Those of you who’ve never seen my 2011 SVA thesis film “Balancing Act”, go check that out. Super-long-story-short, it’s my “magnum opus” IP that I really wanna do something with someday. Alternatively, it’s that “I made this in Elementary School and created a bunch of characters based on me and my friends and wanted to make my own animu idea that usually goes nowhere and has been in development for 20+ years while I work on other/newer/better ideas” IP. Y’know, one of those. You probably see ‘em on DeviantArt and Tumblr all the fucking time; hence why I don’t really post stuff about it online much these days. That said, posting this art here isn’t a confirmation that something’s happening with it. I’d just stocked up SO many doodles and sketches I felt like putting them out there eventually. Some of these date back as far as 2012 and this isn’t even half of them since I have plenty from various sketchbooks I’ve never scanned.
“What the fuck is this shit, Kirb!?” WELL KIDS, it’s the adventures of self-insert-I-wish-I-was-a-superhero-character and his friends as they go through their trials and tribulations of forming a makeshift superhero team and fight bad guys and learn valuable life lessons about being different, self-acceptance, dealing with deep personal issues and eating healthy or some bullshit. It’s gone through countless re-iterations as I’ve grown and learned and expanded my life views. I want it to be a story that’s really deeply impactful and meaningful, but it’s not something I’m ready to do yet. I need to get better at all aspects of film-making and storytelling. There’s a lot of basic things about “what am I saying?” regarding the story that haven’t been fully fleshed out. Might be years before I ever get to that point; or maybe I never will. Who knows. But once in a while, I’ll draw these four kids and experiment around with shit.
“Frost” (the skinny fuck who looks like ani-’me’) has various blue and white hoodies, is generally awkward (I made him way too “””cool””” in the thesis film; I was emulating Yusuke Urameshi’s sarcastic attitude) and a massive fuck-up (JUST LIKE ACTUAL-ME, HEYYY) and I’ve spent the last year on the story side of things researching a lot about various mental illnesses and how to apply them to him in ways that benefit his development as part of a team he fits into (or not).
“Ilaqua” was previously the character based on (and who looked like) Mike Luckas, that I decided…now I think well over 3 years ago, to change to a girl. I debated back and forth which character to switch (because I wanted two guys and two girls on the main cast) and thought about changing the Earth-elemental guy, but decided to gamble on tossing her in with the many, many Water-elemental girls. (a.k.a. I felt it was easier to differentiate Girl!Mike from the likes of Katara and Korra than seeing Girl!Nick get more-easily compared to Toph.) Mike helped me re-design her (which was also tricky to make sure she wasn’t too similar to Grace Liu’s Enna) and “Mikaela” has become one of my favorite characters to draw.
“Nico” (now re-named in tribute to TwistedGrimTV) is mostly the same. Honestly, getting a hat shape with him that I don’t despise has been my biggest difficulty with him. I also wanna try giving him way more exaggerated anatomy (something like Sajad Gharibi); a body he’d be picked on for having even though he’s not violent at all by nature (he’s actually meant to be more paranoiac and anxious), nor is he “the big dumb one”.
“Kathy” is also mostly the same, but there’s been some minor things I keep trying to fix with her design that I can’t quite get right. I wanted to go more gothic with her choice of fashion, which lent itself to her mysterious demeanor. My biggest aggravation is finding a hair-shape that isn’t a pain in my asshole. It’s evolved a lot from the Rumiko Takahashi-style cut, but I’m still not happy with any particular shape yet.
I also had some help from Mike Luckas and Xander Mobus on trying to design some practical, yet “we have no money or resources to get really efficient ones” superhero costumes. Most of their superhero nicknames (invented by Frost, which the new TMNT beat me to the punch on with Michelangelo’s nicknames for the bad guys, whoops.) are still WIP. Currently I like “Cardice” for Frost and “Landlord” for Mantel. Previously Ilaqua was “Firefighter” and Kathy was “Brightside” but those both may change; they might all change. Hell, ALL of this might change in 15-20-30 years from now if this ever gets made.
On that note, I GREATLY appreciate all the interest in it! I’ve had many folks from time to time ask if I ever plan on doing something more with this concept. It is my every intention to someday; in fact I THINK about it every day. Maybe I’ll do it as a movie, maybe it’ll still be a series like I originally thought, or maybe somehow it’ll be a game or something. Maybe it’ll be none of those things. Maybe it’ll be a hologram projected directly into your brain stem. Who the fuck knows. Here’s a bunch of drawings about it. Enjoy. Or not.
Hello lads! I’m rolling into the last months of production of my film, “Bookaneer”, which means I need help with coloring! I’ve worked as a colorist on pastfilms and through that I’ve developed a really fast efficient coloring method I’ll be teaching. I work in photoshop to color animation but it can be applied to other programs too.
If you have extra time in the next couple of months and want some extra cash, please consider joining my crew! Send applications and questions to email@example.com!! Applications end 1/22!!
Even if you can’t help with coloring, just reblogging and spreading the word around would mean a lot. Thanks so much!!
Yesterday, on May 15, 2014, I graduated from the School of Visual Arts with my Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Animation! So I feel like now is the perfect, most appropriate time to share the magnum opus of my time at SVA, my thesis film.
“Labels” is a film about a young figure who travels through a mystical hallway in which various characteristics are offered as choices, and they can craft their own identity. But do we really craft our own identity, or is it chosen for us? We follow our character as they discover what it means to be the best version of oneself.
This film was produced entirely by me, Nada Mohammed, at the School of Visual Arts, between August 2013 and April 2014. Please be sure to watch it in 1080p.
Super cool news! My film, Henry & Luna, is now online for your viewing pleasure! Huge thanks to my family, assistant colorists Jade Terry and Ava Wisniewski, advisor Don Poynter and all my fellow SVA animators… we made an amazing bunch of films this year. So without further ado… Henry & Luna!