In my college days, when I was first getting into doing graphic design for other people, I decided I needed a place to store everything so I could show them off to people. After a search, deviantART was the best choice. However, all I ever put on there were small pieces I did for others. I had no desire to do anything for myself and post my own work. It wasn't until years later that I decided to delete my old account and start from scratch. Thus, the dA profile you see today!
- I began by uploading a series of works that I created in college; everything from charcoal sketches to photomanipulations and vector artwork. I chose this image because it is unique among everything in my gallery: a poster, made up for 4 sections being brought together to make one massive 38x44" creation made through the use of pencil, charcoal, black and white conte. It took me almost 14 hours to complete it. I was the only one in my class to attempt something on this scale, and while it is far from perfect, I am proud of the work I did. I have yet to attempt anything else like it (and it's partner piece) ever since.
- Photoshop Elements was the first true graphic program I ever used. I learned some extremely rudimentary basics from Windows Paint when I was 7. But, when I was 14, I applied for my working papers, and ended up buying myself a scanner that came with a free copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements, which took things to a whole new level for me! I've been working with Photoshop ever since, and currently use CS5. This piece is proof of exactly how much I've learned to do. Everything in this image was created exclusively in Photoshop and, to date, is my most popular submission, both in views and favorites.
- I love the idea of expanding my knowledge and skill base. Years ago, a friend of mine approached me to be the colorist for an independent comic book series he was trying to develop. He has since given up on the project, but working with him was enjoyable, and the experience showed me that I have a love and appreciation for Illustration. I decided to take it a step further than what my friend had originally planned, and decided to recreate an image from a manga I had seen. I remade all of the line-work from scratch, added my own palette of colors to the two characters, and even included material textures and shading. I am extremely happy with the way this one turned out. Originally it was going to be a gift for someone special, but I ended up sharing it with everyone.
- While I have yet to receive my first official commission, I get requests all the time; typically from my friends. My very first watcher, Kayla, asked me one day if I would be willing to make her a new banner wallpaper for her YouTube page. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige! The only problem was that Kayla was (and still is) extremely busy, and we never got around to sitting down and discussing what exactly she wanted. So, I decided to set out on my own and create something based on what I knew about her. I knew she was obsessed with cosplay and Kingdom Hearts, so I decided to focus on those two things. I was able to find out from her that she loves the colors in a peacock feather, so I used that as my palette. Lastly, I knew from previous experience that she was a dog groomer by trade, so I decided to use paw prints to decorate the piece. And viola! She was so happy with what I had made for her that she actually cried!
- I seem to make a lot of pieces for my friends. Not even so much because they ask me to, but often times because I want to do something nice for them, completely unprompted and for no reason at all other than they are my friends and I want them to have something special from me. I find that my mood drives my creative energy, and that my friends have a remarkable influence on my life. I made this piece for my friend Taylor who, along with many others, was extremely supportive of me when I was going through a tough time. She talked to me all the time, helped me forget about bad things, and even gave me a little insight that led me to discovering a state a clarity. I used 3D models that I modified to represent the two of us (3D Animation is another love of mine). Rather than starting with a concept in my head of layout, I simply started with an emotional concept; how I felt and the way she made me feel. It's safe to say that this piece was one of my faster creations simply because it had a life of its own before even being made. It's emotional pictures like these that involve those closest to me that are the easiest for me to create, maybe because I'm so invested in them that it feels like they take almost no time to complete at all.
- I was originally going to just do 5 pictures, but I would be foolish not to include my latest artist style pursuit: minimalist vector! I should start out by saying that, by nature, I am by NO means a minimalist! Every single graphic design professor I had in college would look at my preliminary work and tell me that while it was impressive from a technical and talent aspect, it was too busy; there was so much going on that there was no focal point for the viewer. I was the only designer who started out with too much, and then had to work it backwards (kind of like how a sculptor chips away at stone to reveal a statue by removing and reducing the unneeded materials). My finished pieces were always top notch. My GPA proves that. But after graduating, I knew that I had to learn how to create outside of my comfort zone, and think/design in ways I wasn't used to. So, I challenged myself to start using Adobe Illustrator more, and to keep my pieces as minimalist as possible. And I have to say: I think it was a massive success! I've done everything from leaving a subject's skin as transparent as the background, filling in a subjects skin with a background image, having everything of a subject silhouetted except for their hair, and to having a fully formed subject with no more detail than their eyebrows and buttons. I have to admit that I've developed a major appreciation for this style, and it has helped me think of projects from a minimalist point of view, which has saved me a lot of time and energy.
SO! What's my plan for the future. Well, as far as deviantArt goes, I'll continue to create pieces as often as I can. I would still love to get Chasing Heroes up off the ground and start putting out pages for the audience (that mostly likely doesn't exist currently) to enjoy. And I'm sure my friends will always have ideas for me. I'm actually currently working on my marketing material for a company I would like to establish. I've thought about it for a long time, and the job market being what it is, I think it will be more worthwhile to go into business for myself rather than depend on others to hire me (this, of course, will be in addition to the job I have now). For me personally, I want to continue voice acting (and fates willing, turn professional), and I want to build a new computer rig; one that is powerful enough that I can really start to teach myself 3D Animation and perhaps one day write, animate, direct, produce and voice act in a series of my own creation (ya hear that,
? I'm coming for ya! Haha.
). There's still a lot of work to be done. And I have a feeling that deviantArt will continue to be a part of that.