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Jonah Lobe
359 Watchers52 Deviations
Artist // Professional // Digital Art
Albino Llama: Llamas are awesome! (75)
My Bio
My name's Jonah Lobe. For seven years, I was a character artist at Bethesda Softworks, where I made the Dragons, Feral Ghouls, Draugr, Deathclaws, Mirelurks, Giants, Mammoths and so many more monstrous things. Now I spend my time illustrating and writing a book!

Twitter: @jonahlobe
Instagram: iamjonahlobe
Alternate name: the Squaxe! Wave-Breaker is an axe I made on the Adobe Twitch Channel. My goal was to both showcase the game-asset creation pipeline, and demonstrate how one could forge a truly original concept.
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Now on Twitter!

0 min read
I just joined Twitter - FINALLY!  Never understood why I'd want a social media footprint, so I'm late to the party.  Follow me @jonahlobe!!
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I've quit my job and I'm writing/illustrating a book! Very exciting, though it will be about two years before I can think about publishing.  I want to put some paintings here on DA, but I'm worried about copyright issues or people taking it for their own, etc.  Anyone here know anything about that? Otherwise I'm just uploading a bunch of art studies I've worked on over the past six months, in preparation for this book!  Thanks for watching!
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Profile Comments 19

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I came from the Adobe Twitch channel, and I love your work. Your lighting and character design are amazing.
Thank you so much!  We're all always trying to improve, aren't we?
Hi there, I was just looking through the Skidmore Career Advisor Network thingy trying to find illustration artists and people I can contact who might have some tips for me on how to succeed in the field. I'm basically a freelance illustrator floundering around trying to find my niche. I found your name and looked you up on Yahoo search and found out you landed a job at Bethesda... holy cow! @__@ Then I found your DA and wow... even if the work you posted here is older, it's phenomenal! My work is no where near that polished level, at least in terms of digital painting. So far most of what I do best is linearting. Dunno if there's a career for that xP

Anyway I wanted to just drop in and say hello. I'll probably shoot you an e-mail soon to pick your brains or get some advicey goodness. Although I pretty much know what you're probably going to say, since I have contacted other artists and they all tell me the same things. "Make more art! Practice, practice, get better! Submit to companies, submit, submit! Face rejection, try to improve! Look at other artists works!" lol I know, I been trying @.@... well everything but the submission part. I don't who to submit to since my art is not like Wizards of the Coast, Blizzard, Bethesda amazing quality. I really would love to be a character design artist if I could, but I also dabble in so many other areas like tattoo design, digital stamp art, etc. I mainly just love to draw characters, so I don't know where I fit in or what companies might appreciate my artwork o.o Anywho I am probably rambling now, I'm glad to make your acquaintance and hope we can chat soon ^^
Hi there Emily-

Sorry for the long delay. I've been extremely busy these past few months, as I just quit my job in September and I've moved up to NYC to live with my girlfriend and set about the extremely laborious process of writing and illustrating a book. It's very exciting but at the same time completely exhausting.

Getting your first art gig is difficult. You certainly have to work to tailor your portfolio toward the job you want. Right now, taking a look over the portfolio you have, it's obvious that you have talent but, as you said, your work doesn't quite fit into any career so easily. To work at Bethesda, I took Computer art 1 and 2 at Skidmore my junior year, then did an independent study with the teacher all the next year to make a short CG movie. It was a lot of work, and not much fun, but I'm very proud of the result. That ended up not being enough to get a job though, so I retooled and worked on modeling/texturing about five more characters and making a demo reel with them to get the job. I worked at Bethesda for 6 1/2 years, and only now just quit, though I may go back after this book is done because I don't imagine I'm going to make much money from the process :)

Feel free to email me with specific questions, but in the meantime, my advice is pretty much the same as others. Practice! Practice constantly! Don't be afraid to turn out crap, crap is 95% of what I make. I would also encourage you to expand your knowledge base and move outside your comfort zone. I see your work has a strong anime influence... you might try to look at anime less and try to venture off on your own. You could go many directions with this... working on anatomy knowledge, working on your line art, teaching yourself watercolor or digital painting. (part of the reason I quit my job was because I wanted to be a good digital painter, so I even took a digital painting course and made sure to do more work in the class than any other student, just because I wanted to be better than them all). I'd suggest starting super-basic. Painting lit cubes and spheres is not below you, nor is learning the fundamentals of human anatomy. It sounds way too low-level, but the basic concepts you learn are directly applicable to so much more.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I'll try to answer them as well as possible!

Good luck!
Thanks so much for the reply, and it's okay, better late than never :) Grats on moving to NYC with your girlfriend, and I hope your book turns out well! I appreciate your advice. Many others have told me to branch away from anime as well, and I do agree that is important that I try to really find something more unique to myself, but unfortunately I'm very stubborn and the way my style is developing nowadays, being more semi-realism with anime aspects; it's still not 'original.' I can't seem to motivate myself to draw or paint if it isn't something I love to do or at least find fun in some way. I have painted a few pictures in styles completely foreign to what I usually do and it was enjoyable, so I guess I should just keep experimenting.

As for questions, I think the only big one I have for now is this:

Do you ever have art blocks where you can't think of what to draw or don't feel motivated to make art? If so how do you get over that hurdle?

I ask this because I seem to keep falling into these awful pits where my creativity level plummets to -10 and I can't seem to be motivated to draw or paint anything at all, and even when I try to push myself everything I do is super lack luster. It makes it difficult to get my work done and I wind up procrastinating, and I know this won't lend itself well to ever getting anywhere with my work, certainly not working for any companies. It's hard to admit it, but there are times I question if being an artist is the right path for me because I feel I lack the supreme motivation and drive that helps other artists succeed. I think it also comes from seeing how big the sea of competition is and even on DeviantArt alone, how many others have excelled at digital painting, perspective, anatomy, concept art, etc... and I am 26 years old now and my work would probably be their equivalent of high school level art. I probably shouldn't compare my work with others, but it's hard not to when all these amazing works inspire me at the same time. I know I need more practice and I have to get back to the fundamental basics, but this lack of drive makes it hard to even open Photoshop and scribble a line, let alone master light and form, perspective, anatomy, backgrounds, etc. I'm guessing artists who are very ambitious and driven don't have this sort of problem, but I could be wrong.

So anywho, thanks again for your reply and I hope things work out for you on your new path!

-Emily C.
Don't worry, everyone has these issues. I suffer from this all the time! My biggest quandary right now is that I can't seem to draw anything truly original, and since I'm trying to avoid drawing the same tried-and-true things, it makes it very hard. Here's what I suggest:

1. Don't get yourself down.

2. (I only learned this one recently) Make a vow to yourself to draw every day. Furthermore, tell yourself, OUT LOUD, that 90% of what you're going to draw that day will be utter crap. Complete crap, that you don't want anyone to ever see. Say this enough and eventually you'll be okay with it. Because the truth is, every shitty drawing you make - and you need to make thousands of shitty, shitty drawings - teaches you something new. To make 1 decent piece of art, an artist needs to make dozens of crappy pieces. Just consider them MANDATORY.

3. Don't be afraid of the blank page. Don't feel pressured to make anything pretty, just make SOMETHING. Just fill it with drawings and move on to the next one. In the last several years I've spent a LOT of time sketching in sketch-books, and I've almost never gone back to look at them, because I figure almost everything in them is terrible. So just draw, draw, draw! Draw from life, draw from other people's art, draw your friends, draw from anatomy books (I suggest Andrew Loomis). Draw gesture drawings, draw in-depth, detailed drawings. Spend a week just drawing EYES, a week on HANDS, a week on FLOWERS, etc etc. Follow some tutorials on simple rendering (I suggest "ctrl+Paint" as a good tutorial website).

4. The simple rule to getting better - at ANYTHING - is volume and hours spent. Stop worrying about talent, just worry about your level of output. And don't worry about that output being anywhere near quality.

After a few months of running yourself through these drills, you'll be better. Art is a lot less about inspiration than it is about perspiration, and the most important aspects of ANY piece of art are the fundamental building blocks you used to assemble them, not the fine details.
Hey thanks for the fave bro. Your art is so damn cool. :D