Thursday, June 14, 2012

The QR's Ambitious Art Advancement Adventure

Hulloo! I’m Christine (Cris) Griffin—damn you, Family Guy, I was here first—and I’ve been a freelance artist for far longer than I care to admit. You may have seen me floating around the internet under the handle 'Quickreaver.' I haven’t made the progress I crave, for a couple of reasons: ambition (or lack thereof) and motivation/direction. I’m hoping to remedy this, starting NOW.

To date, I’ve been mostly doing digital book covers and private portrait commissions. They’re not exactly filling my creative niche anymore, though financially they’re lovely! What I really want to start doing is my own original properties in the form of full-length genre novels and graphic novels. Right now, I’m kinda fixated on the fandom circling around the TV show Supernatural, so I will likely use it as a point of inspiration for these studies until I reach a certain saturation level. ;) So I apologize in advance for the probable preponderance of All Things Winchester in these exercises. I figure it’s not a bad way to utilize fanart for fun and growth, and will certainly keep me inspired while I try to wrangle my shortcomings into submission. I’ll likely mention my literary exploits too, but to a lesser degree.

My formal training is in traditional painting, but my desire is to become a stronger draftsman, mark-maker and cartoonist. I want to better my grasp of anatomy and perspective, as well as pictorial narrative…quite the opposite of what I did all those years in art school. I’m pretty much starting from scratch, so bear with me!

A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of The Paper Wings Podcast, hosted by the smart, funny and talented team of Chris Oatley and Lora Innes. I highly recommend them and their podcast, regardless of where you are in your artistic development.

So, now it begins! My list of potential explorations (borrowing from Angela):

-gesture drawing, action and different POVs
-proportions and body types
-egads, hands and feet!

-multi-fig scenes
-varying POV
-visual flow (laying out a page)

Character Design:
-exploring personal style
-mark-making and drawing/cartooning
-visual short-handing and consistancy

So if any of you animation students have advice, lay it on me! I don’t intend to explore animation, per se, but storyboarding is on my list of jobs to look at in the future…

Wish me luck, babies!


  1. Yay welcome Christine! You gave me an idea to update my list with a little more information about myself as well. It's really fascinating to know what our artistic backgrounds are and where we're intending to go with all the learning we're hoping to do here.

    It's also fascinating to see what areas everyone wants to improve in so we can maybe start posting exercises geared towards the most sought after skills.

    Thanks for joining and good luck! It'll be amazing good fun to work on these things together.:)

    1. Yay, thanks, Angela! I've been listening to a ton of podcasts lately and doing a LOT of thinking. If I don't put my money where my mouth is NOW, then when? I hope this blog will keep me accountable. Gawd, I need it...

    2. I've done the same, Christine. I listen to a lot of podcasts and get SO hyped, but then I find myself still just *talking* about doing my portfolio and getting into this or that industry. Now it's time to really get motivated! There's nothing like seeing other people being productive to really kick yourself into gear.

      We have the tools. We have the smarts. We have the skills. Time to kick some art ass!

  2. Great list, Cris! I might steal a thing or two!!

    1. Be my guest! I'll likely sneak over to your posts and steal back some day... :D