Some of you may remember my webcomic about music and life in Amsterdam, Off-Stage. I worked on it during the twilight years of the traditional webcomics model, where you have a website and post pages each week and maybe earn something from merch and book sales (I never got to that point). It didn’t feel like the right format for that story anymore, but I wasn’t sure what was.
Fast-forward a few years, and we’re in a new era. Comics exist on social media now, and in a way that makes sense for our mobile-first world. Pages get chopped up into panels that fit the portrait-orientation screen of a smartphone. Platforms like Tapas and Webtoons are bringing a whole new generation of comics to readers.
I was not looking forward to having to chop up all the existing pages, but I must say the process was fairly quick, and it is opening up so many possiblities to write more naturally, now that the length of an update doesn’t matter anymore. Once I get to the point where I can start making new material, I’m sure that will feel great. For now I’m busy reworking all the existing pages and posting them week by week.
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When I started working at Yoast, making new illustrations for each blog post was still a thing. We’ve scaled that back now to spend more time on the products, but in those first few years Erwin and me drew quite a few of them. Now that we’re all quarantined working from home, we decided to let everyone pick out one to print and hang on their home office wall. Looking back through the archive, I came across a lot of good ones again that I had forgotten about.
So these are, in no particular order, my favorites from the 150+ ones I drew.
Figured I’d try my hand at a #drawthisinyourstylechallenge, this one set out by the wonderful @izzyburtonart. I tweaked it to look like my wife and our dog, set against the cliffs of Scotland, which we visited last year. Indeed, not a lot of things can beat a foggy beach.
One of my favorite commisions from this past year was for a charity. They wanted a vision board in their office to remind themselves of their mission. I got to go wild on a great image collage drawing things I don’t normally draw, which later got overlaid with their mission statement and goals.
I did a light version of Inktober this year – I was too busy in october to participate, so I saved the prompt list and spent some days in November drawing my favorites from that list. That resulted in these illustrations:
2018 has been a funny one. Even though it’s technically been a quiet year for Hedgefield lots has happened still.
For starters, I had my first intern! Kim Leunen from the HKU asked if she could intern with me for a few months, so every week we sat down and spent the day making games.
It was really refreshing to work with someone from the game world again. And like me, Kim started from illustration and now wanted to tell interactive stories, so our design vision was very similar.
We wrote a new concept from the ashes of Black Feather Forest, and built a prototype for her girlscout forest adventure game (a recurring theme in my career by now). I look forward to seeing what she creates.
I don’t usually get around to doing inktober, but this year I was doing a lot with my iPad Pro, so it was easier to roll into it. What helped me especially was not to try and do the prompts list, but just draw whatever was on my mind that day. If there is an emotion behind it, I find it’s easier to start drawing.
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