Art Excursion in New York

This past weekend was the best possible way to start 2019. Back in December, I surprised my wife with tickets to New York for her birthday. We’re both artists so we planned ahead and made a list of things we wanted to see during our visit. The excursion also acted as a research trip for the current project I am working on with Dr. Thiener Games. (https://www.drthienergames.com) We left at midnight and landed at 8 am in Manhattan and damn, it was cold.

Manhattan. 28 Degrees.

Manhattan. 28 Degrees.

We made it a goal to try and visit as many museums possible in our three days and what caught me off guard was how much history New York paid tribute to through statues and monuments. They called out so many amazing things in American history that it was hard not to be inspired. There were so many epic places and moments on the trip, but here are a few pictures that really resonated with me and had a big impact.

Arriving in Manhattan.

Arriving in Manhattan.

Federal Hall where George Washington took his presidential oath. The birth of the American Dream.

Federal Hall where George Washington took his presidential oath. The birth of the American Dream.

Frozen Lake @ Central Park. Living in San Diego, you don’t see this. Ever. I’m also really curious what the engraving of the stone I’m standing on is.

Frozen Lake @ Central Park. Living in San Diego, you don’t see this. Ever. I’m also really curious what the engraving of the stone I’m standing on is.

William Shakespeare in Central Park. As a visual story teller, this just hit me with a lot of inspiration to continue to refine the craft in all aspects.

William Shakespeare in Central Park. As a visual story teller, this just hit me with a lot of inspiration to continue to refine the craft in all aspects.

Dinner at The Ribbon.

Dinner at The Ribbon.

T - Rex at the American Museum of Natural History. The photo doesn’t do the size of this king justice. Keep in mind I’m 6’3. I might have let slip an, “Oh Shit” in front of a nice family.

T - Rex at the American Museum of Natural History. The photo doesn’t do the size of this king justice. Keep in mind I’m 6’3. I might have let slip an, “Oh Shit” in front of a nice family.

Theodore Roosevelt monument outside American Museum of Natural History. Did you know that it was because of him that we have national parks and game reserves?

Theodore Roosevelt monument outside American Museum of Natural History. Did you know that it was because of him that we have national parks and game reserves?

By the end of the trip I captured over 300 reference photos. It got to the point that we needed to stop at cafes along our journey to charge our phones from all the photos we were taking. When the trip came to an end and we were getting back on the plane, there were still so many places we didn’t get a chance to visit. We both decided we need to come back but could definetly wait until the summer.

If you have any recommendations on places to visit or things to do, I’d love to hear it in the comments!

Cheers,

Sean

The 30 Minute Concept

Hey Guys,

I want to talk about some of the pressures we face as concept artist. At times, we’re given an assignment with all the time in the world, other times we are put to the challenge of designing under an immense time restriction of 30 minutes. So I took time this week and created a quick tutorial for purchase in hopes that it could give some guidance the next time you encounter this task. Click the link below to watch the demo

The concept above was done in 30 minutes.

The concept above was done in 30 minutes.

Nature and Design

Hey Guys,

Today I want to reiterate with you a very well known and important topic, Design in nature. Nature will forever be the greatest designer. We don’t get to choose what nature designs nor do we get to choose the composition it reveals itself in. It simply creates. As a concept artist, it’s your job to take an idea in its raw form and design a better version of itself. You must simply create, but do it better. Innovate and expand reality. I’m really trying to get that point across if you can’t tell. So what better reference to use than the world around you. Color pallets, material indication, composition, shapes and many more are there for the taking. Find the essence of your inspiration and funnel it into your design. Draw the idea not the subject. Then draw another idea, then another, then another. You are only ever as good as your reference and with nature in your corner, it can only help.

Here’s an example:

The Art Director gives me the task of creating a creature that the hero must defeat to continue their journey onward. The creature needs to be relatable and there are multiple of said creature here, so it’s not like it is one giant hulking monster.

My reference sheet:

Reference sheets can get very complex, but for this task I felt that it was not needed. I chose the volcano image as I really enjoy how the lava patterns differ as it rolls down the volcano. I also like the subtle emmission the lava gives against the night. I chose this image of the pit bull because at any time I think of a strong and intelligent dog, this breed is always the first that pops into my head. It also fits the art directors needs. The animal is well known, lives in packs and can be intimidating at times. But remember, my goal here is to not make the viewer afraid of a volcano or a dog, but instead capture the essence of the two and design something that fits the needs of the task.

My two concepts that I want to merge together and design something new and interesting.

My two concepts that I want to merge together and design something new and interesting.

The Outcome:

Here is my final. At the heart of the design is the essence of both images. Lava is so hot that its various stages of cooling affects how the lava looks and behaves. The pit bull’s proportions are muscular and a bit intimidating. I tied the two together in the idea that its flesh is made from cooled lava and and in some parts, like the face, has been completely melted away and just exists down to the bone. Suspending what is normal, but keeping it grounded enough that on screen, it still reads as believable.

IMG_1356.JPG

That’s it. Thank you guys for reading and I hope you were able to take something away with this.

Cheers!

Sean

Making a Career out of Art?

Hey Guys,

To begin you should know that there is no right answer for this question. I can promise you that. But It is my hope that I can shed some light and help establish a good jumping off point for you. This is something I wish I had known when I began art school, and can only imagine how it may have affected me then. Hindsight is always 20/20 but fear not, I’m here to share. I believe If you stop and reflect upon these three points it can greatly increase your chances for the transition from student to pro happen sooner. Here they are.

  • Intention

  • Presentation

  • Feedback

1. Intention

Before anything, you need to ask yourself why are you making art. If you can’t openly share it with people and stand behind it, then you may want to find a new career path or change your reason. If the client can’t admire why you create, why would they pay you for it? Your purpose should go beyond just wanting to make cool characters for that one AAA game company you love so much. it puts you in a box. Boxes are bad. BAD.

2. Presentation

This is so important. How do you sway your potential client that you are the artist for the job? How do you make them trust that you can accomplish their needs? The answer is portfolio continuity. Fifty paintings at various levels of finish is not going to make anyone believe you can create a professional level. Instead, try showing only your best ten paintings with the same level of finish. It rounds you out as artist and helps build that potential client’s perception of who you are and what you are capable of.

3. Feedback

Cast aside your pride and learn how people view your work. Does it inspire? Does it bore? Are you missing some fundamental principles? It’s art, everyone is going to have an opinion. If it’s not enjoyable, then your intention or presentation need to evolve. This is usually every artist’s first chance to tread professional territory.

That wraps up the three points. I hope this was helpful. All in all you need to be your own curator. Create the space you want you and your art to be a part of. Good Luck!

Cheers,

Sean

Welcome to Studio Evans

Hi, I’m Sean. Thanks for checking out my studio’s page. My goal with this site is to join the concept art conversation, all while providing tips and tricks that will hopefully help us grow as artists. Along with educational posts, I’ll also be sharing my studios work as well as personal projects. 2019 is looking to be a year on the up and I’m looking forward to it.

Cheers!