Tricerychon Gets a “Toon”-Up – Part 1

Zac Carson      Cass Sullivan Character Card

Copyright © 2014 Adam Bunch. All rights reserved.

With the ever-increasing popularity of 3-D feature length animated blockbusters like “Frozen” and “Big Hero 6” giving rise to an entire subculture of “fanimation” artists filling sites such as DeviantArt and Pinterest with their whimsically inspired creations, it was only a matter of time before I caught the bug.

I’ve been a fan of animated films since childhood, and it was this art form that began my lifelong love affair with art. Today I am still completely mystified by the magic and wonder of cartoon characters and the worlds they inhabit. As the spark ignited within me, I embarked on a journey to rediscover my first love via my ongoing multifaceted project, Tricerychon. The first two in a planned series of character designs portraying the cast of an epic adventure, the “tooned-up” approach allows me to loosen up, have fun, and discover new and wonderful sides to their personalities (which is invaluable to me as a writer).

New Artwork!! 11/4/2014

Tricerychon continues to take shape, this time in the form of a busy marketplace scene. Obviously, one of my idols and great influences is James Gurney (Dinotopia). While Tricerychon is a very different story that takes place on an alien world, there is something magical about Gurney’s fantastical portrayal of the everyday and mundane. This is something that I’ve been adding to my observations as an artist, creating a world of my own. These are the building blocks one must use in order to fully immerse his or her audience within a fictional universe, thus making it all the more “real”.

“Early Morning Rush”, Copic marker on paper, 11″ x 14″.

Early Morning Rush Final

Copyright © 2014 Adam Bunch. All rights reserved.

Graphically Speaking

All images copyright © 2014 Adam Bunch. All rights reserved.

 

Beginning the next chapter often proves challenging, but with the right tools (and a healthy obsession with getting things done!), things start to take shape quite organically. Now 34 pages in, things are starting to look promising, and I’m finally beginning to see the fruits of my labor.

My first love will always be drawing, but as I am faced with the challenge of being creative director as well as illustrator, I am fast finding a passion for graphic design, specifically book design and all that it entails (a LOT of hard work and frustration!). But here’s hoping, and one day this will find its way onto the shelves of those with boundless imaginations.

Telling A Story In Pictures

CryolariiFamilyPortrait Small          BerylisBeast Small

All images copyright © 2014 Adam Bunch. All rights reserved.

Storytelling, especially in the context of fantasy, lends itself incredibly well to visuals. In my case, it is the driving force behind my own brand of storytelling. As new story ideas come to me, new visuals appear in my head, and conversely, when I create an image, all sorts of writing possibilities emerge. It also helps to have not only your own support group, but a partner in crime who is just as invested in the same project.

With the encouraging comments and creative ass-kickings of my wonderful husband, pushing me to incorporate more and more layers of detail in my artwork, I have moved beyond just scratching the surface of Tricerychon; I have delved deeper into a world that previously had no discernible form beyond an abstract description. That is the beauty (and impact) of what I will call “descriptive visualization” [most likely not an original term, but it fits anyway].

Giving my characters a life beyond the confines of the particular tale that is being told is absolutely imperative; it allows them to feel so much more real – to me, to the reader, and to anyone who views my illustrations. Personality is the key to captivating your audience, and if you can convey that in a single illustration by taking all those emotions and quirks of an individual, and put them into marks on a piece of paper – you have them! I’ve heard it said that illustration, unlike art, isn’t about feelings or emotions. I disagree.

 

Building Beasties: More Fun Than A Barrel of Monkey-Dolphins!

Copyright © 2014 Adam Bunch. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2014 Adam Bunch. All rights reserved.

 

One thing that I’ve learned as an ever-evolving artist, is that you can never have too much paper. This wondrous substrate is absolutely essential to giving the very creatures you breathe life into a place in which to roam freely. When inspiration strikes, you need to be ready to put concept on the page, and much of the time, it can take a lot of sketches and a lot of paper to get to something that works. Fortunately, it’s equal parts frustrating and fun!

This big fella was born from looking at rhinoceros reference, then noodling around with patterns and scales, allowing things to just take their own shape until before you know it, Mr. Rhino has advanced to the next stage of his own evolution, sprouting a long, thick tail complete with fish-like fins!