- Jun 17, 2013 12:05 AM
It's the middle of the night....
I get ready to lie down to sleep after a pretty good day...
I let my dogs in the front door.
THE SMELL. ASSAULTS ME.
They scatter, little puppy nails clickey-clacking the hardwood floor. I snag the dachshund. Her face is scratched up, one puffy eye, injured neck. (Great.) Just getting her near my face makes me gag.
The rat terrier runs upstairs and leaps INTO MY BED, scattering my fresh laundry I've yet to put away.
I take them to the garage, wash them, open a window. SPRAY EVERYTHING, WASH THE BEDDING, FEBREEZE THE CARPET.
I just want to sleep.
- Just for Fun
- Apr 29, 2013 1:13 PM
Hello all. I'm doing well (ish). I don't wanna rehash how badly the year has gone, I wanna focus on good things. Thus, I want to make time to read friends' comics. Comics makes me feel good, despite everything.
"Finding" time just isn't working for me, so I'm going to make it. Thus, this is the official "poke" LOOM journal. Feel free to post a link to your comic and I will do my best to get out to read it. You want me to catch up with your recent pages? Fine. Poke me. Link me.
Comments posted here will be taken much more seriously and carry more immediate weight than those who post on my profile. I will always prioritize the people who take a bit of time to learn about me, and even moreso those that support me personally. Oh, yeah, and you can post images, too. I'll comment on single images. :D
THE BIG READ DAY ONE
Biassu's Red Devil KC's Neon Glow Odunze (Whytmanga) - Because he is lovely - Apple Black
DAY 2 - 5/18
Rogo - Because I started it and never finished it - Gravston
Six chapters in. ^^;;
DAY 3 - TBA
Project:Crisis - Soul Crisis Reborn
Gothic Lolita Angel - The Allmighty Catgirl Squad
Blastryoku - Curse Lineage
Mary - Initiate! Mechanoiasis
YummyKeyLime - Always Playtime
Josh S. Brotherhood - BOUNTY
FixertheWise - Shapeshifter
Kura - Raven Wolf
MasterWolf599 - Novels PC/RW Crossover
- Please catch up on _________. I have batch pages for you to read! -
Easy - Bio-Revelation (soon)
Wally - Comatose
- Just for Fun
- Apr 5, 2013 9:37 PM
I seem to be getting questions about style and design a lot lately, whether that's on my personal site or profile, in relation to the Manga-Apps competition, or even at our Rocket City Comickers' Club. (Hi, Deanna!) I decided to try and address some of these questions in a positive light by writing about them on this blog. I'll be throwing in my two cents about a variety of topics, and some of them are kind of sensitive, so I will do my best to talk about them appropriately. Some of my advice will be probably be a bit obvious, but I think sometimes the simplest advice is the most useful. If you do them already, please consider them helpful reminders instead. It seems that matters of style and design weigh heavily on the minds of artists young and old alike, so here we go with question #1!
#1. "Dear, Loom. I can't come up with character designs, or all my designs look like my favorite anime/manga series! I feel so tempted to copy the style of those around me that I admire. What can I do to develop my own style or make it feel more genuine?"
1. Consider drawing from life.
Go hang at the mall or park and watch kids and adults walk by. If you're in school, draw your classmates. You'll find that this surprisingly helps a great deal! Many young artists tend to stay at home and try to draw from their minds. Realize this: your mind will always shape your work. Once you have an adequate number of life drawing hours under your belt, you'll find that it shapes the images more clearly in your mind. This "drawing from mind," versus "drawing from life" argument shouldn't exist at all in my opinion, for an artist should use both seamlessly. Drawing from life increases your brain catalog!
As for matters of style, this should begin to leak out naturally as you draw from life! You're going to be influenced by everything you've grown up being exposed to, but when you draw from life, your attempts should automatically take on a more genuine look. Many things you don't think about such as your use of line, composition, and rhythm are usually more evident and take on more definitive features when you take yourself into the neutral territory of life drawing.
2. Fashion as an inspiration.
Once you have a base character, you can continue to use your eyes to look for real-life quirky styles in the sea of people around you. Think about what the manner of dress says about the person/character. Would you think differently about a child who wears khaki pants and straight-laced shoes versus a child who wears over-sized shorts and mismatched socks? Little details can say a lot about a character! It's not just what they wear but the way they wear it!
Additionally, you can expand your arsenal and consult your favorite fashion magazines for inspiration on how to dress your new character. Be careful! Fashion designers are still artists. You can under no circumstances simply redraw a fashion layout in a magazine or copy an outfit identically down to the trademarked patterns. However, acquainting yourself with fashion movements and even design shows such as "Project Runway," can aid you in learning to look for silhouettes and details. In the process, you may even learn a bit about how fit works and how fabrics behave!
EDIT: Don't forget to investigate the fashion of different eras. History is a rich tapestry of clothing as well.
3. Logo design as inspiration.
It can also be helpful to do research on logo design, and not just for your title logo! Many characters have logos or symbol designs incorporated into their character designs. In America, superheroes such as Superman and Batman are basically walking logos. In fact, in early days, one of the most important things about a superhero was his logo design and silhouette.
As for manga, think of well-known Shounen stories. Goku has the Kame-Sennin logo on his gi, and he is also visually associated with monkey from Chinese legend, Sun Wukong. For this, Toriyama also gave Goku the Nyo-boi staff to strengthen the image of the Goku as he relates to the Monkey King of Legend. This is a great example of incorporating myth into a character.
Masashi Kishimoto utilizes many symbols in his Naruto, such as the Konoha leaf symbol, the spiral and "@" symbol for Uzumaki Naruto's clothing, the uchiwa fan on Uchiha Sasuke, and the circle design for Haruno Sakura. In addition to logo design, Naruto himself is associated with the demon fox, and Masashi Kishimoto made sure to visually clue us in with the whisker-like marking on Naruto's cheeks. In terms of color associations, Kishimoto utilized complementary colors for the rival characters (Naruto is overall orange, Sasuke is overall blue), and Sakura rounds us outs with pinks and reds, which strongly relate to her cherry blossom theme. These may seem simplistic at first, but one things editors counsel their artists on is the role of memory and symbols/mnemonics as they relate to reader memory.
The shounen demographic isn't the only one that utilizes design in this way. It is prevalent in many other demographics and genres, including shoujo! For example, Skip Beat utilizes logo design on the Love Me uniforms of the characters. One of the strongest image and symbol associations in recent memory is the famous Sailor Moon. The main character, Usagi, has a strong silhouette, which relates to her name, Usagi, or "rabbit/bunny." The buns on her heads and long trailing hair always give the impression of a rabbit. In Japanese legend, the rabbit relates to the moon and thus we have Sailor Moon. In the manga, the rabbit and moon symbols are utilized to create a very strong and memorable design. She has a very strong silhouette, but more on silhouettes later.
In addition, many manga artists go above and beyond to design tasteful school uniforms, such as Yuu Watase stated in her author's notes for Fushigi Yuugi. Miss Watase was very proud and evidently put in hours of research and thought into the designs for Miaka and Yui's school uniforms.
When you visit your local library, look out for books about logo design! My library tends to put the logo books in the 740s. It can also be useful to research the history of symbols and mythology as it relates to visual design. These resources can be a great deal of help to you! Remember, this does NOT mean for you to go and yank your favorite trademarked logo and stick it on your character (although basic symbols like stars and hearts can be fine, given it's not a carbon copy of someone else's trademarked design.) It does means to investigate more about how to utilize logo design, positive and negative space, symbology, and even mythological image associations to help aid in your character design. Good luck!
4. Don't be afraid to consult a character designer/art director!
Don't be afraid to branch out and work with someone else or get a second opinion. You can hire someone to work up a few designs for you, work with a close friend, or post your work on a forum for critique. If you are a lead artist, but you find that too many of your characters begin matching your peers, it can be useful to seek out an art director to help you "design your look." This can be character design or even an overall art direction, such as text, color, and image themes. Don't fret! Even movie directors hire art directors! (Roger Christian of Star Wars fame, is a good example. Even his use of text in Star Wars is legendary.)
Letting someone else throw in a few designs to your mix can help you have variety. If you have a sibling or a close friend, ask them if they'd be willing to work together with you to sketch out some designs. This can be a very fun and worthwhile experience.
5. The Panic Button. "I've already started a project, and I've decided my character looks TOO MUCH like _____."
First things first. Let's have a little perspective. When you're working with simplistic cartoons, especially ones like manga which developed alongside anime, which used animated shortcuts that purposefully created similarities for animators, there are bound to be some superficial similarities among characters. After all, have you ever mistaken a stranger in public for acquaintances? How about celebrity look-a-like competitions? Your dating "type?" When you start to simplify down human characteristics, basic symbols lose a bit of complexity and indeed, people do look alike in real life! Check your premises and perspective before you panic!
Similarities are to be expected, and so long as it's not a sweeping similarity across the board or use of trademarked logos, you're probably okay. Similarities of character features is not nearly as big of a deal as an overlaid matching composition (we will take a look at the low mathematical probablility of that in later installments).
6. However, we're assuming you've come to the conclusion that your character may look too much like someone else's design, and that makes you uncomfortable. You know in your gut you need to change. What can you do?
If you feel uncomfortable with your design, or feel like maybe too many similarities might match up, OR in the worst case scenario, you are contacted by another artist that has concerns, remember these things. You can change any character at any time. Just like a real person can get a makeover, so too can your character. They can gain a few pounds, lose a few pounds, change outfits, or get a haircut. It may take a bit of tricky writing, but don't be afraid to change your character if you feel like you're cutting things a little close. Additionally, it may be worthwhile to add something unique, like a logo or a color/value change, and then go back and rework your character/tweak a few things on old pages. Remember: it's your decision!
You're only human. Just be honest and do your best! These 2 things go a long way. As you grow as an artist and gain more experience about your own creative process, you will be able to navigate the hazardous waters of design, copyright, and influence. You'll begin to learn that a big thing separating "plagiarism" from "homage" is time, but that's another story for another day. We can talk copyright later. Until then, do your best! We all take a few knocks here and there, but that is part of learning! We'll all come out stronger for it!
Image Credits: Morgue File @ Morgue File.com Selected Manga Images for education use only. (c) Akira Toriyama, Masashi Kishimoto, Yoshiki Nakamura, Naoko Takeuchi
- I'm --
- I live in UNITED STATES (Estados Unidos)
- I was born on Feb 15
- a buttface
- but a thought: Must Work Harder.
- wishing to hide the profound in the absurd
- a personal motto: sucking at something (art) is never an excuse not to do it
- believes that actual comicking skill can trump the art skill; “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Hell yeah, Aristotle!
- very silly. immature. very average. likes stories > illustrating. likes seinen, 70s shoujo, retro gundam series, tezuka, otomo, & popcorn.
- the writer/artist of Vampire Fetish.
- O T H E R -
Loom-buttface by RiRiRi