Monday, September 16, 2013

Personal Project: The Precipice

So in the last month or so I've made the decision to free up some time and buckle down on my personal project: The Precipice. This is something that I've had  on the back burner for a while now and I chip away at it here and there when I can. Some of you might recall the promotional banner I posted a while back:

I'm not at point where I want to divulge too much of the story (hell, the story isn't even fully realized yet) But I do want to post a few updates to show you all what sort of progress I've been making. I can't really describe what it feels like to be painting my own stuff again. It's a real treat to crawl back into my dark corner and think up this stuff and my hope is you'll enjoy following my process along the way.

The Precipice is focused around a new approach to exorcism and the byproduct of it's activities. One of the first pieces I made was the hospital showers at the end of last year:

You might also remember a character sheet I did around that same time for the main protagonist in the story:

I've had a lot of fun lately working out her character and understanding who she is and who she'll become as the narrative moves forward. I realized that while I might have developed an interesting costume I missed the mark on her personality. She doesn't have the history and cynicism that I initially pictured. One way to expand on that idea was to put her in a position that would show the audience how she would react in a given situation. And so I present the first panel in a small, surreal, single-page comic that will hopefully give you an introduction into her behavior, mannerisms, and psyche:

This is a all pretty new for me in terms of style and storytelling, but I'm having a blast so far. A lot of it actually stemmed from a Visual Narrative class I took with Marshall Vandruff not long ago. I started to understand the craft of story development and realized just how far I have yet to travel. Here's a block out of the 1st page of a 4-page comic I did for his online TAD class: (sidenote: John English, Jon Foster, Vanessa Lemen, Jason Felix, Anita Kunz, Francis Livingston, Stephanie Shirazi, Brent Watkinson, Mark English, the whole lot of them, Great, GREAT people. Can't speak highly enough of what they do and who they are as individuals.)

It's funny because I absolutely hated comics growing up. But this year alone has showed me the benefits they can bring to really fleshing out your own world. More to come:)

As you might expect, being an exorcist or 'Reclaimer' and I've started to call them, demons play an important role in their particular line of work. Last year I took a stab at designing something that would look cool but would also fit within the design ethos of The Precipice. So the Fallen Harpy was born:

I had a lot of fun with this character and even used him as a base for my first runaround in Zbrush:

But as time moved on I started to realize that a lot of my favorite horror monsters/villains remain iconic for a reason. All I really managed to do with the harpy was re-design a Greek mythological creature without any real purpose for being. So I thought about other ways I could design something that would stick with people and become a staple of The Precipice universe. Behold the Milkman:

With his design I felt like I was pulling from somewhere that felt familiar and yet new all at the same time. He set the stage for my legion of antagonists to follow and I'm getting really anxious to show it all. Right now I'm in the middle of a new demon concept and it's definitely more challenging than the last. Here's a set of first-round sillos:

The final design will change quite a bit from where these started out, but I'm liking the overall direction. Can't wait to fill you all in on the backstory. I might reveal some of this in an upcoming Livestream I'm hoping to do this coming friday (9/20). Just got my account setup last week so feel free to follow along!

I'll be sure to post the time on my facebook page the day prior to the stream:

So there you have it. Here's a taste of The Precipice and where I've been focusing my energies in my spare time. Mind you I had to make a tough decision to create that spare time. I left a company I had been working with for nearly 2 years. And I gotta say, though it wasn't easy, it's been very fulfilling knowing that my personal work is moving forward :) Hope you all like it. Stay classy!