Saturday, December 7, 2013

That One Show Where Malcom's Dad Cooks Meth in His Underwear

      I wanted to challenge myself and create an image with a retro-movie poster influence. My focus wasn't divided by having to build the characters, world or narrative. I simply focused on design and layouts. Unfortunately, things did not go as well as I hoped on this one. The painted tiles and elements don't quite set into the background and it could use some more narrative references. That said, I felt I got what I wanted from it and it is time to move on.

      The reason I chose the show was because I appreciated the attempts at confronting audiences with some dark realities. At times it was bold enough to toss traditional worries about character likability or being too depressing. American culture is becoming increasingly consumed with comfort, self-censorship and the chase for immediate, thoughtless satisfaction. So it should be appreciated when some one comes along and sticks our face in the ugliness we try so hard to ignore. Especially when it is done with media that is somewhat mainstream.

(The final piece, I had to cut it off. I could have kept working on it, but working on it occasionally in short bursts stunted the development and it was going to go much further under my hand,)

     The show can also provoke thought regarding morality and mortality. It gives the audience time and space to reflect during and after. This is in contrast to the era of memes and viral videos that quickly make a mockery of anything or transform it into a processed digital tablet dictating stale emotion. 

     Anyway! For this the goal was to focus on design. So I constructed many sketches from reference while trying to maintain some personal flair. So I was avoiding doing direct copies. As I worked on it I took moments to make sure I was understanding the planes, form and why the light was working the way it was.

     I did many rapid sketches without erasing and with a brush that mimicked an ink pen. So the line I put down was the line I had to make work. The goal was to build confidence and understanding of the forms. It also was a way to play around with ways I can define style.

(Quick sketches, no erasing, not worrying about them looking good. It was about what is going on in my brain not on the canvas.)

(A quick design sketch, trying to capture a certain energy and composition.)

(Jesse, the character on the bottom left, looked ugly and nothing like Jesse)

(The likeness is still a bit off, but it captures the darker feel I wanted to capture in his depiction.)

 (A value pass that is very rough. Making sure the depth and forms are working with the angular style.)

 (This is a rough color pass. Color's don't need to be dead on at this point. Simply blocking in and refining the pallet.)

 (I began to feel the background design was off so I decided to experiment with changing the negative space and color. Not sure if this was working after looking at it a few seconds.)

 (Checking the value design and making sure there is a nice balance between the dark and light tones. Pushing design further I take an extra step to use value blocks to assist in guiding the and framing. Some adjustment needed to be made to balance the contrast and use it in away that guides the eye.)

Friday, September 20, 2013

One Person's Treasure is Another's Trash

 (This was painted from a collection of reference and subtle use of photo texture for the trash piles and overall texture of the image. Pieces like this are more relaxing as they are more abstract and more about the creative flow. Although the subject matter isn't relaxing it leads to positive mental friction.)

     One day, there is a good chance that wonderful, very expensive phone in your pocket will just be another target for the modern day game of kick the can. Maybe not, I'm guessing when trashed it is taken apart and distributed to both legal and illegal e-waste dumps. At the very least part of it will be kicked by somebody at some point and it will be more or less worthless. In other words, it will soon match the value of a lot of content pushed out through the device.
     It is tragic to look at photos of communities living in poverty, yet they are surrounded by skeletons of the technology that brings a better life people across the globe. E-Waste is a rising health and environmental problem and to no surprise it primarily effects Africa, China and India.

(These are some images that inspired the painting. It just struck me as something that is worth painting. Outside of production and entertainment art, I am finding myself searching out subject matters that fly under the radar. There may be some value keeping these realities in the back of one's head.)

        That said there is no way of completely removing yourself from this system. The reality is many of us are born into fortunate circumstances just as many are born into unfortunate circumstances. The very least we can do is to try and show some awareness and operate with efficiency in our everyday lives.If we keep certain realities in mind it will help promote better living unless of course, you are a scumbag looking to take advantage of people's misfortune.
       It would be nice if we didn't replace perfectly good phone every year because the apple thingy comes out with a new version that takes better selfies and has gold trim. The problem with the world's systems boil down to the problems with us humans as individuals. Maybe overtime if we try to improve the way we operate and think as individuals it will manifest in our larger networks of activity. 

      I believe Billy Bush once said, "Be the change you want to see in the world". Did I get that right? Yeah it was definitely Billy Bush.

Happy Friday Everyone!!