Hey ✌️ How are you guys doing? Anyone still here?
I am way more active on Twitter
in the art world these days, and would love it if you helped grow my audience there by giving me a follow / RT etc :3
Anywho, a lot has happened in the past year.
Videogame Career: Start!
So, the biggest news is that I got a job as a Concept Artist
for an indie videogame studio
(!!!) and so a lot of my art energy has been going towards that. The studio is called Whitethorn Digital
, they're local, and they published a number of games and currently have two in development. One is a 3D JRPG called Whalefall
, which is about the political fallout when magical sky whales crash to the earth's surface. I'm doing 2D art for it - character designs, dialogue portraits, UI stuff, etc. The other game is a Stardew-inspired game called Raspberry Coast
which is all about fishing, town life, and romance. That one is all 2D, AND I am the lead artist! So I get free reign on the character designs, environments, etc. It's tons of fun. The only thing I'm a little apprehensive about is the animating part, but I'm sure it'll be a learning experience...
I'm really lucky to have gotten my leg in the industry; it's been my dream since I was born to work on cartoons / videogames and all of a sudden I'm doing it ? I wish I could tell you all a specific skill that I had or strategy that I used, but really I just was in the right place at the right time and was a good match with the studio's brand? A year ago I started going to a small weekly "Comic Artists" meetup in my city, and eventually some people from an indie game dev meetup group started coming, and then I joined their group, and then my soon-to-be-boss posted an ad in it. I guess the takeaway is networking. It's always good to expand your professional connections; not only can you make lifelong friends with some of those people, but you can also get critique/feedback on your work, find opportunities to showcase your own work, and of course maybe get jobs.
I'm still working at my psychology research job part-time : P It feels kind of.... bittersweet? to leave the research world forever. I spent 4 years getting that Psych degree and spent another 3 years working on mental health research, so a part of me doesn't want to completely let go.
End of Magical Hazel? 😱
So. This is kind of hard to talk about, but last year I decided to stop updating Hazel and put it on permanent hiatus
. I know many of you kind of associate me with the character/comic and it's my thing
, and I really loved it too but I knew I had to quit. I had a few reasons for this; the biggest was that it was simply too hard to stay on top of it while also working a full-time job. I had set a high standard for the art quality of the comic, so each page would literally take somewhere between 20-30 hours. It was just barely possible for me to do weekly when I worked part-time, but when I started working full-time my production on Hazel slowed down to a sad crawl. I was putting out a page once every... 4 months? and if I tried to rush a page out and it looked bad I would get discouraged. I wanted to make time to boost my portfolio with cool new pieces like The Storyteller
and The Spirit Guardian
but couldn't because Hazel ate up all of my free time. So, quitting it was a good decision because otherwise my portfolio might've been too weak to get the job I have now.
Not to bash on my own work, but I came up with the idea for Hazel in 2011 (Junior year of High school...) while I was obsessed with Madoka Magica and it shows. I minored in fiction writing in college, and current me isn't impressed by high school me's writing. I want to work on a story that's deeper and more meaningful. More personal. I have an idea for one in the works, tentatively called Blood Punk, about a blood-haired freedom fighter in a dystopian future world. Thematically, it's very different from what I normally do. Narratively, it's all stuff that I really want the world to know. It's still early in development, but I'm planning it to be a quick, sketchy black-and-white graphic novel that will (hopefully) be printed so I can sell it in local comic book stores. Follow me on Twitter / IG for the latest updates about it :3
A Couple of Zines
Are you guys familiar with zines? I think it's short for magazine. They are a collection of creative content, usually art but sometimes also writing, and they can be made by an individual or be a collection of art from a group of people. Earlier this year I tried boosting my portfolio by applying for community fanzines for series that I wanted to draw fanart for. I got into a Steven Universe zine that was sadly digital-PDF-only (I say sadly because the artists were all REALLY good! It would've sold a bunch of physical copies I bet). You can check out the piece I did for it here
. I got into a Hollow Knight zine as a "pinch-hitter", which means I didn't make the cut but if one of the artists drops out you might be called on last-minute to fill in. I think that zine released? So I guess that opportunity has passed ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ BUT I was straight-up accepted for a LoZ: Breath of the Wild zine that is planned for a physical release
and I'm really excited about it. I love BOTW so much and have been dying to make something that does it justice. So look out for that! : )
I think it would cool to do my own self-published zine! When I have time...
Just kidding. I just recently signed a lease for my first single-bedroom apartment alone, with no roommates. I'm very excited. My roommate moved out last month, so I've already gotten used to it. It's great, but it had a learning curve as I figured out what the right balance of socializing vs social exhaustion is. If I don't plan any hang-outs, I'll get lonely, but if I hang out too much I'll get tired and unproductive. _(:3｣∠)_ Plus there's always the constant threat that dumb idiot me is gonna leave the stove on and burn the apartment down. oh well lol. It's also really expensive, but luckily I don't buy anything besides videogames and clothes LOL
Trying to get myself to play games that aren't Smash Ultimate and Hearthstone, because I play them way too much and they usually just make me upset. Slay the Spire is pretty fun, it's an RPG roguelike but with card game mechanics. Towerfall is SUPER fun to play with friends, it's an easy pick-up-and-play platforming brawler for up to 6 players. I'm starting to get back into Stardew and Minecraft, lol. Need to play Nier: Automata because everyone and their grandma says it slaps. I'm shaking with anticipation for Fire Emblem Three Houses, Luigi's Mansion 3, and Pokemon Sw/Sh this year... thank you daddy Nintendo...
This got really long, but thank you if you were interested in reading! Feel free to talk to me or ask me any game dev related questions