I've decided to start using a new chosen name; Lex. I like my given name, but it is very strongly coded as male, and I feel like it's been a somewhat limiting factor in my trying to figure out gender stuff and find a better way to identify myself.
Anyway, yeah. Just wanted to give a heads up to anyone who hadn't already heard (I think most of my close friends are already aware)
I'm thinking of offering some different kind of stuff for sale, namely looking at YCH and "adoptable" type things.
The adoptables would be vehicular designs of some sort; I'm thinking I'd post a sketch similar to this, auction off the design, and then the winner gets to choose any final little details and I'd clean it up a bit and maybe put color to it. The winner would retain the rights to the design to use in their stories/etc yadda yadda.
Not quite sure exactly how the YCH's would go; maybe just your standard fare posed-blank-character in a scene deal? I'm open to suggestions.
But yea, are those something y'all would be interested in? Let me know in the comments!
ps. Want to get a couple more commissions done before I open up again for more, but I am still planning to soon. I'm guessing within the next week or so.
The example images aren't super fancy (I didn't have time to do a whole step-by-step process), but hopefully it should come in some use.
Since I haven't done this for over a year, and a fair number of people have expressed interest in commissioning me, I'm going to be doing things a little more organized than previously. Starting now, I'll be taking in requests for commissions, and then in the next week or so I'll decide which ones I'm actually taking on.
I'm not sure how many I will be taking, but I'm planning to work on as many of these as I can (between life and my personal work) from now until at least the end of April, and possibly further on after that. Depending on how things go with that and life in general, I'll see whether I keep them open during the summer, but it may be that I have to close them again to take on contract work again (if it's available).
So, without further ado, here's the skinny:
• Familiarize yourself with my new, updated ToS
• Send all commission requests to tom at petuko.com
• In the next week I'll decide which ones to work on
PS. I'd appreciate if y'all can spread the word for me. You can link to this Tumblr post, which has all this information + some examples of my work
That aside, I am currently on the lookout for additional research material, and seeing as how I have a pretty good following of people here I figured I'd ask if any of y'all can help out. While Wikipedia is definitely a wealth of information, it can be quite... dry at times, if you know what I mean.
I'm looking for visual reference and literature (illustrated) on the following;
Architecture; styles, history, context, the lot. I'm looking for material focusing on everything from the 1970s to approximately the western Renaissance, with a preference for 20th century in particular. Looking for everything from western to eastern and everything in between.
Domestic living, technology, fashion, et cetera popular stuff (ie what defined the common lifestyle of the era) from the 1970s/1960s in particular, but also from the late 1950s. Again, western, eastern, and everything in between.
Cultures, religions, groups, and movements prevalent in the 1950s-70s; particularly anything less-well-known.
If you have any recommendations for books to look up, galleries to look at, artists, photographers, etc, please let me know below! Thanks!!
Trying to catch up on messages today. Working from home is a bit disorientating after having been in an office day-to-day for over six months. Even if I minimize distractions, it's tough to keep up the pace of work I was able to do while in-office, at home.
Anyway, figured an update was pertinent. For anyone not up-to-speed, my internship with local game studio Dire Wolf Digital ended at the beginning of April. I have almost nothing but good things to say about the experience and the people I worked with there. It was an absolute joy, and I relished in the opportunity to really hone my trade skills as an illustrator.
So what's next? That's the big question that's been on my mind. Since I left, I've been doing freelance contract work for DWD, and that's been going wonderfully. I've also been easing back into doing some more personal and portfolio artwork; some of the fruits of which I have already posted to my online galleries. "Too Late" was the first major portfolio-piece of illustration work I've been able to produce and show to the public since I began my internship in October of last year, and I am very happy with how well-received it has been. As it built upon the skills I developed at DWD, I hope to build upon it so that I can update my portfolio.
All the work I produced at DWD is still under the wraps of the non-disclosure agreement I signed before beginning my internship - heck, the games they're working on haven't been announced yet - but if all goes well, the main project that I worked on is slated for release later this year. Whenever it is finally released, I expect to be able to publish that work, and I'm excited to show it.
tl;dr: I'll be continuing to do freelance work for DWD and developing my portfolio. I'm hesitant to open commissions right now, but I will let y'all know if I do. For the forseeable near future, I'll be busily working freelance and continuing personal projects as well as broadening out my skillset (something I've done a little bit of already, with the tank model I made recently for "Too Late").
A handful of fellow RMCAD Alumni and I are putting up a show of illustrative work this May! The show's title is Process. Each artist will be exhibiting some awesome illustration work and the accompanying process work that lead to its creation.
The show is being hosted in Unit E, a local gallery in Denver. The show opens the first Friday in May (the 3rd) and features artwork from Victor Escobedo, Raul Ramos, Grant Griffin, Jon A. Baker, Dylan Pierpont, Matt Hubel, and myself.
I know that I know better, but I guess unconsciously I sort of forgot just how much I enjoy doing personal work and sharing it with you all, and hearing all the lovely feedback and critique and inspiring thoughts. I really do miss it.
I've said before that I'll never stop working on my personal projects, and that still holds true. But it seems they've taken a bit more of a backseat in the past several months than I ever expected or intended - at least in regards to producing artwork. As mentioned, most of the personal work I've been doing is structural/foundational writing for Epicho. Timelines, language, history, places, cultures. The net result isn't easy to share, but it's been incredibly fruitful. Through some conversation with fellow world builders I know, I've been able to find a more sure direction in which to focus my work; primarily I've been building up a timeline/history as of late for Epicho, and that timeline, while incomplete, has helped me make some wonderfully strong strides towards getting Epicho to become the world I want it to be, with the sort of depth I want it to have.
My internship at Dire Wolf Digital is and has been going wonderfully, and all the while I've been fortunate enough to lead a very comfortable, stable life.
But I wanted to let you all know that I never intended to leave you hanging out so dry for so long. I try not to make promises I can't keep, but I will say that I do want to try and be more active on my online galleries. Because as I said, I really miss you guys. My personal work may be driven and derived from my own volition, but y'all on DA/FA play a big part in keeping my spirits up and my morale high for these projects of mine.
Commission Info: reptilexfatality.deviantart.co…
But, things have taken a bit of a different turn than I had expected. DWD asked me to extend my internship for another 3 months, and after weighing my options over the weekend, I've decided to accept their offer. Coincidentally, I will also soon be doing independent contract work for DWD on the side.
With that all going on, and my own projects to tend to along with life and things, I'm afraid I won't be opening commissions for awhile yet. I'll of course keep you all updated on this, and I do hope to have some more stuff to post up on these here interwebs for y'all to see. As mentioned, been doing a lot of background cleaning-up and stone-setting in regards to Epicho, and while that's a very good, very needed thing, it doesn't leave me with a whole lot in the way of pretty pictures to show off.
Anyway, things are going quite well in the world of Tom. I've had an absolutely grand time working at DWD so far, and their response to my work has been very positive. And the contract work they have planned for me should pay pretty handily.
That it happened in such a violent and horrid time as the first world war, is truly astonishing. I shed tears remembering this unprecedented occasion today. It doesn't matter what your religious beliefs are, or what you think of war. This moment was a shining, brilliant beacon of hope in some of humanity's darkest days.
To me it represents the undying promise in our species that no matter how terrible and beastly and monstrous we may appear to be at times, there is always in us the capacity to step above that gruesome character and become something much greater.
I wish you all, every one of you, the happiest and most joyful of holidays.
If you're stuck on a blank page and don't know what to do, draw something from reference. Draw something from memory. Or just start drawing and see what happens. The worst thing you can do is keep that page blank even longer.
Silhouette is hugely important. It defines character. Of an environment, a character, a machine, anything. Start with the basics. Stick figures of poses, or blocking out of masses. Or drawing of lines of motion. Start with a large brush and wait until the very last moment to make it any smaller. Repeat.
Too much detail will often worsen the overall image. Be selective. Break it up a bit. Don't be repetitive; a rock formation shouldn't have rocks all the same size. Don't draw every single strand of hair; break it up into a few choice clumps and strands. Don't be afraid to leave areas rough and un-detailed if the eye isn't meant to focus there.
Color influences emotion. Colors in real life are often much less saturated than you'd think. Use relationships between colors to make even a technically-dull crimson-brown turn into a rich and vibrant red brick wall. Sometimesómany timesócolors that work in one setting or genre, feel completely out of place in another. On the other hand, that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to make it work if you feel so inclined.
Don't ever be afraid to reinvent yourself, your art, your habits, your subject matter, your characters, your stories. Ask yourself again, is this how it should be, or is it this way simply because it always has been? With time and learning and experience, sensibilities change.
There have been enough stories about white, male, straight lead characters.
If you have trouble drawing something, draw it. But also, learn how it works. Understand each part's structure and function, be it organic or man-made.
Paint with lines. Draw with paint. Blur the distinction between drawing and painting.
Avoid using pure white and black. Avoid the most saturated colors. Stick to the midtones until you know where you want to draw attention, then use them to pop the image.
If color eludes you, work out the values in greyscale first. Whether thumbnailing the values, or doing a full painting in grey and then glazing over it.
The midtones are where the richest colors are. Any closer to light and shadow and you must lose some of the saturation of the local color.
Use opaque paint.
Remember that light bounces around. The environment affects color of the figure. Reflective light is not limited to mirrors and metal. Remember that the intensity of light increases as the plane on which it is cast faces closer to the light source. That is to say, light is strongest on planes facing the light.
Find your own way. Take everyone's advice seriously, but temper it objectively. Learn to pick apart criticisms for their worth; understand what you can improve upon, then choose which of those criticisms to act upon.
"I would be interested in helping you build the world of Epicho. Unless however you consider it your babey and dont want my filthy monkey hands all over it thats fine too."
Thank you for asking! Right now, I'm primarily interested in outside help through people who can act as advisors in areas I'm not as familiar with, and who can critique my work.
I've put heavy consideration in working collaboratively on material for the project, but decided against doing so - at least for now - as the project doesn't have any direct goals that I'm working towards. Right now my focus is to flesh out the world and characters, and while they have been "in development" for years they are only now just reaching a point where I am happy enough with the state of the world to begin solidifying aspects of it and really filling it out.
Part of it too is that, as you say it is my "baby" and a bit of a life-long project and I would rather not deal with any confusion over rights at this point. Later when I'm moving into a more defined goal of producing something to publish (ie a novel, book, game, or whatever else I may decide to do), I will certainly be considering bringing others in to work on the project to expand on my own creative abilities.
Please do feel free to continue picking my brain about aspects of the universe you may have questions about, as it gives me a chance to flesh out new areas, fill gaps, or reconsider what's already there. And if you or anyone you know has a good amount of knowledge that you feel can help me in my world building, and are interested in advising, please do send them my way. As mentioned at the beginning, I am always interested in anyone who can help better inform my work. World building is a very demanding job that's difficult to do on your own.
That aside, I'm still chuggin' away at the internship. About half-way done now! Very exciting. Talk to y'all next time!
Nearing the end of the 2nd week of this internship. Been goin' well so far. It's a lot of work, and usually when I get home after the day's done I don't feel like doing much more than playing video games, so I haven't really got any new stuff to show y'all. Great learning experience so far though; really kicks your ass in gear when you're working in an actual industry environment. Plus since I'm riding the light rail every day I have the motivation to put a little more time into reading than I usually would. Been working on finishing up The Art Spirit, a book about the painter Robert Henri. Good read, recommend it. Bit dated in context but his core ideas are timeless.
Thinking about posting a couple of the written works I've made in the past year though I dunno if y'all are interested in that? Guess it wouldn't hurt? Feel bad leaving you guys completely in the dark during this internship, haha. It's agonizing being under an NDA; the project I'm working on is super exciting! Ah, I shouldn't tease too much. It'll probably be quite a while after the internship's over before I can show anything from it. Might try and scare up the drive to get some personal work done at some point in the near future... anyway I'm rambling. Take it easy.
So excited to get some real industry experience!
Here's the skinny:
Commission guide: tomcollinsillustrations.com/co…
Commission Terms & Conditions: tomcollinsillustrations.com/co…
You can shoot me an email at email@example.com or send me a note if you're interested, we'll talk At some point, I'm probably also going to put together a price guide for commission options under $50 or so. For now, I'll just quote each individually based on expected workload.