After the run of this year’s Tennessee Renaissance Festival, I was approached by the leader of the quite-hilarious improv act, Infinite Jest, about designing a logo for them. Paycheck issue aside, it presented an opportunity to work with local friendly folk while being a small job with no serious stress or deadline pressure. I quickly agreed and went into my little hobbit-hole-of-a-studio (alright alright, so it’s just run-of-the-mill, but I like to pretend it’s some room off the back-end of Bag End where Bilbo’s shoved this poor elf to doodle for him. Such a taskmaster). I sketched out a few ideas for the Shakespearean logo as the name of the troupe came from Hamlet; “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…“
Then I met with the leader of the troupe (over a very scrumptious lunch at Fido’s in Nashville). After debating back and forth over the various designs and ideas, he settled on the sketch from the left middle side of the page.
Over the next day or so I tried a couple rounds of Photoshop (which I am still trying to get the hang of. I feel like such an old timer for not readily wanting to go digital). After trying different fonts and borders, the final logo was decided upon. Here it is!
Now go check out Infinite Jest and their larger troupe – the Nashville Comedy Theatre. They’re extremely funny and with good, clean fun to boot! No sexual, blasphemous, or controversial content here. Just side-splitting hilarity!
I decided it was about time for a new self portrait. I’ve been very enamoured with Adam Hughes’ art lately (http://adamhughes.deviantart.com/) and decided to try my hand at his sketch style. Although I’m nowhere his level of mastery, I did discover Strathmore drawing paper holds marker WAY better than my sketchbook paper does. Oh boy!
Being the comical soul that I am (both comic-nerdy and comedically-goofy (yes, I did just make that word up. I like pretending that I’m William Shakespeare)), I pulled out one of my more humorous modeling photos to use for reference.
I tamed down the hair as my normal hair looks more akin to sticks than that fauxhawk above (it took me 3 days to comb that bugger out!). So I used this photo for the hair reference (in which you get to see what I look like in real life *gasp!*).
Add a little pen & marker magic and voila! Thou hast a portrait!
In the end, I decided that my eyebrow wasn’t nearly high enough as I tend to like to give the “What The Rock’s cooking” look to people. So I tweaked that in Photoshop and cropped the picture to more of a detail piece as I’m not happy with how the shorts turned out. So here is the final piece.
The past couple of months have been quite the whirlwind of activity. I quit my job at Starbucks (yes, again) to try to pursue a career in art. I’m trying a few different approaches this time that hopefully will make all the difference over the lack of procuring any jobs last time. First, I’m overhauling my website. While I love the design, Dreamweaver is a pain to deal with, especially in terms of updates. It’s not like a blog where one can simply paste in new work. I also wanted to have complete control over my own website as right now my dad is the only one who manipulate my site in Dreamweaver. That coupled with the fact that the viewing sections on my current website are quite small, have driven me to completely scrapping the page and start over.
After shopping through a few different template based web programmes (designed like blogger with templates that you can simply plug your media into), I’ve decided to go with Wix. As of today I’m putting the final touches on my new website. If all goes according to plan it should be up and running by this weekend.
As for the rest of my job hunting schemes, I’m playing it a bit by ear. My seemingly detailed tactics produced no results last time, so I’m having to think a little more outside the box. Although I feel a bit far behind those already working in the concept art and storyboarding world, I’ve got to start somewhere. And goodness knows, I don’t want to go back to making scalding coffee and scrubbing chemical-laden floors! I decided to start off my art career escapades on the right foot, so I got loaded with some inspiration in the form of one amazing summer film – Thor. I’ll save movie reviewing for the critics, but I dearly loved the film. I’ve seen it twice already and would see it a third if I wasn’t being frugal with what money I have. So I decided to have the god of Thunder grace the first page in my new sketchbook.
As many artist do, I have my various outlets of creativity (because let’s face it, despite the fact that I get to do something I love, production art is still work!). Costuming and modeling are my primary avenues, with the Tennessee Renaissance Festival being the greatest release of all. Every year, Tennessee holds its own Elizabethan faire full of stage acts, jousting tournaments, live music, human chess, and character performers. Every year I can, I audition for cast. I did it once before in 2007 and landed the role of a peasant pickpocket. This year I moved up the chain a wee bit to a french countess, sister to the Prince of France.
One of the great things about our faire is the immense creativity that goes on behind the scenes; from character development to costume building. All of our costumes are hand-built and custom designed. This is undoubtedly my favourite part of the year. It gets all my creative juices going (though I have to be careful not to let it spill over other work)! I get to spend months planning, preparing, and designing. It’s heaven for a preproduction gal like me. This year I had originally intended to be a low-ranking noble/merchant, playing my character as a Renaissance Belle. Here’s my original concept sketch…
I then drew up multiple designs based on Belle’s green library dress from Beauty and the Beast. (I am never satisfied with simply working on one design when it comes to our festival. The directors try to stick as close as possible to proper period attire, so I draw up as multiple designs knowing that only parts of any one design will get approved.)
Alas, my design did not get approved as another lady in cast had a similar colour scheme (and whose garments were already made). So I yielded to the costume director whose daughter, in turn, let me rent her costume (it helps having a body twin around!). At first I wasn’t sure about the gown I was given as the colours of baby blue and light gold were certainly not colours I would’ve chosen for myself. But after seeing the final result I realised I have a thing or two to learn about colour…
So although I did not design this costume, I did design/pick out the accessories, hair, and makeup. Here is the final result of me as Countess Elaine de Francias, half-sister to the Duke of Anjou (one of Queen Elizabeth I’s favoured suitors):
(© Derek Deweese)
(© Chris Jarvis)