Weeks 49 & 50 Woo! Reviewing the end of 2013. I still draw tentacles.

Leonie’s small blog island says hullo! (:
It’s been two weeks. Hoped you enjoyed and have recovered from the Christmas holidays (if you celebrate it) and the new year celebrations! (:
It’s 2014 now…it shall take a while for me to get used to the new number.

In this post: what I’ve been up to in the remaining weeks of 2013.

Let’s go ! Journal Time.

Being known as the “girl who draws tentacles” won’t go away anytime soon. Don’t you dare think I have a thing for them; they’re real slimy…and I fear slimy. And that brings up the thought of worms and how they hindered my Science biology assignment another lifetime ago. But I’ll leave that for another time. (:

Week 49 (18th to 24th Dec)

  • PV illustration: sought out feedback from the team and Heath; I can’t show anything yet from this. I will show my process here when I’m ready, of course. I just don’t know when that will be. Second quarter of this year? Hm!
    • got some more ideas I’d like to try past the first version
    • nutting out the typography for promo material
    • illustrator time for all the fonts…it’s taking me ages as I’m vector drawing everything rather than use prescribed fonts. It’s been a while since I used Illustrator.
    • I redid over the Position: Vacant title & made a PV logo for our team!
Since we’re already known as the “tentacle” film team, I might as well go crazy with it. Never intended this but it happened. It’s long past the point where I roll my eyes at the tentacle jokes.
Greyscaled version: The signature’s just here for now. The title heading is still going to be one line of space rather than two as shown. This actually looks better than the coloured one I think.
    • Also eyeballed two other logos
    • sketching the illustration over
  • PV- GU: Reworking the concept art I did for the Construct3D competition by sketching loads of visual development but I can’t show anyone yet. Not even my team knows at this stage. As mentioned in the last post, this is a personal project and challenge of mine and I could use this to help PV itself further. I still hope to 3D model my original Construct3D character too…I don’t think I want to model a full 3D diorama with it as I originally had it. Or maybe I will…in the distant future.
    • planning what promo stuff I need to design and create
    • sketching twice over my sketches then scanning them all in; it’s about 30 A5 sized sheets of paper? I’m sure other artists do much more? No clue.
    • nutting out the font and typography for the title; redoing it
    • scanning it in again
    • illustrator time with the title and got bro’s feedback
    • Created a new font I drew via vector drawing. I also used it for the PV illustration.
“A SideStory”: I call this typeface. The “Q” needs nitpicking though but I haven’t used the letter so I didn’t bother for now. I don’t know how to convert this to an actual font people could use; might do it only if there’s enough interest that is.
    • putting this project on hold for now as the PV illustration takes top priority, especially when I’ve loosely planned out each part of the project. All that’s left is the execution and probably more nitpicking when I get back to it.
  • Typography and Lettering: It’s not an area I enjoy the most but figured I need to learn more about it in more depth for the above two projects. Trying not to risk having the words take over the imagery though. Some day I’ll do proper practice in this area; for now, I’m just trying to pick out what I need to help me in these two projects. Got reminded how tedious it can be but it’s not something I mind terribly.
  • Arm…starting to get sore/stiff at one point due to sketching and Illustrator! (Using a mouse because it’s easier to art in Illustrator that way). Taking breaks! I don’t want RSI again!
  • Adobe Illustrator: figuring it out…there’s so much you could do but I don’t know what suits my needs so it’s hard to choose. Buaaaargh.

Week 50 (25th to 31st Dec)

  • PV illustration: Sketched and blocked out version 2
    • waiting on feedback from the team and taking a break for the rest of the week
    • picking out from old moodboards again for study purposes
  • NAC Weeks 6 and 7: jumping around the place with this camp; won’t really finish every homework set right now but I’m doing bits and pieces and it also doubles up for the PV illustration
    • studies of all the weird things…
Photo studies 01: the suckers were tricky. I don’t want to eat that octopus…!
Photo studies 02: It was a photo of a real corpse leg dangling off a bed. I’m not afraid of these things but if it’s horrific graphical and spelled out real life violence and gore before my eyes then that’s another story. Note I’m not talking about over top and clearly fake effects in movies or in-game graphics. The huge eye was for the interesting iris textures. Photo studies as they are…getting real boring. Need to mix it up a bit!
  • Train adventuures/Plein Air doodles: did these loose drawings
I noted an old guy that was making a smooching, puckered out, pouting mouth along with intent, furrowed staring whenever he looks at girls. I did a staring competition through my pinhole glasses in response until the next female passenger came along for him to stare at. Later on and for the most part he put on his sunglasses and had a normal mouth, conversing with his friend so it’s probably an amusing, silly, deliberate expression to troll people. Ah people on trains (: There was also an amusing penguin ornament at Melbourne Central. It should be holding something!
  • NAC Colour and Compositional studies & discovered some old photos I took in the process
  • NAC Master Study: did some work on it a bit
  • Skeletal studies: Revision; shall post them next week when I’m done.

Reflection for the Weeks


Other Adventures first: 

  • Nintendo Direct: So…Rosalina’s in Brawl; not surprised. Personally, I think she’s lost that “motherly” vibe from the original galaxy games. Dr Luigi (that arm sway!), Phoenix Wright/Layton and the new Kirby 3DS game are what I’m looking out for. And ooo, armoured Spirit Tracks Zelda and Twilight Princess Zelda is in it!
  • Christmas Cards: I used to do such things and drew art for people another lifetime ago. Grew out of that. But two kind people gave me a pleasant surprise and mailed me a physical Christmas card and an electronic card respectively! Thank you to you both again; as I know you might read this. (:
  • On Christmas…I’m one of those people who forget and go “huh? It’s Christmas Day? Oh.” Haha at least that’s what happened this time. Just a relaxing day (:
  • Starbound (watching): pretty much like Terraria and Minecraft? Just some easier ways to do things.
  • Killzone Shadow Fall end (watching): interesting end credits.
  • Castle Crashers on Steam (playing demo): very boring single player. Beat’em up (at least by yourself) gets boring real fast.
  • Silent Hill Downpour (watching): suicides, badly designed enemies, weird female doll enemies, wheelchair guy, lonely mysterious mailman, annoying and puzzling lady cop, DJ missing or presumed dead, dancing lady zombie at a gate because she couldn’t get past the loading area, movie ghost house and scary basketballs, “Wait, was there an earthquake at this monastery?!”, foreboding bogeyman references, creepy kid playing with toy cars, references to Heavy Rain, Hansel and Gretel play comes to life in the form of the ghosts of hospital child abuse. Finally reached to the end with the good ending…as a game, it doesn’t look fun, it is terribly dragged on and repetitive and mechanics go faulty at times. So glad it ended.
  • I have no Mouth and I must Scream (watching): Ah this game again. Watched bits and pieces and now going to watch the whole disturbing thing through. Saw the best ending as well and AM is most manipulative, pained and sadistic in his world.
  • Super Mario 3D World (playing): terribly hard now at the final world! My bro had to do all the hard work and he was terribly angry and frustrated throughout while I was the checkpoint character in case he dies. Used up hundreds of lives. And then when we finally finished it we realised we’d need to do it again at least twice more over. Did a detour and I got all the stars for the relatively easy Captain Toad stage.
  • Yakuza 4 (watching): confusing fights here and there; Hana, mysterious pretty lady “Lily”, throwing men off the tops of buildings but then they come out fine, Hana being awesome and acting normal after beating up two grown men out the door and one off 3 storeys, Kido being all confused, annoying CEO heir quest learning about downsizing versus bankruptcy, cranial and katana violence that would never make sense in real life, suicide running, “fake” gun practice on “fake” dying, screaming targets spurting blood, tackling and chasing down people, “fake” machine gun training against you to the point of near-death,
  • Disaster Day of Crisis (watching): hurricanes and raining ashes, fighting helicopters from a wrecked train that is surrounded by lava, dancing at healing trees, shooting at a rampaging angry bear and becoming bear god, saving Iris here and there, climbing things that should burn your flesh off, driving over lava,
  • Peggle 2 (watching): More Ode to Joy remixes and hard levels
  • Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag (watching): Pirate songs, stealth mission via wench camouflage, hiding in hay, ship sailing with a restless crew, Pretty open world!
  • The Walking Dead Season 2 Ep 1 (watching): slow start but riveting all the same! The illusion of choice is very apparent to me though there are subtle changes here and there. Don’t know yet!
  • Puzzle games: my bro insisted that I have potential of playing puzzle games competitively…? Wha?
  • Pikmin 3 (playing): *Spoilers* Collecting all the fruit for an area before I move on with the story. Micro management time! Finally finished the game with all fruit at day 55 for the best ending and feeling very conflicted. Thoughts…

No post game like Pikmin 2? Olimar’s just happy to leave without any treasure? That’s it?! Glad Louie’s left behind; the sabotaging jerk’s fine at PNK-404 anyway. Stumbled on theories on the last boss too as the ship crasher, treasure stealer, captain killer, Olimar’s physical manifestation of his fears and new found greed linked by the previous games in other forms.

I guess I have that “finishing the game and feeling disappointed, sad and lost” feeling as I expected more (the adorable Pikmin choir was a plus however). At least I’ve still got mission mode to play co-op on. I had fun but I was disappointed with the end.

  • Classmates Catch up: t’was wonderful to be invited as there was a good and relaxed atmosphere despite the fact that I turn into a lost mute a lot of the time (it’s not anyone’s fault but my “tendency to listen” personality really!). I’m a tortoise at warming up to people at one off social events (where you’re expected to mingle) and small talk but I’m learning.

Looking forward to a next one; I need to start drawing at these social things (and yes and step it up and kick myself to talk more, I know.).

  • Laptop troubles: This new laptop fan cooler is worse than having my normal fan blowing at it. This laptop is getting real bad at coping…I can’t work with the lag I’m getting. I’m nursing my laptop all the time. ): I guess I have another reason to be so tight on money; I working towards an upgrade so I can work without lag issues and I don’t have to be restless when I can’t work on a fine, hot summer-like day.
  • Orcs Must Die 2 (played the first level): well there’s the fun stereotyped queen orc lady with a comically nonsensical breast plate but I found it repetitive as you mash the attack button till they’re dead. The waves of orcs come and then they get attacked by your traps. Very well stylised but I didn’t find it fun as a game. My bro made me try it!
  • Torchlight II (played to a sidequest): bro made me try this one too. I can’t see the fun in an RPG with an uncompelling story. It’s solid in art but gameplay wise it gets too repetitive for me with sidequests and quests full of mouse clicking and upgrading of weapons/inventory towards a vague, general cause of fighting against the bigger evil. Despite the comically designed stereotypical characters, I couldn’t get into it.

Well in comparison, I used to play Team Fortress 2 because of the ridiculous, witty dialogue, character designs, their “Meet the…” videos and loosely weaved storyline/bonus comics. I’m not good at it as I only played it for mindless fun but I got tired of it (and constantly dying!) Good, fun gameplay and/or experience is the main thing I look for in a game but if it tends toward the tedious side, then the storyline has to be tight enough for me to go through with it anyway.

Wow, am I nitpicky and biased. (:

  • Wanderlust (played the indie game demo): didn’t get far till the end of the tutorial. It was not easy to read the text and some controls are not intuitive for me. It was not easy on the eyes for me because there was no balance where I should look.
  • Doctor Who Christmas Special *Spoilers*: Aw Handles the Cyberman Head. So bittersweet. Reminded me of Cast Away and K-9 and left me wondering how it came to be. Other things of note: Clara reveals she fancies the mad man, the potential for more cracks in the universe to be created is there, where did the boss lady of the church head off to, goodbye bowtie, Clara’s awesome grandma, the amusing poke at Tennant’s Doctor that he regenerated again with the same face because he’s so vain and (not that it mattered but) who was that older young guy’s name if it’s not Barnable?

I really like and am pleasantly surprised at how Matt Smith regenerated swiftly into Peter Capaldi as all the painful screaming side of it was used up at his enemies. Whoosh, transform and then hey; Peter’s here and has such huge, bulging owl eyes! Have no clue how old the Doctor is now as he was dying of old age. His growing old and going through with staying at a town called Christmas for so long really gets emphasised (he rarely stays put at a place because of his TARDIS).

I enjoyed the ride of an episode, I was not too sad that Matt’s moving on (even though I’ve watched all of the seasons with Doctors 9, 10, 11; I don’t have a favourite Doctor. I’m only watching for the fun ride) and appreciated that his last speech embraced change when he was remembering Amelia. Matt’s a great Doctor and looking forward in seeing how Capaldi and his new coloured kidneys handles the reigns. What would he wear if not a bowtie? Hm!

  • GameCenter CX PilotWings (watching): Saw the epic conclusion of him finally clearing the last mission with some help! So many close moments!! Arino clearing it is certainly a miracle.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (playing): Okay, now that I’ve finished Pikmin 3 I can finally start this game. No spoilers please!

I am so surprised at how smiley I was when I opened my bro’s game and finally started my new file as “LINK” as I always do (“Link” was always taken by my bro). I’ve been keeping my expectations neutral for this game but the nostalgia coming back from some of the previous games is awesome! Majora’s Mask cameo and the “waking up from a bad dream” beginning! Predictable so far. But…sweeeeet Zelda fun! Been over two, three years(?) since I’ve played a full Zelda game (the last one I played was Skyward Sword which was a fun one off ride but it’s not a perfect game. Groose is the best as a character from that game).

The fact that you can get almost all of the items via renting makes exploration boundless earlier on as you can do things you can’t do if the game was completely dead linear. I find myself refusing to game over because of all the consequences that entails though.

Art learning: juggling continues to infinity and beyond!

That original Toy Story movie. You just come to love Woody the most as he goes through all the motions of fear of change and feelings of abandonment and loss. Then he grew as a better being and learned. We could all relate to that.

Received some helpings of gracious support in the past year 2013, so to those of you I wanted to emphasise: I never had plans to give up. I do think and voice about the reality of the job situation at times (I can get too critical of myself) but I can’t imagine myself doing anything else and this is just the beginning. There’s always many more exciting things to learn!

My personal obstacle is getting my head around finding my place in the industry and the given constant change plus uncertainty. Coming from a different career previously with similar obstacles at its core, this isn’t new to me but it’s still never easy (as it is with some of you too). I’m keeping myself neutral and am ready for the long haul.

I know this is what I want. So I’m just going to do what I want.

Again, I’m not giving up so don’t you either! Let’s keep going! (:

Anyway; getting off my box! I think my mind is in a bit of a daze from all the juggling I’ve been doing. Whoa. Essentially I’ve been arting on whatever I’m motivated in working on at a given time, trying not to get my arm get too stiff so I’ve been switching things up when I need a change. Kept being inspired too hence driven to refocus! Personal projects and learning fun!

Probably will stay with the weekly blogging schedule for now despite the lack of art I can show. This is a work logging, art learning and interests blog after all, unlike my art tumblr or portfolio.

Also trying to avoid long and wordy posts as two weeks of rambling (evident in this post) is a lot and it tends to fall out of date quite quickly; not that people should mind the length (as it’s up to you to read or not! It’s fine.)

I have however scrapped the daily heading thing and am tackling the week as a whole. It’s not chronological anymore but grouped into categories. Ah the logical part of me at work.

Been wondering again about my changing art style as I’m starting to enjoy painting over my sketches and seeing where that takes me. At first it was daunting! Wondrous line-work full of rhythm and movement or sharp, bold line-work still has a place for me so…playing around with both! Not going to worry about balancing realism vs stylised…I’m just going to experiment!

Thanks for reading & feel free to comment below! (:

Until next time, Leonie