I did it, I graduated!

I did it, I graduated! I have officially a Bachelor in Design now! 😀

And here it is at last: the final lineup of harpy characters from my graduation project. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to iterate on colours too, perhaps I will still do that later on. 🙂

Looking back on 2018

Happy new year everyone! 😀

In keeping up with the tradition, a list of memorable things happening last year!

  • I did an internship at Abbey Games! One part of my contributions are out, the last DLC of Renowned Explorers released 12 December, so I should be able to share stuff soon. :3
  • 2018 was also the year I started seriously trying to sell prints and merchandise. I did my first two conventions, and both were extremely fun! I already have plans to attend the largest Dutch convention in March, excited how that’ll turn out!
  • Back to living on my own! I became good friends with the girl that lived in the space before me, she goes to the same art school as me and we discovered we have quite some mutual friends. She introduced me to a local draw club and lots of other people too. 🙂
  • Human characters! For a long time I felt very uncomfortable drawing them, but I feel I have reached a point that I can draw a person and think, yeah, that looks like an anatomically correct human being XD Due playing pen & paper RPG’s I also made up human characters, I never really did before.
  • Started working on my graduation project in September, which revolves around the mythological harpy and character design. If everything goes well, I’m done with school by February! :O I’m really excited and a little scared at the same time, as I won’t be able to call myself a student anymore, I’ll be part of the workforce!
  • I joined my first Original Character Tournament! Though, can I really say I joined when it has not started yet? The deadline for auditions has been extended twice and I’m still far from finishing my audition comic. 🙁 I greatly underestimated the time it takes to make a comic, and with graduating and other projects I kept procastinating on it. Though as a spectator, my deadline is not the same as for competitors, so I aim for the end of Round 1 instead of January 13th.
  • Did Inktober every other day, and it was much more relaxed that way. Best way to be part of the challenge without taking too much work on my plate!
  • First year I was able to somewhat keep my Instagram updated – still forgetting to post art every now and then. Last spring I wasn’t online much on DeviantArt too, previously my most active social media account. I really want to change that, though it won’t be easy: most people I follow are less online as they start to work professionally. Still, it’s not impossible, is it? :/

What kind of great things happened to you in 2018? 🙂

About my graduation project

Almost three months in, I am high due telling you guys more about my graduation project, don’t you think? I like sharing my progress, especially my thoughts behind the creative decisions I make. The problem is that writing blogs like these take time, time I rather use to actually work on the project. :/

Luckily, I found a way to deal with this!

Normally fourth year students start on their graduation project in February and finish around the end of June. Then there is a degree show in the first week of July and the school closes for the summer. I decided last year I didn’t want to graduate yet and do an internship instead (best decision ever), and start graduating in September. There are many cons to this: you still have to pay tuition for a full academic year, teachers have less time for you and you have a few weeks less time in general. There is no degree show in February, but you have the opportunity to join in July. Fortunately, there are pros too, and one of them is that you actually have time promoting and preparing your degree show! Instead of stressing until the end of June about making the deadline and putting all ends together, I will have time to plan this thing months ahead!

That is, if I graduate at all! XD

So this is the plan: I am gonna share visual progress, sketches and finished drawings, and photos of the finished project when it’s done. From February onwards, I will write a series of blogposts about the more theoretical part of my project, the why’s and how’s basically.  It’s a bit like the postmortem articles about game design found on Gamasutra: reflecting on the progress of creating something while the project is already round up.

Or perhaps I’m so devastately tired that I just sleep until half March.

On another note, I am slightly ashamed to admit I’m hardly making any progress on the CenturyARkStorm-OCT audition comic. During Autumn Break I made around as much progress as the rest of October and November combined! The deadline being postponed January 12th is nice, though I think it would be best if I tried not to make it. Sounds weird, but as a spectator I can still join in during Round 1, and the final deadline for my graduation project will be around January 21th. So I better not try to get my graduation project in the best shape possible and try to finish these bloody ten pages I have unfinished on my desktop for three months already.  I have said from the beginning that it’s gonna be hard to juggle, but it’s just too much fun to give up, especially when I’m so far into this already!

But, let’s end this blog on a happy note! There’s the new gameplay trailer of Godhood, the game I worked on during my internship! It was published a few days ago already but I’m terrible with keeping up with those things! I’m glad to see my trees are still in the game, as well as the shrine I worked on at 0:16-0:25! I made the leopard statue at 0:48 in the battle too!

Some life updates

Long time since I wrote an actual blogpost here! I thought it would be nice to tell about the things I’m working on and so.

At school I’m working on my graduation project, which consists of a research paper and a ‘practical’ art project. For my research paper I’m researching the harpy and what this mythological creature can mean to us nowadays, perhaps as a symbol. Yes, more harpies! I wasn’t sure if this subject would be a good fit at first, but seeing how this creature has nestled in my mind for the last year, I know it won’t be something I get bored of quickly.

About the practical part, I haven’t got a clue what kind of product this will lead to. I’d love to make a bunch of harpy characters and tell a story, either through a comic or illustrations, but it has of course to build upon the research paper. And you can’t really say anything about a harpy without saying something about the fact that all harpies are female, right? Do I want to make a feminist statement? I’m not sure..

What else? Like I said earlier, I’m preparing to participate in CenturyARkStorm-OCT at DeviantART! I almost got my character application finished, that means, the art is finished, but writing about my character’s personality and backstory is such a hard thing to do XD Especially when it’s set in a world I know very little of; I’m absolutely not familiar with the ZOIDS universe even though I tried to read up as much as I can, so I hope my ideas make sense! ^^

The deadline for auditions is November 1st by the way, and we could use any extra competitor to make this happen!

Comic Con Amsterdam Recap

Last weekend my friend and I tried selling stuff at another con! The con itself was fun, though saleswise… it didn’t went as good. I actually made a loss at this con: I sold only one print and a few buttons. I do think I know why this happened, though. Firstly, almost all the things I sell are Zelda themed, and after talking with other artists, Zelda things just didn’t sell that well on this con. Perhaps there were just less people visiting this con who would like to have Zelda merchandise? It’s a thing I can’t control so I shouldn’t blame myself too much for it.. Except I better have not only Zelda prints with me next time! 

Another thing is the fact that my friend had actually printed quite some extra A5 and A3 prints for this con. I didn’t print anything extra as I still had so much stock from last con. Why spend another 50-60 euros on printing when I still have so much left? But that meant that there was more art of my friend on our table than there was mine. So perhaps we were unknowingly competing with each other for the attention of potential customers? Ultimately my friend sold wayyy more prints of her work than I did, and actually made a good profit. 

 This could be just because she sold quite some Overwatch fanart which was wildly popular during this con, and probably too because she offered prints in smaller sizes than just A2. A2 prints are maybe a little daunting for people to buy, they’re not really cheap and quite big, people might not have the space for such a print?

It makes me think whenever we should try to get two tables instead of one, so we both have our own. Everyone I talked to agrees that having your own table lets you sell much more than if you share a table with others.. Though of course the costs for standing at a con doubles, so you need to make more money to break even. :/

Or maybe I’m just too impatient, I mean: this is my second convention as a dealer and I already expect to make money out of this. 

If you’re interested in the products I sold, check out my Etsy shop!

Back from France!

And France did indeed inspire me! Though the things I’ve drawn there have to wait, as I don’t have access to a scanner yet. But don’t worry, there’s digital art to come too!

After some thinking I decided to give CenturyARkStorm-OCT a shot, but as a spectator rather than a competitor. I don’t think it would be wise to combine something as time-consuming as a original character tournament with graduating from art school! XD Nevertheless I’m very exited where the story will take us! I didn’t know anything about Zoids before Ra-ooo started this OCT, but as soon I found out it included robot dinosaurs I was sold! 

Then there is Comic Con Amsterdam, where I’ll have a stand with two friends. I plan to draw a few new things for that, but not too much. I still have plenty of prints left from my previous con left anyway!

Holiday to France

Ever since my summer break has begin three weeks ago, I found it surprisingly hard to start drawing for myself again. I’m not sure why, perhaps it was the fact I’ve worked so hard during my internship? Or that I now have time to do so much other things I never had the time to do before, such as playing games and reading? Or it might be the bloody heat that lingers in my room, even with open windows..

Is this the mysterious affection known under the name art block?!

In other news, I’ll be leaving for a three-week vacation to Normandy and Brittany, France tomorrow. Perhaps the sea breeze and the beautiful vistas will inspire me to draw again!

See you in August!

And that’s that.

My internship at Abbey Games is over, what a blast it has been! I worked on so many different things: character animations, buildings, trees and shrubs, marketing illustrations, icons and even UI! Still, it’ll take a while before I can show my glorious contribution, the soonest things will be revealed is in the first half of 2019. A little patience, my friends! 

I’m sad it’s over, but I guess it’s time to move on. I’ll be enjoying my summer holidays now and in September I’ll start working on my graduation project. Whatever my graduation project will be: I have no ideas yet. I’ll just see what happens. 

And hopefully, now I have a lot of free time again, I get back on track with drawing and painting again!

Internship!

This is already my second week of my internship at Abbey Games, and it’s really fun so far!  I am now working on animations for a new game, but of course I’m not allowed to tell you anything about it. Non Disclosure Agreements and stuff. 

Shame is, though, that there is less time for personal art. I’m travelling two hours by bus, metro and train to get to the studio and again two hours back home, monday till friday, and on saturdays I work from ten till six, so Sunday is my only free day in the week. I don’t really mind right now, I can finally read all those books I got but never came to read! 😀

But then I looked on the calendar and noticed that the convention that my friends and I want to attend is only three weeks away… And I haven’t finished a single piece yet. Oops. 

So I suppose I’ll be sacrificing some sleep this week. And next week probably too. I have some Zelda things in the works already and some other fan art planned as well, but I’m not sure if I get everything done… 

We’ll see!