Thursday, December 24, 2009

BE HAPPY ITS CHRISTMAS OR ELSE




Hi!

I thought it would be a good idea, in light of the season, to wish the mostly-anonymous internet a very Merry Christmas!
I'm holed up at my parents' new place in MA, trying to fend off the barrage of cookies my Mother and Sister insist upon leaving lying around the house :p

It's the first time I've spent the actual Holiday in the USA for...well, over 8 years at least. And it's the first time I've lacked a proper "Christmas Break" beforehand (got off WORK yesterday). I definitely feel a little twinge at the thought of missing an Austrian Christmas, but I'll get to experience for the first time in memory what it's like when spent with the extended family here!

I do regret being pretty absent from the Internet recently. I've been trying to keep myself busy outside of work with side-projects, but that has proven to be a *little* overwhelming, so I'm trying to keep things sailing smoothly. I wish I had more art content for you guys , but in my defense: it's been a MAD few weeks here...I just got a car(my first ever), my friends brought it up (from Virginia...they got lost twice and were woken up by the police) with an uncooked turkey thawing in the trunk (which fit snugly in the oven-I've-never-turned-on and set off every fire alarm in the apartment and beyond), we got a (bed)couch (because we helped my parents move into their new house), drove it an hour (strapped to the roof of my friend's truck because it didn't fit inside it), it didn't fit into any door of my apartment (it waited in the rain in my backyard under a tarp for 24 hours to get returned), my mother hit a deer, I've experienced Holiday traffic in large American suburban malls firsthand for the first time (>40 mins for a parking spot), been snowed in for an unexpected long weekend in a blizzard, and my aforementioned new car failed to pass the state inspection. Also I am driving to Michigan in two days. Hooray!

Honestly: most of that's all been kind of a blast. But only because it's been such an absurd comedy of errors that my friends and I keep looking at each other and saying: "I can't believe this is happening!" "I know!"

There will be new art soon! (I did a really neat, more-elaborate-than-anything I've-done-before collaborative Christmas piece for work...BUT YOU CAN'T SEE IT! :( :( :( ) I look forward to when this game launches! :D

In the meantime, you can now order the Trade Paperback from Dark Horse that contains Piper's Pet! BUY IT FOR THE KIDS.

Tell me if you do! :D
In the meantime: DRINK YOUR EGGNOG. DRINK IT.

May God bless you through the Winter's cold!

Much love,

-Nick

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Published! (In The Future!)


Hi everyone! I'm alive!
As promised, due to having a job I have recently been kind of absent on the Internets. I doubt that's such a big deal to most people, but if you actually missed me, then: thank you :D
I missed you too.
I have, of course, been resisting the temptation to blog without art content to accompany my silly ramblings. But no longer! Today there is content!

To those interested: the job has been amazing, and I'm really enjoying myself. I basically get to draw monsters all day and design armor and swords and stuff, so there's precious little to complain about.
The verdict: life in the "real" world = not so bad.
The pace of non-school life has been very agreeable, though I am generally either busy or asleep at the moment (still getting used to the waking up "in the morning" thing). But despite a new and confusing schedule, I decided to take on some freelance work on the side.

SO: I got contacted by some people at Disney Publishing to do a cover for them! YEAH!
(I got a letter in the mail this week with The Mouse on it. I peed a little.)
It was a very quick job due to deadlines, but this is what I did: It's a cover for an upcoming children's book (They're bringing back the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure format!) based on the soon-to-be-released Prince of Persia movie (the one with Jake Gyllenhaal). it's called Guardian's Path. They liked my Moby Dick piece and wanted me to do a riff on that with Henna and her hand and the dagger. So this is what came of that! I hope you enjoy. They were very generous in giving me permission to post this in advance of it's publication (like actually this time, instead of before when I posted it and didn't really have full approval).

(Also: it's being published on April 13th. But is Available for pre-order HERE :D)


I'm mostly just excited because this will really be my first officially published work!




Other news? I'm confirmed to be going to San Diego Comic Con this year for the first time ever! Let me know if you're going to be there. More news on that as the date approaches.

I have a few more freelance projects I'm working on, so those should pop up over the next few weeks...slow, though. I'm sorry.

And also, that's the first time I've ever chibi-ized myself for a blog post. Guilty pleasure? Perhaps.

Beyond all that, keep warm and thanks for reading!

Cheers!

-Nick

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fan Art All Over Again






I haven't done a piece of fanart in...like...forever!
This was a blast. I'd been sketching Luca off and on for a little while, and it was only a matter of time. I've been getting a little itchy to make some art on my own, so I figured I'd ease in and do something light...like a character portrait! :D

For those not in the know. This is Luca, a fan-favorite character and antagonist of Der-Shing Helmer's webcomic The Meek
It's a great read, and an awesome testament to what one artist, with a lot of determination can do on their own nowadays. In my estimation, it's about the best webcomic around for quality of art and writing. Loads of fun, I highly recommend it. She's just started Chapter two, which is going to be SUPER AWESOME, so yeah...just read it, please!

Otherwise, for me this is the calm before the storm. I start work on Monday (at 38Studios as a Junior Character Artist)! I'm SO excited, but could certainly use your prayers and well-wishes! I'm finally going to have a real job!

-Nick

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MIT Summer 2009 (SHADOW SHOPPE)

YAY!
Guess what went live today? Yes, you're right! The MIT GAMBIT Games! Good guess.
Which means that finally I get to post some of the art I've been working on recently. :D
I DID THIS:





That's the main poster (there are two other color variations) for the project I was assigned to: Shadow Shoppe. I was privileged to work with some of my best friends and some very talented and gracious students from Singapore. We were holed up in a beautifully appointed lab at MIT for the sole purpose of developing video games in response to a variety of research questions. The game was developed entirely from the ground up with the basic question:
"How do people associate certain types of traits with basic forms and shapes of character design?" Trickier than it might seem, actually.

Thom Chang and I worked on Shadowshoppe. I'm responsible for half of the concept work, and all of the backgrounds. He accounts for the other half of the concepting and all of the animation in-game. Oh, and I also did all of the voice-acting for the game! I love voice-acting! Head on over to the following link to play the game and let me know what you guys think!

Play Shadow Shoppe
(Click "Go To Website" and please don't be put off by the age/gender/location form...it's for the research aspect of the project)

Here are some screenshots from the game, for added visual interest!








My fabulous friends and colleagues are also responsible for much of the artwork on some of the other projects, all of which can be found here.
For those of you familiar with the rotating cast of characters in my life. My friend Fabiola Garza worked on Camaquen, and roommate Brandon Cebenka worked on Waker. Definitely check out their games and all of the new work up on the website!

I will leave you for now with a poster all of us GAMBIT kids (art team) put together at the end of the program. We each took a crack at drawing eachother's characters, since over the course of the summer we all generated a lot of fan-art :) I did the Dearth characters and had a large hand in collaging this all together. Stay tuned for more concept art and doodles if I get permission! :D





GAMBIT kids, if you're reading this: I miss you. I'll see you in Singapore some day! Here's to a fantastic summer!
Much love,

-Nick

Sunday, August 23, 2009

So...Now What?

Hey All!

Sorry for the long silence. I've been moving in to my NEW PLACE OF RESIDENCE!!!





(just kidding, I live across the street from this place.)

I am now *officially* moved in. Well, I'm still in-process to be honest, but I've been using my new place as the base of all my operations, so it counts. I'm no longer half-in-half-out of Boston!

This new step in life is both exciting and BORING AS CRAP.
I am thrilled to have a new place. I am excited to be moving forward with post-school existence. But I am now in a waiting room full of ramen and gas bills. D:
Basically, I'm just whining because my actual job starts in 8 days and in the meantime I have nothing to do.

Alright fine, I've actually been keeping quite busy, and have found myself in the company of the most wonderful sort of people. But leave me at home alone for any length of time and I start going nuts.
It's good to me made to relax and spend some quiet time alone, though. I just come to it reluctantly. Kind of like broccoli.
My significant art supplies are all stored elsewhere right now, as well. So I don't have anything to show for my boredom except some idle doodles. All of my actual recent "artwork" is top secret until the game I was working on gets released (soon! here!)
I just figured I should post a newsy post about all of the nothing I'm doing. :D

In the meantime, I have found a number of very diverting things to occupy some of my downtime with:
I bought one of these! (excusing my frivolity with the fact that I am now a video-game professional and don't really play so many video games...so I had to buy a console! right? right???)





Of course I got the cheapest and girliest console out on the market. But I couldn't resist Professor Layton and the upcoming Studio Ghibli game. And I am cheap. And girly.
And I am now, once again, a world-class Pokemon Trainer. First time back since the late 90s :D
Once I get my internet set up here, I'll be taking all comers. So if you've got a DS and a party-full of Pokemon, then feel free to taste the wrath of my Torterra! Friend-codes, anyone?

Also: I went to go both District 9 and Ponyo. Can you guess which one I preferred?
PONYO WAS WONDERFUL! (On District 9 I know I'm in the minority but it made me sick to my stomach in a kind-of-don't-want-to-see-this-ever-again kind of way, *winces*) I've been seriously considering my fanart options, and this one *might* win out. Some of the scenes were just really sublime. The night-scene after the power-outage, the fish storm, the father-son signal scene and so on. But for me, the cake was taken as soon as the town flooded. I mean: Kids. In a plastic boat. On adventures. Over a sunken town.
Awesome.

I've also just started (and then finished, in the matter of 3 days) reading Scott Pilgrim.
Whoah.
I am really glad I gave that a chance. The american(I know, I know...Canadian)-manga-for-12-year-old-girls look didn't really grab me off the shelf initially, but I'm really hooked. I didn't even know there was gonna be a movie until yesterday! Hooray!
If you don't know what I'm talking about, I highly recommend that you slip off to the nearest bookstore and give "Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life" a chance. No matter how much it may look like it's gunning for the sailormoon market. I'm in love.

And lastly, my friends and I have been guffawing at this particular series of Youtube videos.
If you have never seen them , definitely check out some Viral Video Film School. Some are funnier than others. This one's my favorite: Youtube's Worst Demo Reels.

Hope you guys don't mind this very chatty post. :/
Overall: boredom or no, the Lord has been good to me, and I have been really blessed to be here. Job soon, art soon too!
Thanks for reading, even when there isn't much art I can show!

Cheers,

-Nick

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Weighing In

I loved it.

I loved it.

I am referring to Half Blood Prince. I enjoyed the crap out of it, and I had to throw my blogging hat in the ring, since I have one of these and I've had to withstand much Potterhating since last night from some disappointed coworkers.

Had a great night celebrating a Jackie's birthday, and went to the theater. I was so excited: and here's the real thing...I wasn't disappointed! It was one of the very few movies this summer that didn't totally bum me out!
More than that: I liked it best of all the Potter films so far. The performances just sky-rocketed in quality, as far as I'm concerned. No more than one spit-riddled "POTTER!" from Malfoy, even! And it didn't suck!
Other people are better critics and reviewers than I, so I will resist the temptation to break it down spoiler-style. I just had to air my opinion. See it? Love it? Please?

Also: YAY! AUTO-TUNE THE NEWS 6 IS THE BEST YET!

Much love,

-Nick

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Piper's Pet! For Serious! Finally!

Well...
So, there was a little problem.
You see, a few weeks back my comic for Myspace Dark Horse Presents, Piper's Pet, went live on their site. There was some sort of hiccup in the server, however, and the colors of the entire issue wound up too-green and lemony on some monitors, and completely inverted/yellow-explosion on others. Most viewers seem to have been treated to the yellow explosion variant. 
I did, however, get permission from my lovely employers to post the 2 whole pages of it on my blog and deviantart, so that I can share it with the world! (well, you guys at least :D). So, without further ado, Piper:






I hope it's been worth it :D I was really excited to do it, and I am still very pleased with the outcome. It was a very satisfying way to put a cap on my senior year at RISD. It's not a huge epic, but hopefully it touches someone out there, and hopefully some of you who were so supportive to begin with (and were rewarded for your kindness with the electric boogaloo version) will be glad to see the thing as-intended. Colors will now vary only according to your monitor. 
Myspace Dark Horse Presents is a great publication, and you can visit them here for more updates by other (more talented) artists. And if you really like this, it will be printed in a future issue of the MDHP Anthology. I keep you posted! 
I hope you are well and that you are thoroughly enjoying your summer. 
Enjoy and God bless you! 

-Nick

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rosemary Reviewed!






Hello everybody!
I have some news that is blogworthy again, which is exciting!
Over the last semester, there have been a number of things I've worked on that I wasn't allowed to post (Piper's Pet, a 7-pager called "Spring Requiem" for SofaWolf Press, and my work for GAMBIT at MIT among them). 

But today the GAMBIT Game Lab has released our work from last semester online!
Sooooo: you can actually download and play our project "Rosemary" here:




You know what's even cooler? Just a week after it's release, it's been reviewed on Destructoid, and very positively at that! You can read the review here.

Thirdly, there's another game we collaborated on was The Bridge, also just recently released on the GAMBIT site. Our RISD art team were responsible for the background art and monster animation, while the character design and animation were handled by MIT artist Alison Malouf. 



I was one of three RISD artists set to work on Rosemary and The Bridge (both projects which had been rolling long before we got there). All the UI, Characters, Settings, Menus, and Intro were drawn up, painted and implemented by myself, Fabiola Garza, and Brandon Cebenka
I'm actually still working with both of them at the lab over the summer, though this time we're spread across several projects, and we've been involved from the earliest conceptual process in driving the vision for the games!
Credit for the art goes all around, since we were all in eachother's work so much it's actually hard to remember who did what on Rosemary or The Bridge. 

I'm working on a particular project right now at the Lab, and I can't wait to be able to unveil when it's published, but it's not even close-to-finished yet, so that may be a few months!

Highly recommended Youtube-ed themes of recent life in Boston: 


and

(I've actually been REALLY into Amanda Palmer these last weeks...her solo album is amazing, and I highly recommend checking her out: she is a singularly weird and fascinating individual. A really powerful lyricist as well. Songs for the not-easily-offended: Strength Through MusicDelilah(better to find recorded version...AMAZING song), Runs in The Family, Leeds United)

Alright, that's it for now! Let me know what you think of the games, sorry to mac users without emulation - Rosemary is PC only!

Much love, and thanks for reading!

-Nick

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Speech! (Again)

Well...ok...
This is weird, and delayed, but this just went online, and I thought some people out there might still be interested in watching it!
(mostly relatives of mine)
Without further ado:

A video of me delivering the commencement speech, RISD class of 2009


 And make sure you check out the other speeches if you have the time and interest...everyone should see the speech by Sir Ken Robinsion. It's just a good one. 

Much love you guys, thanks for reading!

-Nick

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Think I'm An Adult Now?







A little praise report, because God is good: I has a job!  
For serious, I just signed this and sent it in confirming my acceptance of the position of 'Junior Character Artist' at 38 Studios here in MA! 

I'm WAY excited. You can check out their site here.

I'm under strict NDA, so I'm not allowed to talk about the project I'll be working on, but there's some information and concept art that's been released on the site. I think the most I can say is that I'll be working as a Character Artist on an MMORPG codenamed Copernicus. :D

Other news: I'm in Cambridge, Boston  with a summer internship at MIT (continued from the Spring semester). I have a great pad, with great friends, and I get to meet a lot of really awesome new people from Singapore! (and make games!)

Speaking of which, I've got to get to work! 
Cheers!

-Nick

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First Ever Published Comic Work!






Piper's Pet is live today over at Myspace, Dark Horse Presents!
I'm VERY excited to have this finally hit the web.
Above is just a preview image, and the story is only two pages, but it was a blast and a great way to end the year! (repeat: this is just a preview posted here, THE WHOLE 2 PAGE COMIC IS PUBLISHED HERE) :D

Dark Horse have been really great to work with. The gig was super-simple: they told me I could to a 2 pager or an 8 pager and that I was free to pitch whatever story I wanted to tell.
I met them up at NYComicCon this year (my first comic-con EVER!) and I went straight to the Dark Horse table to get in line with my portfolio. Apparently they liked what they saw and were very quick to offer me the opportunity!

So, please go and check it out. There's no real commenting space there, so feel free to use this post to tell me what you think! If you like it, write Dark Horse and tell them to hire me more :)

If you really like it, and want to support me and the awesome artists at Dark Horse, then wait for the anthology TPB of all the MDHP work to get released, and snag a copy! I'll make an announcement around these parts when that happens.

I feel really glad about this piece. I think it's one of the only ones recently where I've sort of "meant it"...and I'm happy to have ended my RISD career on a high note and with some published work.

I could blab on (you know I can), but I won't. I hope you guys like it...let me know!
Cheers!

-Nick



Saturday, May 30, 2009

Commencement Speech for the Class of 2009

Hi Everyone.

I know most people read this blog waiting for new art and sketches. But I hope you won't mind a few more words. 

I'll let this stand here as an Ebenezer to the last four years spent at RISD. Here's the commencement speech I delivered today for my classmates and friends in the class of 2009. It was an amazing day; the kind you don't forget. Anybody reading from RISD: I love you guys. Sincerely. 

Commencement Speech for the Class of 2009:


Thank you all so much for the incredible privilege it is to speak today.

 

There are two RISDs

That's something that I‘m sure some of those gathered here may not be aware of, but I think it's incredibly important to mention that truth today.

On one hand we are a rigorous and prestigious academic institution,

alma mater to many influential alumni, boasting a very impressive museum and a list of programs and credentials longer than your attention span.

 

On the other hand, our mascot's a penis.

 

I'm sorry, parents, if you weren't aware of this fact. His name is Scrotie, and he's not on any of the brochures.

Our hockey team's called the Nads, our campus plays host to a yearly invasion of students in monster-suits disturbing the peace, and every spring a growing number of students drench themselves in fake blood and march down Thayer street as a zombie horde.

 

We are smelly, under-slept art students who dance in the streets, work until morning, and shower only as soon as soon as the next portfolio review rolls onto campus.

 

Now, my purpose is not for a moment to put down the academic side of this school. We owe so much to the dignity and legitimacy of what RISD represents.

 

Here's what I mean to say: that the graffiti on the walls is as much a part of RISD as the paint that covers it back up.

 

If you’ve ever had the fortune of meeting someone you fall in love with, isn't it curious how you never fall in love with their list of credentials? You love them for all their quirks and idiosyncrasies, for when they are noble and when they are silly. Warts and all.

 

So I am here to tell you that RISD has warts and that I love them.

I love them so much, I would stand up in front of all of you to say so.

And I would be completely remiss if I stood up here and glossed over the beating heart of what this class has made of it.

It would be a disservice to all the long nights each and every student has spent laboring to attain this day.

 

It is a day full of much reflecting on what has been gained from our four years spent here.

So parents, I hope you won't feel scandalized to know that the most of what you've been paying for was so that we could meet each other.

I may walk out of here with loans to pay till I've got children of my own to send to college, but I will pay my part gladly knowing that the experience of being here and the friends I have made are worth the work and the cost.

 

And I’ve just attended my loan exit meeting, so I know what I’m talking about.

 

I can't imagine RISD without my friends and the people who have made this campus what it is. To me, the legacy of this place will be its people. I will walk away today knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the face of a friend I will remember before I recall the diploma in my hand.

 

I will remember the professors willing enough to stay behind the extra hours, long after pay and duty demanded, to keep teaching the students that were still hungry to learn.

I will remember the friends who stuck around when the night was wearing on and all that was needed was a friendly hug and a word of encouragement to keep going.

I will remember the alumni of this institution that have cared enough for the future of the undergraduates to pass on a portfolio and put in a good word.

I will remember every way in which the people here have gone above and beyond to help, love, and assist.

What's so shocking is not that we have one of the highest freshman workloads in the United States, it's that some of those freshman still find the time to come along after class has ended during finals and pass out food and coffee to exhausted classmates.

 

If you have come to this place looking just for a grade and a pretty piece of paper, then I'm not sure you're at the right graduation ceremony. I can't imagine that anyone has endured freshman foundations, countless all-nighters, and work-parties just to boost their GPA. The RISD experience is more than the sum of its parts, and its parts are amazing, so that's saying a lot.

And who could know that more than we do? If a painting weren’t worth more than the canvas it’s painted on, who could stomach the RISD store bills?

RISD is more than the halls of its dormitories, the rigorous academic workload, and the picture-lined walls of its museum, and that means everything.

This diploma signifies more than the money spent on gouache, countless shirts rendered unwearable by charcoal, and sleep that never seemed to happen.

And it's that little bit more that's worth all the other bits combined.

It's the mad energy of this place that comes from the love and passion of those who pour themselves into this school. It's beautiful and I am proud to have been a part of it.

 

For my part, I can say un-ironically: it's been an absolute privilege to be here.

 

RISD has been the first place I have ever felt so completely accepted for who I am.

I am not sure there's another place like it out there in the real world.

I certainly aim to either find out, or make one of my own.

I will never forget the people I've met here or the lessons I've learned, and I am truly grateful for the blessing it has been to attend.

I hope, while I have been here I have given back something to the community in some meaningful way.

I congratulate all of you, my friends and our families gathered here and everyone who helped to bring the class of 2009 to this last day. Sleep or no sleep: we've made it. I have been honored to sing, dance, cry, joke, and make art with you. Let's not stop.

 

May God bless you all as richly as I have been blessed just to know you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some Words About Leaving



It's interesting, I've just been reflecting. In previous years it's been true and it's all true again: when the seniors get ready to leave, they check out early. They loose touch and disappear into their rooms and studios and only come back out when the senior week rolls around. (There are exceptions)
But I pretty much did exactly that. Well, not all the way, but I'm emerging out on the other end and realizing that a lot of very good, very important friends have shuffled off campus one by one without a very proper goodbye. At least not from me.

It's also really tempting to want to say something meaningful at a time like this; when the year is closing it seems about time for someone to get up, clink a glass, and give a toast to bring the house down. The trouble is when you have the desire to say something meaningful, without having anything meaningful to say. Then you just wind up sounding like an idiot. 

I'm just feeling like I could use the space here on this blog to set down a little marker and really give the end of RISD all it's due. Even if it is just a dumb blog entry that few RISD students may ever read. 
All that said: I don't know quite what to say. Which leaves me in the unenviable position of  sounding like an idiot. And I'll be giving the commencement speech on Saturday, so what do I need another soapbox for? 

So here it is for now: it's done. It meant the world to me and it's over, and now I can only hope the next phase and place is as good as this one. I can have confidence wherever it is, I won't be moving further from the presence of God and his blessings. This has been one of the greatest I've ever experienced, though. 
I'm nervous about the future and where to head from here; it's a whole lot sooner that I thought it could be. I hope the best for everyone reading this whose graduating, or staying behind and watching a crop of friends leave: may God bless you guys. I mean that sincerely. 

It may be a little bit before I have new work to post, but I'll be keeping this blog up as I move forward! 
Very soon my first ever published work will hit the web right here: http://www.myspace.com/darkhorsepresents

And eventually the other comic I've been working on will be published as part of an anthology...I'll keep y'all posted! I've got a summer full of continuing video-game design at MIT with some of my favorite people in the world, and we'll be trying to keep eachother doing work for fun as well.  Hopefully the games we worked on this semester will be up soon, and I'll link over to those!

I'm looking into real-person jobs doing real-person art and some really exciting things have been looking likely! All-o-y'all: make sure, even if I get a "real job", that I don't get complacent and stop doing work for fun and for the love of it! If I start dropping off, yell at me! 

I need to stop blogging and get back to packing. Just had to type something in! 
I updated my blog background, which probably means more updates to the "look" of this blog are on the way!  Don't freak out!

My youtube recommendation for the week: a beautiful senior thesis project from an animator at Ringling:

Much love,

-Nick

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Whoah.

I just walked out of my final studio class at RISD.
I'm still in shell shock...I didn't even realize it was my last until the end.
The show is tonight :D :D :D
Life is weird.

UPDATE: Show is done! It was amazing! Thanks to everyone who came and packed the place full of love! I've also recently been informed that I'll be the student speaker for our commencement on the 30th! yikes! I'm really excited and nervous. This next week is going to be an odd one, no doubt. Still looking into job stuff: if you want to hire me, soon would be good! I'm having to make decisions really, like, nowish!

-Nick

Saturday, May 9, 2009

SHOW!





Announcement:
EXPLORATORIUM
The last illustration senior show of 2009, featuring the work of Nicholas Kole, Lia Marcoux, Fabiola Garza, Alex Lee, Lisa Cunha, Brandon Cebenka, and Kirsten England will open on:

Thursday, May 14th!
at 6:00pm
in the Illustration Studies Building

It's going to be awesome! Those whom this announcement will actually effect probably already know, but I'm launching an all-out web-campaign so I had to hit this up too :)
For the rest of y'all: Posters! (we're waiting on two last ones. B & Lisa...if you read this: send me the finished posters and I'll post em!)






Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Think I Just Peed a Little.

For context, read text:





Er...Hooray!?
HOORAY!

I just had to geek out about this. I am especially cowed to see whose presence I am in :D 
SO COOL!
 This will be my debut comic gig. I'll be posting more closer to the release, but watch this spot, and the actual DH page for my little two-pager coming soon! 

No other major art updates at this time. Just that my senior show will be on this coming Thursday (may 14th!) and that immediately afterwards I'll be interviewing with 38 studios on the 15th! (Good friend, Fabiola, is interviewing today...good luck, Fabi!)

UPDATE:





Baby's second Zbrush! Well, really this is the first actually serious piece. The first was just whatever doodle came out of playing with the move and snakehook tools. I pulled this old character design and used it to base a model off of! It was fun...I'm really enjoying Zbrush. Dunno if I'm much good at it, but hopefully the 3d experience, however basic, will pay off somehow. Still, it's really neat...like making a little toy. I feel the same way when I'm making pixel-art...it's just these little digital assets that feel like collectables. Anyways, i think it was a good self-imposed exercise. Thanks Lucas for the how-to's! 

More work soon!

Happy Day!

-Nick

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Baby's First ZBrush






On a whim tonight, I sat at a computer and had a good friend teach me the very basics of using Zbrush! This is my first ever introduction to digital 3d work. All the video-game companies want to see examples 3d expertise. So I figure cosying up to Zbrush is not a bad idea (at least so I can say I've touched it, rather than just being vaguely terrified of it). So, I made this from a ball. It's nothing mind-blowing by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not as scary as I thought it would be to do! And it looks like a face! Like, of a dude!
I still have no idea what all the tools and menu items do. But at least I feel like I can start somewhere.

To those who actually read this stuff: Hi!
Just a quick update before I go to sleep...a few small things to post and a little news!

SOME NEWS:
I've just committed for the summer to extend my stay at the MIT GAMBIT Games Lab for the 8-week summer program with three of my cohorts already in the program. It was awesome, actually...it wound up that there were 2 slots open and 3 of us yet to make the call...so we talked it out and decided to ask if they could accommodate an extra artist...and they totally are helping us figure out how to squeeze a third spot because it would be a little tragic to break the Fellowship. So: yay! The first real adult decision of my life. Not a full-on real job yet, but it gives me time to spend with some of the people I like the most and some time to get prepped for whatever else the 'real world' has to offer. The upshot is, come June 11th, I'll be working at MIT with Fabiola and Brandon.
Guys: It's kind of, like, 2 weeks until things are like...kind of...done here. It's crazy.

OTHER NEWS:
I've been featured by this really neat little blog called Artlibs. They asked for an interview and to fill out a mad-lib...you can read both by scrolling down a little here.

MORE NEWS:
I'll be an officially published comic-artist on June 3rd, when my little two-pager for Dark Horse Studios goes live HERE. SUPER EXCITING! I'll be blabbing about it more as the time approaches, I'm sure.

This week for John Foster: a cover to "Wolverine: Netsuke". It's a comic about Wolverine's Japanese connection, and it needs a fitting cover by next week...so above are the sketches I'll be hearing back about tomorrow. Any favorites, y'all?





And finally, this week's dumb Youtube reccomendation is this: Auto-Tune the News.
It's awesome. I think I'll watch it again. :D
Much more art in the near near future!
In the meantime: sleep!
Thanks for reading!
-Nick

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Puckahontas: Painting With All the Colors of the Wrong Frickin Movie

THE SUN IS OUT THE SUN IS OUT THE SUN IS OUT.

YAY.

I also have art!





This week for Jon (Foster...he's kind of a big deal) we got to do a cover for "A Midsummer Night's Dream". No sketch phase on this one...so pretty much under the gun and in a week with whatever we could come up with (which is, in some ways, how I prefer it).
I am by turns pleased and displeased with this piece. I don't know how to fit it. For myself, I was happier with the lineart phase, and the colors went in a different (albeit, functional) direction on their own. I just don't necessarily equate this palette with Midsummer Night's Dream...I think (what with the Birch trees, too) I've managed to make MSND look very like Pocahontas.
Hmmm.
Also, I've ripped off Magritte. I know, I know...but it's not like he's doing anything with it anymore.
(I had this idea vaguely sketched out, and then my friend Peter said "hey, like Magritte!" and showed me the piece...so then I went with it and made it SUPER like Magritte) :)
I think I should have done a color study beforehand...generally I should just be doing more color studies.
Oh, and this was a nother night-long piece (pencils, inks and color)...a little more time spent than last week's. Digital color in photoshop...the yooojgeual. Which sucks, because I really wanted to bust out the watercolors for this piece...too little time, too little courage.
Did I mention Spring is here?
Yay!
Also: musics! I've recently received a massive dump of J-pop from some very generous and half-asian freshmen. The stand out track this week is from a crazy celtic/japanese combo artist named Kokia! (IGNORE DUMB VIDEO)
And my current jam (played at every opportunity) is mostly unspellable in english and comes from my bee-eff-eff Beth: XI SHUA SHUA!

Since I like the lineart this week, here's that:





Enjoy!
-Nick

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Steam Thursday






The sun is out today...and I am glad.
I have just pulled a pretty rough all-nighter on this piece. I'm pretty pleased with it for all that (it's a personal best for a single-night's work, I think). Still, I'd love to dig in more and respond to some of the critiques to get more light into the foreground onto the characters.
It's a cover for a Steampunk novel called Boneshaker...there was little information given (ie: none) about the plot, but we were told there was a female lead, her son, and some dirigibles. I took some liberties :)
I think the tone of the book was much more adult...grim-gritty realism and all that. But if I'm being given a little wiggle room...:p
I need to get some sleep and take a little break from working. It's been a mad week and it doesn't look like the semester's going to let up. I'm going to try getting some more sleep in the coming weeks...I always forget how gross the world seems when you haven't slept. Ick.
Anyways, next week there will be another cover: Midsummer Night's Dream! Should be good fun.
Other quick news: job hunting is looking good from this vantage point. Waiting to hear back on a lot of things. Hope you enjoy this little piece and thanks for reading!
-Nick

Friday, April 10, 2009

Steam on the Horizon

And that's that!
Not much in the way of work to show at the moment, but plenty of news on the horizon!
I've braved the my senior Illustration Portfolio review and it went very well! It's been a crazy week, just prepping for it, but I've made it through the other side with a snazzy print-portfolio to keep showing around.
Marvel were a no-show at the event: ":("
But Microsoft and Blizard are coming soonishly! So there's still something to dress nicely for in the near future.
The big news today is that Piper's Pet is done and sent off to Dark Horse. I'm awaiting their feedback to that end, but I am very excited about it. The bad news for y'all is that you're unlikely to see any of it until summer is in swing. Still, I'm really glad to have done that. It was a great experience and a lot of fun to do. Here's to many more! :p
All throughout Piper's I've been on this weird Jpop kick again. I know this will not be interesting to all or any of y'all, but I always think it's fun to share music that's been stuck in my head with everyone. This happens every time I work on a big piece...I always wind up with one song in particular that I repeat back again and again.
So:
Ayumi Hamasaki - Trauma
and, today: Gackt - Mizerable

(I went through so much troublle just now trying to find that Ayumi Hamasaki song online. I have the file, but it was unlabeled. So I had to guess the lyrics from some of the sounds and search them up and match the phonetic japanese lyrics with what I was hearing. :p I'm obsessed)
This sort of proves what my friend Robyn's been saying...there's a little asian girl trapped inside me somewhere. Weird.

Also, the next piece to look out for should be good fun. It's for Jon Foster again and we're doing the cover for a vague steampunk-ish novel (vague as in, we didn't get much/any plot info) called Boneshaker. All we really knew was that there's a lady, her son, and some zeppelins. Suits me right down to the ground! Here are some sketches for that...finish in a week :D