Saturday, May 26, 2012


Hi everyone! After numerous scripting and coding, I've finally been able to add both the Tumblr Share button and Facebook like button to my blog. 

On a side note, I've actually been using blogspot about 7 years now (I have multiple blog sites throughout the years that I stop using) and have experimented with Tumblr (my old technology site) and Wordpress throughout the years. As the amount of blogging website increases with new functions and tools, I think it is important for both new and old bloggers to know the advantage of the various blogging platforms. The reason why I still stick to blogspot is because 1) They are constantly upgrading and integrating the newer tools to their platform. (like the new dynamic view which pretty much replicate and copies Tumblr's interface) 2) Blogger is really simple to use and allows you to track statistics like traffic, audience, page view, etc. 3) You can actually go hardcore and edit + customize your blog with coding (provided you know how to do it and it only works in normal template, not the newer Dynamic Views) 4) You can add Adsense and start earning money with Ads in your blogs. 5) Your posted image has 'lightbox' integrated which allows viewers to enlarge your image while staying on the blog itself. 6) Blogspot has been here since the beginning of blogging. 7) It is seamlessly integrated with your Google account.

I am definitely bias on my preference (which is obviously why I prefer to use blogger) but it does have its own flaws which I am willing to live with. (for now) I also do think that wordpress has the most customization on blogging (provided if you pay for it) but personally, I find it hard to use because I'm not a javascript + coding expert. Thus if I have to rate the platforms in terms of customization, Wordpress and Blogger would be number 1 and Tumblr number 2. In terms of sharing and getting traffic, I would say Tumblr stands in the first spot (base on its ease to repost someone else's posts) and Wordpress and Blogger are in a tie at 2. Base on how fun it is to blog, I would say Tumblr stands in first again (in Tumblr you have the function to control what type of posts like text, video or quote that you want to post) with Wordpress and Blogger in a tie. Base on overall blogging capability and its ease to use, I would say Blogger comes in number 1, Tumblr at 2 and Wordpress at 3.

And again, this is just a PERSONAL OPINION. (Don't flame me.) I don't think Blogger is perfect but it works for me. I believe they are working on a new upgrade for their Dynamic Views option and hopefully, that will attract me to change my blog layout.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alicia's Dreams + Editor's Day Review

Hi people! I'm slowly wrapping my head on the story and plot for Alicia's Dreams and am working on the sample pages. Last week on my blog, I've mentioned about going to SCAD's Editor's Day. See HERE. I eventually got to meet Mark Doyle from Vertigo who is the editor for American Vampire! Also Traci from Viz Media, Sana Amanat from Marvel! (intelligent, cool and hot editor!) and also my favorite publishing house, First Second's Calista Brill! 

I had various different comments on my portfolio and they gave me so much advice and encouragement! The editors were very friendly and helpful! I couldn't contain my excitement for my own new graphic novel that I'm working on and told Calista about it! She was very encouraging! Hopefully I'll have a chance to work with her in the future. (Maybe publish this on Kickstarter and pay her for editing fees~~ who knows.)

Next week is finals and after that, I'll finally have a short break in Summer where I'll visit HerosCon and San Diego Comic Con. If you happen to go to any of those two, let me know!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Batman sketch with DeviantArt Muro!!!

I went in to DeviantArt today and saw that they have this "DeviantArt Muro" icon on the right. (It is a free drawing software that records your entire drawing process on deviantart) I click it to see what's new and doodle around. Before I knew it, I was drawing Batman. Its so weird because this is my first ever super hero sketch. You can watch the entire process HERE.

Massive Swerve No.4 by Robert Valley

I got Robert Valley's book 2 weeks ago and I was reluctant to do a book review. Mainly because I have mixed feelings about the book. There are two disappointing factors for me personally. Firstly, I pre-order the book before the release only to find that he would put the entire story (in the form of animation) online at his blog. Most self publish artist would put their comic free first and then go on to publish the book which the supporters supported base on their willingness. In Robert Valley's case, its the other way round where I pre-ordered, didn't even get my book yet and all the content is up online for free and guess what, it is better and in animation. Maybe he did mentioned that he was going to put the book online eventually and I didn't read it on his web.  My bad then.

Secondly, I have Massive Swerve 1 and it was a compilation of short finished stories. Book 4 is about one story (great story I think) but it is unfinished. Again, maybe he did mention that on his web but I didn't read it. My bad two.

But that aside, the artwork is over the top, his perspective drawing and style is unique and one of a kind. His black placement and positive/negative space usage is great. The story is interesting, the action sequence are energetic. The book costs $37USD including shipping and it is in full color, hard cover. (international costs up to $49.95) If you order from other website, it is cheaper. I've posted my own review and the animation below. Enjoy it.

You can buy the book HERE.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Meeting Editors + Graphic Novel in DA making!!!

I can't believe its been a year since I last met Ms Calista Brill from FIRST SECOND. I was a new blood and it was like a dream come true mainly because I'm a huge fan of First Second. ( I bought lots of their books including Zahra's Paradise, KoKo be Good, Three Shadows, Anya's Ghost, Americus, etc) Last year this time, she gave me some neat advice and now that I'm here a year later, I'm not even sure if I'd improved enough to show her my stuff. But anyhow, this year in SCAD's Editor's Day, I'm helping out as an assistant in the portfolio review instead of being reviewed and hopefully I'll be able to sneak in my work and talk to her again. I just think First Second is one of the better publishers for indie comics in the industry right now. (this is solely base on my own experience and judgement after reading what they have publish)

Well secondly, I've always wanted to start my own personal graphic novel project (well at least that was the idea when I first enrolled in SCAD's Sequential Art program) which is sorta like those HUGE HUGE mega epic story that spans beyond my current 12 page comics. During the start of this quarter I started drawing this little girl HERE which I eventually called her Alicia. (don't ask me why) And I've been doodling her for awhile  where a story came out of a sudden. So I started to do a few more sketches (See below) to see if 1) its fun 2) it looks decent enough. Then a title came out this morning and the story starts flowing. Hopefully for the first and last time, I'll be able to get this to work. Its called "Alicia's Dream"

So what is this story about? Its a crazy idea about Alicia trying to save her dog Milo. Yes, a simple but fun and exciting story that hopefully, I'll be able to finish it and show you guys something more than a few sketches. Speaking about graphic novel and comics, I've gotten my foot into Image's Liquid City 3 Anthology which is headed by Sonny Liew. (^__^)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hawaii Fun Sketch

This was a quick sketch for one of our backers for the GAME OVER comic anthology. I don't usually take requests but after hearing the theme, I decided that it was fun and wanted to give it a shot. 0.3 Micron Pen on 9 by 12 Bristol.

Rejections in life

I've recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by PIXAR for an internship this Summer as a Storyboard Artist. As time slowly fade away, I know now that the opportunity is gone and that I'll need to work harder than ever. Most artist tend to blog about such posts only when they become famous, sharing their experience and pain. I've decided to become controversial and share my epic pain NOW. lolx.

So for me, I've decided to share this short episode of failure before I even become famous or successful. (which I might never become) In case you're wondering if I'm in a state of negative/pessimistic mode, I'm not. That was last month. I've manage to overcome and recover because its not the first time I've been rejected from Pixar. You see last year, I did the same submission and I never got an interview. This year I was upgraded. Who knows, maybe next year I'll get my final chance and hear that phone call which I need to. But apart from that, I've also had 20+++ rejections this past year from Dreamworks, BlueSky, Blizzard + many other smaller companies. So naturally, I've gotten used to it and if I'd been hired, I'll be much much more surprised.

But today however, I wanted to share something closer to my heart. Its the art of blind faith and thick skin. I've emailed companies which are not hiring and even called them up. Even though all these crazy actions of mine have yet to won me any internship, I got the opportunity to talk to people, like Pixar (which is really awesome, they have been so nice, too nice I should say and have given me so much advise on my work) and work on other projects. I think the idea is to keep going and keep working and soon enough, someone will knock on your door and say, " oh yeah, I remember seeing your work somewhere before". My goal for next year is to simply flood the entire industry with my work and foot print. Maybe some day, they'll start emailing me for a change.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A taste of Self Publishing

Hi people, as I wrap up on the Kickstarter Comic Anthology, I can't help but look back at the sheer amount of work self publishing contains. When I started out the campaign, I thought it would be as simple as 1) creating a book 2) doing some marketing 3) delivering the books + 4) misc minor hiccups. It turns out that from 1 - 4, none of the stages were as simple as it seems. The most difficult portion of this project is that it is a group project. As with the fundamental of a group project, many voices comes into play. Towards the end of this project, I can safely say that I've learn the whole process of self publishing. (I would say almost 95%)

The largest difference for this project was, most self published comics are full time gigs meaning that the artist weren't doing other stuff and they only had themselves to answer to. They also take full credit and rewards of what they do which allows them to have the liberty to choose to hire or pay other individuals to do difficult and time consuming tasks like creating/editing promo videos, delivery and packaging. That is a huge advantage unless you're a machine which can do everything yourself. So if you're out there thinking of doing a group project on Kickstarter, make sure you do have a detail plan of what to do and how to go about it. 


1) Your backers do ask you questions and you do have to attend to them in a timely fashion. You might think you'll only get a few messages and I can assure you, it is more than what you Can imagine.

2) You need to keep your backers interested and updated even when your project ends.
3) Even after you deliver your product, there would still be hiccups and possibilities of someone not getting their shipment.
4) Some backers just simply forget that they have a Kickstarter account and never reply to your messages so you might never know their address until months and years later, when they give you a call.
5) If your Kickstarter project is NOT similar to ours, meaning that the product is not finished after the campaign ends,  you'll have to keep in mind that as months goes on, you're not just wasting time but also money. Some projects promised great products only to find that the finished product took way longer than expected.
6) You do have a reputation online. If you are just doing a one time gig off Kickstarter, then that is fine. If you intend to carry on a second or third Kickstarter project, make sure your first one is of the highest quality that you promised your backers.
7) Don't deliver what you can't. I've seen a few Kickstarter projects that were facing difficulties during the final weeks of their campaign. They then decided to add rewards that are cheap like $5 for two original prints + shipping. Now how does that work? Firstly, Kickstarter takes away 5% of your sales and amazon takes away 3-5% which amounts to almost 10% of your sales. Now with $4.50 usd, you need to print 2 prints and get them shipped to your backers not forgetting the packaging that you need to purchase. What kind of quality and work would you be delivering to your audience? It is better to let go of your project and recreate it at a lower goal sometimes.
8) When you create a Kickstarter project, just because of the fact that you have a brilliant idea, doesn't mean it'll become great success. There are examples on Kickstarter that contains projects that didn't make it which I thought they should. It is just like the idea of creating a blog. Many artist think that if they create a blog, they'll create traffic to their work. The fact is, a blog is just another ISLAND. If there are no roads or ships to this island, NO ONE will ever know of their existence.
9) Many artists have message me privately on Kickstarter asking for a formula and telling me to look at their web and spread their projects through my Kickstarter page in return for their product. I always refuse to look because I'll have to judge your product and the fact is, if you're confident that you have something good and worth it, just go ahead and create your Kickstarter project. The community will judge and support it, time will tell.
10) If you have not ask your own circle of friends for help be it online on facebook or offline, don't expect some other successful Kickstarter project to help you unless you know them personally. Your social friends and network are your best recommendations and if they can't back you up, you probably don't have much credentials.

There are many things in self publishing that are time consuming like, packaging.

For great resources on Self publishing on Kickstarter, I suggest you check out Jason Brubaker's post on KICKSTARTER FUNDING.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Car Escape Illustration Revisit, + Photoshop Editing.

Last week I posted a disastrous illustration using a combination of technique with Google SketchUp. So I went back to do a huge fix on the drawing including an attempted glass reflection effect. Here's the result.

On a separate piece of 11 by 17 printing paper, I inked the above glass reflection with a Winsor Brush. I then overlay it in Photoshop and did some opacity adjustment. The main problem lies in the original illustration which (even now as we speak) has too much loopholes. I masked out the background and drop them back, added overlays and complied the two together. 

One of the toughest things I find in being an artist is fixing your own work to an "acceptable" stage which can be daunting and a Pain in the A$$ especially if you've been working on the artwork for an infinite amount of time. But never the less, this has been a great exercise just to force myself into having discipline to correct my mistakes.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ramayana, Divine Loophole Book Review

So today's book review is about Sanjay Patel's Ramayana, Divine Loophole. This book has been around for awhile (Since Feb 2010) but i think it is still a great story/ reference book. There ain't a lot of books about Hindu gods and mythology that is drawn so well and beautiful. This hard cover book is 186 pages thick weighing about 2 pounds. When I first bought it, the price was around $36USD and it has since dropped more than half price.

Click here for Best Price

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Latest Comic in Da Making

Voila~~~ This is the latest comic I'm working on. I'm extremely excited about this one because for the first time, I'm inking my comics in the traditional way using a Winsor Brush. (well I did ink my previous comic but it was done in Micron Pens and didn't have any sort of line variation.) So this is the first inked page I've done. Its a sort of Asian ritual story. I've attached some of the sample sketch pages below. Off to WORK!!!
My first Comic Page Inked with a BRUSH!!!

P.S. Recently I have a HUGE surge of Russian folks visiting my blog. That is weird in a good way. I guess?

Google Sketchup + Inking Process

So this is my latest venture: adding Google Sketchup into my workflow. This illustration took a long while with lots of referencing. The main challenge was the initial process of getting down the model, sketching the illustration out and then doing the inking it. The reason why I used Sketchup in this illustration is because of slightly twisted perspective that I was going for. Also, I wanted to see if I could replicate a scene with more accuracy using Sketchup. I've also attached a quick inking video at the bottom.

Once I finished doing a rough model in sketchup, I actually did a few variety of perspective shot just to see which one I like --->

I initially chose layout number 6 as the angle for my illustration. I took the image to Photoshop and did a "quick" sketch. (which ended up not so quick apparently.

From this
To this.

However, I wasn't satisfied with the perspective as it was too simple. I just didn't click with it. So I went back to the layouts to choose another perspective and then re-do the process.

The final Layout that I decided to go with

1st Sketch Pass

2nd Sketch Pass.
Final Finished Ink.
Inks with adjustment in Photoshop.

Yes I actually do ink like Superman in such amazing speed. LOLX

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

11 by 17 inch traditional inks. Winsor Series 7 Brush + 102 Hunt Nibb.

Here is the Red Riding Hoodie finished drawing that I posted last week. I've also attached another observation drawing inspired by L'arc En Ciel's Hyde who is the lead singer of the band VAMPS!

Drawn in Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Water Colour Brushes 2.0

Drawn in Crow Quill 102 Nibb + Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Water Colour Brushes 2.0