Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's also photo reference time.


Nibby tests

Messing around with how I want to draw dis thang, so naturally I checked out my nib treasures. I have lots of good ones! And so far they are pretty fun to use, too.
nibs test pg
Now if only it wasn't so bullshit to scan.

Now it's under-drawing time. I'll check in later.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How Hair Flirts

Almost ready to draw, but still on these damned storyboards! Well now I know I take longer in pre-production than I usually anticipate. WELL DONE ME, I GUESS.

In the meantime, here is a study on How Hair Flirts:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hit a snag

I have become obsessed with Roy Orbison and have been listening to him nonstop repeat (except while sleeping) for the past 3 days. Incidentally – and I hope these things are not related – I have not been able to produce any good work for the past 3 days also.

Today I experimented with a couple computer-drawing approaches that failed utterly. I was trying to be more direct about it, and most of all, I just wanted to save some goddamned time. Pencilling, inking, scanning ... wouldn't it be great to condense those 3 steps into 1 by just drawing it directly into some photoshop file?

Unfortunately, my pshop doodling working method is totally incompatible to the 2 short stories I wrote recently. But really, the bottom-line is: I'm just not good enough at tablet drawing to justify using it.

So I'm literally back to the drawing board. I'm behind on my personal schedule but I'm sucking it up. Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Still working on storyboards/layouts. Which for me, takes FOREVER.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Zig Millenium .05 Pure Black Pen + Hellen Jo = <3

Ignore the inking on the large hands. The others are better, no? hopehopehope
I was copying the hands and feet Hellen Jo does. She makes it seem so easy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Body sketch

intercom_body types_sized
Alright, here's the first attempt at drawing them without reference, and with body & head attached.
oh my god i need to get back to figure drawing UGGGGHHHHHHHkillmenow

Mo character sketches

Thus mo blatant ripping off of fan pics. I found the man quite tricky to draw (without the famous musk ox stripes in his hair, anyway). I'm not happy with any of these but the bottom right one. Doesn't look like him, but a striking resemblance is not what I'm after. Of all his chameleon-like incarnations, this specific look and feel is just right for the character I have in mind. Luckily it's also the least stiff of the bunch, so I hope that means it won't be too much of a drag to repeat.

And here's something from the first sketch page again. I was practicing with different inking pens. The left one took DONKEYS to dry ... won't be using that pen for this project, methinks (it's a brush pen I bought from Kinokuniya that I normally looove). The one on the right was inked with both a plain old Tombo and a Faber-Castell artist pen. I might stick with that combo until further notice. Yuck I need to practice more.
sketches (inked)_06-06-09

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Character sketches

The first (but not the last) sketches!
Totally based off one of my favorite SGs. But hey, I do what I can to stay motivated.
Speaking of which. This is what I actually consider Being Naked On the Internet. ::shudder::

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The 2nd best thing about James Iha

The 2nd best thing about James Iha
He "is a second-generation Japanese-American, and is only able to speak a little Japanese." (Wikipedia)

"Oh, I'm sorry"
I'm not against learning that language of your native cultural background at all. If you know anything about me you know I've always regretted being unable to speak Cantonese. But it's hella annoying how it plays out almost every single time. Once the Chinese figure out you don't speak your home tongue, they act as though you've not learnt it out of stupidity, laziness, or sheer defiance. And then in a split second, you become a non-person, akin to a very young child, or perhaps a dog or cat. In the rare instance a Chinese person would continue looking or speaking to me after they discover this shocking flaw of mine, they'd express their pity and/or disgust quite clearly, and THEN commence ignoring me. I can't tell you how many times this has happened, and how many more times it will – predictably – occur in the future.

This used to shame me before, as I absorbed the idea that my sister and I just weren't smart enough to be good Chinese kids. Sure, no one ever spoke Cantonese in the house unless my parents were fighting (and they didn't want us to understand what it was about). Sure, no one ever thought we should try to learn Chinese until I was 15, when the rest of our first level classmates were 5 or 6 years old, and all the teachers looked at us and said "Good Luck" with their eyes and proceeded to treat us as described above. And sure, being unable to learn Chinese reading, writing, and speaking strictly by rote memorization only served to enforce the idea that my true identity (or at least half of it) was going to be completely lost to me ... wasted on an ungrateful dumbshit American-born kid like me.

Sure this is how it panned out early on, but I assumed it was my fault for not overcoming the obstacles anyway, since all the other Asian kids in my school also had less-than-perfect parents, but STILL they got 5.0's, played a perfect game of tennis, were key members of 7 different social and academic clubs at once, attended every lunchtime Agape meeting, play virtuoso violin/piano, AND STILL they could speak unaccented Chinese to their so-pleased grandparents every weekend at dimsum. How could I still think I was just as smart as those kids (if not smarter in some cases) when I couldn't even figure out how to do just 1 of those million things they juggled daily?

15 years later, I'm not ashamed anymore, and I especially don't compare myself to most other Asian kids anymore (doubly-true when they resemble the kids I grew up with, even slightly). I decided long ago that it wasn't healthy to care about the Why-Aren't-You-Like-Them's, since all I could ever seem to manage was to be myself, anyway. This is the only Traci I am familiar with. So if I still lack after all these years, FUCKIN TOUGH SHIT

And anyway, I AM going to learn Cantonese, so keep them friggin shorts on. But please just give me this: I need to get all the other languages out of the way first – because I know I can learn them fast and I'll enjoy it – but most importantly, I need to know first that it's not because I'm dumb or lazy or that I hate all culture except for the white-American one that I can't speak Chinese yet. I need to have these other languages under my belt because maybejustmaybe that's what it will take to finally muster enough courage to learn the one language that makes up the other half of my biculturalism. Deal? OK deal.

After all this time it's still hard to reconcile certain disparate parts of me ... and here in the first 45 seconds of this 1992 interview, all Iha has to do is laugh and think, Honey, don't you know I'm still a rock star anyway? and then proceed to rawk Tokyo's face off. Hence the 2nd best thing about James Iha, learned here:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Goddamn I need a haircut.

goddamn i need a haircut
I can barely see anymore. Perhaps the length of my bangs is becoming oppositely proportional to the fatness of my wallet.
I've written some travel articles for Trazzler, which you can read here.
Those were a lot of fun, and I hope to write more soon. Let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions for new trips to write about. So far I've only got local stuff but then again I haven't been trazzling for years now, other than to LA or Kansas for family. Getting domestic fever ... MUST FIX SOON.
I'm not allowed to enroll in classes right now, so we're taking the summer off from ASL. We're meeting with our ASL buds every week to sign anyway, to stay loose and improve our fluency, so it's not a huge loss on anyone's part really. But the best part about taking the summer off? Instead of going to ASL class, we're going to study Italian and French at home, for FREE.

I'm hella excited, especially because language learning programs have dramatically improved since last I studied German or Cantonese. I realized just recently that language study during my academic years was so shit; I feel like our generation was cheated in this regard. Rote memorization? Focus on grammatical correctness over conversational skills? Mandatory language education starting at age 15 instead of nursery or grade school when the learning is easiest? All written comprehensive tests, but rarely expressive or oral testing? Fuckin-A, you dumbasses. That makes no sense.

So here I am at 30, trying to learn all the stuff I wanted to know at age 15. A little late, but luckily my brain is way more receptive to actually absorbing the material (for good) than it was in the day of braces, acne and freshly-broken teenage hearts ... Except now it's dental insurance, acne, and constantly-reshaping adult hearts. Heh, I guess some things never really change all that much.