Concept Art and Technique Improvement

     It’s been awhile since my last post, and for good reason. I’ve been proofreading Geneslave like a fiend, and I am almost ready to get this fucker published and turned loose on the public. With that said, I wanted to take a moment and talk about technique and concept art. Sounds fuckin’ boring as shitdicks, but I have a way of making the mundane terrific, so keep reading.

     Technique is something developed, not learned. Each and every one of us has their own technique as to how they write. You may use a lot of commas (something I do, it’s a bad habit), some of you may use profanity, vulgarity, metaphors. Over time, you develop a tone and a voice for what you do, and your whole creative process. I plan, I draw, I execute. That’s how I work. You gotta be ready to look at your work and say “this blows” and get ready to change it. One time, I was writing my first book, Mindraper. Got fifty pages into the fuckin’ thing and decided it was shit. Started the whole novel over again. Didn’t like my form. Didn’t like my technique. I did what I had to do to make a better piece of reading. Later, I learned that drawing characters, terrain, tech, weapons, etc. (like I mentioned in an earlier post) made me a more coherent writer. Here’s some more concept art from Geneslave, fresh from the notebook:

Some Weapons that I Played With

       Funny story, I wound up combining both of the weapons to create a super-powerful cannon that Sayner used in the closing chapters of the book. Thing was COOL. I’ll touch on that shit later. Drawing these basic concepts and just mulling them over on paper and in my mind first helped me generate an integral plot point that completed the story and added a violent, overpowered war scene that serves as just one point in a HUGE climax towards the end of the novel. I mean, I don’t let you go in this book. You’ll be exhausted by the time you’re done, and you’ll want a cigarette. Fuck, you may even send me flowers. Anyway, here’s some more shit from out my mind:

Fleshing Out the Meat for Sayner to Carve

          It’s also important to know what supports your characters. Ben Sayner, the main character in Geneslave, is a fuckin’ killer. It’s what defines him, but not what dictates his actions. Enemies are just…obstcales for him, not living people. He is merciless, but not without mercy. He is the polar opposite of Tolin, like I have stated before, but they are two sides of the same coin. Enemy development, the picture above this paragraph, is important for me. I need to have an idea of what my main characters will be tearing through, and how they kill. Eventually, as I write, the enemies become faceless meat to me too. Once that happens, I can really observe what my characters do to those they deem weaker than themselves. The results are often violent. Speaking of violence, it took me a long time to get the shape down for Sayner’s melee weapons. He needed a knife and a machete to hack through the jungle. And don’t you think for a second he doesn’t slice and dice with em’ too. Here’s some more concept art:

     Yeah, I have another page. Here’s part two.

     In the end, I didn’t want something flashy. It didn’t suit Sayner’s personality. I went with two simple, functional models that work well, and work easily for him. His character is a unique one: Sayner has empathy, pity, sensitivity, kindness. But, he’s also violent, rebellious, vengeful, and sadistic. His weapons reflect that. They are short and to the point without superfluous horseshit. The more exotic a weapon looks, the more fuckin’ useless it is, I swear. I try to have weapons that are extensions of my characters, not just a tool that they utilize. Unless that’s the effect I want, which leads me to my final paragraph.

     Technique and development are things that you will learn and grow with as you write, or draw. Paint, it doesn’t matter, they’re all tied in together. All I’m sayin’ is that this is what works for me. What works for you? If you don’t know, it’s just because you haven’t found a method that works. It’s out there. Keep writing, keep creating, keep swearing, fucking, fighting, crying, living. That’s how I found it. Hopefully that works for you too.

Be Heard

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