Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

My Land



I have been wanting this for a very long time and it has finally happened. My own website is up and running at full speed! This is now my main place of operation to display my best work and to share my thoughts and activity via articles. There are some new conveniences that I can offer to you also! You do not need any type of profile or membership to comment and engage in my posts, you can just write freely. Also, if you would like to send me a direct message, I set up a contact page that will email me directly. Other than a clean presentation and pristine organization, all my activity will stay the same, but just happening at denzelajackson.com!

Thank you to everyone who I get to work with and to everyone that shows my work love.

Thank you Blogger for having provided quality service and hosting my site up to this point.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Highs And Lows



I know this is a common topic but I think that it is something that should be discussed fairly often, because the highs and lows always fluctuate, they don't suddenly stop. What I really like hearing about is how different people deal with their lows and how they bring themselves back up. Self-motivation is one of the most important skills to practice in order to reach high levels of success, so we should help each other when we can.

For me, when I feel a bit down on the art path, I still stay focused and keep the practice up. Although, during this time the work is more uncomfortable. Since I am feeling a bit unsettled, the work reflects that, sometimes it can put more spirit into the picture, or stifle all of it, so that the picture looks lifeless or like a landfill. The feeling is only temporary, so I usually tolerate it and eventually it will dissolve.

I wrote about this before, but I really like looking at the old work of my superior artists, because it makes it clearer that those pictures have already been done by them, and that we all need to go through our growing pains. 

I listen to loads of music. Musicians tell wonderful stories about themselves when they were young, broke, and infamous, and these are fantastic because they share their perseverance. I think it is unfortunate that many visual artists do not tell those kinds of stories. Every personal picture that I create is a small piece of my journey and can be put together like puzzle pieces. This makes the pictures full of life, because they are straight from my mind and heart. It is good for me as the creator, so I recommend anyone who has not done this to experiment with it.

Usually, I share visual art with you, but this time I'd like to honor a different type of artist and a piece of his story:


Growing Pains II by Logic


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine!


Happy Valentine's Day my friends, thanks for being awesome people! I've got some cool stuff in store and am excited to share it with all of you. Here is a piece of my recent pictures, so here is a carrot for you. =)

If you have any new work out that I have not noticed, please point me in that direction so that I can check it out!

Keep it up and have a good day.

Friday, February 7, 2014

We Need Each Other!


Yes, artistic companionship is something that almost all of us need! To become rejects together and to excel together. Like a second family, taking the blows in learning doesn't feel as bad when we have our fellow artists around and celebrating accomplishments feels way better when we get to share it with others! Sometimes when I go for too long without spending time with other artists, it feels like I am isolated. I know others feel this same thing too so let's keep each others' spirits up!

Secondly, about the team aspect of community. I believe the best projects are made from teams. NOT solo production. I don't see one person being able to outperform a team, unless sleep is not needed. And even then, no. I love seeing creators come together and making big things happen! It gets me really hyped up. So to everyone, let's look out for each other and keep up the good work!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Do Not Laugh At Me




People often laugh at things that they do not understand. I was having a conversation with someone about different career moves that can be made within animation industry and I was laughed at and ridiculed. Not because the things I was saying were jokes, but they were ambitious. I am used to this because I've always said we could do amazing things since I was a kid, but I can still feel it pushing against potential achievements. Therefore, to anyone else out there who has big dreams and want to do great things, you have my faith and encouragement! Not many people have the tenacity to even pursue greatness, so those who do need to stick together and brush the naysayers aside.

Exactly like Newton's Third Law, for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction, this goes way further than just physics, but to our activity as well. If someone does something extraordinary, there will be extraordinary reactions, some will be good and some will be bad.

There are thousands of people who have already done magnificent things! So be your own judge and keep moving forward, and let those who mock validate your achievements!

Friday, January 24, 2014

How I Create A Character Concept



There are a few things I keep in mind when designing a character. I try to bring them to life in a similar way that I think an actor would a role. I imagine the character's life and what it would be like, as if I have become the character. How it would shape me and the setting I'd live in. After I feel comfortable with my new self, I analyze how it would be communicated to others, not only the audience, but anyone else who may work with this character.

Putting yourself into the character's shoes is the emotional connection that can really boost the authenticity of the design and make it more appealing to an audience. The same way we don't feel a deep connection with a brick wall, a flat character will just take up space. No fun. Also, once we are in the spirit of the character, it frees us to experiment and try different ideas, such as clothing, tools, environment, vocabulary, etc. We get to have fun with a new life while making the design so play and make it impactful!

Secondly, communication is essential to reach two groups: the audience, and any others that may work with the character. Obviously, the audience needs to feel, whether it is positive or negative. If it provides people with an emotional response, then it's working well! Other than the audience, such as other artists, the pipeline, or the client, if this design is passed along and they can't grasp the concept, then it is a weak link in the chain. Yikes. If the person receiving the blueprint can't make any sense of it, then how can he work with it, or even make it better?

These are just two of the main things that I strictly keep in my mind when making designs. This is my method for now, but I am always ready to change or add new elements in the future, as I learn, meet superior artists, and taste discovery. Perhaps then I can make a Part II of this! If any of you have specific techniques that you'd like to share, I'd enjoy reading them. =)

Thank you and have a good day!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Keep Drawing: Revealed

When people are trying to explain their views and opinions of art, I like to pay attention because something can be learned from everybody. One of the most common tips seasoned artists share is to simply 'keep drawing.' As long as someone keeps drawing, then the skill will increase. I definitely agree with this, but I think it is being said with such simplicity that people feel unsatisfied with the piece of advice. I have pondered this and think I can explain it further. I'm going to compare it to video games.



A game that many of us are familiar with is Super Smash Bros.(whichever version). If not, then most fighting or FPS games can work. For this comparison, imagine the act of playing the game as drawing. Alrighty, we start playing the game and we are beginners, below average and learning how to get our butts kicked, understandable. It's easy to quickly get up to the average level because we see many average gamers and we can observe all of them. Once we become an average player, then the game gets way funner, because instead of losing all of the time, we win matches too. The game is really fun, so we play it constantly, hang out with our friends, compete and progress. Getting better at the game isn't always intentional, we love it so much that just the act of enjoying it makes us start to perform moves with more efficiency. For example, in Call of Duty, if someone throws a grenade at us, we gained the quick thoughtfulness to throw it back, rather than when we were brand new and didn't think fast enough to do that. If we keep playing the game, eventually, we will become very skilled and able to own whatever room or match we are in. It feels good, but now there are less people to teach us new tricks. We have to create our own method of improvement, henceforth.

Now, in the actual form, being an artist: we ALL have to start as a beginner. Drawing may not be as fun as the pros make it look, but it is easy to improve quickly. The reason is because, as a beginner, we can learn loads from every single person, other beginners are our peers and we can discuss ideas with them. If we keep drawing, we will move up to being a mid-level artist, nice. Being part of the biggest tier is a fun place to be because there are limitless amounts of people to connect, study, and grow with. Now we start receiving praise and don't feel like our work is inferior to everyone's! Being here for a long time... hard work... studying... KEEP...DRAWING...elite status! After making pictures and pictures, thinking "This is the one that will blow people away," we finally start to gain sweet recognition. If we keep up the dedication, things can keep getting better.

How did all this happen? No tricks or formulas other than the simple piece of advice: keep drawing. I remember back, listening to people sharing this and thinking that there must be more, but eventually, I learned otherwise. I hope this helps you all and I look forward to reading whatever you all have to say.

Thank you and have a good day!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Positive Procrastination

Like many things that are typically viewed as negative, they can actually be positive with an optimistic perception. I view procrastination as a tool that can be used in multiple ways. I know it is not productive to play games for many hours, every day. If I do want to do something such as play video games, then instead of slopping down instantly, I can do a couple sketches, maybe for a half of an hour. Then what happens is pretty wonderful! I get into the bliss of drawing and lose the desire to game. I have one other example of this: I had a friend who was trying to be more healthy and whenever the thirst arrived for soda, she would drink two cups of water first, then she would want the soda no longer.

What is your perception? Can you see the PROS of procrastination? Try flipping things around: put off the leisure activities for 30 minutes(or some short time) and see what happens. Perhaps, it will even make the relaxing times more precious. =)

So utilize the TOOL of PROCRASTINATION.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 Appreciation

I am an artist for you.

Last year was a wonderful year for me. I was fortunate enough to start it as an artist, only known by family, to having a wide circle of friends and fans that I am able to grow with. Their are countless people that have made 2013 as fantastic as it was, and I would like to honor them:

- Family: The most appreciation goes to my family for supporting and trusting any decision that I decide to make. I know many of my moves can seem unclear to anyone other than myself, but they give me their trust that I am moving in a positive direction. Without them, my path would be unimaginably more difficult. Thank you for being as solid as rocks!

- Friends: Many of my friends didn't know I was an artist until I started releasing my work to the public. When I began showing my pictures to my friends who are not artists, it was a bit racking, because people can react positively and negatively. While both opportunities were seized, the majority has been very kind and encouraging. I knew my work was not good when I first started showing, but art is my destiny and knowing that whatever I drew was going to be displayed really motivated me to improve. When people respond to my pieces, in a good or bad way, big or small, it really inspires me to keep moving forward. Thank you all for being the first audience I get to work for!

- The Panel: This goes for all the people who worked in The Panel and for those who were fans. The show was really helpful to me as an artist and continues to do so as I still contemplate many of the discussions we had. Not only did I learn from our conversations, but I learned about the necessary work required to put together a show such as this one. Also, I have met and made so many excellent friends because of this show. There has to have been 40+ people who I was able to meet for the first time. I'm really glad to have had the experience of the first art-related work team I've been on and will use what I learned henceforth. Thank you all for making the community rich and interesting!

- Stockton ROX: I've just known of this organization for a few months, but have been quite impressed with its accomplishments. And it is very incredible that I have been able to be a small part of it too. We will do some amazing things together and I feel pleasure in knowing that we will be able to watch each other grow. Thank you for the support and for Roxing.

If you are a person who I talk to and we converse, you inspire me. So thank you all for making 2013 spectacular and I am very excited to experience all that will be in 2014. I'm going to continue working as I have been and plan to make you all proud!

I am an artist for you.