Well, the plan today is to finish the roughs for the first two chapters of my graphic novel. This particular project was started about three years ago when I first came up with a character that I thought would be perfect for an adventure series for girls. But, boys can read it if they want to. heh. So far, the reaction I've gotten from my target age group (girls 9-12 or "tweens"), has been really positive and they all wanted to see more of the story, so I'm determined to get sample chapters out this summer to a couple of art directors and editors from the children's book publishers that I met when I was working in New York and get their feedback. Then it's off to get me an NYC agent (Texas publishing and art agents don't do much for you AT ALL...and I say that from personal experience). Fortunately, I already have a couple of recommendations from people I've met through SCBWI.
Of course, that's not the only book I have on my creative project list. However, the others are in more of a pre-production stage, although I do know which one I'll be working on next. It's on my big "To-Do" list right in front of me on the big white board. :)
And part of my things-to-do includes getting ready for the San Diego Comic-Con. It's my first time to go, and I'm so glad that my friend SJ invited me along! She hasn't been before either, although we've both heard about it from various people we know. In fact, one of my co-workers got his first visual development job in 2D animation working on Spawn for HBO when he was living in California. Needless to say, I'm listening to everything he has to say about what to do (toys and comics!! woohoo!!) and what to bring with me so that I can do some good creative networking.
Speaking of creative jobs and networking opportunities, Walt Disney Feature Animation is still actively recruiting! Sounds good to me! I found another posting this time on the HighEnd 2D Job Board from 6/23 for an upcoming recruiting event. This time more information was posted so I can follow-up on it ASAP. I'm kinda wondering if they're also going to be at the portfolio reviews at the Comic-Con and SIGGRAPH. Well, if so, I'll be happy to talk with them in San Diego. heh.
Part of my self-imposed work-at-home schedule includes at least three nights of sketching after work. When I'm not working on the Art Catalog for my job (almost done, yay!!) or the animation short or my graphic novel or updating my portfolio, I've been practicing my 2D animation skills. I love doing 2D animation as it requires a blend of my skills and knowledge in character design, drawing, understanding of motion and just a final touch of the computer when I composite it all. Unlike 3D animation. Well, at least with the 3D animation short we're working on, I'll get to work on aspects of all of that. I just don't find the 3D side of animating with curves and keys and a CG model as much fun or engaging. Although, I do know that other people seriously enjoy it. Yay for them! :)
So I've been working on a dragonfly animation based on the style and wing-timing developed by Osamu Tezuka... I was going to post my latest WIP from the animation, but I think I'll wait till I'm happier with the result. Still tweeking some of the inbetweens. I'll post it later for sure.
Not doing as much 3D modeling as I'd like, but since I'm looking to get my first animation industry job as a visual development artist not as a 3D modeler, my 2D work has to be a top priority. I am also squeezing in an hour or so here and there to watch the Maquette sculpting DVD's. Soon as it's pay day, I'll be picking up a few things over at Home Depot so I can get my models going. And a pasta maker...amazing how much easier it makes Sculpey maleable rather than squooshing it between your hands for hours to soften it. And turns out there's a much better way to get the detail and poses that I'd like to have with my Sculpey models than with the aluminum foil base I've done in the past and that I started recently before I watched the DVD's. At least I haven't baked it yet...
Still Unpacking and Packing
I hate moving. I'm still unpacking my book and office/studio boxes from my move to this apartment last November. At least it also means that I'm doing some serious sorting with each box I unpack. In fact, I thought I'd killed my shredder last weekend, but I guess it just over-heated because it was working again yesterday. Thank goodness. Budget is too tight at the moment to buy another one and scissors just aren't as quick or easy.
Sorting also involves putting too many of my books into storage, but I just don't have the space for all of them in this apartment. Plus, looking on the positive side, it means I can quickly pack up and move when I get that job offer (soon, I hope!!).
Back to Work...
I had a friend tell me the other day that I'm working too much, that I need to have some fun. His suggestion was something like a margarita machine, a bunch of friends, and my own personal cabana boy. ha. Well, it's not that I don't want to have a bit of that kind of creative fun now and then, it's just not in the financial or time budget right now. I have two big goals that I need to focus on: getting my first creative job in the animation industry and paying off my student and other personal loans that got me through school. This job I have now as an entry-level toy designer isn't even as much money as I was making as a mid-level graphic designer over 10 years ago. I guess Dallas salaries just aren't has inflated as NYC ones.
The way things are going, I need to get a second job starting in August in order to meet all of my obligations. That means no time or funds for that kind of extra-curricular creativity. And I won't have much time for sketching or 3D work once that gets going.
On the other hand, I enjoy the art that I'm creating after my daily routine as toy designer. Most of the artwork I actually do at work isn't anything that I want in my portfolio to show propective employers. Surprise.
This week one of the guys and his wife are putting together a "Germanfest" for our art team at their house - cooking a variety of traditional German food along with some tasty German beer he brought back from China. ha! I'm looking forward to that. I'm also curious to taste their variations of the potato salad and saurkraut as even my mom and her sister cook different versions and they are both very German still for all that they immigrated to the US in their twenties. And there's most definitely a long weekend to look forward to and maybe some sushi if I can talk my two friends into adding that to our Saturday wine tasting....I looooooooove sushi. Expensive habit I got from my consulting days.
Talked with my mom this morning about going for a visit to Austria and Germany again in the next year or so, when my job situation is more stable (I hope). That will be alot of fun. And so inspirational for a visual development artist! ;) We're going to try and go traveling along the Amalfi Coast as well. Or at least a week up in Scotland since neither of us has been and we both had a great time together in London last time. It's at least nice to dream about.
So, while for the moment, my work is my life, I'm enjoying it (mostly). And have plenty of fun goals for the future...like dating, traveling, and a Ducati Monster 620 in red if you please!