Sunday, August 2, 2009

Captain Nathanial Jacob Quinn

I realize I haven't kept up with this blog as often as I should...bad Jen...bad... I'm a busy gal, what more can I say? :D This image is a portrait I created for the character of "Nathaniel Jacob Quinn" from the Treks In Sci-Fi RPG game. My friend Kenny is the writer who created said character and I created the portrait just for him. I learned much more in the time between Sevryll's portrait and Quinn's. Articles from game design magazines seemed to help a lot.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sci-Fi Portait #1: Commander Sevryll

My teachers told my parents that I was talented and that I would be an artist one day, but I denounced their claim stating, "No...I'm going to be a dinosaur scientist or an, an archaeologist like Indiana Jones." Little did I know that my teachers' predictions were correct.

I followed in my great grandfather's footsteps and became a painter. His work hung in a gallery in New York City...or so the story goes. Which one? How many pieces? I haven't a clue, but this information encouraged me through Jr. High, High School and College as did the support of my parents and my grandmother. Nana gave me my great grandfather's paints and easel when he passed away. I still have his paint box, but I stupidly lent the easel to a family member for a wedding (to display a bridal portrait) and my treasured easel vanished.

I didn't become a dinosaur scientist, an astronaut or an archaeologist like Indy...but those interests have influenced my work as an artist. I am a sci-fi fan and my work today is infused with imagery from the genre. I am also an amateur writer. These days I write with a group of other amateurs, to collaborate on a fan fiction series based in the Star Trek Universe. It is my outlet and I use every ounce of my creativity to produce audio, literary and visual art work for the project known as the Treks In Sci-Fi RPG.

To earn a living, I design graphics for marketing purposes. I produce art for t-shirts, web sites, logos, business cards, brochures, mailers, signage, tickets— basically anything you can print or stick online. I even designed a costume character and sketched the caricature that it's based on. I enjoy my job, but my creative itch is only scratched by the work I do for free.

I have limited space for a proper studio, so I have recently begun to paint digital works via my trusty Macs (my G4 Power PC at home and my G5 Power PC at work on my lunch breaks). Though I miss the feel of the brush against the canvas, I still enjoy the act of making art via this new media. No, it isn't easier than the real thing. It takes just as much skill to produce art on a screen than it does to put it on a canvas.

I plan to post my work here, in this blog. Most of my pieces will be of characters that were dreamed up for the writing project that I participate in, but I may post a blast from the past or something I've created on a whim. The first painting I'm posting is of the character that I created for my writing group. Her name is Commander Sevryll (Sev-r-eel). She's a Vulcan and the First Officer of the USS Arabella. You can read about this character or listen to her story on The Ready Room Microcast or the Treks In Sci-Fi Forum.

My work has changed a little since I first started to paint in Photoshop—becoming more detailed and photo realistic. The first painting is stylized, but the ones to come are more photographic in nature. Though I'm a professional designer, who uses the Adobe Creative Suite on an everyday basis, I still had to learn to make art in's a whole new ball game from traditional paint and canvas. Dang is it hard to use a mouse to make brush strokes! One of these days I hope to obtain a Wacom graphics pad to expand my abilities...for now everything I post will have been produced using a mouse and keyboard and good old Photoshop CS3.