Got myself a set of gray Copic Markers, and I’ve been fiddling with them since yesterday. This is the first time I’m ever using them, so it’s taking a bit of getting used to. That said, I’m enjoying them immensely and love how much time I waste just doodling before starting work every day.
Posted by johnamor | Filed under Trash
Posted by johnamor | Filed under Art
Thought I’d have a little fun today and did my take on Budjette and Kajo’s Kambal characters meeting Joe, the main protagonist in my Urban Animal books. Them being Trese’s bodyguards, I assume they wouldn’t too readily be chums with a shape-shifting kid, but hey.. I’ve been wrong before.
Posted by johnamor | Filed under Research
A rabbit meets an owl in the snow.
A rabbit’s tracks end.
Posted by johnamor | Filed under Work
This is the third in a series of lists in which I share five soundtrack recommendations. Specifically, these are tunes that I’ve found are great background noise when I’m busy drawing. I know the Dark Knight Rises OST is already available online, but I have this personal rule of not really diving into a film score beforehand, as it becomes a bit of a distraction when I get to view the movie. But all that aside, here are some excellent musical scores to some movies I actually have seen.
The Social Network (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross)
Bit of an oldie but still a mainstay in my hard drive, the accompanying theme to the deceptively naive and cutthroat world of software infringement helps me get in the zone when I’m trying to power through layouts at 3 in the morning. The industrial flavor is just manic enough that you get an extra buzz with your coffee, without distracting from whatever text or research material you need to go through to get your job done. This OST has gotten a lot of hype from many more eloquent than I, so I’ll mainly just recommend you find out for yourself if you haven’t checked it out yet.
Contagion (Cliff Martinez)
Echoing the film’s ominous mood and fairly large scope, Martinez’ mix of dark ambient electronica and acid jazz results in a throbbing collection of tunes that practically grows into a “presence” in your music archives. I got a very strong sense of build up from this OST and highly recommend it to anyone still getting started on a day’s pile of crap to do. That’s right, nothing gets me in the mood to make a living like the sound of people dying (not really, but that metaphor was too good to pass up).
Stand out tracks in this are They’re Calling My Flight, Bad Day to be a Rhesus Monkey, and Handshake.
Deus Ex (Michael McCann)
While we’re on the subject of electronica, there’s no forgetting the soundtrack for Deux Ex. I’m not a gamer per se (I play around three or four “new” games a year, and don’t always finish them), but I love the cyberpunk sub-genre of science fiction. With something as niche as the human augmentation trope, I first thought I was just going to end up comparing this to Ghost in the Shell when I first gave it a listen. While sharing some flavors, Deus Ex boasts a very unique Middle Eastern vibe to its music, which is something I personally had not come across in this facet of science fiction.
Moneyball (Mychael Danna)
I guess because I’m Filipino, I don’t have a natural love for baseball. I once cracked a really colonial joke stating that the reason why Americans love the game so much is because it involves hitting things and claiming land as their own. But yeah, I guess it’s just not my thing. That said, I enjoyed Moneyball quite a bit, and thanks in no small part to the film’s score. Equal parts uplifting and tension inducing, it never fails to give you the sense that what you’re doing is waaaay more important than it actually is. If you hear a crowd roaring in your head every time you finish a chunk of work, this is for you.
The Ides of March (Alexandre Desplat)
Been doing a lot of writing lately, which can be argued takes a little more active thought than drawing. A lot of times when I’m illustrating, part of it becomes muscle memory, but writing is never quite that for me. I don’t know if I just haven’t done enough of it, or if I’m simply not very good at it. But that’s that. The OST for the Ides of March is a nice steady collection of tracks that never become overtly tense or downright boring. Each track, in and of itself, very richly lends to storytelling that it has very quickly become one of my favorite work themes. And when all is said and done, I think what we’re looking for is not just music that reminds us of something we enjoyed anyway, but sounds that help us create something special of our own.
Posted by johnamor | Filed under Rants
The wife and I decided to take our relationship to the next level and start doing movie date podcasts. That’s what Watchinging is all about! So deal!
For this first episode, we had our friend Macky Pamintuan join us in a conversation about Prometheus.
Download the episode here
Sorry about the lack of updates on here lately. June of 2012 turned out to be a meat grinder, and I’m only now curling my toes around the foot holds on what I still call my “schedule” — not by any means the least help has been a small disciplinary exercise I came up with and have been observing for the past month.
If you’re anything like me, a creature of ritual, you have a fixed set of things you like to do before you actually start drawing, writing, or whatever it is you do. The attendant “sup” with the Skype buddies. The near-Pavlovian Facebook Like. The snarky midday Tweet. In the midst of all this, I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping a .txt file on my desktop titled “Ten Things.” If you hate lists, you might as well stop reading now.
What it is, is an enumeration of all the work-related things I accomplish over a work week, as they are accomplished. But as a play on my OC-ness, it starts out as a blank list already numbered one to ten. This way, I am always aware of how much I still haven’t gotten done. A partially complete list exhudes a sort of cognizant want to finish it, or as close to ten as you can get. The mechanism is simple but surprisingly effective.
Comic pages. A set of layouts. A character design. These are all aspects of my job that I can accomplish over the course of the week. Seeing the list build up mid-week not only gives you an idea of how much further there is to go, but also gives you a better sense of accomplishment. So you did five pages? Great, that’s five items on the list. Snuck in a character design or two? Even better.
There are of course some caveats. One will ask “What about blog updates? Those are work related.” Sure. But unless this is what you get paid to do, for all you role-players, This effect does not stack. So you posted ten blog updates? That’s one item on the list. Same goes for personal art. One item.
It didn’t seem to have a point at first, especially because all it did was make me feel bad about not always reaching my number ten. And I won’t lie, most of the time you won’t. But what you learn very quickly is that it’s not hitting that number that’s important, but trying to. And when all is said and done, it’s still art, right? Hopefully most of it succeeds, but some of it always fails. The important thing is that you tried. And y’know what? there’s always next week’s list.