Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mothra

7/30/16
This original piece was done for a show at 'Creature Features', in Burbank California as part of their "All Art Attack: 2" group show paying homage to Godzilla and the many Kaiju that exist in the genre.  For my piece I decided to choose 'Mothra' as my subject matter, primarily because at the time she was the only female Kaiju, and her background has always fascinated me.  I decided early one I was going to encompass my illustration within the shape of Mothra, but I wasn't entirely sure what it was going to be of.  I rewatched the original 1961 film, jotted down my ideas (and what resonated with me from the film), and began to sketch something out.  I knew instantly that I wanted to include the 'Shobijin' (twin fairies), and also other parts of Mothra's origin, or evolution.  Initially I wanted to capture the likeness of the original actresses who played the Shobijin in the movie, but it proved elusive, and after many attempts, I decided that I should instead create my own original vision instead of a reproduction.  This however, also created another challenge.  How did I want to depict the twins, and to what extent did I want to remain true to the vision of the film.  My biggest issue was, I didn't want to westernize them, nor did I want them to appear as Asian caricatures.  As I worked on their likeness I opted (or tried), to depict them as more Polynesian, since their fictional island (Infant or Mothra Island), was presumptuously located in Polynesia. The piece is entirely digital, with the framed shape of Mothra having been created in Illustrator, and the illustrative work done in Painter, with some adjustments made in Photoshop.


Anthyding Can Hadplen

6/22/16
This particular piece came to me one day when I was considering doing some 'inspirational' quotes for calligrams (similar to the Willy Wonka piece).  I've developed a particular fondness for this type of work, and wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite animation series that recently ended, Gravity Falls.  The quote itself comes from the episode "Soos and the Real Girl", in which the character Soos, with the aid of main protagonist's Dipper and Mabel, tries to find himself a girlfriend. At one point Soos buys a dating simulator game (that comes with multiple warnings), to prepare himself for the real world, which is a parody of a Japanese style dating simulator.  The quote itself is part of the games intro, which works on so many deeper levels than just a quick jab at poor translation.  The image itself is supposed to be a cherry blossom tree (which appears in the background of the game's intro), with the quote incorporated into it.  The image itself was done in Illustrator, with some manipulation in Photoshop, and Painter.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pure Imagination

This piece was developed for a joint Gallery Show based on the works of children's author Roald Dahl, at Creature Features in Burbank California.  I was not too familiar with Dahl's works, with the exception of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', and only then have I seen the films.  I decided early on that I was going select imagery from the original film adaptation starring Gene Wilder since I remember it fondly from my childhood.  For this piece I also wanted to do something a bit less traditional, or out of my comfort zone, and combine imagery with typography.  I have a love for calligrams, so I decided to take the lyrics from the hauntingly beautiful song 'Pure Imagination' sang by Wilder in the film, and create the image of a Wonka Bar from them.  The image is entirely digital, done in Painter by hand, and I didn't use any preexisting typeset or fill.


Spirited Away


This piece was the second of two images I did for Yay! LA (Magazine), and their series Yay! LED (Legends Everyday), an online showcase of several very talented artists wrapped around the themes of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comic Books, and other Various Media (Movies/Video Games).
As my second selection I chose Hayao Miyazaki's 'Spirited Away', a coming of age story revolving around a young girl and her journey into a mysterious realm.  I have always been a fan of Anime since the early days of watching ‘Akira’ on the Sci-fi Channel, but it wasn’t until college that I was exposed to the masterful works of Hayao Miyazaki.  As a budding artist, Miyazaki’s films managed to resonate with me much more than the traditional workings of American animation, with original content and thought provoking stories of human nature. For this particular piece I wanted to capture the essence of Miyazaki’s beloved ‘Spirited Away’, by illustrating key elements, and characters that played an influential role in the story.  Early on I knew I wanted to frame the image in the shape of the paper shikigami, and attempt to visually retell the tale. My goal was to keep the viewers eye moving while retaining the whimsical innocence of the original art style, and manage to interject my own spin aesthetically.  
The image is entirely digital, developed in Painter, with adjustments made in Photoshop.

 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

This piece was one of two images I did for Yay! LA (Magazine), and their series Yay! LED (Legends Everyday), an online showcase of several very talented artists wrapped around the themes of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comic Books, and other Various Media (Movies/Video Games).  My first selection was Alice in Wonderland, and it was a project I had started many years ago with a simple sketch that just never came to fruition.  The initial drawing consisted of the tree with the rabbit hole, and Alice descending down the hall into Wonderland.  I decided it was time to blow the dust off this project, and make it tangible, but first I needed to decide which direction I was going to take with it since it had been some time since it's inception.  I knew that I wanted to capture the main points of Alice's story, in best the way possible that related visually to her journey.  It had been some time since I had read Lewis Carroll's novel, and having seen so many adaptations of the story, I could no longer discern fact from fiction (ironically).  I reread Carroll's classic, and annotated it as I progressed through, giving me a clearer vision of what I wanted to portray.  My intention was to capture the 'essence' of Carroll's tale by creating an illustrated narrative, and connecting the images together, one preceding to the next, in order to mimic the flow of Alice's perils. The image itself is not large, but it is extremely detailed, which can only be revealed upon close inspection.  One of my favorite things to do with narrative illustration is to included small details that the viewer has to 'work' for in order to truly appreciate.  In closing I'd like to say that this piece challenged me in many ways I haven't been before as an artist, and I think I learned quite a bit about my process, and how to tackle a piece differently.  The image is entirely digital, developed (painstakingly) in Painter, and Photoshop.

Genesis

This piece was created as a tribute to one of my favorite franchises 'Alien', was originally created in April 2016, and posted on my social media on 4/26/16 as part of the LV-426 movement.  This particular artwork was one of the quicker creations I have made, and came together rather suddenly.  Initially the plan was to create a completely different illustration, but I ditched that plan and instead decided on an inkblot-like 'face hugger' creature from the franchise, but over it's development, it took on much more.  As I worked on it, I notice, rather unintentionally, there was a gap at the top middle of the piece where the appendages were overlapping that was reminiscent of the xenomorphs facial structure.  I decided I would take advantage of this, and filled in the area with details to create an 'implied' xenomorph face.  At that point I decided that I wanted to imply different 'story' elements of the series, and included the eyes, nose, and mouth.  I did my best to capture the likeness of Sigourney Weavers features, but in order to retain the face hugger shape, I had to leave it less specific.  Overall, the image to me, portrays the 'Genesis' of the xenomorphs by representing each stage of their development (face-hugger, host, and xenomorph).  It is entirely digital, made in Painter, and Photoshop.

Food Pyramid

This image isn't so much a pun, as it is a literal interpretation of the term 'Food Pyramid'.  While the concept itself is antiquated, since the pyramid has been retired for some lame(r), version that is now a plate (food plate...serious?!!! WEAK), it is still an iconic image that is recognizable.  This particular piece was influenced due to a more personal journey I was on, in which I overhauled my personal nutrition.  The goal with this piece was to capture the essence of the 'Food Pyramid', by representing all the necessary food groups, but twisting it into a more comically expression of the pyramids you see formed by cheerleaders (afterall these foods are cheering you on to a balanced diet, right).  In order to complete the effect I even added marshmallow pom-poms onto the chocolate bar at the top of the pyramid (who's expressions are priceless).  In this piece, and many of my works, I attempted to add small bits of details that a true observer would be able to appreciate.  In the case of this work, I did my best to capture the personality of each food, or how I felt they would react in this situation. The illustration was made in March 2016, and available as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles.  It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.