Over the past few months, I’ve been plotting and planning a video tutorial series, and getting that rolling. Wanting to make it as in-depth and as close to real-time as possible, it’s become a monster indeed.
The plan has been simple: Show the workflow, the art, the technique an all of the warts and whatnots that go into creating a rendering or illustration the “Problem Child Kustoms Way.” Suffice to say, it’s been a ton of work thus far, but very rewarding and eye-opening for me, both from a technical standpoint and as an artist. I’ve realized many key things about my work, as well as just how often I let a few f-bombs fly. Crazy how that can go.
I thought that it might be fun to show a few in-the-moment screen grabs from a couple of pieces here, as they represent a lot of what goes into these works. There’s a ton of hidden stuff and work involved in making vector art look like, well, not vector art. Not that the purpose of my technique or approach begins and ends with that in any respect… I enjoy the fact that I can use a program like Adobe Illustrator to continue creating, even after my hands have given out as they have. It’s a mater of holding on to the style I had developed before going digital, and the incredible tools afforded by the software to push it that next step. A melding of man, will and machine… Funny how those can come together so organically, while often being thought of as being so different.
Some pieces like this big rig tend to get very involved. While working on a segment highlighting graphics and paint, this particular illustration spent a ton of time under the microscope, not only for its very involved process, but because I had to make vector paths appear more like candy paint, with all sorts of transparent and translucent qualities, reflecting and refracting light. Fun times…
…and how it all comes together:
I had taken some time as well to show how to create realistic reflections using only the pen tool in Illustrator, which offers a lot of control when altering reality just a bit:
And, of course, rendering from paper and pencil all the way through to digital:
…covering glass, paint, shading and more using only the pen tool in Illustrator (no gradient meshes, brushes or presets… Just hands-on dirty work).
Look for more soon, and be sure to check out my website at www.problemchildkustoms.com for more tutorials and sneak peeks. Thanks for looking in, and feel free to hit me with any questions, comments, suggestions…
If you’re a band and looking to create a video for a B-side single, the least that you can do is hire a B-movie director to craft the thing. It just makes sense, you know?
Focusing on the golden era of music videos, I can’t help but imagine “Murder By Numbers” from the Police, set as a Larry Cohen short film, with the numbers in question bridging It’s Alive with a slightly more cerebral The Stuff. Better than that, a Troma Pictures-esque video for “How Soon is Now?” from the Smiths… Or even a super-low budget Robert Rodriguez-directed “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell, which, while not a true B-side in that form, it was originally a Gloria Jones tune (1964; re-released in ’76, and then covered by Soft Cell in 1981 should you be keeping score), which could be an utterly epic, if not campy sci-fi-thriller about imported love that is, well, tainted with a virus. Or a present-day Jerry Lewis in a Rob Zombie-directed remake of Michael Jackson’s Thriller short, but using the original cut, “Starlight.”
Or we can abandon the B-side thing in favor of an Adam Jones stop-motion epic for The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” (which was the A-side to the terrible “Seconds” – don’t get me wrong, that whole JFK thing could work as a John Waters send-up), set as a peek into the breaking mind of a jilted lover… So many ideas.
A peek at what I do… Demo Reel-style!
Just a sampling of hot rod design renderings, illustrations, stills from the animatics testing on my long-term,. personal side project. Check it out, and let me know what you think! As always, sincere thanks for looking in!