Really excited to share some of the art from the graphic novel adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s All Summer in a Day. You can find some of the pencil roughs on my site here. And I’ll include the cover sketch I worked on today.
In general, I’m happy that I’ve found more of a voice artistically. I felt so trapped in past months thinking about what content I should explore and draw, thinking that all art industries were fair game. But lately, I’ve just been responding to things I like, and not necessarily thinking about what might make me marketable. Thinking in that way just trapped me in creative block. Then, to mask my embarrassing lack of original material, I would just copy lots of stuff. But I’ve realized that you never find out who you are as a visual artist until you start making your own individual art.
So maybe I don’t draw like my art heroes, but I can keep drawing and I will end up drawing in my own way.
I posted my first scene of boards for a Hansel and Gretel story. As I finished up my last story, I was struggling to think of another one. That’s a major issue with me, as I would like to work more, but usually I can’t think of stories to tell and it’s frustrating to set aside time to work every day and you’re struggling to find ideas to work on.
To break the creative block, I thought about fairy tales. Even if they’re all well known, it’s a great exercise to try to tell them visually. So I picked Hansel and Gretel. Really I was most fascinated by the setting of the story (famine torn Europe) and the measures that people resort to in those crises. So that was exactly what my first scene ended up being about. I’m still not super sure how the rest of the story will be told, but I think it will be an ongoing process where I continue to revisit the story amidst other various projects.
Below are a few drawings I did for concept art. I would love for a short film to have the look of an Arthur Rackham illustration, and that’s the look I was going for in these sketches. I’m making several other sketches, trying to imagine the world a little more fully. In storyboards, I want to simplify the look, but this is a good chance to put on an illustrator’s hat and give it a more concentrated treatment.
My family went to the East Coast for a week and we got to spend a little time at the National Gallery. I sketched some sculptures and other stuff, but this is a quick pen sketch of one of the portraits.
I am going to move most of my recent work here on to a personal website, brandtwong.weebly.com. It was free and easy to make, and I think that it is much easier to see images, especially large sets of boards, in a slideshow format, than clicking, going back, finding the thumbnail, finding the next one, clicking, etc. Not everything is up yet, but I’ve put much of the work that I think is decent up there. I guess wordpress isn’t ideal for image viewing, but it’s been nice to have, and it has served me well.
I can’t just move all of my blog posts there, so I’ll keep blogging here. See you on the other side!
Here is the first set of boards on my little adaptation of Kevin Henkes’ Jessica. It’s been a lot of fun and very challenging, even with source material to rely on. I think the hardest part has been figuring out how to preserve the feeling of the story even in this different medium. I ended up writing a bunch of dialogue and I hope I haven’t killed the story along the way. I’m not a writer and I don’t pretend to be one, but I tried. It really makes me question if I’ve done the right thing; I know that many shorts don’t use dialogue, and the scarcity of dialogue in the text scares me into thinking that I’ve killed the economy and the “quietness” of the children’s story. It also makes me wonder if I could tell a story without words and I think I’ll try to think of a silent story to adapt next.
The biggest problem I foresaw was that I wasn’t going to rely on narration, but rather I was going to try to use a scene to tell us who Jessica was, especially to audiences who had never heard of the story, and hopefully surprise them when they realize she’s imaginary, set up the situation of the night before the school starts (that’s what I picked for the starting point), and hopefully capture some of that anxiety that children feel. Or at least I felt as a child.
I ended up reboarding parts of this, and I think it’s better because of it. Boarding is really hard, and the hardest part is trying to get past the angles and the compositions, and hopefully get at the feeling of the scenes and really capture the characters even at this early stage. I’d imagine it’s kind of like directing, where you block the action, tell your actors how you want to see things done, and hopefully telling that story to maximal effect just through your camera work.
UPDATE: this whole sequence is going to be scrapped I think. I decided that, while I love the idea of a child playing hide and seek with an imaginary friend, it’s kind of stupid of me to try to use this much time. I wanted to give a surprise, even with how Jessica is revealed under a carpet, but what’s the point of creating this confusion for the first 20 percent of a short? I should get to the heart of the story quicker, and thus probably start later.
If all goes as planned, I should start posting sequences of my boards up in the next couple days. It’s pretty much all boarded, though this is still a first pass and I could rework it later. But I’ll write about that when I post the boards.
Anyway, here are some copies of some really wonderful, expressive Jin Kim model sheets of Anna from Frozen.
Other stuff out of my sketchbook. A couple copies of Jeffrey Jones paintings, that I did during some lunch breaks at work.