A Storm Is Coming...
Welcome back to the blog. I'm sorry that it's been a little while, I've been pretty busy working on my freelance gigs, and I haven't had as much time to devote to Air-Heart as I normally would. That said, here's a brand new image I worked up for Return of The Skyrates. I was only aiming to come up with a decent teaser image for the site, but I may consider this becoming the cover of the book after seeing how it turned out. In the image you can see that Amelia is surrounded by the return of Cole, leader of The Skyrates. I'm also thinking that this would make a great poster to advertise the upcoming new book, so I may rework it for that purpose soon.

Today I have another day off, so it's a great chance to get caught up on the thumbnails for the book. I'm hoping that I can get close to finishing them. The closer I get to starting the inking process, the more pumped I'm getting. I've been really looking forward to creating some finished pages again. I love the thumbnails process and sketching in general, but there's something very satisfying about putting together a fully finished piece. As I work on the thumbnails, I find myself getting excited about drawing some of the ideas I'm coming up with. There are a couple of pages in particualr that I'm really looking forward to.

That's about all the update I have right now, hit me up in the comments section, I'd love to hear your reaction to the new poster. Hopefully I'll be able to put up another post in the next couple of days once I have all of the thumbnails finished. Wish me luck!


Blind Murphy / Thumbnails

Blind Murphy rocks out
Hey everyone!
So, where the heck have I been? Well, as you may know, I was in the process of relocating Skyland Studios. It was a long and arduous journey, but at long last it's complete and I'm starting to get settled into my new space. I've been up to a lot since I last "blogged" including being chosen to do some artwork for an awesome local business called Blind Murphy, a craft beer market in Alpharetta, Georgia. The image to the left is the first in what I hope becomes a plethora of designs for the store's beer growlers (refillable bottles). The image features their main character, Blind Murphy, jamming out on guitar and generally being awesome. Be sure to click on their website to check the place out, and if you live anywhere near the area, you really have to check it out in person. This image should wind up on a real live bottle within the next couple of weeks. When it does, I'll be sure to let you know right here on the good 'ol blog.

Lots o thumbs
Here they are! At long last, some thumbnails. I'm sure there are many of you out there asking why I don't make these larger for you to look at in depth. What, ya wanna spoil the whole story!? No, in all seriousness, the thumbnails are designed to lay out the whole story for me visually, from start to finish. In essence, when I'm done I can read the story all the way through and make decisions about pacing. This becomes all the easier because I can see the big picture of my story, rather than getting lost scene by scene. In my opinion, there's a tendency to focus too much on a scene or particular detail of the plot if you don't work through the whole story. Once you have everything laid out, however, things become a bit clearer. It's the same concept as creating a mural, where one needs to step back and see the whole piece from time to time to get perspective on the whole. At this point, I have about 40 pages worth of thumbnails completed with more on the way. I'm pretty sure that I'll wind up somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 pages when I finish, but then I'll go back through and make edits. In the editing process, I'm mostly checking for pacing and flow. Does the story spend too much time in one scene? Does the story miss an opportunity for a character developing moment? These are the kinds of questions I try to ask myself during the editing process. I'm hoping to finish the entirety of the thumbnails by the end of this month if not much sooner. As always, I'll keep you posted on my progress.

By the way! Have you all noticed the brand new "About Air-Heart" tab at the top of the page? Check it out, especially if you're new to the site, the page covers all the info you need to know on who's who in Avion. It's a great way to get caught up on the world of Air-Heart, and possibly figure out what the heck it is I'm talking about! More soon...


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New Headquarters!

Sorry about the long wait. If you've been following our Facebook and Twitter pages, then you're probably already aware that I've been relocating Skyland Studios over the past few weeks. It's been an exhausting experience, but the change is for the better. The new place has a much better studio area for me, and a wonderful view to boot. I'm looking forward to getting everything organized in the new space.

So, what's been going on since I last posted? Well, quite a lot. I've been sketching every day, and working on things for the new book, as well as potential sequels. Case in point, the pic for this post is of Joey and a new character, Kit (inspired by an existing character from my friend Bri!). Kit is a feisty feline with hardcore hand to hand combat skills. She's also pretty keen on our favorite hare, although he's a little too shy to reciprocate. I'm hoping to include her in the new book.

As for the book itself, I still haven't gotten to the thumbnails. I'm really bummed about it, but you have to do what you have to do, and moving took precedence  That said, I'm just about at the point where I can get refocused and start doing some serious work on it. I'm really excited to begin the process, because I still only have a vague idea of how long this thing is going to turn out to be. I'm excited to see what the final page count will be, and to see my ideas come to life. I think the thumbnailing stage is one of my favorite parts of the process because it's where all of the discovery and problem solving take place.

In other news, I had the chance to check out Looper today. I liked the concept right from the start, but I wasn't sure how well the whole thing was going come together. I was pleasantly surprised! The movie was very interesting, and explored a lot of different themes and character aspects, and kept the whole "sci-fi future world" stuff on the back burner. So many times movies like this get too wrapped up in creating glamorous CGI settings, and miss the story - completely the reverse here. It was a real pleasure to watch. The only thing that threw me off, was the use of makeup to try to make JGL look more like Bruce Willis. I found myself wondering why they cast two different actors at all. I think there was an opportunity here to challenge an actor to play both the young and old versions of himself, and pull the whole thing together with an awesome old age makeup... But what do I know, maybe that would have sucked. Regardless, the movie was an enjoyable ride with an intriguing storyline. Check it out if you have a chance.

Well friends, that's about it for this edition. Here's hoping that next time around I'll have some thumbnails to show you. If not, I still have a backlog of sketches that I'd like to share, so either way there's gunna be some fun new stuff for you to check out. Be good, and don't do drugs!