Thursday, August 4, 2016

"A Universe of Trouble's" Mixed-Media Style



I'm intrigued by the difference between motivation vs. inspiration. Motivation is you grabbing something and seeing it to its end. Inspiration is allowing an idea to grab you and seeing it to its end.

My approach to "A Universe of Trouble" was INSPIRED. Despite the story being slightly dated and having a few shortcomings, I loved the idea of a person flying around the universe fixing hyperspace beacons. It was full of unexplored potential!

Once this story grabbed me, I realized that I wanted my adaptation to be visually distinct. 

First, the lead character was changed from a male to a black female. This choice was deliberate. I wanted to prove that, except for biographies, the ethnicity/race/gender of a character is irrelevant; what matters is the HUMANITY of the character.

Our unnamed leading lady of "A Universe of Trouble."

Second, I decided to do drawn animation. This may not be the market’s preference but it’s my preference and this project is a reflection of me and my sensibilities


Layouts for a scene.

Third, I decided to use painted watercolor that’s been digitally retouched instead of flat, digital color. Again, this is my personal aesthetic preference. I not only want this project to reflect my preferences but I want it to stand out in the market. I think these choices will help set my work apart.


Original painting (including some experimentation in painting the face.)

The final, digitally retouched version including some stock illustrations.

The look of the project has, however, evolved since I started it. Although I’m still using watercolor, I’m also using more stock images, stock illustration and stock 3D art. That choice was made to save time in having to create original art for every scene and episode. Using stock art also improved the overall look of the project.

Original 3D art purchased via CGTrader. Artist: Abhimanyu Kashyap.


Art with eye added from image below.



Lizard eye image used.


3D art purchased from CGTrader. Artist: Herminio Nieves @2014.


Stock illustration applied to final art below.


Use of stock illustration.

By using stock art, I unconsciously stumbled upon a more mixed-media look than I originally intended. But that’s OK! The beauty of doing a personal project is that despite having one thing in mind, you can end up discovering something completely unexpected that’s ultimately better than your original intentions.

Keep working, discovering, making choices and making mistakes! It’s the only way to progress.

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