Hey there folks! So, after approximately  five thousand previous failed attempts, I’ve decided to start a sketch and works in progress blog (again).  It’s still in development, but here’s to better blatant self-promotion in 2011! *too exhausted to get out of chair lame wiggly fingers happy dance*

Anyway- some stuff I’ve been working on:

Today was the due date for alternative space proposals for Art Bash, SAIC’s annual art show for first year students. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the history and process behind doll making , as well as the larger idea of creation and the connections we form towards objects, especially handmade ones, so for my Art Bash piece I’m making a series of five childlike ‘dollmaker’ figures , who in turn are building a just-about full-scale human male figure.  Most of my sculptural pieces have been singular figures, usually 12 inches tall max, so I’m excited as well as a little bit terrified to work on this piece but then again, that’s a combination that means I might just learn something, right?

For the dollmakers I’m working in polymer clay and fiber, using reused materials as much as possible for the later.  So far I’m about 90% finished with one doll, and I just sculpted the polymer pieces for the other four.  Although polymer clay is a material I’m used to, these dolls have very different proportions than the figures I’ve sculpted in the past- much closer to the traditional ‘baby doll’ shape, which makes posing them a bit of a challenge; I’m planning on heading to American Science and Surplus this week to pick up some heavy-duty metal bits to help them balance (who said doll making wasn’t tough?  *flexes limp spaghetti currently using as limb*) Also, since they exist as a group, I’m trying to give them each slightly different look and mood, while still feeling consistent.

Here are some more in-progress pictures for your troubles, folks (click to embiggen):

For the main male figure though I’m going to be using a fabric ‘skin’ over paper mache over a mesh armature again, I’ve done some work with these materials before, but never to this scale.  I’ve been doing some smaller scale material samples to practice though, and I’m planning on working scaling up the techniques from Susanna Oroyan’s fantastic series of doll making books.  I’ll keep you folks posted. Also, if my rant somehow left you wanting more, you can read the actual proposal with images  Here

I’m also working on a mixed media/ mixed technique (live action, stop and traditional animation) film project with Andes Bt from my Core class – we’ve shot about 2 and a half hours of footage so far for a two-minute short, and we’ve still got a lot of stop motion to shoot and editing to do for next week.  No actual finished bits to show yet, but in the meantime, enjoy some lovely stills (sorry about the low quality):

As for the drawing in zeros and ones bit: no, unfortunately I have not been data moshing, although I learned how to glitch images a little bit in my Art History course this term, but since notebook fell apart about a week ago, I’ve been experimenting with keeping a sort of digital sketchbook using Photoshop and my trusty if not slightly janky tablet.   So far it has gone rather well- I can use almost infinitely large pages, color however I like without worry, twist, resize, and mirror (to check symmetry) as need be, and do  initial sketches and final pieces  for multiple projects right next to one another.  I’m still doing traditional drawings of course (sketching people on tablet in school lounge area: good idea.  sketching people on tablet on CTA: very, very bad idea), but I really enjoy working this way and I think I will continue to experiment and play with it.

It works especially well for comics projects- I naturally think more in terms of panels than full layouts, but didn’t have good luck with trying McCloud’s post-it technique; working this way is very helpful, as I can easily draw out individual panels then arrange and edit them as needed, while keeping reference images and sketches just a click away. Here is a sample of one of those pages, to give you an idea of what I’m talking about (and yes, I intentionally made it a bit too small to really see the images- most of the things here are for works in progress that I’d prefer to show in detail yet, and also I’m an evil monster lady.  Sorry about that- the actual completed works will be up soon though!)

Hurray evil robotic overlords! (Too soon?)

I’ve still got a lot of work to do in the next few weeks, so look out for more random pictures and updates, most of which will probably come around 4 am.

Signing off,

J.D.

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