Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

Pre-warning: This post contains a bit of mild art nudity in the form of life-drawing. Don’t read it at work if that would get you into trouble!

Windsoar over at Jaded Alt recently offered some more a-”muse”-ment for interested parties – supplying a blog post idea for bloggers that asked! Here’s the task she gave me:

There’s quite a few things I’d like to ask you to write about, but I think I’ve narrowed it down! I’m sure plenty of your readers are aware of your artistic skills, but I’d like to know more! Is it a hobby or profession, how’d you get started, do you have professional training, and what are your favorite mediums?

I figured it would be only too appropriate to answer this question on Tuesday, the day I usually post art anyhow!

It’s pretty much an artist trope to say “I’ve been drawing since I was able to hold a pencil…” but for most of us it’s true, at least it is in my case! It was always what I wanted to do “when I grew up,” tied with writing. If you’d asked me when I was five what I wanted to be I’d tell you without hesitation that I wanted to write and illustrate my own children’s books. To that end, about a year before I graduated from high school I started assembling a portfolio and sent it off to art college. I was accepted and started there the following September, after moving cities.

The first year at college called for taking a variety of classes and electives before declaring a specialization in second year. I’d initially intended to enter the graphic design Visual Communication major (I think most people intend this because they’ve been told “it’s the only way to make a living.”) I ended up changing my mind, though, and specialized instead in printmaking/print media. Over the course of the next three years I learned techniques related to lithography, relief printing, silkscreen, and etching. I took drawing electives.

Here are a few images from one of the life drawing courses I took. I spent many hours doing life drawing throughout my four years! Usually we’d work for six hours a week and six hours at home for the duration of a semester.

(note: I seem to fail at slideshows, though, and this slideshow and the later one contain all the images in the entire post. I compromised by making it a gallery instead!)

At the end of this particular course, we all went to the long, concrete hallway that led to the train station and had to pin up all of our work from the semester. Every piece! There’s pastel, charcoal, brush and ink, conté, ballpoint pen, acrylic paint, and ink pen here. It’s funny because I can look at it now and see flaws but there are still some pieces where I think, “Hey, I really captured something there.” I’m not sure if the photos really show much detail, or if they just mostly show that it’s a lot of drawings.

Contrary to popular opinion, art college was long hours and hard work (I loved it, but don’t ever try and suggest I’m a slacker because I went there!) I could have gotten a degree in other things, I’ve no doubt, but I never regret my art degree.

After college I worked in a few unrelated jobs before leaving them to try and make it as a freelancer. Of course, you’ve all seen my WoW-related art.

I suppose it's self-explanatory, but this is from drawings done one Christmas at my parents' house.

I also draw in my sketchbook (usually with black Pigma Pens, 0.5 thankyouverymuch). Apart from character-related commissions and blog banners, I have als0 had one major project illustrating a reading program for young children. I can’t link you to the program because it has my real name all over it, but here’s an image from it. I worked on this contract for the better part of a year.

Cake: T or F?

That beagle destroyed the cake his owner had so lovingly made. This, incidentally, is something that happened in real life to me – except the cake in question was baked by my friend that had brought it over, and covered in chocolate mousse that my dog lovingly cleaned off. The resulting cake looked pristine, as if it had never been iced, and oddly tempting. The dog was hyper for the rest of the night (but otherwise unharmed). But I’m digressing! I’m meant to answer the first question, here. Yes, I do illustration/art professionally, and am professionally trained! My major was pretty multi-disciplinary despite being print focused. Once I graduated I did very little actual “print” work, continuing in various mediums, which is good because it’s hard to fit a litho press in one’s basement.

When we redid our basement, though, I did set up a room especially for purposes of serving as a studio. Most of my work now is digital and done on my Cintiq and so actually doesn’t take place here. But I still HAVE here, even if it’s not this neat anymore.

Oh, for a studio this pristine again...

The walls have been painted with magnetic paint and I use tiny, very strong magnets from Lee Valley on them! (You put one magnet behind a piece of paper and one in front, they stick together and you have a mobile gallery. There’s a lithograph pinned up here, actually, although you can’t really see it in detail. The stuff in the center is just part of my postcard collection; I didn’t actually draw or paint those.

Windsoar also asked if I have a favourite medium. Of course, I love digital painting.

Here is a painting actually done FOR Windsoar as a gift for her husband. I thought it would be appropriate.

When it comes to getting my hands dirty, though, I am crazy about watercolour.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I tend to do postcard-sized watercolours because I can do them most anywhere. Other than that, most of my drawing is done in sketchbooks with aforementioned ink pens (pencil is too cautious for me! No guts, no glory! If it turns out wrong, just draw over it or draw it again!)

I think that’s a decent, if disjointed history of my art career. It’s a living I love; I wouldn’t change it for the world! Thanks again to Windsoar for asking and giving me the topic to write about. Feel free to ask me any questions on this most self-indulgent post, and I’ll do my best to answer them if I’m able.

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Comments on: "Tuesday Art Day: About The Artist" (21)

  1. Hey, don’t usually comment on stuff but just wanted to drop a line saying how much I enjoy seeing your artwork. You’ve got real talent.

    • Thanks, Tristan, I appreciate your kind words! I wanted to remark here, actually, that I know there might not be much to say and it’s kind of awkward making this sort of post. I’m certainly not fishing for compliments, although I am passionate about art and proud of what I do.

      Windsoar’s prompt was a fun way to talk about my background a bit and make it personal. More than most posts here, I guess, it’s very “ME ME ME MEEEE!” ;)

  2. I’m very jealous of your artistic ability. Every once in a while I try to draw something (most recently I tried to draw what I wanted for a veil for my wedding) and it always turns out downright unrecognizable. :P

    I love the portrait you made of Jasyla and your watercolors are very pretty.

    Also, magnetic paint? I never heard of that. That sounds awesome.

    • I feel that way when I try to do math! Or when I blurt out a response in Mumble that was math-related and the raid is silent because it’s SO WRONG.

      I’m so glad you were happy with it. :D The magnetic paint thing is interesting! They make chalkboard paint as well. If you ever contemplate trying it yourself, I hear that they make a powder that can be MIXED with regular paint to make it magnetic and I’d advise that instead. The magnetic paint needs many layers, and is also BLACK in colour. It took many coats of primer + paint to get the wall white after using it, and it also left a visible “line” where it’s magnetic and where it isn’t (I didn’t paint the entire wall, just a specific area marked off with tape.)

  3. indigodragyn said:

    I generally don’t like commenting if I don’t have anything to say besides something bland like “love your artwork!” (which I totally do, ’cause it’s gorgeous, but anyway), but I did want to let you know that I’d love to poke you about a commission piece once I can set some money aside. ^^

    • Haha, well thank you on all accounts! My contact e-mail is in my about page and I’m always happy to take on new projects, schedule permitting! Sometimes there is a bit of a wait until I can start a new one but I am always excited about them.

  4. I take such pleasure in your art, Vid. You have such a diverse style, and whether you’re drawing game characters or sketching bossy paladins and their spoons, or painting a landscape in watercolour, I really enjoy your “eye” (if I may be permitted to refer to a visual artist’s equivalent of a writer’s “voice” that way?).

    Most of your work that I’ve seen in the past has been your game-related art, of course, so it’s really exciting to get a view into some of your other work! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. :)

    • Thanks Lara, you’re too kind. “Eye” works! There are some artist’s whose way of seeing the world just makes me happy. The fact that I might be that artist to someone else is kind of humbling but awesome. :D

  5. With the exception of the old, nekkid dude with the beard, I love your art too. ;)

    This is the first time I’ve seen your non-WoW related work as well, which gives me an idea for a very special piece I might look into getting commissioned. Now you’ve got my gears turning.

    I don’t know much of anything about art, except that I suck at it and that I envy those who don’t.

    As for doing a “selfish” blog post – that’s the whole point of having a blog. You’re not just sharing information or opinions, you’re sharing who you are. Readers keep coming back, not for the information alone, but for the fact that you’re the one who shared it. They like how you communicate with them. They like that they can understand and relate to you and your perspective. And they know that every now and then they’ll get to see some of your work.

    Blogs are meant to be personal. If we wanted lifeless information, we’d go read an encyclopedia instead. ;)

    • Hahah I wondered when someone would comment on that guy. It’s funny because it was probably my favourite drawing of that semester – that happened to be an old, fat dude. (People used to refer to that model jokingly as “Santa Claus,” poor guy, although I don’t think he knew.) It was the technical aspect of it I was happy with, although all bodies are of equal value for life-drawing! People with a bit more flesh are actually more fun to draw, generally.

      Thanks for the encouragement, and if you want to brainstorm any art ideas I am all ears! My e-mail is puggingpally AT gmail DOT com, or you can always DM me! :)

  6. Windsoar said:

    Thanks for this Vid! Print-making is a ton of fun, but I’m really surprised to see you went that route and you’re not in the printing business :P It seems like you fall over print-makers anytime you’re trying to get your corporate logo on something.

    Really enjoyed the galleries (even if they CAN be a pain to embed).

    • It’s actually interesting, Windsoar, how even print artists are uncertain about where their art “fits” in the scheme of art versus commerce. (Because it’s multiples, because machinery is involved, etc.) We actually had some tours to commercial print shops where they print things for companies and the like, and I can say unequivocally that I could not work at one! Just the smell of the chemicals was overwhelming, but the environment and goals are completely different (and honestly uninspiring to me). In the end, my final grad piece was actually an installation that did involve silkscreen, bookmaking, and digital printing, but I’m afraid it’s a completely different realm. Commercial printing is almost more like a science, I guess? Fine art printmaking involves science but is usually much smaller scale.

      Ask me about the project we had to do where we worked with an artist to produce an edition FOR him, and the edition turned out to be 80 prints instead of a much more reasonable 25! Actually, don’t ask me, he was crotchety and demanding and the whole project was a nightmare (although also illuminating).

      I don’t regret choosing printmaking as a major, but I do little printmaking now because I often felt that the technique of it got in the way of the actual ART. (for me! Some people take to it like a duck to water. :D)

  7. As I said on Twitter, awesome work.

    There may be a bit of a comission project in your future from me as well.

  8. jlseverino said:

    Vid I just love your work. Thank you for sharing it with us. You even inspired in me try to do some perspective drawings. Thanks

  9. *stares without commenting* :P

  10. Vidy,
    I had noted your Tuesday Art days and always enjoyed your work (as well, of course, as your avatar in your blog’s margins). I’m really impressed with all of your art, and I think it was an excellent idea (from both Windsoar and yourself) to show us more and more of your work. Great post, a nice insight into you as a person!

  11. Your nude sketches look familiar with the bold lines you used. Who are your artistic influences?

    I can see why you like watercolor; you have a great command of the shading to suggest details to the eye.

  12. Somehow I’m not surprised that you’re a Pro, Vid ;)
    Like Redbeard, I’d be interested to know who you consider to be your major artistic influences.

    I love your wall with all the postcards on it. I’ve done similar things, on occasion.

    With your studio room in the basement, what kind of lighting do you use? Does it have a skylight of some kind?

  13. Nice artwork there.I have been a long time reader , but I wanted to point out that the warning at top didnot work as the page was already loaded and no I dont use RSS reader , I have your blog bookmarked.And did open from work, so next time you post nsfw artwork please put a link to another page or someone like me will inadvertently open the page.

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