End of year two at IGAD

Sometimes you just can’t help but look back on the things you’ve done, right? 🙂

Year 2 was tough in a different way than year 1 was since IGAD v2 took a lot of work to get used to. The principles behind v2 are all about personal improvement, and while it’s a noble idea, the execution has been challenging to say the least. Every block NHTV is getting just a bit better at.. well, EVERYTHING… but it’s still going too slow for my liking. A lot of the people I talk to on a daily basis feel cheated out of the education programme they signed up for, and consider themselves to be in too deep to quit and start something else now. Luckily I can get along with this system well, but hearing constant disgruntled commentary does get one’s mood down a little. However, being the class rep for visual artists has been quite fun especially since I get tidbits and rumors that I would not be able to hear otherwise.  I think I’ve made a difference for the VA folks, and that’s enough to grant me at least a small measure of satisfaction.

On a personal improvement note, I’ve been taking leaps and getting better at drawing (and recently, writing) to the point where I am feeling more comfortable with failing and trying again if I don’t at first succeed.

That’s a major personal milestone if anything is.

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A WIP of someone’s character. 🙂 Fun times!

I’m so bummed out I’ve been neglecting my blog (sorry for that!), but I’m still posting sketches on Tumblr every now and then, as well as posting more chapters to Era of Chaos. I’ve soared past the 30.000 word mark and only now I’ve had to start struggling with the more complicated intricacies of the plot. I’ve actually put up a Post-It covered timeline to better sort out the sub-plots and character arcs.

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Illustrator, my new best friend and… holy crunch time!

The end of the final project for this school year is in sight and I can’t help but reflect back a little in between my crunch time sprints. There is so much to do!

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Like this gem. Fun times. :3

I’ve spent at least 90% of my time this block figuring out, and working with, Illustrator. The more I’ve learned about the software and how to use it, the more I’ve become comfortable with working this way. Usually I favor a “normal” Photoshop work flow, but for this project I worked with vectors because scaling of assets and keeping their quality at the same time was quite important.

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I have to admit, I had my reservations about working with vectors. The last time I used Illustrator was last year during our Art Theory classes, but I really didn’t delve as deep into it as I think I should have. Before that, the last time I did anything with vectors when Macromedia Freehand still existed. Hah!

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Chugging along with more sushi characters – and a talk from CD Projekt Red!

The last few weeks of this block have finally reached a fever pitch in utter, undeniable craziness.

Sushi Roll project is 1,5 weeks away from completion and I’m rushing about, trying to get things done. It’s harder than you’d think! You might have seen my latest character designs on my Tumblr already – but if you haven’t, here they are.

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Osaka Style, or “box” sushi.

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Nigiri sushi

And the UI has mostly been finalized and implemented too!

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The weeks are flying by faster than I thought possible, and now I wish I had a few more weeks to do stuff for Sushi Roll because this project has been the most fun I had since the first block of my first year in IGAD. 🙂

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My first ever public interview! :D

This week’s blog post will be extremely short – apologies for that. The current IGAD block project is taking 110% of my time and energy. I was able to post an in-progress character on my Tumblr, but besides that I’ve been pretty much dashing around like crazy trying to keep to deadlines.

Here’s the finished version of my sushi design 🙂

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The website of digi-report, a French digital magazine about all things popular internet things launched yesterday – and my digital painting of my own face decorates the front page! I’m flattered and super happy about being featured.

You can read my interview here! It’s in French but if you use Chrome, you can easily enable Google translate (which is admittedly a little lackluster, but gives you at least an idea of my darkest, deepest art secrets 😉 ).

I might eventually be able to add a summarized version on my blog because I found the interview questions fairly thought-provoking and they kind of deserve a post of their own one of these days. I mean, I rarely ever thought what inspires me as an artist and realized as I was answering the interview just how I’m affected by the games I play and the books I read. Need to make a point of posting about that sometime.

If you are a reader joining me via digi-report, welcome to my humble game dev/art/random blog. Take a seat, get comfortable, enjoy the popcorn and read up on my current endeavours. If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below, tweet at me (@Sissadora) or send me an email. 🙂

Have a great week!

Sweet water and light laughter,

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Week 3 Block D goodness – funky sushi character design!

This week has been beyond exhausting. I need a good ol’ vacation somewhere warm and sunny and peaceful.

Besides working on our mobile game prototype and making the cutest sushi characters ever (more on those below the cut, so be sure to click “read more”!), I also participated in an ink painting workshop by Jim Harris (go check out his awesome ink paintings here!). It was a rainy Wednesday, I managed to get ink all over my hands but luckily not all over my clothes, and I failed spectacularly at this new medium.

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Up top: spiky plant, bottom: sort of a road……?

I find it excruciating to wait for ink or watercolor to dry. Being a digital painter also means I am also not used to messing my hands up with anything.

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I also did some more watercolor painting. Slowly getting the hang of this!

Traditional painting is SO WEIRD.

Anyway, the workshop was great, but I find ink frustrating as all hell. I know it’s all about practice, but that’s probably at the very bottom of my long to-do list.

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Working on a fun-happy-times mobile game – brainstorming and visualization

Since my feared NDA blockage hasn’t come to pass, I can show you guys something I’m working on with a small team. 🙂 The game will be focusing around throwing dice, knocking away your opponent’s dice and, of course, getting the highest score.

I wanted to share my art style experimentation so far to let you guys see where we’ll be going with the style.

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I’ve been playing around with the character ideas in my head and generally having a blast giving sushi personalities!

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And here’s a rough 3D blockout of the possible playing angle with a bit of a UI on top to show how it will look like (plus all the prettiness I need to make happen, of course).

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I’m pretty pumped about working on this project, and I really am doing my best to make this game a success!

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Environment concept art and my unending love for a Photoshop plugin

Since block D started I have been busy (I also blame my 2-week blog silence with this, cough cough) with some more of that fancy game makery again.

This block around I wanted to work even more on my 2D skills, try and challenge myself, and generally do some more drawing, painting and all that good stuff in between writing and playing World of Warcraft.

Branching out from only doing characters, I tried my hand at environments.

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Sumo wrestling minigame area

The game in question has several mini-games and I was tasked with creating the environments for these.

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Luckily I had just the Photoshop plugin to make my life easier!

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Watercolours and WoW-fandom

So…. I finally grabbed a new set of watercolours after seeing someone on YouTube recommend a set that seemed in the right price category and overall handily packaged, plus the local art supply store actually carried them.

Tada! My shiny van Gogh watercolor set!

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While I am less than impressed with the local art store’s website and their capability to pull their heads out of their backsides when it comes to accepting their own damn gift certificates, I am satisfied with the quality of this set.

I also ordered a few brushes, since the set I got for my birthday so many years ago acts more like a scrabbly pile of sticks instead of anything resembling a supple brush.

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So after dabbling with these colors a little, I have to say I am impressed. The colors are very vivid (I even made a messy color chart that I am planning to redo since I screwed the order and.. ehh, I want it to be neater before I show it) and I look forward to trying these out at school and during our plein air workshop.

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For the past week or so I’ve also burned some midnight oil while I continued on my personal fanfiction piece for my priest!

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End of block C and Ludum Dare hulabalooza!

Wooooo! Block C has finally been wrapped up, I have my passing grade and it’s almost May vacation. Couldn’t ask for more!

For my birthday I got the newest Drizzt book from R.A. Salvatore (signed, no less!) and devoured the thing in a few sittings.

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Spoiler warning: this book is pure awesome.

For all the times I felt a bit “meh” about some of the previous books, this one was just the most gorgeous combination of high-energy action scenes, greater scale plotting, just good old Drizzt philosophy and giggle-inducing party banter with a tiny bit of daring character developments in the mix (imagine me fanning myself furiously and giving Gromph Baenre a surprised stare). This book pretty much restored Salvatore’s status as a writing god in my eyes – well, maybe the fact I’ve been reading some less well articulated fanfiction (and working on my own fanfiction in between playing WoW and doing school work) lately helped a little bit.

Last week I participated in my first game jam ever with 5 other people at my house. Another spoiler warning: the whole weekend was outrageously fun!

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The siren call of World of Warcraft and.. end of the block is in sight!

Block C is almost at the end and while the panels are stressing me out somewhat, I’m enjoying the nice April weather.

A few weeks back I resubscribed to World of Warcraft! Since then I managed to finish levelling one of my alts, a paladin, to level 100 as well as gear up my long-standing main(s), a holy priest and an elemental shaman, up quite nicely through Looking For Raid.WoWScrnShot_041116_142912

As you can see, I have a bunch of more alts to go if I want a whole straight row of level 100s! This isn’t really in the planning, though. I’m just enjoying doing some Tanaan things (dailies! SO MANY DAILIES!), trying to get flying for Draenor, and doing some LFR and healing.

Oh man, have I missed healing.

As for school and art side of things, I’ve been steadily filling up my sketchbook and enjoying experimenting with my Copic markers and my stash of colored pencils.IMG_20160408_214555

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