My Art Brushes and Tools…

Attack on Kortel 11 Mining Colony
2016 Copyright, Joseph A. Wraith
   I have probably been drawing and doing art since I could hold a crayon and have yet to put it down.
   Although I have traded in my crayons and paper in for a Mac and Wacom Cintiq, I still often employ paper and either a pen, or pencil to draw on when I want my art experience to feel truly organic.   Sure there are more than plenty of applications that can give that organic look, but the feel of paper under my hand and the scratchiness of a pencil on the texture of the paper can not be reproduced. That unique and interactive experience just can not be duplicated by a computer. 
   The same goes with painting, or sculpting, sometimes you just want to get your hands dirty.  Then there are times when you don’t, especially when you know you will have a million changes regardless of how great the art might be.   Some clients have a need to feel like they have produced the art with their own hands, sort of, by employing micro-directions to a project you are working on. That’s when it becomes apparent that a computer art brush, or application are needed and thank the art-gods for Command-Z and the ability to layer your work!
  Favorite art tools currently are for 3d, especially since I am doing so much work in 3d right now.   My own pipeline consists of Zbrush, Cinema 4d, After Effects and Photoshop for finishing.   I also use a number of plug-ins to achieve a variety of effects and help cut corners on time-staking visuals.   At the top of my plug-in list is Video Copilots’ Element 3d and Optical Flares, love working with the combination of the two. One helps in creation of the scene and the other helps set the mood of the scene.  Together you can create a complete story in just one image. LOVE IT!
  Right now, I’m into two separate, or rather three, no more like four separate personal projects I am undertaking, and that’s not including my professional daily work load.   Pretty much everyday after my main workload (the stuff that pays the bills) is completed I bounce back and forth between the four projects.  Each project has it’s own learning curve and it’s own pipeline of applications.  Each one is very different from the other.   To start I have The Grossters (a monster family which I will discuss in a future blog), The Monsterlings (I discussed in a past Blog), Outside Earth (a Sci-Fi Animation about space traveling robots I am creating solely in After Effects with no human component in the story and no scripts, or storyboards, just off the cuff fun).  Then there is just my random artwork projects which I try and complete, usually one poster size personal piece of work every 2 weeks for my portfolio, usually using whatever software apps happen to fit the bill of at the time.   I don’t really plan ahead on my own art, I just let it flow naturally as to wherever my creativity wants to go at the time.  No restrictions, no boxes, no set rules of creativity, (I’m very much a big creative child on the floor using my crayons with no intentions but fun).   I do however choose the genre and then steer toward an idea, or two.   That’s when my “OUTER EYE” closes and I awake many hours later with whatever art I have in front of me after having channeled whatever creative spirit my INNER EYE happens to follow, or cling to.   I don’t know how else to explain it, Officer…   “I’m there one minute and the next I am back with some kind of artwork in front of me feeling an extreme loss of time, one hell of appetite and a bit of dehydration.   That’s usually how it goes… call an Exorcist, ahhh, never mind… don’t bother I’m enjoying myself too much.”
  Anyway, I’m always looking forward to new ways to express myself and I see a lot coming down the pathway of the future that I can’t wait to get my grubby little creative hands on!   My new toy is the iSkn Slate 2, I just got it and haven’t had a chance to play with it yet.  I think I will have to get into it tonight and see what I can do with it.   It will allow me to use paper, pens and pencils and still draw digitally at the same time in real time.   This combination will be a winner for me, obviously!
Something Picasso said rings true with me…
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
   My philosophy to that thought is to stay child-like in your perception of the world around you and don’t get caught up in the “Adult-life” mindset, or attitudes, this will surely clip your creative wings.
JW

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