Blogs

Why I Love Art

JonathanPugh

I like to start off this discussion with an apology. For the past few months I’ve been hard pressed on what topic I could discuss as I have been more busy creating digital content for my other social network pages. I think after an extended absence of blogging, a topic about how I got into illustrating and cartooning and why I love creating art to this day should be interesting for those who might find it to be inspiring. I also would like to share a few tips on how to build a social presence online as an artist who is just starting out in his or her career as well as using platforms to show off your artwork.

 

Background

From the time I was about five or so, the single most memorable thing I did growing up was watching cartoons every time I visited my grandmother’s house while my parents went to work during the day. I grew in a time where cartoons virtually ruled the media of children’s television. The main network I was known for watching was PBS, Nickelodeon (Nick Jr. in the mornings), and Cartoon Network. There were also Saturday cartoons specials I’ve watched during that time, Kids WB-4kids (Channel 11) in the mornings and Toonami at night on Cartoon Network. There was one time while watching an episode Blue’s Clues on Nick Jr. one day, I’ve decided to get a pencil or crayon and a few sheets of scrap paper and started drawing as Steve, one of the main characters of the show often using his Handy Dandy Notebook to draw out the clues marked by a paw print of his pet dog, Blue. Since then, I would find any surface to randomly draw anything from construction paper to table cloths! My passion for drawing only escalated as I drew characters based off of Saturday cartoons (Dragon Ball, Samurai Jack, Transformers, etc.) Cartoons like those forever shaped my love for cartooning and my skills as an artist had only improved tremendously over the past 17 years, and I only continue to get better!

 

My Presence On Social Media

During my time in college, where I went to receive my associates’ in Digital Media, college really opened a lot of doors of opportunity for me to not only improve on my artistic talents, but to build an online presence in the World Wide Web. Since many of my generation thrives on social media on a daily basis, even those seeking professional careers, it made sense to me to use social media to help with starting my career as an illustrator. During my third semester for associates’, I’ve created my own art brand, W.P. Showcase (Walker Philip’s Showcase), as a starting point towards my career on Facebook. From there, I have been creating my own content from traditional to digital artwork featuring myself in different scenes and imagery while improving my skills as an artist ever since.

Of course, things hasn’t always been the same as of recently. My page has been primarily about building on my own career and name as an artist. However, as of late, I thought to myself that I may be like most young artists of today, having limitless talent but no sense of direction nor anything to share with others who only just want to get in the same business I wanted to get into all this time and are looking for help. That was when I’ve decided to change things up about my initial goal for my social page.

 

Get Your Name Out There!

For starters, creating an account online is pretty much essential to obtain recognition. To me, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are among my recommendations, including DeviantArt. Using these platforms, you can upload pictures of your artworks and photos taking by your camera or phone (if you’re into photography) and enable sharing and commenting for others to give feedback. Always appreciate their complements and understand ways of improving your craft.

Secondly, #TagEVERYTHING! this will increase the changes of your art content showing up during search results that may direct people to your page and gain new followers. It’s a small detail, but an effective way to attract people to like your content online.

Third, always remain consistent. Aim to post new content at least two to five times a day. People will admire you if you continue to provide what attracts them. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to think of new ideas to create art to post. Share other content you find on social media that can be useful for people to discover and take action. Doing this will get people to credit you for sharing useful information.

Finally, be actively social. Find groups on social media, follow them, and talk with other users. Once you get acquainted, you can talk to them about your social page and encourage to take a look, thus gaining more followers for your own. It’s okay to freely express your passion for art as long as you carry yourself professionally and not ignorant in a way that most people would consider you as “trolling.”

 

That concludes my topic. These are just the basics on starting out in the realm of digital media as an artist and those are methods I use for my own page as well. Speaking of which, be sure to like me on Facebook and Instagram, and stay tuned for more updates and other discussions I have in mind to share.

 

Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts about the topic in the comments!

Also, check out these articles below of about building social presence as an artist. I guarantee you they’re a good read if you have the time.

https://design.tutsplus.com/articles/10-easy-social-media-tips-for-the-struggling-artist–cms-24209

http://artbistro.monster.com/education/articles/9687-5-ways-to-improve-your-online-art-presence

https://heroic.academy/artists-guide-getting-more-fans-social-media/

The Making of Comics

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     Comics have been around our culture since the early 1930’s. Most of them were revolved around radio shows that includes superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman. Since those times, multi-millionaire companies like Marvel and DC have thrived because of those historic characters and the multitude of stories they are portrayed in various comics throughout the years. Below here is an infograph about the most popular heroes of both brands and which company owns their rights.

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Comic books are considered to be readable visuals of art that can be based on one’s imagination, like how a fictional novel is. To create a comic from scratch requires that very factor as well as a few other steps that can help share your imagination to a multitude of people that can be drawn to it.

     It all begins with an idea that can be recorded with a notebook for inspirations. Of course, these inspirations can be based on events that exist in the past and presently today as well. Don’t worry if your idea isn’t fully realized yet. Just simply go with it. You never know where it’ll take you. Next, you may want to write up a script from that idea to create a story. In comics, it’s not just about the visual telling a story but the dialogue the author writes about in every scenario too. This is where a good writer is needed to tell the story that will capture the audience’s attention and help them get invested in what you want to present to them visually. Look up this link for my tips on writing a good story. https://wpshowcasebrand.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/how-important-is-storytelling/

     After writing out your script, now is it the time to start drawing and creating visuals. Most artists call this step “storyboarding,” where small visuals of the story are designed before deciding on what would best fit to the story you portray. It does not have to be perfect at first; only draw several sketches of visuals until you decide the best look to go with your story. If you lack the ability to draw, get an artist to do so, and a digital one in fact to make sure they help you get the best visuals. Then, there’s the inking and coloring factor. These steps occur where you’re ready to clean-up your drawings and add depth to your illustrations. If you’re inking/coloring illustrations from another artist, don’t be afraid to ask questions if things aren’t clear.

A special kind of task when creating a comic is lettering. This will help establish the kind of theme for your comic story and acts as somewhat of a banner flag to attract your audience. You must choose the right design of font that will be used in the story from beginning to end. The biggest collection of comic book fonts can be found at Blambot. They have both free fonts and paid fonts. Be sure to check the font license before using any font in your work.

     For the last step, selling and marketing your comic isn’t easy. The best thing you can do is to use social media to have an advantage for advertising your story to the public and it will be easy for people to find and critique it. Your best bet is to create a daily post telling the public about your new venture and keep consistency for about a day or two apart (the most). Let them know what it is and how they can get it.

References

http://the-artifice.com/history-of-comics/

http://www.creativebloq.com/comics/guide-create-publish-comic-book-71515975

http://www.creativecomicart.com/step-by-step.html

How important is storytelling?

Storytelling

 

When it comes to watching a TV show especially when reading a book, there is always something that keeps us all engaged in what we want to get out the program or book. A story, as long as it is engaging and informative, can be told in many different ways. A story can be form from words of literature or through a collection of visual images like drawings and paintings. Using our imagination, stories can be expressed whether it is based on something that is true or completely fictional. Of course, there are certain things that people must consider before telling a story.

A story is developed in three structures beginning, middle, and end. The beginning part is when the author of the story introduces main characters, their goals, the setting, and the main conflict. The mood and tone are also established at the start of the story and must be consistent throughout the story. They are important because both factors are responsible for keeping the audience engaged and inspired them to follow the story to learn more about it.

The middle is where a series of events occur that increases the tension with the story. These events allow opportunities for characters to grow as they experience conflicts and learn how to deal with them. Some conflicts may be short-term, but they must never deter characters from the overall crisis that leads to a climax, where characters must face the crisis head on.

The end is where the conflict of the story is resolved. The tone and tension falls quickly, and leaves the author to decide the final result in the story, whether it be good or bad. At this point, the audience begins to except the outcome and accept the result for what it is. However, the author may including a sequence in the story where the ending is left ambiguous or leads to another event that hasn’t been seen by the audience yet. This is known as a cliffhanger that allows the author to create a new story for the main characters.

In summary, a story can be a gateway for people make connections between what can be real to them and what cannot. That said, an author that create a story must first have an understanding between reality and fiction. From there, the author can use any subject or theme and make it come to life with his or her own imagination and allows the audience to determine if that imagination can be worthy of an interesting story.

References

https://www.quora.com/Why-is-storytelling-important

http://www.consider-ed.org.uk/the-importance-of-storytelling/

https://thewritingplace.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/story-structure-beginning-middle-and-end/

http://thescribo.com/storytelling/

Maintaining your target audience

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Marketing, at least for illustrators like me, is one of the most unpopular aspects for persuading illustrators to make an impact in the profession. However, it is also the most vital skills illustrators need to learn to build successful careers. In addition to honing their artistic skills, illustrators in marketing need to know their image and how will it appeal to people in general. This is where knowing your audience comes into play. There is a lot to cover for this topic, so for the sake of time, allow me to highlight some key advice about knowing your target audience.

For starters, you should start by creating a marketing strategy that focuses on appealing to your target market that you can be certain that employers will hire you based on your credentials. In short, look for clients that can get your name on the map. Knowing who they are will be much easier to focus your motives to a selective group as your audience. Afterwards, focus on polishing your portfolio to a professional extent, along with a list of your clients’ contact information to set up meetings for them to view your work. Think of this as a regular employment procedure, if your clients like you enough, your will be working with valuable names that will give your career a jump start towards success.

Another idea is making sure you have materials (both online and offline) for people to look up information about you. For offline purpose, business cards are a must, especially when given to yours clients. They can relay the contact information to employers and they in turn will contact you for their interest. For online purposes, making a website and a logo with your name is necessary for building social status and presence. Websites like WordPress, which offers free memberships, can really help showcase your portfolio work and allow you to write blogs for your clients to get an understanding about your public image.

Protecting your work is another necessity. While you build connections with clients with examples of visual art, there is also a chance where people may try to steal your work and claim it as their own. Do NOT allow this to happen to you! Get your work copyrighted and shield it from foreign claims. Think of your work as your own children, if you can relate to that, you can save them by getting legal rights to protect them.

Finally and most importantly is to aim for better performance. No client will ever recommend an artist if their work does not meet their expectations. You can either look for another client that make take interest or work to improve your skill that can appeal to them more effectively. Take it from me, the latter option is better. There is always room for practice and growth so make sure you know that you can put on the best visual artwork you can make!

References

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/12/designing-for-your-target-audience/

http://www.graphicmania.net/how-to-design-for-your-target-audience/

http://jonathanwoodwardstudio.com/marketing-101-for-il/lustrators

Expanding Internet Presence

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     In this modern age of society, everything we do in life in one way or another always seems to be inspired from the knowledge of what the Internet provides from around the world. At home, school, work, and even in the public using cell phones, more than a billion individuals around the world utilizes the Internet per second every day and continues to increase as even children are introduced to the Web and considering to be the norm for gathering information. Even I’ll admit that I’m no stranger to the Internet. I born in a time where technology was always evolving into more easy-to-use methods from home desktops to cell phones and it took time for me to get comfortable in sharing personal information to a world where people won’t be shy to judge and ridicule you for being how you are. However, like millions of people out there, I was willing to discard my shyness in order to show others that what I am is special and unique to the point that even own my name can make a difference in the vastly-growing world of technology dominated by the Internet.

     In this blog, I’ll be discussing how getting your name out on the Internet can be useful and not frightening like on a celebrity level (though that depends on how you want to make that happen). For example, when I started getting used to being online for hours, right around when I started in high school, I decided to create an e-mail address where I can use it to send message and receive advertisement from various businesses. Making an e-mail account for can also be used as a gateway in potentially landing various job offers. Most employers mainly recruit employees online by looking at resumes sent by applicants themselves through e-mails as well. Major online search engine brands like Google and Yahoo are typically a good place to set up e-mail addresses. Think of them as your primary Internet ID card, so don’t forget your passwords!

     Another factor that is equally important while being online is the use of social accounts. Over the years, the concept of individuals socializing online has evolved drastically which is what people refer to as “Social Media.” From the days of using Myspace and AIM to using Facebook and Twitter (which we now use today), it has become much easier to meet many people at once and quickly get to know them. Using those accounts, people can post, share, and discuss any form of media that represents themselves or taken from another source of information. This concept is extremely useful for individuals to keep family and friends in touch with each other, get involved in multiple social groups, and build strong relationships, especially while establishing your business. Here’s a piece of advice: be cautious and careful who you are associated with as well as what media content you share and post online. Though many people would appear wanting to be your friend but may set up to humiliate you in the future, either based on the content they show or may cause other online users to reject you. Also, while apply for a job using your social account, employers do examine your activities and may put you in serious liability or, at worse, fire you depend how inappropriate your media content is. Your social account(s) will always be recognizable and noticeable to anyone and everyone associated with you once you’ve made yourself public to the world. What you do online with other people taken notice determines your personality, digitally-wise.

     With all these e-mail and online social applications, you may think that the Internet has a lot to offer for an individual on a mission to be popular. That’s true. The Internet alone has the largest source of information about virtually anything for mankind to use for many purposes. However, at the end of the day, the most important thing you can do for yourself is knowing who you are as a person and letting the world know who that person is. It is essential that you must always keep track of what information you revealed to the world, the same way that you keep track of anything that defines who you are; your social security, birth certificate, passports, etc. Losing any online information not only prevents you access to your accounts but may force you to adopt a new identity that hasn’t been taken by someone else in the digital world.

     An interesting fact I keep in mind when using the Internet is that while it holds the largest source of information, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will always guarantee me success in life. That choice is entirely up to you. Many of the information you can find on the Internet can be misleading, so you must look for the best reliable source possible that will help you create your own career in the digital age.

Links

http://www.eofire.com/7-ways-to-build-your-online-presence/

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/improve-online-presence-business-25433.html

https://www.entrepreneur.com/topic/expanding-your-online-presence

http://topyaps.com/8-latest-tech-trends-keep

 

 

My Top 3 TV Shows That Inspires Me

Today, I will be talking about my top 3 favorite TV cartoons that inspired me as a child and still do to this day to pursue a career as an artist. Most artists get their inspirations by watching cartoons themselves (no matter what the genre is) and a lot of their art style reflects those cartoons in one way or another. As an artist myself, that experience is no different, though some of my favorite cartoons may not be the same as other artist. Most of these cartoons vary from being funny and entertaining western-cultural shows to cartoons based on a different cultural setting. In the following list, I will explain what these shows are and why they are important to me as a rising artist.

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      To begin, one of my most memorable and funniest cartoons, if I may add, growing up was Ed, Edd, n Eddy from Cartoon Network. The show ran from January 4, 1999 to November 8, 2009 with its 10 year long run culminating in the sequel movie, “Ed, Edd, n Eddy’s Big Picture Show.” From start to finish, it was a comedy series for kids that provided timeless humor and exciting moments that takes place in a small suburban area known as “the Cul-de-Sac.” Three preteens; Ed, Edd (nicknamed Double D in the series), and Eddy spend their lives pulling pranks and scams on other kids in the Cul-de-Sac, which often leads to failure in all their attempts. This show inspired me tremendously because it was able to capture its target audience and goes above and beyond to entertain its fans. The animation at the beginning was hand-drawn with cel coloring with a variety of extreme facial expressions that made up the most funny moments of the show as the animation improved during the later seasons. As a child back then and as an adult now, it was always a treat to see the show because the amount of humor its provides in every episode makes it one of the best cartoons of all time due to how much entertainment it can give to any audience.

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     The second TV show that inspired me to draw in the first place was Blue’s Clues from Nickelodeon’s morning network for kids, Nick Jr. The show takes place in a red and yellow colored house with a young man named Steve (before being later replaced by Joe, his cousin in the story) with his pet dog, Blue. Together, they would go on various adventures, solve puzzles and riddles in order to find clues that involves Blue trying to give a message for the audience to figure out. As an educational cartoon for little toddlers, the most important aspect about the show to me was the use of the Handy Dandy Notebook, which was used by Steve to draw out clues that are marked with a paw print by Blue. I wanted to draw the same way as Steve did in the show, even going as far as making my own Handy Dandy Notebook from scratch because of how cool the theme of the show was and it became a driving factor for my dream to becoming an artist in my own way. The show was not only fun but it was also very basic and easy to understand. It makes problem-solving fun and engaging that it encourages kids to do the right thing for a better future.

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     And last by not least, the third TV show that took my admiration of cartoons to new heights is the one that holds a special place in my heart to this day. That show is none other than Dragon Ball Z, best known in Japan as the second storyline series of Dragon Ball created by Akira Toriyama. Highly popular in both the U.S. and Japan, the show serves as a direct sequel that follows the original Dragon Ball storyline, where the main character, Goku, who was once a child now a young man continues his quest to become the strongest fighter in the world, not knowing the adventures that lied ahead of him will later challenge him to become the Earth’s sole protector. The show, with all the non-stop action and with over 200 episodes, was very exciting and exhilarating growing up not only for its kung-fu based genre, but unlike other animated works that depicted superhero stories like Batman and Superman, Dragon Ball Z brought on a new dynamic to cartoon television as a Japanese-oriented anime that achieve even greater success in America as it did in Japan. Aside from the highly episodic plot, the character designs were my favorite aspect of the show. Each character appearance had their own meaning and uniqueness that fit well with the already action-packed drama the show provides. Dragon Ball Z still holds the honor, to this day, as one of the most highly rated animated cartoons worldwide that provided some of the best moments in cartoon history that stood out against all other cartoons during its initial airing on Cartoon Network’s Saturday night network, Toonami.

     There are many cartoons I’ve watched and enjoyed as a child. These TV shows I have explained, however, have been driving factors on what I want to do for my future. They all encourage me to create my own cartoons and provide great storytelling for audiences to enjoy and remember for decades. I hope based on what I learned watching these cartoons would help me inspire others to believe in cartoons and they, in turn, will inspire themselves to build their own future where they can be happy as the shows they watched as children like I did.

Links:

Images:

http://crazy-frankenstein.com/ed-edd-n-eddy-wallpapers.html

https://www.pinterest.com/taniafuller/blues-clues/

http://seabridge.pl/?show=dragon-ball-z-title-song

First Blog Post

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      Hello Everyone! For my first blog, I will be discussing about one of my most recent artworks and what inspired me to create it and what was the purpose. As you can see in this artwork, there is a stream of clouds passing through the sky. There is a cloud in the middle shaped in humanoid form with one of its arm stretching across as other clouds pass through, possibly to catch up to them.

 

    In a way, this artwork of mine inspires me more ways than one. For instance, I can imagine myself as that human-looking cloud and having my arm outstretch, reaching for something I want to make me feel satisfied. It could be a goal, a dream, or a reward that I must have. As for the other clouds that are passing through the air, they could be view as my competitors trying to achieve the same thing I desire. What I can see from this artwork is a race taking place between myself (the humanoid cloud) against my competitors (all other clouds).

 

     However, my views and opinions may different from others. A trivial incident came to me during the night while I was drawing out this artwork. My little sister saw it and said it looked like a bunch of demonic souls rising from a fiery furnace, even though that wasn’t the final image I was creating. As for many individuals, they may have a different perspective once after looking at this image. Depending on what the perspective is, I made this artwork to serve a stimulant for individuals to test their imagination based on the appearances they see for themselves.

 

     In most recent months, the artworks I’ve made, including this one, all represent a certain aspect about myself as a artist and a perspective I chose to share with the world. The idea of their imagery stems from my feelings at the time of its creation or based on incident that I experienced in my life, no matter the amount of time it was. I truly believe that most artists that started out in their careers often based their artwork from either themselves or anything concept that relates to them. It is also a way that expresses who they really are in life and how they portray themselves  in a variety of scenarios.

 

     In summary, I wanted to share this artwork as a way to introduce myself as an artist to the world and explain my intentions on how I would like to leave an impact on it. I do believe that this profession will help me build my identity as well as sharing with other people my theories about art that is more that just a sculpture or a painting on a wall.