Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm a Perfectionist! :s

Don't know if this is a good or a bad thing, but I recently posted this discussion on my Twitter. I found out that I'm a strict perfectionist, and that's the reason why I go into those episodes of always feeling that I'm not good enough or when something goes wrong, I blame myself, accusing myself of being stupid, inferior, and unworthy. It's just something that I really need to put a check on.

I always used to think that I'd never strive to be a perfectionist, but it's coming out one way or the other. This type of thinking not only manifests itself in my art, but also my thoughts throughout life in general.

I even took a test to see if it was true or not, and it states my perfectionism is on a scale of 69/100, which may not seem bad, but I feel that its higher in the sense that I'm always a downer about my work and other stuff.

The test explained this:

"Perfectionism can be a healthy quality that drives a person to try his/her best and to make the effort to excel. Some people, however, take the strive for perfection too far...and there is a price to pay. Extreme perfectionists are forever dissatisfied; they can never fulfill their own expectations so, in their own eyes, they are always failures. Chronic perfectionism is driven by deep-seated feelings of inferiority and self-hate, and by nature it reinforces a negative self-image. Performing tasks or fulfilling goals becomes intimidating and unpleasant, since the perfectionist knows deep down that the finished product will never meet his/her expectations. So the perfectionist might have problems with procrastination. Perfectionism, then, can become a double-edged sword - the perfectionist is driven by a desire to succeed, as well as a fear of failure which leaves him/her paralyzed. 

In all realms, striving for excellence can be beneficial and lead to a fulfilling professional and personal life. Accepting nothing less than excellence, on the other hand, can be emotionally scarring."

I think my level falls near the "chronic category". I do tend to procrastinate for this reason, always feeling my output will never reach the desired goal. 

The test results explained this afterwards:
"According to this test, you have some perfectionist tendencies that may be making you unnecessarily unhappy. You sometimes set high standards that are difficult to meet; either you impose those expectations on yourself, others, or a combination of the two. You may even think that others expect you to be perfect. While a desire to do your very best and strive to reach your full potential can bring you personal fulfillment, you have to learn when good is 'good enough'. It's important that you strengthen your ability to distinguish between reasonable aspirations and unrealistic demands. When you set unattainable objectives, you are being cruel to yourself and denying yourself the rewards and self-acceptance that you deserve."

I guess I need to work towards canning these feelings. I thought it was just something wrong with me, but I'm glad I'm finding the reason of my sporadic episodes of guilt, blame, and total unworth. 

This is not a sad post, as I'm glad I found the method to my madness, and will work on correcting it now. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Link to the Past...

But this has nothing to do with Zelda. -____-

I figure I put some older stuff I found on my old computer. Nothing too special, just a filler post.

This is just a WIP of the Brave Fencer Musashi piece I did a couple of years back. I figure it was interesting to show this because I was totally heading in a different direction at the beginning of the piece. It also shows my horrible composition skills at the time. (I'm still not all that impressed with my current composition skills, but hey, I'm still learning. :) )  Since this was my first outing on doing everything completely digital, it was also a handicap for me as well, as laying out on computer is totally different than pencil and paper. But all in all, it was a milestone for me, and I still like the piece- despite it's horrible composition. XD

That's all for today. Just a look-in-the-past-and-realize-how-much-more-you-sucked-back-then-compared-to-how-much-you-suck-today post. ^___^

Stay frosty, folks! 

I Know I Got The Talent, so...

...why can't I get anywhere?

I turned 24 today, and I was just thinking... it seems like I'm wasting so much time. Yeah I'm young but, time is time. :|

Maybe because I probably can never find time to make a portfolio for a pitch. I'm always drawing things for everyone else (i.e. commissions and clientele) and can never find time to put my own resume-stuff together. And it sucks because I know I can do most of the staff that people in the industry does, but I'm always stuck drawing one-pieced characters, nothing elaborate that can drive my portfolio, no time for drawing a sequential excerpt, etc.

And the biggest thing that sucks is that I can't afford to work on that stuff. I need commissions to help me keep bread on the table. The Job market (part-time, even) is just getting straight nasty out there, and it's not helping that my regular job is kinda hinting at the "ok, so we keep taking days off your schedule; get up and leave already" mentality.

I know this is hurting me, when my gallery is comprised of the same rinse-and-repeat thing on almost every single piece. I have no time and at the end of the day, energy, to work towards putting together a solid portfolio. This is why I never get my hopes up anymore with anything.

There just has to be something that can change soon. :(

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just when you think you got it down...

...You don't.

Well, that's the typical scenario for learning artists; you never really can get something down, even if you at first believe you did. I, too, fall under that category.

Everyone may dig my work and all, but essentially, I'm an amateur. I'm still learning, still grasping new concepts, ideas, and fundamentals. I do take what I learn seriously, always applying and taking it to action. However, one may become so used to doing things a lot, that things can end up becoming dull, bland, and blunt. Think of it like a sword; you can be a skilled swordsman, but if you don't take it to the blacksmith every now and then, your strikes won't do NEARLY as much damage as a nice sharp one. That's how I feel.

Earlier today, I ran across something that made me realize I need to hit the "blacksmith" up. It was an older work I was hired to do, and I, in turn, subconsciously didn't make the connection of what I needed to correct that the client expressed concern about. Long story shortened, I now realize what his concern was. Why did I pass it off? Beats me, but maybe because I was swinging that "blunt sword". I was caught up in the thought of owning a "sword" rather than keeping it "sharp".

I'm speaking figuratively because it's the best way I can show how I feel about this. It also brings humility into play.

I can say, "I see myself as a humble guy", but what is humility if you're 'labeling' yourself as humble? That's kinda contradictory to me. In my head, that's what I believe. Because after every piece of work I do, and I mean EVERY, I always catch a flaw. ALWAYS. Which makes sense because no piece is perfect; though in my head, seeing that flaw always humbles me.

Well again, with this incident, I guess my mind was ignoring that flaw, and it started to feel a bit high and mighty. It just shows how easy it is to get caught up with a proud persona. I'm not talking 'bout "Man, I'm proud of myself on how I did this one"; rather, the pride that no one likes, a la "I think it looks fine" amidst a heavy rain of critique.

I don't know where I'm really going with this, but all I think I'm saying is that I let myself slip, yet again. Everything's a trial-and-error thing, but also a live-and-learn thing. Just keep moving on, I suppose.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rats and Crap

Hey folks!

It's been a few days since I posted something on the blog, this past week has been horrendously busy. I'm on another job hunt because I have to find something else because my hours have been cut again. Sorry to say that, but that's actually what's going on. Gotta bring that bread to the table. As long as I stay optimistic enough, I think I shall be fine.

Man do I got some upcoming stuff in the works! Collabs, prints, and all other type of good things to come. :) It shall be a good year, I reck'.
Yes, indeedy, Rat Rage is full speed ahead! ^That's my lil' Japanese mock-up logo, I just couldn't help myself. XD

I'm glad to say that production for Rat Rage is finally starting. I'm going to try and give myself a page-a-day quota so I can have something to show. It will be a 200+ pg. Original Graphic Novel, may I remind you. To build up some hype again, I recently did a print featuring Rai and Nini escaping danger. I will do a few more prints for this year, just to have solely as a hype builder and original content.

Here's a few process shots for the print.
1. Thumbnail Sketch

2. Lineart

3. Lineart Cleaned

4. Rai and Nini flatted and toned; BG buildup

5. Everything flatted, toned, and BG almost complete

6. Finishing touches, atmosphere effects, and textures applied.

I would also like to re-remind people that the way this is colored will be in the same manner as how the book will look! 

Other than that, Rob out!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's very hard...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I can draw dudes too.... Can I?

Something's been buggin' me for a while.

I'm always commissioned female characters. Like, 95% of inquiries are females. Not that I'm hating on that, I DO need the money. But it sucks that I can't get any type of play when I draw dudes. Am I really known as a "chic artist"?

Really, it's not something of a big deal, but I'm going to go on a strict "drawing dude" regimen.

No sketches today. But just a thought.


Monday, April 12, 2010

One Week Ago...

... I took steps to give myself a new... self.

Week one of the 'New Robaato' has passed and I'm feelin' good! Despite the regular crap that goes on in my life, I'm surprised that I've managed to keep up with my goals! Which is all that matters to me. Life will hit you hard, but if you roll with those punches, you'll feel even more stronger. : )

Let's get on to the art:
My wife is creating a story, simply going by the name of "Fuschia" (working title). The lead character, obviously, is Fuschia Vidal (pronounced Foo'Shee'Ah Vee'Dahl, not like the color Fuchsia), who's on the run because of a family conspiracy that interlinks with a war between 4 neighboring planets. I must say, it's been such an experience working with my wife on this, as I'm learning more about her ideas and fantasies that she loves to think about. It's really fun when your closest acquaintance and the one you love can work together on something. :)

I'm going to start posting some tidbits of her, her planet, and various character designs that we have planned to show. It's going to be much fun- in that I haven't created a character from scratch in YEARS (all my characters existing and the ones you don't know about have been created years ago).

I'm pretty sure everyone has seen these on dA. I drew these because I AM doing a Final Fantasy 13 print (it's pretty obvious now, heh). I had to draw their faces to map out how I'm going to draw them in that print. I like how they came out. Going to be a fun print, mmhmm, mmhmm.

Well, that's all I'm going to say for this post. I'll divide the art posting throughout the week. Hope all is well!

Friday, April 09, 2010

BUSY!! Gotta Stay busy. :)

Hey guys! I missed a day on the blog here, but that's due to me just taking this work out! Which is good! So I'm not neglecting. :)

Now, after using this schedule thing for the first time this week, I pretty much gauged how much work I can actually do each day. So people who didn't get their stuff in accordance to the schedule will get switched around properly; now that I know what I can do in a given day. :) I really like this schedule system. :)

I also will take the time to put a little summary of my process of Toshinho's Blade Collector I drew and colored. This is mainly the parts I did before coloring the pic on my Livestream.

1. So here's the base sketch. I usually sketch real rough and loose, and a lot of things can be hard to decipher upon looking at my initial sketch (other than the gal). But on this one, instead of a thumbnail, I started on regular printer paper, and found out I wanted to draw more towards the bottom, so I attached another paper to the bottom to follow through.
2. I then scanned the sketch in, turned it into a Cyan color via Photoshop, lightened it enough so I can see it, and printed it out on 11x17 paper. (You can still see the faint blue lines from the scan...) I then carefully started lining the picture with a 0.3 H Pencil. (I like using H because it has a nice black level and it doesn't smudge.)

3. The Blade Collector is practically finished here, I then started on adding the various weapons and swords, being even more careful with the lines.
4. I got half of the swords in there, and I'm still adding details. This process took about 2 hours (after drawing Sunny).

5. And I'm done with the lineart! I scanned it in after, leveled it out, and prepared it for coloring by adding values. (I showed how did this all on my Livestream lastnight, so if you wanna see it, click here! The whole picture took 9 hours to do, but that information is explained directly in the beginning so you really don't have to wait long!
6. And after 9 hours of coloring in Photoshop on the Cintiq, this is the result! Remember you can check my Livestream to watch the process. I recorded it. :) I have entertaining video game music and commentary as well to keep you occupied. :)

Other than that, until next time people!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Video of my Workspace

Sup folks, not much today, just a video I took of my drawing pad. (The one you can sit in and stuff, not draw.)  I'm pretty busy today, so I don't have time to say too much. Just read some Twitter posts for your Robaato fix today. XD

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

More Process Stuff

Hey, just droppin' some more artistic insight on you foos out there!

I was chatting with a buddy on Skype today, and he wanted to know about layout/thumbnailing. For some reason, he couldn't grasp it or always felt obligated to go beyond and always complete everything in a large format.

There's nothing wrong with doing that, it's perfectly fine to do. And since art's an expressive subject, there really aren't any hardcore rules! However...

If you're starting off and still haven't grasped many fundamentals of what you're aiming to do, or if you're still a big learner, laying out your idea in thumbnails can be very crucial into helping you achieve the desired result.

For example, say you have this quick idea in your head, but it goes away if something else jumps in your mind. Draw a small stick figure (and I mean "small" like the size of your thumb") and voila! The general idea is there. And in case you lose it, you can always view that stick and expound on it. But I don't draw stick figures.

Here's a template I created for myself, called the Super Thumbnail Frame Comic Guide Turbo EX Alpha X8! Yes, I created a name for it. What it is, is basically a grid with 8 frames proportioned with the general comic format/11x17 paper. These are all the sketches I had scheduled to do today. I draw my quick thoughts on the paper, just to get the idea out my head. As you can see, these are no where near finished. And you can see how easily my mind can wander, King K. Rool doesn't even belong in there. I then print this grid out on printer paper (or even larger). I printed out on 11x17 paper, but it's best to go smaller with regular A4 printer paper to keep yourself from adding too much detail.
I use these layouts for when I'm doing comic layouts for my clients (when I'm working on comic pages) or even for commissions. I try to keep everything in proportion where the client can print if he/she needs to. But this works great for comics because you even have your page layout as well. So you hit two birds with one stone! 50000 bonus to your score!

I then scan these in Photoshop, select a picture with the box selection tool, copy, open a new document, paste, put a Cyan color on a separate Overlay layer above it, merge em, adjust the opacity so the blue is light enough for me to see when drawing it after it's printed out, I print it out, and then do the fine sketch/lineart over it. Then I scan it in again and remove the blue with an adjustment layer.

Seems like a lot, but fortunately, my ink cartridges for the printer are big. So no worries. I rather do this than lightbox any day.

Well, that's all I have to say for today. And I will start doing daily music posts I enjoy off youtube!

Turning over a new leaf...

Well, it seems I've garnered an ample amount of disdain (due to the immaturity I displayed in the past, regarding commissions and clients).

I don't want to start making excuses like, "I didn't feel I was good enough at the time, so that's why I didn't do your work" or "I am too busy". The truth is that I had been commissioned because people have liked my work at that time, so there was no excuse that I had to get better to do the work; they would've liked it all the same. And I had small pockets of time to do the work, even though I was going through a lot of crap, I still could've done them.

And I don't know, maybe what was going on through my life really had an effect on my artwork. I felt like I wasn't good enough, because life was treating me like I wasn't good enough. All the artists seemed like they had nothing to deal with 'cuz they were pushing work back to back, just like my RL friends had consistent jobs and a nice life going for them at the time. I was, most likely, just broken.

Still, it's no reason to deal that type of thinking towards my clients. And I suffered because of that.

I couldn't focus on my own work, and couldn't even do things I wanted to do. And that's not meant in the whiny tone, but just a point blank fact. Over the course of time, I fell into relapses everytime I had a spurt of artistic power. And those relapses have gotten bigger each time I fell into them, and it ended up turning me into an artistic vegetable. Only recently have I been able to break those relapses, and even more recent that I'm taking this art thing a bit more serious than I previously claimed.

I know I may have broken some long-term relationships doing what I done, and some have still given me the benefit of the doubt. Which is okay on both terms. I appreciate those who forgave me and continue to hire me, but I also deserve those relationships to be broken.

But anyway, this is just a public apology to all those who have at once before felt offended by my immaturity in the past. And I ask if you people can forgive me. You don't have to, but I hope you can.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Oh Yesh!

OH YESH! It's time to update that blog again!

Had a great weekend. I don't care much for Easter, so I just worked as usual at the hotel. I did a few sketches while I was there.

Here's a thumbnail drawing of a Witchblade commission I just did. Usually, I do very small drawings like these (which is about a 2 to 3 inches high usually). I then scan it in, turn it cyan, blow it up in Photoshop in adjustment to the paper size, and print it out again and draw over it in more detail. This is actually my current process with everything. Rinse and repeat, yo.

This just an assortment of Ruby sketches did over the past few weeks. I haven't drawn her that much like I used to, and I was kinda rusty on her face and stuff. I also did some quick sketches of her frame, pictured on the right. So sorry for the slight inconsistencies, just getting a feel drawing her again - gonna need to since Erratic is in production.

Look! A ME meme. That sounds dope! ME Meme... MEMEMEMEMEMEMEME... Just one of the pages I have been doing where I draw myself in all sorts of ways, doing various things. Pictured here, I'm mixing my favorite drink (you know what it is!!!!), getting spawnkilled by Snipers in Bad Company 2, posin' with my wifey, and me in my assassin garb. (It's true, I'm a member of the Assassin's Guild and I hop into the Animus every now and then to help people getting bullied by the Templars.)

Until next time! RO!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

NEGLECT can be such a pain...


I haven't posted on this blog in almost a year! BAD BIZNESS...

Well, I'm not going to go into great detail of everything that went on between now and what was the last post....? August? ...Yeah.... *clears throat*
Anyhoo, everything has been shaping up to be great! I finally got all my ducks in a row as far as work goes (secular and artistic work, I'm talking about here) and I now included my schedule, which is embedded right under my profile! (Look and see! ---->)

Anyway, I'll start today off with a sketch I did yesterday of Marvel's She Hulk. Yesh, she's utterly hit with my anime-influenced style, but what can ya' do...? I'm not Adam Hughes.

I went to the store and picked up some colored pencils, and even though this is designated as a $10 Sketch, I kinda went overboard visually, it appears. However, this is the quality I would push if I was drawing with a regular No. 2 pencil... So no one is getting anything special, just the fact that She-Hulk wouldn't be... green enough, with regular pencils.

Anyway, back to setting up. I got my Twitter account added on here as well, and I really would love to tweet often, but I need more followers to put fuel to the flame! So go and follow me! You can even reach me instantly with a question or whatever (since I have it on my hip via my Palm Pre).

With that, I'll save it for next time!