Global Game Jam 2020 // Repair

It was just that merry special time of year, the Global Game Jam time of year. The theme was “repair” and me and my best programmer buddy Andrew made “Mind Repair Solutions’. No idea why the site added the number ‘5’ to the URL since I’m certain we are the only game with that name. The resulting game should show how much fun we had! We made this not by pulling all nighters but instead summoning years of consistent hard work and experience in art and code.

I love getting making every piece of art in a game. Whether it’s logos, icons, character animation or backgrounds; being a solo artist for a game you are able to make all the little elements tie together. To me’World building’ isn’t wasting time writing a 6 page game bible pontificating on things you aren’t actually creating. It’s all about brainstorming visually, making solid decisions and just bloody making it. For the clinic staff we named Clara, I attempted speed cell shading in Tvpaint. Although it’s impossible to do good hand-drawn animation fast, TVpaint 11 has a way of making Color layers respond whatever you draw on lineart layer above so you can edit and fix colorable areas super easy.

TVpaint cell shading process!

I had zero experience using Godot Engine before this jam. My teammate Andrew only had a little bit of practice beforehand. We both value letting ideas flow between us therefore atmosphere, visuals and humor take shape in a natural way. I love Global Gam Jam because I learn so much about managing a production, communicating with teammate(s), realizing where my strengths and weaknesses lie. My artistic spirit, often chained down by storyboarding, goes wild when I get to be the sole artist on anything.

We’re calling this game a perfect blend between Steins;Gate and JumpStart 3rd Grade. You can play the game in your browser here! It even works well if loaded up on a phone, so don’t be shy and test it for us!!~ The page on the Global Game Jam site is here.

Delusion Eater

Happy first new post of the new year! I went on an epic Tokyo trip from mid December 2019 through into New Year 2020 with friends. Instead of writing stuff and sorting through 400+ photos, I just had to summarise the trip by making some comics to express express the weirdest and most memorable things. I printed some limited copies for a local Adelaide ‘Zina Warrior Print Fest‘ which I participated in for the first time. It was a great weekend and I will definitely try to table again. During the trip I only did a handful of travel sketches since I was too preoccupied with loving Japan. Sitting in a Shinjuku cafe having a nice ‘ブレンドコーヒー’ and listening to the bustling sounds of life was the only time I really drew.

To respect the people who bought my zine this weekend (you are the best! thank you for supporting my art) I probably wont ever put it up for free. If you want to read my comics as a PDF maybe follow me on the Gumroad I made.

I also just ‘finished’ an animation that was kicking around before I went on break.I invented this guy from the concept of being an ‘Eater of Delusion’. You can only survive him if you’re learnt to cast aside ego, (or maybe just have a rank hermit stank. either or…) It’s loosely inspired by the yoga psychology and stories I have heard,but I also felt like animating it because Hindu and Buddhist demonic art is rad.

Animation can express the flush of adrenaline when you’re jogging and a fave song kicks in. It can convey all sorts of chemistry between people. It can make clothes clinging to a figure become something precious and sensual. It’s only through the aware experience of mundane transient moments that we can start to channel it into art that feels truthful to life and full of ecstasy. I’m maybe making readers uncomfortable with that, maybe it’s my gender speaking but I have a need to communicate real intimacy with art. That’s why I’d rather see lumpy, impulsive and fleshy art than something clinical and copied. For once it feels like it should be 2020, and I’m excited and trusting myself more now than ever. I surprised myself last year as I have started to learn to stop looking backwards and forwards so much. Ah wait, I have a storyboard deadline tomorrow…

So I splurged on TVpaint 11 pro…

In terms of recent things fresh in my mind (before I completely forget this year); I went to a yoga sutra talk this last weekend and had an amazing friend give my work computer a massive hardware boost. I also caricatured myself a new avatar. Staring at old art is the biggest of all pet peeves of mine. The way other people perceive me is probably varying, but long features, scraggly hair and naturally furrowed eye brows is happily how I will see myself.

I bought TVpaint 11 Professional edition and am transitioning over into using that for my animations. I still have a long way to go to before I feel confident in this program, but I definitely see how it speeds up colouring heaps. I always want to preach about how much bravery it takes for anyone to attempt animation. Especially doing full hand-drawn where every decision for every micro-movement has a consequence as it flows into another.

It’s one thing to be an animation fan, or maybe dabble in copying drawings of characters, but it’s a whole different level of intensity to to put in the hours of trying to create a performance out of nothing. You can put labels on whether something is ‘limited’ or ‘full’ animation, but I always aim to better understand movement, acting, the constraints of a character design… it is absolutely infinite. How can you not get addicted to an art form that has a power to entertain and transmit emotions to whoever is watching?

One of the things I learnt about yoga philosophy is how doing things that ‘create fire’ are the things that are so good for you in order to grow, this means things that aren’t in your comfort zone. This absolutely is animation for me. My philosophy on art has expanded the more Iv’e learnt about Yoga philosophy and apply it in the (gruelling yet enjoyable) classes and in daily life. I am not specifically an intellectual person. Instead art for me is an expression of love, love of spontaneous, subconscious movement, like a change that is part of nature. In short, wanting to communicate some sort of energy; emotional and/or physical, is important to me. You can read any animation book to hear about drawing principles, but feeling the joy of movement is special.

I just want to draw more like me, no matter what.

Attending well past 100 Vinyasa classes since being back in Adelaide a year has had it’s affect on me. I may sound loopy, however I have actually always been like this, only I just found a 2500+ year old philosophy to back up my beliefs. Bye for now!

honest thoughts on improving

Hello again, a few weekends ago I went to Madman Anime fest in Melbourne. The con had a lot of interesting moments hearing from voice actors and anime producers. I think a memorable moment was seeing a pencil animation test from Ufotables’ Demon Slayer. I love getting to see an animation without the final colors, it strips back the layers and you can really focus just on the drawings. I wanted to ramble about some thoughts I’ve had growing as an animation artist. I think the core element is, if you don’t connect with that fiery feeling I just mentioned of how beautiful animation can be, you will probably struggle to improve at all.

You have to critically question the way you are thinking and talking about drawing. Often someone will tell me they feel their ‘proportions’ or ‘anatomy‘ are wrong in comparison to mine.  Instead a bunch of other ways you could talk/think about drawing is; ‘do I really understand the form of this exact part before I put down a line? How does this mass relate to the torso/head/rest of the body as it balances, what sort of balance is going on? Is the silhouette clear? What is the best way to caricature this persons nose? Is that a thumb or a forefinger because I’m having to squint at the model to see it properly? Ah just make it up” My point is…good drawing is never just one element. Having an open, honest critical eye is the only way I’ve been able to grow. Perspective, anatomy, balance, solid form, are all elements of draftsmanship that need to be faced head-first.

I want people to know that many storyboarding jobs have become like 2D animation. I just speak on behalf of my experience making episodic animatics. It involves many drawings yes, but whatever amount you may be envisioning, imagine way more, and heaps of unseen drawings tossed out because they didn’t serve the exact vision your directors had in mind. The concept of heaps of dispensable drawings is something that breaks a lot of artists. Mustering enthusiasm to embrace every new drawing is an attitude you either have or you don’t.

Hina Kagiyama (Touhou Project)

Another thing is understanding good animation isn’t always about fluidity. Animation should be about creating some intensity of motion/emotion with the timing of whatever you are drawing. I wish people reacted to my animations with more than ‘smooth’ but…internet right? You can see whether animation is strong of weak even in bouncing balls. With newbies you’ll often see just a plain simple circle floatily moving up and down. To the viewer, this says nothing. You need to think way harder about the acting, physicality, everything!-before you even start to animate.

In the end however, what matters more than drawing skill is always a love of art. Specifically, I don’t think you can teach a love of characters and their stories. This is where my draftmanship argument falls apart, because I can’t explain to people the wonder I felt discovering Inuyasha on early anime streaming sites. Alright I’m done for now. Thanks for sticking around.

animating using the FlipaClip app

The first animation here was made using Krita. I finally realised how to clip a multiply shadow later onto the colour layer. This makes adding shading more enjoyable than the last time I did it. Colouring is still a tedious hassle in this free program but hey, it’s way more enjoyable than the nasty drawing experience of Adobe Animate. The second animation is using my gorgeous new Note10 phone stylus and a app called FlipaClip. I need to give them a good review so maybe they can make it even more friendly for portable animation. My new Galaxy Note10 phone has an absolutely god-tier drawing preformance. I’m so pleased that technology has finally gotten to this stage that I could prefer a phone over my cintiq. ヾ(〃^∇^)ノ♪

I wanted to mention how much I need to prioritise blogging over social media worries. This all ties into my quest for mindfulness, minimalism and to live life my way. I choose focus over distractions, I choose to make and share art on my own terms. I’d rather be putting effort into vinyasa yoga and other pursuits that make me feel whole.

Lastly…how good is the new Dark Crystal guys?!!!!!!HOLY HELL I’M ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH IT. I am trying not to binge it all in one sitting! I sense more fanart-a-brewing, because I want everyone know how badly I love it and how we need more gorgeous content like this. Thanks for reading!

Chamberlain best yess mmm

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。

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.

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