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Yamino's avatar

Webcomic Beacon

I'm going to be interviewed live by the Webcomic Beacon this Sunday! Be sure to tune in. It's traditional for interviewed artists to draw the mascot, Becky. I went a little overboard (as usual) and totally redesigned her. You can see the original design here:
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ExMedal's avatar
...whats a Beacon?
kethwef's avatar
So many colours...
Saya-Aria's avatar
Very colourful!
I absolutely LOVE your work here. The tiny details and the tweaking and the contorted pose and the light all interact and coalesce into this epic, astounding image.

However, I do think this image would be even astounding-er if you had made the colors in the background less saturated. I've seen this problem in a few of your other pieces, too. Basically, when you make the whole image super-colorful and bright, the viewer's eyes don't know which part is the most important (because there's no distinction) and so they think that EVERYTHING's important and try to take everything in all at once, instead of the main bit and then the side details. Using contrast between different values of color would work really great to usher audience attention forcefully to the picture's focal point--without creating a spotlight effect or implying that nothing else in the picture is worth looking at.

Also, using more curvy vector lines would work really well, too. It would have looked super awesome if you had arranged the floating webcomic homages into a spiral-y shape around the output of the antenna, instead of having them randomly dispersed throughout the image.

And I apologize for making this a TL;DR. I've been reading a lot of critique of Frank Frazetta's work recently, so I see more cool things you could've done. It really is an amazing image, even though I'm being kinda critical. =)
Yamino's avatar
I'm GLAD you're being critical. I asked for a critique, after all!

You're right about the monitors, perhaps I could have had them be more like projections rather than screens. As for the colors, there are a lot of bright things to look at, but I think that the beam of light directed on her is definitely the focus. It's true, I do tend to make EVERYTHING in the picture very over-saturated and vibrant. I know it sounds like a copout to say this, but it's intentional. I am a fan of chaotic, colorful imagery. XD
Eudevie's avatar
I love the overall design, and I saw the other pieces- it could stand to have an overboard one, IMO. However...
Her balance seems off to me, like one really can't pose that way normally. The feet seem a bit too far back I think. They are further back then her shoulders are.
Everything else looks great,though! :3 your color palette, I wish to nom it.
Yamino's avatar
Yes, I intentionally made her pose off balance. I'm glad you noticed. XD I wanted to give it kind of a bizarre spacey feel, but I didn't want to make her completely floating- I was going for more of a "extremely reduced gravity" look. You're actually the first to comment on it at all. XD
Gigi800's avatar
0AnimeVortex0's avatar
Awesome Stuff Yamino! Congratz!!!!
hannahmcgill's avatar
Congrats on the live interview! This looks totally excellent. :)
Goldpath's avatar
yours is the best
ChristinaJackson's avatar
I love all the colors! :D :heart:
NanashiFox's avatar
Just to warn ya, I'm feeling verbose today.

Details, details, details. I love the little touches all throughout. All the webcomics in the screens (Nightingale I await you SO BAD), the radio waves from her headset, the LIGHTING- all really add to its pop.

I'm really impressed with the extreme left turn you took with the design. Not only stands out in the crowd, but shows a willingness to try where others haven't yet (this does not help my crush on you; you're killing me here).

I suppose my only hesitation comes from the rave/bruise color tone in the background. Granted, I understand the choice involved- pops against the main character and the other focus points of the piece- but when taken with your other pieces as of late it becomes this odd default in a body of work known for its creative variety. The critique is a minor catch, so I'm just tossing it in for thought for when the next SUPER DETAIL PROJECT comes along.

You have such a knack for pulling a duck out of your hat while everyone's pulling rabbits that when you challenge yourself (Freen in Green multi-perspective group shot anyone?), that duck comes out waving batons with sparklers on the end while singing Lady Gaga in harmony. This internal personality to your art is what attracted me most to your work. Y'know, that, along with the technical skills and unique, personal style you possess.

In any event, this is tasty radio-themed candy and I'm always looking forward to the next Yamino piece.
Yamino's avatar
Wow, thank you for such a long and thoughtful critique! I really appreciate it.

I'm surprised you say the black+red colors were a pattern you've noticed in my work, because I feel like I almost never use intense redsand blacks (at least, not in my cartoony style.) A lot of people have commented on my obsession with blue and pink lights and shadow, though, is that what you were referring to? =)

Initially the colors were a lot more subdued in the background. Actually, most people would be surprised to see the colors I start out with initially. The craziness always comes in the tweaking. I had thought about trying to make a mostly white image, to give it that kind of Apple/Mac style feel of starch white futurism. (You can tell I changed my mind about that, lol)

I used to be very careful and constricting about my color choices in the past, until I started browsing some of the crazy candy colored art over at Pixiv. Ever since then I've felt like nothing I did was COLORFUL enough to measure up to their awesomeness, so pieces like this are me reaction. XD

BTW I love that duck out of the hat analogy. You should write the forward for my artbook when I make one. XD
NanashiFox's avatar
The blue and pink is kind of your trademark. When I think bold Blue and Pink lights, I think Yamino. That's not so bad.

My reaction to the black+red came from when I saw this, I immediately went to your most recent Gaga art (the Pinky Violence), the Chris Crocker piece, the lighting from the Under the Sea Arc in Sister Claire and Sister Cat's color scheme. From there, I thought- okay, Blue and Pink are trademark, this looks like an undercurrent that she may not notice. Looking at your overall work though, you break it up when you go to Avatar fanart, Sister Claire's ever-shifting color demands and your Nightingale skethces that use more cool blues and maroons which is a spectrum I REALLY enjoy (strange as that may sound).

Reading your thoughts and looking back at your gallery though, I believe we're also perceiving subtle differences in the actual colors we see. I see slightly more red when you see slightly more pink- that kind of thing.

Glad you went away from the Mac look. The touches in her outfit are groovy enough, because the colors Yamino, the colors! I'd say you really punch your colors up when you have a contrast in there. Claire's orange-red hair in all those soft blues, pinks and greens of the club scene comes to mind. Sometimes that one stark contrast can anchor the whole look and really drive it home.

Oh and hon, if you ever want me to write anything for you, just shoot me a line. To me, it's the least I can do as a fan of someone who brings such vibrant and fun art to the world! :D
FatefullyKinetic's avatar
aww but she looks cool your way. lol she actually has a mascot look to her.
Doncreegan26's avatar
Girls got some skillz.
Keep it up ol' four-eyes, cute and skilled with a, pencil. lol so embarrassing......

/Finished flirting/
NaomiKnight17's avatar
Ack... Up until now I've always been drooling fangirl over your drawings but I've got to be negative today, I am so sorry.

This picture taken on its own and not thinking at all about who it is supposed to be is just incredible. It is beautiful and colourful and the composition is great ...

But. But I went and looked at the base material and I shouldn't have done that. Because now it is making me nuts that she's so skinny when Becky is described as 'average build with a bit of pudge', and that she is holding what appears to be a microphone when she is a mute.

And it just bugs me. The complete departure from the source material ruins for me what is otherwise a gorgeous piece of art.

(And yes, I am aware that a lot of other participants drew her very differently from the source and did the microphone thing as well. Still bugs me.)
Yamino's avatar
I gave her microphone because I imagined her interviewing the participants. I did depart quite a lot from the original character, keeping pretty much only her hair more or less intact. (Well... it's the same color... XD)

To be honest I don't really understand a lot of the choices made for her original design (something I discussed with Fes, her creator, earlier today.) To have a mute interviewer doesn't make a lot of sense to me, nor does insisting on making a character "average" in appearance when the mascot is supposed to embody your brand- A mascot should be a visual communication of what is special and unique about your brand, in this case, their podcast. My criticism wasn't with her being pudgy, but with her "plainness." There's nothing wrong with "plain" people, but from a marketing perspective, it's generally not a good idea. Fes did explain to me his reasoning behind the choices, and of course it's his character, so I can't offer anything more than friendly advice.

When he said "average" build, I assumed that "average" was subjective to whoever was drawing her (and that average does vary greatly between the US and Europe.) I did give her slightly wider hips that most of my female designs, but other than that I think that you made a fair critique, I could have made her "pudgier."
NaomiKnight17's avatar
I am having an absolute heart attack that you are responding to my critique.

I see your side of things, and you're right - 'average' in North America is a few sizes bigger than in Europe, so maybe that's part of my problem, being a Canadian. (We're almost as obese as the USA, statistically speaking.)

And a mascot should probably stand out a little more and represent the brand - but maybe they were trying to connect with the average person, so they made an average mascot? Not that I know a thing about marketing.

I am really glad you stood up to defend your work and your choices in this picture - I was afraid my fellow fans would turn on me for a while there. As I said, though, besides the character changes this is a really stunning picture :)
Yamino's avatar
I can always take a critique (in fact, I requested them on this piece!) so I'm glad I got one. You needn't be afraid of bringing these things up to me, I'm not the type to bite people's head's off. xD

I think that *was* the point of her design, to appeal to the "amateurs." But... I think both professionals and amateurs are more drawn to an eye-popping design than a non-impressive one, you know? Of course the focus isn't so much on her, it's more about the audio, so it's not such a big deal. I would have designed her differently, though. ;)
LugiaInTheSky's avatar
I always love the colors in your drawings. They're so bright and cheery, and they're never the colors you'd expect to work well together. x3
Avocado-AGO-GO's avatar
*psst!* (She looks more awesome like this!)



Clock-workable's avatar
theres nothing wrong with going a little over the top and then, hehe
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