Monday, May 25, 2009

Public Broadcasting

As usual, with multiple deadlines eclipsing everything in my life, I'm off clowning around at the drawing table when instead I should be prepping for tomorrow's big day (Summer Session kickoff and opening lectures in both Drawing and Comics classes). And anyways, what the hell am I doing blogging?
Initially the goal was to generate a healthy lead in the weekly panel feature (which you can't do with editorials anyways) so as to have a buffer zone before taking the plunge into six weeks of 10+ hour days in the department, five days a week. Always have the best intentions of clearing the deck and catching up on the inevitable backlog of miscellaneous gigs, but, par for the course (no pun intended) these damn bright, shiny ideas keep luring me off path. Ideally it's good for one's security and sanity to have material both in the pipe and in the can, and I was shooting for a dozen new panels cranked out, but that turned into one main Nuggets that might have some interesting potential farther down the road.

What started out as a doodle without any preconceived outcome evolved into a full-blown hours-long affair that took repeated sessions while juggling a handful of other, simpler cartoons. Posted here again are the developmental stages (sans original sketch as this time there wasn't one except in my head): the raw scan, including blobular mess I made of a tree in the foreground (taken out so a more realistic patchy tundra is left); the cleaned-up and vectored line version (with all the additional elements added with computer); preliminary color file, and lastly, the Photoshopped finished panel (posted first up above). Little things like wandering artistically around the freakin' universe occupy a lot of time, and so the stars consumed much of this morning; playing around with opacity & flow + stroke widths to achieve a depth-of-field effect that's for the most part totally lost in a low-res jpg, but what the hell, at least I know it's there. I ultimately bailed on the crazy idea of adding an aurora as it just got a wee bit too much. Or at least the idea of it at 3am was enough to shut down for the evening and get some sleep. After sneaking in the Big Dipper.
This whole concept arose from, well, the outhouse (again); one of the nicer aspects of living out in a cabin in the woods is the evening chorus of dog teams as they each successively pick up on the neighboring pack's a-cappella, with some overlapping harmonies plus a few random soliloquy's thrown in. It's a spontaneously organic canine version of a stadium wave that you'd just miss out on with indoor plumbing. Of course, it also comes with the season's bumper hatching of mosquitoes, but that's part of the deal.

I'm thinking that after running in the paper, this'll make for a potentially nice fundraising mechanism for whenever the next public broadcasting membership drive happens. As of late the local radio station has been absolutely fantastic with the dj's playing some really really great stuff from a wide range of genres and styles. There's some folks in this community with an eclectic and diverse taste, which gets my own creative juices flowing, in the sense of providing a soundtrack to my efforts. Mostly I catch programming by/from volunteers that I enjoy listening too, as opposed to the banal syndicated shows, and if for that reason alone they always deserve (and could always use) some support.
Maybe I'll offer some signed color prints through the blog for contributers next fundraising time... hmmm

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