Sunday, December 9, 2012

San Francisco Sketchbook

Here's some drawings I did while I was in San Francisco. I find the moleskin sketchbook surface a bit too smooth for my drawings, but I'm forcing myself to fill it up anyway.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Plein air work from the summer

A couple of plein air paintings I did on Nantucket this summer. Done in acrylic on canvas board. It's been a while since I've worked in acrylic and I'm way better with it on printmaking paper. I'm not too happy with the way these came out but I'd like to get into using traditional media more often and mixing it with digital. Got a few sketches I did downtown too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pokemon Fan Arts

Have this guy just in time for Thanksgiving! One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving is Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I wake up each morning on the holiday just to watch it. Some day I'll make it to the actual thing T_T. Anyway this was a fun project to tie that parade in with Castelia city from the most recent Pokemon games, which is based on New York itself. It only seemed fit the Pikachu balloon was showcased there too! With some of my most recent Pokemon fan art, I've been attempting to make the world feel more believable. Hopefully that comes through! I'm going through a huge fan art phase right now so expect more on the way soon.

In addition, I recently started a new mini fan art project called the Pokemon Watcher's Sketchbook. In line with trying to make the Pokemon world more believable, I'm imagining myself in the role of a Pokemon watcher, attempting to capture Pokemon in the field on page. Here are my first two examples and I hope to update with at least 1 new page each week.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I am very excited to finally post this painting! I did this as a submission to Anime Boston's Yokai Art contest. If it wins, it will be used as advertising for the convention and I'll secure a free Artist Alley space to sell my work! Even if I don't win though, this piece was a major leap in my creative career. I don't think I had created a single piece before this one with so much unity and technical skill. I'm really pleased with it and excited to use it as a benchmark for future work.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, it did not win. It did make Honorable Mention though. Here's the results:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Drawing on Podcast Beyond 263!

I'm pleased to say that my drawing made it onto Podcast Beyond episode 263! I dropped it by with a letter and my business card at IGN yesterday and they opened right on the podcast. They even went so far as to roll the cameras for that part in particular, so I feel very fortunate. Greg, Colin, Ryan, and Andrew - Glad you enjoyed it!

You can see the video on this page.

Monday, October 15, 2012

NYCC 2012 and San Francisco coming up

Just got back from New York Comic Con last night. Man was it crazy. It was my first time going and I really wish I had read a survival guide. I've been going to cons for a long time now but never one as big as this. First time I've been overwhelmed by a con since my first Otakon in 2009. That was nothing compared to this! Sensory overload. There were sadly some events I couldn't make it to because the capacity filled up in the rooms or you just couldn't make it there in time due to traffic. I was also only able to go for Friday and Saturday so I feel like I missed out on a bunch of stuff. But over all I had a pretty fun time. Click here to see more about the cosplay side of things. Here were some of my highlights:

First, I got to see Yoshitaka Amano speak at his panel! He's one of my favorite illustrators so this was really big for me. Unfortunately there was no way I could get there early enough to get a ticket securing an autograph, but I still felt fortunate to hear him speak. Turns out he's really down to earth and didn't know what to say lol. He said that's part of why he communicates visually, because he's not good at speaking. But I really liked how he responded to people's questions, and one thing that really stuck out to me was that he gave some advice to not follow too closely to rules or standard conventions, and just to draw what you think is beautiful. I think that ideology definitely comes across in his work.

I brought my portfolio with me and submitted it to DC Comics' Talent Search, and showed it around to a few people. I was really excited to see Bobby Chiu in the artist alley, as I really love his work. I was fortunate enough to get my portfolio critiqued by him and am delighted to say that he really loved my first illustration. As soon as he opened up the cover of the folder to that first piece, his eyes lit up and he simply said, "cool". That was so liberating for me, because this is the first time I've ever had my portfolio reviewed by a professional digital artist. Unfortunately I can't show that illustration publicly yet but I should be able to in November. Overall he really liked all my ideas (which is great since I want to be a concept artist). He also thought my execution was good but could be better, and gave me some suggestions on improving my fabric textures and diffusion of light on skin.

After that I met up with some fellow artist friends and had a really great time both as an artist and an audience. One thing I was a little bummed about was that I did an illustration for the folks at Podcast Beyond (a Playstation news podcast) over at IGN, but I couldn't make it to their panel, again because they capped the line! Myself and many others were bummed about it, but it really stunk cuz I had been carrying this drawing around all day! It's fulfilling a request Ryan Clements asked of the listeners on the special video episode 250.

As it turns out I'm leaving for San Francisco today for a 2 week vacation, and since that's where their offices are located, I'm going to try to drop it off there! Even though it's a vacation, I'm going to be doing some job hunting. Got a lot of people to call and email. Networking is really key. Maybe the folks at IGN will hire me on as an editorial illustrator?

Other than that, since I probably won't be able to post again for a while, I'm gonna dump some of my recent work. None of it is completed yet - it's all for my concept art portfolio project. I'll be resuming this in November. Around the time I get back I'll try and do an upload of all the sketches I plan to do while in SF. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vampire Llama

This was a quick silly painting I did in about half an hour. It's of Vampire Llama, a character I made up with a friend during a class we weren't paying attention to in college. I did this as a birthday card for her yesterday.

I've been working avidly on my new portfolio geared towards a job as a concept artist. Now that my seasonal job has ended, I can devote my time to the project fully. I should be able to post the first images in the next couple days! :D

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Self Portrait - Adjustments

Quick post - did some much needed fixes to my self portrait from the previous post, namely fixing the mouth, darkening the facial shadows, and lowering the jawline. It looks waaaay better now. I don't look like I'm giving anybody the :/ face anymore!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Self Portrait

About time I did a new self portrait. I had been sorting through and deleting a lot of brushes in Photoshop that I don't need and I came across one that gives a great oil-painted feel. Definitely want to experiment with it more in the future. Plus I've been looking at Kent William's work a lot lately so that was some direct inspiration. All these combined into an in-the-moment need to paint this! I used a reference, but it was taken long before this was painted and not designed with lighting in mind so unfortunately it's not the most flattering lighting. It was mostly for me to experiment with this brush and style of painting, and I'm pretty happy with it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

ebook cover

My first book cover! It's for an ebook called, "Easter from the Perspective of Contemporaneous Jews" by Anant Raut. The author wanted the cover to be a parody of the Last Supper (Da Vinci) with Jesus walking back into the scene and freakin out all the apostles. It was just put up on Amazon's kindle store so take a look! It's short but really funny and only a buck!

I would really love to do more book covers in the future.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Recent study

Here's a recent study I did from a photo. Working on a concept for a contest right now that will have a very alluring Japanese woman so I've been doing some studies. The original photo is here.

Got some more sketches I did at the beach this past week. Still don't have a scanner so I'll upload them once I can photograph them in proper light.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Some freelance storyboards

Tis a sin I have not uploaded work here in so long! I've been busy both with my day job and artwork, I just haven't uploaded much yet. That will change soon! In the mean time, here's some storyboards I did for some different clients several months ago.

This first storyboard was for Mil-tek Recycling and Waste Solutions. It was for use in a company pitch to show another company the usefulness and money saving opportunities of their recycling compressors.

The second one, also for Mil-tek, was to show how a corporate office could make use of similar products.

Lastly, the following drawings were commissioned by Aperspective Media for use on their website, and will at some point be used as a storyboard and basis for a sand artist to turn these into sand images for a potential commercial or similar advertising campaign.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bloodsport 6 - The Hunter redesigned

Ahhh so glad this project is finally done. I fully enjoyed the process every step of the way, but I had to really spread it out more than I would have liked due to other work. Also really busy with commissions now so I have to put Crimson Daggers work on hold.

In any case, here is my hunter, redesigned to incorporate what he took from the creature he killed, to make himself a hunter (while still letting the design remain true to his culture).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bloodsport 6 - Creature Design

All the sketch and pose work that led me to the final design:

Cat Studies

Got a lot of work coming up soon, a lot of things I've been working on, just need to finish it all. To start, just posting some studies I did for the creature in Bloodsport 6 of the Crimson Daggers. Will post the finished creature design soon and then finish the hunter.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Goals for 2012 and a short personal history

This is my personal vow for 2012 and I hope that any and all who read it will hold me accountable.

I'm very guilty of putting myself in certain mindsets that have been completely unproductive and limiting to my personal growth and future. I've started to realize this and now I'm going to take action.

I graduated about 8 months ago from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a BFA in Illustration. What does that mean? Jack shit. It took some time to realize (and to terms with) the fact that the college I went to did not help me get a job in the field I desire to work in. In fact it didn't help me get a job at all. At the age of 14, I got "The Art of Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring" as a present from my aunt. I had thoroughly enjoyed the movies, but it was when I got this first art book (plus the second two to follow in subsequent years) and saw the special features in the extended edition DVDs that I knew I wanted to be doing exactly what I saw those artists doing. I wanted to draw and paint my heart out on different concepts used for movies and games. I wanted to become a concept artist. What better job to have than to get paid for what you love doing?

Unfortunately due to financial and other constraints, I had to pick my last choice school. However I was at least happy that they were known for having a strong art department. The major problems with the school (though there are many other ones), is that it doesn't do enough to promote its students to help them excel after college, and its curriculum doesn't cater to the modern art world. The school didn't even have pen tablets for the digital media lab. To top it all off, many of my teachers including the head of the Illustration department had no concept of the modern scene in illustration - including concept art and digital art in general. Not just that, but he was 100% reluctant to learn about it - in fact he never once asked me what I wanted to go into or how he could help. He always approached things from the standpoint of an editorial illustrator who was big in the 70's and 80's. As such he and some other teachers geared me in directions that were counter productive to my ultimate goal, and also steered me in directions that rode against my personal hand/artistic style. College should be there not only for education, but to help students get the job that they want.

I can't fully blame the school for the position that I am in though. To some extent I let fear rule me. I didn't use my college in order to attain my personal artistic goals. In fact, many of my friends didn't either; in many respects, we were in the same boat together, physically and mentally. I was incredibly naive. I wanted to become a concept artist but I didn't really understand the amount of work, discipline, and knowledge of the industry that one needs to break in. For my senior thesis, I did illustrations about Nantucket - mostly about its history and things that stood out to me personally. You can see some of them in my gallery in fact. My professors liked the idea because it meant that I was less likely to change it, since Nantucket is close to me and I wouldn't be too easily disinterested. They had a lot of trouble with people changing their thesis in the past because the professors did little to help or accept the students' goals. If I had been brave, I would have used Nantucket as the backdrop for an incredibly unique concept art portfolio. But I chose not to because I didn't think my professors would let me. How dumb is that?

So that's my past. I don't regret having gone to UMD. I met some of the most amazing people I know. There were a few exceptional teachers who I really learned from and grew under, and are now on my resume. And through all the trials we faced, I developed an incredibly strong camaraderie with my whole Illustration class. I'm very lucky to have them and I probably grew more as an artist by their help and critique than my teachers.

After graduating, I worked through the summer at my usual seasonal job and doing very little artwork. Through Fall, as the light waned, I started to become less productive. Not only had my seasonal hours run out, but now that I was starting to produce art more heavily, I ran into a major problem - light. I was living at my mom's house on Nantucket, which wasn't built with natural light flow in mind. To top it off the nearby trees and elevation block a lot of light in the morning and evening. Not only was I having trouble working, but due to the dim lighting, I was having trouble even wanting to work. Plus, Nantucket is a big tourist economy, but only during the summer. In the off season, there's almost nothing to do and it's pretty depressing for an artist who wants to make a name for himself.

I made a big decision in November to move in with my dad off island. His place is a lot brighter and my productivity improved 10 fold. After a few weeks on Nantucket again from the holidays through half of January, I am now trying to make up for lost time at college and the time in between. I've been without a job for months, have run out of summer earnings, and have only earned $175 off two commissions I was able to get in December. Worst of all, my art is not improving fast enough. I don't want to end up having to get a part time job in something I hate just to get some money in my pocket. I don't want to have to rely on my parents for everything. I don't wanna be a loser anymore. I need to work.

So this journal entry is my new beginning. I've made an effort to publicly admit my faults and my new goals to commit to in the hopes that anyone who reads this will hold me responsible for my commitment, but hopefully it will inspire others to do the same and discipline themselves to achieve their dreams. For anyone who wants to join me in my pursuit of happiness, dreams, and being somebody, I recommend you join the Crimson Daggers . It was created by my close college buddy Dan Warren and his friend Dave Rapoza.

Major Goals for 2012:
1. Develop a concept art portfolio
2. Become sufficient enough on freelance work to justify not working at my season job this summer.
3. Improve my self promotion and exposure

Minor Goals for 2012:
1. Become better at splitting up my time between client work, personal work, studies, networking, research, and self promotion
2. Become more active on all the major sites I use - DeviantArt, ConceptArt, Freelanced, Crimson Daggers, and my blog (I want to triple my current dA page views (8,900) by the end of the year)
3. Completely pay off my college loan by the end of August.

These goals may be slightly modified over time but I'm not gonna be removing or making any of them simpler. If anything I may make them more descriptive or clear, or add to them. I will also be organizing monthly and weekly goals to help organize my life and keep me on track for my big goals.