..... ONWARD!!!!

As we are entering the last 48 hours of the campaign, I am starting to come to terms with the reality that my project will not be fully funded.

It's a sad thought. I have poured a lot of my time and energy into this project, but it has not all been for nothing. I have always had some alternate plans just incase of this outcome so this just means that I have to enact those now. (I will speak of these plans at a later date.)

Lets push those sad thoughts aside and lets focus on the positive. As many may know, I started this project as a simple side exercise during the christmas holiday as something to do. What some of you may not have realized is that I also used this project as a way for me to learn new skills to better my self as a designer.

When I began 'The Lost Candle' I had never used Adobe Illustrator before. I had downloaded it to my computer and had opened it in an attempt to figure it out casually to no avail. Have you ever walked into a small hole-in-the-wall bookstore before where there are books stacked floor to ceiling with no rhyme or reason to the order? That was what it can be like opening Illustrator for the first time.

Go make a logo... (No idea who that guy is.) Image credit:  www.newstatesman.com

Go make a logo... (No idea who that guy is.) Image credit: www.newstatesman.com

And so the idea for 'The Lost Candle' was formed and I began work on the project. This was when I thought to myself: Time to learn!! So off I went! This is probably the most valuable aspect of my project; these new skills. Now I can be a better designer and artist.

So yes it is sad that my book will not be fully funded, but as a result I have progressed in my career and who I am as an artist. - ST

The Final Week!

The Final Week!!

This is the final week!!! This is a hugely important time for us now and every little contribution will help us reach our goal! I have realized that some of you might not know how to contribute towards our campaign. Well my friends today is your luck day! I will give you a step by step guide in contributing. Ready? Lets begin!

(If you keep going through this whole post I have a present for you at the bottom.)

The mystical power button.

The mystical power button.

So to start make sure that your computer is on. You can typically find this button on the back or keyboard of your computer.... Ok wait Kendall has informed me that most people should know how to do this and I should stop being so condescending. OK I will stop trying to be funny. Lets be serious now.

Image taken from  Kickstarter.com

Image taken from Kickstarter.com

Start by going either to Kickstarter.com and typing in the search bar at the top "The Lost Candle" or you can click HERE to be taken directly to our campaign page. 

My campaign page! Image from  Kickstarter.com

My campaign page! Image from Kickstarter.com

Next click on the 'Back This Project' button and it will take you to the rewards page. Here just select the reward you like then type in how much you would like to contribute. It has the be the minimum of that reward tier but it can be more.

Next it will take you to a sign up page for you to either sign up for a Kickstarter account, log in to your existing Kickstarter account, or log in using your Facebook profile. All of these are perfectly safe and normal and are required for payment. After that just enter in the relevant credit card information and follow the on screen prompts. That's it! Super easy to do and then you can be filled with the warm feel good emotions knowing that you have helped us reach our goal. 

Something to keep in mind though is that you will NOT be charged until the project is complete and successful. IF we do not reach our goal then no money will be paid to us or taken from you. This is why it is SOOO important that you share and spread the word. Especially in this last week.

As a reward for reading this whole post I will now show you a sample of the coloring page which will be included as a reward! Enjoy!

Yay! Coloring!

Yay! Coloring!

As a reminder. This image is a reward tier and is NOT to be downloaded or printed with out express permission from myself. I hope that this is respected. Thank you. - ST

Help us to Share! - Power Problems

So today was go no to be a big work day for me. I was planning to finish the book. But alas our power decided to stop working and so that killed my plan.  

I did manage to make a video though! Yay!! 

 (Sorry about the roughness of the video. Editing on a phone is tricky)

As always go to our Kickstarter and support us! - ST

Parallel Creations

Being creative is a funny process. It's often said that being creative is limited to a few individuals: people who are able to think outside a kind of box that we have built around our general understanding.

I like to completely reject that. 

I believe that literally anyone can be creative and that everyone is every day without even realizing it. I think that this is what makes us fundamentally human. It is a wonderful chaotic element of who we are as a species. 

All of this creating does have its drawbacks and quirks. There are roughly (last I counted) 7.125 billion people on this planet. Each one of those people creating new and exciting things everyday. It stands to reason that some of these ideas will overlap is some ways. Sometimes it's just in a small, insignificant way, but sometimes it is in a completely overlapping, to the point where these two ideas are identical kind of way. This has become especially obvious in the Internet age. 

I watch a lot of big idea videos every week. One of my favorite channels is the Vsauce channels (there are a few. Go have a look here). This past week Jake from Vsauce3 posted a video about 4 logical paradoxes. It's well worth the watch so go have a look. There is another channel called CGP Grey who earlier this same week posted a video about the trouble with transporters. From the titles these videos seem to have nothing in common. But as I was watching the Vsauce video I began to realize that I had already watched this video - one day earlier on CGP Grey. These two videos, almost point for point, discuss the same thing. It was uncanny.

Credit: Youtube, Vsauce3

Credit: Youtube, Vsauce3

Credit: Youtube, CGP Grey

Credit: Youtube, CGP Grey

I was not alone in noticing this and most importantly the creators noticed it. This was pure coincidence. Thankfully no ill will was intended. This got me thinking about my own creative work and probably my single greatest fear: someone is going to create this first.  

As I work on my projects I am always wondering if, by the time I finish this, someone will have beaten me to it and created my project first through pure coincidence. 

Both of my current projects; The Lost Candle, and Tap Blot, are, In my mind, unique and new. Neither are going to start a revolution in their respective fields of entertainment but both are mine. I created them from my own brain; they are a part of me. But I do understand that one day, and maybe one day soon, someone might have the very same idea. Maybe they would be in a better situation than I currently find my self in and are able to release it before I can. With no ill intention towards me and maybe with no idea that my projects even exist, they will have beaten me to it.

I will leave you with one final example of this parallel creation. In March of 1951, Hank Ketcham created the iconic US comic strip character, Dennis the Menace. At the exact same time but several thousand miles away in Scotland, David Law created the iconic British comic strip character, Dennis the Menace. 

Dennis the Menace US (Right) UK (Left) Credit: BBC

Dennis the Menace US (Right) UK (Left) Credit: BBC

These characters are very different in appearance but have a similar tone. Both are slightly misbehaved young boys and have a loyal dog who follows them on their misadventures. Neither artist knew about the others' creation until after publication. 

Thankfully both characters have existed separately for decades now without ever causing problems for the other. But this type of thing happens all the time, and I know that one day I may also have to deal with this situation. -ST

The Tools I use

The Tools I Use - The Artist's Creed.

You might recognize this image from my portfolio page. 

You might recognize this image from my portfolio page. 

The US Marine Corp has, as part of their basic doctrine, a mantra that goes goes something like this:

Rifleman's Creed

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

William H Rupertus. 1942

There is more to this this the words I have here but it is this first part that is relevant to me. I often ponder on it when I am considering the tools and applications I use everyday. I took the photo above in an attempt to convey a sense of the range of equipment which is needed to do the work I do.

There is not a whole lot special about any of these items. (Apart from the Lego guy. I have had me since I was very young) You can buy any of these things in stores quite easily. What makes these tools different is how they are used for my work. The unique ways my brain utilizes them to create and design. For example, when I am sitting at my desk working, in front of me I have my computer, keyboard and my two computer mice. Yes I use two mice, at the same time. I don't know if anyone else does that, and maybe I'm not as unique as I thought, but I always thought that this was a little weird. Each has their unique uses that compliment each other, my track pad is for panning around my page, zooming and swiping between apps, and my mouse is used to give me fine details for manipulating my work. I also have a digital pen which gives me a further degree of control which is especially useful for digital painting and drawing. Thousands of other people have these tools, but these ones are mine.

I know that every artist has their own tools which they use in a unique way. They might even have these exact same tools with this setup, but there will be slight differences between their uses which is unique to that artist.

What I like about the Rifleman's Creed is that it acknowledges that their tools are wide spread and used by many. But it also instills a sense of ownership to the tools, almost bonding them to their users. To the point where no one else could use them. Not in a "Don't touch my stuff" kind of way, but almost in a spiritual or magical way. - ST

This is my pen. There are many like it. But this pen is mine...

New skills, new Google searches

New skills, new Google searches

The modern day human has a huge advantage of his/her ancestors in one huge way. It's not life expectancy, quality of living or even healthcare. No, the modern human's biggest advantage is the Internet. Yes that place were you can find a billion hours of kitten/puppy videos, and more conspiracy theories than you can shake your tin foil hat at, is the best thing we have ever invented. 

In all its glory!!! If you are a fan of  The IT Crowd  you would understand,

In all its glory!!! If you are a fan of The IT Crowd you would understand,

So before the angry comments start let me just put a small disclaimer in here: I am aware that the Internet has a lot of terrible content and can be a dangerous place but I believe that the pros outweigh the cons. Plus there are so many people out there dedicating their live to making it safer and better. This is just my humble opinion. Now back to the main post. Here is a picture of my dog as a puppy to smooth things over.

He is much bigger now. Photo taken by Simply Green Photography

He is much bigger now. Photo taken by Simply Green Photography

My reasons for my opinion is entirely based in education. Never, at any other point in history,  has there been access to the kind of knowledge that we have access to now. Any question that you can think of, any fact you need queried, any tutorial that you need to fix the hole you made in your bath room ceiling after you dropped something in the attic, is there. It's wonderful.

I would not be where I am today without the Internet. I studied concept art and design at Vacouver Animation School (A quick shout out here. Hi!!) a couple years ago, and they are almost entirely internet based. it allowed me and other students to connect and learn from all over the planet. Another amazing resource for me has been Lynda.com. It gave me all of the skills I needed to complete The Lost Candle and for that I cannot praise it enough. Even now as I continue to work on all my projects I am constantly searching online for tutorials on illustrator, or looking for new fonts, or even just staying connected to the design community to keep up to date. Without the Internet all of this would still be possible but many time more difficult.

Credit: www.youtube.com

Credit: www.youtube.com

This is not just limited to my work as a digital artist. The level of knowledge seeking has spread into other areas as well. I am always (Kendall can verify this) watching so called 'explainer' videos on YouTube. Channels like: Vsauce, CGP Grey, In A Nutshell, Tom Scott, and so many more.  They approach different subjects and theories in such away that I always find myself researching more into them.

I am aware of the darker side of the Internet but I think that everything has a dark side. (I will not  make a Star Wars reference... Luke...) but I think by being a smart web user and by being aware of the problems and actively trying to make the Internet safer that it helps me to combat it and keep my family safe.

Go check out some learning sites. Learn something new. And most importantly; check out our Kickstarter and use the power of the Internet to share the crap out of it. -ST

Today is the big day!

Today is the BIG DAY!

It's Today!!!

It's Today!!!

So this is it. The end, or is it more of a beginning? It's funny because, to me, this build up has been coming for a while which makes this launch feel like an ending point. The reality is however that this is more like the beginning of my project. 

Since Christmas, when I began working on this project, there has been a slow burn leading up to the launch of this project. This is very typical of any project and I am sure a lot of other artists can relate to this. The result of this is that when the project does finally get announced, that a sense of relief can happen similar to that of how one would feel once a project is finished. Which is where I am at now.

I have to remind my self though: this is not the end. This is the beginning. 

Over the next month I will have to continue to plug and plug and plug my project. Attempting to generate as much interest and shares on social media as possible in order to spread the word and get potential backers. This will not be a light or easy task (Hopefully this will be one task made easier by my friends and family sharing with me). On top of that, I also have to continue working on the project to get it complete and this will have to be done regardless of how the Kickstarter campaign goes.

Finally, and arguably the most important event happening in my life, Kendall and I are expecting the imminent birth of our son. It could even be happening as I write this...

We like to have crazy lives in our house. Having a baby, launching a Kickstarter campaign, raising our daughter, running a business and going to work. Some would call us crazy, I am going to have to agree. - ST

P.S. I realize that as I write this that my title could also imply that today is the day my son is born. That would be fantastic, and amazing timing on our part. Prayers and well wishes appreciated! 

Color, or is it colour?

Is it Color or Colour?

Color

Color

Color. It’s a constant battle in this household. This is the problem when you have two artists living under one roof working on a project together: you tend to have arguments over the tiniest shade variation in a color. It’s ridiculous really! Who knew that shades of pink or green could cause such disagreement between a husband and wife! 

But here’s the thing…it just means that we are passionate about what we do. We are perfectionists and we love love love art! We believe in the power of colors to express emotion. We want everything we design or create to be emotive of something specific. We want you to feel something when you look at our designs. Don’t get me wrong, I am not the drawing talent behind the things we create. I can’t draw to save my life so I get to annoy my husband in other ways like scrutinizing his color choices which he will whole-heartedly agree is exactly what I do. A lot.

So as you can imagine, this kids’ book we wrote posed quite a challenge to our marriage. Just kidding! But we really did have many discussions over the colors we would use. For the most part we agreed except when it came to the monster on one of the pages. We both had very different visions but I eventually won. ;) We chose bright colors for this book so that it is easily accessible for children but also so that each page looks like a piece of bright artwork that you would be happy to hang on your child’s wall. We love our little character and we love the happy nature of the colors we chose. 

Can’t wait for you to see the book in its entirety but for now, here’s a little evolution of the colors of the monster and how two pairs of eyes can totally change and evolve a piece of art! -KT

So here it is...

So here it is... 

Are you ready?  You have no idea what I am talking about do you? Ok I promise that what follows will not be just a random stream of my, frankly, erratic thoughts. So if you'll bare with me, let's start from the beginning....

As you probably know I am a designer. This being a very broad term doesn't really help narrow down who I am but that is deliberately so. You see while I am working on a project a lot of unexpected things can happen and the more people that are involved, the more likely some unexpected events might happen.

Take for example Tap Blot. (For more information on that project scroll down on my blog a little) When I started that project I had grand schemes of how everything was going to pan out. It was all very exciting. However soon some bumps slowed things down and then the holiday season rolled around which only served to slow down the pace even further... and soon... everything... stopped.

I needed something to kick start my creativity. Something related in skill but not in any other way. So I started a side project. I literally stumbled upon an idea which I decided to run with. This idea grew, and grew, and grew. Before long I had a fully fleshed out project well on the way to being complete.

This is page 1... of many.

This leads us to now.  I am finally ready to talk about what I have been working on in depth and what my plans are for the project going forward.

I will be publishing a children's book!

This project came as a total surprise to me. I had never thought of my self as a designer who could even come close to creating a children's book but it's funny how life works out.

V1.0 of the cover.

So a little more about the project. The book is called The Lost Candle. It is the short story of an anthropomorphic candle, who after experiencing one of the best moments of his life becomes lost and alone. I know that this doesn't exactly sound like a children's book but I promise there is more, I just don't want to spoil it.

This project is almost finished. I am working away on the final few drafts. Over the next few weeks I will be posting more and more images, information and details on the project in order to create interest to start the Kickstarter campaign. This campaign will be used primarily to fund the printing of the book and to get the word out.

Why did I decide to fully realize this idea? Well as you may know I am a father. Currently of one but soon of two. One thing that is so important for children is having a fun and enjoyable book collection. As I was working on this project I thought to myself: "Scott, you are handsome enough with a great beard and can do something with this. Why not try to publish it? Why not add this book to your daughters collection?" So that's what I did. 

As I said earlier I will be posting more and more in regards to this project over the next few months. So keep checking back to see how it is going. If you really like this project absolutely feel free to reach out to me through my contact page.

ST

As a side note. Please be aware all images are protected by copyright law. Please do not attempt to copy any of them. Also this is an on going project and so images are subject to change.

Level Design Sneak Peek...

So I wanted to show some level concepts and designs because I am very excited about them.

However this being the internet and game development being what it is, I am only going to show a small section of one of the boss levels. Enjoy!

(I will explain the concept in its entirety very soon. Hopefully that will add some context to this.)_


Say hello to Blot.

A few days ago I revealed our new title and logo. You were probably thinking:

"Blot? That sounds dumb"

Well you are entitled to your wrong opinion, but there is a reason here. We have a new main character! Here he/she/it is:

output_imDNiS.gif

This is blot! The name makes a little more sense now huh? So here it is, cute yes? I think so.

When designing a game for iOS there is one very important think that must always be kept in mind: SCREEN SIZE. Screen size has an effect on everything I need to design and I feel that this will look so much better on a smaller screen, and on a big screen too, but I digress.

This design we feel is much much cleaner and really fits into our new style very nicely, there will be more on that soon. Maybe a screen shot or something. So check back soon!

ST

Title Change!

Soooooo forget everything you thought you knew about tAp bOt.... OK ready?.... Good.

We have a new title! Drum roll please.....

.....

.....

Yay! What do you think?

What do you mean you can't see the difference? There is a HUGE difference, we added a whole new letter!! Isn't that exciting?! 

No? OK whatever, I did say that it was a working title before so just get used to it. There will be some more reveals coming soon so keep a watch out.

ST