Is mid-August too late to write the wrap-up journal for my April daily-challenge
? Yes. Am I still going to do it? Looks like it. I sure want to get it out of the way, move on, and have all the things related to the challenge together in a journal, so here we are. April 28th also marked my 6th anniversary
at DeviantArt, around that time I also reached 1000
watchers, I wanted to write a journal about that too, but couldn't bring myself to do it either. Better late than never, right? So here we go.
Video compiling all 30 deviations, turntable animations, plus some WIP and alternative renders.
Individual turntable animations playlist
On April 2018, as I did in September 2015
and April 2017
, I set out to make a different fanart-themed, 3D-sculpture from scratch every day. It proved more difficult than ever before, and pretty soon I fell behind with my schedule, but I decided to complete the month and it's 30 deviations nonetheless. Again, it was a neat experience, and it was the first time I also posted it to Instagram
, that was also encouraging and kept me going. I started "safe" and pretty soon I was learning and applying things I hadn't done before. I don't know if I'll ever do it again, a whole month ends up becoming a horrible self-imposed form of torture, I might do a weekly thing in the future. This one even became complicated in the thematic sense, there are lots of things I want to sculpt, but it was still tricky to come up with characters or creatures that I could do in just a few hours and that didn't feel like a "waste" to do in the context of the challenge. In the previous years, I made many sculptures I always wanted to revisit, because I was never really satisfied with them but had to consider them done because of the time constraint. So instead of doing things that "represent" me and that I love, I often ended up doing characters from properties I don't even consume, and I feel a bit weird about that. Gosh, so much time has passed, I forgot most of what I wanted to say in this journal. Who reads this anyway? Still, let's say a few things about the individual deviations.
was always in my plans to make, but it was a sort of a spontaneous thing that day. I was undecided, playing with some shapes and he just happened. I wasn't left too satisfied with him, but at least he got the thing started. Hela
I always knew I'd like to sculpt, even though I still
haven't seen 'Ragnarok'
. I've made a bunch of 'Masters of the Universe'
characters, so I definitely had to have one this year, I had a few in the works, but I had to start a new one for the challenge, and that's when Trap-Jaw
came along. The Colossal Titan
is a design I always liked and wanted to try, but I still haven't watched 'Attack on Titan'
really. The Jabberwock
(y) I always loved, the poem, the creature, it's appearances in popular culture, everything. So it was only natural for me to sculpt him at some point. I wasn't left completely satisfied with it, though. I decided to make him more like a creature than the absurdity of giving him the vest and attributes of the original drawing.
I always loved the 'Planet of the Apes'
series, especially the old ones. I grew up with the old movies, and re-runs of the tv show and the cartoon series. My first actual (and eternally unfinished) 3D-sculpt ever was Dr. Zira, so for this year's challenge I made General Ursus
, also to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original movie (though he wasn't in that one). I had to have something Disney themed, right? The Cave of Wonders
is a design I always loved, I always wanted to make my own but never thought I'd do it justice. I'm stupidly proud of how it came out. The Demogorgon
wasn't a great one, but it saved a rather complicated day, I ended up basing my sculpture in some concept drawings that differ from the show's final creature, at least I made my own polypainted IMM brush for the teeth, which I hadn't done before. The Starchild
I'm happy with, it was also a bit of a homage to '2001, a space odyssey'
which also had just turned 50. I was actually struggling with the idea of what to do, I didn't want to do 2001's Moonwatcher since I had just done Ursus, then Adam Savage gave me the idea when he showed his Starchild replica on an episode of the 'Still untitled'
podcast. The stegos
I'm more or less satisfied with, the sculpt is simple, the texturing was more complex and, again, I just had to have something Jurassic
themed. I ended up redoing the finishing and the compositing with the background photo because it didn't look too good.
As a 'Star Wars' fan, it was really tricky to decide what character to do in a day (as opposed to taking more time with it and doing a better job). Maz Kanata was ideal for this, the design is interesting enough and has enough details to give me plenty of work, without making me unhappy with rushed results. The Terror Dog, which I nicknamed Terry, was a lot of fun to research and to sculpt and texture, and I just had to have some 'Ghostbusters' related sculpt too. Same with 'Silent Hill', so the Bubblehead Nurse came along. I wasn't very happy with the final render, but I had to call it a day at some point. I love the few traditionally animated features Dreamworks produced, I feel like I do a lot of Disney and little else from the animated sphere, so 'The road to El Dorado's Tzekel-Kan was a joy to do, I rarely do characters... stylized like him, but I liked the result. The Visitor: I was only a kid when the original 'V' series was a worldwide sensation, I always wanted to try sculpting one of their aliens, I only wish I could have taken more time with this guy. For some reason, he kinda came out looking like a juvenile to me.
I love the '80s and '90s Tim Burton, it was 'Beetlejuice'
s anniversary too, so I sculpted him in his Snake
transformation, I remember I began sculpting a Sandworm, but I abandoned it and did the snake instead. Sheeva
I'm even proud of. I just had to have some 'Mortal Kombat'
character and I have many abandoned WIPs but couldn't use those, so I wondered what to do and Mrs. Goro saved the day. It was a relatively successful deviation and it even got an article
featuring it at Game-Art-HQ (thanks again, Hoff!). I struggled with what 'Harry Potter'
character could I include this year, I collected a lot of reference material to do a Thestral (which I still might do in the future), but I ran out of time and opted for something simpler, I still did some things with my Dementor
I had never done before. The Red Robed Geisha
is another design I love (though that's another movie I've still
not watched!), I wish I could have taken more time and done a few things better, I'm still really happy with her. Larguirucho
is one of Manuel García Ferré's most loved creations. García Ferré is (to put it simply) the Argentinian Walt Disney. I always want to have some characters from my country in these challenges, I tried a few but none of them was working until this goofy looking guy saved me.
I wasn't very happy with. I ended up making it too simple and probably inaccurate, at least I had to figure out for the first time how to apply a texture (burlap in this case) in a way that followed the shape of the sculpture organically, instead of wrapping it around in a predetermined UV thing that makes it look warped from some angles. 'Westworld'
I'm very happy with. It's always very tricky to try to replicate a real person's likeness, but I'm happy with this year's sculpts of both Thandie Newton and Cate Blanchett. Earthworm Jim
is one of my all-time favorites and a lot of fun to make, he's also kinda here to represent the old consoles' games, I suppose? 'CATS' Munkustrap
came to my rescue too, I was actually trying to do some 'Phantom of the Opera'
themed sculpt, but failing at it, until I resurrected my old idea of making some of the Jellicles. I wasn't even sure whether I could polypaint the "makeup" or if I was going to be able to paint the stripes on the hair fibers, but it kinda worked and I like how it came out. Of course, I'm a 'Street Fighter'
fan too, so I had to have one of those guys in the challenge too. Originally, I spent some time setting up Blanka, but I didn't like how it looked and thought of doing Dhalsim
instead. I really like how he came out, pity I messed up and over-wrote the file of the final sculpt. At least I still have the Keyshot file, but the Zbrush one is gone.
Back in 2015 I made a regular "warrior" xenomorph, but I wasn't happy with that and I always wanted to repair that by sculpting the Queen
. Also, the 26th of April was "Alien Day", I missed it and posted her on the 27th, still... I tried. I always wanted to make more Simpsons
characters. I did Kang (or was it Kodos?) back in 2015 and it was really tricky trying to match the style in 3D. I'm happy with how my Mr. Burns
came out, I almost canceled him and I started working on 'Futurama'
s Bender, but I'm glad I finished Monty instead. Frank, the rabbit
came out creepier than he actually is, and not in a good way. I rushed it and ended up paying little attention to the bucketload of reference material I had, sigh. Pennywise
, on the other hand, I'm happier with. Especially with the face. The hair was a nightmare and the outfit could look better, but I think it worked. The Garthim
was a bit of a last minute thing. 'The Dark Crystal
' and 'Labyrinth
' were huge for me when I was growing up, I always want to have at least one of them represented in the challenge. I struggled with what to do to have either one of these movies "represented" until the last minute, and beyond since by then I was at least three full days behind, then I kinda settled for this guy. But I like how it came out, and I sure was happy to have completed what probably will be the last time I'll do this challenge quite this way.
In conclusion, Your Honor...! I mean... In conclusion: I'm glad I did this again, but it's probably not going to happen again. Not every day of a whole month, not full-blown sculptures made from scratch. Last year I struggled and this time I barely made it. I was less ambitious in the original 2015 challenge and, if anything, I should return to that simpler formula or something even simpler.
I'm glad I finally wrote this journal and I got it out of the way. For some reason, I felt like I couldn't quite move on with things until I did, but I was monumentally demotivated. Next, I'll post some photos I took in July, which are a bit of a follow-up to the first pics I posted here, and altogether my first deviations ever. I'll probably do an occasional sculpture here and there, of course, and finish some old WIPs. But fundamentally I'd like to devote what's left of this year (and most of the next, if not the next two) to develop a couple of my passion projects, both here and outside of dA. Here at DeviantArt, I'll be working primarily on my "Vampire AEmilius" character and his story, a project I sort of launched last month.
So that's it for this endless and endlessly postponed journal. I've been away (though never quite completely) from dA for far too long, but I have been working on many of the things that I will be posting here in the following months. This is hardly the place to do it since nobody's reading, but I want to apologize for what must look like indifference or obliviousness from my part. My current state of mind sometimes (or always?) makes me be quiet and hidden in plain sight. I'm not ignoring anyone, I'm just not in a place where I can bring myself to interact much with anyone or participate in anything... if that makes any sense. Anyway, thanks again, and thank you dA (and belated happy birthday!) for giving us this unique place and community without which none of the "art" I've been doing since 2012 would have a place, or maybe none of it would have happened at all.