Works in Progress

Reorienting this blog to include drawings has me quite busy these days. I’m not complaining, but I have to admit that it’s taking up my writing time. I’ve got a half-written post sitting in queue right now, but it’s taking me forever to make the images that go along with it.

That’s not the only work in progress I’m sitting on, too. Right now, I’m doing Ganns’ spirit animal. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to get a spirit animal request from a total stranger. It’s been a week or so since I offered to do people’s spirit animals, but there weren’t any requests. Also, I didn’t think anyone actually read my stuff. I’m thankful that Ganns decided to pipe in with a request; I now have an excuse to practice some more.

It’s pretty tough doing something like this for a stranger, though. When I first saw his request, I had no idea who he was or what he even looked like. The first thing I did was stalk do some research, by way of Google-fu. I found a rather dapper picture of the gentleman, and decided to practice cartooning his face:

It’s no Mort Drucker, but it has enough of his basic features be somewhat recognizable.

The next step was to practice his requested spirit animal: a blowfish. I quickly sketched down three cartoon blowfish to see what style I preferred. The first was the traditional way of cartooning blowfish, which is to puff the belly to a disproportionate size, pushing the face upwards and shrinking it. I wanted to try something cuter, though, and so I drew a blowfish with bigger eyes and a less-exaggerated body. Because I prefer doing things in threes, I whipped up another blowfish, this time as sort of a middle-ground between the two earlier ones. I ended up going with the second, ’cause he’s a cute little fella.

Now that I had the two main subjects down, I needed to think of a pose. This was actually the most difficult part. Lauren’s full image came to me instantly because I know her really well. I knew that the perfect pose for her was atop her raging nanotyrannus, cheering on as he attacked some poor innocent sap (i.e. me). Ganns, on the other hand, is someone I don’t know a single thing about. What the heck sort of pose do I put him in?

The first thing that popped into my mind was immensely boring. I thought, Blowfish? Naturally, it has to be a balloon. While the image itself was pretty cute, it lacked pizazz. It lacked drama. It lacked the same energy that I brought to Lauren’s piece, and I didn’t want to settle for that. I went back to Ganns’ request to see if I could find inspiration, when I picked up this line:

“Cute and fat but potentially dangerous, kinda like me.”

I decided to go with a little bit of violence. Ganns seems like a pretty nice guy, so he’d have to be provoked into a fight; he wouldn’t start one on his own. The quickest way to provoke a fight with someone is to threaten him or something he values. It was then I chose to have him protect his spirit animal from the blowfish’s natural predator: an Asian chef.

Apologies if the work is shoddy, but it’s a rough sketch. The idea was that Ganns whacked a crazed Asian chef (with a spiked mace, of course) so hard that he blew him right through the monitor. While I personally love the concept, I realized it would only really work if part of the chef was actually hanging out of the monitor. I eventually decided to go with a different image, one that better captured what limited idea I have of who Ganns is. I can’t show the WIP sketch of that though, ’cause it’s still way too rough.

Along with the blog post and Ganns’ request, I’ve got two other things in the works. The first is a favor I’m doing for Dodge. I think he might prefer that the whole thing comes out as a surprise, but I suppose it won’t hurt to show an almost-completely-useless close-up of a close-up of the image:

The biggest work in progress, though, is something I had hoped to finish by October. It’s an incredibly fulfilling personal project of mine, and a step towards achieving one of my major life goals. Unfortunately, development had to take a backseat to work that actually made me money. As a result, I’ve been working on it at an incredibly slow pace. Hopefully, I’ll have enough free time during the holidays to finish it by January.

Writing all that down made me realize how full my plate actually is, and that doesn’t even include work stuff! I know I should probably slow it down a bit, but I’m having way too much fun to even consider taking a break. I guess it’s really true that people have boundless energy for the things and people they love. Good to know I’m doing something right with my life.

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One Response to Works in Progress

  1. ganns says:

    Ei, you went with it! Humbled by how much thought you’ve put into it. You’re absolutely right, it’s tough doing work for a total stranger, but you dug deep, your resourcefulness came through, and you’ve come up with really, really good stuff. You should be making a lot more money from your talent. (Net comics that hit it big make big bucks off the merchandise. I’ve bought stuff online from Questionable Content and For Better or Worse, among others.)

    You’re a stand-up guy, dude. Kudos. Can’t wait to see the final results.

    Yeah, I realize I didn’t put in much of an intro. I’m a blogger friend of Lauren’s mom, Noemi, and her friend, Dine. I’ve met Lauren a couple of times too, but we didn’t have much of a conversation. Subscribed to your blog months ago – the previous one, then onto this one after you transferred – via Lauren.

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