Friday, September 15, 2017

Guess it's been even longer

Time flies when you have a lot to do apparently. I still remember writing this regularly like it was just a short while ago. So the animation studio I was at came to an end with me in a rather rough way. I will reassert make sure you have a contract before working on things. Also, make sure you get paid something, at least, up front to start. I usually go on 50% to start and 50% at finish or 1/3 to start 1/3 half way and the final 3rd at finish if there are a number of steps.

After having the small animation studio sub-contract me for a comic book they decided to only make a partial payment on the comic. Having other work for a game studio to do as well, I started on the comic but as the money stopped coming, so did my work effort. It might have not have been such a big deal but they still owed me $1500 form an earlier project a few months before. When told I need to finish the project I reminded them they never finished giving me my start payment or previous money still owed. (Their Producer had also quit after they failed to pay him for previous work as well, so it seems to be a pattern there.) So I told them partial work for partial pay. They weren't too happy about that but you can't be a push over just because you are starting out. I also found out during the course of the conversation that they kept my previous pay for themselves and had used the missing part of the comic book pay to buy a new phone and some other personal items for themselves. That was the end of having anything to do with them. I kept a key as leverage and ended up trading it for the money they owed me a week later. Well, sorta. After acting like a 4 year old on the play ground trading for something he wants without wanting to give up what he has I found out the envelope of money was still only half of what they promised. After a brief "discussion" I left and was given the rest of the money later that week. Gotta be firm.

From there I freelanced a bit for Scopley and some other small projects until at about the worst part of my life while sitting in the gym I was working and living out of essentially, a Production Designer walked in and inquired about a membership. I was the only person there at the time so I showed him around and talked with him a bit. I also happened to be working on some storyboards for a short live action film. He saw my drawings and asked what I was interested in. We talked about art and some film stuff and I told him I wanted to storyboard for live action film. Which was that perfect chance meeting as it turned out.

Two weeks later, after brief talks with him in the early morning, he came in and asked if I would be interested in working on a feature film. Of-course! The pay was as much in a week as I was making in a month at the gym but that didn't matter as much to me as the chance to get out and be a part of a major feature film! The whole reason I had come out to LA!

A motorcycle trip to Death Valley to take in the most amazing view of the galaxy I have ever seen to celebrate and a week later on my birthday I started working for Legendary Pictures on Godzilla 2! I spent about 7 months there with them before they moved to Atlanta to start production. Currently it is still being filmed out there with a projected release date in 2019. Since I have worked on 2 music videos and a convention. And though my part was small with Godzilla 2 it was enjoyable and great to see how others worked professionally on a film.

It is a lot of who you know but that moment can come at any time, so be nice to people wherever and whenever you meet them.

Meanwhile here's something to enjoy since the Godzilla stuff is still NDA, hush, hush ;)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Been awhile

So I don't find much time to be on here anymore. I should change that this is a better than being on Facebook where it seems the sole goal is to get "liked". This works a bit better as a diary of sorts and more of an expression of my own thoughts on things. If you are here there is most likely a reason. You probably have some interest in me or know me. Plus it is less likely that those I may work for will be coming through here to see that I "like" something or made a stupid comment about something else. And frankly Facebook is high school or worse. It has it clicks and seems to be all about look at me (which I can't stand) and then hating on everyone else, commenting on politics and race and feminism. I am a Libra which means I am balanced. I have always taken it to heart and tried to live my life in a balanced way, with nature, myself and others. I would rather judge you as a person based on your actions with me personally than anything else. If you can do the job great you get the job, not for any other reason. I support strong females, if you doubt it look at the girls I date but I still think a girl should be a girl and a man should be a man, there is a balance in that since it is part of nature to be that way. All this to say I was always told you shouldn't discuss money, politics or religion those 3 things cause most arguments. I started being online (because I actually hate it) as a professional move. Unfortunately I have it to be mostly anything but. I want to have fun post art and talk about that not anything else. And I hate CandyCrush stop inviting me to waste time. Invite me to an art opening - I'll go.

In this time since I have last written I have become pretty steady at freelancing. I have been and still am storyboarding for a live action horror film called "Wild Boar". I get to do the whole movie! A lot of work. . . But fun! It has definitely helped speed me up and improve my skills. The sketch a day has been replaced by 50 or more a day easily. Plus since I started taking a storyboarding class mostly to network since I want to get into DreamWorks animated TV I am finding myself at the top of the class and therefore making a good impression meaning more likely to get that recommendation.

Beyond the film I am also working on a comic "Baby Baddass in Cinderville". It is a black and white issue that I was hired to do but makes use of my sequential art abilities. I did a promo page for the LongBeach Comic Con recently where I got to share it with Tim Bradstreet.

I also am still doing portrait paintings for Scopely a gaming company over in Culver City. That's a nice blend of digital and traditional that lets me pop out the paints and go back to the way I learned art and still enjoy it. We strive to make digital art look traditional now but it is so much easier and faster to do it traditionally. 

So that's what I have been up to. Going to Spectrum got me a call about doing some work for a magazine that is dark fantasy, no surprise there. We'll see how it turns out. I'd like to add that to me resume of things done. The animation is still going as well Buckle Bear never quits apparently. And beyond all that I still teach martial arts at the gym I started with here in LA, because you know it is LA and you have to have at least 3 jobs just for the fun of it. Though it seems those that don't do anything are the ones that somehow have money to burn. The unemployed are continuously my clients for training. I've got to figure that out so I can "better" use my time. 

And finally since this started out as a developing an IP blog it is still an on going idea. I have actually been asked to develop an IP at the studio I work at. I'm holding off on using my ideas for that as I want them to be just that my ideas. Which reminds me now I need to develop an advertisement flyer for more Storyboard and Character Design Artists and TV Pitches. Back to work then and the reason I'm not on here more. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

From Facebook and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live

Okay so I attended Spectrum Fantastic Art Live now a couple weeks ago, took a week to visit family and just now getting back. It was my second time going and a bit of a different experience than last time. 
The first time it was two years ago it was such a small event I managed to hang out with Iain McCiag two days in a row, talk with everyone there and really mix in with the groups. This time it was bigger, I was at a table which was in artist alley so I was kinda in the corner of the corner since artist alley was in a separate small room off to the side. Since I manned the table alone I didn't get to meet and greet as much especially since the conversations were rushed and I am not an outgoing person. In fact I owe a great deal to Sheena Wolf and Marc Scheff for making me feel welcomed and a part of what was going on; otherwise I was literately sitting in a corner by myself. But is was good to go and experience it from that perspective.
I was on the other side of things for the first time. Unfortunately it was such a last minute decision to go, from supposed to be starting work on the 18th to not really having the finances that I had little to show for being there. That was fine since I had no where to store anything before or after anyway. I was a bit of an odd ball since I work primarily in animation now and hence haven't had time really for Illustration that wasn't a direct commission. I'd love to move over to doing card art - Magic or Legends of the Five Rings or some Star Wars stuff for Fantasy Flight but I'll keep working on that while I plug away at 20 hour days going on 3 months straight now. That week break was a nice reprieve from working so much. 
One of the big things for me this brought out is over coming a lifetime of working in the shadows, literally, and moving out into the spotlight to be noticed, or any light really. I was trained in martial arts most of my life which is actually a very quiet discipline and a solo effort, hence the reason I liked it. If I failed at it I failed at it, if I did well I did well. I never had to rely on anyone else to win or lose. Follow that with time in the military working in intelligence for special groups where sometimes my own superiors didn't know what I was doing and then other quiet nameless groups after that for years where the whole idea was to not be noticed. Plus I think that a well done job should speak for itself. I shouldn't have to jump up and down shouting look at me, look at me, to get noticed for what I can or did do. Unfortunately outside those worlds it doesn't seem to work that way. It is hard for me to even want to share anything personal especially here, and so you will never see me even post a picture of what I look like or talk about my personal life on here. Not even sure if I like others posting things here about me. But I need to move into marketing myself and move away from the other worlds so for now I don't take it down. I still don't get why anyone would really want to make it that easy to get information on themselves though. 
I've been told I have an interesting story. I've been told to and thought about documenting it more. As it would probably help others out in seeing what it really takes and the suffering one goes through to make something of themselves artistically, especially out in LA, and the transition from such an unlikely profession to lead into art. But for a number of reasons I just can't pull myself to post personal information about my life. And to make it worse I especially feel like I can't do it since I am still looking for a solid stable career in the industry. Maybe in the future I will tell my story or maybe I'll just pass on and leave a mystery as to what my life was. But then does any of it matter anyway? 
We are living right now and moving forward in life making new beginnings everyday. My past is separate from my current life dramatically and my personal life should have no bearing on my professional life. I can do the job and that's all that should matter. Not my race, gender, or any affiliation I may have or be but simply am I smart and talented enough to do the job? 
Anyway, so to all my Facebook friends and potential ones sorry if I don't post more. I do this for professional reasons only really, otherwise I hate this. I may share some philosophical and observational things here or may not. If you want to talk I am actually an open person so feel free to message me and we can chat; outside of that I probably won't be very personal here (on Facebook).

All that being said on Facebook I did start this blog to chronicle my journey in developing an IP so I will go back to publishing more here again. How personal I will make it I am still debating which is the big reason so little has been said. Since I came to LA it has been a very personal story. That aside through the animation studio I have a chance to potentially start making my IP a reality. That dark fantasy story about a Rabbit trying to reunite with his father and save his mother and homeland could be developed into an animation. The only thing is now how much of it will I be able to control and hold on to if I let it go that way? For now I will probably stick to developing it on my own know that I know more about the inner workings of animation and have a style that goes beyond apparently most western animation studios but seems fine for Anime or other detailed and subtle storied animations. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Animation it is apparently

So despite mostly studying Illustration through the years I have found myself ending up working in animation. Storyboards were fun and simple as it was a bunch of sketching for me, and there is nothing I like to do more then just sketch and sketch. I have also been doing layouts, animatics and some clean up. Here's a few of the images I cleaned up recently for A4C Studios on Buckle Bear a helmet safety animation to go along with an illustrated book.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What I have been up to lately

Despite my lack of action here I have actually been pretty busy in life. I have been working on storyboards for A4C Productions and animation studio in Burbank and recently got picked up as a fantasy portrait painter for Scopely Games. On top of that lots of life drawing and plenty of sketching out story ideas at the studio and more. Here are some of the things I have been doing.