Tuesday, February 3, 2015

LA Times Article: Big money in theme parks


The popularity of theme parks overseas is also leading to more jobs here. Heavy workloads have added six to 12 months of lead time to many projects, and design firms are struggling with shortages of artists, designers and technicians. Marks anticipates his team of 45 could grow to 70 by year's end.
Contracts to complete concept drawings for Chinese theme parks bring in $500,000 to $7 million apiece, with more detailed construction plans priced at up to $15 million, industry experts estimate.
And that's why I'm in theme parks. Oh yeah... ;)
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-asia-theme-parks-20150203-story.html

Monday, February 2, 2015

Creative Juice Expo - Notes and Commentary


FRESH

1st Expo hosted by Anthony Jones - Creative Juice Expo. Overall - quite unique and cutting edge. Lots of cross pollination and diversity of speakers - including lawyers, entrepreneurs, photographers, 3-D printing and concept artists.  Talks were 30 minutes each - short and concise. Most conferences like Gnomon and Massive black use all day Photoshop demos - while education can get tiring. This conference was pretty relaxing and quite exceptional for it's pilot Expo. Can see great things to come.

Dominic Qwek
- 3D print Z Brush Sculptures. very cool.
- Find ways to outsource and save time so can make more art.
- Figure out what customers want, what sells well.
- Customer Retention
- Add value with prints
- next: sell 3D prints instead of resin? More unique forms?

Zhang Jingna
- Singapore, top school. Star athlete. Quit school to do art.
- Starcraft Pro team.
- Photography
- retainers - photographers require 50% up front

John Park
- generalist vs specialist. (very against buffet food)
- brand - style
- multiple streams of income



Ash Thrope
- motion graphics guy
- 3 months build portfolio. 1 year working at company (super tiring). Freelance.
- spend more time with wife and kids.

Rafael Grasseti
- slideshow of work.

Jeffrey Rose
- lawyer

Steve Jung + Jung Park
- talked about film unions and stuff. Look into NY, Vancouver union. Untapped market. still use pencils.
$2800-$6000 weekly union pay - concept artists
Art directors make $1000-$1200 less

FX studios. smaller design.
Outsourcing companies - make much less.

Gum Road Guy
- add value before you ask for value.
- make your audience feel like superheroes

Maciej Kuciara
- work 12-13 hours. have no social life.
- work hard mantra. from Poland. harsh lifestyle. janitor.

Anthony Jones
- fanbase. make things free. be consistent. appreciate your fans.
- fan will get your back when you need them.

Dan Luvisi
- created own IP. now very popular.
- ER twice. kidney/ liver problems.
- works a lot.

Thoughts and Reflection

First off - I want to THANK all the speakers for being so honest, thoughtful and vulnerable for telling us about their experiences during the workshop. I felt it was very brave and courageous of them to share things such as client experiences, income, failures and hardships. With that said - there are some things that the instructions said that I do disagree with - which I will discuss here. I respect the instructors immensely as artists and individuals. I hope these opinions are not seen as personal attacks - but rather discussion and opinion for the art community. :)

Desperation pushes you toward success...

was a consistent theme among the speakers. Many of them spoke of a breakthrough in their career because of some big incident. John Park spoke of a time when he had to drop out of school, stop his financial aid, and help his parents because they were bankrupt. At that time, he started looking for a ton of freelance jobs. Anthony Jones spoke of a time where him and his wife were moving into a new home and he got laid off. He started gathering a fan base with his Heaven's Hell illustrations - and transitioning into immediate freelance work. Maciej Kuaciara used to be a janitor and clean toilettes - and that seems like a consistent motivation to push him towards success. 

Overall - it seems many of these successful artist became successful because they had no choice. They use their determination, creativity and desperation to make that career jump. The growth was very rapid. My conclusion is... if you ever get into a bad situation... bankruptcy, laid off etc... it might be a catalyst to your big success. Maybe you will come out on top like these guys. 

Also - if you are growly very slowly, maybe that's not a bad thing. At least you don't have to experience such a catastrophic event. Is it possible to grow rapidly without having a fire on your ass? I'm sure it's possible too.  

Health

A couple of the artists spoke of their work ethic and working 12-13 hour days - including Steve Jung, Maciej Kuciara, Dan Luvisi & John Park. They mention offsetting their work schedule with exercise such as swimming and Jujitsu.  Maybe these professional artists are very healthy and happy working 12-13 hours a day and they love it -  I can't speak for them.  I can't say for sure what their work schedules are like - or what their beliefs are... but, I'm personally really against 12-13 hour work days. 

Dan Luvisi has mentioned that he has been to the ER twice, and has multiple liver & kidney problems. John Park mentioned in a previous workshop that because he works so many hours in a day, he might die young. I'm calling attention to student artists that while working 12-13 hours a day might get you success FASTER - I advise artists to be patient and not do anything that could permanently damage their body.. For me personally - it literally makes me sick.
In contrast, other artists also mention of creating work schedules that make time for their wife and kids - such as Anthony Jones and Ash Thrope. 

Alternatives to working 12-13 hours a day include investing more time in how to work smarter. Passive income sources such as "gum road" are good ways to supplement your income - as John Park smartly mentioned in his workshop. You can increase your rates so you work fewer hours. There are many alternatives to working 12-13 hours a day. It's just what motivates you. Personally, I want to live a healthier lifestyle and spend more time with friends and family. Other people like Anthony Jones or Ash work smarter because they are motivated to spend time with their wife and kids.

Working hard is a tool. Working smart is another tool. It would be foolish to master one tool, and neglect the other. If you want to learn how to work smart - I suggest you looking into a book called "4 hour work week." There are many principles in their such as Parkinson's Law, 80/20 rule, Outsourcing - that can be really applicable to art.

Doing Art and Making money - 

Jung Park mentioned that people who get into art do it because they love it - not because they like money. If you want to make money - go into real estate or something.
He is correct in that real estate does make a lot of money! :) However, I've always been doing art for the money! haha. I did art because I've been successful at it -  I won my first $50 prize from an art contest when I was in 3rd grade. And I won $10,000 in contests and art scholarships (not including college scholarships) before I was 18.

Just because you like money, doesn't mean that you HAVE to become a stock broker or real estate agent. What if you like MONEY and ART? There is no shame in that. It's very much possible to do art and make a lot of money at the same time. Steve Jung makes tons of money doing concept art. Anthony Jones spoke of a guy who makes $20,000/week doing concept art. You can have both - you can do what you love AND make a ton of money.  I believe that it's possible - all the professionals at the workshop are living proof.

Here is a video on why "Following your passion" is bad advice.

Fanbase - 

I'm actually kind of sick of the entire art industry antagonizing clients and the "suits." I think it's very ironic that artists love their fans and provide free stuff for them - as advocated by Anthony Jones' talk. Yet, when dealing with clients - artists are compelled to "command respect" -  (Steve Jung's talk). Many traditional artists - such as the masterful movie poster illustrator Drew Struzan - condemns marketers and businessmen. He really antagonizes them in many of the rants in his book.

In a way - your clients are your BIGGEST fans. They are paying you TONS of money for you to do art for them. Yet, many artists belittle their money-drive motivations. Artists think that they are in some way better than these businessmen. They business businessmen are evil and out to take advantage of artists.

I think we should treat our clients more like beloved customers and fans. Yes - they do not have the artistic talent and eye we have - but it does not give us the right for us to think we are better than them and see their marketing, branding, and business goals as worthless.

There was a time when designers and engineers would fight when designing products - now they collaborate and create great products and industrial design.

There was a time when video game concept artists and modelers would fight over the character designs - now the fields go hand-in-hand.

I believe we are moving in an era where artists and businessmen will collaborate together to create beautiful masterpieces of games, movies, art - while generating immense profits that allow people to make a abundant living doing what they love.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Color and Light HW - Week 2

So for Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi's Schoolism class - our assignment for week 2 was to do a bunch of black and white still life/ plein air paintings. We were supposed to do it with diffused lighting, and do it with just 3 values. Afterwards, we would take it to full value.

For some reason, I thought the homework was really boring, so I just put it off and didn't do the homework for weeks!  I was about to just skip this week's assignment, but instead, I changed the assignment and changed it to  "drawing cute and hot girls" in whatever lighting I choose. 

Thank goodness for this dude - Phillip - I saw some of his homework and that motivated me to keep going. Originally, I made this Facebook group with about 10 people who also signed up for the class. But it sucks balls because no one was posting except me. 







Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 Manifestations

So my first mistake was rushing into 2015 and getting sick. Too many rushed blogposts in a short period of time. Note to self - slow down and take the time you need. :)

The difference betweens goals and manifestations

 Goals
(Will Smith Video)  (Arnold Schwarnegger Video) (ET Hip Hop Preacher)
Detailed plan, steps
To-do format
Think about it all the time
Limit the number of goals.

Manifestation
Act as if it already happened
Think about it once, and let it go out to the universe
You can have as many as you can imagine

2015 Manifestations

- Work Related -

Purpose: I love what I do for work. It's fun and engaging. I am passionate able my work and the service I provide to my customers and clients. I bring family and friends closer together in the most positive ways.

Expertise: I excel at what I do.  I am the best at what I do and I create very quality work and provide a high level of customer service. I am important and in high demand.  Doing my job is easy and relaxing. It is easy.  I easily complete my projects early and exceed the customers expectations. Everything is smooth, simple and easy.

Ease: Because I have systematically trained my skill, doing my work feels easy. I am relaxed. My clients are very happy and satisfied by my work.

People: I love the people I work with. My clients, customers, coworkers, employers and employees are a joy to work with. I attract and work with people who respect my boundaries behave in a very professional manner which I find delightful.

Schedule: I set the work lifestyle for me that I'm very happy with. I have able to have a stable and predictable schedule when I would like. I can also have a schedule that allows for freedom, spontaneity and creativity!

My Own Rules: I am able to work by own rules. I set boundaries that I'm very happy with. I am an authority in my business. I am able to set up my rules, service agreements, contracts in a manner that I am happy with. My rules are fair and just to both me and my clients. People respect and abide by the rules that I set for myself.

Easy Money: Getting paid is simple and easy. My customers always pay at least a 50% deposit or pay in full before I start the work. They pay me quickly and respect me.

Lots of Money: I get paid extremely well for what I do. I am able to earn a lot of money in a very short amount of time and effort.  I am grateful for the work I receive. I am grateful for my clients. I'm grateful to my employers, employees, all the people who have, are, and will help me. I'm grateful to myself and my efforts. I'm grateful to the abundant universe. I am able to complete my work, satisfy my customers and clients, and complete my projects quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly.  I always have plenty of free time to spend with family, friends, and take care of myself.

Flow of Money:  I am able to support myself and my family. I use my money for philanthropic and meaningful causes. I give back to the community and allow the money to flow healthily and freely.  I always have more than enough money.  Everything is well in my abundant world. I allow myself to relax and have peace of mind.

Focus: I am able to automate most of my tasks so I can grow my business and focus on what is the most important and what I enjoy doing the most. I am able to stay focused on my values and the reason why I do this, which is "bringing family and friends closer together in the most positive ways."

Lifestyle: I have a great work environment where I am able to get plenty of sunshine, exercise 2 hours a day, meditate, eat good food, get plenty of time to rest and recharge, take vacations etc...


- Personal Development -

Health: I place self care, exercise, sleep, nutrition, spending time with family and friends as a TOP priority in my life. I spend at least 2 hours exercising a day. I have a very active, healthy, fun and relaxed lifestyle. I go to sleep early and go to bed early - I have a natural and healthy energy rhythm. I have lots of energy all day long. I am able to fully engage when I'm working and I able to fully relax and release when I'm resting and recovering.

Time: I always have time and energy to take care of myself, do things that I want to do, and do things that mean the most to me. Time is abundant in my life. I allow myself to finish things early. I am punctual, on time or early to events. All my tasks flow naturally and I'm always at peace.

Love and Approval:  I fully accept and approve of myself. I allow myself to have strengths and weaknesses. I acknowledge my flaws and love myself whole-heartedly. I can improve upon which I wish to improve without judging myself, and without being too harsh or critical. I am habitually gentle, kind and loving to my own weakness. I also habitually gentle, kind and loving to others as well.

Kind: I am thoughtful, kind, caring and considerate of other people's needs and desires.

Humility: I am humble. I respect everyone - no matter who they are. Everyone has their own unique gifts. It is possible to learn from my experience or any person.

Gratitude: I am constantly thinking about all the things I'm grateful for. Being grateful is easy for me. I constantly feel gratitude from deep within and show my appreciation exuberantly.

Positivity: I am happy and easy going. Negative thoughts and emotions easily slide off of me and I'm able to always see the positive side of things. I can make light of things and find humor in all sorts of situations. I allow myself to take things light-heartedly and be easy going.

Authenticity:  I allow myself to truly be myself and do what my heart is telling me. I am beyond group beliefs. I do what I think I should do and when I should do them.  I allow myself to be free of influence and what other people think.  I make an effort to be the type of person that I truly want to be. I make an effort to be the type of person I would truly like to be around. I live with a sense of integrity and authenticity. I allow myself to be vulnerable and take risks that are in alignment with my higher self.

Take Advice: I also allow myself to listen, understand, and take-in other people's opinions and suggestions. It's okay for other people to be right. It's okay for me to be wrong. I know good advice when I see it - and good advice can come from anybody. I can an eye out for it. I am humble, and am easily able to take in other people's advice and implement their suggestions.

Communication and Respect: I am able to communicate diplomatically with my friends, family, girlfriend, wife, co-workers, employers, employees without feeling tense or a feeling like I am fighting. I am able to cultivate a sense of mutual respect for anyone and communicate in a way in which they feel respected and understood. People are also able to communicate with me in a diplomatic way that makes me feel respected and understood as well.

Generosity: I'm very generous when it comes to giving.  I feel a sense of abundance and prosperity. It is okay if I get less than another person - I always have enough and there is always more than enough. The world is plentiful. I'm always grateful for all the good things that people have done for me and the world has given me. I cultivate a continuous attitude of gratitude, and I continue to receive gifts from the world.

Patience: I am patient and calm. I am okay if it takes a little bit longer to do things. I embody tolerance, patience and compassion. Things will get done in their proper time. I believe in Divine Timing.

Asking for Help: I am able to easily ask for help. I allow myself to ask for help and admit that I need help. When I ask for help people graciously offer to help me. I graciously receive their help in the most positive ways. When people ask me for help, I graciously help them as well in the most positive ways. I embody a very respectful attitude, and make people feel respected when I am both asking for help and/or administering help.


Freedom: I am free from constantly judging, evaluating, criticizing myself and everything around me. I can live life joyously without taking everything so seriously. I live in the present and allow myself to enjoy life and take things with a gentle heart. I allow myself accept what is around me and am fulfilled.

Best: I allow myself to have and experience the very best in the universe. I know, understand, believe, and accept that I deserve what is what is the very best for me. When I do have the very best for me, I am able to recognize, appreciate and cherish what I have and be very fulfilled and satisfied.

Good Health Decisions: I allow myself to take care of my own body in the very best way. I go to sleep at a good time and allow myself to make decisions and create habits that are beneficial to my mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health. My body and mind thanks myself to making such good decisions and taking such good care of myself.

Easy Fulfillment: I am very easily satisfied and fulfilled. I am very easily amused, impressed and content. It is very easy to make me happy and I am happy and smiling all the time. :) I allow myself to embrace and live in the flow and joy of life. 

Flexible: I am flexible, open-minded and can see other people's point of view. I am easy going and can go with the flow and understand other people's viewpoint. I allow myself to be happy and relaxed even if things do not turn out as planned and do not go my way. I allow myself to improvise and go with the flow - and what is best for life. It is easy for me to be flexible and make the best of any situation I am in. 


- Relationships -

I allow myself to accept the very best in life. I love and approve of myself. I am alive to the joys of living.

Friends:
My friends and I mutually respect each other. We respect each other's lifestyles, opinions, and differences. We are open to new ideas and ways of thinking. We help each other learn and grow.

My friends and I have fun, go on adventures, laugh and have a good time. We explore the world and stay curious.

My friends and I are cool, confident, sexy, we embrace our unique identities and don't give a fuck about what others think. We are authentic and live life with integrity.

My friends and I are thoughtful, caring, kind and mellow. We help support each other in times of crisis and joy. We are there for each other. We are trustworthy and loyal. We make it a point to make a positive impact on the world. We are here to help others and do good.


Family:
My family and I have a healthy lifestyle. We have a healthy work/life balance.  We make time to spend family time with each, talk, relax, eat and have fun. We go on vacations where we get to relax, recharge and connect with with other. We live life with purpose and integrity.

Romance:
My romantic partner and I are both really attracted to each other. We keep things exciting and the romance alive.

We are both very satisfied, content, and fulfilled with our relationship. We respect, love, appreciate and cherish each other.

We are very close and understand accept each other's strengths and weakness. We accept and love each other unconditionally. Even though we are close, we allow each other to have freedom and our own unique identities.

We are both healthy, make time for exercise, healthy eating, sleep, self-care and have fun. We make time for each other, for family and friends and other important people in our lives. We let each other feel loved and care for.

We allow each other to embrace the pleasures of our physical body and have exciting sexual experiences. We allow ourselves to do what we want without feeling judged or embarrassed. It is safe for us to enjoy ourselves.

acknowledged by family. invited into her world.
potential for marriage.

caring, compassion, great with kids,
smart, driven, career.
not that busy. free. open schedule.

sexy, confident, take risks, adventure, commitment to pushing comfort zone and growth.

cool, forgiving, loving.

funny, humorous, playful, sweet, cute.





Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Mastercopies - Theme Park Studies

A lot of my art teachers say that if you are to do studies - you should only do old masters like "Sargent, Rembrant" etc... and avoid doing copies of other concept artists. I think that is absolutely ridiculous! That's like a football coach telling his football players to practice swimming to get good at football. There may be some supplemental benefits - but overall it doesn't really make sense. C'mon. 

So here I wanted to practice doing a birdseye view. So I took the original image, put a gaussian blur on it, and repainted the image on top of the original while color picking and toggling the layers on/off. It took me 9 hours. Good workout. Without this photoshop technique - it probably would've taken me 2-3 times as long!





done. this was a Fox theme park - dunno which one. 

Chris Turner study 1.5 hrs - love this guy's work. 

another study - not sure who this is... 2 hrs

Joey Chou Study - 3 hrs

And after the studies, what I do is another piece is similar in style and subject to the original master copy. Just to synthesis the information and see what I learned...

"Swamp Town" - 30 minutes. inspired by Joey Chou style.

red moon spaceship - spit paint

Sketchbook 2014 - Mostly Pretty Asian Girls/ Cosplay/ Disney Elsa, Rapunzel Edits + Little Bruce Wayne (Gotham)

So I haven't been posted many sketches on my blog because I mostly post my sketches on Instagram now. You can follow me here @legendbrush - although to be honest - it's mostly for my name paintings, and I only rarely post sketches. I hope to post more sketches - cuz it's really fun and it seems to be really popular among my followers. lol

Ahran Cho + Flamis




 
 
 
 
 
  








Pretty Girl Studies - Tracing and Color Picking

So these studies were done in a method that most artists would be afraid to do. Usually art teachers will teachers you 1) to draw from life, 2) if you copy a photo, don't copy it exactly - make sure to edit and design the shapes 3) don't color pick in photoshop. 

I friggen traced photos in photoshop, and color picked the heck out of those photos!! They were done super quick in like 30 minutes to 2 hrs.  There were a lot of benefits from doing this.

1) You learn a lot from tracing. I really like artists like J. Scott Campbell and Bruce Timm - but all their girls and poses look the same cuz of their habits and muscle memory. Tracing teaches you new habits because you aren't really drawing with your own "hand."

2) It's quick and pleasurable! It's really exhilarating to finish up a nice painting in 30 minutes. It makes me want to continue and be persistent in the studies. If I were to do it traditionally, I know it would take me at least 4 hrs for a nice full color study. If I were to do a traditional 30 minute gouache painting - I wouldn't capture any of the detail.  But I think the detail is the best part! The detail expresses the fashion and style of the model. 

3) Subtleties. I layer the reference on top of my "painting" and I toggle it on and off. It trains my eye to be very discerning and recognize the subtleties and nuances of the photo. When I'm free painting it - I think everyone kind of goes back to their habits and tricks to make it look good. But when you are copying the photo dead on - there is a rigidity there that really trains you and makes you stronger. 

I draw in my sketchbook and paint on traditionally as well. I just think this Photoshop tracing technique is a great way to compliment traditional studies. 







Jenn Im - Youtube Celeb








Youtube study - left is painting. right is reference.

left is painting, right is reference



Jeni Suk

Victoria Park