It has been ages since I’ve had the time and energy to mess around with any digital painting, either on the Cintiq or the iPad. When I was digging around old files last night I came across a barely-started portrait attempt of Korra that I had based on a storyboard drawing of Ki-Hyun Ryu’s. I put a little bit more time into this evening, feeling rather rusty! That said, painting human faces is always a huge challenge for me, no matter how much I’ve been painting. Here is a detail of the work in progress.
I had a fantastic time at the Fandom Society inaugural Cosplay Ball last night. Thanks to my buddies/co-hosts Giancarlo Volpe & Dante Basco for having me as a guest. HUGE THANKS to the ever-gracious Albert for lending me his great Fire Nation Sokka costume, to the equally ever-gracious Trini for lending his Fire Nation Aang costume to my friend and coworker Brandon Hoang, and to Avatar Mom for making those connections happen in the nick of time. And thanks to all the incredibly nice cosplayers I met! It was a pleasure. The event, held in a super slick giant club, went really well, with a robust attendance and a nice vibe. There were so many amazing cosplayers from a wide variety of fandoms, though it seemed like Attack on Titan had the biggest numbers. There were some awesome Avatar/Korra cosplayers as well, the photos of which I will post next. In the photos above: Dante Basco (top), Brandon Hoang (middle), and Giancarlo Volpe sans costume (bottom).
I forgot the Book 2 DVD/Blu-ray art had been released, which was announced over at IGN on Monday. Here it is without the packaging and graphic overlays. It was a fun collaboration between Joaquim Dos Santos and myself.
Major milestone for us today as we mixed the final episode of Book 2. FINALLY! You guys will see this in under two weeks, hot off the presses. This episode, and the remaining ones leading up to it, are sonic smorgasbords, thanks to Jeremy Zuckerman (music), Ben Wynn (sound design), Aran Tanchum (foley), and everyone working with them. Mike and I would especially like to thank our outstanding mixer, Adrian Ordonez (pictured above), at Levels Audio. OK, back to work on Books 3 & 4…
I am overwhelmingly pleased with tomorrow night’s episode, the story of Korra and Jinora’s venture into the Spirit World, “Chapter Ten: A New Spiritual Age,” exquisitely written by Tim Hedrick, skillfully directed by Ian Graham, and mind-bogglingly animated by Studio Mir. Lots of superlatives to throw around to everyone involved.
I did this illustration to celebrate my warm fuzzies for the episode, featuring calligraphy by S.L. Lee, PhD. Same time as previously-not-always, Friday at 8:00pm/7c.
Well, I had been meaning to do something for Inktober all month and of course I leave it until I’m about to walk out of the office with less than two hours of Inktober left. Down to the wire as usual. It’s isn’t much, but well, there it is. And there’s always next year. Or Inkvember!
The carrot spirit and his little tea-serving radish spirit buddy, both designed by Kim Il Kwang* and colored by Sylvia Filcak-Blackwolf, are two of my favorites from Korra “Beginnings Part 1.” I didn’t have a ton of time to pull together a costume this year, so I got a store-bought one and painted the eyes and root-stache on in acrylic, and then made the little guy out of craft supplies and a pumpkin stem. I had a great time as usual at the Nickelodeon Halloween party, but I still had some work emails to answer in the middle of it. Photos by my wife Lisa and me.
*EDIT: My apologies. These guys were designed by Kim Il Kwang.
I wrapped up my whirlwind tour of the East Coast last week with a wonderful visit to Montserrat College of Art in charming Beverly, Massachusetts. My old college buddy, illustrator Shanth Enjeti, is an associate professor at the school and he invited me to come speak with a few classes and give a lecture. Professors Mark Hoffmann and Corinne Reid were generous with their time, allowing me to take over their classes for the morning. I was excited to meet Corinne, an amazing artist I’ve been following on Tumblr for a while now, who is a graduate of Montserrat. The students were sharp, talented, and asked great questions all morning. My voice was ragged from New York Comic Con and all my blathering at RISD the day before, but I somehow rasped through a lecture to about half the student body sans microphone. It seems to be a really nice school, with a great campus full of New England appeal, and I know the students are in good hands with the likes of Shanth, Mark, Corinne, and Fred Lynch, a legendary professor from my days in college. Thanks to Montserrat for having me, and the incredibly warm reception from the students!
*Please note that this talk already happened last week.*
EDIT: It was a private event for Montserrat.
Last week I had a whirlwind visit to my alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design. I try to get back as often as possible, but it had been four years since I last made it out there. I love wandering around the old stomping grounds and seeing how things have changed, like visiting the incredible new library (pictured above), which was a bank when I was a student. Providence is a lovely little city, and it just seems to get nicer every year.
I did a few hours of portfolio reviews, and as always, meeting the students and seeing their work is a humbling experience. The generations of artists succeeding Mike and me are so sophisticated and savvy, it’s incredible! Thanks to everyone for their patience through my LONG lecture, a self-indulgent trip down memory lane that was an attempt to map my journey from RISD to Avatar & Korra. I’ve given talks a handful of times throughout the years, but the enthusiasm seems to have reached a fever pitch at this point, I suppose since the kids in college now were 10-14 years-old when they started watching Avatar. It was bonkers, but really fun.
Thanks to Fritz Drury, Robert Brinkerhoff, and the Illustration Department for having me, and to all of the incredibly passionate and generous students, and all the people who came from near and far to attend the lecture. I hope to be back again soon before another four years zip by.