Archive for August, 2010

August 21, 2010

Sketchbook archives

There comes a time in every artist blogger’s life wherein he has absolutely nothing new to show you, and he digs into his sketchbook for the sake of updating his or her blog.  This is one such time.  The sketch above was for an unfinished contest entry for a gameartistans mini-competition called “Dreams and Nightmares.  I had just recently finished reading The Knife Man and The Egg and Sperm Race, so I was very interested in anatomical drawings of the 17th and 18th centuries.  My idea was to have an anatomist’s dream about one of his preparations mutating and mutilating him in the same way as he’d done to his subjects.  As is commonly the case, work intervened, and I never really got started on it.

This second bunch of sketches is for a piece I’m still working on and hope to finish sometime this year when I finally have some free time.  I wanted to draw a Bear bartender, and tried sketching different kinds of asian bears, from the Sun bear, Panda, and lesser panda.  I think I’ll eventually go with the Panda just because the piece has a Chinese theme.

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August 17, 2010

Gentleman versus Dinosaur

I realized only lately (ok so I lie, I realized it multiple times then instantly forgot!) that I hadn’t posted the final version of this WIP.  So without further ado, I present to you “Gentleman versus Dinosaur”.  This piece marks a personal milestone for me, because it’ the first time I really looked at an artwork I’d made and said “Damn, that looks pretty good.”  Of course I then proceeded to check out other work on art sites and brought myself down a peg or two, just to keep me on my toes.   Hope you all like it!

August 15, 2010

Blinking Attack Pyramid

Just a sneak peek at what I’m working on right now, that I really can’t talk about!  Well OK I’ll give you a hint: secular humanism! Yes, I am the worst hint-giver the world has ever known.

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August 13, 2010

Egg Scramble is Free!

Egg Scramble is another iPhone game I’ve worked on that’s now up on the App store, free for a limited time only!  It’s a Risk/Galcon-like game in a world of militant eggs, so what’s not to like?  To learn more about Simon Hurst, creator of Egg Scramble and about the game itself, just click here.

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August 10, 2010

The Origins of Bumbay and Baon

Something new today, entirely unrelated to art but still quite interesting to me and possibly useful in the fictional world I’m building.  While waiting for a friend to join me and watch Tekken (so bad it’s good) I plopped down in one of Fully Booked’s comfy chairs and looked through some Filipiniana books.  I stumbled across some interesting trivia that I think might be of interest to the casual historian, or at least anyone who’s ever been threatened by his mother that “ipapahuli kita sa bumbay!” (I’ll make the Indian catch you!).

Bumbays

Bumbay is a pejorative many Filipinos use to call Indians that have migrated to the Philippines, used in conjuction with other terms like 5-6 (coined for Indian moneylenders who loan you 500 pesos and ask for 600 in return).  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the term Bumbay came from the city of Bombay, but what led to the term being used as our own personal boogeymen?  It turns out at the start of the 20th century there was a big influx of Indian immigrants into Manila, which at the time was a thriving international port city.  While there was much more faith in the police at the time, businessmen in Escolta took extra measures by hiring nightwatchmen to keep unscrupulous people away.  The favored nightwatchman happened to be the bumbay because of their famed ability to never sleep on the job, courtesy of a litcigarette between their fingers that would burn them and keep them awake in the dead of the night.  Now this is purely conjecture, but I imagine that coming across a hirsuite sikh Indian in the dead of the night lit only by the light of cigarette might have been frightening to Filipino children at the time.  It then would make perfect sense that Filipino mothers would use the convenient bumbay as a threat to precocious youngsters who wanted to wander off in the night.

How this legend managed to stay alive until the 1980s is a mystery to me however, and it’s likely I’m entirely wrong.  I invite any bumbay or non bumbay friends to chime in with their thoughts.

Baon

In ancient Filipino cultures people would bury their dead with clothes, jewelry, furniture etc. that they felt would be needed in the afterlife.  We are hardly unique in this aspect, with the famous example of the Pyramids in Egypt being testament to that.  What struck me was that they called these tokes pabaon. Now my Filipino isn’t the best, but as I can best explain it pabaon is “something to take with you on the road”, which makes a lot of sense in that context.  What strikes me as interesting is that in the current vernacular the word baon means either an allowance or a packed lunch (to take on the road) and also to be buried.   It’s not a groundbreaking idea, but I love that it wasn’t random that these words that are spelled the same way mean entirely different things, but that they both came from the same idea.

August 8, 2010

Spaceship designs

No personal artwork up today, so I thought I’d upload this ship designs that I made for a game that’s soon to come out.  I actually think I maybe spent way too much time on these designs, which ultimately were meant to be pieces in a Tetris-like puzzle game.  But it was so much fun designing them that I couldn’t stop!  Take note of the squiggly, child-like writing that says “good ships – curvy”, b”bad ships – edged”.  That was about as much art direction as I gave myself. 😛

August 1, 2010

Armoured Acoustic Carriage

From the desk of the communications liaison, Medjaz Free Army:

This armoured acoustic carriage of the 1st division Medjaz Free Corps represents the culmination of years of research by our greatest scholars into a non-violent means of subduing an enemy force, local malcountents, &tc.  When fired, targets from a distance of as far as 300 foot will experiens symptomes of dizzyness, nausea, retching, &tc. and at 500 foot a slyt dizzyness, unsureness of step, and an intolerable buzzing in the ear.  Thus inconvenienced, our infantrymen may easily overpower said enemy force, bringing to an end all hostilities.

I suppose at this point I should talk about where this bizarre idea of an acoustic weapon came from.  I was certainly not the first to think of  one (see notes at bottom), and indeed to this day development is being made into such weapons.  The inspiration for this particular weapon came from a different source entirely, however.

For the past year or so I have been extremely fascinated with the period that many historians call the “enlightenment”.  In the period beginning in the late 18th century up until the beginning of the 20th century, a great flowering of knowledge spread from Europe and encompassed the world.  The entire world was afire with the idea of gaining knowledge about our past, present and future.  It was an exciting and often bloody time, since such a rapid increase in knowledge always comes at a price, and during this period of time revolutions were in vogue.  With the establishment of man as the center of the universe and the stripping away of the blinders that religion had put on him, monarchs were suddenly bereft of the divine right that they had often bluntly wielded in centuries past.

It’s not a world I would have liked to live in to be perfectly honest;  I like modern convenience like cars and airconditioning and high speed internet.  But there is a romance and sense of adventure in that era that I find intoxicating. This world has been building itself ever so slowly in my head and now I’m slowly trying to release bits and pieces of it on this blog so I don’t have to think about them anymore.  Because really, my brain is cluttered up enough as it is without gentlemen dinosaurs in suits crisscrossing the world in airships to attend scientific conferences discussing the latest archaeological find.

For sonic weapons see:

  1. Long Rang Acoustic Device
  2. Sonic Weapon

For some books set in and inspired by the enlightenment:

  1. Perdido Street Station
  2. The Orientalist
  3. The Knife Man
  4. A Sense of the World