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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Things I Am Up To's over and I am expected to be working on my career from here on out. It's rather daunting....who wants to work? Waking up to a 9-5 job, spilling hot coffee on your lap during the commute, cranky bosses with jelly donut stained ties, heading home late.....

Hmmn....well, how about waking up, worrying about getting freelance work over morning coffee and fighting with the dog to not eat your mail (unless it's bills), and spending all day working on your artwork till it makes you go nutty  in the head?

Ah, that sounds about right. So....I am working on some freelance illustration work once again for Hero Games. Another commission for some villainous ladies. I rather enjoy these commissions....I like the pin up work style even if I do find it a little bit mundane in comparison to some of my 'fine art' pieces. Some day I will discover a way to reconcile the way that I paint 'fine art' as opposed to my illustrations. That is the day I will be very happy (at least in theory). 

Some other things to work on: some character sketches for my game group members. Poor Tim has waited so patiently for his character sketch of Mathias....that is on the list of things to do. Another friend of mine from the group wants his new character done as well, Velen. Both are playboy characters but totally opposite in many ways. 

Which reminds me, there is a small gaming convention towards the end of September that I will be running events at (at least, I volunteered to), and hopefully playing in events as well. Just a small little convention, nothing too fancy. 

Hmmmnnnn.....what else? A GM screen for Matt.....a much simpler one than the last, this being a two panel spread that will be 11x17 inches horizontal of a D&D scene. It'll give me a chance to get some good painting done, and be a  nice portfolio piece in addition to that. Unfortunately, the first screen I did was ruined while transporting it, which sucks cause I spent so much time working on it. So, back tot eh drawing board on that one, sadly. This time, I think I will take my former instructor's advice and scale it down instead of working on it to size. Maybe it will go over smoother this time. One can hope. 

I am getting involved a little bit more in the online challenges on CGHub's website. It gives me a chance to futz around with my photoshop skills a little bit more, which need development. Sadly....or perhaps not, I enjoy traditional media a lot more than a plastic pen and tablet. Things just apply smoother and don't digital. No happy little accidents on the computer, not with CtrlAltDelete around anyways. Or should I say Command Z? Someone needs to make that into a shirt.

Mia's Best Friend

I missed out on the last online challenge to create a super villain. I can't tell you how much that sucks, but I spent too long on doodling my idea and never got around to finishing it. I may still do the final anyways, a bit of collage. It was for The Scarlet Curse (didn't say it had to be a good villain....besides, nothing else strikes as much fear in my mind...well, spiders do...and clowns, but who wants to draw those?). 

Right, focus! So, this current challenge is for robots. No, that is not something that I would normally do. Robots are clunky, and not interesting in my opinion. So it's a good thing to tackle I suppose, since it's not something that I would do.

My composition is up above, I am titling the piece as Mia's Best Friend. I dunno much about Mia yet, I just liked the feel of it as a title. She's taking a stroll across a fallen tree in the middle of the woods, dressed in a servo suit that controls the movements of the giant mech following suit after her. 

While I was at Gen Con I came across a cute little battle mech display (by cute and little I mean it was bigger than me) and thought it would be cool to have a giant teddy bear mech. So, it seemed natural to pounce on the chance to live out that dream. The teddy mech is a cross between a huge teddy bear, influenced by the teddy scares (macabre care bear toys), and a stormtrooper. I just can't break away from star wars. 

This is an interesting piece to do in my own opinion as it includes the mech, warped perspective, and background, with the female figure being small and less important. I hope this piece turns out well, even if it doesn't it'll be a learning experience I am sure. 

Deadline is Sep I need to get cracking. I am working on it in photoshop, but really want to do it traditionally. It's hard  not having a working scanner at home....and I will have to wait to use the school digital...?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Surprised! My family threw me a surprise graduation party this weekend. It was very unexpected to say the least, and I had no idea whatsoever about it (though no one seems to believe me on that). 

I got to see my best friend in the whole wide world, Laddaphone! It's been a while since we hung out, since being in school in the city and working always got in the way. That was one of the best surprised of the day!

The cake was delicious, half vanilla and half chocolate. I wound up cutting and serving it somehow (sniffle, and I didn't even get a piece of the chocolate side!). My niece found an early picture I was working on for promotional material at the end of the semester and had my sister put it on the cake as an edible print out. I didn't know they could do things like that....makes me consider edible print out of artwork to sell at conventions. How awesome would that be!?!

Look! It's Jynxie/me on the cake! I was delicious...I art was delicious! 

So, I am the first in the family to graduate from college with a degree. There were a ton of people that came in to town for my party, which was very awesome. Some aunts and cousins flew in from Texas, my oldest sister from Vegas. I actually thought the get together was for my oldest sister Valarie, but I was wrong.

My entire family (well, my sisters and parents). From left to right my sister Val (oldest), Joann (one of the twins), my daddy, me, my mom, Joanna (the other twin), and Tina (second oldest). Art runs in our veins on my dad's side of the tree, we are all very artistic, I'm just the only one that pursued it. 

Thanks for the party, spending some time with me, cooking (mmm...some great menudo, carnitas, chiles, and a bunch of other stuff), and just messing around. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sweet Sweet Graduation marks the very last day of my school tenure. No more waking up early to catch the train into Chicago, walking through snowy streets on days when most businesses and schools have been given a snow day (God bless the Academy, they don't believe in snow days). No more lugging a portfolio up six flights of stairs.

I'll miss some things, and some days I'll miss everything about the Academy, but it's time to go on to new things. Up next? Well, another commission from Hero Games for more character designs, a GM screen for Dungeons and Dragons campaign run by Game Base 7, a possible magazine cover....I guess things aren't so bad testing the waters of adulthood.

Chicago Comic Con (aka Wizard World Chicago) is taking place this weekend but with school at an end, and two main conventions under my belt.......I am too broke and tired to go to this con.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gen Con 2010 Wrap Up

Another year has come and gone as far as the big convention goes, Gen Con Indy for those of us out in the midwest. It was fun to hang out with friends and spend a little time gaming and hanging out in general. I didn't get in a lot of gaming this year, and it was my first time running slots as a GM at this convention. I was pretty nervous since we get such a large crowd but a little nip before the slot began and good players made it a great experience.

Day 1 Fist GM Slot
I ran my first slot on Thursday night. We got in on Wednesday night and checked in at the hotel. It was nice our games were in our hotel so we didn't have far to walk or too early to get up. It was a blast to run the games I did for the players at my tables, I just hope they didn't mind a new GM to the campaign. 

Day 3 GM slot
It got easier to GM as the days went on, I have to say that smaller tables were easier to handle than the full ones. 

Sparks Interactive Mission Report
Every major con we do something called an interactive, where we get a bunch of smaller missions together to add up the success of one larger goal overall. Our tables were all at Sullust (this is a Star Wars Campaign) this year trying to recruit them to joining the Rebellion. The mission was a success and we all had fun. Here I am up on a fellow player's shoulders giving out a synopsis of the events that went down at our table. It was fun. No blowing stuff up for Jynx (sniffle) but it was fun nevertheless. We had a great GM, great players, and a little bit of moonshine thrown into the mix. 

Jerry Grayson is Awesome!
David Moore of The Game Master Show introduced me to Game Developer Jerry Grayson. I was a bit surprised walking up into the hotel room after my first GM even tot find a bunch of people in the room. But they were all really cool. Jerry's current project is Hellas, a Greeks in Space game campaign that is pretty epic, just like Jerry. 

Raven Mimura one of my Fav artists
Friday was the only day I was able to get into the Great Hall at the convention center, and I had my portfolio review by Wizards of The Coast art director Jon Schinddehette that morning. He was very honest about my portfolio and gave some great advice as to where I ought to place my considerations for the future. 

I also walked the alley for a bit to speak with other artists and get other critiques on my work. Raven Mimura has been a favorite of mine for a while and I got to meet him for the first time face to face last year at the convention. He remembered me this time around and took some time out to go over my work and offer up advice. 

Here's one of Raven's pieces that I adore. I find it funny that he admits to struggling with the female form since I have the opposite problem. Raven's always a favorite to talk to and is pretty open. 

Aaron Miller's table

And I had the pleasure of meeting up with a school alum at the convention, Aaron Miller. He hangs out at the Pallet and Chisel in Chicago, and I plan to find some way to hang out up there with him some time after graduation. Aaron was pretty cool, and like most of the artist I met at the convention he was pretty open to talk. Most seem to know one another really well, and I hope to have my own table next year. 

Welp, six days left till school is all over and I got some things that need doing before then. All in all the con was a lot of fun if a lot more laid back than it's been, likely due to the economy and all. But things seem to be picking back up again. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gen Con A Go Go!

So, Gen Con Indy is coming up this week, and Wed morning we set out in quest of good gaming, good company, and drunken debauchery! With my latest commission turned in and my school tenure coming to a close, I can't think of a more perfect situation right now than the convention. 

It's my fifth or sixth year going now, not to stake claim in the artist alley (not yet), though I do plan to have a portfolio review there and meet up with as many people as I can between game events. And maybe celebrate graduation a little early. 

Last year I spoke with artists such as Larry Elmore, Michael Monte Moore, and Raven Mimura to name a few. This year I hope to add to that list people such as Jeff Himmelman, and American Academy of Art alumni Aaron Miller. 

Looks like things are going to be pretty laid back during the convention, no early morning events (unless I plan on playing any), and I am only running one game module a day so it seems. That leaves me plenty of time to wander around the convention hall, maybe try out a few new things, and something else I have been considering: walking the city around the convention center and our hotel and doing some quick sketch paintings. 

Ok, so as much as I am looking forward to the break the convention will offer, and as much as I can't wait to finally get my degree there's still a big part of me that is really going to miss school. No, not the homework assignments or the commute, but the atmosphere and all the people I have come to meet in my time there. My teacher's been trying to get me to loosen up my approach to painting and do things naturally instead of what is expected....and since I will be missing a few days of study work in his class I think some nice speed paintings will impress him when I get back. 

Anyways, it will be a nice departure from plaster casts, and nude models for a while and delve deep into the heart of another time and space that is not Chicago, nor really quite Indianapolis.....but the Land of the Geek. I embrace my inner geek. Art geek, gamer geek, whatever. People will be clad in all sorts of costumes and walking around the heart of the city and it's social hubs full of 'mundanes' who have little to nothing to do with convention days, offering up a nice juxtapose between the norm and the strange. 

Things are packed, and tomorrow after school I will head out to my friend's place to crash the night before we  head out to the Land of Geek. I look forward to slipping into a pair of Jynx's boots and blowing up stuff in the Star Wars Galaxy. To each their own. See you when I get back!