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Art is All About the Setting

Whether it is a layout or background, the setting is an essential to storytelling just like characters and plot.

The above statement is a motto you live by as both an animator and writer. After taking a small break from creating visual design, I’ve spent the past two weeks putting the finishing touches on the bedroom from Brothas. I’m finally seeing parts of my vision coming to life. For the first time, I can see my characters actually living in the space. I wanted to make sure their room reflected two young Black boys growing up in a small town.

Their personalities are very much on display in the space – hobbies, obsessions, and everything in between. The space needed to feel like Gen Zers lived there while incorporating some mods to childhood of yesteryear. Items such as books and blocks are essential to a kid’s room just like tablets and wireless speakers. Hopefully, I’ll be able to reveal the final outcome in the near future.

Once this room is done, I plan to focus on more interiors such as the kitchen and living room (fingers crossed). Afterwards, I hope to start doing more exteriors again. By next year, I want character designs to be my main focus.

While my focus has been on Brothas for the past month or so, Losing Valarie will receive some attention soon. I’m in the process of putting the final touches on the lead character’s room. I plan on jumping back into dealing with character designs (a break from doing strict background work). Before years end, I hope to deal with some interior and exterior designs.

As I’ve stated before, the character designs of my untitled action adventure will hopefully begin later this year. Any other designs will be set aside for next year.

Just remember creativity is the key to success.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Back to Work

After taking a week break, I’m back with more about my ongoing projects!

As I previously mentioned, I’ve spent week or so working on interior designs for Brothas. Working on my main characters’ safe haven has led to some interesting work. I’ve made the space personal by using inspiration from childhood items to flesh my characters’ world. Along with childhood items, I incorporated some childhood hobbies and activities such as astronomy and racing to add more personality into space. Basing the series in contemporary times has allowed me to include modern technology like video consoles and tablets into the space. Just like Losing Valarie, I tapped into their “Blackness” by having items here and there as cultural signals.

The next step is developing more interior and exterior designs for the series before the end of the year. I hope to creating more character designs for the series by next year. In the near future, I’ll start posting my progress on this site and Patreon in the coming months.

Soon, I’ll switch my focus from Brothas to Losing Valarie in the next week or so. I hope to venture more into exteriors for the series soon. By the end of their year, I want to get back into my character designs.

Once I’ve done enough work on my current work, I hope to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. I’ll start with the character designs before attempting background designs. I hope to start around later this year or early next year.

Social media presence is finally attracting some potential clients. Despite the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, freelance work is starting to pick back up with some potential prospects.

Just remember all the hard work will pay off in the end.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Working on a Plan

It’s good to be back after taking a week off!

I have to admit I haven’t been as focused on my design work lately, It’s taken a backseat to other commitments I have going on. I’ve still been creative just in different ways. I recently acquired a few contract jobs that still keep me creative while making some much-needed funds. The jobs deal with writing, but it still taps into my creative expression.

While I’m enjoying my work, I hope to start doing my personal design work this week. I plan on doing more background work for both Brothas and Losing Valarie as I continue to focus on crafting their worlds – visually. Like any project, I’m all about the details so much of my time will be busy completing one while starting on the next one. Exteriors and interiors galore!

I hope before the end of the year to switch my focus from backgrounds to characters as I still need to focus on creating some more designs for both shows. I have some I’ve worked on, but I have yet to complete them. Others are just ideas. I need to find the time.

Once I’ve done enough work on my current work, I hope to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. I’ll start with the character designs before attempting background designs. I hope to start around later this year or early next year.

Social media presence is finally attracting some potential clients. Despite the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, freelance work is starting to pick back up with some potential prospects.

Sometimes, all the hard work leads to reward and relaxation.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Business…Man!

2020 has thrown everyone for a loop. Despite all the chaos and ominous events, I finally reached one of my long-term goals – I officially have an LLC! Taking this creative journey has tested both my will and patience as I faced some unexpected barriers. Getting the funds to finally register my buisness has been a long two-year process. Between big bills and unexpected expenses, I had to prioritize other needs over my dream. Then, there’s “it that shall not be named” threw off my first quarter plans. But eventually, some help from the Small Business Administration allowed me to get the process started. Of course, while I waited to hear about my registration, I began marketing Patreon and Etsy pages as another way to get funds flowing in for future projects.  Now as an official creative business, I can really start bringing in a client base and pursuing my passion. Being creative during this “thing” has been draining and trying to say the less. But finally getting my LLC started has been one of a few bright spots for me this year. Now, I can get the necessary equipment needed to fulfill my creative dreams. I’ll update you when that starts coming together.
man wearing black crew neck t shirt using black headphones reading book while sitting

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

While I seek independence for my creativity, more freelance opportunities have been coming my way. The pandemic had put a stop to my freelance work for a while, but with the economy slowly reopening, more people are willing to hire freelancers and independent contractors. Some new opportunities haven’t panned out, but I’m still grinding to expand my client base. I’m still working on my personal projects as I mentioned before. After a month or so of teasing, I’ll be putting up some of my work pretty soon.

Back to Work

After taking a week break, I’m back with more about my ongoing projects!

As I previously mentioned, I’ve spent week or so working on interior designs for Brothas. Working on my main characters’ safe haven has led to some interesting work. I’ve made the space personal by using inspiration from childhood items to flesh my characters’ world. Along with childhood items, I incorporated some childhood hobbies and activities such as astronomy and racing to add more personality into space. Basing the series in contemporary times has allowed me to include modern technology like video consoles and tablets into the space. Just like Losing Valarie, I tapped into their “Blackness” by having items here and there as cultural signals.

The next step is developing more interior and exterior designs for the series before the end of the year. I hope to creating more character designs for the series by next year. In the near future, I’ll start posting my progress on this site and Patreon in the coming months.

Soon, I’ll switch my focus from Brothas to Losing Valarie in the next week or so. I hope to venture more into exteriors for the series soon. By the end of their year, I want to get back into my character designs.

Once I’ve done enough work on my current work, I hope to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. I’ll start with the character designs before attempting background designs. I hope to start around later this year or early next year.

Social media presence is finally attracting some potential clients. Despite the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, freelance work is starting to pick back up with some potential prospects.

Just remember all the hard work will pay off in the end.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

The World According to Design

My approach to designing for Brothas has become more about having my characters’ world reflect them in every way.

I’ve spent the past week concentrating fleshing out my main characters’ bedroom as my first interior for the series. It is still taking shape as I play off the boys’ color palettes while introducing new colors. Being two young Black boys, I’ve decided to draw some inspiration from my childhood with particular themes and concepts. I plan on placing more personal items into the room to accompany the twin beds. I even plan on drawing from some childhood hobbies and activities to bring more personality into space. As Gen Zer’s, modern amenities will be incorporated into the room. In creating the room, I wanted to tell as much of a story as the character does. Like Losing Valarie, I’m tapping more into their “Blackness” as I explore more of their story.

The next step is to develop designs for some more interior and exteriors for the series before the end of the year. By next year, I plan to do some more character designs for the series. Hopefully, as the year progresses, I’ll be able to show more on this site or on my Patreon.

As I focus on the world of Brothas, I put Losing Valarie on the back burner for a bit. I still have more details to work on when it comes to the main protagonist’s bedroom. I hope to venture more into the exterior soon.

As I’ve stated before, I have yet to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. I’ll start with the character designs before attempting background designs. I hope to start around later this year or early next year.

Social media presence is finally attracting some potential clients. The well of freelance work is still a little dry, but I am definitely put into the work to expand my income.

Just remember all the hard work will pay off in the end.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Giving Your World Personality

My approach to designing for Losing Valarie has become more about displaying my main protagonist’s personality within the world I’ve created for her.

I’ve spent the past week or so concentrating fleshing out my main protagonist’s bedroom. Besides a distinct color palette and black accents, I’ve tapped into her personality more by adding more personal touches. As an aspiring writer and blerd, I chose to fill her room with posters of Black female writers along with a bookcase filled with books. I showcased more by placing items related to anime and music. As a Millennial (or Gen Zer), modern amenities are very much seen throughout the room. In creating the room, it wanted to tell as much of a story as the character does. Tapping into her “Blackness” is something I plan to explore more of – from the designs to stories.

The next step is to develop designs for the series’ exteriors along with some more interior shots. Within the next month or so, I plan to do some more character designs for the series. Hopefully, as the year progresses, I’ll be able to show more on this site or on my Patreon.

Within the next week, I plan to start the interiors for the family home in my children’s series Brothas. If things go according to plan, I hope to venture into more exterior settings. Developing more character designs may come up in the future as I plan to expand into supporting characters.

As I’ve stated before, I have yet to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. I’ll start with the character designs before attempting background designs. I hope to start around later this year or early next year.

Social media presence is finally attracting some potential clients. My freelance work is still a bit slow, but I am definitely put into the work to expand my income.

Just remember all the hard work will pay off in the end.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Seeing the Full Picture

As progress in my work, the backgrounds are starting to take shape as I build my animated worlds.

Fro the past week or so, I’ve been shaping the world for the teenagers of Losing Valarie. The high school setting is your typical high school atmosphere with a modern look to better reflect the advancement in design and technology. Like I mentioned before, I wanted a color palette filled with pastels and dark colors to reflect the light yet dramatic tone of the series. I kept the high school palette limited to blues and whites with pops of color here and there. As the idea has progressed over the years, my approach to design has evolved as I became more comfortable with digital art.

Along with creating the high school setting, I have concentrated my efforts on improving my main protagonist’s refuge – her bedroom. Much like the previous background, I limited the color palette to her favorite color – pale pink (or rose gold). Everything from her bedding to the walls is covered in it. But the break up the monochromatic, I decided to use black to again fit the series’ tone along with more vibrant colors for visual appeal. I’ve steadily built up the room to illustrate more of her personality as an aspiring writer and bleed. Along with personality, I wanted to highlight my protagonist’s “Blackness” through her choice of artwork and posters.

Hopefully, soon, I will illustrate the actual exteriors of these places to give a better look and understanding of this world. I know to see what the characters’ world looks like will create a connection with potential viewers.

Within the next week, I plan to focus more on my children’s series Brothas by concentrating on the interior of the family home. I might even deal with some more exterior settings in the main characters’ world. Much of the look and feel will still retain the child-like look of the series.

Focusing on the two previous projects, I have yet to begin cracking my still-untitled action-adventure project. The series draws shows such as the original Teen Titans, Justice League, and Batman the Animated Series so my palette will be using more subdued colors and neutral tones – browns, beiges, whites, grays, and black. I’ll start with the character designs and work my way from there.

While background design will be my focus, for the time being, I will eventually turn my attention to character design for my next set of characters. As I start building up more work, I put some of it on my website (be on the lookout!) while others might be Patreon exclusives.

 

Social media presence has continued to play a role in attracting clients. My freelance work is still a bit slow, but I am definitely put into the work to expand my income.

Just remember all the hard work will pay off in the end.

 

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Preparing for the Next Step

Since May, I’ve been working on my visual design work for personal projects.

To make these personal projects come to life, I’ve started a Patreon to fulfill my dreams.  While I crave out my lane, I have been revising and re-visiting some of my old designs. Looking at my first personal project, Brothas, allowed me to see my growth as an artist. The rudimentary look of the original designs has given way to more realistic humans (as the series is inspired by my childhood). That project is meant for children and their families as it portrays a Black family loving and living in today’s world. My other visual project, Losing Valarie, has seen more improvement in character design as I refine some of the original designs while creating new ones. With that project being an ensemble teen dramedy, I still have a ways to go before I feel it is complete. Much like Brothas, I centered the series about a Black character – this time a female. This project has gone through many evolutions since I first thought about her in my early 20s.

With those two projects on pause for a minute, I will start working on another still-untitled project. This one will be another series centered around two brothers and their crimefighting efforts. This is inspired by an idea from my undergraduate studies. Like the previous projects, I feel representation is key when it comes to animation especially given the social change currently going on worldwide.

While character design has been my main focus for a while, I plan on dealing with background designs for many of the projects. My work will be seen on my website (be on the lookout!)

Working on these projects allows me to tap into my creativity while creating something tangible when I get ready to present my ideas. While I prepare to get these shows off the ground, I’m still a few contests here and there as a way of getting my work seen.

With so much going on in the word, I see some bright spots as freelance offers to slowly trickling in. Social media has increased its importance in my work as I try recruiting more clients.

Everything will work out in 2020. What’s for you is for you, and what isn’t will fall to the wayside.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Forging My Own Path

Before all the chaos, pandemics, and civil unrest took over in 2020, I decided this would be the year I finally took a risk on myself and create my content on my terms. So far, forging this path hasn’t been easy.

silhouettes_logo

Character silhouette

In creating my own path, my eyes have been opened to how hard it can be for someone like me with all the creativity but minimal business sense. In order to make that transition a little easier, I’ve decided to make to create Patreon and Etsy pages to help me not only fund my own projects but to sell some of the design work I’ve been stockpiling the last few years. I see this opportunity to make help my creative dreams come true while giving to those who have supported me over the years.

For years, I’ve had certain ideas floating in my head with some of those that can be seen on this website (check my “Multimedia Art” menu for more). I want to do comedies, dramas, action-adventure, mystery, sci-fi and so much more. On top of the fact, I’ve been sitting on scripts, designs, story bibles, and so much more ready to be seen. And I’m tired of waiting for my chance. So I decided, in order to create the content I want to see, I will need to recruit other creators of color (especially Black ones) to help make animated content for the marginalized and underserved. But I need funds, that’s where Patreon and Etsy come into play. Plus, Hollywood is rushing for anything animated given the current state of live-action fare so strike while the iron is hot.

woman writing on her notebook

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

With that said, I’ve been concentrating on my personal projects for the past month or so. Most of many work can be seen on Instagram while some will be revealed over the course of the summer. It’ll definitely be worth the wait.

While I seek independence for my creativity, more freelance opportunities have been coming my way. The pandemic had put a stop to my freelance work for a while, but with the economy slowly reopening, more people are willing to hire freelancers and independent contractors. Some new opportunities haven’t panned out, but I’m still grinding to expand my client base.

I’m still working on my personal projects as I mentioned before. Some of those results will start to pop up on my site pretty soon so be on the lookout.

 

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