Monday, October 28, 2013

A Plan

So at this point I have made it quite clear that I want to make it into the illustration/concept art industry. I am told by people that I have what it takes, I find it hard to believe, but I am always amped when I see great art work. It gives me chills, makes me want to go home and paint, inspires me to get creative myself. I just don't feel the same way about graphic design.

Okay, so I do work in a creative environment, I get to work from home, I am doing what I went to school for. So why am I not happy? I don't feel fulfilled. Creating style guides, web design layouts, banner ads or logo designs for healthcare companies and corporations just isn't that great. I enjoy it, but I am not passionate about it. Sometimes I find it tedious and boring. On the other hand I have been drawing pictures ever since I drew my first spaceship when I was 3. I've never been fantastic at it. In fact I'm far from good at it when I compare my work to professionals (Great way to start out introducing myself as a would be illustrator huh?), but I know this is what I want to do and love doing it. I even try to find excuses to draw my graphics for work. What it boils down to is that I want to have a hand in creating that same feeling of wonder and inspiration I get when I watch a movie like Lord of the Rings or the new Star Trek films, or see the cover art of a fantasy or scifi book at Barnes & Noble.

Which brings me to my predicament. I need work to turn this dream into a viable source of income to support my family. I realize simply creating illustrations and posting them on my Facebook, Instagram etc. doesn't equal jobs. First I create the image (the longest part), then I save the image in a web friendly format, then I decide what outlets I want to share it on, Facebook, Instagram etc. Then I pick out some hashtags, get likes, reply to comments, follow these people, etc blah blah blah. Well this process is very time consuming especially when you work full time 9-5 as a Healthcare graphic designer you end up on your computer/phone 15-16 hours a day.

So while trying to learn how to transition into a more rewarding career, I read some articles about self promotion and listened to some great podcasts by Chris Oatley. (I HIGHLY recommend checking out his blog/school, very encouraging, inspirational and informative for the aspiring artist) I decided to grab this necessary evil by the horns and start on it myself.

First order of business is to create a mailer. I am in the process of planning out a mailer to send out to various art directors and hopefully gain some clientele. I have not yet decided whether or not to go with just a post card or create a small packet of materials. I'm probably end up going with the latter approach and create a packet, but I'll start with a postcard because it will be included in the packet. I hope to have this done and ready two weeks from now, fingers crossed.

Once my mailer is complete, I need to get my hands on a list of art directors to send my samples out to. I found a couple of places that say to grab a copy of Artist & Designers Market, try company websites and places like Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the Graphic Artists Guild. So I have my work cut out for me.

That is my immediate plan, and I hope this will help get the ball rolling towards a brighter future for myself and for anybody else who finds my writing beneficial. Cheers!

Pics for clicks!

Recent work all done in Photoshop:
This is my most recent illustration. Its a preliminary image for a character I'm developing as a personal project.
 This is a photo composite of my favorite action figures. I photographed them in my backyard and added an explosion in the background. I finished it off with some color corrections to make it all blend together nicely.
Another photo composite of the duo I shot...ha ha shot...(lame humor) in my backyard. Added a canyon wall, hand painted in some small explosions and laser blasts to indicate an aerial attack from Banshees. Added a muzzle flash to Master Chiefs assault rifle and added highlights on the Marine and Chief's armor and visor where the flash would illuminate to add to the realism.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Long Overdue Update!

So yeah...I wrote one entry and the wind in my sails totally died out. I have been quite busy here the past several months between my last entry and this one, but there's still no excuse for the long silence. If you're interested, you can fill in some of the blanks by checking out my Instagram profile. I keep that much more regularly updated in comparison to this blog or Facebook.

Some updates and work samples:

I made it into the top 50 for The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker HD Fan Art Contest with this picture:

The image was featured at The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour stop in Seattle on Sept. 12.

I was so surprised that I made it into the top 50 with such great artists in the mix, but it was such an honor to be chosen.

Keeping up with social media outlets is quite exhausting, but my Instagram following has grown significantly since my last post. It's my favorite outlet and where I post my most up to date pics and artwork. I have developed a following through my photo edits of Halo's Master Chief. I picked up a Mcfarlane action figure and have created a series of images some of which have been entered in contests and won me more action figures. I love doing it and can safely say I have a new hobby. You can check out the Halo pics here:
Halo Photoshop Series

The link will take you to the album on my Facebook Artist profile page.

As stated in my previous post I currently work as a graphic designer for a healthcare company. Its a good job, but I really want to get into commercial illustration and I am currently trying to build a portfolio to do so. I am quite interested in scifi/fantasy book cover or children's book illustration. I have learned a few new tricks for digital painting and I'm building more confidence in my work with each piece I complete, but I think I have a long way to go before I can call myself professional. Here are some samples, again on my Facebook Artist profile page.
Digital Sketches

I am going to try and keep this updated once a week. So check back on Monday's for some sort of update.


And here are some samples of my work for clicking. These are a mixture of action figure photography, photo manipulation and digital painting. Enjoy!