I felt it was time to update my corporate branding. My current avatar doesn’t really do justice to my hair situation anymore!
The base for the first avatar came from a daily comic I drew in 2010. I then used it to advertise my font, and soon it became my business card and website header when I went freelance. I updated it once in 2014 to add the beard. Since then I never really looked at it again. I did draw a new version of myself in my daily comics from 2015, but it wasn’t until 2018 that I felt the need to update my official avatar too.
A tradition that has snuck into these avatars is that each new version has the shirt I most like to wear at that time. This year was a bit of a challenge because it’s not as colorful as previous years, but I think the greyish-blue does contrast nicely with the orange.
I felt creative this weekend but didn’t know which project to pour it into, so I spent some time speedpainting from photo reference.
Instagram is a great source for crazy colors and compositions. I especially love hair that’s lit from behind or some similarly interesting lighting setup.
I recorded the one in the bottom-right. In the beginning these usually looks like shit, it’s a real process of sculpting with the brush. I wasn’t shooting for a 1-to-1 likeness either, just to capture the light and the wildness of the hair.
I ate up Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency season 1 on Netflix recently, and it cemented Elijah Wood as one of my fave actors. I tried to capture his likeness here in one of his most confused moments as Todd, but only partially succeeded…
Datamoshing is “the practice of intentionally using compression artifacts in digital video and animated GIFs to create glitch art”.
It’s an effect popularized by Kanye West in his video Welcome To Heartbreak, but it’s mostly been an effect exclusive to video. There are a few crazy ways to get this effect on images by editing them with text or audio editors instead of image editors, but it’s hard to find a straightforward way to just do it in Photoshop. But, there is a fairly simple way to emulate it with a few filters. Here’s how:
My friend Alper is working on an ebook about Conversational bots and UI, something we worked on together at Hubbub too. It seemed only fitting that I drew the cover for his book. So I did. You can preorder it here.
I thought it might be fun to share some tips and insights about my workflow on here, so here is the first post about that.
I’ve been working with Photoshop for years and years, and I’ve picked up some cool tricks along the way. But Photoshop itself keeps changing too, so today’s tip is cutting-edge, using the latest features in CC 2015.1 to export images in multiple sizes with one click. This uses two great new features, namely Artboards and The Generator.
Artboards are old news for users of Illustrator, but in Photoshop they can really enhance your workflow too. I wasn’t a big fan at first, but using it in conjunction with the Generator makes a strong case in their favor.
The Generator is probably a feature not many people know about. Exporting multiple layers in the past was mostly the domain of Export > Layers To Files, or using Slices in Save For Web, but The Generator is the next evolution; all you have to do is turn on Image Assets under File > Generate, then append .png to the names of the layers you want to export, and when you save your PSD, it automatically crops and exports these layers.
I found this extremely useful for exporting character limbs for game development, but it has its uses in webdevelopment also. I’ll show you how I use it at my job to export different sizes of the same illustration:
The source file is very high resolution, obviously, and when it’s done, I have to export into two 1200×628 pngs – one with a text banner for Facebook, and one clean one for the blogpost itself – plus a cropped 700×628 version for Pinterest and Instagram.
Resizing and cropping manually is a small pain, but a pain nonetheless, especially when you have to go back and change something later.
So, what I do is make an artboard at the size of the original illustration and convert all the layers in it to a smart object. Then I make three extra artboards at the size I want the exported images to be, copy the smart object into them, and add .png to the artboard names. This way, whenever I make a change in the original illustration, the change is propagated to all the other art boards, and when I hit Ctrl+S it automatically saves them out to separate pngs, ready to go onto the site (well, after they go through ImageOptim).
Using this setup as a template whenever I start a new illustration saves me a bunch of time otherwise spent exporting images by hand. Hopefully this is useful to some of you too.
Before I start on a drawing that has a complex lighting and color setup, I usually do a color key first to make sure I can pull it off. I did the top one yesterday afternoon and was pretty pleased with it, but this morning someone pointed out it was a bit gloomy, and looking back after the changes I made (bottom) they were totally right.
I started this project last summer with the intention to finish it up in a month or two, but then I got caught up in other things eventually leading me to my current job at Yoast, so the development timetable for this project has been stretched out somewhat. But this year I’m definitely finishing it and putting it out in itch.io.
Work with some cool people on 7 Days Of Klement
I can’t tell you what it is yet, but this year I’m working on a game spearheaded by Sytze Schalk, though I’m keeping my role in it limited to some design and prototyping work, leaving the heavy lifting to contractors. But that’s a great opportunity to involve some people I’ve wanted to work with.
Write a new draft for Black Feather Forest
This again? Yes. I’ve done a lot of thinking about this game since I completed the vertical slice in 2014. It was way too ambitious, while still missing some crucial mechanics. So I’m slowly writing a new draft, and so far it’s looking pretty solid. 2017 here I come.
It sounds weird considering my day job IS drawing, but I want to make more quick little drawings in my free time and learn new techniques. Just get better at it, basically.
I’ll be talking more in-depth about these things in my newsletter, so sign up for that.
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