Sunday, 20 March 2011

Inspirations and Influences

I would say my artistic influences are pretty widespread. It started with comics and graphic novels when I was young, but I never really started drawing until I started reading "Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Waterstone. The character design, and the stories told in each strip really inspired me to start thinking about my own characters and ideas.
I loved the way the strips would show parts from calvins imagination of him as a spaceman (Spaceman Spiff), a private eye (Tracer Bullet) or as a huge dinosaur while people in the real world struggled to understand his behaviour. I always wanted to capture the attitude and character in my drawings, that Bill Waterstone put into his. 

   I always really liked the style that Calvin and Hobbes was drawn in, a thick black line bordering blocks of colour. I started rendering things with marker pens to achieve the same kind of result.

Another big drawing influence for me is Gary Larson. His single panel jokes more often than not had me crying with laughter. I thought the craziness of the concepts behind each joke was brilliant and I loved the way he could take something regular and un-interesting, and turn it into a hilarious comic panel. The way Gray Larson draws everything was also very appealing, highly detailed but simplistic at the same time, the character apparent in everything is very well done.
He also seems to be able to find the humour in anything and has such variety in his panels that the reader is interested for hours (in my case anyway).

My influences in the animation world are pretty classic, "Looney Tunes" and "Tom and Jerry" would have to be the main reasons for my interest. I thought the slapstick madness in these two cartoons was genius and could happily sit and watch episode after episode for hours. To this day, both can still reduce me to tears and laughing pains. Definately my ultimate goal in animation would be to work on something that has that same effect on people. The intricacy of the drawing and detail of the environments, especially in Tom and Jerry, is really inspirational to me, and always makes me want to push to achieve the best result I can with whatever Im working on.  

More recently James cameron`s "Avatar" had a huge impact on the direction I was thinking in animation. The immense amount of highly detailed 3D models and the amazing quality of the film really inspired me to improve my 3D modelling / texturing and rigging skills. I thought Avatar was mindblowing, the story, effects, characters and depth of the world really sucked me in and made me really want to be involved in that area of the industry.  I want to be able to produce a working 3D model that can be mistaken for a real world entity. In Avatar all of the machinery, creatures and environments were so unbelieably realistic it was hard to convince yourself they werent real. I definately want to raise my game to get to that level of expertise.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Fur-Breeze Animals and Character concepts

Fur-Breeze is the title of the film I am currently working on at uni. Originally thought up by Dave Gorman, the film is about a skunk who goes on a rampage across the zoo he lives in. Ignored and uncared for, the skunk decides he has had enough and builds a huge tripod walker that he uses to take revenge on the other inhabitants. 

Here I will post the concepts for the characters and other components of the film as they progress. 

Victims of the skunk and other zoo inhabitants

 Kent the Bear - a rather depressed Bear who is
himself, quite tired of being looked at through glass
on a daily basis.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Guitar Revolution, Make Music not War!

Rebuilding and Refinishing guitars has now become quite a passion of mine, I already owned 3 guitars, but now there are 11 kicking around. Some are in various states of completion from being nice n shiney, to still in bits but Im trying my best to get each one up to full working condition. Who knows, then I might try flogging a few of them on eBay once Im done.

It all started when I bought my Ibanez RG while I was living in Japan, A beautiful pearl white monster that sounded great on the high notes. I posted it home instead of taking it on the plane with me when it was time to go back to Scotland (cause its considerably cheaper) and it survived the 3 month boat journey with no bumps or scrapes. Imagine then my supreme rage when it got horribly chipped and scarred because of the stitching on a cheap gig bag. The zip burst and sent my lovely Ibanez clattering off the ground.

My RG before it got broken

After bouncing off the ground it would never stay in tune, strings wouldnt lock and the chip on the bottom was huge. So it sat in my room for nearly 2 years before I decided to do something about it.
2 months and a lot of elbow greese later and it was back to full working condition (and I think, looking better than ever).

After finishing the Ibanez I refinished my friends Epiphone SG, and fixed a Squier Strat. Now Im stripping down another Squier and a Jim Deacon Strat, while rebuilding a Cort Zenox Z22 and a Greco Strat from 1960!

A picture of the Cort Zenox Z22 im rebuilding, not much more needing done to it, just pickups and electronics. Plan is to use the factory standard Humbuckers from my Yamaha RG on this and get some replacement Dimarzio Evo 2`s for the RG.

Il upload more photos of these as and when I take them, but feel free to send me a message if anyone has any issues with a guitar, if I dont say so myself I know them inside out now.