Sci-Fi Character Development

I got permission from my friend Shawn Walton to draw him. What he saw: goofy Instagram selfie with a bucket hat. What I saw: obscured facial features and loads of texture, an intriguing composition!
I got permission from my friend Shawn Walton to draw him. What he saw: goofy Instagram selfie with a bucket hat.
What I saw: obscured facial features and loads of texture, an intriguing composition!

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I Am a RAW Artist!

August 2014 I joined an international underground artist network known as RAW Artists and began to prepare for Atlanta’s September showcase, RAW: Atlanta presents SCOPE. Everyone was super supportive, from our director Kaitlin Bradberry to fellow artists,fashion designers, performance artists, photographers, and bands.

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How Game Night Met Sketchbook

Result of a 2-5 minute exercise during a Tekken rematch. Heavy metal meets techno. Started as a EKG graph that developed into hair, framing a face and fearful eyes...
Result of a 2-5 minute exercise during a Tekken rematch. Heavy metal meets techno. Started as a EKG graph that developed into hair, framing a face and fearful eyes…
I was keeping myself awake as David played Tekken (30 minutes) I prefer sketching in black ink. What a range of expressions here...
I was keeping myself awake as David played Tekken (30 minutes)
I prefer sketching in black ink. What a range of expressions here…
Arbitrary character sketching that may turn into storyboarding. I created Atlien for a painting in October... This was influenced a bit by Welcome to Night Vale :-)
Arbitrary character sketching that may turn into storyboarding.
I created Atlien for a painting in October…
This was influenced a bit by Welcome to Night Vale 🙂

You come across a fair amount of once beloved doodles and recorded dreams when conducting a sketchbook review.

I have yet to keep a very organized field journal sort of book…my process necessitates that I can see everything at once, spread out; it’d suit me better to keep a bulletin board…

Anyway, I came across some gems as I organize my “studio” corner, and they have a sweet backstory:

Twas a loading screen sort of night, in which all attempts to see Dear White People as a group of 6 had epically flopped. Going to the bar was not an option for merriment either, so back to the apartment we rode.

Collaboration between biochemistry major LaNae King and myself. Right brain is more logical...right?
Collaboration between biochemistry major LaNae King and myself.
Right brain is more logical…right?
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Left brain sketch is much more helter-skelter, more random eyes and faces. Oddly enough I think it more unified…

Laughter joined the melodious chinks of shot glasses as we toasted to friendship, the ironic glue of the evening. Gaming commenced! I found pen and paper, determined not to be unproductive. I started to draw to the musical score and sound effects of Marvel v Capcom 3/ Tekken/Streets of Rage 2, capturing the fury of battle, the anime layout, the rocksteady special effects! (Lol.)

It’s incredible how music tempo can shift your style as you focus on it. My lines are jagged diagonals, short bursts of scribble jotted in 2 minute allotments. I even did a collaborative sketch with my friend LaNae, in blue and black ink. We call it right brain vs left brain. 😀

What began as a trip to the movies wound up an impromptu sleepover/boys night. (LaNae and I totally counted as dudes. :P) I stayed up the entire night, and ended up with some interesting character sketches.

Lessons of Showcases Past

What I learned through getting ready for RAW in September:

1. I have to set a flexible budget for funds, including contingency for incidentals, hanging materials, lights, light framing…

2. I must wisely budget time–a month goes by super fast!

3. Marketing/promotion/handling ticket sales is a HUGE task in and of itself, that I frankly do not want to handle alone. It’s been quite humbling to contend with other people and whether or not they deem your show worth spending money on.

Reminders are crucial and essential.

4. I have to do all of the above WEEKS ahead of time and execute so that the week of I only need to concern about how to get there and set up.

My to do list as of Monday 3 days before the event: email Leah about borrowing tools from Dalton Gallery (should have done 2 weeks prior!), get 1 painting finished so I can order prints (I wanted that done the weekend before!), retrieve large work from storage, order prints to be picked up by Wednesday (day before event), create a sign/logo…oh and properly grieve the loss of 2 close people in the previous 2 weeks: Sydney, a girl I mentored, and John Michael, childhood friend.

Which leads me to 5:

Give myself margin for error, room to breathe, because I am HUMAN. Woosah. Get the job done.

Virgo Nation?

Latest commission: Virgo archetype in red and black, size not yet specified.

I plan to use acrylic paint and India ink on either 16″ x 20″, 18″ x 24″, or 24″ x 30″ canvas. Here are the preliminary sketches:

Angelic, stately regal Virgo--check the wings!
Angelic, stately regal Virgo–check the wings!
Innocent, resilient, attractive. Poppy and iris crown, wings and Mercury earrings
Innocent, resilient, attractive. Poppy and iris crown, wings and Mercury earrings

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Dandridge Fever!

As leases close and people move, I receive more and more requests for housewarming gifts. Goody!

My cousin Chayla has a particular fondness for Marilyn Monroe. I much rather prefer Dorothy Dandridge, the sassy talented Hollywood beauty icon of whom Norma Jean was more than a contemporary–she imitated Dorothy’s hairstyle, poise, even her mole!

So Lady Dandridge proceeds. She was a pretty traditional portrait; my focus was on realism and technical handling paint.

Tis the Season for All the Things

The winter holidays are knocking on my front door! Tis the season for gifting, running, channeling creative energy, keeping your head up (and your nose clean-literally) in the middle of the fray.

It’s a time of great creative potential, of scrapbooking and crafting neat stocking stuffers if you’re feeling nifty, of hoping for art supply gift cards under the tree (ahem!), of restocking all kinds of shelves and taking personal, internal inventory…

Tis the week of Art Basel Miami. I will make it next year. (My resolutions start early.)

It doesn’t have to be manic or depressing. You can have peace. You CAN push through your process.

I have my arms full of sketches, bringing commissions and special requests to life. Translating daydreamed images to coffee filters by ballpoint pen. (I’m getting increasingly less “sophisticated”) Focused and determined to discover my next long term project before January 2015, knocking out more housewarming paintings in the meantime.

Last week, I finished a portrait of Dorothy Dandridge: she had quite a large forehead which I had to shorten for the sake of recognition…I may overthink when it comes to painting real people, zeroing in too closely on features…perhaps that’s why my last series of 40 mini portraits got progressively less focused on my actual face and body and more on its environment…I shall put photos in my next post.