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Grieverjoe (Jose Alvarez) is NOT a whiny emo as his name would suggest. He's an IT student with a love for art.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Rapunzel - Disney Princesses Gang Fight

First one of the bunch.
Coming from a very strict household, Rapunzel acted out as soon as she was able. She figured, since her hair was one of her more defining features, that she would shave half of her head in order to really get on her mom's nerves. She went out and got her nose pierced, too! And she's resorting to vandalism!
She enjoys Punk music, torn stockings, and Vans high tops.
"Mother knows best, my ass!"


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Disney Princesses Gang Fight

You guys sick of Disney princesses yet? No? Good!
This is a prelim sketch, based on an idea that my wife's friend's mom had, where several Disney princesses would form gangs and fight each other.
I don't know! She had the idea, and I ran with it.
I'm gonna clean them up later. This is to help me see the personality/dress of each.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ruins concept

Some quick concept art for my wife of the ruins that feature heavily in one of her books. :)
Trying to be more explorative of landscapes, since I have little experience/success with anything non-person.
On the other hand, check out that badass gesture on the left, there!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Part of my Polykarbon art challenge.
I tried to make him look like Aaron Eckhart, but I think he looks like Harrison Ford!
Pencil and paper, about 20 minutes.
Sorry about the quality; can't scan this sketchbook, so I have to take a picture.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Original Character Needs To Die

I am sure you are no stranger to the “Original Character.” You may even have a few yourself; I know I do. Several, in fact.
However, I feel compelled to call for the death of the Original Character as we know, or at very least, the identifier of Original Character.
The reason for this is that I have found the moniker “original character” or OC to have lost almost all of its meaning. It is now an empty shell of what it used to be, replaced by recolors and rebrandings of other people’s creations.

Now, I want you to know that I, too, have gone down this path. When I was 10, Dragon Ball was extremely popular in Mexico. This was around the mid-90s. It was one of my favorite shows, and a pretty big player in my decision to become an artist. So, because I was a kid and that’s the kinda things kids do, I created a brother for Goku (this was before they started airing Dragon Ball Z). Goku’s name was Rex, and because he was my own creation (and I didn’t think a tail was cool enough), I gave him bat wings, because of course I did. Not content with a brother, I said ‘what the hell?’ and created a father for Goku, as well (this was also before finding out Goku had a real father. Who knew!?) His name was Retrax, I believe. It’s been a long time. Retrax had a tail, like Goku, but no wings. Also he wore a helmet all the time. Several helmets. I designed like twelve helmets, all of them obscured his face, all of them terrible. I was 10.
Rex and Retrax didn’t see much use, save for me drawing them over and over and showing them to my friends and then having to explain, no, these are not ACTUALLY Goku’s brother and father. They’re my own creation, you see. They don’t exist, save for in my own head, and they have awesome adventures with and without Goku. Really, they do. You should totally hear about them, but not right now. But I made them, so they were mine, right?

Sorry, didn’t mean to go off on a tangent, there. Point is, I’m familiar with this type of character, cuz I’ve been there, and I know a lot of you have been there, which is why I keep seeing the dreaded “Original Character” all over the place, and why I am now calling for its demise.
The thing is, when you come up with a character based on someone else’s idea and concept, how original can the character be? I mean, sure, your character is a specially unique and beautiful snowflake, and they have all these qualities that set them apart from all the other characters in this existing world (…right?), but without the context of this pre-made world, how do they fare? Do you have to create a new story or a completely new world so that they don’t simply wither and die (if you do, then awesome!)? Or is their existence completely limited by the world they’re in? Someone else’s world, mind you.
If you created your own world from start and then plopped your characters in, then this doesn’t apply to you. I’m talking about taking an existing, established franchise or fandom (Star Wars, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Sonic, Naruto, The Smurfs, you name it!) and plopping a character in the thick of it. This character is most of the time a Frankenstein’s monster of every other character in the already-existing lore. Sometimes, they’re self-insertion characters (“He’s a Paladin named JOSEPH and he’s super cool and strong and everybody loves him and wants to be friend with him! Also, he’s a dragon! And everybody loves him, even the villains. And the hot chicks. ESPECIALLY the hot chicks.”) Sometimes they’re a random assortment of concepts, simply because the author wanted an OC themselves (“Lord of the Rings? Okay, my character is a future version of Wolverine and he has laser eyes and cybernetic enhancements! And he’s a half dragon!”)
I ran into one of these Original Characters a while back. Her name was Maelerys Targaryen. Fifty cool points if you can guess what fandom she came from. She was everything Daenerys was (a princess in exile, mother of dragons, trying to take over Westeros, etc) and more (a LESBIAN princess in exile). If the creator of the character is reading this, more power to you. I don’t presume to tell you what you can and cannot do, but at that point, how original is your character? If you take an existing character, change two letters in her name, and leave everything else intact, is the character truly “original”?
What about recolors? Take an existing character, give them a new wardrobe, bam! Instant new character that you, yourself, ‘created’ and now own. This would be like me taking the Mona Lisa, changing her eye color, and claiming the whole painting as my own. Can you name a character “original” when they’re a palette swap from someone else’s creation? (I’m looking at you, Sonic Original Characters!)
Even without swapping out the name or changing their colors, can you truly create an original character when everything else is already laid out and plotted for you by someone else?
What about canon? If you create a character who is Kakashi’s old master, what does that do to continuity? Headcanon doesn’t count, as what you’re doing is simply taking the existing storyline and twisting it at your whim. Of course we have to create characters that are important to the plot, otherwise no one would want to read about them, but why try to shoehorn them like so? What happens when you try to make your shiny new character be Lord Aizen’s secret lover? Look how well shoehorning worked for George Lucas (yeah, I went there).
Now, let me clarify, that I am not asking you to stop creating characters, as that would be a dumbass thing to do. I consider myself a concept artist, so creating characters is all I do. What kind of artist asks other artists to stop creating? By all means, continue to create your fan characters and have a blast. If it makes you happy, more power to you. But can we agree to change the name? I’ve come to despise the term “Original Character” because, nine times out of ten, it refers to these fandom characters that have nothing to offer in regards to originality. I find myself cringing when I refer to my own characters as ‘original’, because people automatically assume they’re from some fandom.
So, can we rename these characters “fan characters” or “fandom characters” and rebrand the original character “personal character?”
I think it’s time to retire the Original Character, as it has become a shadow of itself (right up there with “epic” and “literally”). Continue to create characters based on an existing property and fandom. Go forth, have fun and let your DC X-Men Avenger have babies with Jon Snow on top of the Enterprise on the way to blow up the third Death Star piloted by Naruto (and then tell me about, because I would read the hell out of that!).
But, please, let’s not call them “original”, for that word seems to have thrown in the towel.
By the way, wondering what happened to Rex and Retrax? They were crappy characters, so I decided to retire them. And by retire them, I mean they died.
TL;DR: Retire “original character”, replace with “personal character” and “fan or fandom character”, accordingly.
I would like to hear some thoughts on this, but please, let’s keep the discussion civil.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Huitzilopochtli WIP 3

One more pass, I think.
This far along and I still don't know where I'm going with this...