September 30, 2008
Took a break from study to reward myself with a quick fantasy piece. I haven’t yet decided if I see an improvement from my earlier work, but it’s still a nice change of pace. Little less than 3 hours in photoshop?
Update: cleaned up the shading some, and added a faux background to shake things up a bit.
September 29, 2008
So I signed the online Reproductive Health Bill petition. I have an aversion to online petitions, mostly because I loathe the fact that it allows a bunch of nerds to put up petitions for anything they want, like bringing back Hal Jordan. However, as Reproductive Health is far more important than Hal Jordan, I went ahead and did it anyway.
I am not scholarly enough to know all the ins and outs of the debate, nor am I inclined to be (mostly becaue I’m lazy, but also because I hate arguing with fundamentalists). However, there is one thing in particular that irks me about the anti reproductive health argument. They argue that population control is not the soution to the country’s woes, and them cite the problems of countries like Japan and Singapore with regards to the effects of a population control system imposed by the government.
For the first argument, I hate how they paint it as if pro-rep (for the sake of abbreviation) people are fucking idiots. We do NOT think this is the solution to our country’s woes. We have multiple problems that will take multiple solutions/miracles. The Reproductive Health Bill addresses ONE of those problems, which is that our population is growing at an alarming speed, and our economic development cannot keep apace.
As for using Japan and Singapore as examples of why population control is not a good idea, I have just this to say: I’d rather have their problems than ours.
If you want the facts on the Bill, read my girlfriend’s blog, check out the links, and then sign the petition if you think it’s a good idea.
September 28, 2008
I feel for you, former AIG and Lehman brothers employees. While I may not have the proverbial box of shit to cart out of the office Jerry Maguire style, I too am recently unemployed with only the thought of “well what the fuck do I do now?” to keep me company. With you, I share the same feeling of uneasiness. A troubling malaise that while not overpowering, is just strong enough to ruin a perfectly good day. It is the feeling that you’re no longer on top of the world, and that your bank account may not see a paycheck for a very long, long time.
This is not striking news, to be sure. Hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs everyday. But I think what makes this stand out the most is the fact that this is the very first time that it was not my option to be unemployed. I usually quit, and made sure to secure another job before quitting. This feeling of having the rug pulled out from underneath me is a little new, I must admit, and will take some time to get used to.
September 26, 2008
Unlike Bulletproof Monk, Astronauts in Trouble was well worth the 5 dollars I paid for it. It’s not a story that sticks with you for the rest of your life, but it’s definitely an entertaining read. It’s sort of like a Michael Bay film, except with a little humor and a lot more soul. If you see it in a bargain bin, don’t hesitate to pick it up.
September 25, 2008
Took about an hour to flesh this out for a mini-contest on gameartisans for little steampunk pets. I saw a hamster on an old issue of GFW and took that as my inspiration.
September 24, 2008
So I bought the Bulletproof Monk TPB while I was in Singapore, since it was on sale for $5 and I’m a bargain bin whore. I gotta say, it’s probably one of the worst written comics I’ve ever read. Michael Avon Oeming’s art is terrific, but the writing really just smacked of Americans trying to sound mystical and Asian and shit, and the pacing was phenomenally bad. You’d literally jump from one plotline to another and sudden emotional changes were forced upon characters to fit the plot. I also partly bought it because the movie wasn’t half bad, but the storyline of this TPB had absolutely nothing to do with what eventually unfolded onscreen.
That said, I had a bit artist’s block yesterday morning, then I came to the conclusion that the first reason I watched the BPM film in the first place was the title. It’s just an ear/eye-catching title. Bulletproof Monk. How can that not be awesome? So I started to think of other words that might work work with “bulletproof”, and eventually settled on “punk”. Then the image of a punk flipping the bird with a bullet in between his teeth came to me, and there you go.
It sort of ended up looking like a vertigo comic cover, so I played with that a little bit, making the title and added the “Wertigo” logo plus the number 1 (collector’s edition!). So the lesson for today is that you shouldn’t shy away from shitty comics, because they just might inspire you.
September 22, 2008
So, a few things have happened to me lately, and maybe it’s time for a little explaining.
The job I was working on for the past year or so has fizzled out due to lack of funding. If you noticed the sudden upsurge of sketches and artworks recently, that was it. I had a sudden need to update my portfolio before going to Games Convention Asia in Singapore, and so the last few weeks have been stressful, to say the least. The conference went well enough, and while I have yet to land a job or freelance gigs yet, I’m suitably energized and looking forward to some new work. The past year has been a terrific experience for me, and something I’m hoping I can parlay into bigger things.
I figured I might as well change a few things with this blog as well, to parallel the changes in my life. First is the Portfolio page, which basically leads to a link to my carbonmade portfolio. Carbonmade, if you haven’t heard of it, is a web 2.0 ish portfolio site for artists who just want to put their work up there without having to fuss over making a website. Perfect for CSS luddites like me. I’ll still post random sketches and pictures on the blog, but most of my work will be going straight to the portfolio.
Second, the address ryansumo.com currently links to my portfolio, but I think it might make snse to forward it to this site instead. I’m doing a little writing on the side so this could be a good place to point people who want to see samples. I’ll also try to work on my writing a bit, not just snippets of posts but more well thought out material when I have the time to do it.
Last, I’m changing the look of the blog because I love this new layout. It looks extra awesome when three images laid out in a row, but I just like the magazine/broadsheet look it brings to the table.
That’s about it. Hope you all like the changes, and if you know anyone who needs a bit of freelance artwork done, send ‘em my way why don’tcha?
September 22, 2008
“It just isn’t worth it.”
This is an artist friend of mine on the idea of a group of artists banding together to form a larger company. He’d know, because he’s been working with one of the most storied of these artist conglomerates in Singapore, which I won’t mention by name since they’ve been having some financial trouble lately.
I had been throwing the idea to him because it’s something that’s been rolling around in my head for these past few years: to build a purely art based outsourcing company that could handle the needs of clients worldwide that undercuts similar studios in more developed countries. It seems like a good idea, but if it was they why weren’t there more of these studios popping up? My friend explained to me that for the most part artists didn’t need a larger entity to gain prospective employers’ notice. I kind of understand what he’s trying to say. There isn’t any added value to an artist’s finished work by having a team around him; Your work is either good or bad, and it’s instantly apparent.
A friend of mine built a web development company based on the sole fact that at a certain point companies can’t trust a project to a single person. The scale would be so large that they simply couldn’t bank on an individual. I assumed that the same theory would hold true for a freelance artist but maybe that just isn’t the case. For an artist, there’s no back end to handle, no site that needs to be maintained. You simply submit the work that was asked of you and it’s done. you don’t need to worry about your artwork having any bugs down the line. All you need is a bunch of good contacts, and you’re good to go. A few successful artists in the Philippines make a decent living that way, and my friend is soon to join them, as he recently quit his job in Singapore.
So maybe there is nothing to be gained economically by having an artists’ studio, and I just miss the camaraderie. I miss the energy that can be harnessed by a group of like-minded individuals in the same room. I miss singing to Shai and Boyz 2 Men and Chair Olympics and lunchtime DOTA. I hate having to look back and say “damn, those were good times, weren’t they?”. Working from home may give you a lot of freedom, and it omes with a lot of perks, but it sure can get lonely sometimes.
September 22, 2008
So this is my first real artwork since I let for Singapore, and I quite like it. I used a picture from an earthquake as a reference and then just fit the huge robot and special ops guys with their tiny rifles in for a sci-fi duel. Obviously my robot design, especially in the torso area, needs a lot of work. But I think this is something that will improve over time.