Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Song of Storms

It's a much-needed rainy day here in Los Angeles - it's been coming down all day! - so what better time to share this delightful piece of artwork I found on the interwebs a little while ago.

I don't often share / showcase individual pieces of art by other artists on the blog, but this one really spoke to me for some reason. I love the style, the lighting / mood, the color palette, all the little narrative elements. It's an illustration that rewards looking closely. The artist is Matt Rockefeller, a recent graduate of the Maryland Institute of Art.

CTN recap coming soon!

© Gina Florio 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

CTN Expo 2014 - I'm Off to See the Wizard

Hey everyone!

Just a quick note to say I'll be at CTN Animation Expo all 3 days this weekend! Besides going to portfolio reviews, there's a great lineup of workshops and panels that I plan to attend - notably, an "all-star" character design panel helmed by Chris Oatley, Brett Bean, Stephen Silver, Tony Siruno, and Jeff Wamester. I'm also excited to visit the many artist booths and meet some of my favorite artists like James Gurney, Ty Carter, Mingjue Chen, Cory Loftis and more. I'll also be going to a "Drawing Party" opening night event at the Silver Drawing Academy on Thursday night. It promises to be a busy but exciting weekend!

I've been hard at work on a new chunk of portfolio pages which I'll put up soon!

If any friends/readers will be in attendance let me know! Hope to see you there!

© Gina Florio 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Portfolio Pages

I'm currently keeping my head down working on a portfolio for this year's CTN Animation Expo, which is happening at the end of November. However, the deadline to submit a 12-page portfolio for their specialized recruitment event was today, and I'm happy to say that I just submitted.

After two years of taking classes and going to countless workshops and art events, it's a bit surreal to be finally submitting my portfolio to actual animation and game studios. No matter what happens, I'm proud of the work that I've done and the skill level I've achieved, and I'm excited for whatever the future holds.

Here's some of the recently completed portfolio pages I made to go along from my work from Jose Lopez's Character Design class. You can view my entire portfolio by clicking on the tab above, or just clicking here.

I had a lot of fun with these if you can't tell! Props = good times. Although I am officially over attempting to do solid linework using a tablet... yeesh... whose idea was that.

© Gina Florio 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

School's Out: Character Design wrap-up

I recently completed my term in Jose Lopez's Character Design class at the Concept Design Academy. I relished the opportunity for a class that built on the foundational skills I had already gained, but also pushed me to think about how to best communicate the things I had in my imagination. I already see such a difference in my sketches from before the class and after. Here's my compilation of work for the class.

I've now been continually taking classes for 2 years straight. When I started going to CDA, I wrote down the classes I wanted to take on a post-it note, stuck it on my computer monitor, and have been crossing them off one by one as I go. 'Character Design' was the final class, and I had a real sense of accomplishment when I recently crossed it off, and was left with a 2-year-old post-it note full of dark lines.

I've decided for the first time in two years to not take another class at CDA this upcoming winter semester. My reasoning for the break is twofold: firstly, I'm not gonna lie, I'm a bit burnt out. Character Design was the 8th class I've taken. The classes themselves are only 3-4 hours a week, but combined with driving and homework, it's been a huge time commitment for the past 2 years on top of already having a 50+ hr/week job. And secondly, I'm preparing my portfolio for CTNx this year and I need all the art-time I can get to go towards that effort.

Unfortunately this also means I won't be taking a class again for at least a year, which is strange to think about - CDA feels like a permanent part of my life at this point. But next spring we're doing a fair amount of traveling, and next summer I will be swamped in wedding planning hell, drowning in tulle and sparkles (there are worse ways to go). In the meantime though, I'm planning on taking advantage of the many online learning options that are available in this golden age of internet education, particularly Chris Oatley's self-paced Magic Box course.

At the end of the day, all I really have to say is this: I don't kid myself about the reasoning behind why I've improved so much as an artist over the past 2 years. I've worked hard. But the only reason I've gotten to where I am is because I've benefited from quality education. My unparalleled teachers and incredible fellow students have given me invaluable feedback and pushed me in ways that I never thought possible. If it weren't for them and for CDA, I'd still be buying new pens thinking *this* is the one that will make me a good artist, and doodling dejectedly in spiral bound sketchbooks for 15 minutes before giving up. I'm no Rembrant. But I have more confidence in myself as an artist with each passing day, and that growing confidence has been a really great joy in my life.

© Gina Florio 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Fun: Musical Chairs

Steve Jobs famously said "Creativity is just connecting things." So, what happens when you connect J-Pop with Heavy Metal music?

The answer... Babymetal. I like to call this the internet's ultimate "Wait for it..." video.

In the same vein, musical group Gangstagrass has been combining bluegrass and rap. (They were nominated for an Emmy for "Long Hard Times to Come," the opening theme song for FX's Justified.)

I love both of these ideas in that they take two seemingly diametrically opposed musical genres and mix them together, with - in these examples - great results.

Happy Friday!

© Gina Florio 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Teaser Trailer for Pixar's New Film

The teaser poster and trailer for Pixar's new film, 'Inside Out,' has been released!

I typically try not to watch trailers at all since they tend to give too much away, but teasers are usually fine. Of course, there's not that much to say about it yet either, except that this looks intriguing and that the premise is pretty bold - I'll be curious to see how they pull it off for an entire movie. Here's the film's writeup from Pixar:

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

'Inside Out' is due in theaters June 19, 2015.

© Gina Florio 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Expectation vs. Reality

Concept artist Matt Kohr's free digital painting resource ctrlpaint.com is a site I go back to again and again when I'm using Photoshop artistically. His instructional videos are clear, concise and entertaining, and extremely well categorized by topic. However, he also makes videos with advice about the less concrete aspects of being an artist; the psychological side. This recent post was a video I really could've used when I was first getting back into studying art again.

Please note: this is not the video. Clicking on this picture will not do anything. Sorry.

Right now it seems like he's not allowing people to embed this video which is a real bummer BUT I encourage you all to click this link and read his original post where you can also see the video.

Until recently, I was constantly beating myself up over my art not turning out how I wanted or expected it to. But at some junction I just got really tired of it. What's the point? I'd rather be happy with the competence I've already attained and comfortable in the knowledge that I'll continue to level up my skill as long as I keep at it. I still work hard but I've been giving myself a bit more of a break instead of persistently driving myself crazy with negative thoughts. Negative thoughts cause stress and stress uses up energy and I need that energy to get shit done! So be good to yourselves. :)

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm going apple and pumpkin picking this weekend which I am very excited for. Here's a Happy Fall sketch!

© Gina Florio 2014