Stepping stones back to life

No matter how hard it get, or how sad you feel, never give up.

I had a major bipolar incident a month ago, it made me end up in hospital for awhile. I learnt through this to be much nicer on myself and my mental health, for starters, to just stay away from social media. I don’t have anything that needs to be said. I wish the world wasn’t so connected to this digital other-realm. Some of my new habits are to write in a daily planner and to journal. I’m just trying to get by every day with as much strength as possible.

paintings for the living

Losing myself in painting has suddenly became very important to me since my mom passed away. The details and colours of life keep grabbing my attention more than what line drawings express to me currently. I didn’t think it would take daily grief and anxiety to completely to finally fall in love with light and color. I understand that art is meant to always be all on one layer, every little thing flows into one another. We have to take what experiences have happened to us, the happy and painful, and blend it all together for the rest of our lives. I’m looking forward to getting my first tattoo soon, am planning a indoor aquarium set-up for the old family turtle (featured below) and maybe just keep living as If I might die at the end of every week. It’s less stressful than it sounds and just means remembering to unapologetically be my crazy self.

 

Also made a weird spontaneous horror inspired video with some oldish art and animations that were kicking around. I discovered Audacity and took it for a ride taking existing pop music and mangling it beyond recognition into droning a hellsoundscape. Bound to lose me a few fake-fans in the process.

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.

東方[Touhou] animations

A few months ago I started short animation in homage to the Touhou Project game “Mystic Square”. I’m a massive long time Touhou Project overall (2013 was ages ago yall’).

Not everyone can appreciate the sheer adrenaline rush from playing the games, they almost always have a masterful soundtrack that accompanies absolutely B R U T A L gameplay. The joy I get from Touhou is hard to express, but animation is the most perfect medium to try doing so. Here are just some progress GIFS. Can’t say if I’ll finish it since I tend to drop interest in long projects like a hot potato lol, and I feel like the animation is already outdated. Onto other things.

This is the storyboard animatic I did.

june/july sketchbook dump

Here’s a assortment of pages from my recently finished June to July sketchbook, it’s a mix of observational + imagination drawings as usual. Sketching is no doubt where I feel the most free when making art, there’s something really exhilarating about using just lines. I don’t think ill ever grow tired of sketching with a 0.5 uniball pen. I fill up hundreds of pages like these so at least I can dump a few  here.

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