I live in Portland, Oregon and I'm currently the lead illustrator and character designer for Story War at Cantrip Games . I animate in my free time. This blog is my work as well as other art that I think is worth sharing.
Hey you guys know we’re making an awesome cartoon based on our awesome card game Story Warright? And that it’s almost done? And that making cartoons is very hard but hopefully it’ll be totally finished a week from today!
We’ll be posting about the cartoon on the Cantrip Games blog all week, focusing on a different aspect of the cartoon each day. Here is some background art created by Josiah Files! (Note, some of the animation above isn’t totally finished yet!) Most of the stuff in this photo set is based on the Sleepy Village card, but there’s some Lost Woods stuff in there too! Look at those cute little houses and incidental trees!
Oh man everyone working on this cartoon is super cool and in fact I’m just going to name drop everyone right now:
My old student portfolio for Visual Development (Character Design) based on “Wicked” - PART 1 -
Because I often receive questions about portfolios, I thought, well, maybe it would be helpful for some to share my own personal experience accompanied by some visuals. Namely, my own portfolio I submitted to transition from the Animation department to the Visual Development department of Disney Feature Animation.
Now one thing that I will mention here as a disclaimer, and something that will probably be reiterated through out this post is that this is only my personal experience, and there is definitely not any sort of “formula” to make a portfolio for the Disney’s Vis dev. Portfolios that look nothing like this, share no common element, is just as likely to get you into the vis dev department. The acceptance is made by a committee of people, and not just one person’s personal taste or criteria.
Way back in the summer of 2007, I was an artistic intern at Disney. (Mainly 2D character animation, but also some story and vis-dev on the side.)
I was having lunch with one of our mentors at that time, Claire Keane, in which she gave us some advice on structuring a visual development portfolio.
One of her suggestions that stuck to me was to take one story, and dedicate the entire portfolio to it, as if you were developing that into a feature film.
This idea sounded good to me, because it made sense. It’s a semi-simulation of the kind of things you would be doing as a professional artist at Disney anyway, (which gives the reviewers a much better, reliable idea of how you would perform as a contributor) but it also gives the spectator a slightly more immersive viewing experience, as they are taken through one continuous story, with characters they understand, rather than having to adjust to brand new content with the turn of each page.
The many times I have reviewed portfolios, I have also found it a slight handicap to have to ask the artist, “Now, what is this thing from?” 4 or 5 times in one portfolio.
So in 2008, while I was working on Princess and the Frog, (still as a full time student at Calarts), I started on this visual development portfolio. I chose my story to be Wicked, the musical, which I am sure many of you are familiar with.
When I look back at this portfolio, obviously I see so many flaws in terms of draftsmanship, design choices, character choices, taste etc, and I want to fix them all. But again, the purpose of this post isn’t to show who I am as an artist right now, but to dig up my past and say “Well this is how it happened for me in the past.”
Here is part 1 of the portfolio. I know for some it may be frustrating to have this divided into 2, but the nature of tumblr posts seem to want things kept short. So I’ll try and post part 2 of the portfolio as soon as possible. I want to say within the next day or two, but there’s just never knowing with when I’ll get another free moment.
I think what is probably most important to show in your portfolio is a strong draftsmanship, a good taste in design choices, and a special intuition for characterization.(I’m speaking for my own criteria when I review portfolios, and I don’t claim to represent anyone else’s.)
As you can see I also tried to pay attention to the presentation of the portfolio, which is why I tried to design the layout of it with the theme of “drawer of a Shiz student”.
I’ll probably try to address some of those things that I mentioned in future posts perhaps.
I hope this old student portfolio of mine gave you a better idea on who to shape your own. One thing I would recommend is to not copy exactly the method I used to form a portfolio, but see it more as a solution that will hopefully help you come up with your own solution on how to structure a portfolio.
Next up is Part 2, with some development designs of Fiyero, the Wizard, the Flying monkeys etc
I did a ton of illustrations for the recent middle-grade novel, Scare Scape, by Sam Fisher. It’s a really fun book that reminded me a lot of the stuff I would’ve been really into in late elementary school, like Goosebumps, Spooksville, etc. Lots of fun monsters. Doing the huge cover was a, shall we say, harrowing experience.
I think there are about twenty of these black and white drawings in the book, that accompany a little Monster-Manual-ish description. I really like working in black and white.
Story War is finally for sale on Amazon! And, until Friday (Dec 6th), it’s $5 off if you use the promo code COOLSALE at checkout! (It also qualifies for free shipping, so it’ll come out to $20 total!)
Story War is a family-friendly party game where players try to come up with a more compelling story than their opponents! It’s basically competitive fan fiction! You’re given a setting and some characters and weapons to choose from and you have to convince the judge that your character would win in a fight!
Everyone takes turns either playing as the judge or roleplaying cute characters like Fairy and Goblin (pictured above)! You can play with up to 8 people at a time! It’s super fun! It’d make a great Christmas present for pretty much any creative person!
Story War was designed with accessibility in mind! This game is for everybody, but COOLSALE is only for people cool enough to know about COOLSALE! It’d be really cool if you could reblog this post and let your friends know about COOLSALE!
(PS: We’re still working on getting Amazon to ship Story War outside the US, but in the meantime anyone can still order Story War from DFTBA)
for this year’s #POKEDDEX i’m going to draw as many pokemon I’ve never drawn before as possible. which is a challenge, i’ve been drawing pokemon since pretty much before i was drawing anything else.
two things I learned about Masquerain while drawing are that those two big things are antennae, not wings — the four rhombus bits on the bottom are wings — and that the wings also perform the same function as surskit’s legs, allowing it to stand on water at rest.