Sunday, August 21, 2005

Screw this

Just head on over to if you really want to know what's going on with me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Frustration at Toei

I thought I could get their art style, but after 4 months of trying, I'm tired of practice. You might look at a One Piece background and say "oh, it's just another crappy watercolor anime background!". But I've been trying to get their style, it's soft and hard at the same time, subtle and crass, calculated and careless. And after a lifetime of trying to get my own style, adapting to a medium you don't know well, with an art style philosophically antagonistic to your own.... Well, it's hard.The rank tiers right now are like this:Toei Background DepartmentRegulars: 20Ruben: 1Trainees: 10I'm beneath the Regulars and above the Trainees, I'm past the basic learning stage, but I'm not getting any work because I'm not good enough yet. I have no peers to learn from, and the trainees have a sucky teacher, a guy who knows photoshop but not backgrounding.I'm getting very discouraged, I thought I'd get this fast, which would provide me with a stable background to try "what I really want to do". But I can't even do this, my training keeps getting extended, and I'm getting lazier and lazier. This is taking way too long, I feel like a compulsive gambler trying to win back losses. I'm considering quitting. At least when you're a fresh grad bum you have options open.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Hello Again

I don't think I particularly enjoy blogging. Look at the time difference from my last post! I'd rather be drawing. :)

Anyways, the biggest development is that I'm now a background artist for Toei animation. I work at Eastwood. Photoshop is fun even when you're an art drone for Monkey Rufi and his gang of buccaneers.

I'm working on a web comic for a change in pace with my routine Toei hours. It's about a highschool batch coming to terms with their eventual separation after college, work and stuff. Sounds depressing? Doesn't have to be. It will also have aliens and mecha and psychics and stuff.

Friday, October 01, 2004



Here I am, in a really posh hotel lounge, typing this entry. Apparently, Philippine Airlines got a VERY low rate here for their crew after the prices came down after the Australian Embassy bombing. Apparently, Filipinos are just not very affected by terrorist terror. I'm here as my dad's "guest", taking advantage of the free internet and sushi.

Jakarta is odd. ALMOST like Manila, but they hide their slums well. Soeharto paintings abound. There are much less billboards, and most of the few visible are actually cigarette ads. Everyone drives, walks, and climbs stairs on the left, so until you adjust, you'll end up walking into the locals. After adjusting, you'll keep walking into tourists. They have worse traffic, but cheaper cabs. The grafitti here is much better done, with more figures and colors.

The first night, we had a power interruption. After climbing the stairs to my sister's room 13 floors up in near total darkness to check if she got stuck in an elevator, she asked me, "why didn't you use the phones?"
Dur. Sub-mission complete. Aquired flashlight.
After walking down back to my room with a flashlight, it was easy to imagine encountering zombies or masked extremists in that stairwell. Masked extremists are scarier than undead.

We got into Seaworld at Php equivalent 200 to ogle at sharks and arapaima this afternoon. An excellent price. And now, after buying a gift for Hiyas and a lot of very, very cheap DVD's, I have to get drawing soon! Lots of deadlines. I must draw: Kraken tentacles, detail pics of a botanical alien, a femme fatale, a giant bug, and angsty figures for a rock band's album cover. All in all, a good workload for three more days.

Selamat jalan!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Big Macs, beers, and gator heads

I watched the documentary "Super Size Me" with my mom in Greenbelt, and I may not be able to eat fast food again in the foreseeable future. Too bad we caught the last showing, when we left the theater the movie sign had been changed already.

Observing friends getting drunk and dramatic, I can only conclude that they have more exciting lives than mine. I had enough excitement years ago, and it's affected my subconscious to the point that I can get a lot of bloodshed, conflict, and quests in my dreams.

There's this skinny little kid who's picked on every single day at school. He's bullied because he has a limp. So, his parents rent a room in a high-class seaside hotel, and begin selling goods to visitors from the room. With some renovation, red carpets, and some golden light fixtures, the shop looks really classy. The kid now just stays at the stylishly decorated store and sells stuff from home, and he's happy.

As I visit the hotel, I see a large crowd of reporters and people run out to the poolside area. It seems that GMA and GWB are having a press conference. I'm surprised of their presence, but I'm uninterested in whatever they have to say. I go out to walk along the seaside.

Unbeknownst to me, STALKER has caught my scent. Stalker is a 4-meter long disembodied alligator head that floats some inches above the ground. He noiselessly glides to victims and chomps them down in one big bite.

As Stalker begins following me around, I try to lose him by entering a steakhouse, hoping the smell of meat will distract him. As I walk around the tables, I nearly trip over Stalker, who was waiting for me between some tables. I jump like a wu-xia hero as he tries to bite me, and I run across the top of the chair backs in the restaurant. He dashes at me like a large highway vehicle (without wheels), misses me, and bites an unfortunate waiter in half. As I escape the steakhouse, the giant silent gator head chases me with waiter legs dangling from it’s jaws.

Unbeknownst to Stalker, Steve Irwin (from Croc Hunter) and Tyrande (from Warcraft 3) are stalking him. That night, while Steve watches, Tyrande climbs a seaside hill astride her tiger, and along with some minor items, uncovers the lost Orb of Elune, which glows in the moonlight. Steve is impressed but tries not to show it. They make a bet on who can catch Stalker first. Steve is confident. “That giant gator head won’t know what hit ‘im!”

And I wake up.

No links or anything yet, I’ll poke around with the HTML this weekend.

Friday, September 03, 2004

I was hiking up a low rising, but enourmous snow covered mountain with my friends from highschool. As the blizzard get stronger, we take shelter in an abandoned house. This house looks exactly like Hiyas' apartment. As the snow starts to pile up outside the windows, we take out our rations. All we have for food are two beehives. The honey is almost gone, so we start on the larvae. The larvae I get are long and stick-like, like piknik fries. "They're called snacksticks", my friend says, as I pop the bee grub into my mouth with a bit of honey.

Astaroth and Hellboy are fighting in Souls Calibur 2. Hellboy seems to have a few corny moves they put in just for the game. I execute the throws I learned while awake, just hours before. I think with joy on how frustrated my sister will get, with me using these new throw moves.

A relaxed pose, drawn in mechanical pencil, reclined on a sofa, legs crossed on the left side of the paper. Front view, arms raised above head and hands behind head. NM


Illustrations or comics? Illustrations are quicker, and easier, but comics have the lasting power through stories. I'm already doing illustrations, which makes the shift harder, not easier.

I should be making a short comic so I can show it to studios and agents. It's harder than it sounds. I have both and artist's and writer's block. Ok. Four pages. Two showing conversation, two, action.


I'm not having fun.

I miss my girlfriend.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Barebones up, prepare for DEATH

Post one, my blog is up! Let's see how this goes.

Anyways, I don't know how to do images, yet, and I'm too tired right now to place all my links and information, but I'm not too tired for some cheap philosophizing.

Let me analyze DEATH, as a character design. You may know of whom I’m getting at here, Neil Gaiman’s Death character, of the Endless, a fanartist’s favorite. She’s cute, nice, kind, and understanding, and quite charming as a person. I myself have fanarted her a few times, but since a some years back, I started to become more and more disturbed by the character. This is in contrast to the classic Grim Reaper archetype, the tall, undead skeleton in a cloak, carrying a giant badass scythe. And I’m not even talking about the professional, sympathetic Death in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, I’m talking about that annoying flying bastard in Castlevania, the Death people feared during plagues and famines. I read somewhere of some of the inspirations that inspired the Endless characters, and one criticism against the Grim Reaper as a character design is that it would make death seem uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Well, death IS very unpleasant, or otherwise life would not exist. The will to live breeds the will to live, and those that embrace death usually end up dying along with their genes and their viewpoint. Or does it? Genetics in society has been usurped by memetics, philosophies and leaned behavior can influence survival in an individual even more than their genes. Thus, being influenced by famous suicides, and seeing the raw dramatic power of suicide in art or in life can make a person more open to the possibility of self destruction.

Of course, this may or may not have anything to do with me hanging by a jacket (after looking for an extension cord), during what might have been the hardest day of my life. Just a few seconds afterwards, I was scared near numb when I realized what almost happened, what I had tried to do.

I guess that’s when I started to find Gaiman’s Death disturbing, that particular event, and a few doses of materialist philosophy. Gaiman’s work is quite suicidalist. Several side characters and his lead character end up dying to escape a life of pain or unfortunate consequences. And of course, Death is there, with some kind words, some cuteness, and a bit of comfort.

Of course, for an atheist (like some… friend I know), death means WORMS, not a tunnel of light, a lake of fire, coming back as a cuddly animal, or giant feast halls. And the fear and avoidance of death is what keeps ourselves and everything else with a brain, from self-destruction. The purpose of life on earth is to stay alive, and if someone finds that depressing and limiting, that’s because they’ve been trained to think that there must be more to life than life itself.

Even when it’s necessary, death is very repulsive, and it should be, even when she has nice makeup on.