It was trending for a few years now, so I decided to take an endearing work that illustrated it all. A piece that brought imagination into physical words, and finally, an image. I’m discussing the manifestation of Concept’s Forever – a passionate series that is quite the mouthful to type here (so check out my homepage or works section). It truly was a natural development of harnessing the many years of channeling the storytelling of my design. Comparable to carving writings and drawings into masses of stone for years and years on end, to just stop and begin anew – now with the vision made clearer, better defined per every carve and every etch. Particularly, I was carving stories — of characters and settings I’ve made, naturally reaching what I would dub “my artstyle”.
Over 20 years, I’d say! 20 plus years of ongoing stories told (original and inspired), on paper, through voice, acts on the playground, on any space I could (without apology, neighbors) accompanied by my baby brother, a moment occurred.
I was beginning a 2nd college course around mid 20’s, having slowly returned to my dormant passion of illustration, and during my Introduction to Drawing 01 Class, seated by the window honed into my first-great-quality “5×7” sketchbook in green, was when my first “carvings” of Enero and Yasaeng Han began. Multitasking was a massive deal at that time, more so today, so I managed to continue my assignment while investing 95% of brain and heart into these drawings. Some of it was lost when my professor caught me drawing into sketchbook and not drawing into “his” paper. After a brief stroll past my row, he said in midst assignment, opposite of a whisper, that I should stop drawing girly characters and get back to work. There was tiny laughter but most ignored the announcement. Me, however, I didn’t start an uproar. I understood where he was coming from, but he didn’t realize where I came from. A storyteller mixed wannabe artist who paid close attention to the plethora of stories, styles and restraints from various parts of the world. Took what was good and eliminated what I thought to be nonsense- into finally gaining enough skills to start my very own onto this physical space.
I didn’t appreciate this sort of “shotout” but I understood it. Still, it didn’t stop me. It didn’t change what I felt needed to happen. What needed to be born. It served to fuel me. Earned an A+ though on that class. And when I had him again for an Illustration class, I got an A by the end and a lot more brownie points. Did I need these classes? No, but I learned some tips that even Youtube artists would skip over. In all seriousness though, what was about to sprout needed its father.
After that intro, you, reader, probably noticed that I started with Enero and Yasaeng Han. Their origin began a tad differently than how they are officially. However, another came soon after. One quite vital to the variety of a story’s reality. Especially when I was constructing the notions of the Scapes, Concept, His reality, and inhabitants. That’s when a certain hybrid followed. Her debut (introduced in Session #1), Cerise Rosehedge -connected- to Enero, came to being. Before drawing her (or anyone), I envision the tale in my imagination- I saw her as part of a faunum / faun-mixed being.
She was crucial to how far I would go. Would I go with the familiar yet nigh-timeless vampires and werewolves? Or will I create the elements that define Concept’s reality the way my spirit sketched? I could go further but you’re probably already aware what my decision came to be. Also, considering my love for fantasy and fiction – just anything that brought me an escape from buggy reality – became what I wanted to generate. Giving others whom are also searching for just that.
Now, Enero and Cerise’s relationship details are in Volume 1, but without spoiling too much, they’re close. Extremely close. Two slightly distinct creatures, connected, and yet, define the Tone and Scale of Concept Forever. Equally alongside the two guys, Cerise also carved herself into my sketchbook sometime in the evening of that class week (as if I was contemplating the thought of what to choose). Regardless, her design came to me quite instantly; design-wise, she matched Enero in some ways. This young lass is devoted, strong, caring, most-days-rational and yet, very protective of Enero. They take immense care of each other, and with that thought, I drew one of many of scenes that flashed before my mind.
A quick sketch I made, not on paper though. This was one of the first digital drawings on the very first tablet I’ve ever owned (huge props to my sister for this one), based on the doodles inside of sketchbook. This tablet however, did not come equipped with a defined stylus, so I had to buy one those thick ones. Still, it was not a mediocre experience for a beginner. And painting strokes felt surprisingly smooth. You can see my color pallette to be simple yet vibrant; my lines are also linear. On the topic of design, all the elements were a near match. Even my angles and positioning of Enero sleeping as Cerise watching over him, having already blanketed his upper body — really set the tone between the two further. This was the piece I return to every now and then. A sort of reminder of what I’ve made, knowing it’s an atom of a puzzle piece to a cosmic-scaled mural.
It’s important to note again that this was my beginning. As much as I loved drawing in this particular style, it was not THE style I’ve initially dreamt of. It lacked what I’d call “noise”. Even when months flew by, transforming words into art, back into clearer words and defined art, I still considered myself a rookie. Much more in the digital side of things, I was so much more comfortable traditionally.
When Concept’s Forever officially released, it was a major deal for obvious reasons. And, at the same time, it was an artistic and technologically lesson on what and where to improve on. Artiscally, I know I could go further, but skill and tech limited my options. If you’ve read my MOON blog up till now, then you’ve seen how far I’ve come as of current. My journey in the arts has been gradual, with a ratio that is a near ONE to ONE. Fortunately, I was able to upgrade the technical side of tools and dive deeper into the digital world. Proving that after some practice (mostly applying my traditional roots onto digital), that technique transforms — and the vision, can be realized fuller. I’ve done projects being sold currently through Fine Art America, but this was a do-over. This was my beginning retold. This became a time piece under a new lense. This turned int—!! Nevermind. I got a bit carried away there. Anyway, here’s the result of 5+ years of practice!
Practice brings the dream to life, as they say. In my case, the noisier the better.
So? What do you think?
Both pieces are extremely similar, yes. One could even whisper that my colors have gotten bolder and that was all. You’d be forgiven (once) and allowed to go about your day, but if taking a deeper inspection you’ll find a little bit more. Not only in the positioning of things, like the blanket Cerise is holding – or Enero’s height, but in the depth of it all. The noise I pinned here and there — illustrated with various cross-hatching points and deep ink sections, appear exactly how I would illustrate on paper! It is true that I’ve spent more time with this revision versus the initial piece (about a few days). Forcing me to admit to y’all that Volume 2 will need extra time to be fully realized (since the art will be like this. Will it be colored? I haven’t decided on that yet…) But, if you’re okay with this sneak peak in the art’s department, then you can be damn sure it’ll all be worth it! Inspiration of elements from comics to life to architecture, lost lands, cosmic plains and mystic vastness among many things, continue to serve as an outline of what can I do different and be 100% ecstatic about that. And I’ve found it… finally…
Listen here, my entire journey thus far and after I’m gone, I’ve been that rebel that goes against convention because I can / because I should. Because I know I can do more! Because I like venturing outside the box and nest there. There are risks! There will be always be risks on all angles. Financially, you may even take a hit. But if you’ve found happiness with the outcome and realized the obstacles that stood in your way before overcoming them, know that you have left a very special mark! A mark only YOU could have made! So, for me, I’ll continue to grow and ignore the naysayers. I hope you do too!
Everything shall fall into place as it should, eventually! Stand out! Keep expanding! Keep reaching for the stars and grow, chicken nugget!
Now that that’s through, I’m gonna crash like Enero, also peered intensely at by the foreign plush on my corner…
hey…don’t feel down. You really do love some vampiric/lycan action, huh? Well, I never said vampires and werewolves wouldn’t exist in Concept’s reality. Just look forward to my, or rather, Concept’s narrative on the (in)famous supernaturals coming to you in a distant session.
* another note:
please forgive the watermarks. People stealin’ hard work out here and selling them under their name. It’s infuriating!
If you want to support ME, buy my books. Buy my art. My NFTS. Make donations! So I can make more of this in peace and in full!
You can find links to them on this website. Protect your works folks! The creative realm depends on it!
* one more note…. the plushy in both images… yeah, no, they’re different plushies… something happened to the first one… something, strange… okay, ✌…