I came back from the Massive Black Workshop San Francisco about two weeks ago, and at this point it would be offensive to put off writing about it any longer.
Met a ton of awesome artists, learned a lot, grew as an artist and a human being. Thank you everyone for sharing the experience with me.
Instructors, first day
These notes are mostly for myself so that I don't forget. If you get something out of them, great!
The goal of a concept artist is to save producers' money. They should explore places and characters and visualize them. They create emotions and please people. Give choices.
Don't invest yourself into your work. It's a service for a client.
Be faster and you won't be attached to anything you draw.
Get proficient first, then express yourself.
We're not robots. If you develop the shape language in your head, create custom brushes for it so that you don't have to repeat the shapes by hand.
HRDI gradients give you mood, value range and establish your environment.
Go away from technical art, focus on your shapes and emotions.
Perspective should be second nature. So should form.
Inversion, symmetry, repetition, similarity: Ingredients of a good image.
Creation is taking two ideas and merging them.
Think about all the things your shape could possibly say ahead of time, so that you won't run into the problems with your art director.
You have to awaken inspiration. Do something you're afraid of. When working in a studio, trust one another. Share.
Hard edges give more weight and detail.
Build up colour one at a time. Remember when you have a grayscale image, and you put that first saturated green on, you know have two hues on your canvas, not one.
Leave definition for later. Get the idea across first. Make it read.
Have as many tools as you can to modify and refine elements in your image without changing the structure of the whole.
Don't keep all your eggs in one work basket (idea)
Be genuinely interested in the subject matter.
Work smarter, not harder.
Start with a framework.
Think about when to move up or move to the side when concepting. Side meaning iteration. Up meaning refinement.
Form harmony, detail distribution, readability and silhouette.
Amass a library of reference material.
Put in spaces, holes. Positive/negative space.
Fuzzy to sharp.
Angles of the drawing suggest character.
Matthias's Awesome Presentation, Final Piece
Cast shadows, reflected light etc. are actually all properties of the materials, not light.
A sphere made of tiny chrome spheres.
Z-depth value pass.
Start with a sky.
As you refine the piece change major colours/values that were in your thumbnail to get a fresh eye.
Paint patterns in a separate file, then paste it in.
Paint simple forms (like cubes) for clouds and foliage.
CBB = could be better. Get there asap.
Spend 40 hours on a piece without using 3D. You learn a lot more.
Use something everyone knows as a jumping off point for your concept. Then extrapolate.
The spectrum of iconic/fun vs. realistic.
Very few artists are nice, fast and good. Usually two of those will land you a job.
Make your design smart.
Don't be prejudiced against anything.
Don't have pre-conceived notions about the industry.
Colour dynamics --> hue jitter. Lock that shit.
Use bevel for a layer with chainmail shapes.
Don't go for a character because your execution was good. He/she needs to fit the story.
Always think ahead. Keep moving forward and don't attach yourself to anything you do.
Ultimately, check your gut feeling.
Keep the hierarchy of light sources at the back of your mind while painting.
Teamwork is biting the bullet.
You will never get every idea out of your head in the short span of life.
The more you do it, the more you are it.
Personal work is masturbation.
Do whatever the fuck you want.
Coro still hurts.