Hello Robot!

Looking back at past projects I completely forgot how tedious my process can be sometimes, especially when I need to depict a light source just right, an emotion just right. I’ll never get anything just right. It’s more like “good enough for now” or “well the viewer will understand this image just enough I hope.”

I hope that in this particular image process that I’m about to share, the viewer will understand the story of Hello Robot in one image.

The story of Hello Robot is very incomplete. I have the images but I can’t seem to get the manuscript “just right” or even “good enough for now” because the reader wont understand the story just enough. Words just can’t describe the way I feel about Hello Robot so maybe light and emotion will.

I’ll start you off by introducing Hello Robot, or Bucket, here.

robosts.jpg attic2colorsketch.jpg

My process for a completed image always begins with character development. I need to know the character before I can accurately create an image of them. Getting to know the character is the longest part of the process, I mean it takes a while to get to know someone properly, right?

Now on to the image which I hope the viewer will understand that is the peak show of character for Bucket here. I first start with a thumbnail and then a detailed sketch like this:

attic.jpg

Here I don’t have the lighting quite right but I have the shapes down. The lighting is very important for the entire story but especially this image. You might be able to see why in a bit.

I’ll go on to several color sketches. Depending on the final product, if I work traditionally then I’ll do digital sketches, if I work digitally I’ll do traditional color sketches like these.

atticcolorsketch.jpghellorobotwatercolor.jpg

I’m starting to figure it out in the first color sketch and by the second sketch I know what I have to do in order for the emotion and the light to bring about proof of character and peak story arch.

justfordummy copy.jpg

Here I’m finally on the digital. This image is about half way, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I did not track all my process with the digital piece. I never do! Maybe I should do this is the future.

justfordummy1 copy.jpg

And there you have it, the final! Okay so I went on about light and emotion and stuff for a bit. Light to me can have a bunch of different meanings but the core meaning for me is spiritual. Here Bucket is leaving the light from below to explore the darkness above, an attic. He must do this to complete his exploration of the house to find someone to say “Hello” to that will say “Hello” back. He doesn’t find a hello in the darkness but he does find something else.

Sounds kind of spooky when I put it that way.

Do you understand his emotion? Do you get the “well the viewer will understand this image just enough I hope.”

Hello Robot is a whole story about exploring shadows and saving light sources. but...28_29.jpgUGGGGG 14.jpegbw5 copy 2.jpgcomplete? copy 2.jpg

 

So, Let’s Go!

Lately I’ve been stumped on the many projects I’ve buried myself under (what else is new, eh?) and created what is known as a “writer’s block” or “creative block.” Some authors and creatives debate on wether this “creative block” exists. In these SCBWI conference notes, one author, Pam Muñoz Ryan, says there is no such thing as a writers block. On the other hand, Neal Shusterman on the same note page says writers block is very real. 


Is this creative block real? How does one overcome this wall blocking the way to the land of creativity and success? 


Well I for sure don’t know… BUT…


Here’s what I’ve been up to to help me through it, even if I’m doing everything to procrastinate:

  • Read some topic related books to get my mind reeling. Favorites at the moment: Pete the Cat series, Where the Wild Things Are, Millions of Cats, How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, and Dragons Love Tacos. 
  • Yeah, I read articles about Picture books too… Tara Lazar always has some good stuff. 
  • Jot down ideas even if they’re lame. This can also apply to the PiBoIdMo challenge as well as NaNoWriMo.
  • Work on something other than my stories, like this postcard contest piece!
  • Work on one Picture book at a time. WORK ON ONE PICTURE BOOK AT A TIME. Should I say it again. ONE PB A TIME. ❤ This is probably the most important one of all haha.
  • And, since I’m working on Nightlander continuously, I’ve decided to focus on character building until November for NaNoWriMo. ONE CHARACTER AT A TIME.

And that’s it! Personally, I don’t believe in a creative block necessarily. I do however believe in a creative meltdown, consisting of a list of procrastinations/reasons why the creative force should pause because of “real life worries” (day job, bills, health, dealing with the “real world”) Indecisiveness can also pause the creative force (what project will be more successful? Which project won’t waste my time?)

The only way is to power through. So, let’s go!