They could be a halfling, elf, human, or animal.
I chose vegetable.
Some believe the Tasmanian is a savage tiger. Others want it to behave like a proper wolf. The formally extinct marsupial knows itself as Albert.
*edit note: I've updated the original post to correct the mispelling of "Tasmanian" in the image and writing.
*edit note 2: I’ve been wanting to include a statement with my piece and finally decided to add it in. Here’s my elevator pitch:
I couldn’t help from contemplating on the darker aspects of a common story trope: a minority taken from its environment to be civilized. I crafted a story of zoologists ‘recovering’ a once thought extinct animal from its habitat. In their minds they’re saving a species. The clothing it wears (a cap) represents its domestication. It frequently pops off. The humans perceive Albert to act mischievous because it does not follow Anglo-Aussie social rules.
I thought a thylacine would be a great representation for a non-binary character. The thylacine has been nicknamed a tasmanian tiger and a tasmanian wolf but is neither species. Would people take the time to learn what a thylacine is or will they nudge Albert to act like a feline or a canine?
Thirdly, I think parents and guardians are in a constant battle with children to reject barbarism. So, having a wild character would be relatable to toddlers (though not the best role model). Thanks for reading
@Toony-Days I want to offer a marketer's perspective on this subject. My notes from a recent social media workshop for businesses may be of help to you.
You've examined yourself as a creator on social media, but have you also looked at yourself as a consumer? What content impressed you enough to hit the like button, repost or even subscribe to that person long-term? Whose SM accounts would you identify as a peer and/or competition. Are you able to identify their successes and failures?
Since you say your current goal is to gain followers, I will write this… Shift your SM account’s focus from your artist journey to the customer. SM users are looking for content that is aspirational, inspiring, relatable. Create content that people can repost to tell others ‘Hey, this is sooo me!’
The finish works you’ve uploaded are nice, but, thinking as a salesperson, it could be ‘repackaged’ into a sellable product. For example, could the karate squirrel piece be re-worked as a one-panel comic, animated gif or karate school poster?
At your current career phase, I would discourage uploading work-in-progress images and black + white pencil sketches. These behind-the-scenes content are insightful to a niche group after you gain a reputation. It won't earn followers and it may even work against you. I love pencil sketches, but over the years I accepted the average person don't see it as art.
Also, perhaps change your target audience from fellow creators to a consumer-community. Unless you intend to being an art guru/influencer, I don’t see a mass of artists following a fellow aspiring kin. Take time to identify your customers: list their demographics, wants, interests and dislikes. Appeal to your base first, then later broaden your demo.
Your artwork has a classic animation/newspaper comics vibe. Maybe start with that fanbase? Back in the 2000's the it place was DeviantArt and Newgrounds. These sites still exist, but it's been 20 years... You'll have to find the contemporary equivalent. Look up a professional artist with similar style and see where they pop up online. Send a DM or e-mail asking for advice (most people are nice). If you can invest your time, regularly participate in group shows (gallery shows, art magazines, community art contests, etc). Build your rep to earn a shout out on bigger accounts.
If it helps, think of your SM account(s) like a school newspaper. If the editor gave you space on the paper, what would be appropriate for the entire student body and will earn you respect amongst your classmates? Wouldn’t you want to publish something relevant to your shared lives as students, as teens, current events, etc?
Hope this was helpful to you. Best of luck on your career journey.
What is going on here? Way different vibe from the last few contests. Lets keep this creative energy going for next month. Please excuse the following lengthly list of shout outs.
@jdubz Nice incorporation of a selfie photo. I think we creators should remind ourselves our characters ought to mirror contemporary children's habits. Capybara is a great choice.
@Larue I'm getting aesops fables + Fantastic Mr.Fox vibe from your work. Nicely done.
@Tiffany-Thomas Your presentation sucessfully promotes a product to the viewer. I learned a lesson-of-the-day from your piece. TY.
@alicepelot I like your method in depicting the satyr's hair and fur, as well as the character's clean shape.
@chrisaakins We need more African fairy tales. Props on exploration.
@ruth OMGosh. This is giving me Don't Starve PTSD. Love it.
@CLCanadyArts Dinosaur! Neander-gob! I'm jealous?
@Jeremiahbrown Great presentation. The water-crossing shot really sold it for me. Potentially marketable to readers who live in flood-prone areas.
@avfarrar Thank you for the compliment. I have to confess that I "borrowed" the idea of dirty feet from the character Mebh from Wolfwalkers.
On the animation industry website Cartoonbrew I came across two educational articles. Enjoy!:
‘Toy Story 3’ Screenwriter Michael Arndt Teaches How To Write A Pixar Movie In This Free 70-Minute Lecture
(Click here to go straight to the video hosted on Vimeo.)
‘Wolfwalkers’ Story Artist Iker Maidagan Has Written A Priceless Account Of The Film’s Development
(Click here for the direct link to the Medium article.)
Can anyone else recommend an article or video on refining a story?
@kylebeaudette I can't say what trending styles there are for children's books, but I could list a few for illustration in general.
Like how there is a Spotify style for music these days, Instagram has made in impact in art history (can't wait to read about it in the next volume of Janson's History of Art). It has define how a portrait looks and composed these days. There's the rainbow-colored filters (in the olded days these would be glazes and varnishes). It might be too soon to say, but Tik-Tok may influnce how video fine art is made.
The interest in kewpie dolls of the early 1900's lives on today as "chibi" characters. You see it as Funko Pop figures and there are many Western display toy competitors trying to play with the forumla. Skottie Young made an industry for himself in the comic world; both Marvel and DC are hired upcoming chibi artists to create superhero stories targeting young children.
In the gaming world, after Blizzard's Warcraft III and World of Warcraft were released it has defined how modern fantasy characters look like today. They went on to define series like League of Legends and DOTA, which in turn inspires new games such as Smite. I see some imitators of Fortnite (urban teen fashion for lack of a better word, silly mascot-esque costumes) so we may be entering a new art era on that front.
In animation, the Cartoon Network style remains strong. This is because many current showrunners had worked for a previous property. It's been argued Family Guy maintains the traditions of Hanna-Barbara. The Pixar style is the new Disney style. Many animators that have worked in their studios have moved on to NetFlix projects and are working to build the foundations of 3D children's movie industy in China.
Do you remember how many ealy 2000's sci-fi/fantasy movies had a lot of true black in its cinematography? There were several reasons for this. Concept artists love chiaroscurro and went overboard with it in Photoshop. The darks also helped to mask poor 3-D graphics at the time. I'm happy most directors moved on from this style. We're rediscovering how shadow can be colored in blues, browns, etc. Now, if we can get rid of the de-saturation filter...
I could go on, but I best stop myself
I want to thank those who've voted for my piece on Critique Arena. With all the great designs entered I was surprised to have been selected for one of this month's Top 16. I also want to congratulate @baileyvidler for advancing into the Top 8. Her piece made for a tough competition.
Did anyone else watch the documentary that aired this week? It was a revelation to learn of Baum's life's experience (marketing, stage acting, reporting in a frontier town) and influences (his mother-in-law's views on feminism and theosophy) went into making The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It proves our best writing and art comes from what we know. And it's okay to fail, alot (so long as you have family wealth to fall back on )
In case you missed it, watch the full episode on PBS (expires 5/18/21)
I like what's on your instagram account, especially the high-rendered graphite pieces. You're making good progress with digital painting and rendering. I'm not 100% sure, but no tattoo designs?
You didn't state what career path you're interested in within the animation or illustration fields. Your pieces suggests character design. Have you done character sheets, turnarounds or explored facial expressions?
If you're into storytelling, you could do a picture book. Start small with a one-page comic. Many people who do storyboards start their careers with publishing zines. It's good practice to dipict your character in different poses and environments.
If you want to keep things simple, then focus on building a single IP. Continue to draw a loose set of characters that happen to live a a shared environment.
I've heard animators swear by the Blackwing pencils. It was favored by the early Looney Tunes and Disney artists. It was discontinued in the 1990s but the brand was revived some years ago, so not certain if the quality is the same.
If you're interested in color pencils, the Prismacolor Verithin series is the least waxy color pencil I've used. Feels close to graphite.
I read a quote that neither Eric Carle, his editor nor the publisher had understood why The Very Hungry Caterpillar was so popular. He guessed it was because it was because the story is a message of hope. I like the art, but I continue to wonder the same thing. Maybe he gave humans a new perspective on the insect? Would we be as sympathtic to catepillars and butterflies without his book? Or maybe it was the punch holes...
The lessons I receive from his work are:
Sounds like an interesting project. Drawing music is a tough challenege for anyone. Perhaps you can benefit from studying Synesthetic Art (visual art inspired by sound). I can’t find the original article I read on this matter, but here’s one by NPR and another on VICE.
Perhaps instead of thumbnails, doing blind painting can help capture the fluidity, abstraction, and energy of the story you wish to tell. If you can zone out into the music, I think the beats will dictate visuals.
Kelly, congratulations on having two pieces make honorable mention. Out of 100+ entries, it is two well deserved accomplishments. We can tell a lot of care went into the designs.
It’s hard to guess what a judge may be thinking. For the Moseby piece, it could simply be a technicality. Based on Jake’s comment on my piece, and the rules for April’s contest, they did not like seeing character sheets with backgrounds. To include one may have been a demotion in score.
There are some issues with anatomy. I agree with Kevintreaccar that the running pose is leaning too hard to its side. The thighs/bottom area could use editing.
For the back pose, the right hand holding the map should be corrected. It looks as though the thumb isn't wrapped around the cylinder shape.
As for the Amelia piece, you've acknowledged the piece is rushed. Had the blocking of light/mid/dark tones been more established it would have been a finished piece.
I hope what I wrote was of help. Please keep in mind the progress you've made in two years.
IMO, it would be better to have a single object as a logo, else the two will fight for space.
Have you considered the idea that the bee's wings looks like the letter 'B'? A lowercase cursive 'b' could be tweaked to look like a cute bee.
I agree with the idea to include your name with the logo. McDonald's, Apple and Adobe used to have both name and icon on packaging until they figured their brand was popular enought to be just icon.
Got'cha, the story is not the issue. Do you continue to have concerns with the storytelling (or have you identified another culprit?) and are you able to elaborate?
To help you diagnose the issue in the process, check out this 'making of' series:
The Making of Cloud Country (a children's book by Pixar Animation Studios artist, Noah Klocek.)
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQrUBrzOKfI
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZJ-l2KsP_k
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qmTdPXcJcI
Maybe this panel talk can help as well:
Lightbox Expo: Art of Storytelling Panel
You shouldn't feel your process is 'amateurism'. I don't think there's any successful project that has ever stuck to the original plan. It's maturing organically
As for your thumbnails, here are one person's thoughts…
Hope this helps.
@Asyas_illos You're welcome. Looking forward to your future entries.
P.S. I want to take back what I said about tattoos and accessories; their not symbols of attention-mongering. Sorry for the pessimism.
Diddo on what lizardillo wrote. Your designs remind me of why in my youth I had gravitated towards Pokemon and Digimon. The chimeras are a good gamble. I think the judges will like idea and much as we do.
The lion version has more of a lead character look about it, the others look like good support characters.