graphic by yours truly

Notes for a young character designer

Dear E. 

Thanks for your email.

I don’t work at Cartoon Network any more. But I’m going to give you a very quick portfolio review in hopes that you find it helpful! Here are some things I noticed when looking at your stuff - lessons I learned from brilliant people while working on AT for two years: 

 1) AVOID SYMMETRY. Humans are organic, randomly shaped animals. Perfect symmetry rarely exists in nature and if it does, it’s conspicuous - it’s the exception rather than the rule. Find interesting ways to throw your characters off-balance. 

Don’t repeat objects in twos - (buttons or rips or whatever) - it feels prescribed - cluster things in threes or fives if necessary. 

 2) AVOID CONCAVITY - I don’t know what else to call this. But it’s those lines that go “in” rather than “out”. You are using inward sloping lines to describe many of your characters. As an exercise, try using outward, rounded, voluminous lines to draw EVERYTHING. Humans are fleshy lumps connected together by other fleshy lumps. Each mass is either in front of or behind other masses and as a designer, it’s your job to tell the animator where it is. As a designer, you are providing a technical blueprint for the location of masses. 

Only occasionally allow a concavity to connect two convexities. Look at the work of Robert Ryan Cory (spongebob), Tom Herpich (Adventure Time) or Phil Rynda (AT / Gravity Falls) - master character designers - for examples of this. If you need to, trace a couple of their drawings and you will see what I mean. 

 3) AVOID GRAPHIC DETAILS - Some shows use a graphic style; it’s very appealing and looks clever when done right. But in animation, everything needs to move in space - so if you use a graphic element - it needs to correspond with an actual 3D thing that can move. Therefore it is better to start with a voluminous style and then revert to graphic elements where appropriate. Art directors will look for this. Do not jump straight to graphic representation if you do not yet know what you are representing.

Look at the work of Tiffany Ford and Jasmin Lai for amazing examples of volume expressed graphically.

 4) STUDY JAMES MCMULLEN - To truly understand volume, and fully respect your subject, you should read very carefully High Focus Figure Drawing by James McMullen. Slow down and think about drawing “around” your subjects. It’s a truly meditative experience when you get there. Think about the weight and mass that your characters, props and effects are experiencing. Many students from SVA - Tomer Hanuka, Becky Cloonan, Rebecca Sugar, James Jean - studied under McMullen’s philosophy and you can see this common richness in their work. 

Jeffrey Smith, a top student of McMullen’s now teaches life drawing at Art Center. These are two of the best illustration schools in North America - anyone who is interested in drawing living things, should probably read his book. Also look at the work of Andy Ristaino or Danny Hynes - two other character designers’ whose work is seething with volume. 

I hope this is useful and I hope you have a wonderful career. 

Warmest,

Matt

2

“Everything is ‘terrible?’ Don’t make me laugh. So what about me…for me, it’s been terrible since I was born.”

“I can’t believe Bryke ruined ATLA! They completely took control of the show and never let any of the other writers have any input!” 

Book One: Water

 Percent Bryke Didn’t Write: 70%

Book Two: Earth

Percent Bryke Didn’t Write: 80%

Book Three: Fire

Percent Bryke Didn’t Write: 80% 


Percent Bryke Didn’t Write (Whole Show): 77%

Head Writer: Aaron Ehasz 

Episodes Directed by Bryke or Ehasz: 0 

Guy Who Wrote The Headband: John O’Bryan (not bryke, fyi) 

POSITIVITY

@illegitimatestark // @vengefulwinter : You are like a sister to me, and you’ve become such a huge part of my life honestly. Di you are an amazing person. You speak up when you know something is wrong, you’re a bloody good friend. You’ve been there for me when i was at my absolute lowest, when i was so low i couldn’t see a way out and you helped me get through it. You helped me get back to a happier version of myself. I respect you for so many reasons, you’ve taught me how to deal with certain aspects of my life. You’ve never judged me for things i couldn’t control. You are an amazing person and an absolute talented writer. Your portrayals of every single one of your muses constantly have me in awe honestly. You capture their voice so well that i can hear them in your writing. The thought you put into your backstory for Jakz was so deep and well thought out that it had me change one of my rules regarding OC children. You had me wanting to write with you and you still do to this day. Thank you for being you, for being so creative and inspiring on a daily basis. Thank you for your patience with me, because i know that sometimes i can be the most frustrating person on the planet. Know that i love you, and all your muses. Jakz Stark is one of those really fleshed out OC’S, you can see how much work you put into making sure that she was not only relevant in her own story line, but also that Tony’s arc was not changed either. You really thought about it, and you have multiple verses that can help accommodate everyone. Honestly i am really glad i met you, i don’t know what my life would be like without you. Also my muses absolutely adore yours, tony just wants to cuddle them all and protect them from the world. Whenever you need to rant, or if you’re having a bad day, just know i’m on your side and i will listen if you need to talk whether it’s three am or 4pm, i will always respond to the message even if its when i’ve just woken up. <3

@dualclaws : Dany, we have been through a lot and i am really thankful for the place that we’re in right now. We haven’t always been in such a good place, and things have been hard but we’ve both grown as people, we’ve helped each other really, i know that you’ve helped me. Your friendship is something that i am incredibly thankful for, as well as your ability to be incredibly empathetic to those around you. It’s inspiring, to see the way you connect with people, because you truly are a good soul. You want to help people and as a person you’ve become stronger. I’m incredibly proud of the person you’ve become Dany and your writing is incredible. The passion you have for Laura? that’s something to be cherished. It’s something i hope you never lose, because honestly you understand Laura Kinney, you know her strengths and her weaknesses. You’ve done a hell of a lot of research and your face claim choices reflect that. You do your best to stay true to Laura’s portrayal in Logan, but you also keep up with the comics and study them. I love your main verse, it shows how much you truly care and the how much time you’ve spent carefully planning out your vision for Laura. That’s important to me, that it’s YOUR vision, because as much inspiration you take from Mangold and 616, you also have a unique perspective and to me that’s important. Yes you’re writing is very in character, and thats a beautiful thing but it’s also entwined with your perspective and how you see Laura as a person. It’s wonderful truly.  I’m always here when you need to talk, when you’re having a bad day and you need to call someone? know that 9/10 you can always call me and i will do my best to be there.

@notacyclonefan : Chelly you are…..well sometimes i think your Steve Rogers personified, your writing is that beautiful. You really capture his essence, who he is behind the shield and that really resonates with me. Because you know that he’s so much more than his title on the field and honestly the way you write him is unique. You incorporate his flaws, you remind people of the fact he actually does have a sense of humour. Chelly you bring him to life and writing with you is honestly one of my greatest joys. Not only are you a talented writer, you’re a super positive person. You make me smile, even on the days where i feel utterly miserable and i hope i can do the same for you. Chellybean, you have such a beautiful outlook on life, i love the way you can make anything into a pun, and how you can make a joke out of the smallest thing. You brighten my day and you’ve always been so supportive and encouraging. You’re such a good friend, an amazing person inside and out, and one of my favourite people in the world. Never stop being you <3 I’ve always got your back Chelly

@threeclaws : We’ve never actually spoken before but i just want to say that your presence on the dash is a blessing. Your threads with @dualclaws are honestly wonderful, you write Logan brilliantly and i love your vision for him. You are talented and appreciated and i just wanted you to know that.

@siberianwreckage : What can i say about Holly? well i can say that you are honestly inspiring. Your graphics truly are gorgeous. Not only do you make beautiful things, but your writing has me emotional every single time because of the depth in it. My muses absolutely adore your Bucky, in fact Tony is constantly grabby hands for him. You are also a great listener, and it means the world to me. I hope that i can always do the same for you, just know that i will always be here for you. I love your passion for animals, every time you send me a picture of a deer and it’s fawn i can’t help but grin from ear to ear. Not just because their cute, but because at one stage you literally woke up super early just to take that picture, and that’s proof of how much you care and love animals. I love that you feed squirrels, you take care of the creatures around you. You have such a big kind heart Holly.  Never change because you are amazing.


    OTHER AMAZING, INSPIRING AND WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO ARE A JOY TO SEE ON THE DASH AND INTERACT WITH :

@qceenmother , @erodedauthenticity , @xscarletvvitch , @expendablc // @vleermuiis ( anna i love you so so much ) , @fightingsouls , @engineeringmonkeywiz , @tcmbraider , @mutantproud , @swellofpity , @mcrtii , @badasshybridqueen , @warstopper , @sightedmundane , @pepperpxtts , @cxpt , @captainbrogers , @readyforyours , @witcheswrath , @hiddensteel , @tragicloss , @vnmblasts , @youusedme , @jemmasimmonsbiochemist , @gammagreen , @thundrer , @kiiindheart , @battlehardencd , @fatigucs , @keepmarching , @loathedlineage , @haosvestica , @orphanis , @vireous , @influencedbyfear . @snarkofstark , @prettyhcrts , @harleenie , @amongwclves , @bringerofthestorm , @ledgerfilled , @movefcrward , @servinglies , @witchyserena , @ofbecomings , @theevolutionaryapex , @symboltothenation , @stolenparticles , @hackedpower , @warricrhearted , @weightofmyshield , @queencfdisaster

   And to everyone else i follow, know that i love you all and that each and every single one of you is loved and appreciated<3

4

I laugh and rub my nose with the back of my hand. “He’d say thank fucking God.”

“Why would I fucking say that?” Ryke asks.

I repeat what Rose said, “You were fated to be surrounded by women.”

Ryke smiles one of the most beautiful smiles he’d ever worn, and says, “I fucking prefer it that way.”

2

YO, LISTEN UP YA’LL!!!

It is true. I have had this blog for a year now (despite not seeming like it because I deleted most of the posts as I was unhappy with how it was going) and I have finally reached over 200+ followers on here. 

Honestly, I’m shocked or rather BABASHOOKED. I’m only really starting to fully feel enough confidence into bring one of my faves to live and hopefully give him the love he deserves and I hope you all get to enjoy this ride along with me. So I’ll write down a few people who I had the chance to share my love for this big bara alien and also just promo the fuck outta them because they’re all amazing in their own way.


@genkixdama @songorudo @thiirdclass @skyvar/ @reiokyu @rebxrn-legxnd @soarae @sonxfdoom @tuffletruffleking @nappainanotherdimension @royallunatiic @despairforme @dcmnation @chenjiringu @uccisore / @godhated @rcyalsword @daimao @scorchingking @scholarwarriorfather@stxbbornwarrior@ferocitus@sucrepiice@yunhuntress@indomitablepride@cxpsuleprincess

There are more I think, but my brain is scattered atm… I love all of you!

+GIVEAWAY [ Yes, you read it right ]

Now I have decided to give THREE of you a choice of the following:

  1. A DRAWING DONE BY YOURS TRULY <3
  2. ICON PSD 
  3. GRAPHIC OF YOUR CHOICE

I will pick three winners by the next WEDNESDAY 7/21. 
Rules are as follows:

  1. One like only (SIDE BLOGS CAN USE THE REPLY FUNCTION OF THE BLOG ENTERING )
  2. Must be following me 
  3. DON’T FOLLOW AND THEN UNFOLLOW BECAUSE THAT ISN’T FAIR

NOW GOOD LUCK TO ALL WHO ENTER! <3

4

Wanna treat yourself to a watercolor commission AND a graphic novel by yours truly? We got you covered!

Commission are just one of the many awesome backer rewards available during the Comicker Press: Season 2 Kickstarter campaign. Whether your budget’s big or small, we’ve got something special for y'all! ❤️

It is said that Shah Jahan was so heartbroken after his beloved Mumtaz’s death that he ordered the court into mourning for two years. Sometime after her death, Shah Jahan undertook the task of erecting the world’s most beautiful monument in the memory of his beloved. It took 22 years and the labor of 22,000 workers to construct the monument. When Shah Jahan died in 1666, his body was placed in a tomb next to the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. This magnificent monument came to be known as “Taj Mahal” and now counts amongst the Seven Wonders of the World. 

10

Happy Birthday to the gay king Mi-chan(◍•ᴗ•◍)❤