(2008) My first digital painting

Featuring my Avatar Linker (2000's design)

Size: 11inx17in

Back in March of 2008 I was assigned with the task of making a poster with an autobiographic story. It could have been photo manipulation, a collage, an illustration or whatever. I obviously decided to go my "expertise" and tried to illustrate something, and I place "Expertise" on quotes because as you can see I was barely even able to draw things at all.

When I look back, I can easily see how much of a mess I was (In many areas) and it's sad to think how oblivious I was about it too... nevertheless! going back to my artistic skills at the time: I barely had any grasp on how to use adobe programs like Photoshop, I had bad traditional painting skills, I lacked patience, and I didn't really had the best ideas out there, great combo overall.

When it came time to make this artwork, my first thought was to try and make something traditional. I had been practicing since 2005 and I felt pretty comfortable that I could do it... However, I didn't take into consideration was how BAD I was at painting my linearts, even more with a bigger format, so it ended in a complete failure, as you can see here: 

My failed attempt

I only had one night to complete the assignment, I had learned the very basics of Photoshop recently, maybe I knew how to use the brushes, layers and selections tools, and since I didn't had a better option I tried something I had never done before...

I decided draw the picture on regular paper with a thin marker, I scanned the page, I adjusted scan to the 11x17 format, and using only my mouse, I painted below the outlines with a brush at 0% percent hardness... 

Original scan

The next day I went to print the artwork, and it turns out that I completely ignored the fact that I made the entire thing on RGB colors, so all the colors ended up looking waaay different and burnt compared to what I saw on my monitor. It was too late to change, so I had to deal with it as it came.

The theme of the artworks was Ironically "Disorganized" and it presents 5 facets or states of the same character, this is an interpretation of the 2008 concept:

The reason why I picked this concept is because is one of my worst qualities, I might have a lot of good qualities but they kinda get neutralized by this one. I thought it was important to represent this personal block to maybe be able to overcome it.
The illustration scene depicts 3 main aspect of the theme: one, represented in the color and structure of the room (Gray) which expresses the seriousness and the feeling of being trapped under this situation.
The characters represent the stages and attitudes a disorganized person takes under these scenarios, and the third aspect, represented by the clocks near each character, represent the time factor that is always present in his mind, it keeps running and getting lost inside this vicious cycle: A sun clock, sand clock, neck clock, wrist clock, and digital clock on the table.

  • Yellow shirt: He's trying to find a way out, but looking at the horizon he doesn't solve anything. 
  • Red shirt: He sits in a comfortable place, even though his responsibilities don't allow him to feel comfortable.
  • Miniature character: He's starting to get worried, but he's trying to minimize the problem, however, he fails and ends up feeling smaller than the situation.
  • Blue shirt: "I'm not going to pick up this mess" the mess that his lack of organization caused, and he's not taking responsibility for it.
  • Hidden character (Hand near the desk): On a last attempt to solve the problem that his lack of organization caused, he crawls to his desk without being able to reach it, the problem has already consumed him and he's not able to even pick himself up.

You can draw the comparison with one of my first animations, they both share a similar style because they were made around that same period:

This version doesn't come from the original PSD file, but rather a photo of the print I made that same year. If it wasn't for this print, I wouldn't have any proof of the existence of this digital artwork, because the original file was lost after a hard drive malfunction between 2009 and 2010:

I did lost a couple of other artworks during that time, including some of my next attempts of digital painting, but thankfully I somehow managed to save this one, which I think it's one of the most important examples on how simple my skills were at the time.

I've mentioned a couple of times how I've basically failed all my way through here, hitting my face over and over on each fall, but I'm not precisely ashamed of it... I wanted to bring out the positive aspect of those experiences, how constant failure shouldn't be the reason for you to quit what you love doing. If you have a passion for it, you shouldn't let go so easily.


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