All things considered, today has been unusually productive. Not only did I manage to renovate the website (although admittedly it was an accident at first… but I still had to spend time cleaning it up afterward). Then I began work on updating my old DeviantArt gallery which included finally coloring an image that I had sketched in pencil about three years ago. After that, I completed an updated concept image for a character in the project I am currently working on and continued with the process of reworking the plot line for the story behind the project. And to what do I owe this unbridled bit of productivity? As you can tell from the title of this post: Boredom. I’ve had no one to talk to most of the day and haven’t been in the mood to play any of the video games I’m currently engaged in, and I don’t plan on seeing Captain America: Civil War until Monday when I have the day off work. It used to be that when I got bored, I’d cut my hair. Having considerably less hair than I used to, I guess I have to channel it into other tasks these days. 🙂
Mind you, when I speak of Divinities, I’m speaking of a pantheon of fictional gods that I created to be the cosmological backdrop to several of my game and story worlds… a group known as the Al Khaem. I have had some incarnation of these characters in my head since I was 13 — so if these were my children, they’d be over 30 years old by now. And over the years, they’ve gone through a multitude of incarnations, but none, I think, more expansive than their current design.
I’ve been struggling with imagery for the gods to properly capture their current state of being and, after mucking around with some photo manipulation, I’ve managed to produce images befitting the first — and eldest — of the Al Khaem.
The first is Branan, formerly the Overlord of the Elements and Ruler of the Al Khaem, but now and forever known as the Bound Lord, forbidden to ever take direct action against the world as we know it — a past time he was quite adept at in his prior existence — as a result of losing a bet against Enkarri, the Trickster Goddess, formerly the Goddess of Light. Now, no longer under Branan’s imperious rule , unwilling to pick up the mantle in his stead, and tired of the burdens of her immortal existence and the sacrifices she has been forced to make, Enkarri has become a rogue element among the gods with an agenda wholly her own.
Truth be told, while I’d had Branan’s developments laid out for quite some time, a lot of Enkarri’s story developed as I worked on these images and this has, in turn, lead to unforeseen consequences for the rest of the Al Khaem that I will need to explore.
It’s seldom that I can go a month without one of my friends urging me to return to drawing webcomics — which is ironic considering my four previous forays have seldom lasted particularly long. In truth, the longest was the original incarnation of Jaitera which ran for roughly 70+ pages. Part of my retiscence in returning to webcomics is that I consider myself perhaps the most criminally inefficient artist of all time. Cleaning up my sketchwork and digitally inking and coloring the comics takes an impractical amount of time and, given my current foray into streaming and other video entertainment, I have even less free time than I did when I first started drawing comics.
However, that said, I have recently been guilted into digging out and hooking up my Wacom Cintiq tablet so that I can practice drawing directly electronically. Below is my (second) attempt at drawing with the tablet…
After some initial success, I’ve decided to consider the possibility of maybe potentially resuming my work on one of my webcomics — Hero fur Hire (which is still available for review online here) and, in the fine tradition of the various “reboot events” done by major comic book companies and reliving the event that actually started HfH itself, I decided to determine the course of the new storyline by having my characters “fight” one another in a battle royale type tournament.
After two rounds of “battle”, the team has materialized in such a way that the universe doesn’t even require a formal reboot but can actually proceed with little more than a time lapse. I’ve even gone so far as to begin work on the updated characters, beginning with the one that I had previously determined would never actually return to the comic world…
Djet Munroe was originally a cocky, girl-crazy high school student and cousin to the other series lead, TJ. In the five year timelapse that will have occurred, Djet, following his cousin’s departure into the cosmos with the goddess, Shara Elix, was left to fend for himself. Unfortunately, while engaging in his Hero Licensure Trial, the mission escalated dangerously, causing Djet to become trapped in a mystical world in the midst of an ice age for several years. By the time he returned to his homeworld with the help of the witch, Morrigan, he had missed his chance to graduate high school, failed his Hero Licensure Trial and had his family assets seized, leaving him destitute and desperate. Since then, he has found new employment with an investor looking to capitalize on the heroic legacy of Djet’s family name by establishing a new team with Djet and Morrigan at the head.
Let me know what you think and if I should proceed with the comic or not…
After finally resolving the ever changing ambiguity of one character in the latest of the never ending series of projects that strike my fancy, I decided to turn my attention to his potential travel companion. As before, I struggled to find a satisfying background for her as I worried that she may have too much in common, at first glance, with my currently planned antagonist as well as the heroine of another novel project that I currently have on the back burner.
Fortunately, her character design resolved far more easily than her predecessor. Now, my struggle lies with getting my rendering program to come up with a suitable design for her initial clothing… well, that and trying to come up with a decent name that appropriately embodies her strength. I had considered the first name of Eislyn or Aislyn (pronounced AI-lihn) but I worry that, given the male lead’s name is Bowen, there would be too much of a phonetic similarity, in addition to the potential contiguity between their first initials.
What I have decided is that she is a sister of the faith, seeking some peace after years of violence as a guard. She ends up being forced to come out of her self-imposed retirement in order to serve as a Charger — someone the faith assigns to oversee criminals who, rather than face incarceration, are sent into the field and abroad in order to fulfill obligations and redeem themselves in the eyes of the priesthood.
Below, I’ve included the updated character bio for Bowen as well as the current design for his companion in her adventuring attire.
One of the oddest things I enjoy is coming across new, somewhat obscure words, especially when they help me fill out a set of knowledge that I didn’t realize was incomplete. This happened yesterday when I was toying around with title ideas and playing with the words vernal and autumnal and wondered if there were similar words for summer and winter. Sure enough, I came across a list breaking the annual seasons into six segments known as Prevernal, Vernal, Estival, Seritonal, Autumnal and Hibernal.
Fascinated by this revelation, I decided to carry that investigation over to daily cycles using diurnal and nocturnal as my start. From there, I learned Crepuscular, Marutinal, Vespertine and Cathemeral. Since this isn’t exactly a dictionary blog, I’ll let those of you who care investigate those terms for yourselves, but I wanted to ensure that I’d documented my new found perspicacity.
On another note, I’ve been playing around with the 3d model I showed off earlier. I decided to shy away from the more toon-like textures this time around and aim for a more realistic touch — and yes, I made him shirtless because it’s easier to see the flesh textures that way. I’m thinking to name the character Bowen. Unfortunately, aside from that, every time I come up with a solid explanation for this character, two seconds later I change my mind and attempt to come up with another. Given I already have a basic story in mind, having a primary character who doesn’t wish to cooperate is proving quite the irritant.
After getting some crazy ideas in my head while at work, I decided to do some experimenting when I got home and ended up producing a slightly improved, toon-shaded model of a character that I might end up using for an upcoming project. Admittedly, not the most prolific update, but productivity is productivity.
I’ve been struggling for several months over what exactly to say here. Truth be told, when I was actively streaming, I ended up saying more than I cared to and previous little I felt of substance. Regardless, opening my mouth there kept me from opening my proverbial mouth here as I found myself out of topics that I cared to discuss.
That’s changed of late. Realizing that perhaps active streaming is not my calling and, further, that it impeded me having the daily time necessary to tend after my own health needs and interests, I’ve decided to refocus my attention on Youtube and my older, original projects (that is to say, my art, novels and game design ambitions). That isn’t to say I won’t stream at all — far from it. I still rather enjoy my biweekly live role plays and I will still get the occasional urge to play some video game or other before a live digital audience.
Aside from that, I’ve recently learned that a site I use as a gallery has been acquired by another company that, frankly, annoys me. Despite the assurances of the site’s operator, I do not trust my artwork in the hands of the new owners, and given my ownership of this particular website — something I’ve owned longer than that particular gallery has existed — I’ve decided to relocate and exclusively post my artwork here. To that end, I hope that will inspire me to be a touch more vocal in this blog! 🙂 And now, for the latest:
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