Sunday, 21 August 2011

Art Trades Round Up: Stuff Folk have done for Me

As Promised, here are the completed trades I got in return. I'm still awaiting drawings of Damon, Nero and Carnack, hopefully I will be able to update this with them fairly soon. Artists pages are linked, and Images link to full work on deviantart unless otherwise stated.

Jocasta by Jackcrowder and Chibi-con



Trust by Neko1098


Azreal by General-ebonrose


Kara by Saone


Sakari by Deliawliet


Original is now in storage, so unable to link direct.

Katie by Klerric


A bit of a deviation from the original design, but I quite like it. I've also now taken the striped top for Katie's current design.

Lerissa by Something-Dead and Kilala909



Sofia by KungfooKelly


KungfooKelly is sadly no longer on deviantart, so I no longer have any contact details for her, or a link the original image. Shame.

Megi by Cipire


Zantir by Ladybugxlove


A big thank you to all the artists involved, and especially for getting back to me when others didn't. It seems likely I'll be going back to doing trades at some point in the future after looking at the quality of the work on display here.

Right then, off to America for two and a half weeks. See You!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Art Trades Round Up: The Highs and Lows of 2011 Thus Far

Ok, its a real downer to say this but I've been doing these trades for quite a while, and while its up's were great its downs have made me say I'm through with it.

It was with an eager heart and a prepared mind that I set forth earlier this year to have a crack at doing art trades. I had a great time doing requests last year, and decided that this year I'd be able to create some exciting new work, learn a few things and get a few interesting takes on me and my friends own characters. I wanted to give the trades some purpose, so I had the idea to ask the other artists contributions to be used as profile pictures of each of our Dnd characters and NPC's.

Unfortunately my experience doing these art trades wasn't entirely the experience I'd hoped it would be. What I thought would take two to three months ended up taking more like six, and the entire project was marred with difficulties getting people interested, hearing back from others, and particularly painful was completing my end of the agreement only to never hear back from the other artist again.

I'm not suggesting that said individuals didn't have a good reason, but by and large I was never given an explanation. I'd be perfectly fine with just a quick messages saying 'sorry I've been too busy' or something, and if anyone out there wants to get in touch to let me know, well and good.

It wasn't all bad though, it was an absolute thrill seeing these characters brought to life by other talents, and I loved every minute of having a bash at their requests. We'll be taking a look at the great stuff the other artists came up with next week, but right now I'm going to showcase what I'd done for my half of the trades. You can really see how I picked things up along the way.

For full, high res images, as well as links to the creators pages, visit the Requests and Trades part of my gallery. All characters belong to the requester, unless otherwise stated.

General-EbonRose, Devil and Sark


Kicking things off, I decided to advertise my trades on the Deviantart Dnd group. General-EbonRose was the only one to take up the offer. In gratitude I did not one, but two of her dnd characters. It was early days yet, so I was content to wait for a few more responses.

deliawliet, Trouble


After a while of no interest, the mountain was going to have to come to Mohammed, as the proverb goes. Scanning the projects section of the forum, I found others interested in doing trades and requests. Some responded, others didn't, some would abandon the discussion with little to no explanation. Deliawliet wasn't one of those though, and in return I did one of her characters from her 'Trouble' piece. I was watching a lot of Trailer Park Boys at the time, hence the rum and coke.

Saone, Allicra


It was about this point that the high point of the trades kicked off. I'd picked up a lot of interest and was working with a lot of great artists. I wanted to do something different for Saone, who gave a choice of several of her characters. It'd been a while since I'd done some sci-fi, so Allicra was the perfect antidote. I really like how this one came out.

ButteredEggs, Wolves Flying Spitfires


ButteredEggs requested something involving Wolves, so I came up with this bonkers idea. I really loved doing this and got a great response, so its a shame I didn't hear back from ButteredEggs, other than an early mention that her tablet got eaten by a friends dog. When querying this later I got no response.

Klerrik, Kloe


Klerrik was a great artist to work with, thats all you need to know. In return I chose to have a go at his characer Kloe.

something-dead, Dezonia


something-dead's request of her character Dezonia really drove me to work hard on drawing wings, and ever since I've been glad of the practice it gave me.

KungFooKelly, 100 Acre Militia


The ever patient KungFooKelly asked only for something involving Winnie the Pooh. After knocking about a few attempts, she gave me this idea of a fantasy version of Piglet. Piglet and Winnie the Pooh were created by A A Milne and the version I based it on, from Disney, of course.

neko1098, Hetalia Japan America


America and Japan from Hidekaz Himaruya's Axis Powers Hetalia. Neko1098 was great to work with, so again, I was feeling generous and did both of them.

jackcrowder, Cool Spot


Jackcrowder wasn't sure of exactly what he wanted in return, so just asked me to do something of the video game character that taxed my time as a kid. Step in Cool Spot of 7-Up fame, who's game by Virgin interactive had me chewing walls for years.

Chibi-Con, Mr Jenkins


Casual super powers this time, as well as a bash at doing an older character, of Chibi-Con's Mr Jenkins.

ladybugxlove, Magic


Unnamed character from a piece by ladybugxlove called Magic. I had free reign on the colours, and was chuffed that she liked how it came out.

DhamaNow, Rorschach


This piece for DhamaNow really got me thinking about light and shadow, and changed the way I now colour and shade artwork. It was a really progressive piece for me. DhamaNow, sadly, I never heard back from.

monstermo44, Nadine


Nadine, monstermo44's character, who was still only in the concept phase. I wasn't sure if I got the hair colours right as a result. Monstermo44 said he'd be out of town for a while, and I never heard back.

Cipire, Link


Cipire wasn't sure what he wanted for a trade either, but eventually decided he wanted me to have a go at Link from Nintendo's Legend of Zelda. I had a bit of fun messing with the Trifoce iconography.

Saone, Zen


Another one for Saone this time, and looking at Zen, you can really see how far I'd come. Saone didn't finish her side of this one, but has mentioned this, so I'll let her off with if because I liked doing this one so much.

el-guero, Lina


Lina, el-guero's character. He's still working on his side of the trade.

kilala909, Syrina


It seems I have to do at least one catgirl during my request period, here's kilala909's character Syrina in human(ish) form.

General-EbonRose, The Inevitable


And finally, going full circle, we have another trade with General-EbonRose. This time its of her prominent Dnd NPC The Inevitable. She's still working on her side of this trade. I have every confidence she'll come through with it.

One final note goes to lespapillions, who's doing a request for me but wasn't sure what she wanted in return. I'll maybe come up with something for her when she's done, so watch this space.

Next week we run through the trades I got back, which are a real treat, just you wait and see.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

An Unofficial Soundtrack to Ian Flemming's James Bond

You know, Ladies and Gentlemen, I think its time I told you that I do have other semi-professional interests other than writing and drawing guff about Dungeons and Dragons, which I have been doing a hell of a lot recently. Writing and drawing are good, but I also have profound interest in music, be it its history or theory. I sort-of-used-to-be-able-to play the piano, currently teaching myself the guitar, and I've been a DJ on hospital radio for probably more than three years now.

The thing I like most about music though, it applying it to non musical mediums. In most cases, books and comics. Today I am going to write about applying music to a series of books you may have heard of. This series is the 'James Bond' series by Sir Ian Fleming. To complement this, I have attempted to produce a poster that combines many of the elements of the series. Click the image to see a description of what you're looking at if you can't guess.


The interesting thing about the series was how massively different they were to their (arguably) more popular cinematic counterparts. I remember reading Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, which featured a character based on Bond (but never mentioned by name). This character 'Jimmy' was an antagonist. He was misogynist to the point of sexual aggression, he was bloodthirsty, overconfident, sociopathic and borderline psychopathic at times. Having only the experience of the film Bonds at the time, I didn't see the connection. Having now read Flemings series I now see that this is almost exactly what the original character was like. On that note I'll mention I deliberately read the books visualizing the charters differently than who portrayed them in the films (most were described differently anyway) and pictured Bond himself as the original illustration from the Daily Express.

The series itself has some highs and lows. My particular favorites would be From Russia with Love, Dr. No, Thunderball and On Her Majesties Secret Service. Downers in particular would be Goldfinger, which I found pretty boring in places and leaves a pretty bad taste in the mouth after some pointless commentary on homosexuality, and then theres The Spy Who Loved Me, which is so bad it doesn't bare mentioning. Other than that, the series overall was a pleasurable experience, though much of the social commentary is dated, or just plain wrong, by modern standards, but Bond grows on you to the point where you love him and hate him in equal measure. He'd probably beat all the other Bonds hands down, but only by fighting dirty.

And so enough waffle, I give you my own personal soundtrack to Ian Flemming's James Bond series. I tired to keep music 'of the era' but did cheat a bit in places.

Casino Royale: Luck Be a Lady – Frank Sinatra

Bond plays cards, has a bad experience in the bedroom department. Twice.

Live and Let Die: I Put a Spell on You – Screamin' Jay Hawkins

Bond proves he is not quite racist, Felix gets disfigured by sharks.

Moonraker: Sky Pilot – Eric Burden and The Animals

Bond Plays cards, eats food and trips out on Benzedrine. Also something about a rocket and mustaches being evil.

Diamonds are Forever: It's a Man's Man's Man's World – James Brown

Bond fights gangsters, homosexuals, and homosexual gangsters.

From Russia With Love: Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley

"What do you propose?" "It's simple: We, uh, kill James Bond."

Dr. No: Cold Cold Heart – Hank Williams

Bond fights a tractor, a giant squid and a metal clawed Chinaman. Also we find out what 'chigros' are.

Goldfinger: A Satisfied Mind – Johnny Cash

Bond plays golf for a bit. Then manages to put an end to the robbery of Fort Knox and Lesbianism in one foul swoop.

For You're Eyes Only: Let's Hang On (To What We've Got) – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Bond find communists and villains hiding everywhere. He also finds out that marriage isn't all its cracked up to be.

Thunderball: I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire – The Ink Spots

Jimmy and Felix's grand day out.

The Spy Who Loved Me: Two Sleepy People – Hoagy Carmichael

The sexual adventures of an English socialite. Also James Bond is in there somewhere I think.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Riding Along In my Automobile – Chuck Berry

Oh man where to begin? It's literally the best week of you're life. A day at the beach, followed by The Don telling you he's now you're best friend. Then you get pissed with this guy who's just like you. Then you get sent to a ski resort full of undersexed young women. Then you get more pissed, have a go with the bob sled, meet the girl of you're dreams, take a helicopter ride and battle you're way through a mountain complex, stop the bad guys and get married. Ruined forever when you're new wife gets shot.

You Only Live Twice: I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive – Hank Williams

Jimmy and Tiger's night on the town. Ruined by a clingy Japanese Girl (understatement).

The Man With the Golden Gun: Anything Goes – Cole Porter/Frank Sinatra

Brainwashed Bond tries to kill M. M sends back to Jamaica to get drunk and kill Scaramanga. A woman has sex with a giant hand. Bond turns down a knighthood.

Octopussy and The Living Daylights: In My Life – The Beatles

Bond's swan song. He ties up some loose ends, and teaches you, the reader, how to make the perfect breakfast.

All music © they're respective owners. James Bond is © Fleming and EON, whichever applicable.

It's been nice knowing you Jimmy. You fucking lunatic.