This is a visual development project I dreamt up out of a fascination with all things sci-fi and because I have a plethora of awesome friends.


Airships, Steampunk, and Photo Reference

This probably doesn't matter to anyone else, but I sometimes wonder (as an illustrator) how artists direct and coordinate photo shoots for reference.  I see things in my head, but I have a hard time telling people what I am trying to accomplish in a picture.  For example, if you take three random people and tell them to look contemplative you'll probably get three very different interpretations of contemplation.  

So here is a little glimpse into my (albeit random and disjointed) "process".  Doesn't that sound swanky?

I hated asking people to pose for photo reference for me in college.  You would not believe the lengths I went to to try and get reference without having to ask anyone for help.  Now, that said, I did get some people together this weekend (mainly instigated and accomplished by my very organized and no nonsense younger sister).  I had ordered a few various props and costume articles, and since a few of them arrived just before Thanksgiving, I had mentioned to said younger sister that I might want to get some of the group together to take pictures.  

Now, you have to understand that Sun - this is her character's name, you'll be introduced to her later - is kind of like a force of nature.  Mentioning to her that you might possibly in the near future like to do something is like saying and your very existence depends on your being able to do whatever it is that you mentioned.  Nothing is impossible in her world: if you want to do something, you just do it.  

So, not an hour after mentioning that I wanted to potentially take some reference with the new props, a mass text has been sent to nearly all of Silkwood & Co. and I find myself having to figure out a time to meet and what people should wear/bring and trying to figure out where we can go to take pictures, etc.  At the same time, I'm driving my mother around (on Black Friday) so she can pick up the one or two things she's picking up for other people, running to the grocery store and trying to get back on time for everyone to show up.  By the time I get home, everyone's there and I still have no clue what exactly I'm hoping to accomplish with all of this.

I scrounged around the house for a few more costume articles and then we headed out.  Much hilarity ensued.  I had some worries about the light, it was rather overcast for about half an hour, but the pictures I took during that time didn't turn out to bad.  By the time the sun came out the angles of the shadows were kinda perfect.  So everything actually turned out pretty nice.

I ended up taking over 500 photos, and I'd say about 300 of them were "usable" in some way or other.  In other words if you think this is all there is, you're wrong.  I'm saving the best for later!

When we got back to the house, the doorbell rang and the mail man was there with the rest of the steampunk props - the best ones!

Why couldn't he have been 2 hours earlier?!

I'm drawing as fast as I can!  Hopefully I'll get 1 or 2 character sheets up by the end of the week.  But really, with so much awesome inspiration, I don't see a problem with getting something up!

Wish me luck!

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