January 25, 2011

My First Storyboard!

The Star Money

There was once on a time a little girl whose father and mother were dead, and she was so poor that she no longer had any little room to live in, or bed to sleep in, and at last she had nothing else but the clothes she was wearing and a little bit of bread in her hand which some charitable soul had given her. She was, however, good and pious. And as she was thus forsaken by all the world, she went forth into the open country, trusting in the good God.

Then a poor man met her, who said: “Ah, give me something to eat, I am so hungry!” She reached him the whole of her piece of bread, and said: “May God bless it to thy use,” and went onwards. Then came a child who moaned and said: “My head is so cold, give me something to cover it with.” So she took off her hood and gave it to him; and when she had walked a little farther, she met another child who had no jacket and was frozen with cold. Then she gave it her own; and a little farther on one begged for a frock, and she gave away that also. At length she got into a forest and it had already become dark, and there came yet another child, and asked for a little shirt, and the good little girl thought to herself: “It is a dark night and no one sees thee, thou canst very well give thy little shirt away,” and took it off, and gave away that also.

And as she so stood, and had not one single thing left, suddenly some stars from heaven fell down, and they were nothing else but hard smooth pieces of money, and although she had just given her little shirt away, she had a new one which was of the very finest linen. Then she gathered together the money into this, and was rich all the days of her life.

(click on the photo to see enlarged version)

Here is some storyboarding lingo to help you understand the wording...

CU: Close up
ELS: Extreme Long Shot
OTS: Over The Shoulder Shot
LS: Long Shot
MS: Medium Shot
The arrows mean there is camera movement within the panel.

*   *   *

This was a really fun experience. I can't believe how much prep work goes into making a film before the cameramen are even involved. From our favorite TV shows and movies, to music videos and commercials, there is always an artist behind the scenes that saw how it would play out before anyone picked up a camera.

I think what I liked most about the project was just trying to be creative with the shots and angles, the camera movement, and how the shot is going to engage the viewer the most. It really is a tough job...

BUT... what's even more tough is writing your own story and then coming up with your own storyboard. Talk about pressure... you can be as creative and crazy as you want, but the bottom line is people want a good story.

How many movies have you went to see that looked SO cool in the previews ... *cough* SKYLINE *cough* ... only to find out that you paid to see one of the worst movies you have ever seen in your entire lifetime? The story boarder did their job, but the actual story sucked donkey balls. 

(Can you tell I'm still bitter about seeing Skyline? So freaking STUPID! I should have known. And what's up with that horse face actor Eric Balfour? Gross.)

So, ANYWAY... the pressure is now on. After two revisions, I think I got most of my story together and now I'm starting on my character designs! Get ready for a bigger and better storyboard... with color and many more panels. I'm thinking 20-30. Yikes! I better get to work! :)

But first, I would like to know what movies you have seen that were just plain awful.

We've all done it at one time or another. The preview looks cool and it's got some good hype going on. You spend your $20+ dollars at the movie theater and excitedly take your seat, only to later realize you were scammed by some really excellent marketing strategies. What was it about the movie that killed it and how far into the movie did you get before you realized you were wasting your time? Let's hear it, critics!

Oh, and what did you think about my storyboard? :)


January 21, 2011

Fun with Grimm's Tales

So... I decided to scratch my Snow White storyboarding idea... 


The reason being because after drawing out my rough sketches of each panel, I realized that the Disney version has been engraved in my brain since I was 3 years old, thus making the creative process much more difficult.

(and I thought re-makes were easy... pshhh...)

So, I decided what the hell, I'll just find another one to do instead. After all, there are plenty to choose from.

During my time researching the original Grimm's tales I was searching for a shorter story, because seriously, six panels is not very many and the storyboard must cover the beginning to the end and still make sense. Not an easy task, people!!

So I start reading some and these fairy tales were making me produce some serious lol's! I now recognize what these tales were intended for and why they have such dark undertones... and that is to scare the crap out of your children so they don't misbehave! Genius! I'm sure these brothers must have had a blast writing these.

I did end up deciding on a new story, but I will leave it as a surprise for when I post the finished product :)

(Oh, and what's more is I have yet another storyboard project to do after this, at least 10 panels, bigger, in color, and it has to be based off our own hero/heroism story. I have a feeling I'm going to be super busy very soon!!!)

Anyway, I just had to share one that made me die laughing from the imagery that came to my head while reading it...

Please enjoy this tale called "The Ungrateful Son"...

A man and his wife were once sitting by the door of their house, and they had a roasted chicken set before them, and were about to eat it together. 
Then the man saw that his aged father was coming, and hastily took the chicken and hid it, for he would not permit him to have any of it. 
The old man came, took a drink, and went away. 
Now the son wanted to put the roasted chicken on the table again, but when he took it up, it had become a great toad, which jumped into his face and sat there and never went away again, and if any one wanted to take it off, it looked venomously at him as if it would jump in his face, so that no one would venture to touch it. 
And the ungrateful son was forced to feed the toad every day, or else it fed itself on his face, and thus he went about the world knowing no rest.

Hehehehehehehehe!!!  Omigosh I love it...

What are your favorite Grimm's tales??

January 19, 2011

Working for the Devil

Today was a good day. I woke up, happily strolled into work with a hot fresh coffee in hand, and had a busy, productive morning. I was able to leave a little early to meet up with some old friends I had worked with at my previous job to catch up over lunch at Paradise Bakery.

You may recall one of my previous posts where I talked about my quitting of this job, but I was kind enough to not embellish on the fact that this place was and still is a soul-stealing company with a devil woman running the show.

Looking back on it now I feel like I was possessed for that long year... persuaded by evil and willingly gave my soul to the master. It all became too clear to me once I was betrayed, thrown under the bus, conspired against, and later slandered and blamed, recognizing the morally corrupt business they had always been.

I have since "exercised the demon" and now am finally free. I still believe that decision was the best one I have ever made...

I'm happy to say that most of these friends I worked with have since given their notice as well, which makes me so happy for them, and adds to the fact that the company has not and will never change its ways.

Even though I secretly love the fact that things have took a turn for the worst since I left, I can't help but feel terrible for the few people left there working their guts out, slaving away, and all the while being treated like garbage, scared of the consequences quitting might bring...

I compare it to a woman dealing with an abusive spouse. You want it to work out so badly, and you want to believe that they truly care about you, and even though you are bruised, scarred, and broken, you still feel as though it's your fault and you must try harder.

How sick is that? I wonder how many people in America are working this way today. I wish there was something I could do to empower these people, but I know it's a decision that can only be made by yourself.

If you work for the devil, I strongly encourage you to claim back your soul, and find the light. You will be happier without that paycheck for a while than you will be staying and losing yourself as you witness every day worse than the last. If you're unable to quit because of money, then take action today and start looking for another opportunity. As awful as the recession seems, there are still plenty of jobs and honest employers looking to value you, treat you like a human being, and reward you like you deserve.

My only comforting thought is knowing that karma will take care of things and these evil business owners of the world will surely get what is coming to them. And the people that have suffered under their possession will be blessed and rewarded for their tolerance.

I'm taking Psychology next term in school, and I'm so excited because nothing fascinates me more than the human mind and the reasons why we act the way we do. I can list a few brains I would like to study... but for now, I have a few more weeks left of the term and can't wait to show you my finished storyboard project!

It's going to be awwwwwesome!

Got to head off to class now... but I leave you with this question...

What was your worst boss like? 

Was he similar to Lumburgh  from Office Space? 

Or was she more like Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada?

Please, go ahead... your venting is safe here :)

January 18, 2011

The Truth About Typefaces

“If however, letters are the clothes that words wear, then it surely follows that there must be as many different typefaces as there are voices, languages, and emotions.” 
-Mike Croft

I have shared this video in a link before, but decided to showcase it for this post. Afterall, the video is so brilliant, catchy, and interesting that it deserves more attention. It's about how designers choose typefaces specifically to sell to us.

Please, sit back and enjoy...

Now, next time you're in the grocery store choosing from the different brands, try paying attention to the text...

Did a fancy text make you look twice, or did it turn you off because it looked expensive?

Did you choose the value brand because it looked simple and less pricey?

Do you fall for the "natural" texts because you're trying to eat healthy or go "green"?

If you really start looking, you'll realize that designers are influencing almost every purchasing decision we make, just by choosing a certain type of font! Isn't that fascinating?

So, now that you know you've been fooled by advertising schemes everywhere, which typefaces do you notice tend to attract your attention? :)

January 12, 2011

Show & Tell :)

In my drawing class we have moved into studying drawing in storyboarding and I'm learning so much! Storyboarding is a planning tool companies use to visually see how the project is going to be shot before filming. Artists go off of the story script and draw out hundreds of storyboards to display different frames, angles, and motion from beginning to end. The director ultimately decides which ones will be used during the filming process and then movies are made!

Storyboarding can most definitely be a great career in working on movies, television shows, multimedia, video games, advertising, commercials...etc. Who says artists don't have good paying job opportunities? Really... there are thousands of options to choose from when you know how to draw.

I'm learning all about story development too, which is fun to learn as a writer and movie enthusiast. What's even more interesting is the techniques used during movie production and how they are influential to the audience. I think next time I watch a movie I'm going to be paying more attention to the camera shots and angles :)

Our next project is to create our own six frame storyboard using one of the Grimm's fairy tales. I chose Snow White & the Seven Dwarves! I'm planning on using pen and colored pencil to give it some color. I'm not going to draw the typical Snow White you see in the Disney version, but plan on changing up the characters a bit and giving it a slightly darker tone like the Grimm's tales originally intended them to be. I'm getting really excited to see how it turns out :)

Anyway, today I thought I would share with you one of the exercises I did on a recent homework assignment. Our textbook explains that telling a story is totally different then showing a story, which is what storyboarding is all about. The exercise was to write a scene description using telling and the same scene using showing.

Here is what I came up with (mostly because I can totally relate! hehe!):


Lucy forgot to set her alarm this morning and was running late for work. This was not the way she wanted to start her day the morning of her big presentation. Lucy hurried and got ready, grabbed her purse and car keys, and ran out the door. When she finally made it to the freeway she found she was stuck in traffic and realized that she would most definitely be late to her presentation. So much for impressing the boss…


On Monday morning as the sun was quietly peaking through her window drapes, Lucy Charleston awoke from a peaceful night’s sleep casually rolling to her side still gripping her white cotton sheets. As the bright sunlight forced her heavy eyelids to open, she observed through her strands of soft blond locks the fuzzy red glow of the numbers on her alarm clock. As her vision focused, the time on the clock was staring back at her like death itself... 8:15.


Her eyes opened wide as if she had already consumed her cup of morning coffee, and in a panic, Lucy began darting around her apartment like a pinball. This was definitely not how she planned on preparing for her morning presentation in front of the board of directors. After tossing her hair into a quick updo, throwing on her slacks and button down, slipping on her red “power heels”, and finally finding her keys, Lucy swung open the front door and rushed out to greet the shocking cold bite of New York City’s winter air.

She sped through the streets steaming with road rage, worriedly glancing at her car’s clock as the minutes raced against her. She kept her hopes up as she envisioned herself walking into the meeting room at 9:00 precisely. With her mind set on success, she angrily honked her horn and dodged geriatric drivers in a race to the freeway.

Unfortunately, as she finally made her turn onto the freeway, a sea of red brake lights glowed for what seemed for miles. With an impatient sigh and tears filling up her eyes, she watched as the cars on the other side of the freeway flew by like lightning.

So much for impressing the boss…

So, do you understand the difference between Showing & Telling? :)

January 08, 2011

From Swiss to American!

After my school's holiday break, I came back knowing I would need to be prepared for my first mid-term test in my Typography class. I never was one to get test anxiety, however, this time I found myself biting my fingers anxiously, wondering if I had studied enough...

Typography is a very interesting class to say the least. It's a combination of learning type, its history, and the different type designs that have evolved over the years. I was really excited for this class, but found after several lectures that for some reason when people start talking history my mind tends to drift...

For example, if you asked me when World War I began and who we were fighting, I honestly would not be able to tell you...


I already know what you're thinking, and I agree with you. I realize this is sad, and that I'm probably a horrible American citizen for not paying attention to the historic details that made our country what it is today. I think I just didn't pay enough attention during high school, and although I studied and passed the quizzes and tests, none of it really stuck with me due to lack of interest.

(I mean, I guess I have a rough idea of who we were fighting in World War I but let's just say I wouldn't be completely confident and I don't know exactly when it happened date wise...)

With age I have grown more of an interest in history, but I can't help but feel like a piece of Swiss cheese with a bunch of holes missing in my knowledge.

So, when I'm in my typography class and the teacher starts asking things like, "Now, what was going on in society during the 1800's that would lead them towards developing the art nouveau font style?" I tend to casually look around the room avoiding eye contact so I don't say something like, "Uhh....war?"

In an attempt to fill at least some of the holes, I have been paying attention this time around and have developed a large interest in this type of history (pun intended) simply because it matters in my industry.

And I have found that history is mind blowing! The fact that we have come so far in a matter of centuries is astounding. Behind the fonts we know today (even the very font I'm using right now called Trebuchet) there is a long history behind how this font came to be, including what social roles it played, how it was intended to be used, and the origin of country that inspired it. Furthermore, it's really cool to learn how printing evolved from chiseling, to quill, to movable type and into the digital age. Type has become so common now that we don't even realize when we are being influenced to buy products simply because of carefully chosen fonts. I realized that people called "Typomaniacs" exist and there is a common graphic designer inside joke about Helvetica.

(Check out this really interesting video about how typefaces sell us, and this one to laugh a little about a Helvetica obsessed designer.. both very entertaining!)

So anyway, after reading through a stack of my Typography notes, I was ready, but still feeling a little nervous as to what questions might be thrown my way.To my surprise, I flew through the test and was the first one to finish. Only one wrong and I had received a 97.5!

Holler! I'm on my way to becoming a good old slice of American cheese!

So, what was your least favorite subject in high school? :)

January 04, 2011

Meticulous Marilyn!

Marilyn Monroe.

Movie Star. Sex symbol. Beautiful. Talented. Loved. 


I don't know what it is about her that captures me... it's not necessarily her talent and movies that I love as much as her legacy. She stands for everything "woman." Beauty, class, style, seduction...

Love her or hate her, you can't help but admire her.

This is why I decided to choose her as the subject of my Pen & Ink Project. We had to create three illustrated images of a face, each one representing stippling, hatching, and crosshatching. Stippling consists of tiny dots, hatching is a series of straight lines, and cross hatching is straight lines overlapping each other.

I decided to tackle the stippling first since I knew it would take the longest. I didn't consider how long it would actually take me... and I have to say, what a meticulous technique! Just a 4x5 square took me at least 5 hours... it was the constant concentration that drove me to insanity. I finished the other two in just a couple hours.

Want to see how it turned out? :)



(Cross Hatching)

Oh, Marilyn... you were tedious, meticulous, and challenging... but I think choosing you was well worth it :)

Which technique do you think turned out the best?

January 02, 2011

11 New Drawings for 2011

As I kissed 2010 goodbye this past New Year's Eve, I couldn't help but wonder what 2011 might have in store for us. One thing I know for sure is that 2010 was the year of embracing change. All in all, I must say it was a great year.

Here is my "Top 5: Best of 2010" list...

1. This was the year we finally got a new car! After sharing our old '98 Honda Civic for the last 5 years, driving my Nissan Cube finally makes me feel like a decent part of society :)

2. I made the most money at my previous job than any other job I've had before. I felt very successful working as an Administrative Assistant and I learned so many things about business, ethics, and hard work...

3. ...but I eventually learned that more money does not always equal happiness; one of the greatest lessons I am grateful to have figured out in 2010.

4. After what seemed like years of struggling to find the right company my husband could work for and grow with, he finally found one doing a combination of what he loves most: computers, sales, and management. I truly believe that it was good karma paying him back for all of the stressful months we had to go through to reach this point. 

5. This was the year we finally decided to enroll in college. Josh decided at the beginning of the year to start working towards his goal of becoming an IT Technician. It took me until October, but I finally agreed that it was time for me to invest in myself and start working towards my own personal goals that had been on the back burner for way too long.

* * *

I decided to just list the good things instead of complaining about all of the bad. Of course there were lots of downs to accent the ups, but as cliche as it may be, without the downs I wouldn't know what an up was. I have to remind myself that there are so many others out there in the world that have it worse than me, and that I need to be grateful for all that I have rather than be consumed with what I don't.

Am I going to list a bunch of resolutions? No. What is the point in coming up with a list of wishful thoughts only to be disappointed a month later? Instead, I'm going to take a Buddha approach this year and focus my mind on the current and present moment, work on one thing at a time, and learn as much as I possibly can.

I did buckle down this last week and worked on my journal drawings. I did what I set out to and did not use any references. I admit I was tempted to Google Image Search at times, but I trusted my brain and it all came straight from my imagination!

(Bare with me though, some of them are still Christmas-y...)

And now, in the spirit of the new year, I present to you 11 new drawings for 2011!!

Happy New Year Everyone!