Sunday, 15 March 2009

It's the end of the first year... already???

I can’t believe how quickly the first year has gone. I’ve learnt so much and I’m looking forward to challenging myself further.

What I probably found most challenging was using 3Ds Max Studio although now I think I’m beginning to understand it a lot better now, especially over the last few weeks. Reading that we are hopefully going to have more non-computer work next year is a relief.

Drawing classes were the most enjoyable for me. I used many techniques that I had never used before. I did enjoy life drawing although I would have liked to have drawn more than one life model. Other than that, I feel much more confident about my drawing skills.

I think it would be really good if we discussed the films we watched more. It would be beneficial to us to study and understand many different brands of media.

Looking at more digital and traditional art sounds like good idea so we can develop our perception of past and future arts.

I’m excited about starting the second year and I hope that these changes will be made in one form or another to offer us a broader reflection of learning.

Friday, 13 March 2009


It took me a while to find a topic that I found appealing on the GDC link but then I came across the “Serious Games Summit”. This essentially led me to “Designing the First Social Reality Game to Motivate Change” which is a talk on the development of a game called Akoha.

It is basically an online game that allows you to participate in real-life missions. These missions can vary wildly from “Invite a friend for coffee” to “Give someone a book”. However, you need the appropriate cards for the mission. You receive some of these cards when you sign up. You then play the card forward onto the next person and then they play-it-forward to one of their friends who will then possibly join in. It just keeps going like that. Simple.

The purpose of this is to allow people to be part of an online community and still get out there and make new friends. In this respect I think it’s a very good idea and could be quite effective but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that at first I thought it was a little bit odd.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Creativity... revisited!

I have yet again researched the definition of creativity and I have found that it means something different to each individual. Well actually, I knew this anyway but now I have a more versatile concept of creativity.

One of the articles I read said that half of creativity is thinking and the other half is producing or well... creating! Something else I read said that if you have ideas, but don’t act on them, you are imaginative, not creative. I do agree with this and I said in my previous post about creativity that part of the meaning is the execution of an idea. Another thing I read is that creativity is original, not predictable. I’m not sure how much I agree with this. I think it depends on the person in question.

Some people believe that you can only be creative if you’re artistic. This is far from the truth. Creativity is part of everything. Sports, cuisine, science, everything.

It is said that we are naturally creative and as we grow up, we learn to be uncreative. That is why children are probably the most creative people on the planet. When a child is being creative, I think that their process of creativity is more important than the final product because it allows them to use their minds in a mature way. This could essentially help to prepare them for the world they live in and characterize the people they grow up to be.

All of these views are very different but in my opinion, in some form, they all define creativity. There is no right or wrong answer. Creativity is whatever it means to you.

Friday, 6 March 2009

My Inspiration

For the post I have chosen to discuss my new found curiosity in digital painting and which digital artists inspire me.

I’ve only been using Photoshop for a couple of months but I seem to be getting used to it quite rapidly. My techniques still need some work and I have to learn to blend my tones and colours but so far so good. I should probably take some time to explore it a bit and see what everything does and also to learn more about how I can use layers because so far I’m pretty clueless.

I’ve got into the habit of buying the monthly, “Imagine FX” magazine. This is where I have discovered some of my favourite digital artists. The first of my top muses is Marta Dahlig and the painting that made me a fan is “Umbrella Sky”.

I love this piece. In her work she uses a brilliant quality of realism that is both powerful and beautiful. In “Umbrella Sky” the background is amazing and the colours are phenomenal. Even though she isn’t my favourite artist, I’m still a great fan and I hope she produces some more pieces soon.

The next of my muses is Jason Chan. He opts for a more cartoon like approach with fresh concepts on characters. I’m currently looking through his work as I write this and his work is really cool. I like all of them but the one that stood out to me the most was “Zombie Playground”.

I think this is a brilliant concept and I love the techniques he’s used. I remember playing games like this with my friends when I was a kid although I’m not sure if the painting is conveying a child’s game where you can see the projections of their imaginations or an actual scene where they are fighting for their lives. This is still quite a humorous image either way. What is also appealing is the use of bright colours. Typical zombie films usually use dark colours to set an atmosphere of hopelessness but “Zombie Playground” works in an opposite way. This makes it unique.

Marc Brunet is my next source of inspiration and the painting that added him to my collection is “The Shipwreck”.

He likes to use warm colours in his work and this is a prime example of this feature. The application of light is stunning and I really like the soft textures in the background and the water. Her laid-back pose and the way she gazes into the distance, despite the fact that she’s crashed her ship, really allows you to see the kind of character she is.

Now comes Kekai Kotaki. He uses a much sharper, edgy kind of style in his paintings and unlike Marc Brunet, he uses colder colours. Another thing is how most of his work portrays dark, mysterious figures coated in armour. I looked at his website and the painting that attracted my eye was “Lady in White”.

I found this image on Kotaki’s blog which I have now become a follower of. The top image is the original version and the lower two are altered versions. I probably prefer the original but I think the red splattered on the lower one makes it incredibly powerful.

Finally is Raymond Swanland and the painting that made me a fan of his is a piece that he developed for an issue of the Imagine FX magazine. I don’t know what its name is but I think it could possibly be my favourite of my chosen five.

Here is a scan of the issue cover which it made its first appearance. It looks like some kind of dragon but whatever it is, it’s dominating, almost god-like manifestation aside, it has a peaceful feel about it. It has a warm glow which makes it appear luminous. Raymond Swanland assures his dragon is the centre of attention with neutral colours in the background. What makes it what it is for me is the strange ring surrounding its head. Hopefully you can see why I have chosen this to be my favourite.