Friday, May 25, 2012

The Scramblin Scholar Team

The story goes, two English majors, both aspiring artists, fueled by video games, Pokemon, and the forces of the Jedi, meet at this party. What happens next is still to come, because Turbo is leaving the country to tour! I had time to make him something before he leaves. I already knew I was going to turn his logo into yarn the instant I saw it. It is no coincidence that it carries the same essence of my Damaged Goods line.

A few of my favorite things:

It is important that all the scramblers out there, keep pursing what they want. I'm thankful for the driven people I meet. It is refreshing to experience, and know, that all the struggling is worth it - it makes a happy heart.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hit That B Button

Last Sunday, I completed my crocheted Blanka and Ryu pieces for the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Art Tribute Series, and submitted my photo. Imagine the excitement that overcame me on Friday, when I received a lovely midnight surprise email:
"Now, while we will be sharing artwork that we received throughout the year in our community channels, we wanted to let you know specifically that we feel like your submission would be an excellent piece to include in a limited 64-page art tribute book that we’d like to create to celebrate the 25th Anniversary. Congratulations! Considering the massive number of submissions we received, and the quality of them, it was no small feat to stand out."
They asked that I submit any other photos I had of my pieces, and immediately I knew I just HAD to do my Blanka electricity shot. However, I was still clueless of how to make that shot work. Since my pieces are three dimensional, and can't be shared with everyone physically, I wanted to limit potential usage of any editing programs, in order to best capture them in their raw form. I thought, Glow sticks? Lighting tricks? It turned out my brightest idea was to pitch the dilemma to my super friend, Josh, drummer of the amazing band 1,2,3, to which he responded, "sparklers." And so, the task had a light!

It was time for another Leesasaur and JSalamander adventure as we set off into Chinatown. We found a lovely stage for Blanka, amidst some courtyard shrubbery. It was under a Metro line, so it was really windy and difficult to ignite the sparklers. We used a whole box of sparklers, but we couldn't generate enough sparks in just one shot. Upon going through the film, J, being the clever graphic artist he is, told me he could layer the various sparks from all our shots, onto the one shot I wanted.

This is THE shot. Thank you to the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Team, JSalvador, and Josh, for pushing this to happen. I am so happy and pleased that this exists.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Head Bite

Summers in the '90s were my absolute favorite. Aside from playing on the swings or shooting hoops, countless hours were spent on SNES game time with my siblings and cousins. When Street Fighter II came out, I remember eagerly awaiting my turn to FIGHT. My two favorites to use were: Ryu - because he is a stud, and has the best phrases for his moves, and Blanka - because he has such crazy, animalistic and sub-human moves. I would get so upset that I couldn't hit B-button rapidly enough to generate electricity, and so jealous when my cousins easily shouryuken'd my face. 

For the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Art Tribute, they were only accepting 2D art work, so I crocheted my pieces, and had my terrific side-kick, JSalvador, help photograph the scene with his fancy camera. Coincidentally, over a year ago, when J and I first began our friendship, I saw his amazing Street Fighter series, and immediately sketched out a Ryu, Blanka, E. Honda, and Chun-Li that I proposed to make. At that time, I envisioned a sort of simplicity like my Ninja ornaments, with the function of a keychain. But upon making Ryu, I realized I didn't have much of a solution to provide workable and durable hair, given forethought, of the every day wear and tear if they were to be used naturally, as a keychain. So, I dropped the project. Then a little over two weeks ago, J sent me a link to submit to the anniversary show! 

Initially I was just going to do Blanka. I thought his hair and body proportions would be so tricky to create, that I could only finish him before the submission deadline. But his hair was a lot of fun, and actually easier than I imagined to do! For his eyes, I used the brads I had embossed white from my previous Etch-a-sketch project. Spooky!

Once I was finishing him up, I realized, what good is he just posed by himself? I decided to make someone else, and create a real fight scene. I didn't have much time to think about how I was going to establish the illusion of electricity if I did Blanka's electric move, or even a Hadouken, so I focused on the one thing I really love: gore. Blanka Head Bite! Yes, I wanted blood.

I installed wiring through both their legs, and Ryu's arms, because I wanted Blanka to be able to crouch, and Ryu to be able to spin kick. But even with the wire, the toughest part I had was creating the perfect pose. Blanka's attack needs to be in ball form, and it took so many angles with him and Ryu to make it... not look, any more perverse than one character biting another character's skull.


Location scouting was a little trickier than I imagined. We drove through a few alleys on Melrose, and finally, when I saw this rusty chain and old piping, I knew I had found my stage (insert plane sound, announcer: "Los Angeles." I actually believed a homeless man to have defecated nearby because I kept smelling something fecal-y. Then I saw a fly catcher bag, and J informed me that they use poop scent in those. Learn something new every day.

We managed to get the shot, regardless of the stench:

J even had me do a mini photoshoot after. Here's me, in my usual awkward self, and my new baby Blanka:

They even came to work with me at Toy Art Gallery and made some Mugstached friends:

I'll end up doing some individual photos of Blanka and Ryu when I have some time. For now, I am happy to have submitted my piece on time, and hope very much that they pick me! If you're still reading down here, you might as well let me tell you about another fun Street Fighter collision that happened last night! I met this incredible artist, Turbo, who made some songs about Street Fighter from the perspective of Balrog! He even posted this gnarly, Blanka in front of the fire, photo. Definitely listen to his song, Gigaton! I love.