Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book Illustration Storyboards

So, I'm taking book illustration, where I have to draw a full 32 page picture book, plus cover art. Luckily, three of those pages are for the title, copyright and dedication, but I still did spots for those. Anyhow, I'm doing a re-write of a Japanese folktale called the Flute. It's an awful and sad story and the writing is horribly dated in the original version I read, which is the one in the link, but I re-did it in my own style, formatted to fit 29 pages with illustrations.

Warning before you scroll or read the links: while the class is to create picture books in the style of children's picture books, this is very much so not something I'd tell a small child. I would especially not tell a small child this story if they have a step-parent. It's like Cinderella, except there is no prince or happy ending.

Anyhow, first steps are character designs and storyboards. I'll load up the character designs and thumbnails later, but I took some pictures of my favorite layouts of the storyboards to share:

"In her twelfth autumn, O'Yoné lost her mother."

Father forgets Mother-Who-Died. O'Yoné doesn't.

Stepmother is jealous of O'Yoné's relationship with Father.
Father receives news from the Capital.

"But if you leave, you shall never see me again."

Father plays the flute.

Father leaves the Capital.

"[She is] In the bamboo grove."

Father plays the flute a final time and finds O'Yoné's body.

Father kills Stepmother and becomes a monk to repent.

Yeah, like I said: not a kid's tale. It is a great, if tragic, story, and I thought that it was simple enough while also lending a lot to potential scenery, which is why I picked it. I never do anthro characters, too, aside from where it's needed (i.e. werewolves, Beauty and the Beast, Journey to the West and similar stories), but I thought it would be interesting to turn the characters into anthropomorphic creatures from Japanese mythology, so I made Father into a general kitsune, Mother-Who-is-Dead into a tengu woman (her hair and O'Yone's are both wings), Stepmother into a ninetails kitsune and O'Yoné into a mix of tengu and kitsune. I got a lot of inspiration in the character design from Okami, too, particularly in how to do the tengu hair.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shit I write in class

This is a ritual poem for creative writing. I wrote it with a craving in mind. And Christmas, a little. Oh, and maybe a little bit of Tool.

Paying the Toll

Annual wind down.
Debts to pay.
Grab that stupid green bag and get in the car, bitch.
We’re going shopping.

Large eggs.
Chopped nuts.
Do we still have vanilla left?
Shit, forgot if we have the flour.
Better get the brown sugar, too.
Chocolate chips.
Don’t be a wuss.
Get the big one.
Yeahhhh, that’s it.

Get back.
Oh hey, we did have enough sugar.
...Shit, I should have picked up baking soda.
Ah well, powder works too,
I think.

Get out the tools.
Preheat 375º F.

Mix in 2 1/2 cups flour
With a tsp salt and soda–
no, powder–
And sneak in some cinnamon.
Mix it well in a large bowl.
You should invest in a sifter.
Really, how the hell
Can you tell
Is it mixed right?
Fuck it, that looks good.

In a bigger bowl,
Mix two sticks butter
Wait, softed?
God damn it.
I hate butter.

Throw it in a small bowl.
Nuke it.
Son of a bitch, it’s all drippy,
Oily, and gross.

Back in the big bowl.
Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar
And 3/4 the other sugar.
Oh, teaspoon of vanilla.
Mix it all together until smooth.

Shit, why can’t I find the KitchenAid?
Who looses a KitchenAid mixer?
It’s like loosing a baby.

Fuck it, we’ll improvise.
Rice paddle?
...Yeah, that’ll work.


Note to self:
If you ever see that guy from GQ
Who said that cooking can be “manly”
But baking is always “dainty”
Hit him with your still frozen butter.
How’s that for fuckin’ dainty?

Add in two large eggs gradually.

Now that you wasted 30 minutes
And your arm feels oddly beefy,
Mix in the dry ingredients.

You just dumped
The whole thing in
You stupid bitch.


Oh yeah, you gotta mix in the chips and nuts, now.
Shit ain’t ever gonna end.
But hey, check out that right biceps you’re building.

Grease up your poor little cookie sheet,
And drop rounded tablespoons of dough on it.

Recipe yields 60.
Or more, ‘cause recipes lie.
Yeah, have fun with your one sheet.
Quit bitching.
Just wrap the rest and keep baking as you go.

It’s this or Amazon. Keep going.

Bake for five minutes first.
No, just listen.
Take it out for a little to cool.
Then shove it in for another five.
Yeah, that’s right.
Soft bake.
I ain’t baking no hard ass cookies.

Oh, and while you’re waiting, soak your fucking utensils.
Shit’s annoying to clean up.

Take out your cookies and let them cool.
Or dump them in open Tupperwear, yeah.
That works too.

Keep doing this until you’re out of the dough.
Oh hey, check that out.
Seventy-two cookies.
And with a sheet that fits a dozen.
Nestle, you lying bastards.

Wrap it all up in your nice pastry boxes.
Tag them for your friends.
Yeah, just enough for all of them.
Swear to never fucking do this shit again.

I want a cookie.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Raffle (Again)

So, I posted details on the raffle at my lolita blog. I'm also going to start taking orders for the two badge sets I made soon, as well as for anymore commissions and the other prints I did at the con, so keep an eye out.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Anime Boston Lucky Pack Raffle

Raffle info is here. I left my cellphone charger in Boston, unfortunately, so I have to get a new one tomorrow and get pics up sometime after class. But everything should be set 100% good to go tomorrow night.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Late Night Doodles

Just fooling around rather than sleeping. I really have no clue how Arnold and Helga sneaked in there. I was going to draw Panty, and then she ended up puckering way too much and before I knew it, my favorite non-anime cartoon couple ended up in the corner. (I know they never were in the show, really, but they were supposed to end up together after another season and movie before it got canceled. Helga was going to get a teen spin off, too, but that never took.)

The rest is a self portrait and the two things I'm looking forward to the most this year in terms of long running fandom: the last installment of the Harry Potter series as movies and the re-release of the Sailor Moon manga. The chibi of Sailor Moon and Luna are going to get cleaned up, colored and go on a bookmark for AB, btw. If I didn't have grand plans for it that aren't likely going to be done on time for AB, the Princess Serenity sketch would get the same treatment and be set up for the con too. Well... ok, we'll see. Other things take first priority.

Harry... also was kind of a surprise. I was looking at images of Dick Grayson, had his hair style on the brain and last minute he turned into 17-year old Harry Potter with a cut on his face and the locket horcrux. Ginny is my favorite side character in the series, so I started drawing her, too. Did anyone else notice that Harry was having erotic dreams about her in Half-Blood Prince (the book, obviously; that movie was atrocious)? I haven't read the books in a while, but I remember Harry thinking something in the lines of him being glad that Ron wasn't aware of his attention towards Ginny or of certain embarrassing dreams at night. Poor horny Harry. Even wizarding chosen ones get hit hard by their hormones.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Fashion Drawing Classwork

So, at least I have my stuff for my fashion illustration done. I just need to have one of the pieces mounted. Here's what's what:

Postcard design from the front...

And the back.

I know neither is fashion illustration, really, but he said it didn't have to be. It needs to just be representative of what we do as illustrators. So I decided to spot older work and to do a cleaner, colored version of that drawing of Montmartre in Paris with the balloons. Also, logo update

And we also had to do a piece on Carnivale in Rio de Janeiro. Not my cup of tea usually since I don't really like showgirl-like costumes (says the burlesque fan), but it was honestly fun to work on.
Some in-class drawings were also submitted, but unfortunately I don't have scans/photos of them yet. They're more ink and watercolor washes on brown craft paper, though. It's like the most unprofessional paper to work on next to newsprint, but honestly, I love working on it and I get ver positive reactions from them. Apparently they have a "nice quality".

Monday, April 11, 2011

Anime Boston Fare

So, as you should know by now, it's time for AB again next week. I'm planning out my set up more carefully, also tabling with a friend this time. In addition to prints, there will be bookmarks, pre-orders for badge sets and a raffle bag which will include my lolita art cards, a Panty and Stocking print, a badge set, a set of lolita hair bows, a gothic/dolly-kei inspired necklace, and a sweet bracelet.

Here's a preview on the necklace, which is rosary-styled:

Raffle tickets will be $2, 5 for $5.
I'm starting to hit that block in my life again. Not just a "I don't feel inspired" block. Actually, that's not at all the problem. I'm feeling so lost with school and my life that it's like I can't do what I want anymore, 'cause it always gets pushed aside by my distractions, which are put in place by the fact that all my time is otherwise dedicated on education that I have no faith or interest in anymore.

I have all of one class that actually challenges me more than my budgeting skills. One. That's pretty pathetic.

I desperately want to take a break from school; at the very least go part time and figure out things between personal and school projects more evenly. I'm not really getting that option from my folks, though. It's either stay and be miserable or drop out and face that stigma with my family forever (or until I'm ready to go back to school, as I keep telling them I'll eventually do).

I really should have just saved up and moved out when I had the chance.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You know, I only just realized...

I state myself as being a writer before illustrator in my Google bio, yet aside from the rambling and the commentary here and in Sugar Bomb Blog, I have no examples of my writing in my blogs. Well, let's fix that. Here is a silly short screenplay I did about nose picking ('cause I'm made of wit an maturity), this is my profile at, and I'll start posting things in here of poetry and drabbles that I decide to put up on neither site.

For now, here's a performance poem that was never performed:


Thine is the mask I wear
Concealing my sex and
Preserving false

Like Hero with her blushing cheeks oh so like Diana in her orb and not a bit coquettish in her


An unearned and invisible habit I don and shun the company of men


At night

In my own bed



The memory in and out of my loins.

Cesario is the mask of lusty, confusEd Olivia.

I'm guilty of liking Shakespeare quite a bit, if you couldn't tell. Also, there appears to be formatting issues here... ugh. I'm going to upload this to Fictionpress and pray the same issues don't lie there as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On Japan

I know we're all watching the news and e-mailing our friends/families/idols/shopping services people who are in Japan right now, and some of us are donating. I'm posting quickly to state that I firstly recommend 1000 Cranes for Japan as a way that you can help out. As those of us on the more weeboo side of things know, there is a belief in Japan that folding 1000 origami cranes will give you a wish. This group is selling crane earrings and bookmarks and sending the profits to the Red Cross. Giving is great, but it's a cynical truth to life that most people tend to be more willing to give when they get a present than not, unless they're directly cornered with guilt or are somehow directly effected by whatever we are donating for.

On top of that, they are also getting artists in on the project where the artists pledges that they will send a drawing to whoever gives $10 to the Red Cross and e-mails them proof of their contribution. I've decided to help out in this effort by contributing ink and limited color drawings for $10 donations to the Red Cross with an email to me (at showing proof and your address. I'm considering drawing a full color print for $15 contributions as well. I'll be doing this with the 1000 Crane project until April, which is how long they're doing the donations. I'll be updating on this later tomorrow.

UPDATE: The print, alas, is not happening, at least not before April. However, I will still be doing ink drawings for anyone donating and emailing me proof. The drawings will be black ink on 6x6in bristol with limited color touches.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I finally scanned that other piece I did and now it's up on hitRECord. It's a pretty simple drawing, so the size there is clear enough that I'm not going to repost it here for details. I might edit the curves or something. The glare of those doves in the center didn't show up on the monitor I scanned it with.

By the way, watercolor on craft paper is a pain in the ass, but I like the effects. The hitRECord image was with cheap Sakura opaques, but here's a piece from this morning's class that uses my good transparent watercolors (though I also used the Sakura back and white).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Looking again at the hitRECord formating, I'm realizing that the drawing I just put up on there (the other still needs to be scanned), is pretty small in resolution. So, I'm posting it here as well. Do remember that it's on hitRECord, though, so while it's still mine to display and sell independently if I wish to, it is licensed as collaboration material within that company. It also does use two other sources through hitRECord; the wings are partial traces from photographs (it's a time saver and I found the wings in those photos quite lovely).

Anyhow, here it is:
The RECord itself is here.
Woah, I disappeared there again. Well, I'm still working on those other images. And catching up with school. But I just churned out a sketch and an experimental drawing for, so check it out! I'm ChrisStorms there.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trying to get back into the grove

Here, have a sketch that isn't what I was just talking about.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Crazy Voice of My Other Blog Speaks

Also, it's just easier to talk as I do on there here.

So, being the JGL fan I am and also enamored of the idea of (though I have yet to muster the guts to submit anything on there), I decided to follow Joseph Gordon-Levitt on his Twitter. There's a lot of great stuff he retweets. And some creepy things.

Like this:

Now, it's totally clear how this happened. The pic, if you didn't check the link, is all the 2010 covers of Vogue in all it's global editions. The blurred figure is a simple product of preferred model placement and simplicity of poses, and a lot of the linear blurs are from the shifts in type placement.

Knowing how this happens doesn't make it less creepy.

Being an artist actually makes it a little creepier, actually.

As a visual artist, I'm trained to look at something in real life and break it down into simple shapes. I'm also trained to look at simple shapes and figure out their potential and see how I can build on them.

Looking at that Vogue picture got me... well...

There's something wrong with my head. That, or I really miss anatomy classes.

At least I don't think I'm the only one that sees it? I was talking to my friend Ria (her blog can be read here), and apparently she was able to follow me on this. I like to think that my own friends can tell me flat out when they just think I'm crazy and seeing things.

(Ria's in the yellow smears. Red smears are me.)

In all honesty, though, it's kinda cool that I saw skulls through out the image. It makes me remember my roots and honestly, this simple reblogged image has inspired me to work a little more experimentally, while I've been in a fat creative funk. I'm hoping good things come out of this. I sincerely do want to work with the cover composite and build it into something beautiful.

Also, anyone with experience with/understanding of psychology, even if it was only a college class or two: feel free to analyze me on those two drawings. I love getting analyzed, as long as I'm sober.