

No, seriously, let’s stop and look at this – the only item on the list that’s easily accessible to me and that I can justify spending dollars on is the one where I actually know that it will have a definite effect on what I can provide to OLA services-wise. Funny how that works out – this in combination with the talk I had with my friend yesterday kind of make me think that I should be making OLA a bit more a priority! Hmm….

Despite the fact that I like to work around the same hours as such notorious characters as the Brothers Shible and The Kid (all born in September, coincidentally enough), here’s a public service announcement for y’all – get your sleep. Not because it’s good for you or any B.S. like that – mostly because without it, the day goes a WHOLE lot longer. I need to go catch up on sleep JUST to have enough energy to catch up on all the work I didn’t do TODAY. Vicious cycle, y’all – vicious cycle.

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to really hang out with the OLA regulars, so I feel as if there’s not much I can offer in my blog right now. I should follow my friend NJ’s advice and go back to basics – to the foundation of it all – that’s where I’ll find the answers I need to grow and move further. In my role, I get to play the bad guy – the guy who makes sure that OLA is doing what it’s supposed to do – and with that, I’ve gotta make sure I keep myself on track to lead an example – right, guys πŸ˜‰ ?

Anyway, I’m off to make some beer in a bit (yes, I did say make and beer in the same sentence), so let me wrap this up.

Today’s sketch is partly what kept me up last night (well, that and the latest episode of Bleach with a filler arc that’s actually been worth watching so far) – it was one of the few non-celebrity ads I seemed to have lying around, and I’m hoping to use all the celebrity pics for another piece at a later date. So… check it out!

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Sketch of a lady from an ad – looking for crits!

I’ll upload an actual scan when I get home. (Currently out for Greek food.)

EDIT: So I’ve uploaded it, and I’m not exactly liking it all that much yet – any crits or comments that anyone has would be much appreciated. Thanks πŸ™‚

So that’s bout it bout it for now. This weekend, I think I’ll take a good look at all of the OLA-related stuff sititng in my lap so I have more… relevant stuff to write about.

Peace, homefries!

–case p.

0002: WordPress for BlackBerry – you didn’t see it coming!

Ah, I’ve finally managed to get a one-up on Rene! So here I am, finally having figured out how to use the WordPress for BlackBerry app to put my posts for OLA together – this will let me get a lot more done while I’m out and about, which is awesome.

Current location: Yonge subway station, about to board the eastbound train to meet a friend. It’s packed, but not nearly as bad as the northbound train was.

No sketching today as of yet, but I reflected a bit upon the skills I’m developing at work and how they might be able to relate to OLA. The connections are loose at best at the moment, but work with me for a moment here.

Let’s take a look at what’s been going on with work lately:

  • It’s a project management office, which means I’m further developing my skills in the area of project management, a skill we’ll need to efficiently and effectively get OLA off the ground
  • mail merging: this will be a good skill to have if at some point we need to write standard letters, emails, other documents, etc. on a regular basis and we carry most of our OLA information in one place, such as a…
  • database: I’ve been in charge of making sure that our Access database is up to date and that any changes are made to the database when necessary – when we get larger and need database maintenance to make sure that our records are intact, I’ll be there
  • financial: there’s a pretty strong financial controllership component to my job as well, which will obviously come into play as OLA gets bigger and we want to do more with it

Hopefully they’re all skills I can use for OLA in good times and bad πŸ˜‰

In other news, since the MacBook Pro I want came up to $2850 (including AppleCare, the iPod Touch I’d need to buy for the student deal, student discount AND the gift cards I have – though I should re-calculate without the iPod Touch – AND maybe it’s a sign that I should wait until mobile quad-core tech is developed, since dual-core is SO 2001) and Apple disappointingly didn’t include a camera in their new iPod Touches as expected in their keynote release today (it went to the Nano? WTF!), I’ll be copping Drawn to Life and Locke’s Quest for the DS tonight (if I can find copies) in preparation for the release of Scribblenauts next Wednesday (which I’ve already paid for)! I’m looking forward to using all sorts of crazy item combinations to beat levels. I hope that this game will be as epic as the speculators make it out to be πŸ˜€ My DS hasn’t been getting too much time in the spotlight lately, so this’ll be a welcome change.

In other tech news for myself, I’ve gotta replace/fix my iPods (yup, plural – one original, then another for when the first broke… but I never bothered to fix the first one… oops). One’s got a busted screen and is still under warranty at Future Shop, so we’ll see how that goes; and for the other – wait for it – wait for itttt – I’ll be fixing MYSELF using this site:iFixit – I know, right?! Epic win! The Internet is making us self-sufficient when it comes to services that we’d often rely on experts to do for us. I’m hoping to keep one for myself and give the other to my girlfriend, but we’ll see how it all turns out πŸ™‚

Babbling, babbling, babbling.

Oh noes, a serious part!

I’ve been told that I’m the kind of person who tends to always keep certain things to myself – no matter who it is, there’s always certain elements that I choose not to share. This is very true. I have a friend who would like to see me go into business for myself. While I don’t think this is a bad idea at all, to be honest, I’m scared. I don’t know if I’d do well. I don’t know if I’d ever get to a point where I’d consider myself successful at what I’d do. It would be a massive risk to take, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that. Though, truth be told, I can’t see with any clarity where the path in my life is leading me right now, so perhaps it’s a step that needs to be taken. Any thoughts?

By the way, I guess I ended up doing a sketch AFTER all:

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2 Girls, 1 Sheet.

Right, so we just wrapped up a game of Catan: Cities & Knights and Sarah and I are walking home. Welcome to a random day in the life of Casey E. Palmer. Hope you enjoyed your stay!!!

Sincerely,

–case p.

Day 0001: An Average Day for an Above-Average Guy

Don’t you love those moments where you see something that you just HAVE to draw? This happened on the subway this morning with me, with a dude sitting down who definitely had his style coming correct. Black dude who was well-groomed, dressed well and reading a pamphlet on managing money. Mad cool. But it was morning rush hour, so I couldn’t take a seat and sketch him out there and then. Instead, there I was staring like a fool as I tried to memorize as many details about him as possible. Facial hair. The style of links his chain had. Did his shirt have a pattern to it or not? This is what I came up with in the end:

Day 0001: An Average Day for an Above-Average Guy β€” Black Man Sketch
Dude with afro from the TTC

This is going to be one of my longer days. As I’m typing this, it’s 5:30 at work with no light at the end of the tunnel. But I will eventually go home in the hope that I can work on some more OLA-related stuff. You guys might not realize it, but there’s a LOT going on in the background that a team of us are trying to accomplish in the name of OLA so that we can make a big name for the group in 2010. I feel I’ve gotten a bit off track with my fair share, so I’m looking to get back to putting some things together there. This will include some infrastructure for future OLA projects, some work on my own personal projects and just trying to help others get to the point where they want to be. The more I can get life to calm down, the more time I can spend getting my OLA stuff to the place where I’d like it to be πŸ˜‰

[Doomz Note: I left work at 8. 11 hours! Woo!]

Hm, note to self – we’re going to need to make the site mobile-friendly if I’m going to be posting stuff daily. I’m not always gonna be around!

Anyway, that’s all you’re getting for now. I didn’t do anything too elaborate today art-wise. I went to work, sketched a little at lunch, came home and crashed. Yeah, that’s right. That was my day. Ha!

Have a good one peops,

–case p.

The Importance of Reference

Whassap y’all – I hope the long weekend was productive and that y’all weren’t relaxing TOO much! It’s just after Labour Day, and we all know what that means – it’s GO TIME! Back to school for some of us, the last cottage weekend for others, but for me , I took the name of the holiday rather literally and busted my ass on trying to get a lot out of the way.

This involved things such as:

  • scanning in a ton of half-completed, likely-never-to-be-finished sketches
  • uploading a number of photos that have just been sitting around doing nothing
  • using FreeMind to develop a mind map of all the random ideas that I often seem to have floating around
  • sketching like a fiend so that I could get rid of a ton of reference material that I seem to carry with me EVERYWHERE

And then Damn Terry Dam went and said, “Reference material is always a good thing to carry”.

Okay, yes, I totally agree with this statement, but what I think Terry didn’t realize is who exactly he’s talking to. When it comes to getting a job done, I tend to get a little OCD at times and really go over the top.

A couple of years ago, I’d put the word out to a few communities that I was part of online that I was looking for that I was looking for donations of old magazines so I could slice pages out of them for reference material. This was gonna be on TOP of the magazines I was already getting rid of for the same reason! I figured I’d just be able to draw things out one page at a time to improve my skill and the range of things I’d know how to draw.

Great plan, but I severely underestimated the response I’d receive from my peers!

This is the box that holds all the reference material I gathered from that exercise:

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The Big Ol’ Box of Reference Materials

So as you can see, it’s quite a bit. In fact, I had problems even managing to squeeze it all in said box. So I’ve got my work cut out for me as I’ve now gotten to a point where I’m actually attempting to go through the box and USE the reference. My method goes a little bit like this:

  1. Grab handful of sheets from box
  2. Stuff in whatever knapsack I’m carrying with me that day
  3. Pull a sheet out on the subway/at the girlfriend’s/during lunch
  4. Sketch like a madman
  5. Recycle reference page
  6. Return to step 3 until all sheets are gone
  7. Then, return to step 1

Eventually, I will get through this box, and at that point, I’m hoping that my work will be far more awesome. But until then, I’ll follow Damn Terry Dam’s advice.

–case p.

Return of the Mack

Hey y’all – sorry to be absent for a few days; I was helping my girlfriend move into her place – one that is currently lacking in both electricity in most of the house, but more importantly, lacking in Internet. I spent much of my Monday evening catching up with the affairs of the weekend so that I would stay current.

One thing that I definitely need to catch up with is OLA – there’s been a number of things going on, and I definitely need to fill in the gaps on some of them on my end. In fact, just to show you how dedicated I am to finding time for OLA, I should tell you that I actually brought my laptop with me so that I could work on this blog entry on the GO Train in to work. It’s only a 30-minute ride, but I plan to make them 30 minutes well-spent!

One thing I’ve noticed is Achievements – I’m totally an Achievement fiend – or rather, should I dare to day, an OLAchiever? Now that I’ve got my fix of time-wasters and social media out of the way (as well as about a month of laundry), I think OLA deserves some attention. So I hope y’all are prepared for a blitz of Doomz, ’cause that what’s coming to you!

Next on the list is the blogs I promised on financial matters, etc. – I hear that some may be worried that ol’ Doomz has forgotten about them and the questions are never to be answered. Never fear! I definitely have NOT forgotten – in fact, there are other OLA members who’ve already been taking action along the seeds I sowed – but there is still much to do and much to write about, so that too will come.

Keeping on top of OLA 2010: If you’ve been hitting up the Saturday Ssauga Sketch Sessions (and if you haven’t, I hope you have an AWESOME reason, for they are full of WIN), you may have heard about the grand plan that is OLA 2010 (that isn’t the official name, but I figured that it’s cryptic enough to get attention, yet descriptive enough to give it an air of definition). To put it in a nutshell, OLA has a number of goals they need to achieve by Fall 2010, and you’ll be hearing far more about it as time develops. My role in the matter is a mix of acting as a project/business manager, keeping us on track with regular (okay, semi-regular) updates and of course, as all OLA members who want to make something of themselves are expected to do, working on producing something that I believe is at the highest level of quality that I can work at. I look forward to sharing thoughts, ideas and plans with you all as things cement themselves further in the near future.

So, OLA, you are not forgotten – merely put aside for a couple of days while I got a few other affairs in order. But this week I’m back, and I’ll try hard to get things put together in the midst of everything else I have going on.

Have a great day, OLAgents, and GOOD LUCK!

–case p.