funeral for 2012 and by funeral i mean partytime yo

HAPPY 2013! with love, MONIQUE C. / THE STAR SAMURAI ❤ ✭
Listening to “How We Do (Party)” by Rita Ora ♫

Sorry for the lacking of posts, folks! I've been doing some much-needed lazing around and relaxing.

I'm not quite sure if I improved this year art-wise other than anatomy. And I haven't been able to work on comics as much as I'd like, which has been very painful. Also I was forced to use Autodesk Maya for an entire year. Looking back on that, I still hate using it. And 3D modeling is not my cup of tea. At least I learned that much this year.

Next year I look forward to working on my thesis, which is a chapter of one of my comics, Glass Hearts, and various merchandise to go along with it (including a published book). Finally I'll be able to do things I enjoy doing with art next year that I haven't been able to do fully for the past 3 years. It's going to be fantastic.


//sketch log 001

Listening to “Rinse FM 23-11-11” by Von D ♫
Firstly, I am going to try and put what I'm listening to in each entry. Because I love discovering new music and sharing my experiences of them with others.
Kicking things off, I started listening to Von D...last year or this year, I forget. He is a mostly-dubstep producer from France, and all of his music has that distinct Von D flavor. If your preconceived notion of dubstep is Skrillex, then you are 100% misinformed. I suggest watching this documentary called Bassweight that I watched last year. But I digress, my recommended tunes of Von D's are "Coquine", "Echolow", and "Sunlight" (this song is definitely my #1 favorite - I can never get enough).
Anyways: turns out I don't really have much left from this semester to post on here, haha! So I'm going to start putting up sketches. They'll vary from source: sketchbook, scrap paper, digital, etc. I have a bad habit of keeping useless papers in hopes that I'll sketch all over it. So I have tons of those. More so than sketchbook sketches, believe it or not.
This first sketch log is a look at my sketchbook. I'll try and take more pictures of it for the next log along with some scrap paper sketches. (Maybe it'll be a sketch dump? Ohoho!)

I like to sketch ideas out for my comics/stories, so 80% of my sketches are mini-comics to accomplish this.

This was me coming up with stuff for that promotional package artwork. I also like to make up outfits that don't exist. Which depresses me in the process...
The skewed perspective is for that ~*ARTISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY EDGINESS*~ or something.


figures all over the place

So I am officially done with this semester (well, since yesterday). I definitely need this winter break to...have a break before I actually finish school. Wow, that is happening.
Anyways, within the next few days I'll try and post things from this past semester that I haven't posted. To start, here are 3 among the last couple of assignments from my figure in motion class I actually liked, haha.
A turnaround derived from a 3D model.

5 males and 5 females of varying poses. I unintentionally drew two Precure characters in here.

A running figure that I imagined into nudity. Straight up.
Also I am going to try and post more things I personally draw, which include fanart of the anime variety. Because boy oh boy do I watch a lot of that.


werkin that type, hunty

So wow, I finally got time to actually work on finishing this piece this week. Or more specifically, the last two days. Other assignments got in my way, which sucked so hard because I was really looking forward to working on this!
Working on the border...
 Lineart always takes up the most time for me because 1) it's the foundation of everything to come, 2) everything should be right, and 3) I'm a perfectionist. So I had to rush it, which frustrated me a lot. Rush-coloring is kind of no problem, as it's easy to fix. But lines...not so much.
Refining the shading and highlights on the type more, ahhhh!
 Setting the colors up was somewhat frustrating, especially the hair. But overall, coloring was a lot of fun. No one in critique questioned my color choices, so that gave me relief because I put a lot of thought into that.
This is the result for today, but I will be making some changes. So look out for that during break!


promo realness

I drew these four things for my promotional package due today. A lot of the art I produced for school in the past aren’t up to my strict-as-ever standards. I only had time to roughly sketch these (though to other people, these look more complete than anything).

I just wanted to do more fashion-driven illustration. So…tadaa~

Charlie (Glass Hearts) + seapunk realness
Alana (Project 217!) + Yves Saint Laurent + 90s business executive realness
Random person + grungy punk realness
Random person + floral + feminine + wintery realness


2D ➙ 3D


You know that last progress shot? I decided to try out Mudbox and it didn't like that mesh at all. So I had to spend a lot more time in Maya than I'd like to fix it. And I was really frustrated for a good first half of the day. But eventually, I worked it out.

So there's the concept art on the left, and the final 3D model textured in color + bump maps on the right. A few things are imperfect, but overall I am more than happy with the end result. It turned out way better than anticipated. I might even use Mudbox after this class! For fun, of course.



If this wasn't addressed yet, I have been a member of my school's student chapter of the Society of Illustrators since last year. It's been a really fulfilling thing to be a part of and I'm hoping it'll continue into the future (after I graduate - oh my god that phrase scares the heck out of me).

This year we have done movie nights on first Thursdays from the get-go, which is pretty great. I made one poster that was accepted for the movie Summer Wars. (The timing of when this movie was shown with a family loss made me lose it, I gotta say. I highly recommend it).

Upon hearing that no one entered a poster for tomorrow's movie, Akira, I decided to go for it. I was young when I first watched it on VHS, and I'm probably going to watch it tomorrow night since it's been ages since I watched it. But I was really surprised to hear no one did an entry. So amidst terrible school internet and an overall stressful day, I managed to pull off my first piece of Akira fanart for SOI.

Funny thing is, I kinda had a similar idea for the previous movie showing that I missed completely, the Illusionist (definitely going to watch it when I have time, by the way). Though I did this unconsciously. Pretty much all the official artwork for this movie and comic are primarily red, and white - so I decided to go with that and black. It was a good experience doing something on a super-tight deadline that wasn't for a class. I'm surprised I accomplished this amongst the brunt of finals week (aka 2 weeks), so I feel pretty good about this. It's a nice break from stuff I don't necessarily feel like doing.


why must we do this?

After this semester, I won't have to touch Autodesk Maya ever again. Which is fantastic because that is possibly the worst program I've ever had to work with. And it singlehandedly convinced me that 3D modeling is not my thing at all. For two semesters of me cursing more than the usual, and feeling like the object of torture from a program.

But I digress: I am now working on the final project I'm doing for the only class utilizing Maya, Advanced Gaming. Throughout the semester we actually barely used Maya, which was music to my ears. We basically divided into groups and made board games. And we actually did concept art, which we didn't get to do at all last semester. Unless we count chairs and silverware...

Then we took these board games and made assets for a 2D game version of it. Somewhat unknowingly, I somehow ended up with the hardest portion of the group: backgrounds. I didn't think it would take as long as it did. As in my group-mates finished their work before I even worked on the 2nd out of 4 backgrounds. Needless to say, one of them (super awesome friend Alex) did 90% of the 4th background for me. But yeah. I think I earned roughly 2-4 years of no pixel art. Yes: pixel/sprite backgrounds.

That was probably the hardest part of the semester: and that didn't even utilize Maya! But for this final project, I had to jump back into it. Good news is: we could make our own concept art for this! Also good news: it doesn't even have to be a human. In fact, it's a creature! This isn't done yet, but I'm pretty satisfied with the model. It's based on Surf 'n Turf, a undead-zombie-fish-with-legs that I made for the above board game. I've gained an affinity for it, I admit it.

Tomorrow I'll be trying out Mudbox for the texturing because let's be clear: I hate sewing texture maps with a passion. Hate's a strong word, and I am not afraid to use it in all aspects of this program and anything 3D-relevant. And I respect ANYONE who can make amazing things in 3D. In fact, these two semesters made me appreciate how much effort is put into all the 3D-animated movies these days.

busy busy busy

Sorry for not updating for over a week. Thanksgiving week was basically me spending time with family and no room or motivation for schoolwork. And the week back just...didn't work at all. I was in this weird state of "I really don't feel like doing anything. I should feel motivated. I should be working. But I really can't feel the energy to do anything productive." It made me feel really guilty going to school that week with that feeling on me. Senioritis Part 2: College? I wouldn't doubt it!

But this week I feel a bit more motivated to get things done. There's only this week and next week, and the semester is done: which is insanely awesome and shocking all at once. I'll try to at least post screenshots of what I'm doing during these two weeks - but I'm not making any guarantees that I won't just ignore updating this, and focus super hard on getting things done! Wish me luck!