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.