A new idea.
When I was at University, they would always say to us 'make the most of your spare time to work on your own ideas, because you won't always have that time when you leave, I never believed them, and I definitely wish I had. I don't necessarily think it's true that you won't have the time, but you sure do have less time and if you want to work on your own ideas, you have to make the extra time for them.
Recently, I've been sharing a couple of work in progress shots of some pieces that I've been working on which I haven't said too much about, because they haven't been for clients or just one off personal illustration, they've been for a bigger personal project and to be honest, I'm always worrying that my ideas aren't good enough, but I was proud of the pieces themselves so I shared them anyway. But at the end of the day, every one has different creative ideas, all great in their own way and you'll never know how great they will be until you've tried, so I've decided to start talking more about the biggest personal project I'm working on right now, which I'm going to share more about below.
The starting point of this project was when I sat down earlier this year and really thought about what I want to do in my career. I wanted to be productive and proactive, the creative industry is hugely competitive but I believe everyone can succeed in it, the key is to make sure you're being yourself and creating art that you're genuinely passionate about. For me this is characters and monsters and the visual development of those, so for instance character sheets, concept art and illustration.
I know that eventually I'd like to work in the game/film industry creating concept art and character designs, and although the client work I'm currently doing is similar, some of it won't be seen for a while a lot of that work isn't something I'd apply to a games studio with. I could just sit there and wait for one of those projects to come along, but the best thing to do as a creative is if you want to be working on a specific type of project, but can't get the client, create your own personal project or 'client' to create the work for. Not only are you then creating the type of work that you want to produce, you'll have that work to add to your portfolio and you'll also be proving to future real clients that you create work off your own back.
To be honest, I'd say the idea didn't come to me straight away, I actually played around with another idea of creating creatures that were a mix of dinosaurs and birds of paradise but I couldn't seem to find any context for it. One day I was drawing some reference sketches of some lobster claws, when I looked at them after and thought 'How awesome would these look if they were actually creatures heads and the claws were the mouths?'.
So I set about sketching a couple of ideas for these creatures heads and they were working really well. I eventually added some bodies onto these creatures too, I tried to make them all slightly different so that they looked like they were the same species but with varied characteristics and features.
I created a character sheet from one of the creatures and really pushed myself when creating it too, I used a completely different technique when it came to shading and lighting the illustration and I also downloaded Trent kaniuga's brush pack and used those for the head variations around the original character.
Initially I wasn't planning on turning this creature into a big project, but I really liked how my ideas were flowing around sea monsters that could potentially live on land. So I spent a few weeks noting down potential ideas and watching film special features to get some ideas for storytelling and world building. I'm going to briefly explain the world that I've come up with below and then expand on that in a future blog post (within the next month).
The world isn't yet concrete and there's still a lot of areas that need fleshing out, but I do have a pretty good idea of what I'm aiming for. It is set in the future (not set on the date but maybe a few hundred years, not too far) and there has been some devastating attack on earth which has caused it to break apart (I'm sure scientifically this is way too impossible, but I'm excited about how I intend it to look visually).
So there will be a small part of the earth's core left, with lots of floating land around it, some will be close to earth, some will be much further away. The idea is that animals have now either evolved with different features or something else completely, maybe radiation etc. has affected them in some way. There will also still be humans living on the floating land and it will have a slight fantasy aspect as I think it will be pretty cool to have some of the new creatures with more human social skills such as running new businesses or working as con artists (this will make more sense when I go deeper into the story).
I'm pretty passionate about this at the minute and feeling really motivated to produce more and more content for it, so I hope that you're liking what I have so far as I'll be sharing more over the coming weeks with a new character sheet being shown next week.
Thank you for reading!