Wednesday, 27 July 2011

so what to do now ??

So I have finished University and have my graduation in October, but what do I do now ??

Well the first thing I am doing is working on a complete rewrite of the my comic over on my deviant art web page, into something that is more episodic and more sci-fi and sci-fact based.

Secondly I am looking for a job in the animation industry, which is slow going as I have been giving a load of extra hours in work and after spending 4 hours a day on the bus to get to work I am exhausted to even pick up a pencil to draw a stick man so my art work has taken a back step at present, but I have had an interview for a web company that is after a animation artist for work on a short for a local council website.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Fighter Squadron returning home to earth

This is something that I did on the train the other day, I only claim credit for the fighters only, the background is a concept piece from the concept artist John Eaves that has worked on multiple scifi and action films, including Star Trek, G.I. Joe: the rise of cobra and Die Hard 2 (uncredited), therefore don't burn me or sue me over using his work for a back ground image.

background Image source:

Saturday, 28 May 2011


Top: Colour Version
Bottom: Submission Version

This is my answer to the CALL FOR FAN ART by Jay Townsend, aka Jayextee over on Deviant Art, it features one of his characters, Jake Mason, drawn in my style.

This is the original line art version that is over in my Deviant Art account Trashfield Fan art entry scrap

time spent approx. 7hrs in photoshop

NOTE: I DON'T OWN TRASHFIELD, OR JAKE MASON they belongs to Jay Townsend

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Evaluation of Project, Monster in fireworks

Well for this project I decided to work with on a short animation for children on the dangers of playing with fireworks.
To start with on this project I had to look at the concept as a whole, fireworks and there dangers, from there I took a look at how I could create something for a targeted age range, mainly pre school to infant, which meant I spent a lot of time watching the CBBies and Nick Jr, looking at all the pre-school shows.

As a staring point on the actual story line I used a thumbnail storyboard that I did towards the end of last year, which was about two monsters, un-named at the start, playing with fireworks as a joke, but after some further development and fine tuning I managed to create a story that was 18 panels long.

In order to develop my characters I looked at characters like the Cat in the Hat, The Grinch and other Dr Susis characters. As the original version of the story had a character that looked like the cookie monster from Sesame Street I redesigned him to be more friendly looking and less likely to be a copyrighted character.

What did I find most interesting in this project?

The most challenging element I found while I was working on this project was setting my own deadlines for key production elements, such as animatic to key’s, to cleaned and finished, I feel I have created something that if I enter it into a competition such as BAF I won’t feel ashamed to be entering it.

In a way I feel that I have copped out on the lip-syncing as I used a whistle for the characters voice, similar to the way the Clangers where produce, as this removed the need for complicated lip-syncs, which I feel aren’t my strongest point but I plan to rectify that by doing just some simple dialog work before I even attempt to create something that is dialog heavy, such as a story I am creating called Battle-fortress Destiny which is a major re-write of my original graphic novel title ‘Stargate Omega’,

What did I find the most enjoyable in this project?

The thing I found most enjoyable was the freedom I had over my work, not that the work I did in the second year didn’t allow me this, but this year the only major factor that I had to contend with was keeping my mind on track, and on the whole I believe I have done this as I had set out to crate a fully animated short for the under 8’s about the dangers of fireworks.

The why that I made sure that both the story and the characters were appealing to this group was to test out my designs on the younger members of my family, that’s correct I used human’s as lab rats I am evil, but this allowed me to discover if my characters where friendly enough for this age range or if I needed to make them more friendly. As it turns out my youngest relative has taken to drawing the main character instead of the normal characters that he draw’s.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Work in Progress

top ship in space dock
bottom Noa's space ark

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Creative Futures 2011

This is a review of the creative futures seminars that I attended during the 2011 conference at Glyndwr University Wrexham.

Animators Day

“Passion and a Passport, Barry Purves.”

This session was a review of Mr. Purvas’s career and his work, as well as the reason for his entering into the world of stop-motion animation. His first attempt to enter the entertainment industry was like most people through the world of acting but as he him self-say’s “my range was limited” so he switched to animation. Among the many things that he quotes as being an inspiration to entering into animation, he cites the puppet sequence from the movie ‘the sound of music’, 1965.

The majority of the work that he has produced is stop-motion animation as he feels that as an animator he is creating life with his machetes and characters, he has recently finished work on a French animation “Plume”, a short stop motion about a man with wings that has fallen into a shadow land and is attacked by the creatures that inhabit this land. Another film is the channel 4 short from the late 80’s called “NEXT” which is the complete works of Shakespeare in just under five minutes, produced for channel 4. As well as working in stop-motion animation he has also worked on major features along side artists such as Peter ‘Lord of the Rings’ Jackson on the re-visioning of King Kong.

Among the many loves Mr. Purves has he also loves the theatre, mainly the work of the national theatre in London, with the production of the stage adaptation of ‘War Horse’, which uses spring motion animation, in which you have the players and the animators both on stage at the same time, it’s similar to the stage play version of ‘Disney’s the Lion King’.

One of the key points of the session that I picked up on was his love of classical architecture and the moving form, be that buildings like the tower of London or works by the Royal Shakespeare Company, another point I feel that Mr. Purves enjoys is the idea of the play with in the play, and the example he gave in his talk was one of my personal favourites, the part of ‘Hamlet’ in which Hamlet has a group of travelling actors’ ‘players’ perform a play that re-creates the death of his father by his uncle.

The next sessions I attended were by the animator Ms. Harriet Buckley on her experiences as a professional animator and advice on producing a showreel, portfolio and CV for the animation industry.

“Life as a Professional animator, Harriet Buckley.”

This started off as a talk about her personal experiences in the animation industry and the work she has done, this though became a talk on what an animation company is looking for in a graduate, and the type of work that a new graduate can expect to do with in the industry. Among the many different things that an animation studio is looking for are:

* The ability to work as part of a team.

* Good communication skills.

* The ability to be able to compromise, and above all else the ability to be patient.

Although the session was on the working in the animation industry on both feature films and commercials, I felt that there was to much said on the side of getting that first job in the animation industry, that said I still enjoyed the session.

“Showreel, Portfolio and CV: advice for finding work, Harriet Buckley.”

This talk was again with Ms. Buckley and focused on the key points of entering the animation industry. These were as follows

* Business cards; with contact details

* Website; make sure it is up to date and functioning, there is nothing worse than saying you have a website and there being nothing on it or it still under construction.

* CV and showreel; tailored towards the company that is advertising and suited for the job you are going after: i.e. if the job states “2D hand drawn animator required” it is not a good idea to load out your showreel with lot’s of flash or 3D based work. Don’t two be brutal about the editing of your work for a showreel by worrying about sound, as most people watch a show reel with the sound turned off, not all so have sound but not over powering as it is the quality of the animated work that they are looking at.

* Personalise; this doesn’t mean make it look like your work, but to address it to the person in charge of recruitment.

When it comes to a portfolio Ms Buckley suggest that not to worry too much about having a style as it is your technical ability that the animation studios are looking for but it is always an excellent idea to have life drawing in your work, with a page or two of “hands, feet,” and “faces” in your work as these are considered the most technical components of the humanoid figure, a selection of prospective drawing and bodies, bones and structure.

As regards to size it is advisable to have an A4 with an extra copy to leave behind, this is so that they can see your work and it is easy for storage on a self in the office of the recruiter, and have it so that it reads easily so that there is nothing that you have explain in the interview.

Graphics and Illustrators day

On the second day of the conference I only attended two of the seminars, these were “Key Note: Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels” and “Working Class Hero, Middle Class W**ker”.

The first on which I attended was on the state the comic and graphic novel industry by Paul Gravett, or so I thought, it turned out to be a mixture of the state of that industry and a brief historical overview of comics, manga and graphic novels from their beginnings. This was quite an interesting lecture, if a bit rushed, but I did gain a list of potential companies to apply to as a storyboard artist or cover artists. I also found out information about self-publishing comics and a new form of comic’s ‘hyper-comics’.

Hyper-comics refer to a variation of webcomics, coming from the merging of the term hypertext with comics. While traditional comics have been posted on the internet as drawings scanned into digital media or even drawn entirely on computer, hyper-comics take advantage of the properties of their electronic existence to offer an experience that is impossible with traditional print comics.

This was followed by a talk by David Barraclough the creative director for Barraclough Associates of Manchester, about his path from a kid that grew up in Formby, Merseyside to his current role as creative designer of his own design and branding company, again with tips on how to approach a studio and tips on how to construct your cover letter and portfolio. Although the was a session that was aimed at the illustration and graphic design students there were some sections of the talk that I found applied to what ever area of art and design you are training in.

Skills set day ^^;

This day is normally the longest day of the conference, but this year rather than have a some one come in that knows nothing about the art and design process we actually had some one who knows are area, Sue Jefferies (wonder if she is any relation to Matt Jefferies who created the original 1960’s USS Enterprise for Star Trek) who is a producer director. Among the advice that she gave the group was not to worry about fitting into on mould but be able to work in multiple areas with in the same field of work; i.e. don’t just be a concept artist but be able to do story boards, concept art and set design. Also find about the company first and see if it is possible to “Shadow” a member of that company for a day or two to get a feel for the type of work they do.

I followed this with another talk on producing a CV for the creative industry, again with Ms Jefferies, in this we analyzed a number of real CV’s picking out the best sections of them to work out an appropriate layout for a CV.

After much discussion the following layout was found to the most successful for a creative person.

Name and Job title

Contact Details

Personal Profile – catchy but sounds as if you are the kind of person they are looking for

Skills Profile – media training

– general skills, communication, etc.

Personal details – don’t put date of birth as it is not required in the UK, Nationality if applying for work where you need a visa to work or gain entry to the country. State if you have a full driving licence and own car as this might be essential for working on a location shoot.

References – always state up on request, as this means that they have to ask you if it is all right for them to contact them and that you have up to date contact information for them.

And always be aware whom you are sending a CV to, it is no use sending a CV to some one looking for a production artists if your CV is tailored to being a sales assistant.

Once you have assembled your CV, have a friend proof read it for spellings and grammar, and always use a font size that is easily readable, i.e. size 12.

With cover letters and e-mails, Ms Jefferies suggests that, you never NEVER NEVER address them dear sir/ madam, or to whom it may concern, always send it to a person; i.e. Dear Ms. Jane Doe or Dear Mr. John Smith, as this personal touch is always welcome, and a bit of ego boosting is always good, I was very interested in the article/ production that was in/ on the television the other week [MAGAZINE/ PRODUCTION TTITLE] on [REFER TO THE ARTICLE/ PROGRAM]. Another point is to highlight your selling points/ how your CV meets there needs – flag up the relevant points in your CV, and prompt for further action; I’d welcome the chance to meet you, and remember to follow up within a week to ten days.

In the afternoon of the Skill set day I went to a talk from another ex student, Lee Carter, a free lance concept and comic artist, who talked about his work for Bizarre Creations on games ‘James Bond BloodStone’, and on a racer ‘Project Gotham Racer’, his work for Imagine FX magazine’s Q & A with an artist and the types of programs he uses and how the industry has changed since he started in it.

Among the advice in his talk he said how the copy and past short cuts was his friend and the importance of having a lot of reference photo’s, both digital and hard copies, and to be aware about lighting and sizing levels when it comes to printing your work for a portfolio.

After his talk I had the opportunity to show him my portfolio and get feed back and advice on it, although the work in my portfolio was not among my best he seemed to like it but advised that I learn to use programs such as Photoshop, Maya and Z-brush as well as the free to download program Sketchup from Google.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Sketchbook Work

concept art for a project I am working on