Monday, 23 December 2013
Sunday, 8 December 2013
So far the pages are coming out better than expected and I've been able to draw them up and colour them within a couple of days, and seeing as there are 50 more pages to go this is definitely a good thing! Will still be an absolute rush to get them in before the January deadline line but things are looking encouraging as it stands.
For those of you who have missed some of my earlier posts regarding the story, here's a quick synopses:
"Emperor follows the story of a colony of penguins and the mysterious arrival of a new penguin into their group. While he appears friendly and offers them the benefits of technology and scientific progress, one child suspects that a more sinister ploy is at stake.
Dealing with themes of the environment, technology and voice, 'Emperor' is my exploration of the dangers of revolution"
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Yet in all this hectic schedule there have been some fantastic developments. Namely, I have been offered a job as an official concept artist for Forsaken Studios. FS are currently working on a project called 'Embers of Caerus', a new MMORPG which is shaping up to be one of a kind. An entirely self sufficient world which players can construct and shape as they see fit. For more information head over to their website at http://www.embersofcaerus.com/ for more details on the game.
Fantastic as this is, it has had the rather adverse affect of taking my crammed schedule and super sizing it - no rest for the wicked, not that I'd have it any other way!
The new year though is looking to be even more productive however, with not one, not two, but three books written, designed and printed within the first six months. Information on these books will follow soon, but I can tell you that my penguin story is looking to be completed by the end of January, with the first chapter viewable online. Once the limited print has been made, I will be selling the book at conventions and exhibitions around the UK so keep an eye out for upcoming events if you want the chance to get your hands on the rest of the book!
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Thursday, 24 October 2013
The International Illustrated Silent Book Contest - really excited to be working on this. I have a huge interest in silent picture books (obvious example being Shaun Tan's 'The Arrival') and have always wanted to dabble my feet in the field. Quite a short deadline for this...full book, completed and sent off by January so will be spending most of my time on this one really.
London will be providing the majority of my primary research and will be chiefly responsible for depleting my bank balance after I visit Forbidden Planet
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
www.threadless.com ran a little competition based on Sesame Street. The task? Create a t-shirt design featuring either Elmo, Grouch or Cookie Monster. Merchandising and t-shirt have never really been of great appeal for me, but, I fancied something different for a change, and a chance to try out a new style. The results were extremely pleasing!
I've had some great feedback from this already, and I'll be advertising my entry like crazy, so, you never know...finger crossed and all that. This could actually be my unknown calling in life!
Sunday, 6 October 2013
We were told to expect little to no response (they are after all professional working illustrators with little to no time to respond to lowly students) but, I'm pleased to report that I have been getting some feedback. I won't name anyone specifically but its surprising how receptive and supportive people are being, no matter how rich and famous they are. One in particular had these words of advice to me:
"Don't look for the experiences of others to compare with your own. There is no master, no method to follow, the way is unique and the responsibility too."
Very poignant words that struck home with me. I've always measured my life against others whether it be comparing my successes to that of my brothers or my colleagues. But in the end, the way we live should not be judged against others. We are individuals and we each should live life by our own rules and standards. I may have to put that quote up on my desk and look at it whenever I need encouragement or solace.
So right now, and feeling good about myself and my work. Which reminds me, I've got some tshirt designs in the works for www.threadless.com as part of their 'next big tee' and 'sesame street' competitions so expect to see my entries up here soon!
Monday, 30 September 2013
Our first studio module is to be based on Plymouth Museum, so had a walk around there on wednesday for inspiration. We can use it in any way we wish, so I've already got ideas for exhibits snatching people away for their own devilish deeds. I'm planning on creating my first ever children's book which will hopefully be wonderfully scary and dark.
What has been the main source of frustration this week however has been website building. I thought I'd safely put that to bed with my tumblr portfolio account, but unfortunately for me, we have to build a professional site. Its in an early stage yet but I've already got a working template (www.andystuartmills.co.uk) which I plan to work on over the course of the year. I need to design some form of logo or header, not something i've been good at in the past but it will have to be a case of trial and error.
In all this paper work and timetabling I have still managed to find time to explore some artwork, most notably this week discovering Yoann Lossel. Absolutely stunning artwork which caused me to buy some gold leaf for experimentation of my own. Haven't got round to using it yet but its number one on my list.
Anyway, one week down of 3rd year and I am thankfully still feeling excited and motivated. It probably helps that its my birthday this week so I'm looking forward to fresh art supplies!
Monday, 23 September 2013
Sunday, 22 September 2013
Just squeezed this picture into my timetable before starting university (for the final year!) tomorrow. One picture finished, one new term about to begin...
This image just came to me one night, and I've had it stuck in my head for a while. Really used this as a chance to go back to my beloved fine detail that I like to obsess over.
Japanese Brush Pen, Indian Ink, Charcoal, Gouache and Photoshop
Tuesday, 3 September 2013
In terms of projects for the forthcoming year I am actually quite excited. I've already got several ideas that are in the pipeline (as long as they are OK'd by tutors) and have also commenced writing two stories that I wish to illustrate and produce into full novels. Exciting times indeed.
That hasn't stopped me drawing in my own time though, which leads to my sneak peak of September's illustration. Don't know where this drawing came from, other than I had a strong desire to draw some fish. That quickly turned into a full forest environment that really tested my abilities. As it stands I am very pleased with how its shaping up, and its has been a nice return to do some full black and white art.
Saturday, 17 August 2013
So here's August's illustration. This was a private commission for a wedding gift, to be used as a cover for the newly weds photo album. This is definitely the most colourful piece of work i've done in a long time and another step down the road to learning photoshop. I think my favourite part is the branch detailing, even if drawing it took forever!
Indian Ink, Brush Pen, Fine Liner and Charcoal
Andy Stuart Mills 2013
Friday, 16 August 2013
Competition Entry for short story "The Stranger from America". It's a lovely little tale of two people meeting in a train station and, after mistakenly stepping on his hat, they wind up hopelessly in love. If successful this will go on to be published in a short story anthology as the cover title so fingers crossed!
Indian Ink, Brush Pen, Charcoal, Fine Liner and Photoshop
As a result of that being updated now, it now comes to me that I need to update the design of this blog too. Simple things really like a logo, banner etc, as right now it's all a bit of a mish mash of different imagery and fonts. I blame this on my at times terrible sense of colour co-ordination. Luckily, with the developments of photoshop etc, if that colour horror show does translate to my artwork its an easy fix!
Speaking of which, I have just completed my latest piece of work, which is actually the most colourful piece of work i've done in a long time, so once I've cleared it with the customer, I'll be putting the results up on here
Wednesday, 7 August 2013
Quick look at my current work in progress. This one is actually being done as part of a commission for a wedding gift. I've also got a competition that I'm entering which is in the process of being inked up but once that's done I'll give you all a peep at how that one's coming along too!
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Sunday, 21 July 2013
Then I did this illustration. My first thought was to paint it with gouache, but, I told myself to scan it in before I did any work on it just for a fail safe. And there it was, lying on my computer desktop staring at me every time I logged in. So, for a quick experiment, I thought I'd load it into photoshop and just have a play with it.
10mins I had started colouring the face, so far so good.
30mins I had started trying out different colours for the jacket.
2 days later I had bloody rendered the whole thing!
Having such an overt fear of computers, I must say I have been thoroughly pleased with myself! And just goes to show that having a fear of something shouldn't resist at least trying it. I think I may do a series of digital paintings based on this one so watch this space. Next job is to attempt a background....
Friday, 19 July 2013
Thursday, 18 July 2013
Despite all the upheaval I have somehow managed to get some art work under way, all of which are as varied from one another as can be. So far I've got one detailed pencil study, a charcoal diorama and an ink portrait all in various stages of completion. Having suffered from a serious creative block for the last couple of weeks, it has been very refreshing to actually get some images down on paper. I have tried to dispense with putting too much thought into their purpose, merely doing some artwork to try and encourage me into getting back into a creative routine. Expect some photos on here this weekend.
In my personal life, I have started some new medication to combat some of the sleeping problems I've been suffering with lately and so far (fingers crossed) I have noticed a considerable improvement, which may be causing my new found motivation with my artwork. Obviously only time will tell, but it is a welcome change which I certainly mean to capitalise on.
I also have a new commission in the pipeline which I'm keen to start on, but when more details arise I'll post them up on here. It seems July is turning out to be a very busy month indeed...
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Just want to say thank you again to John Connolly for his permission and encouragement. You can really see the difference between the copy of the book I was using to this new first edition copy. If I could, I'd frame it and hang it on my wall. Or freeze it in Carbonite.
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
There is a mixture of sadness and joy in there. Obvious sadness for having to leave behind a beautiful country. I'm in Southampton at the moment so won't be able to upload my pictures and photo's til I'm back in Plymouth this Monday, but there are plenty of great shots of the country. Rhodes is a unique location to visit, steeped in history, yet barren and daunting. It makes for some gorgeous sun sets! I didn't quite manage to do as much drawing as I'd hoped, but given the amount of reference photo's I took, it won't take long for me to do some work inspired by it. The only drawings I did manage were at the airport just using a biro. (Note: 'Chesky' may in fact be the most irritating, soul destroying nickname ever created, especially when uttered every minute by the shrill squawking mother of the girl in the row behind us on the plane)
Of Rhodes itself, my lasting memories will be of Antones the barman and his, let's say, generous spirit servings. A knew catchphrase to enter into everyday vocabulary: "The blood of my enemy, is jelly!", and the food.
Oh, the food. People who know me generally say that I am some what reserved when it comes to trying new food. While I would counter this with saying that they are old favourites, it's true that I sometimes pass up more experimental options for safer choices. But, as money is so tight for me at the moment, I figure that I wouldn't want to fork out money for something that I would'nt like. Well, for this holiday I trashed such thoughts and went head first into the menu's. And it was so worth my while.
Fried Calimari, Lobster, Squid, Prawn, Shrimp, Grilled Cheeses, raspberry sorbet coated starters, Souvlaki, I could go on and on. I have never been so consumed by new flavours and dishes. From now on I will never limit myself again, for fear that I may be missing out, (though Baklava will be something I will politely decline in future.) This holiday really has opened my eyes to fine dining. Maybe there's a drawing in there somewhere?
Thursday, 6 June 2013
In the mean time, everyone have a fantastic summer and I'll speak to you all again soon. Adios!
Friday, 31 May 2013
As the title may suggest, now that term has finished im left with the unusual situation where i have so much time i don't know what to do with myself. I can never win.
First thing to do is get my photos up from my end of year show (they will be up tonight, promise!)
My goal for the summer though will be portfolio building. Its rather worrying that after two years of university i still don't feel that i have my 'style' locked down yet. It's all well and good being diverse but it would be nice to have a signature look. So, that my goal. I'm just going to enjoy illustrating the beautiful and the grotesque in equal measure and not have to explain myself. Illusuration should be enjoyable after all and that wiy im doing this in the first place!
Thursday, 23 May 2013
Thursday, 16 May 2013
On a more productive side of things, I have now assembled a rough and ready portfolio. It's a peculiar feeling seeing all your work condensed into twenty pages and knowing that this will be how prospective clients judge you.
For the more perceptive of you out there, I have rejigged my blog design. Hopefully it reflects me and my work a little more accurately than that rather garish purple stain that inhabited my page for the last year.
On to new projects in the pipeline, now that university has finished for the summer, I plan to do some homage images for some of my favourite films and games etc. It dawned on me while making my portfolio that I didn't really have any artwork that was done for pleasure, or reflected me as a character. So, first on the list is an interpretation of the game 'Shadow of the Colossus', one of my all time favourite games. Stayed tuned, and look out for giants...
Monday, 13 May 2013
Sunday, 12 May 2013
The Inkpot Monkey' is inspired by the short story of the same name by John Connelly, found in the book of short stories 'Nocturnes'. To be viewed as a companion piece to 'the Furnace Room'.
Taken from the book of short stories 'Nocturnes', this is my first dabbling in digital colouring. Was rather proud of this effort, but damn, that's the second time this term I've drawn spiral staircases. One day I may allow myself to do simple compositions, but as Aragorn would say 'it is not this day!'
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
"Ooooh, what is this?!" I hear you all saying? Well, now that I'm fast approaching the end of my second year of university, I've been trying to steer my work towards the kind of jobs I hope to be doing as a professional. Namely book illustration, which I hope will see illustrations appearing in both adult and children's novels. These are title pages for the book of short stories 'Nocturnes' by John Connelly, an excellent read which I thoroughly recommend. As for the final products, you'll just have to wait and see. If you can't wait that long then I suggest reading the short stories 'the Inkpot Monkey' and 'the Furnace Room' for clues as to what these pictures allude to...
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
In other news, I recently attended the London Book Fair which was great. Met tons of people (and one exceptionally eager American women) and hopefully should have some links to persue, so all in all a worth while trip!
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Well, what can I say, there's finally an end to this term and I'm officially exhausted. Looking forward to a much needed break. But before I rest up for at least a month, let me share what I've been up to!
Here are my final's for the short story 'Love of Seven Dolls' by Paul Gallico. All images completed using charcoal. I am extremely happy with how these images have turned out, and will be proud to have them in my portfolio. I learnt one of the most important lessons in life with this module: always, ALWAYS, save your progress when using Photoshop. I cannot express how much agony was felt when Photoshop crashed on three hours worth of digital work. (And why the hell does Photoshop NOT have any autosave?!?!)
I have also finished the group comic book project so will get the digital copy on here ASAP.
Saturday, 2 February 2013
It is only after watching the film that I can truly acknowledge my girlfriends insight before going to the film as someone who had read the book. 'It's not what it looks like'....indeed it is not.
Let's get the technical aspects out of the way - this is the first film I believe where the 3D translation has been entirely justified. I have never been an advocate of 3D film, and avoid it where ever possible. The times where I have seen a 3D film, they have been poorly translated and I have always found that 3D blurs the action, or is so garish that it makes me feel nauseous rather than impressed. Life of Pi is a breath of fresh air in that regard. To be embarrassingly honest, I forgot I was watching it in 3D, such was the immersion. I would wholeheartedly review my opinion of 3D if this continued to be the standard that 3D films are presented in. This makes Life of Pi even more special, as it is the first film that felt like the 3D belonged here, and served to carry the story forward.
The most lasting spectacle in my mind when leaving the cinema was that of Pi silhouetted against a sinking ship. A shot which I knew was pure CGI, but felt nothing less than a work of art. Indeed, you could pluck a handful of images from this film and each would be worthy of a place in a gallery. If this sentiment goes against my pre-conceived doubts about the film being nothing but spectacle, I would again argue the flaws of the trailer. All of these beautifully crafted set peices are entirely relevant, and serve to carry the plot forward. This speaks great volumes of the intelligent direction that Ang Lee chooses to drive the plot forward in a film that could have very easily delved into boredom. I have never been so captivated by one man in a boat.
This leads to the outstanding performance of the cast. Suraj Sharma in unbelievably his first acting role is nothing less than breathtaking. Having such great source material has resulted in one of the most moving, thoughtful and inspiring characters portrayed on film. This is mirrored perfectly by the adult incarnation of Pi, played by Irrfan Khan, and these two really do carry the film. Another noteworthy mention goes to Richard Parker, our leading Tiger. That I can describe the Tiger has a character as opposed to a CGI presence really sums up the mesmerising performance that has been rendered on screen. Perhaps Richard Parker and Gollum will have to duke it out over that Best Supporting Actor for a CGI character award.
Obviously this film does have its flaws. While I considered the story to be perfectly told, the beginning does take its time to get going. Characters that are introduced (namely, Pi's love interest Anandi) seem largely pointless in the greater scheme of the story, especially given how much she featured in the trailer imagery, but these are small quibbles in what is bound to be an award show stealer.
Much to my surprise though, there seems to be some controversy regarding the ending. Without going too much into spoilers, I found these concerns to be, frankly, ridiculous. Very early in the film, Pi establishes that this is a story that will 'make you believe in God'. Moreover, the first half an hour of the film, quite brilliantly, dissects science and religion with the relationship between Pi and his father, and creates a unique approach to how you will watch the rest of the film. The ending is a logical conclusion to the themes presented to us, and, depending on how you responded to these early examinations of the subject of faith, will decide how you will feel about the end resolution. This is not a 'preachy' film, and no way decides for you how you should feel.
There have been a lot of films that ask big questions but don't necessarily answer them for you, but the mark of true greatness (compared to say the absolutely, horrific disappointment that was Prometheous) is that these questions are raised outside the context of the film, and does not mar the story telling. It is truely remarkable that an ending such as this is brave enough to ask questions about the nature of faith, as much as it can simply be a great film with a thought provoking ending.
It's a rare day indeed for me to say this, but, in my humble opinion, as long as you disregard everything you've seen in the trailer, this is an excellent film that will not disappoint. 5/5
Saturday, 12 January 2013
But hopefully you will continue to check up on here. I've still got plenty to rant about :p