Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Persephone and Hades II: Another Random Concept Piece

So, over the weekend I attended the Phoenix Comicon. Thanks to all those who voted for me in the badge art contest, I was able to win two free passes to the comicon! I was happy to be able to go with my brother and my cousin. I love the Phoenix Comicon. It is full of nerdy fun, great atmosphere, and you never know what is going to happen or what type of people you are going to meet. I particularly love walking through the exhibition room where there are hundreds of booths of artists and merchandise to peruse. I actually met some lovely artists, particularly one artist named Lyla Warren. She has a lovely style, working in both animation and sculpting, and her pieces are full of movement and character. I'm happy to say I own some of her work, which is now on my "wall of crazy", and I would recommend anyone to go check out her website, blog, and Etsy shop!

What does this have to do with another concept piece of Persephone and Hades you might ask? Well, at the comicon I went to a panel that had animators and artists for video games and films that were doing a Q & A type session to help artists who are desiring to get into the industry. They were very helpful, friendly, and of course knowledgeable in their field. The advice they gave me I am already doing, which is good to know, but  I also sensed that I should probably step it up a notch, as far as drawing goes. Being a concept artist means drawing all the time. The one panelist mentioned 40 hours a week should be the kind of work I should be putting into drawing, which is a full time job. It is true. You have to keep up the practice and drawing is a constant learning process of refining the skill. I have no qualms about how much hours I put in, but of course, what is doable is the question. I think I already put in at least 20 - 25 hours a week, so I'm going to see if my life permits me to add more in. So, as the summer goes on, hopefully you'll be able to see more work from me! For now, enjoy this concept piece of Persephone and Hades. For some reason I was struck with inspiration again with these two characters and came up with this piece. I don't know if I'll be doing anything with these characters in the long run, but there is definitely something compelling about them.

"Persephone, meet Cerberus." - Hades is kind of a jerk.
Oh, before I end this random post, I would also like to mention that another great thing about this year's comicon is that my cousin and I were able to promote our webseries, The Sting Chronicles! Production is going well, promotion is going well, and the scheduled air date is June 7th! We are all very excited! So, don't forget to check it out on Youtube!

He makes everything beautiful in its time . . . Ecclesiastes 3:11

Friday, May 10, 2013

Persephone and Hades: A Random Concept Piece

"We dance, we kiss, we schmooze,
we carry on, we go home happy."
The other day I was watching Disney's Hercules, and admiring the artistry and excellence of that film. I haven't seen it in many years, I can't remember the last time I'd seen it, but watching it with fresh eyes I really was able to appreciate the humor, the art direction, the music, and the wonderful characterizations. It is definitely one of my favorite Disney animations. One of my favorite things about that film, though, is the villain Hades and his Underworld. He is definitely a different type of Disney villain, and one that stands out as truly unique. Unlike other villains, there isn't decisive destruction, an absolute end to him. His plan is foiled and he gets trapped in the whirlpool of death, but he is immortal and god of the underworld, so he can't really be destroyed entirely. Even more than that, though, he's hilarious and zany. I like the tongue in cheek humor of the film, which is due in large part to Hades characterization. He's the fast-talking, deal-making, god of the underworld and you can't really dislike him all that much because he's funny. His character design, is excellent, with his hair flames ("Whoa, is my hair out?") telling of his mood and his greek-esque hulking figure with swirling smoke and snake-like face that really emphasize this sinister, quick-tongued villain. The underworld in which he is charge is also amazingly designed. I need to get the Art of Hercules to really be able to study the concepts behind all of this, but I do have a fascination for the dark and macabre and there is a lot going on here in this design work:

"While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy "Man,"
And its hero, the Conqueror Worm."
- Poe
Anyway, I can geek out about this all day. Needless to say I was inspired, and it got me thinking about Hades and the tale of Persephone. In the Greek myth, Persephone is the daughter of Demeter (goddess of the harvest) and Hades sees her, desires her, and kidnaps her. After much angst, Hades is finally forced to return her, but tricks Persephone into eating some pomegranates from the underworld before she leaves. Eating food from the Underworld makes her a part of it, so she must always return to the Underworld and be by Hades' side as his queen. Thus this is why, as Greek myths go, we have winter every season, when Persephone has to return to her place as Queen of the Underworld. I thought all of this could be really fascinating as a retold story, a twisted and dark "Beauty and the Beast". It was also reminding me of Once Upon a Time's Rumpelstiltskin and Belle, this idea of an anti-hero and his journey from darkness to light. It would be done even deeper way than simply just "don't judge a book by its cover" concept. Hades would truly be, in many ways, despicable and unlikable, but as anti-heroes go, there is hope for redemption and who doesn't like a good anti-hero now and again. So, I just let myself imagine what that story would be like and the characters and I came up with this concept piece:

Maybe one day this will be animation masterpiece of death, vanity, true love, redemption, responsibility, and the human condition, but for now I just have this piece. Enjoy!

He makes everything beautiful in its time . . . Ecclesiastes 3:11