Website Critique

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http://ryanwoodwardart.com/

I’ve talked about his work earlier and the short animation that he published a while back called “thought of you”. You can scroll down to see more about it if you so desire. It might be a good idea to watch that first actually because watching it really gives a sense of what kinda of style Woodward is working with. Everything has a sense of fluidity, of movement. So when you see that visual style, take note for what makes his website very cool is that it plays off his drawing style.

His website reflects his animation style, clean, uses this traditional pencil and paper look and has a hand drawn aesthetic. It’s a art and animation website, meaning that a lot of the purpose of the website it to generate interest about the artist’s works. So of course, Woodward shows off his work. Yet he does it in a very interesting way. The home page leads you to whatever animation he wants you to see first. And normally that would be good but there are a couple critiques for the home page. Choosing to do that sort of display means that it would have to be updated kind of frequently and the video that is there currently is a little outdated. Also the home page semes to be  a little top heavy by having all the action happen in the top navigation bar. However, it is that top navigation bar and where it leads that is so interesting.

Each one of the top navigation sections has, when you put your mouse over it, a roll over animation that pulls out the section you are looking at and plays and animation. It is very clean and smooth. The video may lag from time to time but that is to be expected with video on a website. However you can tell time went into making this navigation bar because the little video that plays is a little edited down clip that is part of the actual video. As E said earlier, the purpose of the website is to show off his work so each of the top rollover tabs is one of his major projects he’s done, most of them commercial but some of them just for fun. They range anywhere from a really sweet motion comic that he’s developing about futuristic major league baseball to his work he’s done for google. There’s also his studio work as well as his traditional art pieces and for fun animated dance piece (I mention his project, “thought of you” later on). The smaller navigation bar underneath that has the home button, the works, commissions, film, animation, info, sketches 4 fun and store tabs. These tabs give further insight into what other works he does as well as also display any of the works above in case you wanted to find them a different way.

I really liked this website for several reason. One it obviously shows off his work, and a lot of it. It is clear from just a few clicks or even roll overs on this website that he really knows what he’s doing and that he has really worked a wider variety of projects and professions. His layout and use of animated rollovers not only adds to the sense of professionalism but it goes well with the theme and style of his work. Each one of the rollover tabs not only goes to the project as well but gives a lot more detail into what went into making each of the pieces and a lot of extras into them. For example the motion comic/app he’s been working on called bottom of the ninth, the page gives a whole trailer and spread about the comic itself. For commercial ones he gives both the process and final cut as well.

This website is a good example of how much content is really needed in order to adequately hold a viewer’s interest. Of course the website does it really well by using a lot of clean roll overs and animations, but it also does it by displaying a couple of his major projects front and center. I met someone recently who is actually reviews portfolio for an agency and she stated that it was better to have 4-5 major projects as well as the process that went into making it, which he does. He also includes more for anyone who wants to click further which is never a bad thing. It is a very well put together website.

Tomáš Jech: Being Insecure

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Tomáš Jech is an animator who is currently working for Riot Games and who recently came to speak at my college. He has a lot of experience in the animation industry and a lot of what he spoke about reflected my own insecurities about my own work  and future jobs. His talk did away with this notion I had that once I find a job then all the insecurities I have as an artist will magically disappear. But the only way to push past such things is to really put yourself out there and be vulnerable. And he spoke frankly that the majority of what we as artists make is going to suck. But it’s by moving past that are we able to find the great work. The key skill for anyone is not avoiding failure, but how to handle failure when it occurs.

Link to his Website: http://www.tomjech.com/

Link to a talk he gave at for TEDtalks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW8U0FKnZ7c

Inspirational Artist Spotlight #4

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Steve Ahn is an artist who caught my eye recently so I decided to use this as the spotlight for this week. He does storyboard (really well!) and he currently is working for DreamWorks animation. I’m sensing a trend in the artist that I’ve chosen and again its that sense of liveliness. His artwork has life and motion in every image and that’s definitely something I’m attracted to.

For anyone who is interested, here’s a link to a sketchbook sale that he’s doing! It’s as cheap as 4$ which is a steal and any proceeds go to donated at Green Umbrella (http://eng.childfund.or.kr) to support a child in need around the world.

Made Known Pictures.

I wanted to add into this series of frenzied posts an example of something that encapsulates these ideas i’ve talked about earlier. Imperfection, storytelling, feeling, and inspiration all within art and illustration. This company, although it seems to be on the smaller side, works and does what I want to be able to do someday. To use my skills to inspire and to tell the story of someone who can’t. Not perfectly perfect people as seen in the media but more realistic; tell the stories of the world we live in.

I wanted to put Made Known picture on here because, besides the fact that I recently applied for an internship here, have really been doing work that I think is great. I’m not sure all that much about them but the idea remains and I can hopefully do something similar with my future. Fingers crossed!

Here’s a link to their website if you want to keep an eye on their work: http://www.madeknown.com/

“Thought of You” by Ryan Woodward

Ryan Woodward is an extremely talented Animator who worked on many an animated as well as live action film doing story boards. He often does small side projects and one such projects is the focus of this post. Check out the video below as well as the link to his website where he has even more cool things like other animation, sketches, and even a motion comic!

http://ryanwoodwardart.com/

“Duet” by Glen Keane

Glen Keane is a huge name in the animation world. He’s a legendary Disney animator whose worked on animations such as Tarzan, Pocahontas, Tangled, and more. His work has infused life into these characters and given them a sense of spirit and continues to inspire up and coming animators today.

Recently he’s done a short animation called “Duet”. It follows two children who grow up and have their lives intersect. Their whole lives are shown in just a beautiful animation that spans just 4 minutes.

The goal of this personal project done in conjunction with google’s advanced technology group was to create an animation for the mobile phone. Yet despite the app being released later this year, the animation itself was released online and can be viewed on YouTube. Underneath is the video itself and the link is an interview he and the team he’s working with gave.

- http://www.animationmagazine.net/features/glen-keane-debuts-short-duet/

Inspirational Artist Spotlight #3

Pascal Campion.

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I’m surprised I’ve gone this far without talking about this artist. What can I say without rambling too much. His art is really beautiful. Pascal Campion is one of my biggest inspirations for wanted to be an artist and especially a storyteller. I first stumbled across Pascal’s work by accident while traveling in France. I was walking along, sleep deprived and carrying my huge travel backpack, when my family and I stopped in front of what turned out to be gallery. While my dad and sister tried to decipher the map, my mom and I perused the gallery window. The gallery was showcasing Pascal’s work and I instantly fell in love with it. I couldn’t figure out who the artist was and every time I would walk by i would linger just a little longer until finally one day I just decided to enter and find out who did these drawing. The one below is one of the ones that first caught my eye.

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What is characteristic of his work is the story telling in it. The lighting, the composition, the way that each image seems like a snapshot from life that tells a story to the viewer. Its art that makes you stop in the streets and takes you out of your daily life to somewhere new. And then leads you back again, inspired. It’s something I really wish my art someday can achieve.

Here’s a link to his work in which he posts his famous “sketch of the day”: http://pascalcampion.blogspot.com/

The flaws in a “perfect” drawing

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This following post in general is less of an artist spotlight (although those are included as well) and more of a general observation and personal opinion about comic book art. I’m talking more specifically about mainstream Marvel and DC art, but I’m not only criticizing just them, I just think that there are a lot of examples I can pull from there.

And as promised for example, I’d like to focus on artists such as  J. Scott Campbell or Jim Lee. I’m not just criticizing them because both of their art is incredibly beautiful and should no way be put down because to draw like that takes years of hard work and dedication. I do however i do feel as if campbell was a pioneer for this style in many ways (danger girl, etc.) and Jim Lee is a comic book artist i’m familiar with which is why I mentioned them specifically.

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I mentioned earlier that one of the big reasons that I like grace Liu (and in many ways Campion) was the sense of life in each drawing. the character had a sense of movement and liveliness. In many mainstream comics, artist has mastered drawing. so much so that it often becomes so rigid. don’t get me wrong its great and really gorgeously drawn and the artist deserve all the credit they deserve but we as consumers have become so focused on the aesthetics and the beauty of our heroes that we’ve only accept drawings of men who are tall and extremely buff and women who have extremely tiny waists and lots of curves. I don’t see them and get a sense of life, I don’t see them and see myself. I see perfection. Which to me is fun to look at but doesn’t have much life to it.

But please check out their works, they’re regardless still incredible artists and great storytellers.

Inspirational Artists Spotlight #2

2) Sean “Cheeks” Galloway

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If you couldn’t tell from my earlier post, I am a huge fan of the 90s series of Spectacular Spiderman. So then who better to focus in on for this week’s artist spotlight then Sean “cheeks” Galloway, character designer and genius behind the look of spectacular.

Some of his crazy cool works include, spectacular spiderman (of course), his own original works gumshoes for hire, bastion seven, and illustrations for comic books. His style is so unique and easy to recognize. It’s something not usually found in mainstream comics. Like the previously mention Grace Liu, his drawings have a sense of movement and energy to them that I find incredible inspirational. Hence the reason he’s features on this weeks spotlight. But don’t just take my word for it! check out his works with the links below…

  1. http://cheeks-74.deviantart.com/
  2. cheeks-74.tumblr.com/

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Inspirational Artist Spotlight #1

1) GRACE LIU

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tumblr_njixwa0nyr1qa8bb7o3_1280What I love so much about her illustrations is her sense of motion. From her own original character’s action poses to even when they’re standing still or leaning against a wall, there is such a sense of movement and liveliness in each drawing. Each drawing looks as if it could move and leap into action at any moment and it gives the character’s life. Everything in them tells their story. Her characters are not draw with the most detailed but it helps contribute to the life in them. That simplicity carries over to the amazing backgrounds, which also have really great color composition.

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She is currently working on Marvel’s Ultimate Spiderman series which I am very excited for because it might be able to bring some life and fluidity to the show’s somewhat rigid action sequences (for examples of amazingly fluid fight sequences, refer to Spectacular Spiderman! In many ways, I feel as if her style would have fit in with that show better. )

Find her at: http://nargyle.tumblr.com/