Wanikani review + gesture dump

I got back into studying Japanese again at the start of the year. Language has always been a daunting road and because I tend to get discouraged and go off comforting myself with something I am good at (drawing?) instead.

I have kept up a daily of learning kanji through a site/app called WaniKani.  I have I have reached level 11 of WaniKani so far! If I am using more and more kanji in my posts, it’s because I actually know what the kanji says now, my dudes. もう一同日本へ行きたいです。多分将来でアニメの会社に働きたい、でも日本語を勉強する事は難しいです。練習しているをがんばっています。

I really love WaniKani because it’s an easy way chip away at learning language on a daily basis, as opposed to formally taking a weekly class (which I also have been doing.) This leads to the second part of my post where I share some recent art, mostly heaps of daily gesture sketches from tram rides. I find it really hard to scan older sketchbooks cause I burn through them so fast lol.

So if you’re prowling around asking random internet artists how to ‘get a job in animation‘ or even just ‘wanting to improve in drawing/animation‘ (the better question)…I can’t stress the value and power of observation enough. The hard-to-swallow medicine for improving is….

  • loving to observe actual people,animals and places.
  • passion for drawing characters and stories
  • stubbornness and persistence to keep pursuing art no matter what
  • keeping the above as daily habits for years on end and…
  • not making excuses!

If you don’t see the value in life sketching….1) I’m very afraid…and 2) read the Walt Stanchfield ‘Drawn to life’ lectures ok. I would like to keep up blogging about my philosophy on art, maybe someday people will read this blog, but until then, I enjoy stream-of-consciousness-ranting-into-the-void as a cathartic way of coping with a very stressful weird year. Later.

Beatboard project

Lately I got on a roll of of approaching illustrations in a film ratio and with the same spontaneity I create storyboards, so closer to what ‘beat boards’ mean to me.  This means focusing on clarity, foreground, mid and background, simple expression and mood everything else. I feel like if I can keep working towards cinematic images I’ll become a better story artist and animator. Both storyboarding and animation are absolutely inseparable to me. This is because animation isn’t just characters flopping around, but how they exist in a world.

Also surprise surprise, more fanart. Hetalia was a series that I was super into when I was about 15. It’s precious to me because the awesome fan works created in the heyday of the series was absolutely crucial to me as a young artist. I will also defend it as a series that helped me ace history in highschool. My fave boy Russia only made me a little bit obsessed with Russian history, culture and art. Just a littttleee bit~

I’m starting to put signatures on all of my art because recently certain obnoxious people still think it’s ok to steal art. Actually, it’s gotten worse. There is a culture of all online content being up-for-grabs, however it’s only turned into this because people like to mash up content for their own Youtube and social media content. Why work hard on your own animation when you can rip off someones? Yuck.

I feel like screaming and tearing at my hair (again) by remembering recent annoying encounters but I know its not the end of the world. At the end of the day, thieves and liars don’t land jobs. They don’t make their own art that matters. Even if they do fool people, some of us have a strong moral compass. So yeah. Vent done, over and out.

Hand-drawn animation in Krita!

I wanted to give a simple honest review of Krita, a free software that advertises itself as for painting but also has a kickass animation timeline. Finding a fave animation software I actually feel comfortable in has been like chasing after a mirage in a desert. I got used to hand-drawn in Adobe Animate about a year or 2 ago because I lost my Tvpaint dongle from my school days and refuse to spend money on a another one. If you can’t tell I am a hand-drawn purist, so I am recommending Krita for animators who really wanna do pure hand-drawn no tweening tricks here.

The biggest cons I notice with Krita for animating…
Modules will move way to easily, when you’re just trying to scrub timeline! As an animator you want to feel out the motion, but in trying to grab the small ‘scrubbing’ area, I often un-dock the timeline. Argh.
May unpredictably crash.  This is just as much an issue in Adobe Animate. Annoying, but nothing autosave and Ctrl+S trigger finger can’t fix. 
– Cant easily copy-paste onto same layer easily.
– I had a bug with Brush bundles creating a bunch of wacky temp-files, but I work around it by not messing with saving too many brushes. It might just be my computer, Maybe not everyone will get this issue.

But here are the pros…
-Brushes are as good as photoshop. Hard round is all you need. It really helps me enjoy drawing and focus on building up forms, what I’ve needed to work on in my art for ages. n n;
-Awesome timeline and layer system. This makes it leagues better that Photoshop and CC Animate. Its easy to have different elements and lock layers
– its free! WOW, toss the developers some money.

Here I animated my fave boys Ryuunosuke and Gilles from Fate/Zero. Yeah, I’m a bit obsessed with them, I find their nasty evil charisma really intoxicating and fun to draw, I think still image fanart isn’t enough for me anymore haha.

For this reason, I will forever preach the benefits of drawing fanart, when the artist is creating scenarios and working within the constraints of existing characters.

I hate the feeling of being stagnant in art. But often when I become painfully aware of my inability to convey what I want, I suddenly will make a massive improvement towards what I want to work on. That’s the best advice I can give to any artist, be critical but kind…use awareness of your weaknesses to push yourself to be better!! And un-apologetically draw whatever horrible things you want to in your free time honestly lol.