Industrious Illustrating #38 – Sophomore Year Review Project

*Edit 5/11/2023: Fixed image embeds that weren’t working!

Apologies for not posting in several weeks. I was swamped with finals and finishing up lots of other tasks that hit me all at once.

Now that the winter semester is over, though, I can show my finished sophomore year studio project!

I did my sophomore year studio project with the intent of strengthening the concept art/visual development side of my portfolio. The bulk of my project was creating character turnaround design sheets, both for the Bhairava mech and for three of the characters in my sci-fi story concept “Blade of Seafoam”:


To round out my project, I did create some concept art sketches contextualizing my characters in the post-apocalyptic world they reside in, although I didn’t get a chance to finish painting these before I had to present my project before the review committee.

In the end, my sophomore year review went quite well, and I had a good discussion with the faculty review committee about my work and about my plans for the rest of undergrad. I intend to keep working on my character design and concept art skills over the summer, and I hope to share more “Blade of Seafoam”-related artwork here in the future!

Industrious Illustrating #35 – Mecha Design

While I’ve posted mecha art and mecha designs here a few times before, I haven’t posted an actual mecha design sheet akin to what would be used on a project such as a video game to guide 3D modelers and other artists further down the production pipeline when replicating the designs that will appear in the final product. As such, I fleshed out and designed Toshiaki Mizushima’s Oyoroi mech “Bhairava” to demonstrate my mecha and character design skills in a portfolio-ready art piece.

While I referenced several different mech design sheets (such as color guides for gunpla and design sheets for fanmade Gundams) to inform what visual information I needed to convey with this design sheet, I took heavy inspiration from the information conveyed by this mech design sheet made for Honkai Impact 3rd.

Also, if you’re on campus on Saturday, April 1st, you can come see me and buy prints from me at the What the F Art Fair in the Kuenzel Room of the Michigan Union from 12:30-4:30. Yes, it’s on the same day as Hash Bash, and no, it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke! You can also come find me tabling at Con Ja Nai in the Modern Languages Building on April 8th from noon to 6pm, so there’s plenty of opportunities to come find me!

Nagosta Outfit Stuff

This is Nagosta Vo. They are an employee at this weird house covered in art. You can often find them playing video games in the vents and being a general menace to the rest of the employees.

I put their hair up, tucked their sweater in, and gave them knee pads for better mobility and vent-crawling.They have albinism and dye their hair, and I like my decision to show their roots. I used bright green as an accent color to signal their loud personality and love for video games.

The bottom picture was completed first. As you can see from the first image, I changed their eye shape and hairstyle when coming up with the outfit. It’s easier to draw expressions that way.

Industrious Illustrating #33 – Character Turnarounds

Apologies for the lack of a post last week. I’ll make an extra post to make up for the gap.

Recently I realized that I’m lacking character design work, specifically turnarounds, in my portfolio. As a result, I decided to make more detailed character sheets for my cast of original characters for my cyberpunk/post-apocalyptic story idea “Blade of Seafoam”. If I were to one day make “Blade of Seafoam” into a video game or a comic where I have other artists assisting me (e.g. 3D modelers or character artists on a video game, art assistants on a comic) I would need to have these design sheets to pass along to other artists as a reference for how they should depict the characters. Even if I don’t end up doing anything substantial with the “Blade of Seafoam” story concept, I can still use these in my portfolio to apply for character design jobs with larger companies.

What I want to do next is work on turnarounds/orthographic (internal/detail) views of the mechs in Blade of Seafoam to better establish the world that these characters live in as well as demonstrate my ability to draw mechs when applying to video game art jobs. Stay tuned to see those!

Also, if anyone is interested in seeing me in real life, I’ll be selling my art in the Artist Alley at Con Ja Nai at the MLB on April 8th, and I hope to table at more conventions pending results! (I’m still waiting on artist alley application results from Anime Central and Dokidokon in particular).

Industrious Illustrating #28 – Character Concept Sketching 2

Truth be told, I’ve been having a hard time maintaining a regular regimen of drawing at least partially because I feel like I’m clocking in to a day of grueling work every time I sit down to draw. It’s a feeling I have to continuously deal with if I want to continue developing and monetizing my art as an illustrator, but I haven’t found a good remedy aside from drawing self-indulgently and not worrying too much about what the final drawing looks like. As a result, this week I have more quick character concept sketching to share.

The above character, Wenet Tozawa, is another character in “Blade of Seafoam”‘s post-apocalyptic world. I still need to develop her backstory more and draw out her full design, but here’s the character description I currently have written down for her:

“A traveling medic known for her ability to regenerate the sick and injured almost to the point of giving them new life. She’s apparently close friends with Rashida, though the history of their relationship is unclear to outsiders.”

I’m planning on developing and showing off more character designs from “Blade of Seafoam” soon, so look forward to that if you’re interested in seeing my character designs!

Industrious Illustrating #26 – Character Concept Sketching

While I’ve been trying to get back into a regular artistic workflow by working on more sprites and illustrations for “Flamechaser”, I also feel like I could benefit from exploring new ideas more. Because of that, I found some time this week to sketch out a character design for an original character I’m going to call Rashida Kuromiya. She’s a cybernetically enhanced freedom fighter who dons a helmet shaped like a canine’s head in battle.

While I haven’t gotten around to fleshing out a full backstory for Rashida, I enjoyed drawing her and I want to draw her more in the future. Eventually I want to implement her into a story idea I’m working on called “Blade of Seafoam” that follows an amnesiac super-soldier who’s traveling across a post-apocalyptic archipelago to find clues about his past. I’m not sure yet whether I want to make this idea into a comic or a visual novel, so I may have to adjust the character designs based on whether I’m drawing them just a few times to make sprites and illustrations, or a hundred times for each panel they appear in. I’m working on character turn-arounds for Blade of Seafoam for my ARTDES 220 iterative projects, so I’m looking forward to being able to share them with everyone once I’m done with them.

In other news, I recently sent applications to several conventions happening this year hoping that I’ll be able to get into at least one or two Artist Alleys. I really enjoyed my experiences at Con Ja Nai, Anime Park, and Youmacon, and I’m hoping to make more good memories and sales at future conventions!