So! Some goods and bads of this past week.
Good: —— uh let’s start with bad.
Bad: My computer imploded. Not literally. The hard drive failed spectacularly, but I was able to upload my…everything to the cloud thanks to advanced SMART warnings.
I didn’t lose anything, which is good- I just now got the rest of my files back from the old HDD, and I’ve been working my butt off to get the digital file out by the time i left for Gencon. Which I achieved that goal! Sorta.
The illustrations are done, and the book’s assembled, and the digital file exists. But I’d rather put out something fantastic when it’s ready, rather than shove something out the door for some imaginary deadline. I’m having another person edit and thumb through it, nit-pick the hell out of this thing so that it shines. We’re still on track for October for the physical books, my printer is working with me to make the print file perfect, and I found a local printer for prints and printing printables ker-print. Buttons are done, Sketches are mostly completed. The pins have been paid for, the ISBN numbers bought and assigned, and I’m about to pick up my Library of Congress number so we’re all categorized and set.
Everything is pretty much done, save for ordering prints and the book. The digital file will come out next week, and the book and prints’ll be ordered at that time as well. I really wanted to give you guys the digital file today, people at work can attest to how much I was cursing and grumbling that I have to hold back. But when it does come out next week, it’ll be flippin’ fantastic. Seriously excited.
But for now, I’ve got Gencon to attend and unwind a bit while edits happen. I’m in dire need of some rest and relaxation.
Shake my hand, goddammit.
WIP of a center page illustration! I wanted to show a little bit of my frantic work ethic/ process.
1: I start out with a sketch. My main goals in sketch are to capture feeling and fluidity. These two things are usually the first to go when you start rendering. I tend to play around with compositions and do thumbnails until i get something I like. Generally something to show scene, explain itself to some extent, and still be fun/ interesting. I’ve seen people make beautiful, glorious sketches that are detailed and wonderful. I die doing that. I like being quick and getting my idea out before it craps up into something else.
2. I work on color scheme to help accompany feeling and motion. For this one, i looked at my other illustrations, which seem to be more subdued and realistic. So just for contrast, I’m going all teal and magenta to keep things interesting. This picture’s scheme was inspired by a foggy photo of a cherry blossom grove. You can snag inspiration anywhere. I’ve been inspired by couches before.
So I try and get a rough idea of my colors, how they can play with one another, how they’d work in the image. Making sure obnoxious colors don’t ruin too much focus from what’s going on, trying to pick colors that don’t buzz too much (are too contrasty next to each other, like ff000 red and 0006ff blue, you put those together, you will make people throw up) until i have a generic idea of how I want things to look. Again, a lot of people will take a lot of time at this stage to make sure everything’s blocked correctly/ perfectly, correct anatomy they might’ve missed in their pristine sketches, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s my own folly to just hop into manhandling the image to show me what I want it to.
3: Man-handle the image to show what you want it to look like. I can picture a lot of what I want the image to do, and this is where I essentially start kicking things around, what works, what doesn’t. Don’t like the hand, makes it look like she’s gonna attack poor Raziel, so flip it around, make it a sort of horror reaction instead. Nothing is sacred. Don’t ever make something sacred in your images. If you can look at something objectively and say “Well I like this face, but it doesn’t fit on this picture” and erase it, you’ll be so many steps ahead of everyone else, it’s not funny. You will make mistakes, you will fix those mistakes, and you’ll be better for it.
This image above’s about an hour and some change in. We have our direction, we have our emotion, things are all generally recognizable, and there’ll be little fiddling done afterwards. So there ya go.
Rough for Page 47’s illustration.
Finished up #5, here’s the sketch for #42 :D
early WIP for a more sketchy image in the book- There’ll be this and another right next to each other. FEEL THE TENSION.
Did i mention the majority of this first book takes place in the 80’s and Great Beyond has a rockin’ carphone? Because they totally do.
Rejected page 28 illustration for the book! I’ve come up with something a lot better than this, haha. So, this’ll just…sorta…exist. There ya go.