Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Varick Edel: Malen Vier

Oh my god, I am dying in a mountain of work right now and I seriously need to de-stress a bit, so I felt that posting something pretty exciting would help.

well anyway, I'm excited for it! It's a 5 page short story that takes place in the FT:Rebirth universe, but it doesn't have anything to do with the main plot. Everything right now is up in the air until my teacher approves of it, but I really like the direction it's going in and I have faith that I can make it into something pretty cool.

Also I kind of really want to write it in German. haha I know the teach won't like THAT very much. XDD

Here are my first brainstorming ideas/sketches for it:

It took about 1-2 hours of brainstorming on the phone with my boyfriend before things finally 'clicked' like they should.

Malen Vier is a lot more light-hearted and different from anything I've done before. The story is simple and sort of classic, but done in a way that focuses more on the environment and characters. I want to get better with body language and pacing. (hence the hopefully German text)

Here's some sketches of Varick Edel, a somewhat disgruntled Evaiyan Prince, but really, he's just a normal bored preteen.

Here's his poor tutor, The Frau. It's a throwback to the nickname we gave our crazy little German teacher we had for 6 years, although, I'm pretty sure it's correctly Der Frau if male and Die Frau if female, but properly it should be Sie or Sind, really....but let's not get into that. Then again, she really didn't teach us very well. Unlike this strict Frau. XDD lol

By now I had been asked by quite a few vet FT readers if NB would be making a return in FT:Rebirth. My answer is...kinda? A non-elemental form of Nintalian Betela is what the kids here are playing, and on Evaiya it is called Malen Vier. I do not think NB, as the game as it was in old FT, will be as central an element as it was. I do know that I would like it to exist somewhere, probably with people playing it in the background or some minor story element at most. I still like the idea of a unique American sport comic, and I may do more with Malen Vier in the future.

ALSO EXCITING I have been working on an FT:WIKI. It is crazy-intensive and can tell you pretty much anything you'd ever want to know about the FT world. It will be a good reference if you ever want to read more about it or look something up. :) I am having fun writing everything down, and after I'm done I'm sure you'll be thanking me that I take GREAT pains to not include exposition in FT:Rebirth, if I can avoid it. XDD;; I'll try to debut it by next week. :)

Okay, have a good night everyone! I gotta get back to work! haha~!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hourly Comics Day

Hourly Comics Day! I actually participated this year, or at least I did it, and it was a lot of fun! Yesderday was a pretty eventful day so it made for pretty good material, so here you go. Hope you enjoy 'em! ^__^

Needless to say, you're gonna have to click to enlarge these. I apologize if some of this is hard to make out, but most was drawn on the train and I don't have time to ink/do better on these! lol Enjoy:

Okay, back to work! Gotta make up for lost time! :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Edits for the Better

I've been very busy and many exciting things are happening, most of which I can not tell you about I think...BLAH I want to scream it out loud, but I may get in trouble. :( Can I at least say I'm working on some things with Archie Comics now? 'cause that's pretty cool. nothing big, but still nice to be able to say! lol

SO I wanted to show these for a while, just some examples of the many panel edits in FT:Rebirth!

From the very beginning on Page 4, I re-did an entire panel. I was on a real time constraint with the first scene, but I knew it had to be done. I'm happy I did:

A Preview of the next page I just finished, I ended up re-drawing Lyra's face on many of the panels in this scene. I am still getting used to drawing her, but I did rush the inks a bit on this scene:

Another re-drawn Lyra, and some tweaking on Deneb. I wish I hadn't rushed so much when inking these, (tight deadlines blaahh) but it would have saved me some time on edits! lol:

I wanted to add more images, but for whatever reason Blogger is bugging out on me and not letting me add any more...come on. SO this is all for now I guess.

Read FT:Rebirth here, with an update every Tuesday!! :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Long time no see

H-Hey everyone, long time no post! I'm really sorry about that, my life has been so crazy lately!!

I have big news as to why exactly I have been so absent. You see, during NYComic-Con a few weeks back I got hired as a colorist for :01 (First Second Publishing)!!! Yep, so that happened and then I died.

Or rather, I am working 3 jobs and am a full-time student, in addition to the activities I do around the school like the club and magazine I run. So yep, I am very busy indeed!! It's a good busy though, I've never felt so alive! I am having fun, and this new job is very rewarding if not challenging. My boss is the nicest person ever and she has a Scottish accent that is ADORABLE. XD

Anyway, on to some art! 'cause that's what I do, right??

This is an assignment for Nick Bertozzi's Storytelling class, it's about how my Omi&Opi met! Not the clearest or best thing in the world but I did it very quickly sooo:

Something I doodled forever-and-a-half ago that will probably never go anywhere further:

Here's a PANEL from the next page of FT:Rebirth that I swear I will upload soon, I'm almost done blocking it out, anyway. Haha my boyfriend thought this was a double-spread...nope! That's just how crazy each panel is becoming because I am going mad:

Every now and then I'll oekaki at Skylands to let off some stress. Here's one of Cyg and Ly:

And one of Hiu I did recently:

I have a bajillion things to upload but they all require some intense scanning time so...we'll see when I get a chance to do that!! I need to, like, hire an intern or something. HAHA yeah right.

Back to coloring! fff I still can't believe I got a professional job while I'm still in school. It's just insane, I'm so thankful and blessed!! :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Big Previews, Concepts

Before I forget, I did a major update to www.allisonstrejlau.com my portfolio website! haha maybe now I won't be so embarrassed to show it to people. XD;; Also, there is a never-before-scene page from FT:Rebirth in there. It actually happens to be the one I previewed from my last post. ^___^

This post actually has some concept sketch stuff in it for once! Because hey, FT continues past the first chapters/volume and I need to start fleshing out the rest of the chapters a bit more. XD;;

So I'll go from most recent to future events in the story! Okay THIS I just finished yesterday after working on it...well, all summer really. Normally I'd like, just post one panel as a preview, but goddamnit I worked way too hard on this page's lineart to do that. So here it is:

again, I really don't know how I was not ON something when I decided to incorporate these patterns like this. *I'll just keep saying it will pay off...* O___O;; It's not that it's hard, just pretty time-consuming. :p

Here's me trying to draw Lyra's next hairstyle and kinda failing? It turned out that someone at work wore their hair like this for pretty much a whole few weeks so it helped me a lot! what a happy coincidence! lol

Also at work there's someone who has a very interesting facial/body structure and I LOVE it, I think he's greek/italian? not sure. Even though Bizo is German, I thought it would work wonders with his design and I think I finally am happy with how he looks now: (also there is life stuff from a Scottish piper band my best friend's a part of) ^__^

Okay so I was afraid to show Sakai's redesign because he kinda has a cult following? But I really felt unhappy with how he looked before, and I think it was necessary. I hope you will like his new look though? Please don't kill me. I love you all! ^___^;;;

I haven't been sleeping, and usually I end up drawing Zila when I can't sleep. Apparently I can draw better at 4:30am than normal! I'm still unsure when she will show up in this form, but it is pretty fun to draw. I may finish this as an illustration at some point:

so THIS is a major spoiler, but I won't say how or anything 'cause...ya know. But yeah I really wanted to draw an Alphonse Mucha inspired piece so this is the next illustration I'm working on and I know it will probably take forever to complete. But my main drawing pencil got taken? at work so I'm waiting on the new one I ordered to come in before I can line it...blah.

aaaand that's about it! Sorry I haven't been posting or active much lately, but it is just because I am working on bigger pieces. I hope to get back to drawing a lot next week, so expect some illustrations to be popping up on dA and such~! ^__^

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mesut Özil, preview

Ahh been so preoccupied with obsessing over the World Cup that I haven't been working much, but I did do this tribute to my favorite player, Mesut Özil on my favorite team, Germany! It saddens me that they came in 3rd, but the team is new and young so they will surely be unstoppable in the next one! :)

The Deviation is over HERE.

Here were some horrid sketches I did of him before:

Do you know Prince of Tennis? He reminds me of a real-life Kaidoh LOL:

Oh man I used to be OBSESSED with PoT. ahh memories.

I'll end it with a freshly colored panel from Page 9:

I am actually 'flatting' the newer pages and I am hoping it will result in cleaner colors, because I always struggle with that. ^___^;; I haven't colored this way in ages though! lol

Edit: OH I FORGOT there's a new page, page 2! hahaaaaa FT will update every Tuesday. ^__^

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

FT:Rebirth.com and more Previews!!

I've been working on a lot of stuff, and I got so caught up I forgot to post a blog about it! Or rather, I forgot that I haven't posted about it yet? ^___^;;;

FT:REBIRTH.com IS OFFICIALLY UP AND RUNNING!! And I have been posting my Thesis comic, FAMILY, that is updating EVERY DAY until July 6th, which is the official beginning of FT:Rebirth!!! :D

Here's another preview of an upcoming panel, captioned OM NOM NOM:

Because I thought rendering the water/marsh currents like tribal patterns would be smart, this panel alone took about 3 hours to do...though I guess it doesn't look like it. XD;; One of the many reasons why these pages are taking me so long to ink...but I think it will pay off.

Also got really inspired by this manga Otoyomegatari that has absolutely stunning examples of pattern usage on every page. The story is...well, I kinda like it 'cause I love anything with history about it, but I guess it's not for everyone...but OMG the art is breathtaking, every page is just amazing. I've been using it as reference for the inner circle of Konaiya and currently have many pages of it strewn about my desk lol most notably like these:

Beautiful, huh? I am trying to use more patterns like this...it is very hard though, and is taking forever. Hopefully it will pay off though! It's no where near as beautiful as this manga, but here is a panel from a page in a Konaiya scene:

I guess you can say this picture I did of Lyra dressed in a more commoner appearance was inspired by it too, but actually I did this image before I found out about that manga. You can check out the Deviation here if you'd like. But yeah, was just a sketch that was taken a bit too far. I guess you can say I've taken a liking to more Arabic designs lately:

Speaking of Konaiya, I had been working out a map for the FT world for quite some time now. It is very challenging, but I think I came up with a sketch I'm finally satisfied with enough to move on to the fun part of actually making the map:

I LOVE cartography I don't know why but it's very calming to do...well, once you know where you're headed. Geography is very important to the story, so for a while making this map was one of my top priorities. I've also been watching Avatar:TLA NONSTOP (It's the only thing I can watch and pencil to at the same time simply because of the amount of times I've seen the episodes lol) so yeah that's making a big impact on how I think about the overall storytelling and world. :)

And the Konaiyan lands are made to resemble my cat's markings because I am a dork and I love my cat. XD;;

Anyway, I'm gonna go get back to work. Don't forget to bookmark FTREBIRTH.COM!! :D

OH RIGHT and the blog has gotten a facelift too. ^__^;;

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sketches of Jiiya users

I have been working on Rebirth so I haven't been drawing much, but here are some sketches I've done at least!

A super-quick sketch of Lyra and Yana's costume in their first scene just so I had a basic idea:

A more refined sketch I did later after drawing them a bit in the comic:

Some more sketches. Yana is a Wind Jiiya (what an elemental user is called), but she uses a more physical approach to the element than most:

I had to sit through a 5-hr class so I can take my driving test (yes I still don't have my license, I HATE cars but my brother was holding CS5 hostage until I went through it lol) and someone lent me their paper and saved my life 'cause I don't know how I would have survived that otherwise! I wanted to focus on how the elements are handled by different users:

I wanted to do some inking practice so I lightboxed that doodle of Cygnus using the Earth element. You can see how different my sketches are from my inks here! haha I usually hate showing my pencils of anything 'cause they're so bad and rough! I much prefer to draw with ink and see direct results. I will probably turn it into a more finished illust later:

I am having fun inking the pages but it is taking longer than I'd like because I am working more now. Earning money is my top priority now though! :(

Also, Creative Suite 5 came FINALLY! The new PS brushes work excellent, they feel so natural. I am having so much fun using them! :D

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Soul Searching

ah...lots to say, not much to show. I suppose I just want to share what I've been trying to do this summer and where I am now.

So far this summer has not gone how I'd have liked it to go to say the least. It started off with my grandma breaking her other femur, and continued to get more stressful as the days went on and I had to take responsibility for my family and the house, and my art suddenly became unimportant to me. Well she's home now and recovering very well and this makes me happy, and I can sleep a little better than I have been.

However this break came at a time when I was so excited to do my art, and then suddenly I had time and then I had no desire to create anything, and I was constantly on edge with nightmares about my family and worried about failures.

Getting out of this slum is probably the hardest thing I had to do because I really felt defeated, but I am happy to say I think I am starting to want to create things again.

This is the first set of 'freestyle' sketches I tried to do to loosen up my hand a while back, and although there is only one sketch of these that is even mildly worth showing, I want to show it because...well, I'm really not that good at drawing and I kind of want people to know that.

Lately I have become almost obsessed with wanting to show imperfection because that is really what I was dealing with all this time, it's that I could never become the kind of perfect artist that I had in my mind. Let me be the first admit that I am really not good at many things from my head and I think some of these sketches show that. I realized that throught this year especially I had been too reliant on references, and in doing this, I nearly forgot what it was like to just...draw. And enjoy drawing it. This is probably the first set of sketches where I had begun to have fun again:

And so I tried to tackle FT again with the soul purpose to stop being so strict and hard on myself, not rely completely on being perfectly referenced, and overall to have fun and remember what art is all about. None of the pages are done being penciled, but I HAD to finish something so I just went in and drew in ink not caring if it was perfect. In my opinion, the result is a page where I don't think my inking, at least with the foliage, has ever been so good:

I don't like the colors as much but that's how it will be, I worked too long on them to re-do the page now. I tried my best, and I don't think it is still there but at least I know I am getting closer. I have a lot of work to do still, but I think I am finally ready to tackle this again. :)

Ah...a lot of this though I can say is due to a lot of me going back to my roots in a sort of soul searching kind of way. I re-watched and revisited all my inspirations of my childhood and elsewhere (Dragonball, Airbender, Fushigi Yuugi) and this helped me remember who I was and I am so happy I did it. I can highly recommend to artists who are in a block to trace back where your art came from and I can guarantee it will help you immensely. :D

Friday, May 28, 2010

More At'rik Peeps.

Haven't had time for much comic art lately, but I managed to scramble together some sketches for a post? XD;; Actually, there's a lot of redesigns for this post so yey~

The current Captain of Team Konaiya, Salayana Maneatro! (aka Yana) And her partner, Genáendi! (his name means 'Plata' in At'rik lol):

Anyway, as I was drawing Yana's partner I realized I hadn't even drawn her new design yet! haha I usually just picture everything in my mind so clearly I forget if I actually drew it sometimes. so here it is:

The lovely Will suggested I think of a relaxed design for Ka'ch as well and I agree, so I was trying to draw him with his neckpiece and his hair down but haha it looked better in my mind I guess, BLAH:

So I was doodling him with a headpiece and outfit type that I often came across on many pictures I was going through for reference, experimenting if it would look good with the other elements of his other outfit, and I think it does:

I inked it for fun, but as usual I had to end up doing something with it. This is probably going to be his first outfit he appears in I think since it looks more as if he just arrived at Konaiya after traveling a long distance. haha I like cartography, I should make up a map of Draxaiya and Limiak...AHH but that's another thing to come later lol:

Here's Vilvendi, or Vivi, Ka'chkka's Partner. (her name means 'Cheat' in At'rik lol) Another one I forgot I never drew because I knew pretty much exactly what she would look like:

So I put them together to practice more graphic-ey stuff, and I rather like it actually, but I hope I will get better eventually:

View the Deviation here!

Also test-driving that new logo you see there I made up for Rebirth...I like minimalism a lot, but it's so hard to pull off correctly! I greatly admire many graphic designers who have this ability because it is really not easy...I am trying to learn! I have a long way to go though. ^__^;;