Operator vs Operator-Parody or Pastiche?

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So, why this?

Why OpvsOp?

Well, let’s use spy vs spy as a base to start off,

spy vs spy was an allegory for the futility of the coldwar. And well it’s a reflection of it’s time.

Explore the future with a few familiar but fresh faces?

However, since we are still in the last days of the decade 2010s, there is the cash in and influence of nostalgia, so having familiar faces or characters to well, give insights into our times is key.

Like, with the countless reboots and remaster of various series and franchisees there is a trend of old faces appearing.

But, unlike what we remember them as, they are a bit of a fresh or far-cry take on what we used to remember them for.

It’s simple.

People want familiar grounds to go back into since we live in an age where almost any information is possible. and we are talking in the fact we can listen to old music from Mozart’s time to even listen to the soviet anthem, the variety and the culture and era that drove it’s creation is seemingly endless!

So, this leads to another thing.

Why I choose the Op vs Op series is this.

I grew up with things like Starcraft, CnC, HALO, and Gears. Not to mention that I grew up in the Bush-Era, so pro-war tendencies is a thing for the culture of the time. Especially post 9/11.

A thing for well. Military hardware and the romanticization for commandos and commanders was a deep rooted thing for me. Since I tend to take those roles in games or see their exploits in Films and Shows.

So, in a time of where almost everything is abundant(and I mean too abundant), I just wanted to hearken back into a place and time in my life where I felt nostalgic basically.

Basically I grew up playing army man or war games.

Parody or Pastiche?

Op vs Op is like spy vs spy. But it’s about the times of today and what might in store for the future. The Future Marches forward.

As for the concept of war?

War, War never changes….. only thing that changes is the gadgets and the attitude towards it shifts.

 

 

Artist Productivity and Improvement Tips-The Slight Edge

Lemme Guess you must one of those aspiring artists that looking up the masters of their crafts both from antiquity, and the centuries that rolled with them all to today. So, one must be thinking how to get there. How to achieve that mountain like state that many dream of.

Well, the answer is simple but not as historical sounding as it it.

The thing about every human that works on their lifestyle, projects, crafts. They all have a thing called the Slight Edge.

The formula goes like this.

Do a series of mundane/boring actions in small routines daily.

It’s not about the biggest tasks but the small subtle ways to get to a larger thing.

Some calls it a mini-grind, or chipping away, but the ideas are all the same.

Build a great achievement with boring but countless series of actions that got there.

For artists this can be applies like this.

  • Doing the gestures or studies daily for like, 30-40 min after your morning routines.
  • Posting only once on Social Media per day or whenever you routines it for the week.
  • Perhaps sending at least a few emails to companies or clients seeking your works daily.
  • Working on the larger piece for an hour or so.
  • Making a series of works where one prompt or piece is made per day for a set amount of periods.

The Final Takeaway is this. If the artist have a large goal in mind, don’t try to rush it. Instead. Work on the project in incremental, least resistant, boring, but easy to enter into routines.

It’s as easy to get into the routine and it’s easy to slip out of it, so be aware of what you are doing. Have a note of what result you want to give you a proper road map.

Use this rule for either Project Development, Skill Building, or Creating a large Collection of Works.

I give the courtesy of this tactic and start to the one and only Jeff Olson (author of The Slight Edge)

Links to the terms and further explanations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLwpQz2lT08

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi7yB7wH3to

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKcHX_5dxdI

Curated Inked Works of this year so far. 2019 ver.

well, it’s just a collection of works I found to be rather fond of personally.

What do I like about them? Just something about either the composition or the way I put more creative effort into these particular ones.

Simply put it, I relish mostly in conceptual ideas, not so much the overarching story, but scenarios or situation is key too.

 

 

Artist Productivity and Improvement Tips-The 20/80 Rule

Well, it’s a thing that Tim Ferris often talks about so, let’s dive into it shall we?

The problems with most artists is that they tend to dabble in the wrong areas. Always trying to so-called experiment and play around. But getting nowhere anyways.

So, for the artist that want to get somewhere faster and more effectively, use this.

The 20/80 principle goes like this.

Only 20% of what you do leads the 80% of the results. It sounds dumb at first but it does make sense. Since only a few selected efforts matter.

In the artist’s lingo that 20% would be akin to the rough sketches-i laying down the groundwork for finished prices, saving time and effort in advance on what the finished product may look like.

Perhaps it’s looking at what type of subjects gets you the most fulfillment or something. Maybe drawing people in watercolor style sketch gets you the most results for you, so funnel down on it.

The 80% of artists, it maybe the marketing that drags on, or rendering the pieces. These tend to be more of the mundane work that is akin to a day-job of sort it that makes sense.

Or even working on projects or pieces that isn’t giving you the most ROI or fulfillment.

Either way, they tend to be the things that many artists target for the wrong reasons and it’s easier to just focus on the actions that is either,

fundamental

productive

innovative

20% of what you do are fundamental, doesn’t take that long, and are usually the key things. But are considered challenging.

80% of what you do are trivial, takes out too long, and wastes too much. And are easy to get into and have to struggle to break out of.

20% for artists

  • planning out sketches or paintings
  • posting the best work online
  • calling up high-level clients
  • using the few essential quality tools needed to get the work done
  • being an expert in your niche topics and subjects were clients will come to you for

80% for artists

  • rendering, polishing up the pieces
  • slugging through social media and not getting somewhere
  • tending to too many small gigs and low-level clients
  • playing around with the latest medium or toy and not really putting you head down to get the hang of it
  • topics or subjects that you know you have either no interest in or will get you flack

So the final take away is this. Only a few things will actually bring in the biggest results. And just try to stick to those 20%. It will get stuff done for you with less effort and time for the better.

For more information and links it’s down below.

I give the courtesy of this tactic and strategy to the one and only Tim Ferris and the original Plato’s Law.(author of 4-hour work week, and Tools of Titans)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG4N6zGCjAs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAynHZE-lK4

Gouache-Medium that started and ended my works.

Well, this is a rather particular subject. It’s a rather niche medium in a sense that I’ve trained to paint like an actual painter for a few years before going into drawing and coloring with Ink and Watercolors again. Before Gouache were pencil sketches that spanned from late 2000s to late 2015. It all started of as an event where I thought of doing a more involved form of painting, something less washed out and not so direct like watercolor. After hitting up a local store(no longer around after a year). The Staff gave me a recommendation, Gouache. Since then, the idea of using this medium for most of 2015-well into the 2017s was the beginning of my short but, something to be remembered(hopefully) phase.

Insanity
Really Early work, and hopefully be remembered.

To describe Gouache. It’s like, watercolor. But not quite the exact. It does indeed have properties of being activated by water like the former, but the notable thing about the said medium, is that it’s direct, you don’t stain the paper or tinge them, you paint it. But, unlike acrylic, you simply have to use water to reactivate it too. It’s like oil, but easier and less toxic.

In my case, I used a technique of using watercolor to “zone” out the areas that get shades and lights. That way I get a rough idea of how they tile up. Some ways i tried to work my layers up are using the darkest watercolors to shade it, and build up the more solid mid ranges, and eventually the highlights. But, it was a rather time and resources consuming process, along with my inability to understand painting like a proper technician. As a result, the years spent on the medium with rather…sour results in both the visuals and reception forced me to give up on the medium more or so, not to mention the limitations th medium gave me in the ability to pump out more works like my brush pen works. We are talking like, 10 times more effectiveness and efficiently level here.

However, they were indeed important to teach me the concepts of planning ahead, understanding layering, and patience too.

Subjects that were notable during these periods.

well, let’s start from the beginning. Started off with things like, the gouache concepts were I use the 11×14 inches papers to make a character concepts sheets of the original ideas I had during the 2014-2016 phase. They were rather…crude by my standards now in hindsight.

DarkLord
The Iconic.
Pumpkin Slinger concept
The Second Iconic.

 

Character and Machine Designs, those days…not my most proud works looking back. It’s almost like as if, they were all a, wasted effort. got me nowhere. people hated or don’t care.

Tough times. and crying about it won’t help either, coming from my former background, being a crying victim is a good way to rouse the predators of the area…

It was not until, my post Gouache works that my works can actually be seemingly productive.

During these periods of the early and late stage of Gouache, it was only two different IPS, or Fanworks I was working on that made gouache seemingly notable.

There will be a link or two in regards to these two IPs I’ve worked on complete with Galleries and Blog Articles around them.

Stay Tuned.

Comics-not cut for it.

well, this year, the comics project was rather more prolific, but always, it seems to fall short.

I did try to get into comics early 2018, but found out how difficult it is to make. It was a series of small short comics with no dialogue, it was a silent comic series really. Not much to say. and may well have paved the way for things yet to come. fast forward to a few months later, the comics projects was transferred into fanworks, covering other existing IPs and my alternate take on them. Fun they maybe, but ultimately the idea was scrapped due to the time and resources they would chew up, getting me ultimately nowhere….

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Page of a Certain Bloodborne Doujin, to be released on the Galleries Section.

Some notable things I did try to do for the comics project during 2018

  • tried to do a few cyberpunk one-offs
  • tried Bloodborne again, thus adding to how that much more costly the whole fanworks was
  • doujin wasn’t for me(legit, it’s a thing I have thought of but realized it’s a different field and not suited for the demographic in mind.)

Overall, the series was a disaster.

 

2019, finally a new year, a new me, as they all say.

Although by the time this article is read, we are still in the mid 2019 phase.

DeepBlue2-Colorv3
One of the One-Page “comic” style pieces.

But, that isn’t the point. What’s more important is that, there has been advancement in making more comics, despite hitting a hard platou again as always. For example, I started to plan things out more, and be that much more prolific, while adding things like, text to add more verbal context to the stories. It’s still simplistic but, they will do. But, as the weeks and months went on, hitting the wall as always a recurring thing in my works. It’s like a cycle of where my works hits a phase of making lots of notable works, only to fall down hard and takes weeks to build up momentum again. It’s agony really, given that consistency is a recurring issue that I have a hard time managing through my life, despite implementing a bunch of systems to keep my personal routines in check.

the reason to why the comics project failed.

  • too many things are being managed at the same time, in other words, doing too many things leads to poor results.
  • lack of experience in understanding storytelling, I’m not a writer, I’m a technician of sort.
  • not as into it, I’m not a nerd actually. a steep farcry if you really saw what I actually am. I like my, outdoors sports and tools.
  • I have other higher ROI series to work on, when you’re an entrepreneur, or the like, you have better things to invest in, seriously.

well, guess it’s over. Again. Perhaps one day, I’ll carve out the time and resources to dedicate at least a quarter or so of my life to making comics again…

BloodBorne-Painting with the Lunar Blood Pigment

It’s been like, 4 years-Time sure flies.
The Most notable and most well received series thus far. This is what my peak series are in many ways. Shaped the way I have approached my subjects and how ink became my go-to to do some serious work.
Like DarkSouls, Bloodborne also entered the wave of ‘Souls style game but the catch is, this was considered a one-off like the pioneer like Demon Souls. It was also during this time, that I was honing my inking skills despite being an early stage.
But, lets turn back the times to when project beast was just starting and people simply. Speculated. Oh boy, the hindsight. People going crazy over the bits of footage and all that…

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Two Large Pieces in Ink on Bristol.

Due to my attempts at the series during the mid summer of 2017 for most of the season have I started to get some serious traction on the social media pages…and oh boy, the reactions. can become testimonials easily. Perhaps due to creating an economy around it in one go have I started to see how one can make money off fan-art and all that (separate article will cover that).

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An experimental series of pieces that looked at what if they were, dioramas…

Frankly, this is a rather rare instance where, despite my lack of direct knowledge of the games from playing it but always, VaatiVidya giving me a tour of everything that was during that time. Culturally, it was also a breath of fresh air for the ‘Souls community at that time. A theme change and how things will be done. The Game was so successful that it has become it’s own community at this point. Well thriving and doing it’s own inner circle activities.
Reading upon the lore to get a rundown of what to expect and how to capture the essence of the subject is what became the focus of my take on the characters and concepts. But as always, I do try to use references to make sure there is a level of accuracy within my depictions…
Like, during the initial run of showing my take on the IPs during the summer of 2017, it was all good. In fact, selling the said fan-art was the most lucrative thing I have ever done. But, this was more or less a mere Beginner’s Luck.

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Notable Trio of the Hunters…
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These ones…they have a bad note.

Turn the page into next year during 2018. Things went for the worse in some ways. Not only did I put in more effort to be more prolific, but actually had like 3 waves during 2018. All spanning from Spring, until the early fall. That is like, half a year of just dedicating about 80% of my time, effort, resources into art and fan-art alone.
By the time this article is read, the 2017-2018 must still be around, in both prints and original forms. But in the end, was it worth it?

Etsy Links to

Originals

Prints

 

DarkSouls-How it Sparked,Ablazed, and Faded

It was the Late 2012. Recalled seeing the media covering games like DarkSouls and stuff. Was living in Japan for doing some work during that time. It wasn’t as mainstream given the demographics and the themes that game is notorious for.
But, this set a seed of ideas and recurring things that will eventually sprout into a fully fledged saga of Fan-arts that have seemed to make it’s mark during that time.
It wasn’t fully explored the series. I may have had my ass kicked attempting to play Demon Souls back in my former friend’s house. Yes. The PS3. Remembered when PS4 was just getting deployed. And Titan Fall was the thing too.
A year later, got to play bits of the first few minutes or hour of Dark Souls. again. More Death and Agony.

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The Most Notable Goauche Works I made for myself.

It was only until the year 2016. about half a decade of trying to find my ways. Have the thing started.
During that time. I was working with the medium known as gouache(more on this in separate article) And the results of working on several pieces dedicated to the Soulsborne franchise was well….Luke Warm. Perhaps it wasn’t time for me. Maybe the art-style was not in vogue. It was not until a couple contacts from the Social Media pages, have I start to get some notice. They wanted me to do a few Ink drawings. Commissioned Work.
After Doing the work, and putting the finished pieces on social media, the user have found them to be rather appealing, a far-cry from the Gouache Series I have tried to work on. This was a hint to what direction my work can go in.

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They hit hard, and have developed infamy.

It was during these times of the year, that I have discovered YouTubers like VaatiVidya, who was a fast and uprising personality, speaking for the ‘Souls community. Given how he explained the world building behind the ‘Souls universe. It’s apparent that his narrative will shape my understanding the characters and props that surround the subjects in a more intimate manner.
His videos are good. and of quality production, go check.
Either way, that series of works gave me the experience to get a thing going and preparing for things yet to happen.
2017.
A New year and new lifestyle actually. Started during the spring, and well. It was a slow thing. But, due to the rising popularity and cultural effect of the DarkSouls series on the North American demographic, things got more interactive with my works. I have decided to put about half or 3/4 of the year to creating the most notable series of my Dark Souls series up to date.

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Classic Characters, now a meme

The Series that started to grant me a Brand Name of sort. People on Social Media was cheering me on, and other where noticing my migration from one series to another.It was quite a trip. and it was…a fun one. From the respective Trilogy of the games. I had to say, they were all fun to do.

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Enemies from the 3rd game. Notable about them. Always on fire.

Taking Weeks to Months. Essentially my Summer was dedicated to making the series. By the time winter started to roll in as the autumn leaves settles to it’s bare branches. Life got darker.Sales have drought, and the former fans and onlookers must have left, the action was over. Guess it was time for me to go…
Starts off small, like a spark. Eventually add kindling, and it becomes a blazing inferno. After it’s time.
It will settle and what is left?

 

Links to the Originals and Prints 1, 2, 3,

 

BrushPen-how it’s shaping up for the first half of 2019.

Well, it has been well over a year or two working in brush pen, coupled with markers ,watercolor, or colored inks to add to the depth of it. What does this mean? well, I do plan to do the usual brush pen works in Straight Ink, on the standard Cardstock papers to keep practiced and well, to pump out content really. But, does this mean my rate of making the pieces will be as crazy back in 2017-2018? Well, not really.

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Early 2018, just straight Ink.

True enough, I have been focused on more entrepreneurial efforts such as trying to study SEO and Copywriting to make my works more marketable on platforms like Etsy. It’s just, the problem with my pieces is that they may be prolific, but are kind of at the end of the current creativity well-in other words, I’m going to hit a drought in art perhaps.

But, in return maybe my works will be more of a higher quality or different take given that I won’t be pumping out like, 200-300 pieces like back in 2018. The Current Direction I was thinking of should I be not as prolific and that social media, at least the most distracting ones anyways, is that I make newer types of works such as the attempted one-page comics. That Thing about these is that it pushes me to have more context in a handful of panels and convey a narrative, as small, or a mere moment into it one can see it as.

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From a time when my brushpen were, that much more colorful. With markers to support them.

Back in the 2015-2016, I did have a little try at the concept of artist graphic tees. And well, given it’s handmade nature, I think. I may have a comeback should I find a solid business model and create an isolated branch focused on selling graphic tees featuring my style of works, all original and focused on how to make the design be good on Tees.

Been listing out the first few several pieces of the originals on Etsy lately. At prices of $100-$120 it should be considered a good entry level series to what having my works are like. For example, compared to my BB and DS originals that goes for about $300-$500 range. I say it’s a good start off.

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A few examples of what is being inked out in the last few weeks…
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Rather notable designs I managed to draw out.

So, some of you guys might be wondering, what happened to me and meetups. Well, it a simple answer really. I can’t provide me with a value nor ROI that is helpful to my personal endeavors. It just the problem is this. Commuting via 3-4 different vehicles all across town, just to get to the cafe and draw, but the catch is, the cafe is too loud, I can’t concentrate, I find the expenses of trying to ink there is too much, it’s too detrimental. Long story short waste of everything. Time, Energy, Money, etc.

In the End. Too much time is spent not getting results, and adding more unsold or unsorted stuff in my boxes and folders. Like, I’m here asking myself, what is the point of it all? Frankly, this brush-pen thing may well be an ongoing thing for the rest of the year, or until I’m at my last breath.