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Creative Cravings Posts

Sproggiwood classes design

I realized I’ve neglected posting about Sproggiwood for a bit, so here are the designs I did for the different classes.

As we are using Spriter as our animation tool all the character consist of pieces being moved according to a saved animation file. The different pieces can be freely changed while using the same “puppet”. We adopted this system in order to easily swap out gear and armor, without totally failing at budgeting for graphics.

In hindsight this has worked well, doing the different clothes for different classes has really been a breeze compared to other parts of the game (river, I’m looking at you). I especially like the big hats! Each class has several sets of gear, though you can only see one here.

 

icon_farmericon_warrioricon_archericon_wizard  icon_thieficon_vampire  

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Sproggi Boss Design

So I haven’t been posting a lot about our progress on Sproggiwood, not because it’s not moving forward, but because most of the stuff involved in the production is kinda boring from the outside. I’ve been spending ages on doing and redoing menus, and in addition to polish work that’s most of the stuff left.

We have finally moved on to adding beta testers though, going through the first wave now! We’ll take more of them in waves, trying to improve on the design in between based on the feedback we get.

Here’s something genuinely fun though, a boss based on the Kalevala monster Iku-Turso. A slightly non traditional interpretation!

turso_idleturso_walk

More about the game:
http://www.freeholdgames.com/
https://www.facebook.com/freeholdgames

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Horse Sketch

Because I should practice drawing more horses. I don’t think there’s ever a point where you need to stop practicing drawing horses for that matter. Also had fun with broken line, something I found kinda interesting when trying out the traditional media pieces. I think there’s definitely something fun there. I should do more sketches, I just need to magic some more time for myself!

horse sketch

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Princess Cake

Trying out a somewhat different subject matter in traditional media, one of my favorite cakes. The princess cake is covered in thin marzipan, on top of a carefully sculpted dome made of some sort of soft buttery filling. Not exactly a beginner bake, I’m only proficient in eating them myself!

princesscake

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My Favorite Podcasts

mic

I can’t make art without listening to something, so I’m always on the lookout for more audio to fill the hours. Here’s a selection of podcasts I’ve enjoyed listening to in my drawing time.

Ninjamountain  http://ninjamountain.blogspot.fi/

On ninja mountain Socar Myles is super fun and completely random, and then there are also some other people on it. They also had a budding forum going up at ninjamountain.org, but who knows if it’s going to come back up again after being down due to hackers for a while.

 

One Fantastic Week on youtube   https://www.youtube.com/user/Bugmeyer?feature=watch

A followup of W.I.P podcast, with Peter Morbacher and a new partner in crime Sam Flegal. Up to episode 9 so far, mostly very enjoyable. I recommend checking out the old W.I.P podcasts on itunes or elsewhere too, they were a fun listen.

 

Sidebar Nation   http://www.sidebarnation.com/

Talk about geek and comic culture – oh and there are artists involved. Tends to go a little bit too geek and concentrate a bit too much on pretty comic lady appreciation for my taste at times, but they got some awesome interviews out there with some awesome artists.

 

Drawn Today   http://drawntoday.blogspot.fi/ (last updated november 2013)

A loose collective of fantasy artists from what I gather, but I don’t actually remember anyone’s name. Usually my go to when there’s nothing else new out there. Some episodes end up being interesting, others just a bit boring. Doesn’t seem to get very regular updates, maybe because they don’t have a regular cast?

 

Freelance Radio on itunes

The podcasts seems to be long over, but it was a fun listen anyway. There’s a bunch of professional freelancers talking about freelance stuff, time management, clients etc.

 

The Smart Passive Income on itunes

Talks a lot about smart ways of making money and do marketing. Just what a lot of artists need, right? Not all stuff is applicable, but there are some interesting lessons to learn out there. Also a very fluent speaker, so no need to gnaw your teeth while listening to this. Every episode has a different guest who’s an expert on something useful.

 

Truth to be told I’m really picky about my podcasts, even if I’m desperate for new ones to listen to. I’ve noticed I can’t listen to anything that uses too formal a tone, and there are quite a few art podcasts that fall under that category out there. Even more horrible is someone just speaking to themselves. What enjoy is casual, fun conversation done by intereresting people.

Got any podcasts you love? Let me know!

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Society6 Beginner Tips and Tricks

s6_banner2

Earlier this week I announced the opening of my own shop on Society6 and promised to write a little help for anyone else new to it. A surprising number of things confused me at the beginning, so hopefully this article will help other people avoid the same situation!

Create an Account

You’ll need to get verified to be able to sell, that will probably take some days.

Submitting Work

When you upload a piece of work and check the box for “Make this artwork immediately available for sale as a gallery quality Art Print and other products” it will be for sale once you’ve uploaded it. There is no way to preview what your submission looks like before making it available for public, so here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • A white border will be added to your prints, so non-white backgrounds work best.
  • When adding products several of the them use the same print files. To avoid trouble with positioning use the fabulous free templates made by Mark Scheff.
  • Once the work is submitted it isn’t actually in the official Society6 shop, and no one can find it through that shop even making specific searches for your name. Only way to see the work is by having a link to your artists profile or the work itself,  it showing up in “new” work for a little bit and appearing to people who follow you on their “my society” feed.
  • The way you do get to the Society6 shop is have a certain minimum number of promotes (my work were added when they had 14-16 promotes) and probably after they’ve gone through manual approval. You’ll get a email telling you “Artwork Title” has been added to the Society6 shop when this happens. You get promotes from other artists on Society6, so it’s time to socialize!

Using Society6

There is no notification system in place, so here’s how you can find out what’s going on:

  • To see if you’ve sold anything check “Account”.

account

  • To see who’s commented on your work you need to click through your pieces (comments also show up in “my society”-tab until they get pushed down by other things in the feed).
  • To see who’s promoted a piece:

promotes2

  • To find the the newest 24 pieces on Society6:

mysociety

Click "MORE"

new

  • You can find out who follows you by seeing the “followers” at the left bottom of your artists page. Here you can also access a list of who you follow, and work you’ve promoted.

artist info

  • When you follow people their new work will appear on the news feed shown on “my society” and the work they promote is shown as a list on the right of that screen.
  • In the main society6 shop if you wish to see the artists page instead of just a list of their work in the shop, click the “comment” button on any of their work, that will move you to their personal shop.
artist_shop
How everyone sees your work if they click your name in the “official” Society6 shop.
comments
How to gain access to the artists “private” shop.
comments_result
Click on the banner to see the rest of the artists work, including the ones not on the official shop.
artist_page
The “private” artist page!
  • A regular browser will probably never see your personal site, your about page or any outgoing link to your work elsewhere. Society6 is making sure users once brought in won’t get distracted and leave.

That’s it, happy selling!

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Art Course Review: Art of Personal Work

bear_color
Part of the work I was creating during the course

So, the Lamp Post Guild course I was taking part in, “Art of Pernonal Work” by Cory Godbey, has come to an end, and I thought I’d write a little post (a huge wall of text) about my experience with the course!

The idea of the course is to come up with your own personal project, and then follow the clear outline provided complete said project. The final step is to publish your personal project, making it known to the world.

I took the course mainly to force myself to make a focused series of work to figure out a new way of working, and actually forcing myself to complete them in a timely manner. I had been feeling a bit stuck with my work for a while and wanted to branch out into something new, but the new seemed so big and scary that what I was achieving on my own was  a lot of procrastination and very little action.

And it worked! I followed the steps, made a clear plan for the project goals, came up with a project that fit them, and planned out all the pieces before starting a final drawing on any one of them. It was mentally exhausting and required a lot more work than I thought it would, but since I’m incapable of missing a deadline that has other people involved, the framework made me work hard and I managed to get over the problems I was having. Seriously deadlines stress me out.

So the course was a success for the purpose I wanted to use it for, however it also had real content and guidance on the various topics related to completing the project. Here’s a little breakdown I came up with:

Positive:

  • Affordable
  • Well structured
  • Applicable to many kinds of projects
  • Provides clear goals and deadlines to people lacking them
  • Good production quality

Negative

  • No teacher feedback
  • No easy way to see your fellow student’s projects as a whole
  • No class activities with the other students
  • Nothing very specific about marketing your finished project
  • Material is somewhat generic, no watching a teacher actually work out a personal project
  • No examples of personal projects

One thing I would have most wanted to see was real world examples of completed projects, by the teachers or other people, how they were marketed and distributed and how they helped the artists career move forward.

As it is though, you have to take into the fact that the course is very inexpensive compared to an actual mentoring opportunity where you are getting constant feedback from your teacher. So even though I could wish the course had more things it’s probably just not possible in the price point it’s being offered in.

I’d recommend the course to anyone having a clear goal they want to achieve but who’s having trouble getting themselves moving and could use help structuring personal projects better in general.

fox_color

Here are all blog posts related to my personal project from start to finish, to give you an idea of the whole process:

http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2013/12/personal-project-thumbnails/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2013/12/personal-project-roughs/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2013/12/traditional-media-exploration/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2013/12/final-unicorn-drawing-n-2/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2013/12/colored-pencil-unicorn-version-2/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2013/12/owl-final-drawing/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2013/12/unicorn-inks-and-the-progress-to-final/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2014/01/final-drawing-fox/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2014/01/owl-inks-finished/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2014/01/final-drawing-hare/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2014/01/final-drawing-bear/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2014/01/hare-final-mixed-media/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2014/01/bear-final-mixed-media/
http://www.jaanaheiska.com/blog/2014/01/fox-final-in-mixed-media/

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Opened a Society6 Shop!

s6_banner2

So here finally is the society6 shop set up to sell my new work! If anyone else out there has a shop I’d thankful for any help you could throw my way.

I’m planning on doing a little post on setting up on society6 later this week, as some of the features or a bit hard to find and understand, so stay tuned if you’re thinking about setting up a shop of your very own!

Here’s some of my favorite items with my art on them:

fox_ipad - Copy

bear_onesie owl_tote unicorn_mug

hare_phone - Copy

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Palette Switching Tests for a New Project

So here’s something fun!

monster colors

I’m slowly thinking of a game I’d like to do after Sproggiwood is finished. I’ve actually had this in my mind for a while, since I just love playing the few actual creature breeding games I’ve found out there like Pocket Frogs and Derby Days. I’d like to do my take on the subject, with a bit more gameplay and super cute monsters to breed. So I want to create a game where the creatures are made of of totally individual parts and colors, and you can achieve any combination of them through breeding. The gameplay has a bit more to it than that, but that’s the one thing not liable to change.

So to that end I’m now testing out palettes created for the palette swapping system our wonderful programmer Brian has created. These are total test graphics and test palettes, too bright for actual ingame use, but I thought they came out cute and nicely represent the awesome possibilities of the system! (Still need to be tested with the system itself, this is a simulation of what they are supposed to look like.) I can’t wait to be able to create palettes for everything in the game from backgrounds to other art, every color completely under my control.

I’ll keep you posted as the project at some point starts taking shape, don’t hold your breath though!

 

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Fox Final in Mixed Media

fox_color

The final piece of the personal project done! As with the other two latest ones the fox ended up requiring two tries at the final, the first when ending up not satisfying me color and value wise. It was best of the first tries however, so for a bit I toyed with the idea of just letting it be the final, but ended up redoing it with the rest in the end.

Now that the artwork for the project is finally finished starts the hard phase of letting go and moving on to new things. As this one has been a really intense project with the new stylizitation and the test with new materials the fact that it’s done and finished has an even bigger effect. I’ll probably write a post mortem of the whole thing and what I got out of it in a bit, once I can view it better from a distance.

fox_color_fail

fox_pencil

fox_colorrough

fox_rough

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