Category Archives: digital drawings

Elves and Faeries and Goblins Oh My!

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What can I say. Talk to me about faeries and you’ve got my attention. Add a few trolls into the mix and I’m really engaged. Top it off with a couple of elves and a side of mushrooms and I’m yours! So when something as delicious as “Shitake’s Adventures In the Lower Troll Forest”  came along, I couldn’t resist.

I received the manuscript from Yael Shhachnay of Rimonim Publishing house and read it over night. The novel was humorous and full of magic.  Just what I would have loved to read when I was a little girl. I enjoyed it no less as a grownup.

After the first sketch of the very first illustration the remark I got from the talented author Eshkar Erblich-Brifman was: “Can you please make them uglier”….

Well I have to say I have never enjoyed a client’s remarks more. I loved making noses longer and adding a few extra pounds here and there! It was so much more interesting.

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First pencil draft: Press the “Ugly” button please.

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Final Draft: Ready for coloring.

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Not ugly. Just less Hollywood.

My inspirational wall for the next couple of months was full of fantasy art, but I was also inspired by classic artists such as Norman Rockwell, who’s work I absolutely adore. I admit the doctor in the following illustration was highly influenced by Norman’s “Optometrist”

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But the most enjoyable drawings were of the lower troll forests.

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Character descriptions: “Tall Troll female. Her name is Betty, with thin wispy hair, a swarm of flies hovers over her head. Her eyes are black and murky. Dark patches cover her entire skin .The male troll is busy courting his beloved Betty. He is shorter and wider than her. Belly flaps overflow in tire like fashion. His nose is leaking and strands of hair grows out of his ears.

The fun I was having is unimaginable. Seriously. I was dancing in my chair.

And then came the Goblins…

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This particular scene had us in a conundrum. On the one hand the description in the scene clearly stated a male Goblins blowing up a rubber beetle vehicle using a chicken. On the other hand the Author Eshkar is a sworn vegetarian and we finally settled on a chicken which didn’t seem to be in pain but rather proficient and happy to do it’s duty as a professional air blower. I hope no one takes offence. No harm came to the chicken. I assure you.

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All’s well that ends well.

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If you are proficient in Hebrew and are aged 8-12. This book is available here.

 

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May there be Faeries and elves around your corner.

The Untold Story

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London office. Well past eleven o’clock. And I was still at the studio.

It was no picnic. I was going through an emotional roller coaster. Angry, frustrated, annoyed. I was working on special effects for the film “Wanted” with Angelina Jolie. It was a scene with a train going down a cliff.

How symbolic!

The smoke simulation was going slow. It was a technical challenge. I felt like I was behind schedule and to top it off the render times were extra long and all I could do was wait and doodled in my sketch book.

My only respite was the music in ears and the pencil in my hand.

I was plugged into my ipod. It was way way back in the olden days can you tell? Suddenly a tune came up. It was perfect. Upbeat and uplifting. In a matter of seconds a short animation film played it self out in my head. Inspiration!

The opening scene was a forest. Misty and wet. The main actors were a caterpillar and a looper. Competing. A race to the death.

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All of a sudden I was juiced. I stayed at work later then usual that night and sketched fiercely between smoke simulations. The next weekend I visited regent park for some up close shots of my premise. I had a new Canon and it was so much fun playing with micro shots.

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I resumed my sketching of the full storyboard. Two opponents, drama, competition, violence, misfortune and blood. All on the backdrop of a Japanese style game show.

I sketched and re-sketched the storyboard for days (the writing is in Hebrew by the way). After that I modeled and rigged the main Caterpillar in Houdini. On the weekends I textured and look developed the main hero. I stayed up late with determination to create a nifty little short.

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This story doesn’t have a happy ending folks.

Alas the project proved to be bigger than my tiny five year old desktop could withstand. Who am I kidding. It wasn’t just that. I got over the initial inspiration lightning bolt.

Long long minutes of rendering  an ambient occlusion pass sealed the fate of this passion project. One scene was rendered.

One! *sigh*.

I never finished the animation.*sniff*

This is the only documented proof of my efforts. Funny but true. There was no final result worth celebrating, but I damn enjoyed the process!

 

 

 

Free Like A Tree

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I’m celebrating one year six months eighteen days and 2 hours of Freelancing . A great occasion to dovetail into a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing.

But I won’t.

Perhaps later.

I shall summarize with this short and accurate Haiku:

“Cool winter breeze

The deliciouse delight

of working in a coffee shop”

 

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Haiku rarely rhyme. The syllables are normally 5,7,5.  I’ll use quoted haikus I found:

“pressing tasks

— she begins to write

a haiku instead”Marion Clarke

And another…

“working from home

the project

counted in pajama hours”Lori Zajkowski

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If you have a cute Haiku. Write it in the comments.

I like them! (Haikus and comments)

 

 

 

Eye candy

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This blog is a platform where I like to share my inner world of illustration. Here’s a post about something different. It’s about what I do as a 3D concept artist. I thought it might be interesting to share the process. How a commercial project unfolds.

I was brought on by Virtual Point LTD to art direct a spot for   VISUfarma’s eye care product. And we dove into the strange world of the iris surface. This is the dramatic tale of what occurs when our eye get’s dry. Ta da dam.

First thing’s first. I read the script and sketched a storyboard (Photoshop).

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Continue reading Eye candy

Is Art Ever Done?

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No.

Simple answer to a complicated question…I know

The longer answer is this. An art piece’s completion is completely subjective. It could potentially be done when I cock my head to the right squint my eyes and dim the lights. It can be done, when I’m tired. It can be done when I’m hungry.  It can be done if there is a deadline. But wait…What if there is no dead line? What if the piece is a personal project. Is there an inner deadline?

Yes there is.

It is when you die!

Just kidding.

I’m sure dead artists wouldn’t agree.

I don’t think I ever really complete a drawing. Sometimes it just clicks with that final line. Sometimes it’s missing something edgy and then I go to sleep and wake up with an idea, like adding a creepy insect. At times I begin a drawing and put my wacom pen down knowing I need to give it some final touches the day after. Sometimes it feels like I worked on it for too long. I sucked most of the juice out of it. I ate it up and enjoyed it like a fresh luscious apple and now I want to take the final bite and relax.

I may come back to it after a few days and realize to my surprise that the apple had a few more bites to it after all. But by then, like an old apple. It just needs to be left alone. There are plenty of new apples waiting for me.

So I’m never really done.

And that’s alright.

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Maybe she should have black hair.

Ghana gal

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Some stories just grab me. This time it was the story of “Boz”. Bozoma Saint John. Currently the chief marketing officer at Uber. And that alone is impressive enough. But there’s so much more about this powerful woman.

Parents from Ghana.

Raised in the US.

Ivy league schools.

Colorful and outrageous.

One of a kind in silicon valley.

Pushing the envelope.

A life story that would make you laugh and cry.

This illustration is inspired by her vibrant personality. I urge you to watch this interview and maybe you’ll be in awe of her like I was.

This is the second illustration in the patterns collection and Iv’e got more up my sleeves. Available on my Society6 Shop.

 

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Indigenous ideas

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Do you ever get an idea and it won’t relax until you give it your attention?

Well I get those.

They usually manifest as images and they sit on the shelves of my mind waiting. Some are shy. They sit on the folds my grey matter for days and weeks and sometimes even years. Waiting. They have stamina. They’ll wait for me as I go on through life busily and every now and again whisper a reminder.

Others are eager and relentless. They usually burn like a flame. They have to be created here and now. If I don’t have time or wait too long they go somewhere else and when I finally check up on them they are gone. Split while I slacked off. If I take them off the shelf in time and tend to their beckoning when I’m not ready, the results are sloppy and they leave me for a more equipped host.

There is only one way of getting it right with these fickle ideas.

I must tend to them quickly and fully. When I do we’re both beautifully happy.

This idea was of the burning kind. It simply had to be put on digital paper as soon as possible. I enjoyed it immensely.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this creative process in her wonderful book “Big Magic”. I thought the book depicts the creative process amazingly.

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You can buy this print and many more products on my page on Society6.

 

Yoga Salutation

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This is an illustration based roughly on a picture of yours truly…rockin’ the crow!

I remember my first yoga class. It was an Ashtanga practice. I didn’t know what it meant, but I tip toed in…and with as little noise as possible lay down my mattress. The instructor was a strict elderly lady. Dressed in black. She recited the poses in a flat voice with an exotic accent I couldn’t place. I did my best to get it right without making a fool of my self. I looked at the other students who knew the poses by heart. They giggled and danced from one pose to the other in elegance, while my muscles screamed and shook. They were more flexible than I was. They were stronger than I was. But I kept coming back. I saw it as an opportunity to get in shape. It fit my time schedule. But the thing I remember most about the experience was that after the class. I could do one particular human task better than I could before.

I could breath.

The practice was about breath driving motion and it was the first time I was conscious of how flat my everyday breathing was. I spent a whole day at work in the doing and fussing and stressing and did very little breathing and very little being.

Being? what are you talking about?

I’m talking about taking a pause to notice where I am. I’m talking about listening to birds. Looking at a tree. Feeling the wind. I’m talking about paying attention to the current moment instead of hurrying off to the next moment or thinking back on a moment which is already gone. Eckhart Tolley explains it better than I do.

Fast forward to ten years later. After a  mini midlife crisis, I signed up to a course to become…drums please. A yoga teacher. Specializing in Ashtanga.

Why?

Well It grew on me. I haven’t been a diligent yogi for years. I did other stuff.

I ran. I walked. I jogged. I swam. I did Pilates. I even indulged in Aerobics. On occasion I randevued with yoga. And I tried them all. Almost!

Hata yoga. Power yoga. Iyengar yoga. I met a fit muscular male instructor who demonstrated impossible poses in beginner classes in front of a drooling group of girls. I met a loving female teacher who talked for an hour about femininity before beginning a short ten minute practice. I met a serious Igenger teacher who made me use any and every prop in the storage room to reach the perfect pose. They were all good. But I always came back to Ashtanga. The fast paced yoga worked best for me. It was centered on breath and when ever I came out of an Ashtanga yoga class I was in awe at how light I felt afterward. I thought I came for the workout but I stayed for the air. And It dawned on me that there was something about Yoga, There was something about it I needed desperately in my life.

I loved the year long course and it gave me a few new aspects to ponder, which were previously missing from my life.

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1. Could I actually become a yoga teacher?

I gave it a try and it felt amazing. I volunteered to teach an adult special needs class. I taught children’s yoga at a center for troubled teens. There was great energy and uplifting in it, but the enthusiasm which was sparked like a flame died out very quickly. I decided it wasn’t for me just yet. Maybe later.

2. Is yoga more than a breathing hack for me?

Yoga is so much more than a “how to”. Yoga is a way to be in touch with the physical machine which is my body. It’s a way to become completely present at the current moment, if I allowed it. I put my feet flat on the mattress and placed my mind aside for the hour and a half of the practice. I used breathing to bring my attention to center, and if my mind found it’s way back to me. And it always did. I just tried again by utilizing my breathing. Or in yogi tongue  – ujjayi breath. (It’s a deep loud focusing inhale and exhale to get you back on track(. Two main things happen if you keep doing that. One – you get focused on the NOW and calm down. The day goes away. You and your trouble goes away. The second thing that happens is that you oxygenise your whole system in the process. There are many more things which occur and I’m not even talking about reprogramming your nervous system. But These two were key for me.

3. What’s the connection between yoga and spirituality?

Well heck. I came to deepen my understanding of the practice, not indulge in Buddhism. But as the days went by I was hooked. I studied Indian philosophy and meditation techniques. Introducing meditation to my mornings coated my life in a shield of calmness. I read books and listened to lectures and talks about Oneness, Ananda, Brahaman and deep consciousness. I listened in fascination to the story of Prakriti and Porusha and coming out of suffering through yoga. I read Patanjali and the eight Sutra’s. And more and more and more. I’m still learning. I begin almost every morning with standing yoga asanas and a ten minute meditation. Not every practice is perfect. I’m not always focused enough, or strong enough or flexible enough. Sometimes I miss a day or two or even a week around the holidays. But I always come back, Like a stubborn salesman. I know It’s a never ending practice. I know I’ll never get it all done.

I love it.

 

 

Bedtime Warrior

 

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It’s 21:55. She reads them five books. Fetches two glasses of water. Walks the big one to the bathroom and stroks the little one’s back. She soothes and sings and plays and cooes and begs and chants and prays and finally…Finally.

Finally!

They fall asleep. Children are so adorable. And even more so when they are sleeping. She sits herself down in front of the TV or a book or a blank wall and chills for a moment.

It has been a looooong day.

But!

a subtle noise alerts her attention. It comes from the upper bedroom. Tiny, swooshing, hardly even there, brushing against the carpet, tiptoeing of two pairs of naughty naughty feet?!

Impossible.

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I made a portrait for my great and talented Friend . She’s an amazing, super creative, talented and funny mother of two similarly amazing daughters. Her name’s Avital and she has a great blog and a beautiful collection of illustrations.

I looked for a color pallet for reference and found A portrait of Empress Maria Alexandrovna by Franze Xaver an amazing 19 century German Artist. I loved his soft color schemes and gentle style.

I was also inspired by Serge Biralut aka Papaninja. A contemporary artist who creates the funniest sexiest images I have ever seen.

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Bedtime warrior sketch

Here’s a wip

Here’s the beautiful lady herself…See some resemblance? Maybe a little? I  hope so.

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Antler Beast

It’s a deer…It’s a beetle…It’s a giraffe?…No!

It’s a Gireetledeer Camelopardalis from the Cervidae family.

Yes it is. Thank you Wikipedia.

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He makes a few appearances in the story I’m writing. He has no name.

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Double pupils to see better in the dark 🙂

 

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Here’s a little gif to show the process

Refereces

Beautiful beast references.