Monday, 22 November 2010

Kiss of Death

Here's a design I made a while back for a slightly hefty revolver I wanted one of the characters to have, it never really looked as 'different' as I wanted it to, but I was really happy with the texture work I did for it. It's supposed to be a re-engineered relic.

public planetary travel

This is supposed to be just a simple leaflet advertising travel throughout the solar system for regular members of the public. A piece collected by one of the characters met along the way.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Racing Series Speeder Concept

Here's a first basic idea for the speeders used in the Regulus solar system grand prix.
Not too much detail, but it's a start on the rough shapes I want to incorporate.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Regulus Book Cover Version 2.0

Version 2.0 - Added publisher details and a new planet for the cover.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Regulus Book Cover Version 1.0

A simple cover design idea for Regulus. I went for a fairly simplistic cover, hoping to achieve some sort of mystery. The synopsis on the back may alter slightly, I just wanted to fill some space with information from the story without giving too much away at this point.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Art Debate

This was a mock-up of a 4 page magazine article I wrote to accompany my dissertation at University, where I studied Computer Games Design.
Please have a read and see what your thoughts on the topic are. Let me know if what you think.

-I've had to upload them as two separate images, click to view their higher resolution versions in order to read.

pages 1 & 2

pages 3 & 4

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Sci-Fi through new eyes

As my project gains momentum, I'm beginning to look at all my inspirations in completely new ways. I'm breaking everything down and analysing it all from new perspectives. For instance, what character aspects make for interesting reading, and allow for plenty of development throughout a story; their flaws, fears, anxieties and strengths. No one likes a perfect character. I'm considering events in stories which are irrelevant to the main themes, but help bridge together key plot lines with interesting and exciting content without just feeling like 'filler' material. For example, the Quidditch chapters in the Harry Potter novels, they give the whole story added dimension. It gives the main character something to do other than just 'saving the world'.

I'm also looking through comics and graphic novels at major action sequences, trying to imagine how I'd describe them without the aid of visual panels, and simultaneously not boring the readers with an excess of details. I need to find a balance between clarity and chaos, I want the reader to feel they don't know exactly everything that's happening.

The only problem I'm having is that I can't absorb enough of what I love at once. Especially with books, which obviously take a lot longer to absorb than a comic, or films, or games.

The one thing I can always rely on is my trusty lightsaber..... collection. I believe anyone designing, writing, drawing, painting science fiction based work should have at least one lightsaber knocking about. One of the coolest things is (or some may say geeky) I recently found out Iain M. Banks has the same Force FX lightsaber as I do on his wall in his office, Darth Vader's. (not the one on my desk, that's Obi Wan's)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Reading lists and Research

A list I posted on tumblr a while back, and it's still the same. Im terrible at reading, I seem to be reading at least 5 books at a time which means finishing a book will take me months but it's just how I am.

A Fall of Moondust: by Arthur C. Clarke (1961)

The Songs of Distant Earth: by Arthur C. Clarke (1986)

The City and the Stars: by Arthur C. Clarke (1956)

Childhood’s End: by Arthur C. Clarke (1953)

Tau Zero: by Poul Anderson (1970)

Dune: by Frank Herbert (1965)

Inverted World: by Christopher Priest (1974)

Nineteen Eighty-Four: by George Orwell (1949)

The Space Merchants: by Frederik Pohl (1953)

Starship Troopers: by Robert A. Heinlein (1959)

The Ringworld Engineers: by Larry Niven (1980)

The Road: by Cormac McCarthy (2006)

The Culture Series: by Iain M. Banks (already begun 1. Consider Phlebas (1987))

  • Player of Games (1988)
  • The Use of Weapons (1990)
  • The State of the Art (1991)
  • Exsession (1996)
  • Inversions (1998)
  • Look to Windward (2000)
  • Matter (2008)

The Fate of the Jedi series (begun 1. Outcast: by Aaron Allston (2009) - awaiting the next 4 in paperback publishings, and then 4 more in the development)

  • Omen: by Christie Golden (2009)
  • Abyss: by Troy Denning (2009)
  • Backlash: by Aaron Allston (2010)
  • Allies: by Christie Golden (2010)

I'm also looking into Philip K. Dick novels, not necessarily for inspiration, simply because I've been seeing lots of his books at work (Waterstone's) and he seems to have quite a collection.

If anyone reading has any suggestions of books they think would be suitable for my project(s), or books you think I'd just enjoy, them please let me know :)

Learning Curves

So it turns out trying to even come up with a plot line for a book is hard, never mind actually writing it.

Today I've had ups and downs for hours trying to work out just where I want my story to go. I began with plenty of ideas, many of which I already knew couldn't be used in the same story so some had to go and the rest had to be adapted. I must have had 6 completely different story lines in my head today and it's wearing me out. But I love it. It's something I've never tried before and never imagined I would, I've no idea where it all came from but now it's something I feel I need to take more seriously than my artwork.

Hopefully my artwork will continue alongside it however, and I can illustrate my story as I write it.

I've been trying to find some sort of common tips for writing but it seems most of my favourite authors just had the natural gift for writing prolifically, which basically means I'll just have to crack on and deal with any problems in anyway I can. It's nice to have something to think about constantly, but seems to get overwhelming at times, especially when you come to the conclusion that the whole idea is terrible and needs a rethink.

The hardest element so far has been deciding character names, I can imagine most of my characters in an instant, what they look like, their behaviour, what job they could have. But coming up with names just feels... awkward. It feels like naming someone else's children. Either that or I'm just stealing characters from elsewhere; names seem to be something we take entirely for granted.

Not only that but I'm obviously inspired by all things Sci-Fi, of which there is a lot out there in the 'verse. So it's difficult to imagine stories which haven't already been told in some form or another. Even when I genuinely believe I've come up with my own idea from scratch, I get that annoying feeling of familiarity of something I completely forgot I had even read, watched, played.

For now I'm incredibly happy with the major theme of my story, I know I have an interesting twist for the end of my story, which could either be the end of a single book, or if I become prolific enough, the end of a saga. I'm entirely convinced it's an idea which has never been published, chances are it already has and I simply haven't read it yet, but we'll see.

These are all thoughts I've had after about 2 days of really sitting down and thinking about my project, so I dread to think where my mind will be in a few months when I will most likely start writing bits and pieces.

I can safely say however that if the writing project comes to a disastrous end, either because my mind has melted or a book on my vast reading list turns out the story I thought was my own, then at least I can continue with my accompanying artwork, which is where this whole future mythology idea evolved from.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The genesis of Regulus

I began thinking of a project a few months ago, one which is practically limitless, one which could last me the rest of my life in varying forms. I decided I want to create my own future mythology, hence the reason it's potentially limitless. I understand it's a near impossible task however that's sort of the reason I want to take on such a project, it's something I will most likely never finish, but I can work on portions of it for now and see where it leads me.

It's a project which I hope will push me into new directions of creativity, such as writing and design, along with my art. So far I have plenty of narratives I want to cover, possibly stories which could be set in the same mythology but centuries or millennia apart. I want to include religion in the story somewhere, it's a 'topic' I'm heavily passionate about as in some form or another it's connected to everything. I won't be showing religion in a particularly positive light, nor will I be attacking it in any way. I want to use it as a plot device to illustrate where cultures, beliefs and philosophies may develop and evolve from, and how the passage of time can completely change our points of view. Without getting too deep into it of course.

It's going to be a science fiction mythology inspired by absolutely everything I have ever read, watched, played, absorbed. Having just watched a Stephen Hawking programme on television I can already say a lot of what he imagines for the future will be touched upon.

It's going to start as a story, this I may attempt to write into a novel (or series) one day. For now, whilst I develop the ideas behind it I'll be working on art and designs for it, potential book covers, movie-esque posters, props and diaries from characters, the characters themselves, spacecraft, planets etcetera. I hope having this frame of mind will help me develop a range of skills worthy of a design job one day, with a nice organised portfolio showing development, passion, devotion to a project and hopefully some talent.

These were some of the very first images I worked on, the first being just a promotional poster for my idea, the second being just a few variants of the title. I can't decide on my favourite just yet, let me know if you have a preference. I'd love to work with people who are interested in the project to bounce ideas off whoever may be reading this, so anyone, be as involved as you'd like (at least in terms of my designs, the story is top secret for now)

I hope whoever may be reading this enjoys following my progress, I intend to update it as regularly as possible, mostly with bits and pieces of design and potentially early chunks of writing if I can get my head around it all.

♌ ‘In Spring look to the East, the lion will show you the way’