Thursday, November 15, 2018

Here are my Drawings for Inktober 2018

So, I finally figured out how to get my camera on my iPhone working again. As it turned out, the internal camera lens connection was a little loose (or something to that effect).  It started to work again after I pressed down on it for a bit.  I was about to consider paying to get it fixed, but that appears to no longer be a necessity.  

Thus, I've been taking photos of my sketch journal entries and posting on Instagram.  My Instagram is under the name d_art_98, if anyone is curious. Since my camera is working again, I've started to post pictures on Instagram once again. 

What did I feel the need to take photos of?  My 31-day Inktober drawings from last month, of course.  Based on 31 topics, artists were encouraged to draw something based on the word of the day.  Draw something related to that word....per day.  I took on the challenge last year, so I also did it this year.  Despite the effort, I hadn't been able to post what I drew until now since my camera wasn't working at the time.  Well, since it is working. here are my Inktober drawings!

Wished I had been able to post this near early November, but hey!

My prompts:

My drawings:

Overall, nice to get my camera working again.  This will give me more opportunities to post things like this on my blog.  It is getting late.  Until the great Stan Lee would say (you'll be missed)....


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Sculpting Wilson Fisk..

Lately, I've been watching Daredevil Season 3 on Netflix.  The show really takes its time to establish the characters, and I kind of appreciate it in a Better Call Saul sort of way.  The villain, Wilson Fisk, is what is most interesting here--reminds me a little of Lex Luthor from Smallville.  Not just because he's bald, but for making him somewhat sympathetic.  I'm still on episode 3 so far, so I haven't gotten to any big turns in the plot yet.

Anyways, this got me inspired to do some Zbrush sculpting again.  So, here's my progress on that.  I've been attempting to start sculpting Fisk.  I'll be posting my progress...slowly.


Monday, September 24, 2018

Getting back to writing..

The last few months have been busy!  I just got married, just bought a new home in West LA, moved in, got it renovated, tried to get some bills paid, papers signed, and finally I got some time to actually do a bit of writing!

It takes work to keep your writing brain intact.  I've been forgetting words often.  I have had a hard time explaining things when talking to people.  It is very different though when you have already thought about them on paper.  Writing increases thinking.  It helps formulate thought.  Ideas materialize into something tangible.  Words.  Ideas become words.  Communicable.

Ever notice those times when you have a thought, and then after a few minutes you forget what you had thought about?  This kind of thing doesn't happen when you write things down because you can always look back at what you wrote.  Thinking without a pen is a lot like scribbling on air.  None of your thoughts are visible.  They may never even have existed.  They were just part of your imagination.  Well, by definition, that is what they were, since they were in your thoughts.

So, here I am.... writing.

Lately, my iPhone broke.  Actually, just my camera on my iPhone. I can't take pictures of my drawings. I still draw on my sketchbook, but you can't see it, at least not from my phone. I will get it fixed, but I'm somewhat unwilling to pay $100 for it.  At least not just yet.  In one sense, it has helped me to simplify things a bit.  I used to take photos of everything.  Food.  Pictures of my drawings.  Architecture.  It can get tiring and I rarely found time to look at the photos I actually took.  Now, I can.  I look pretty good on my wedding picture.  My wife looks pretty.  Nowadays, I ask my wife to take photos for me.

I now sketch more of what I see rather than take photos of them. That's a good thing for me. Analog photography, if you will. It's a lot like the photo cameras on Flintstones where a bird inside the camera pecks a picture on stone tablets.

Lately, ever since I've moved to West LA, my drive to work has been longer than usual--about 45 to 50 minutes or so. This gives me some more time to listen to podcasts, and some audiobooks.  I recently listened to a short story by Neil Gaiman called Fortunately, the Milk.  It involves time traveling and quirkiness of time travel.

Time Travel movies are funTerminator 2 is essentially a flawless movie when it comes to time travel. I can't think of anything wrong with it.  It also has something very specific to say about the deterministic aspect of time travel despite its happy ending.  If Back to the Future was saying that you can change the future, Terminator 1 and 2 flat out says that you can't, at least not technically.  You can still control the future in a sense, but not in terms of there being two paths that are both equally possible (if that can even be defined).  Pretty much Terminator 1 made the point that John Connor would never have been born if Kyle Reese from the future hadn't come to the past--that pretty much puts the nail on that deterministic idea that even time travel doesn't really change history.  Terminator 2 even tries to "seem" optimistic with the idea of "No Fate But What We Make" which encourages Sarah Connor to try to blow up Cyberdyne, thinking the future is not set.  She kind of succeeds, at least in her mind.  The Terminator, his mechanical arm, and the chip is thrown into molten metal at the end, thus destroying any chance of the AI uprising....or so she thinks.  The movie, upon closer inspection, actually says that nothing has changed.  Remember the scene where Terminator loses his arm in a giant cog while fighting T-1000?  Yep, that arm that he lost is what brings about the AI uprising, not the arm that was thrown into molten metal. If we follow the same time travel logic as Terminator 1, this is exactly what happens, the future cannot be changed in this particular outlook. Of course, Terminator 3 messes up this idea by saying something "changed."

Now, Back to the Future goes the opposite direction, it is all about changing the future, and has a lot of fun with it.  I personally don't think you can ever travel to the past.  You can suspend time from your perspective, but going backwards in time doesn't make much sense to me.  Going to the future isn't very hard at all, however.  Suspended animation is one way.   I saw Back to the Future again recently, and it is still a brilliant movie.  Looking it from a modern perspective, I've come to realize that the theme of the movie is different from how I saw it when I was younger.  I now see that the movie is actually about masculinity.  The movie is really about men and their relationships to each other and how as a group communicate and learn from each other.  Marty McFly learns from Doc Brown, George McFly learns from and is encouraged by Marty, and Marty learns to understand his father, George.  It is interesting that since they are now virtually the same age, Marty can now understand his father as a peer.  Psychologists might call this something akin to a "man cave" moment.  Yes, there is romance in there also, but it comes about as the characters grow from learning from each other. So, yes, it's a bromance movie. Needless to say, it is a "timeless" theme.

Well, I gotta go, as it is time for bed.  'Cause I'm "Out-a-Time."  Get it? Get it?  Har. Har.


Monday, June 4, 2018

Jim Henson Exhibit at Skirball Cultural Center

This weekend, I checked out the Jim Henson Exhibition, which just opened, at the Skirball Cultural Center with my fiancee.

Muppet versions of Jim Henson and friends.

Skirball Center often has work that lean toward a Jewish heritage, but perhaps not so much in this case since Jim Henson wasn't really Jewish.  Frank Oz (who voices Ms. Piggy) was Jewish, so I guess there is some connection there.  From what I've gathered, Jim Henson's positive influence for all societies in general was the reason he was featured--a great reason, certainly.

I've been a huge fan of Henson's work starting with The Muppets, Sesame Street, Dark Crystal, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Little Shop of Horrors.  The Exhibit had lots of great material, including Henson's puppets, concept art, props, and really good information about his outlook and general philosophy.  The Jim Henson Company sounded like a magical place to work at.  The characters reflected that--they sang songs and were nice to each other.

Kermit the Frog welcomes you!

Bert and Ernie

My favorite parts were probably The Dark Crystal section, which had the puppets from the movie, such as the crone-like Aughra and the scheming Skeksil.  I stood by and sketched a bit, observing their form and complex design.  I got lots of positive reactions from the people there.  So, it turns out that The Dark Crystal was inspired by Grimm fairy tales of old.  Jim Henson felt that healthy kids should be allowed to deal with things like fear and creepiness.  Thus, a good chunk of Dark Crystal has some grotesque elements and occasional creepiness, but also some amazing detail and personality. It was quite the opposite from his usual simplified puppets--this was more design-heavy.

Aughra was played by Frank Oz, who did Yoda

Took out my sketchbook and did my thing

Skeksil the Chamberlain had some great design work

The other thing I've noticed were how many of the visitors were virtually all adults, geeking out over all these symbols from their childhood.

Costumes from Labyrinth

You can also design your own Muppet here by sticking different eyes and noses

A worm circus!

Bunsen and Beaker. Henson characters often had dual characters who played off each other.

Fraggle Rock -- I wasn't really into them, I admit.

My Sketch #1

My Sketch #2

Overall, this was a wonderful time. It was nice to see that Jim Henson and the gang really cared about their characters and the stories they told.  There's a Dark Crystal series that is currently being worked on for Netflix at the moment--I'll probably watch it, as I really enjoyed that world.  

I'll leave with some clips:

Luke Skywalker visits The Pigs in Space!
Dark Crystal had some great style
How they made Audrey 2 to look this realistic is quite genius. They filmed it slow then sped up to match the mouth movements with the song as it would be too hard otherwise. Quite brilliant.