Monday, July 15, 2013

'Girls in Whites Dresses'

Here is another piece I had at my BFA show based on the theme 'A few of my favorite things'.
I love shopping, fashion and cupcakes!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Visual Development

It was last summer I looked at so many blogs of artists I liked and whenever I read their profiles, it would say the words 'Visual Development'.

I knew the term 'Concept Design' well enough, but never realized it was used more in the gaming industry.  Visual Development or 'Vis Dev' is concept art for the animation field.

I have always been drawn to the art of animation and now I had found a focus I could both satisfied my needs as an illustrator and my love for animation. I based my senior project on doing a visual development portfolio and I wanted to share those pieces with you.

First I picked a story that not only was nostalgic for me, but had a good variety of characters for me to work with.

Creating characters is more than googling an image and reproducing it in a stylized way.

It is really taking the time to explore the personality of your characters and visually portraying those traits the best way possible to tell the story.
I chose the story 'Snow White and Rose Red', a Grimm's Brother's Fairytale.
The main characters included two young girls, a dwarf and a bear.

I tried to emulate the characters personalities in the environments I created.
Asking yourself questions as you draw helps.

There it is! My first attempt at Visual Development.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Stephen Silver: How to Get More Creative

Doing a BFA Show: My experience.

I have been told by many graduates before me how much work putting on a BFA show would be.
You never completely realize it until you have to do one yourself.
There's a lot that you have to take into consideration, it almost feels like planning a wedding!

The information in this post is more for the people in the program who are looking at doing a show soon, kind of a 'head's up' for my friends who might be a little unaware of whats to come. I hope it helps!

I had originally submitted a proposal for my show in the first part of the semester, Fall 2012 with a completely different direction than what I ended up with.
But when I went to CTN and got some really good feedback on the kind of portfolio's people wanted to see, I decided right then and there I needed to change my whole direction.

Decide ahead of time what direction you want to focus on - gaming, animation, children's book...
whatever it is, you need to know the avenue for your audience.
I wanted to focus on visual development for animation.

By this time, it was already the end of November, so I lost a chunk of time working on my project, but I was determined!

Over the next 6 mths, while juggling a full load of classes and a part time job and then a new full time job, I did whatever I could to get my project finished on time.
It was not easy.

Artists, like everyone else, have good and bad days.
Sometimes everything I draw will turn out exactly the way I want it to, and then other days I will have to redraw one thing over and over again because it's just not working.
For me, this is the most challenging and oddly, the most enjoyable part of drawing.
The feeling of struggling to get something right can be incredibly satisfying.

I planned to do character and environment designs more extensively, but was talked into having more finished images for my show so I cut back on the 'vis dev' pieces and the finished pieces turned into creating a mini children's book for the story I chose.

I am really glad I did these images with my professors advising me through the process.
If I had tried this later on my own I probably would have been really lost.

When you are under the pressure of a deadline, you have to balance what you can and can't get done.
I wish I could have spent a lot more time on each of my pieces... I think it's the curse of an artist to want to keep working and reworking a piece, but know your limits and when to stop.

When it comes to your pieces, take advantage of your access to professors! These people have lot of experience and know what they are talking about (most of the time!) I highly recommend heeding their advice

Remember to factor in time to print, frame and wire all your pieces.
Have everything figured out in the gallery area for displaying all your pieces (hanging space, podiums). Make preparations for creating labels, an artist statement, parking, food and something to wear. If you plan to sell art or prints at your show, be sure you have a payment situation set up too.
(Try to put a trustworthy friend or family member in charge of your sales to keep you free to meet and greet your guests.)
Also, remember that you'll need to advertise your show with posters, postcards, business cards, social media, etc.

PHEW! It's a lot.
You will also need to consider the costs of all these things.
Also be warned that the unexpected WILL happen!
Don't forget to factor in things going wrong: my computer crashed (BACK UP YOUR WORK!), I got sick AND I had car problems.

I would recommend keeping a checklist of all these things so you aren't running around last minute to get everything done.
I would also advise that you have reliable people helping you.
It makes things so much better when you have one less thing to stress about.
In the end things came together and it was definitely a learning experience.
The last piece of advice to my friends still in school is: Enjoy yourselves!
It is a lot of work and can get really difficult at times, and really easy to forget to breathe, but really try to make time to enjoy the journey and you will always have those great memories to look back on.


Opening Reception

As stressful as everything was right up until the show, it turned out to be a great success.
We had a LOT of people come and see it.
When I say 'we' I mean Nate Call, James Allen, Ginny Tilby and myself.

We had decided to do our BFA show together because those are the funnest shows I've been to with more variety and a lot more people attending. Also, you can split the cost on certain things.

We were REALLY lucky to have Nate's wife, Camie offer to make our refreshments. She nailed it.

There were many more people who helped with a lot of the behind the scenes stuff to help pull off such an incredible night:

My awesome husband, Jared, my amazing mother-in law, Denise, my sweet friends-Annie Pugmire, Jacque Secor, Heather Michelle Owens, Stewart Craig, my Sister-in-law and her husband Tyler, who all offered help with random tasks.
I had someone let me borrow their laptop when mine crashed.
My boss an new work mates, who have been super understanding and supportive of my schedule.
My amazing professors who got me here and the incredible Lindsey Sweat who took amazing pictures of the night.

(My Book!)


Nate Call, myself and James Allen. Two great artists I did my show with.

It was wonderful to celebrate the last step in officially graduating with our incredible friends and family who have supported us in this journey.
Though the opening reception was only for one night, the show will be up at the UVU Library for the next two weeks. It's free to the public, so definitely go check it out!