Other (Passion Project V2 Weekly Update #5)

Ok ok. I admit it. Maybe I could’ve used my time more effectively this week and all in terms on my animation and such, but I did make advancements in other areas.

The above image was something that I drew out of boredom, and it’s a hip and fresh doodle of my good buddy Will, who sits next to me every class. But the most important and notable thing that I did this week was to organize, pre-order, and purchase my next line of hoodies, this time being “Fashion-Bug”. I’m especially excited for the next couple of weeks.

YouTube tutorial from last week:

Work? (Passion Project V2 Weekly Update #4)

Hey hey hey! This week was especially special to me because my whole “style” could change due to a change of software. During the break before the week, I got very bored and drawing with Sketchbook seemed unappealing at the time. I did have Photoshop CS6 and CC 2017 installed on my laptop; however, I barely used to for anything other than editing the lighting of some photos.

Anyways, to the point: I took a 20-minute lesson from YouTube and learned how to draw on Photoshop, which actually taught me a lot. Using my newfound knowledge I drew a couple cartoon characters and such, switching up my style. Here are the results:

Schedule (Passion Project V2 Weekly Update #3)

Ok. Maybe my plan for the entire semester is a bit crowded with all three of my goals, but here’s my foolproof plan on how to divvy up my time to maximize my focus on each “side-project”.

For my animated short, the more that I thought about it, the more I realized how much work I’d have to put in. When I worked on my first (well, technically second) animatic, I realized the amount of time it takes to just draw AND sync frames with audio. Thus, my mindset for the animation is… low priority. However, I am keen to continue with drawing my classic comics and work on comedic animatic shorts, which works hand in hand with updating my clothing line.

So now we get into what’s going to be new for this semester. The previous goals all worked smoothly together, so I feel like I can take on more responsibilities and such, especially when they don’t require a constant eye on. To create a more professional sense, I’d like to spend probably a week early on in the semester designing my own website (probably with Wix), and with the help of the school, link it to a purchased domain. If not, then I’ll try do it at home during my spare time, which shouldn’t require too much time.

As for the Product Creation club situation, preparations and conversations are needed with multiple people before I can actually apply to kick-start for it next year, so it shouldn’t interfere much with my main animatic goals for this semester. Speaking of animatics, to end this update off, here’s the animatic I spent a collective 7 hours working on:

Proposal (Passion Project V2 Weekly Update #2)

What do you want to do this semester for Passion Project?

I would like to create an animated short, a love story that takes place in an airport terminal, with a partner that used to go to ISB two years ago. She’s an amazing artist herself, and also an experienced animator.

On top of that, adding on to my previous Passion Project, I would like to continue expanding my brand and especially my design store. I was thinking of making an online store/website, which I can also use to promote my brand. I was also thinking of creating a club to include other people in creating their own products and sell them, like what I did last semester.

Why is it important/significant?

This project is significant to me because I’ve never done anything like this before. Not only is this a massive project for my skillset, but I have never really practiced or even thought of animation. This opportunity will push me to my creative and artistic limits, and also teach me new methods of drawing and animation.

When I went to SAS Puxi, my host family showed me a comic compilation created by their school’s Comic club. I thought that that was a brilliant idea, but I realized that comics aren’t really a big thing in our school. However, I do realize that many student have amazing product ideas that are never brought into reality, often due to not enough time and/or resources. With a club, this would provide student members time and an opportunity to delve into their creative minds and produce fantastic products to

What will you learn?

As I mentioned above,  from creating the animation, I will over time learn and develop new skills to help with drawing, sketching, and animation. Animation uses frames to move characters, and when I create an animation with 12fps, that would mean 3600 different frames for 5 minutes.

Do you need a specialized space to work?  Will you need materials/software?

For the animation, I already have the hardware and software needed to produce a 5-minute short, but as for the online store/website, .com domains cost $12 a year, and $14 monthly payments to keep websites up.

As promised, here are character designs and the storyboard for the animation:



A New Season (Passion Project V2 Weekly Update #1)

Hello hello! After a lovely Winter Break, I have returned to blogging about my Passion Project! Apparently, for this blog post, I’m NOT supposed to be planning anything, but rather looking for things that inspire me, but because I already planned this last semester, I have decided to make an animation. I’ve already drawn up character designs, storyboard, and scene animatics – all of which will be shared next week.

But for now, I’d say that inspirations for me are… YouTube videos. Almost every other day, I go on YouTube to see the latest storytime animation or animatic, and it’s just so cool to watch drawings come to life. Here are the links to some of my favorite creators:

Zalinki (https://www.youtube.com/user/Zalinki)

JaidenAnimations (https://www.youtube.com/user/JaidenAnimations)

Jakeneutron (https://www.youtube.com/user/Jakeneutron)

Berd (https://www.youtube.com/user/Berd)

However, for some explicable reason, I do have a distaste for story-time animators like Jaiden and Domics. I think maybe it’s because they’re so mainstream that they don’t seem like self-drawn indie artists anymore, but otherwise I enjoy their whole idea of block-frame animation. Zalinki and Berd are always a hoot to watch, mainly because it’s just humorous animation.

I know that I’m not supposed to be planning or anything, but I’m looking at goals at the end of the semester already: a couple trashy but humorous animatics, an animatic for my major animation that I’m working on with a partner located in South Africa, and continuing my last Passion Project from last year, which is upping my brand and releasing a new season of merchandise for the Spring and Summer season.

Reflection (Passion Project Weekly Update #14)

Hey readers! It’s been a really long semester with a lot of things going on, but it felt like it was going by so fast! I’d like to take this week’s final blog post update by answering some questions and reflecting upon what I’ve done this entire week!
How did you like participating in the Innovation Expo?
I enjoyed very much in participating in the 2017 Innovation Expo. The atmosphere was great, and the people who attended and came to my booth really supported my illustrations regardless of buying merchandise or not. I also had a couple of friends that appeared over the course of the day who helped me out not just by buying items, but also covering for me in my booth and help promote it outside of my station.

How did you come up with the idea to sell your own illustrations?
In the beginning, original merchandise was something that I did not even consider. This whole Innovation Expo was based upon my Passion Project that I started this semester. When I first decided to join Passionate Project, my plan was to create a series of comics detailing about school life in ISB. However, just a few days into the actual course, I decided that my parameters really constricted me in terms of creativity. I quickly switched towards just comics and illustrations in general, plotting to complete a compilation book by the end of the semester. Unfortunately, I realized that I could not finish this in time, and just dabbled around, until one day my mother surprised me with an orange t-shirt with my pumpkin fall design printed in the middle. I thought that this was especially cute, and thought that I could possibly make a career out of this. I teamed up with a good friend of mine named Jonathan, and together we designed a white t-shirt that deliberately spoofed off of Supreme with the term ‘Surprise’. I sold most of the few shirts that I printed out, and Ms. Lemley suggested that perhaps that this was the direction that I should go for. In conclusion, I used my last two months of the semester to draw shirt and hoodie designs to print and sell.
What was the outcome of the total PP? How many illustrations did you make? What was successful merchandise?
The whole project for me was a total rollercoaster. I changed the entire idea of my final product of the semester at least 3 times. Originally, I wanted to create a comic compilation filled with all of my illustrations, so I set a goal of 100 comics by the end of the semester. Unfortunately, at the time I didn’t realize that 100 comics was utterly impossible, so in the end I had around 50 comics/drawings, half of my initial goal. But that’s okay as my final goal was to sell original merchandise, and I’ve completed that by attended the Innovation Expo. So far, by including sales from the past couple weeks, the hoodies have been selling pretty well, and I haven’t even sold out all of my initial shirts yet.
What do you like about illustrating?
What I really like about illustrating is that you can literally dump anything in your mind onto the computer to see. I would say that it just helps with creativity and how it expands my boundaries of thinking, but it actually does more than that. Whenever I’m stressed, I like to hook up my tablet to my computer and release all of it onto the digital canvas. All of my emotions and stress are vented towards the screen, and it fuels my motivation to finish certain illustrations.

Where do you get your inspiration from? Who are you influenced by?
I started digital drawing on January 31st, 2017, but before that, I had a notebook that I carried around with me full of hand-drawn comics. I was inspired by the all the digital comics that I saw so often on my internet browsing sessions that I tried to do it myself. Artists like PigeonGazette, Randowis, JakeLikesOnions, Owlturd, and Joan Cornella really convinced me to get into comics. My initial thoughts were to establish my own art style. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, my first comics looked suspiciously similar to Cyanide and Happiness. Over times, I challenged myself to make big changes towards character design, eventually getting towards the style I have today. Shortly I established my latest style, I found this New Zealand based comic artist by the name of Li Chen. She draws her ‘Extraordinary Comics’ and has a similar style towards mine. I instantly fell in love with her art, and her single panel artworks are absolutely breathtaking. Oftentimes, I would try to shade my illustration like she would, but I’m still learning.
What feedback did you specifically seek/get from others?
Like I’ve stated before, I really enjoyed Li Chen, also known as ExoComics’s artworks. I enjoyed them so much that I really pushed myself and sent her an email attached with some of my best drawings, and ashed her on what I could improve. She replied back with a bunch of great tips like visual organization, but what she stated most was to practice and practice. Another tip I got was from a man who visited me during the Innovation Expo. He had a degree in Digital Design or something like that, and he explained to me that a good exercise for designing would be to practice multiple styles but still convey the same message.

Were you able to sell a lot of merchandise?
At first, business seemed to be pretty slow, and I honestly thought that this whole merchandise thing was a bad investment. However, after the Innovation Expo, my brand has been catching wind over the MS and HS student body, and I’ve been getting a lot of orders recently.

Why do you think it’s important to encourage innovation at school?

Without innovation, the mindset and creativity of ISB cannot progress. This is especially important for students as they’re an integral part towards the ISB community. Innovation would help students problem solve new and different solutions, both academic and physical, in and out of school.

Will you participate in the expo again?
Most definitely. I really do enjoy my Passion Project elective, and I believe that the Innovation Expo is a perfect opportunity to showcase my effort and products at the end of the first semester.

What do you want to do after high school?
This career and reputation that I’ve built this year so far is too big to just drop after graduation. As I’m still only a freshman, I still have 3 1/2 more years to go, and who knows where my skill-set and brand will be? I do believe that it’s still to early to decide what my career will be, but I can say for certain that digital drawing and design will be a personal hobby and side job for the rest of my life.
What did you struggle with/wish you could improve?
I don’t really think that I struggled with anything major over the entire course of the semester. Sure, there was the typical artist’s block now and again, but there was always something going on that would inspire me and also encourage me to draw something. My though process was a bit clunky in the beginning, but I’m extremely proud to say that my Passion Project was a complete success, and I’ve expanded my brand outside of just comics and illustrations to actual clothing design privately and publicly, as well as freelance design for outside clients.

Conclusion (Passion Project Weekly Update #13)

Wow. Last Saturday was basically the culmination of the past 2 months for me. If you haven’t heard, last Saturday was the Innovation Expo where I sold and promoted my artworks and merchandise such as shirts, hoodies, stickers, etc. In my previous post, I mentioned all the pieces that I would be selling, and went with final prices of ¥70 for shirts, ¥140 for hoodies, ¥40 for mugs, and ¥2 for stickers and ¥10 for 6-sticker set. Generally, I was met with extremely well reviews, with friends and family coming over to support. Another major portion of visitors were stranger who very much liked my artwork and designs. Hold on, let me just type up a general story of what happened on Saturday…

At 7:30, I was woken up by my mother who was shouting at me because we were going to be late if I wasn’t ready in 10 minutes. I had overslept… again. I groggily put on all my clothes (which just so happened to be my own merchandise), packed my bag and ran out of my room to the car. My mother had already packed a duffel bag just in case I needed to bring stuff back, and thank God she did. Anyways, most of my merchandise was already at the expo as I had left in the library over the week. When I finally got to the school campus, I ran towards the dome. Honestly, I expected a warm greeting with cheers and such, but alas, I was met with a grouchy security guard who wouldn’t let me in because she thought I was just a student participate that was too early. After a couple tries in broken Chinese, I managed to get in the dome and begin my preparations. Mrs. Lemley was extremely helpful in the beginning.

I had already set-up a WeChat store and needed to print out the QR codes to link to the store and also another code to personally pay me if customers didn’t have cash. I also printed out some of my one-panel artworks created over the semester, and also this comic:

After pinning them to my wall, my mother had the bright idea to also hang up my six articles of clothing onto the boards to display and advertise. After that, my booth started to look a lot more lively. I was also offered the prospect of a monitor so I took it. I hooked it up with my computer and played screen recordings of my drawing process. Soon, people started trickling in, and my day started.

I had friends come over after they had swim practice and help me out run my station, but they were only there for like an hour or two. Most of them also bought at least one thing which really supported my cause. By the way, the profits of the sale go towards helping people with leprosy in Yunnan get medical needs.

Right now, I’ve got a couple pre-orders and already made some profit. These two weeks are basically me wrapping up this semester and starting to think out what I need to do for next semester.



Packages (Passion Project Weekly Update #11.5 & #12)

I’m so excited that everything is coming along! In the past 1 1/2 weeks, I’ve ordered shipments of hoodies, shirts, mugs, and stickers. It was my main priority for the week so my mind wasn’t focused on drawing anything much. I did complete this fanart of H3H3:

Here’s the list of items that I’ve ordered:

Christmas Hoodie
Surprise Black
Surprise White

Burrito shirt
Christmas Shirt
Fall Shirt

7 Blue Burrito
7 Orange Fall
3 Red Christmas
3 Green Christmas

So far, only my mugs and stickers have come in, but the hoodies/shirts from one vendor will come in on the 20th. This week I’ll need to finalize plans with my teacher to present all my items at the Innovation Expo. To end this update off, here are the 3000 stickers that I ordered for ¥210.

Preparation (Passion Project Weekly Update #11)

Hello readers! Sorry about being late… anyways, I’ve got new sights (again) for my project, and I’ve resorted to selling merchandise at the Innovation Expo. But before I get to that, here are the pieces that I’ve worked over this week:

I also helped Mell create an announcement comic for him reaching 1K followers on instagram, but I’m not going to post it here because it’s not relevant. If you’d like to see it, go to YMXBeats on instagram to see his announcement post. Besides… here are the thumbnails of the merchandise that I thought of making:Orange/Red tags mean thick articles of clothing; Unmarked/White-ish mean mugs; Green tags mean prints. I also plan on making stickers, but I don’t need to worry about that just yet. My plan is to order 20 mugs, 20 shirts, 15 hoodies, and a large quantity of stickers. I pretty sure that I can get this done by the end of this week, so my stuff should arrive by the 15th. Right now, people want something Christmas/Winter themed so I should really work on that this week.

New Era (Passion Project Weekly Update #10)

Welcome back readers! This week has been another slow week for me, but worry not! I worked hard and really experimented my art style during this time period.
For my first drawing of the week, I completed another classic comic that introduces a new main character to my comic: Nadie. You might remember her from my animation initiative, but I’ve really grown to like her design and decided to add her into my main comic line.
Afterwards, to celebrate the new era of my illustrations, I decided to make more one-panel character sketches of Nadie! I wanted this picture to be different in a way, so I went all out and made a whole new figure shape for her special frame. I put in extra work in the hair flow and broke my back over the colouring because black lines were too prominent for this design.
Later in the last couple hours of the last day, I made a couple sketches like the chair potato and prepared a couple comic templates for the next two comics that I would like to make next week – one for The Break school paper and one for my friend.