100 Days of SPREY – 57, 58

This week turned out to be both amazing and absolutely terrifying, pushing me outside of my personal comfort zone in so many ways. My original plan was to dedicate the week to doing concept work for my own comic and start uploading a daily panel beginning next week as we are used to by now. But now I am confronted with a uniquely new situation. I made the jump and signed my first freelance contract as a 2D concept artist.

The first client is the hardest to get, the second client the second hardest one, and so on, so that step is huge no matter what scope the actual project has.

Now at least for the time of the gig I have new responsibilities that clash with the wish to keep working on my comic and general drawing exercises in the same way I was working before. What is more, while going into overdrive with research and focussed work to do my best for the gig I‘m realizing how inefficient my ways were. And I‘m shocked how bad my past art actually is. On the one hand, I was incredibly delusional. On the other hand, the delusion kept me believing I could become a professional artist one day and made me work hard to get there. I just failed to understand why the world didn‘t see my greatness. Now I understand. And it‘s okay. That all is a thing of the past now.

I have finally reached a level where I‘m employable. And now that there is no delusion clouding my perception anymore, I have the chance to actually see my strengths and weaknesses in a balanced way and get really good. I even discovered a direction that I can go with achievable goals on the way there. I will go videogame prop design. I still believe in myself as a great storyteller and I believe in Street Prey, but I also need an income. Street Prey as it is right now cannot provide that and will need much more work until it has reached a level of quality that attracts an audience. I will of course do the work, but I need to adjust my efforts in a way that I don‘t starve on the road. That too is a prerequisite to do your personal work well. I know I can learn a lot working in the art industry. A lot that will help Street Prey and any other personal work in the future.

I need some time to sort my things now and I can‘t make a prediction how long it will take. Not because I do not want to commit, but because that is the first time I am in a situation like this. So thank you for your patience and see you next blog entry!

100 Days – 17

Failing Upwards

What a day!

Warming up with an environment…oh, nevermind.

My warm-up was wrestling with a simple room. First, I wrestled with the geometry itself to get a ground plane of the right shape, then I made a 2D floor plan and created the actual furniture out of that.

The process works!

I will admit I completely butchered both the reference and the perspective. The measurements didn‘t always go right, but at least they exist in my process now and I‘ll do my best to get mileage. It‘s still most important to know that it worked so far.

Failing at Blender

The next thing I wanted to try was to do the same, but with an underlying 3D model. I opened up Blender and found myself to be quite…rusty. But eager. I brutally failed to recreate the room, even forgot some shortkeys. But do you know what? That didn‘t discourage me a bit, quite the contrary. I immediately had ideas how to fix this, wondered how much time I would have to set aside to refresh my Blender skills, to look into making specific architecture pieces and what standardized props I would like to have to use them in various projects, such as simple tables and chairs. I know a lot, I just have to put the time in to make it executable. At least drawing into my model ruin felt amazing. I can see the potential.

I view my Blender tinkerings as long-term investment useful for many fields. I just have to be careful that it doesn‘t derail current projects or that 3D models do not become a crutch instead of a tool. It‘s almost like an adventure in itself – to prevent that risk I would have to master geometry and perspective, take another test so to speak. Art skills are so interconnected…influence one and lift up all the others, while still being limited by your worst. And it isn‘t always clear what the worst is, so it‘s worth to take shots at them all regularly.

But the big question is… how do I do all of that? What are the right priorities? For now I‘ll just stay with my goal of making this scene, of introducing some of the most important characters of the comic to you in an entertaining way.

Having a migraine…and it actually was helping

I had a migraine attack and then went away from the computer for a while – which didn‘t stop me from designing. I actually made good progress there, made some important decisions with a pencil.

The advent of Killie the Necromantic Killerplant

And then…Killie. Technically this plant is a prop and I would not introduce it if it wasn‘t important for the comic. I just had fun with this piece. And no, Killie probably will not be carried around like that, Killie is not very friendly and quite toxic in touch, also quite a nature that seeks solitude. Sometimes you better not take yourself too serious and just have fun.

I guess I had my typical first confused day when I switch fields, tomorrow the actual environment part should become better again. I‘ll be aiming for designing my academy as best as I can.

See you tomorrow!