Mar 13, 2012

New works

New works I've been doing for my portfolio last week. The last one is my version for the book cover for Lolita.

Mar 8, 2012

Sheet style for inspiration

I find it more easy to pick up the works from my favorite artists I like most and create a style sheet that I can use as a reference any time I work and need some inspiration.
So here are my style sheets I created for 3d artworks, 2d artworks and typography (if you want to see the full image, click right and view image):

Enjoy and feel inspired!
I'm sorry I can't remember all artists names, but one of them is Daniela Uhlig.

Mar 5, 2012

What I've been working on

This post should be my weekly update, but since my first month in Salford was really busy I'll just show you what I've been working since I'm here :)
I actually started learning a lot of new things. That's the best part on being an Erasmus student, you don't have to worry to much about the money, you have some classes and a lot of free time that I, personally spend working on my portfolio.
I did my first complete digital painting! I'm really excited about it and I love the outcome! I just have to make some small retouches.

This is just a preview, but don't worry, after it's finished I'll try making a tutorial about how I started digital painting.
I also did a label and some logo models for two contests on 99designs.

Another project was doing some typography works maybe with some 3D elements, so here are my works from that week:
Lastly I started a project trying to combine photography and illustrated characters. It's not finished yet, but here's a preview:

I'm also working on some other illustrations. I want to make a book cover this week, maybe for Lolita.
So I can say in my first month I almost accomplished my goals: one digital painting, a few 3d and typography projects, a combination between photography and illustration and at least one project on 99designs. Plus my degree project and other 3D tutorials! A lot of work :)

Mar 2, 2012

Text with hair in Cinema 4D Tutorial

A few weeks ago I started playing more with Cinema 4D and I always wanted to try creating a beautiful render with a text covered in hair. I tried for a few days to find the perfect settings and finally I got the expected result.
So here's my tutorial explaining how to apply hair to a text in Cinema 4D:

Step 1:
Create type with Motext. Go to Mograph Menu---> Motext
Enter your desired text and the font you'd like to use in the Motext settings.

Step 2:
Make the text editable(press C) and add to the scene a Connect object. We can't connect the hair to the Motext unless we use a Connect object. You have to make the Motext a child of the Connect object.

Step 3:
With the type selected, add hair from the top menu. When the hair is added, is stays perpendicular on the text, but if you push the play button the hair will start falling down as it's drawn by gravity. Stop the animation when you like the position of the hair.
Set up the hair material using color, specular, thickness, length, scale, frizz and density with these settings:

Step 4:
The next step is adding the sky and lights. I preferred using a sun light as the main light because it gives a natural light to the scene and lights the hair beautifully. The rim light is placed further and at 45 degrees in the back of the text. For any light you use, don't set it to volumetric, just leave the settings as they are, and use soft shadows, not area or hard.

Step 5:
I added some more spheres around the scene using a material with these settings:

The purpose is to create some light globes luminating even more the scene and make it more glamourous.

Step 6:
Here are the settings for rendering:

Here's the final image rendered:

And the image after photoshop processing:

Hope this was helpful! If you have any questions or comments don't hesitate to write me.

Mar 1, 2012

Inspirational collages

I can't believe my first month in Salford is over!
It passed really fast, but I can actually see the progress in my work so I'm happy to be here. :)
I consider these 4 months a break from my comfort zone, my reality, my usual life. It's all about work, learning new things and building my style.
As part of my learning path I want to include here some inspirational collages, just showing you what inspires me.
My first choice when it comes to finding inspiration is phychology, subconscious and dreams. It's interesting how our mind perceives certain situations, how they're represented in our minds and how they can be interpreted.

Water has a big influence on me. I can't swim, so it kinda scares me, but in the same time I find this maritime world fascinating. And I like drawing waves :)

Until a few years ago I wasn't very impressed by colorful stuff. I preferred monochromatic works, minimal, with a black and white tint. But then, suddenly, I discovered the beauty in color and actually started enjoying it and using it more. Also Pop Art became my new favorite art movement.

I'm not a fan of Batman or other comic book characters, but I like the drawing style, the idea of using comic book strips or creating a story through your piece and give the impression of movie stills.

I could say a lot about this piece, about Audrey, the artist, but for now I want to highlight the characters features (innocent, yet sexy), the maritime elements, graphical and minimal style, dreamy atmosphere. I just love lowbrow art :)

Fashion illustrations also inspire me with their commercial look, colorful and superficial sometimes. I enjoy an illustration describing a common situation met day by day, but still it just looks beautiful.

And of course we don't want to forget about sweets! All types of candies, colorful and appetizing.

Jan 26, 2012

Follow your dreams/or how to become an illustrator (part 1)

I promised in the last post I'll start writing about my Erasmus experience and about " following your dreams".
Don't get me wrong, I'm not an expert in succeeding, not at all! But I'm starting an unique experience, and in the same time, I decided to make some changes in my life. Consider this a journal where you could find some helpful advice, similar situations and maybe some inspiration for yourself.

In this first part I want to talk about what we consider successful, failures and being objective with ourselves.

1. Being successful
    Lately I met so many people not knowing where they stand, what they want in life, their purpose. I always say it's not wrong not to know what you want because this gives you more possibilities. For example, I don't know if I want to be a fashion photographer or a children's book illustrator. That's fine, I can practice both, become better and better at both, and after a while decide what I like more, or even have 2 options for a job all the time.
Everyone feels scared not knowing what they want. As humans, we need stability, and lately a family does not stand for our supreme goal, a career became the most important target. Others want to travel, see the world, others want children, a beautiful family. We might want a big salary or just doing what we like without a consistent reward. We all are different and being successful means something else for each one of us. That's the best part of free choice and diversity.
I also started feeling insecure about my future. I'm turning 24 in a month! My mother had me at 24! I felt old and totally lost. Then I started thinking what I did until now, what I really want to do in the future.What I did? Nothing considerable for building my future as I like it! I wasted my time for 24 years! That's what I was thinking. What I really want to do? Draw all day long, create something different every day, feel good with myself and have a reason to wake up.

2. Failures
    If you're still reading, here comes the best part, failures. We all have failed and we will fail. We all feel bad about our mistakes and would like to have a time machine to go back and change everything. But that's the beauty of life. Every fail has it's purpose, and if you look at that particular situation better, it's not actually a fail, it's more like a choice, a decision you once made.
When I was depressed, I remembered about a book I read a few years ago: The dark side of the light searchers. I don't remember the author and I don't even know if this is the exact title in English.  Anyway, long story short, it's about getting to know yourself, appreciating who you are, all explained in a non bullshit way. This is one of the best books I've ever read about getting to know who you are. There are many good lessons in this book, but I don't want to write a novel right now :)) so I'll make a post just about this book soon. For the moment I just want to underline the most important idea: there aren't any failures, only choices, there aren't qualities and flaws, just qualities used wisely or thoughtless, there aren't bad or good people, we only see in them what we don't like at ourselves or what we would like to be. 

3. Being objective
    Sometimes I'm harsh and mean with myself. I complain, but never do something about it. "I lost 24 years because I was too scared to do what I really wanted", "I gained weight in the last 3 months because I only work in front of the computer, and in the morning I'm to tired to wake up at 7", "I don't have money because I don't have a job, and my freelancing isn't enough". Then I give myself a good slap and think: "Ok, you lost all this time because you were to scared, but why loose more complaining about it?", "Ok, you didn't do any sports lately, but you can quit smoking and go to the gym with your friends, support each other, and it's fun", "You don't have a job, and you love freelancing, but tell me, how many times you preferred watching a movie, rather than finishing that illustration?". This is how I sound talking to myself :)) So stop complaining, see what you can change with small steps, set up a goal and go for it!

In the next post I'll write about that book, maybe find it and give you a link. I think it's important to understand our mechanism before acting. At least it works better for me since I'm more calculated.

Jan 19, 2012

Lili's 23 on Etsy Interview

In this interview Irina Turcu from  "Lili's 23" on Etsy will answer my questions. I thank her for her patience! So here it is:

1. Tell us about your first attempts to be creative.

My first attempts...well I remember that at one time I tried to paint and draw. My dad gave me a few lessons but it just didn't feel right. So I gave that up. But I had that annoying feeling that something is missing.
And one day I got from an online library a tiny book where you could learn how to make jewelry.
It had like 20 pages or something....but that was the beginning for me. After that I started searching the Internet for jewelry supplies and more ideas.
One thing lead to another and here I am:)

2. Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

Right now  I am obsessed with purple and love the green - purple combination after I saw it on a building. An old green building with purple was dreamy...

3. What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

As I like to say :I'm an artistic engineer. I finished the Technical University from Cluj and in that time I discovered my passion for jewelry.
Right now I work as an engineer and try to keep my hobby up-to date.

4. What art do you most identify with?

I'm still searching myself. But I constantly try to search new ideas and new materials for jewelry. I just try to keep my mind open and see what happens.

5. What themes do you pursue?

I like vintage themes because I work with old jewelry ( like an old earring made into a brooch). But also I like nature, and nature inspired combination of colors ( like green-brown, blue-yellow, and so on).
It all depends on my state of mind. The theme of my most recent collection was love, now I'm working on a collection that will be close to the nature ( with wood and dry flowers) and intend to do a vintage related one before Christmas.

6. Where do you find your inspiration?

Pretty much everywhere, from buildings, movies, art, paintings, street fashion blogs, and most of it from day-dreaming after seeing a nice picture and imagining a different world and how could i make things that would fit in there.

7. What's your favorite technique?

I'm still trying different techniques: from the most common : stringing, to working with wood and silver.

9. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

Well I am finding harder and harder to organize my time. I work from 9 to 6. And in the remaining time of the day I have to work on my collections but also keep a somehow social life. I found that it's somehow difficult, but prioritizing everything is the key.  

10. How do you promote your work online and offline?

Well offline I promote it through friends and family( and that's why I still need a social life I said above).  Online I have a blog where i post all my work ( including the custom orders and the things for myself.
I also post on my personal Facebook page and try to handle the Etsy shop with everything it has to offer ( treasuries, and so on).

11. Any advice for beginners?

On Etsy I'm myself a beginner. But I do make jewelry on and off for 4 years now. 
I guess though that the best advice is not to give up and believe in yourself. It sounds bit cheesy, i know, but I had a year break from making jewelry when I wanted to quit it and felt like something is missing. Now, when I'm trying to put everything together and i feel like I'm on the right track. I'm trying to make lists and do according to lists. I don't think it will be easy, but the things that are worth are never easy.

Thank you again, Irina for your answers and beautiful pictures!
Considering I'm leaving next week to Salford University for the next 4 months, I would like to write about my Erasmus experience and also following my dreams :)
I hope I'll be able to be more consistent in writing, but considering I was working on my Master degree, I guess I have an excuse..
Oh, and Happy New Year everyone!