Art, Progress Update

Art Adventures: Progress Update 20th March

Long post warning!

Hi all!

This blog is about how I plan to boost my motivation and productivity by learning things, posting my progress as I build on existing skills and learn new ones. In my first post, I outlined how I will attempt to do this through working with my strengths, monitoring my mood, setting goals, breaking bad habits, removing baggage and being accountable. Though some unexpected things have cropped up over the past few weeks I’m determined to get back on track!

Last time I briefly talked about my week in Melbourne doing work experience and in conclusion I needed to keep working on my broadening my skills, particularly with InDesign, as well as improving both my mental and physical health. I’ve been looking for a course that’s delivered online (the nearest TAFE that will teach something remotely like what I need is about three hours away) that will teach me to use InDesign proficiently (and it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on the rest of Adobe’s design software). I have a few options and will follow up on those this week. I’ve also taken steps in improving my health by visiting a psychologist and my GP and intending to follow these visits up regularly.

I think this is a good time to have a look back at what my goals are as I outlined at the beginning of February, but first I’ll go over what I did last week. Art wise despite trying to get back into my routine, dashing to several appointments, rushing my dog to the vet because in typical beagle fashion he ate something he shouldn’t (in this case plasterboard that my brother left out, but he’s ok thank goodness), and playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild until my thumbs cramped, I have actually made some progress last week!

3D Animation Course

I have been busy catching up on my homework, watching the recordings of the classes and working through the exercises. I still have a bit to go but I think I’m almost on top of it. I’m finding learning Maya to be less daunting than I thought it would be, although I think that won’t be the case when we get up to the animation part. Next exercise after the snowman was making our names out of cubes. I got a bit anal about lining them up perfectly so some of them look like rectangles but I’ll bevel and colour them later and they’ll be more pronounced.

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 6.17.24 pm

Next up was extruding faces of objects to achieve a different shape without using a whole heap of polygons! I… got a bit carried away with this exercise… It was only supposed to be a tower. I decided to post it to the forum for feedback as is put it aside for now but come back and finish it off later when I have more time.


We’ve also been working on the orthographic images for our robot characters. They weren’t terribly difficult for me as I’ve done something similar before, although until I get feedback from my teacher I won’t know if I’ve done it properly or not. Since a robot is more geometric, I took a different approach and constructed it out of shapes instead of drawing it with my tablet. It’s lost a bit of the robot’s personality that came through in the sketches but I think this method worked well and gives me nice clean images to work off when I’m modelling. Despite my best efforts my brother still says it looks like Claptrap from Borderlands…

I actually got the shape from our toaster and an old outboard motor sitting in Dad’s shed.

What Else…

Other than homework I got a sudden burst of energy on the weekend and quickly laid down some base colours for these two pictures.

The one on the left I might play around with a different colouring and shading method as I’m still trying to find what sort of style will work for me with working digitally.  I seem to be using a lot of orange at the moment lol and now that I’ve played Pokemon Moon he looks like he could be part of Team Skull (this particular character would absolutely hate that! roflol). Oh well…

For Tim I’ll cell shade (and I’m still not happy with his colour scheme, so much brown >_<). Funnily enough, after returning to D&D after months of absence I found out that, due to some cruelty on the rest of the party’s part, Tim is completely bald now. This is what happens when the cleric isn’t there to babysit mediate the party. Tim is so far away from the dwarven mainstream now, his family may never accept him. Poor Tim.

Comic Project: Title TBA

Not something I managed to achieve this week but something I would like to work on. I might not have mentioned this before but I actually have two projects in the works for two stories I want to tell through a manga inspired style of graphic novel, both of which I’ll publish online (because I have no idea how to go about getting them published in print and there’s more chance of it getting an audience online). The first project I’ve spent a lot of time on already and have quite a lot of the characters fleshed out (many of which will probably feature in future works :P). As the storyline is quite long actually starting it is a bit daunting. My cousin suggested to me to start with a shorter story so I don’t run out of steam.

I did a chapter of a graphic novel for my HSC Visual Arts major work and was never quite happy with how it turned out (even though I got quite high marks for Visual Arts). So I’ve decided to do a reboot, because who doesn’t want to re-do high school knowing what they know now? The storyline I’ve got a fair idea of how many chapters it’ll run for and the characters are already, for the most part, fleshed out.  I’ve already done some sketches of the main character, with a few consistency issues.

Kit designs 1
She cries a lot.. and very socially awkward. Like me! Write what you know! *Maniacal laughter*

So This Week:

This week is about getting back to what I outlined in my first post. The motivation techniques I’ll be focusing on this week will be:

  • Working with my strengths, i.e. my love of learning, by continuing with my classes and attempting to learn a new digital colouring technique.
  • Monitoring my mood by using my time productively but still taking regular breaks. It’s forecast wet weather for most of the week so I won’t be able to get out and exercise as much as I’d like to but there are other active things I can do around the house during my breaks.
  • Removing baggage by completing some of my old WIPs (hopefully) by the end of the week.

And coming back to this:

I actually need to add stuff to this…

Skills I will work on:

  • Digital colouring
  • 3D modelling
  • drawing and sketching
  • character design

With my trip to Melbourne it’s sort of thrown off my goal of having stuff finished by the end of February so I’ll settle for the end of March. Today and tomorrow I will focus on catching up with my classes. If I have time after that I will like to get these things finished (in order):

Ok! So now I’ve finished writing about what I’m going to do I should go and actually do it! Time to watch some class recordings! Wow it was a really long post this time.

Thanks for reading! ^_^

Life, Ramblings

Job Trials and Assessments

Hi everyone!

Well it’s been a while since my last update and it’s been an interesting few weeks! The short version of what happened was that I was invited to do a week’s paid trial with a business in Melbourne, while at the same time had the first assessment for my 3D Animation course due. So, needless to say, I haven’t been working on the challenge I set myself at the beginning of the month. I will however go over my reflections on what’s been happening since my last post. This’ll be a bit of a ramble and is more me trying to make sense of what I’ve been doing for the last three weeks than anything else.

First of all the work trial was a great opportunity and gave me a good deal to think about. I applied for the job on Tuesday three weeks ago and got an invitation the following day to come and work with them for a week to see how I went. I drove as far as Bendigo, which is a nine hour trip as it is, then caught the train into Melbourne to stay with my godmother.

The week itself was a positive experience. I had a feeling that I wasn’t the sort of person they were looking for, mainly because the work required quite a heavy use of InDesign which I am hardly experienced in. However, they still kept me on for the rest of the week, taught me as much as they could and provided me with very helpful feedback and advice at the end. They paid me for the week, gave me good advice on how I can proceed in my job searching (namely, learning how to use InDesign) and offered to be a reference. So all in all very positive and generous. I also got to spend some time with my godmother who is awesome and catch up with my cousin who is also a talented artist!

Despite this being such a great experience and opportunity, it wasn’t without some less positive aspects as well. It’s caused me to have to take a step back and consider what I really want to achieve. It’s also brought up a few questions about my physical and mental health that I may not have taken seriously enough. I certainly felt more homesick than expected to and being ill didn’t help much either. I won’t dwell on this too much now but it’s certainly a lot to think about.

Despite all of the emotional turmoil I still managed to submit the first assessment for my 3D Animation Foundations course. This included loglines, a synopsis, character designs, environment designs, storyboards and some sundry documentation for an animation that will be submitted at the end of the course. The brief is that it must be a short (10 – 30 second) animation starring a robot that either floats or has wheels. The course goes over the processes involved in making an animation, including basic modelling and animation in Maya (which I think is a fantastic way to start).

Final designs for my animation’s robot character

I got 100% for the assessment, which basically just means I handed in everything that was supposed to be handed in. Even better my teacher was impressed with my work and gave me super positive feedback for everything! This has motivated me to keep going, because with my own anxiety and comments from certain people I was starting to have some doubts about if doing this course would be a step in the right direction.

This week we started learning Maya. Due to illness, I’ve missed the lessons but fortunately they’re recorded for students, so I’m now in the process of going over those. First task was to make a snowman, which was fun!

I will add colour later

So, despite what’s happened in the last few weeks, it’s back to business as usual. I’m going to attempt to finish off those projects that have been sitting on my hard drive for ages (now that I’ve sorted out what will just be sketches and deleted all the unwanted projects). Hopefully I’ll make some progress on that in the next few weeks. I’ll also keep focusing on my course and look for a course that teaches InDesign. On top of that I will be taking steps to improve my health.

See you for now!