Sunday, April 9, 2017

Long Time No Ramble!

This blog is a little dead, but the kids have all moved on to their Tumblrs and Twitters, as have I!  But I'll always appreciate the ability to go more in depth with art here and try to use it periodically

A lot has changed since the last blog, finished My Pet Shisa, graduated college, moved across the country to California, and became a part time animator for a Youtube group!  And I'm working on a new My Pet Shisa short with the hopes of making it a little series for Youtube.  Meet the newest Shisa addition to the family:

There's really no where yet to include their names, especially because these shorts have no dialogue, but the left one's name is Kyu, and the right one's name is Ryu, if you put them together in the right order, that makes Ryukyu, where Okinawa is!  This whole project started from a love of that place.  Little "easter egg" for any potential blogspot readers out there!  I'm working to promote the new series as much as possible, and as such, I've got some exciting stuff coming

Those prints in the picture are one of those things!  Oh and the plush, good golly, that was such an exciting thing!  Unfortunately he won't be for sale but it was so cool to have a plush of a character I designed made real!!  He was made by Budsies, and I highly recommend them to anyone who wants a plush of their own character/art!  Anyway, I'll have these prints, buttons, and these stickers:

You'd think after working on this as a senior project and devoting a few weeks of my life entirely to it, I'd be sick of it and wanting to move on, but I really enjoy this project and I'm excited to explore new possibilities with it.  I hope audiences will enjoy it too and learn more about the fascinating mythos of the Shisa!

Friday, August 28, 2015

My Pet Shisa Updates

After a busy summer, school has started again, and senior year of all years!  How the time flies... Cool thing is that I'm taking less credit hours than ever before, so I can really focus on my project, and I'm taking a watercolor class!  It's going to be a challenge, but a fun challenge, as I really admire watercolor paintings and I think learning the techniques will be nothing but beneficial!

Anyway, I've been storyboarding my 'lil chicken butt off the past 3-4 weeks and just last night finished off all the boards for My Pet Shisa with a grand total of 210!  I'll be putting the animatic together next week, but in the meantime, here's two sneak peaks of different segments:

I also realized I never posted the character sheets here!  I still don't have the human, I just need to do the action pose, but here's Ryu and the dragon!

So yeah, things are really moving forward!  Next step is backgrounds, then actual animation!  I'm so exciteddd!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Shisas and Dragons, Oh My!

My senior thesis animation, My Pet Shisa, is really going to get underway for "production" soon.  The "villain" finally has a design and once I settle on one for the human character, I can storyboard and then get going on the actual animation!  It sounds like a long journey, but at the rate I storyboard I can probably get it done in a week or so... Then I'd like to have all the animation done by December, if all goes well!  This is mostly going to be AfterEffects animation, like my Procrastination piece, but with some Flash (and Photoshop-painted-over) bits for when it needs to be more fluid!  

Anyway, the reason for this post was first, to share the image at the top of the post because it's the first really fleshed out promotional piece I've done!  The second is to share some of the design process.  As I mentioned, my dragon "bad guy" recently had his design polished!  So without further ado, some of the journey:


The dragon is an evil spirit that manifests from feelings of stress and being overworked, particularly from school work in my story.  Its mane and other "adornments" are made up of the papers and its body is made to look like ink because it first emerges from a desk of books and paper.  Only little Ryukyu, the baby Shisa, can stop it!

I'll certainly be posting more about this story's development and production as it comes!  I'm greatly looking forward to working on this more and I hope that people will find it an enjoyable 'lil animation!

Monday, June 1, 2015


Long time no post, yet again!  The past semester was really busy but I also neglected updating here since it's not as active, well, not active at all, but I enjoy the blogging anyway because the tools here are nice haha.  Anyway, it was quite a successful semester I would say!  Three whole animations!  I would specifically like to post about my "Procrastination" project, which, contrary to the name, was the piece I worked the hardest on haha

You can view it above.  It was done mostly with AfterEffects by importing many, many layers of drawings from Photoshop.  A lot of fun and I actually found that this is the way I wanna do my Senior Thesis animation!  But of course, with even more movement and oomph!


Anyway, besides that I also did a PSA about my beloved honey bees (along with some classmates, which was a great experience), and a music video for my most favorite musician (it was unofficial of course, but still so cool to work with her music in that way!).  I've also been updating my webcomic Ritzkrieg, had a table at Appleseed Comic Con, and have been developing many other projects for the future!  Not to mention all the doodles along the way!  I can't upload everything I've missed of course, but here are a few of the pieces I've done:

So there's just a brief view of the last few months, and now, onwards to the future! :D  If you want to see my art updates as they happen, check out my Twitter or Tumblr!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Madre D'Agua

In honor of Melody Gardot's birthday, I drew up this little tribute piece inspired by her song "Iemanja" ( ).

Music is so, so, so important to inspiration, and I'm forever grateful I have artists like this I can listen to that inspire me to think and to feel on a deeper level.  I'm still working on it, but someday I wanna make art that can at least come a tiny bit close to being as beautiful as music like Melody's!

Also, since Blogspot allows for a more natural way of posting more pictures and because I know no one will likely see this, I'd like to take a little time to delve into a few of my inspirations between this work, besides the song itself of course!  No piece is created in isolation, research and reference is important!

Unfortunately I couldn't find the full version of the illustration on the left, but this is the general idea.  This is a piece by Chizu Hashii, an artist I've been a fan of for years!  I love the overwhelming purple in this scene and the mood it creates, but also the simplicity.  These are certainly things I had in mind with my illustration, I wanted a limited palette that was simple and quiet in composition.

The gorgeous piece on the right is by Victoria Ying.  I'm fortunate enough to own a print of this, which was an excellent last-minute decision on the last day.  I have it sitting in my room now to be hung up, and since I've done most of my art in my room since we moved, I had it right across from me while I was sketching!  Again there is a simplicity to this and also a brilliant sense of elegance that I was definitely working with on my own illustration.

Other parts of the illustration comes from an instinct about oceanic decor from my many, many trips to Michael's for supplies and general perusing haha! Also, research into the song lyrics...  Iemanja herself is a Goddess in Brazilian culture, she's Queen of the Ocean and the spirit of the moonlight.  This illustration comes both from the factual research and the feeling you get from Melody's lyrics and the mood of the song~ One of the lyrics is "little bitty boats set out on the sea", which is a reference to the offerings the fishermen send out to Iemanja for the New Year.  If you look closely, you might see one :)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Janurary Throwback Thursdays

So I decided earlier on in January to start doing Throwback Thursdays, but instead of posting pictures, I wanted to post old scary artwork!  And instead of just posting the art, I also decided to do quick re-dos of each drawing!  I'm going to try to make this a tradition throughout the whole year and I'll post them by month here on Blogspot (and weekly on Twitter and Tumblr!)

The original is from around 2005-ish I think?  I think it was a fake Pokemon design too

The original on this is likely 2006.  One of my first original characters!  Unfortunately I didn't have much interest in doing original stuff back then!  

The original on this was 2010.  I actually don't like this redraw too much either, humans are still hard for me but I'm much less hesitant to draw them at least!  And I've really really been trying to kick that darn anime style since 2010 basically, I'll get there someday...

Well I'll see you in February!  It's Ritzkrieg's 5th anniversary this year so I'm gonna try to do Ritzkrieg redraws every Thursday if I can!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Benny's Evolution

Well I just made a quick but new reference today for Benny Bantam, my retired 1920s boxing 'toon!  He's going to be modeled and rigged in 3D, which opens up a lot of possibilities if I do it right (my first model and rig was.... interesting to say the least... I'm gonna work really hard to make this one turn out the way I want it)!  Real quick, here's the new ref for me to break up and use with Maya:

But the real reason I wanted to make this post was because doing this got me looking at and thinking about the older pictures of Benny!  While his design is pretty much exactly the same, the stylization has changed quite a bit!  Here's the very first (mildly) "polished" verison of Benny from summer 2013:

By winter 2013, when character sheets were due for this original character tournament, he came to look more like this:

Well lots of doodling later and many, many comic pages, it seems that he has evolved into what he looks like in the very first image!  Sadly I think he has lost some of his 20s cartoon stylization, but drawing him so much has led to me understanding his personality a lot more and drawing him probably more accurate to "who he actually is" as a result!  Seeing those old pieces makes me want to use thicker lines though...

Oh and Happy New Year's by the way!  Whoo 2015!