Monthly Archives: August 2011

Fan Expo 2011: Damage Report

Fan Expo was four whole days this year, which is why I’m only just now – almost a full 24 hours after it ended – rejoining the human race. Extremely tiring, but very rewarding!

Here’s a photo of the booth, shared with the lovely (and, in this case, highly blurry) Yien. (Karen was also there, helping us man the booth. Thanks, Karen!) Yien had prints and shirts, I had prints and bookmarks.

*Not actually this blurry in real life

I had one last-minute new piece: fanart of Tali from Mass Effect, done essentially in one night.

It was kind of an experiment – I used brushes/layers set on Dissolve, so at full resolution it looks like it was done by a particularly patient user of MSPaint. (All Photoshop, though.)

Printed out at 300DPI, it’s a pretty neat effect. I have no idea if it has any real application in professional work, but fanart is my playtime anyhow.

At the beginning of the show, after incredibly stressful prep, I’d decided not to do it again next year. Selling fanart is a little legally iffy, and none of the work I do here can be put in my portfolio, or really used to promote my professional career. But I had a fantastic time, and was reminded why I do it in the first place – it’s really about a love of fandom, and connecting with people who love the same things that I do, through art. It’s great to have somebody who’s a huge fan of something I love just go crazy seeing a print of their favourite character, something that they’d never found through official merch. And I met and reconnected with a huge number of awesome people, at that – people from school, from online… It’s stressful, and if it was about the money there’d be far more productive ways to spend my time. It’s about the love of fandom, though, and I do sure love fandom.

Oh, and the highlight of my congoing experience – I went to a watercolour workshop by the fabulous Jill Thompson, whose work I adore. The demo itself was fabulous; learned a lot, and feel inspired to go back to watercolours for a bit. (They were really the only traditional medium I ever felt a real connection to, and I do kind of miss them.) At the end, she decided to give away the demo to whoever had the closest birthday – and mine was the next day! (That’s the 3rd year running I’ve spent my birthday behind a Fan Expo table. I am now 24. Happy birthday to me!) She also got a look at my sketchbook, and liked it – between those two things, my day, birthday, and entire weekend was made. I was shaking for a good hour or so afterwards. Best birthday gift possible!

Jill Thompson original, aaaaaaaaaaaa

Jill Thompson original, aaaaaaaaaaaa

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Supernatural (Also, Fan Expo)

Supernatural has become one of my favourite shows, despite a weak first couple of seasons, a recent season hovering somewhere over the shark, and an inherent goofiness that its endless angst can’t seem to shake. Of course, I’m always up for a good ol’ Heaven/Hell apocalyptic romp, especially when attractive men are involved, so therein lies my bias.

This took days, most of which was spent on getting a recognizable likeness. PROGRESS.

Also! I will be at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, this Thursday through Sunday! Hanging with Yien Yip, Rosemary Travale, and Craig Arndt! Come say hi! I’ll have BOOKMARKS. I am making about EIGHT MILLION of them. They are EATING ME ALIVE.

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Old & New has relaunched! It still needs a couple of tweaks, and five images isn’t much of a portfolio, but I’d rather have a 5-image portfolio up than a dozen-image portfolio in a style I don’t actually want to use, and it’s definitely better than empty space. Hopefully by mid-September there’ll be enough work to actually start promoting myself.

In order to have some actual art in this post, here’s some old stuff I found that I don’t think I ever blogged or posted anywhere. Last year, when I was doing my daily drawing thing, I did a month of these zodiac girls – Western and Chinese zodiac both. Anyhow, for a while I was toying with the idea of a children’s illustration portfolio, and painted up some of the simple vector drawings into something a little more 3D. I’d like to come back to this stuff at some point, as it’s a fun style to work in.

(I love that dragon girl; she’s cooler than I’ll ever be.)

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For Old Time’s Sake

Later today – maybe even by the time you read this – I’ll be relaunching as a digital painting portfolio. I’ve already taken down the old front page of the old site. Now, with both my blog and portfolio moving on, this means there’s no place on the internet for my old work, the style I left school with. I don’t regret it – I don’t know how I talked myself into believing that I loved editorial illustration over narrative, and just wasn’t good enough to do the kind of painting I wanted – but at the same time, there’re still a few images I do like. So why not. Archiving them here, just so they’re still out there somewhere.

All of this work is minimum 2 years old. The oldest is, I think, close to 4.

That last one, titled “Perfectionist”, I especially wanted to archive. That’s because it’s taken on a life of its own, and seems to be spreading throughout the internet. If you Google Image Search the word perfectionist, it’s the second result – and not on my site, either. At first it was, and I’d get the occasional email from somebody looking to use it in a powerpoint presentation and the like, but now people’re finding it completely devoid of credit. This has led to it showing up in all kinds of bizarre places. After it was pointed out to me it was on Lifehacker, I got in touch and got a link back. Usually, I don’t bother – it’s on a lot of blogs in other languages, and in one especially silly case, apparently somebody on Uncyclopedia decided the message wasn’t clear enough yet. I think if this were still the style of work I was trying to promote, I’d be a little more miffed about the whole thing, but mostly I just find it interesting. Certainly (as far as I know) nobody’s making money off it. All the same, with my old folio gone, it’s nice to have this here, so if need be, I can still say “Yeah, I did that.”

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Barbarian Barbie 2.0

I’m in the process of getting my new portfolio together, and as part of it, I’ve been tweaking some older images. This one is more than just tweaked – I spent 3 or 4 hours significantly repainting her, enough to justify the repost. (Compare to the old one, seriously. It’s much better now!)

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