The Weekend and Beyond

A crazy couple of days here.

First things first: the weekend at Anime North.

Hanging out with Andrew Hou and Arnold Tsang of Udon

The con was a real surprise. It was really busy with 7000+ people attending. The studio sold a lot, did tons of signings and generally worked our asses off. We had some nice prices on the comics and posters we were selling and people took full advantage of it. Meeting so many people who liked what Udon produces, it made me really proud.

One of the many kick ass sketches
done by Arnold over the weekend

On Saturday night, a bunch of the guests were invited out for a kick ass dinner at a Japanese steakhouse called “The Prince”. It had incredibly good food with the chefs juggling and cooking on a hot metal surface right in front of you. The sake was flowing and people had a blast. At the dinner, I had a chance to meet a bunch of different anime voice actors, business people and Paula Lemyre, the host of Vortex on YTV.

After dinner, the staff of the restaurant asked people for autographs and sketches. I thought this was really odd, but I found out that the year before Frank Miller was there, so the staff assumed everyone at the table this year was just as famous. I ended up doing a bunch of sketches for people and luckily the liquid courage of the sake helped me pull off some pretty confident pics. It felt strange, but kind of cool.

Erik, my boss, was really happy with the hard work I put in over the weekend, so on Sunday we went for all-you-can eat sushi and got caught up on business. It’s always neat talking about the ups and downs or potential that the company has got. So many projects on the horizon, I’m excited and scared that it’s going to be overwhelming, especially as the con season kicks in.

Monday I already posted about below. Tuesday… Tuesday was insanity. Yesterday was quite possibly the hardest I have ever worked since I started at Udon… and I have the image to prove it.

Our current deadline for Dungeon Magazine (art for issue #113) was today. The full page illustration they requested was over the top fantasy craziness:

“This full-page image depicts a Huge red dragon named Hookface attacking a city best with all manner of natural catastrophes. Hookface is a mature adult red dragon with one important difference. A number of hook-like bonespurs protrude from the creature’s face. In the image, he’s coiled around a city tower screaming wildly at a crowd of fleeing citizens who crowd the foreground, running straight at the viewer, their faces twisted in terror. Possible signs of the chaos swallowing the city include geysers of steam erupting from the ground, lava spilling in from a side-street, panicked animals, and collapsing buildings.”

Chris Stevens, an incredible penciller and new member of our crew, took it upon himself to draw and ink this monstrosity. Coloring-wise, no one at the studio wanted to touch this crazy, crazy pic with a 10-foot pole, espcially on such a short deadline. Well, I guess no one can say that I let my Project Manager position make me soft… I started painting it Tuesday at 10am and finished Wednesday at 3:30am.

It was a surreal experience. I dove into it head first and learned a ton. I only stopped for food, bathroom breaks and to wish my lady a wonderful birthday.

Remember how on Monday I said I’d gotten more confidence in my digital painting? Well, this was my baptism of fire:

When it was all done. I could barely believe that I’d done it, let alone done it in one day. I learned a ton about painting and I feel like this is the springboard to better artwork for me. It feels great.. although I’m super-exhausted and NEVER want to paint under that kind of pressure again. 🙂

Today I relaxed a bit, slept a lot and am currently deciding what to make for dinner at 9pm.

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