Saturday, October 26, 2013

What is This? A CD Cover!

So it's finally done. Yep! I was going to upload it a few days ago when I finished, but there was some blog confusion. Anyways, in addition to this CD cover, I must submit an "Artist's Statement". It's a main explanation of my piece. It's a little text-heavy, so bear with me.

For this assignment, I decided to make an album cover for an Anime soundtrack. I did this for a few reasons. One reason is obviously because it's something I have interest in, something I love, and why not integrate a personal interest into a project? Another reason I decided to do this is because I've done enough manipulation in my grade 12 Photography class, I want to paint in Photoshop instead. I haven't done a lot of digital painting but I really enjoy doing so. I decided to do this project not only for class, as it is necessary, but to improve on my own skills. You can't get any better without practice. I actually did a blog post about some of my process work but I'll save describing that for my critique.

My album cover is for the soundtrack of and anime called Mirai Nikki, meaning Future Diary.I decided to use the most memorable main character of the series, Gasai Yuno. I first tried sketching her a few times and scanning the sketch into my computer but the sketches looked terrible. I then got a better reference picture and decided to sketch her out in Photoshop. I had the image open beside my canvas so it made it a lot easier to refer to.

One thing I was originally going to do for this, to make it feel a bit more authentic, was to try and re-create the original logo in a way. Unfortunately, it would seem too copied and wouldn't reach my intended audience, people in North America. Most people here don't know how to read Japanese. I had a lot of trouble figuring out what font to use for my title. I searched, and searched, and searched and ended up sticking with what I have now. Most fonts I found and tried were either too elaborate or too simple. It was very hard to get a title that worked. I also had difficulty figuring out what to do with the title and looked at multiple tutorials and tried showing it with different effects and such, but that didn't help much.

Another thing that was difficult for me was completing Yuno's hair. I decided to do hair in a style that required a LOT of brush strokes and at one point, I just wanted to composite her into the CD cover and place her so the hair I didn't finish was cut off. Unfortunately for me, I figured that wouldn't work out well and I just really wanted to see it completed anyways. I never completed the whole image itself, as I'll show in my critique, because her outfit doesn't show on the CD cover other than the strap. I think some day I may finish it, though. The eyes were the fun part and the line-art, although made easy with the pen tool, was the most tedious thing ever. All in all, I'm proud of my painting because it's my third ever try at one. I'm mainly used to traditional art and although some things still apply such as colour theory, it's still difficult.

I feel the easiest thing for me was the background. In the anime, when a character is going to die in the future, their diary (usually a cell phone), says "DEAD END". I found a picture of that online and figured out what the font for it was and integrated that into the background with some subtle scan-lines from a custom pattern I made. I made it diagonal because diagonal lines are more appealing to the eye. In addition, I made a "DEAD END" white to make it stand out a bit more and not be all jumbled up and confusing about what the background is saying. It was originally off-grey, but I made a gradient of black and red to darken it up which also matches the first opening of the show as well.

Altogether, I really enjoyed this assignment. I love using Photoshop and it let me brush up on my digital painting skills, which I've wanted to do for a while now. It allowed me to incorporate my interests creatively into a piece and have fun while doing so. Not all mandatory projects are bland and boring, this one sure wasn't.

Edit: Today in Digital Media, we critiqued all of the CD covers and posters. I'm pretty used to critiques but was still nervous because I'm used to super, long, in-depth ones from art class. Nonetheless, I liked it. It made me feel a lot better about my art. I got compliments on how the skin was done and two people even told me that I "didn't make that". Well, sir, my art may be too good for me but let me tell you

I was really self-conscious about a few things, mainly the title because it caused me a lot of stress and I'm still not please with it. I was also very impressed with a lot of the CD covers and posters. They made me inspired to do more art. Unfortunately, school comes first so I'll have to put art off for now.

Incoming: The rest of my process work with more pictures!
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