[Review] Motivarti fall 2014 with Justin K. Thompson

I recently took part in the Motivarti program under the mentor Justin K. Thompson for the fall semester and finally have work to show for it!

The program, Motivarti is a 10 week program where students are paired up with a mentor who's a working professional in the animation/illustration/arts industry. I had heard about it through friends at school and know a couple people who've taken it already and have good things to say about it, so I decided to give it a go too!

The mentor I had was Justin, who is an amazing artist that specializes in visual development for feature films. I chose him because he also likes to get stylized and graphic with his artwork and I wanted to know specifically about simplifying forms without loosing description (and also, he worked on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Powerpuff Girls, and Samurai Jack, so much awesome stuff!).

( ^∇^) phew, on to the review part!

The most valuable thing the program taught me, was to keep focused on the craft. 
I mean like, dedicate your life to your artistic endeavours! I slowly realized the difference between designing things and just drawing what the eye observes or likes. Justin explained so many great concepts, my favourite being something like, 

  • Design is just the arrangement of stuff. Every drawing and painting is just an arrangement of lines, shapes, colour, pattern, value. 
This actually totally BLEW ME AWAY. He pretty much debunked the mystery of art haha. From that moment on, every drawing, every painting has been a game that I play. Similar to a sudoku puzzle, it's all about balancing things everywhere.

Week 1 & 2:
The mentorship itself can come structured or fairly loose. Justin and I kept some kind of schedule for weekly Skype call meetings, with some changes here or there for outings etc. We started out with the goal of focusing on location design and environment design in general. So for the first 2 weeks we mainly talked about thumbnailing and compositional sketches. 
I had a super graphic vibe going on and found it really hard to have more depth ; o ;
Overworking thumbnails was a big problem for me, but I kept practicing after week 2 to keep things loose
Week 3:
Colour was pretty tricky, but Justin explained very logically about how every image is just a mash of saturation, hue, and value. It was neat seeing and hearing how an art director goes about fixing stuff. Pretty much so precise that the guessing game is really just tiny adjustments here and there instead of repainting or randomly choosing colours. Σ(゜゜)
Some colour alterations going on, I don't think I really thought about finishing these little comps... which proved problematic...
Week 4, 5, 6:
The next few weeks were supposed to be for taking the colour roughs and completing them. However no matter what I tried I just couldn't jump past the straight forward graphic little paintings into a large detailed final piece. This was the big problem I wanted to solve for the entire mentorship. How to keep simplicity while introducing description and detail. 

The answer doesn't come yet haha. So instead I take some round about ways, and fail a few times at making the paintings work, and instead, end up with lots of other neat kinds of exploration and designing applications.
I started painting scenery from memory. This one is the view right outside the door of the Alternative Press Expo (San Francisco) this year

This one was originally a blurry photo study from a walk through Glen Park (San Francisco) one night
Week 7, 8, 9, 10:
I still sought out to complete the thumbnail paintings but it just wasn't working, so I began a new piece and stuck with it till the end. Along the way I also continued my observational paintings making sure to, as Justin would say, "impose my will" on everything within it. Everything I draw comes from me, so it must look like I took part in it's creation. Mind = obliterated.
This was the view of the Miami waterfront from the balcony of the Norwegian Cruise I went on this November
This started out as a study of a street in San Francisco but later turned into China town (still a wip, got more plans for it!)
Amid all the fails, I did manage to redo one painting and take it to final. It's not something of my typical style of drawing, but I learned many new things while working on the piece. The level of detail is crazy, but I decided, HECK YEA lets see how much more detailed it can get. ╮(─▽─)╭
The 1 fully finished painting from the term

Ended up pretty crazy. I am okay with this :'-)
In the end, Justin (Motivarti) has dramatically improved the way I approach design and the way I think about art in general! Demystified and ready to dedicate myself seriously to this craft.

I really do recommend the program to any young artist in school and out of school to take the mentorship! It doesn't hurt to review the basics because the basics is all there is to create great work! The 10 (well it stretched to almost 15 due to our busy schedules) weeks were super productive for me and I do see a dramatic improvement to the way I think and draw!

Justin is an excellent mentor and an actual WELL OF KNOWLEDGE haha. The man knows so much! I'm so grateful for all the guidance. Thank you for all you've done -bows- I will never forget haha. It was such an awesome experience getting my work critiqued and discussing concepts and stuff!

Although I didn't do a whole lot of finite straight forward portfolio pieces during the term, I am happy with the new perspective I have on designing. It has helped me develop ideas for my next short film project! :)
characters for the next film project!

I don't know why but we fought a lot haha
Justin did get to answer my question regarding simplification and retaining description, but it's kinda hard to explain in just words. I guess you'll have to take the mentorship yourself to find out! 
╰( ´◔ ω ◔ `)╯

Links:
For more of Justin's stuff, check out his instagram and tumblr!
For more of my sketches and illustrations, check out my instagram and tumblr!

Caricature + HBD!

a caricature of a lovely client's friend from last year : )

and a drawing of what I wore the day before my 22nd birthday! 
21 was fun! I wonder what will happen this year?

Happy Unhappy 4th year film screen shots

Hey guys! It's been a while!

Second semester just started, I now have 11 weeks to complete this film ; A ;
Here are 3 screenshots (sort of) from the film in progress.

HELP WANTED
I'm also looking for interested students from Sheridan Animation (or illustration) to help me with filling in animation and layout elements! Please email contact@jeanliang.com if you're interested!




Evil Queen

Channeling some mad Black Swan, Maleficent vibes here
In Other news: Animatic is finished yay!!!