Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Collaboration work

I've been doing a lot of collaborations with Danny Cruz lately so I've been experimenting with some different ways of working.

When entering into this I had two goals.
1. Do not do a comic book style coloring. The images should look like drawing and painting were simultaneous rather than separate. This means avoid just using a multiply layer.
2. Try to make as few alterations as possible to Danny's drawings.

First I masked out the background and then I began by trying to use gradient maps but the white specs in the pencil crosshatching led to that colored drawing look I was trying to avoid and kind of made the image look speckly. Then I tried the dust and scratches filter as it would have been the quickest fix but it didn't quite work. The solution was to use a speckly brush to smudge all of the crosshatching into solid tones.Unfortunately it did tend to lighten sparsely crosshatched areas a bit too much. I often used the flesh smudge brush by John Silva for this.
Then I would create a layer of flats for clean selections. This first one wasn't too noodling with the details.
I then used the flats to create gradient maps for each area to use as a base. I looked at the client brief for determining the colors. I'll attach it below so you can get more of an idea of the process.
EORMANRÆD, JUTE LORD
One of the humans, a Jute. He's a lord so his clothing and equipment would be pretty fine. Check out all the beetle symbols...

Flesh: human, northern European pale. Head, arms (upper and underneath the greaves), hands I think.

Head: beard and hair should be dark blonde, he's got a nice triple scar on his right side. That should like sore, but not too much, it's an old one.

Tunic: under the chainmail is a white tunic, relatively dirty but nothing like the Wihtgar. I would suggest this can be a "warm" colour, so the base should be light beige, going to white.

The bone antlers hanging from the tunic should be a nice bony colour.

Leggings: darkish brown, basically a darker version of his white tunic.

Boots: black leather.

Cloak: that should be the lovely dark purple colour similar to Sigheard's colours.

Belt / straps: brown or black leather, whichever suits and contrasts.

Trinkets: there's a nice brooch on his chest, this should be dirty gold.

There's a couple of pouches on his left hip, these should be brown hide, varying from belts and straps.

Weapons: he's got a few as well as the main one...

Spearseax: his main weapon, a spear with a seax blade. The haft should be a nice oaky colour, with dirty gold beetle fixing for the blade; the blade itself should be a nice steel colour, not rusty.

Seax: he has a sword on his belt, scabbarded. Scabbard should be brown leather, quite fine, with purple wrappings - this can be lighter than the cloak. Handle should be black, with dirty gold pommel. The hilt has a beetle-back aspect, this should be dirty gold.

Dagger: the dagger on his belt should be similar to the seax in colour, feel free to vary the colours a little.

Chainmail: his chainmail corselet should be steel, not rusty, fairly dark though, not too bright.

Greaves / Beetle Pauldrons / Gorget: he has both arm and leg greaves; these are metal, but of cunning design that is coloured to look like the abdomen and thorax of the stag beetle... a lovely red/black colour:

This should be quite reflective of sunlight too. The pauldrons are shaped as a stag beetle, and the mandibles should be that nice stag beetle red.

The beetles on the greaves aren't picked out, these should be the same colour of the greaves. Think of them as stamped metal.

Studs should be steel.

Any gems should be dark red. Don't think there's many gems other than the half-and-half on his gorget.

Helm: his helmed version should be similar to the greaves in colour; excepting that the "spectacles" and cross banding (if you look at the top of the helm, the + ) and helm top should be the dark red of the stag beetle mandibles, and the inside of that the dark black/red.

The coif is chainmail, so the same as the corselet.

Ground: the ground should be dark, almost black earth or rock - no need to go mad here, just colour what's drawn.

Background: white.

Some areas needed to be darker than the drawing shows so some required multiply layers.
The last step is actually painting the details. I used a rake-like brush to paint the texture on the cloak. On the other pieces with chainmail I often use a chainmail texture brush from Daarken. 

It seems like a complicated process that would take too long but it's such an easy step by step process that it becomes easy to march through them. Usually I'll do the smudge step for like 15 pieces in one day. Then the flats for them the next day. Gradient maps the following. Painted details for the next 5. So coloring 15 takes about 8 work days. As Danny and I get more comfortable working together I may be able to speed up by simplifying these steps that are meant to preserve so much of the drawing.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lazy Nezumi Plugin Review

Edit: Here's a link to what I'm talking about http://lazynezumi.com/
With Christmas funds I finally bought myself the Lazy Nezumi plugin for Photoshop and I'm kicking myself for being cheap and not purchasing it sooner. In case you're not aware, Lazy Nezumi has been around for a couple years as a plugin for smoothing your brush strokes. Since I don't do a lot of linework, I had thought it was irrelevant to my style. Well recent updates have made it much more diverse in it's uses.
I have always found the wacom tablet properties settings to be a bit simple in adjusting how the pressure sensitivity is output. The area in red is with my most comfortable setting using wacom tablet properties while the strokes in green are after creating a Lazy Nezumi preset. The result is I'm more easily able to go from a very low opacity stroke to full opacity and to go from a very thin line to the maximum thickness. So I'm able to get the full range without grinding my nib into the wacom or brushing super gently. That alone is a big boon to me.

My next favorite feature is the constraint concentric ellipse preset. Ellipses are a nightmare and this tool let's you draw them easily by holding alt or shift to adjust degree and rotation before drawing. A bad ellipse can easily make a pro look like an amateur so I'm thrilled about this.

Next is a tool that I wish I had a couple years ago. It's called constraint isometric and it can help you make isometric drawings lightning fast. Not only does it constrain your strokes to the correct angles, it has tick marks along the lines so that you know the measurements.  Just amazing helpful. It makes me want to do some isometric artwork which is just ludicrous.

The last tool is the constraint perspective preset. No need to create an additional layer or use the awful Photoshop vanishing point filter. You can easily have multiple vanishing points and everything is easy to adjust. Again, it's just another massive time saver.

The only negative thing I have to say is that the plugin doesn't always initialize properly with Photoshop. So before you start working you want to check that the plugin is working. If it's not close out of it and photoshop and try again. So far, it has always worked the second time.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Game of Thrones and skies

I made a sketch for a Game of Thrones fan art piece. Bran as King of the Weirwood Throne. Kind of excited to work on this one as it represents more of my natural leanings. If I weren't trying to hussle to make some money then I think I would do more quiet images that appear to have some metaphor and are better suited for book covers rather than gaming covers. Gaming artwork isn't meant to leave the viewers with a lot questions where I think I kind of prefer doing artwork that leaves some questions which I think is more popular with book covers. This was done while on vacation so that's the reason I've actually taken the pencils this far.
I also had some spare time before vacation to do a little environment speedpainting. It was a good bit of fun and I may work on it some more as well.
On my drive home I had to yell at Ada to take some pictures of the sky. The camera didn't quite capture reality but...
That little lump of white cloud just left of center and towards the bottom was amazing. The left side was crazy orange and although it doesn't look it here the right side of each form of that lump felt about as electric blue as the top of the photo.


In this photo at a stop light, the sun is off to the right and the bright spot in this photo is a distant cloud getting lit up and looking bright orange and then it's just slightly interrupted by foreground clouds and then the same cloud above that interruption looked electric blue again.

 The camera blows out the highlights on these as the sun is behind the viewer but it does capture just how visually noisy these storm clouds were. The next to last photo looked like a real life painting.





Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Two Knights

Arcane Wonders has been showing a recent card I made for them. It and a card of an imp were made in two days. The brief was actually very similar to one of the last cards I made for them exactly three years earlier. There's also another card in this set that seems to have a pretty similar brief as well. They like to do have the full figure fit in a horizontal frame with a simple/abstract background. In the old one they were working to have something printed on their home computers I believe in order to have some artwork on their mock-up demo game cards at their booth at Origins or GenCon. So very early stages of production. The mockups they sent me all had vertical images so I made a vertical image. It turned out it was a mistake and they actually wanted horizontal images so that's why those three cards in that set probably seem to have particularly weak compositions.



I do believe the newer image is better but I'm pretty disappointed with my progress in those three years. It's spurned me into re-entering learning mode more than usual. I haven't really done studies or requested critiques from those I respect in years and haven't picked up any instructional magazines or videos in a long time. So I'm excited to get my work back on track with the trajectory I imagined three years ago.

Also, in my spare time I'm working on some short comics. This is the first two pages of one of them without any of the text. It feels like it's going to be easy to hold myself to a high standard for this. Hopefully people will respond well to it.

Also, please go like my facebook page http://facebook.com/JoeSlucherArt 


Monday, May 12, 2014

Outcast Odyssey

I recently created some artwork for Outcast Odyssey and was immediately given permission to show the work. It was a pretty challenging assignment in a couple ways. It was work done for a subcontractor of a subcontractor so with that kind of situation there's always the danger of having a dozen changes from each company and the increased chance of either subcontracted company failed to get paid or failing to pay their subcontractors(which I experienced at Empty Room Studios with Kunoichi Kreative on the Spoils and with another company that I won't name). Luckily this one went smoothly and payment and revisions were not an issue. There's one more problem with this sort of job. Every time the work moves further down the contracting line, the more the rates get watered down. So there was a pretty small budget for this and print sales wouldn't be allowed so I had to try to really budget my own time well.
Outcast Odyssey images copyright Magic Pixel and Bandai Namco.



The first card is Alyssa's Burden. I didn't budget my time well on the primary artwork and spent too much time fooling around with the background which will mostly be cropped entirely out when it comes out in the card game so that put me in a bit of a rush for the upgrade states. The upgrade states/color for this one were pretty much dictated by the client. Despite my being a digital artist, I approach my artwork pretty traditionally so I'm not that use to making global color and value adjustments and keeping everything on separate layers. The client wanted to keep things pretty chopped up for simple parallax animations. When a client tells me something like that, I try to make sure that all special effects use a "normal" blending mode rather than an overlay,hardlight or color dodge mode like I would normally use. The reason being that I don't know if the client will be able to or will use the right blending mode so trying to make it work in "normal" mode just seems safer.




This second card went much better. I budgeted my time much better for Divining Rod and between cards I learned some new methods for making global color and value adjustments. On Alyssa's Burden I mostly used hue/saturation and color balance adjustment layers and color blending mode layers to adjust things. By Divining Rod I had learned about using curves and the grabber to adjust colors which really sped things up.





Lastly I'll show this quarter-page illustration for Monte Cook Games. Absolutely loved working on this one.It's always great when a client gives me a lot of freedom and just wants to see something they haven't seen before. The colors and execution are obviously a continuing evolution of what I was doing on my personal project and represent how I'd like my artwork to head. So basically a lot more variety to the color and more saturation. With something this strange, I like to choose a pose that leaves things clear to the viewer rather than doing an action shot that could confuse the anatomy. That said, my affection for display type poses with strange creatures is probably seriously hurting my ability to drum up more work with illustrations like these. Actually Wizards of the Coast has told me as much. That said the only thing I'd do differently with this one is adjust the angle or pose in some way so that the rear leg on the far side is more visibly. I made a maquette and I think it caused me to not think anything was weird about that far leg being completely hidden but now that it's months later it bugs me.
By the way, The Strange RPG is going to look phenomenal. Go pre-order it if you're into great artwork.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Playing and committing art sins

I've had some time lately without any freelance coming in so I worked on some pieces for fun. What's great about working on personal pieces is that I'm so free to change my mind and go in a direction that I think is better.
This dragon and samurai piece started off being inspired by this piece by Stepan Kolesnikoff. I created  my palette based off that piece. It started off with an empty background and then I tried a variety of really complicated backgrounds. Ultimately I simplified it again with the wall of fire in a courtyard type setting. I liked the finished image but I committed two art sins. An image should clearly feel light or dark and it should be cool or warm in palette. I think this one goes 50/50 on both and I think that hurt it's appeal some.


I thought the initial thumbnail was a bit too simple and kept trying to work the concept. Floating islands are super common in fantasy art so I tried to switch that up. Now that it's done, I think the thumbnail shows more promise than the final image. I think the darks on the island to the right are too dark but when the shadows lighten the super dark foreground feels like a cut-out. I'll be moving on though.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sketch Night

I've finally been able to return to sketch group after about 10 months away! I really enjoyed it. In other news I don't believe I'll be continue my personal project for patreon anymore as I just don't want to be a writer. I don't want to spend much of my time writing. Sequential artwork doesn't interest me as so many mundane images are required. So I may just start trying to make hang-able artwork in my spare time instead.



Friday, February 28, 2014

Kiortin

Kiortin 


ROUGH DRAFT. I'm not a writer.
Size: Alphas 12' tall in shell and 3' out. Betas 6' tall.
Diet: Kiorin are omnivores with adult alphas losing the need to feed. Adult alphas gain most of their sustenance from photosynthesis,water,fruits and air. Adult alphas have cone-like arms with rings of hard shell that can flex and pull back from the sponge-like tissue underneath. By holding the arms perpendicular to the ground these can catch rain water to feed the alpha or they can flex open underwater to collect nutrients and filter feed. The same can be done to fruits and animals. The shell is also capable of photosynthesis for additional energy.
Natural Habitat: Kiortin have spread to most climes of the world but it's rare to find any adult alphas in swamps and deserts. While they can survive underwater they're too heavy to swim while attached to their shell which leaves them vulnerable to large sea creatures and soft river beds. Deserts are troublesome for Alphas because they use up a lot of energy walking in sand.
Society: They naturally form packs and often those who appear to have used their quills the least are chosen as leaders. The logic is that these members must have exceptional wisdom or cunning to have not used their quills. If an alpha is in a pack, they will be given leadership responsibility. This often seems odd to outsiders that leaders are just accepted as leaders without much dissent or intense social maneuvering. At least one member of every pack needs to be protected from using their quills so that they can grow to be alphas for reproduction.

Kiortin wear clothes but it's considered impolite to cover one's shell entirely. If a beta covered their shell entirely they would be considered barbaric and not worthy of trust.

Kiortin homes usually do not have roofs as the sunlight boosts their energy and mood.

Race Relations: Kiortin sometimes leave their packs due to alpha overpopulation, adventure seeking or to join other groups. They assimilate well with others but betas tend to look to others for direction on important group decisions while alphas expect their directions to be followed. Kiortin will always feel that other races are a bit cold and can misunderstand sarcasm since they can't read others emotional states as readily as their own race. Young kiortin can even believe that other races are psychopathic.

BIOLOGY

Adult kiortins can be divided into two groups;alphas and betas. The rarer alphas are small kiortin living in large symbiotic shells. Betas are tall kiortin's with small growths and many pointy quills.The kiortin hunt and protect themselves with their quills. All kiortin begin life about the same size with a hard lump attached to them somewhere. The growths slowly expand unless the kiortin loses quills. Losing quills stunts the shell's growth and lets the kiortin grow taller. Alphas only exist by not losing or using many of their quills. Somehow the growths thrive on the growth hormone and chemicals used to produce the quills. This results in the alphas usually being the less physically aggressive and more vegetarian members of the race. Alphas are often the wiser members of the race, not having needed to use their natural weapons for defense or offense.

At full size the symbiote has enveloped the kiortin and is connected to the host's senses. A large eye vibrates on the front to create parallax for depth perception and relays the information to the host. This eye is particularly good at picking up a wide spectrum of color. A kiortin's natural vision is heat vision. A kiortin requires their symbiote to reproduce with other kiortin. Despite being enveloped, the kiortin's voice can still be heard due to channels and openings in the shell that give the voice a haunting echo. Kiortin's have extremely sharp hearing but an alphas' hearing and sense of smell is greatly impaired by their shell. Communication with one must be done extremely close to it's head. An adult alpha can often flex muscles under their shell to cause parts of the shell to pull away and allow the kiortin to leave their shell.

Shells are very diverse in their growth patterns and final form. The only consistent features across all alphas are the eye, the segmented cones and a birthing hump. Some kiortin perform exercises much like yoga and meditation to attempt to guide the growth of their shells to a desired shape while others attempt a more direct route of having molds sculpted and strapped to their shells. These molds can cause health problems but the end results are often worth the risk. The cones can become spikes, the upper parts can have a face,etc. They become walking art.

Kiortin shell's are the window to kiortin emotions. Their shells are capable of changing to a wide variety of patterns and colors that convey emotions to other kiortin. Sometimes kiortin will add tattoos to their skin or shells to indicate a more overarching emotional state they would like to convey.

Kiortin alpha's can live to be nearly 200 years old with shells reaching maturity at 100 while betas only live to be 50 or 60 years old. An alpha's shell can continue to live(but not grow) beyond the life of it's host and another kiortin can sometimes use the shell but sometimes are rejected or worse; trapped inside. Most kiortin would find the thought of getting into another's shell disgusting. Even if it weren't disgusting, the new host would find itself very clumsy in the shell. Kiortin usually prefer to die in their shells and are cremated after death.

It is possible for a kiortin to live without it's shell and this is sometimes forced on criminals as punishment. Rare kiortins will remove the shell themselves making it impossible to ever reproduce and making themselves an outcast in kiortin society. They would be viewed as criminals or savages. The benefit of painfully removing a shell would be the increase in height and muscle mass. Kiortin without shells can grow to be as tall as alphas. While the shells are incredibly durable they do require some maintenance as they can suffer from a number of diseases and a kiortin can even lose a shell to disease.

FEEDBACK
I'm still looking for feedback on whether people would support a patreon with this material or if they'd want something different,etc. Please comment.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Creature entry

Guiran


 Biology

Size: 1.5-3.5 tonnes and up to 20 feet long
Disposition: Low aggression
Diet: Mollusks,fish,turtles and carrion
Natural Habitat: Swampland
Sociality: Solitary except when mating. Can be domesticated but always hostile around same sex of it's species.
Life cycle: Much like a frog the guiran is an amphibian that begins life as an egg in water and lacks rear legs early in life. Front feet are webbed at birth. Quickly matures and leaves the water. Guiran in a domestic environment can live to be 80 years old.
Domestication: Some guiran have been captured at a young age,domesticated and used for mounts. Domesticated Guiran have many of  their bone plates removed at an early age.

BIOLOGY

Despite their intimidating appearance guiran mostly avoid conflict and prefer to use as little energy as possible. They use a glowing piece of flesh that protrudes from their chin as a lure for fish in murky swamp water. The mandibles are articulated much like arms and can bend to get out of the way when they aren’t needed. The guiran can emit gas from the mandibles for a brief time which it can ignite by striking them on their teeth. This primarily functions as a method of opening difficult mollusks by cooking them but can always work as a deadly defense mechanism for adults. Guiran can spit highly flammable bile from their mouths and through their flame to essentially throw fire at larger predators. Guiran males have colorful horns which grow into strange designs for attracting mates and battling other guiran for territory. In addition to two normal eyes the guiran has a third sensor in the middle of their head and bumps along their back that are electroreceptory sensors for locating food and predators in murky waters. The loud grunt followed by a rattling throat sound is regularly heard in the swamps. This is how Guiran make sure not to accidentally enter each other's territory.

In cold weather, guiran enter a state of torpor. This rarely happens in their natural habitat but some tribes have tried to take them from the warm and humid swamps and use them in other environments by placing furs on them to keep them warm and removing furs to induce torpor. This makes them unreliable in other environments but they use up very little resources when in torpor so they're valuable for agriculture work in more moderate environments.

BREAKDOWN


 Guiran meat is riddled with fat which is universally disgusting but with a lot of hard work it can be made into a dish someone might consider paying money for.  Their skin makes excellent light armor and clothing material. The electroreceptory sensor on the head is eaten in rare ceremonies and is rumored to cause hallucinations. The colorful horns of males are often incorporated into armor as a sign of higher rank or status. Artists highly value the horns for both grinding down to use for pigment and as a material for sculpting. The highly flammable bile is useful for traps and maintaining fires during troublesome weather. The teeth and mandible are both excellent for fire starting.

THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT I WOULD RELEASE WITH PATREON IMAGES. If this is something you'd be interested in please drop a note in the comments so I can get idea of whether the Patreon is something worth pursuing. I created a FB page so please like! https://www.facebook.com/JoeSlucherArt

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Personal Project


So I've been working on artwork and writing for my personal project with 9 pieces of art completed for it and only a dozen or so pages of writing. Recently I've been doing some work for Monte Cook's The Strange RPG and two or three pieces would have fit in my personal project and I'm a bit sad that that basically means I signed away two personal pieces for a fraction of what they're worth to me. I want to work on pieces that fit my personal project but I don't want to just barely scrape by making those pieces for others projects.

I want to spend more time on my personal project. So here's a plan. Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Why not kickstarter?
The money all arrives at once and then I know I would have an overwhelming urge to rush through the project to put it in backers' hands. I don't want to rush. I want to really like every page of the product.

Patreon or something like it
So there's this website where fans can sign up to be patrons. Which means they choose an amount of money they're willing to give an artist every time they release a new song/painting/short story/podcast/etc. They can choose the maximum they can donate per month as well. I'm thinking this is the best scenario for what I'd like to do.

Project
I want to create series of illustrations of an alien world with low fantasy level technology. Everything should be alien and seem unknown. I would like to begin by fleshing out some landscapes. Then I'd want to move into fleshing out the wildlife and plants. The primary races, one creature and one landscape have already been created. In the end I would put them together into both an art book and a roleplaying game book.

If you're supporting the project because you're interested in the RPG aspect then I will go ahead and provide some of the details here.  The game is about exploration and it's only through meeting new cultures and finding new locations that characters can improve. . In this game, reincarnation is real (although Karma isn't) and characters can remember past lives by triggering memories through treading over the ground of past lives or experiencing things they've experienced in another life. Triggered memories improve skills connected to a particular past life and also cause a physical transformation into a hybrid of the their remembered lives.


Pledge level ideas
Artwork is released to the public and not exclusive to patreon supporters.
$1/image. Thank you! (after 3 images you are signed up to received the PDF at the end of the project.)
$5/image. Get illustration notes. PDF when it's compiled.
$10/image. Illustration notes. PDF when it's compiled. WIP shots. Ability to vote on thumbnails.
$15/image. Illustration notes. PDF when it's compiled. WIP shots. Ability to vote on thumbnails. Chance to win original drawings or paintings.
$10/image/ signed 8.5x11 print.*Illustration notes PDF when it's compiled
$15/image signed 11x17 print *Illustration notes. PDF when it's compiled
$20/image signed 12x18 metallic print. *Illustration notes.PDF when it's compiled

*illustrations notes are where I've written down details on the creature/environment and how it would work in a gaming environment. So for an animal this would be things like; habitat, diet, behavior, and use. For instance some animals might be used as pets or mounts while others have livers that are used to make psychotropic drugs,etc.

After each image is released and the pledges collected, the original sketch for that image will be given randomly to one of the patrons.

If the project goes to Kickstarter for printing the final product , Patreon backers will gain up to the pledge level of getting the printed book if their combined Patreon pledges adds up to the same amount. There would be additional rewards for the KS. For instance, for the base races I often create Zbrush models so I could potentially give backers the files to print them or I could offer 3D printed models of them.

What is exclusive to patreon backers?

  • The notes for the images will not be released to those outside of patreon until the entire project is done. This means patreon supporters have a chance to give feedback on the direction of the world or will have the resources to drop the creature/environment concepts into their current tabletop sessions.
  • Process work. Sketches and walkthroughs will only be made available to patreon supporters.
  • Original pencil sketches and paintings raffled off to patrons.

 How do I get the ball rolling/marketing?
Between July4th and September 8th I will have a booth at three different conventions in three different states. I hope to launch the project right after these and push for people to join a mailing list so that I can let the maximum number of people know on day 1.

Start a facebook page or perhaps a forum or subreddit.
Start a blog exclusively for this project.
Make a short animation of my artwork to get people excited. Something like what Dave Rapoza did with just using some parallax and flashing maybe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZgSpwPbEPQ&feature=youtu.be&hd=1
Video of myself making an appeal.

Other Issues
The pdf as reward. I want to reward my patrons and make them feel like they're getting things with value but I'd really like to just give the PDF out for free when it's done but I feel like I have to withhold it to use as a reward for patrons helping to make it possible.


Benchmarks
At$200/image I will stream 30 minutes to an hour of process on each piece in a google+ hangout where patrons can ask questions.
$300/image. Graphic designer hired to put together a layout design for the pdf.

Please give me your opinions on this!





Friday, January 17, 2014

Freelancing Again and Routine


Wow. I've really done a bad job of keeping this updated. So since September some things happened. I was promoted to art director at the game company I worked at. I didn't want to be art director but I felt like if I turned down the position the company may well have called it quits and the friends I made there would have been jobless.

So I stuck it out there for a while and found that I really wasn't enjoying it for a variety of reasons and wanted to return to freelancing. Why choose to be an artist if you're going to be okay with staying in a job you don't like? If all I wanted was money I never would have gone into art in the first place. So I'm back to freelancing, happier and more determined to be happy.

Things I learned working at IndiePub

  1. ROUTINE!
After leaving IndiePub I had a week of insanity finishing 6 illustrations within 7 days (sketches were already done though). For that week, I carried over my routine from working at IndiePub. Same hours plus with one hour of work at night (except on the last two nights where I worked on the weekend). I was able to finish all of the pieces in a satisfactory manner and some will even be portfolio pieces. Also, more amazingly. I wasn't as tired as I used to be.

This is probably common knowledge but I'll emphasize it anyways. Your body doesn't seem to like going to sleep at random hours and napping at random hours,etc. So now that I'm back to freelancing I'm going to try to keep to a regular schedule. It's always tempting as a freelancer to think, "well I'll just stay up a little bit because A)I'm too damn excited about this piece or B)I would like to get paid sooner."
Part of that routine needs to involve exercise. I was getting pretty unhealthy at IndiePub sitting on my rump for 12 hours a day, eating out at lunch, and not having time to exercise.

2.Get Technical
My art director when I started was very knowledgeable about all of the photoshop shortcuts,etc. Because of that, he seemed capable of working at a much faster speed. I need to dedicate more time to learning the keyboard shortcuts and practice more with using image adjustments.

3.People
In previous jobs I haven't really experienced the full work-place dynamics of co-workers. It was interesting. Because I hadn't had this experience before, I hardly asked enough questions before taking the job. I'm much more prepared now for whenever I next have to discuss employment with a company. I won't get into the nitty gritty but I feel much more business savvy. While I didn't want to be a manager anymore at this company, I feel like if I found somewhere I wanted to be a manager I could do a much better job now.