Sunday, July 19, 2009

Diary of Abandoned Pictures

As I back up images off my hard drive, I’m pausing to look back at pictures that never saw the light of day (aka the internet).

These images, sometimes scraps, sometimes nearly complete, litter the art directory on my hard drive. I never know what to do with these things. Occasionally I'll pop into a directory and browse the artwork. Very, very occasionally, I'll make a half-hearted attempt at finishing one of these remnants. I never get anywhere with these pictures though. There's always more important, more modern, or more relevant work that needs the time.

Incomplete projects can really weigh you down, and over the last several years, I've accumulated quite a few. I abandon these pictures for any of several possible reasons. In some cases, the images ran up against long term projects and had to be abandoned. In other cases, I was unhappy with the creative direction. Some pictures are contest entries that I didn't feel confident enough to submit. Finally, some pictures I completed to the point required to fulfill a task, and then left otherwise incomplete.

Whatever the case, it's time to make a record of these projects, wipe them off the hard drive, and move on. Life is full of endless possibilities. There's no point living in the past, or getting hung up on pictures that were never meant to be.

Fantasy-ish Girl Caught Changing.
An example of what happens when I try and make a "quickie" image. I wasn't happy with the direction the picture was going and realized it would take more time an attention than I was willing to give it. Therefore, it was abandoned.

Mage Fighter
Mage fighter was an image I desperately wanted to complete. The character art was in the cel coloring portion of Digital Manga Workshop. I intended to have the picture set is a London alleyway, but because of the time constraints on the book, I only managed to finish a small portion of the background before I had to move on. Note the woman's cockroach familiar.

Gymnastics Postcard Concept
During the 2008 Summer Olympics, Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson -members of the USA Gymnastics team - took gold and silver in the women's individual all-around. For 48-hours or so, all of America was excited about their victory. Then Michael Phelps won his 35th gold medal and all eyes shifted to him.
I considered doing a patriotic promotional postcard featuring these girls arching through the air hand-in-hand. Never got around to doing the picture, but I had blast sketching gymnasts in all sorts of body contorting poses.

Uhm... Yeah. Next.

The Zodiac
Set the way-back-machine to 2004. Sometime before working on Peach Fuzz volume 1, I started on the project of anthropomorphizing figures of the western zodiac into female characters. The series was taking longer than expected, and after completing 3 or 4 designs I ran smack dab into an 8 month long comic project. I put the Zodiac characters aside and never touched them again over the next 5 years. People really like these characters. I still receive emails about this project from time to time. I'm sorry, but the Zodiac project is officially over.

Cancer was nearly done and Aquarius was inked.

If it's any consolation, Lindsay later finished the designs as a series of chibis.
They're so freakin cute.

New York Anime Festival Mascot
The picture I planned to submit for their mascot contest. Somehow this picture became my ultimate nightmare. I ended up with 3 different versions of the character, and several differently styled color approaches. Unhappy with the results, and running up against the deadline, I left the picture unfinished.

Maybe it is finished... You decide.

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