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As many of you have no doubt noticed, my account has been practically silent for the entire year. I've got quite a bit going on at the moment, so I'm going to lay down a few of the bigger developments since the start of the year.



1. I got hired for a full-time job at NEOSCAPE, INC.
I wrote about this on my Tumblr, so if you want to read up about my employment earlier this year, click here!



2. Boston Indie Game Collective.
Since the start of the year, I've become a friend of the Boston-based Indie Game Collective -- a banded together group of indie devs sharing a workspace in MIT and making cool stuff. A friend of mine, fantastic artist, and prior classmate, Luigi Guatierri, introduced me to the group late last year and I've been hanging out with them since. You can read up about the IGC and their comprising members here.



3. I'm beginning work on Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball!
82apps dev and IGC member Erik Asmussen and I are teaming together to give his game a visual and conceptual overhaul with new art direction with both new 2D and 3D assets. It's a fun game, with rock-solid core gameplay, a unique setting, and hilarious back story. Right now the game is available through early-access on Steam and we have a LOAD of great ideas to really flesh the game out in the coming months. Keep an eye on this!


4. Wacom Cintiq Companion.....!
I got a Cintiq Companion sometime in the spring (yaaaay tax return.) It's really good but it's also really frustrating. The build quality on it is fantastic (borderline MacBook Pro,) the pen drawing experience on it is absolutely unrivaled by any other tablet product (such as Surface Pro,) serious power behind it with a high-clock Core-i7 chip and 8GB of memory, a MASSIVE battery, and the physical shortcut keys on the side are a boon to having ACTUAL productivity in apps like Photoshop. However, it has extremely buggy networking due to Wacom implementing an Intel Wireless controller chip that bugs out with Windows 8.1, a screen with such a bad glare problem it can be hard to see indoors at full brightness in most diffuse lighting situations (also making colors dull,) and worrying hardware choices such as a TINY cell-phone-sized charging port that I've already had to have serviced once due to it not recognizing when it had the charger plugged into it (took nearly a full month to get back.) Not to mention the badly placed power power button that is so easy to hit, the Cintiq commonly wakes itself up and cooks itself in my bag, wasting battery, and you can accidentally hard-power-off the whole system if your hand is in the wrong spot for 5 seconds. I'm having something of a love/hate relationship with this thing. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it. I took it apart in case you're interested to see for some reason.


5. Hearthstone
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so I play this. A lot. It's my favorite thing right now. Please help me. Fight me at foxorian@gmail.com


6. SYNTHESIS / ORIANART
Yes, Synthesis is still happening. Back when I made the placeholder site last fall saying it was slated for a 2014-ish release, I hadn't considered the fact that things like full-time employment could happen that swallow up most of my time. Synthesis' script is still being worked on, and good progress is being made. I'm working with a friend to develop the story as best as we can to deliver a good worthwhile comic. I know the whole "Ohhh this is your first story/comic so of course you want to baby it and whatever" -- I know, it LOOKS like I'm overworking it and trying to make it into this perfect magnum opus or something, but I'm really not hahah -- I just want to simply make sure the story WORKS before I start drawing it. The last thing I want to do is deliver a weak or dead-end story while I'm half-way through drawing it. OOOOOPS. I'm not sure when the launch date for the comic will be now, but I'm thinking not TOO long. I kinda have to wait for the right conditions for me to work on it, since right now, Synthesis is kindof lowest priority compared to the work that gets me money.
Also I had to switch hosting servers recently. I got my own MediaTemple server, so my email address has changed. it's now matt(at)orianart.com. Note that this is why the synthesiscomic.com placeholder site is down too. It's not gone/abandoned, it's just not restored yet.

That's about it. This is what's going on lately and why I'm borderline dead on DA (and to an extent all online presence.) Not sure how long this will last, but probably quite some time. If you send me notes, I will read them eventually, [about 99% of the ones I get are "how do I fill out the influence map" and "which tablet should I buy" anyway,] but don't expect me to respond. Nothing personal, I just have enough work related email to deal with nevermind personal inquiries :) Thanks for your continued support everyone, regardless!
Hey everyone! Sorry for the long-time-no-show-anything. I got a real studio job back in like January and it's been eating up pretty much all of my time.
However, over on my Tumblr today I wrote a quick (but long) article about the kinds of parts you should choose to build a full workstation computer to do digital art and general productivity on! All on a budget of about $450 to $600 for just the computer system itself.



Go check it out if you're thinking about building one soon! I know you can build a system for cheaper than this, but the idea was not to pick parts that were bottom-of-the-barrel. The idea was to pick quality, upper-level parts that will allow you to start doing work right away with plenty of room to upgrade to add even more performance over time (more memory, an SSD, a video card, etc.)

Hope it helps at least one of you out there!


Hey everyone! I listened to some of your input, and my SkillShare class "Creating Illustrations with Dimension" is posted and ready for early enrollments! I'm still working on the classes video content right now, and it's slated for a mid-January release. Click below to check it out!

This class is going to be more than just a regular tutorial on perspective. Aside from going over everything you'd need to know about perspective, It's also going to have quite a few recorded demonstrations of drawing scenes and commentary about best practices and considerations in different situations. I'm making the videos as high quality as I can, complete even with well designed animated explanations! I've also grown quite a bit as an artist over the last 5 years since I wrote that brief tutorial here in my gallery. There's a lot I couldn't include to begin with due to size limitations, and I have so much more to say now! These video lessons will be a fantastic way for me to share as much knowledge as I can on the subject.

Get to the class by clicking on the cover image above or by clicking here: skl.sh/18nySQD 
EXCLUSIVE TO MY FOLLOWERS: Until the class goes live, you can enroll for $5 off if you use the coupon code: 3DMY2D when you enroll! Have at it! [Share this around, there's 1000 coupons available and the offer expires 1/17/2014!]

For those who aren't acquainted with SkillShare, you can think of it as a bit like other skill-building sites like Lynda or DigitalTutors except you buy individual classes instead of paying an ongoing subscription fee. It's also unique in that the students of the class are assigned a project to work on and complete and submit it to the class for teacher (me) and peer review / commentary / critique! The more people who enroll in the class, the more robust the classroom will be. (However unlike what SkillShare writes in its FAQ about teachers not needing to participate, I will provide whatever helpful commentary I can to those who enroll and submit their project.) Your project can be updated rather "Behance style," and I encouraged you to show WIP shots along the way so we can see your process.

I really hope that you guys will be enjoying what I make here. I don't believe 150-200 page books are a good place to learn perspective (it's frankly incredibly boring to read about so so dryly,) and I don't think you need to go to an art school either. So I feel this is a good solution that would be worth your time and investment! If you like my work, like my informative teaching style, and would like to not only learn and engage in some new stuff but also support me and what I do, sign up and let's make some cool illustrations! YEYEAH!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask note me, comment, or email me at foxorian@gmail.com!

Edit: By the way, a "Kickstarter" style "What's this all about?" video will be posted on the the page soon! Maybe in a week or so. GET READY, HERE COMES MY FACE.

There will also be project incentives once the class goes live! Best submitted project(s) will some free prints of my work, video chat about your work, (or even an in-person meeting if you're local for the same review!) Can't wait to see what you guys will create next month.
Hey everyone! So I've been in talks with the folks over at SkillShare.com to design and offer classes about drawing and illustration for their upcoming new topic sectors of their site.

I've always loved to share my knowledge and feedback for free, but the unfortunate truth is that it's incredibly hard to do that when you're flat broke almost 100% of the time. So at least through SkillShare I can make money while providing you guys with even higher-quality learning resources. SkillShare isn't a live, real-time service. Instead, the classes are based around the production of videos and additional materials that you attack at your own pace. [Think DigitalTutors but... not expensive.] Then you work on projects that I assign and share them with the rest of the class, where I and your peers talk and offer feedback and help one another. It's supportive and collaborative!

Now, what topics would you most want to see me cover as courses? What would you absolutely love to enroll to?
It just occurred to me that a Tumblr post I made a few months ago could potentially be very helpful to many of you here on DA!

I responded very thoroughly to a question regarding portfolio website design and best practices. My advice is my opinion for what I think is the best approach to a portfolio,

CLICK HERE TO READ IT.



Elsehwere, development on Synthesis is still full steam ahead. And once I get more of the script finished, drawing will begin! Expect to see Maia and her adventures somewhere around Q1-Q2 2014 if nothing gets in the way.
So, I wrote a good sized rant over on my tumblr about my thoughts on the first season of Attack on Titan. It's a long read, so, if you really care enough...


I'll say it again here, I don't think AoT is bad. It's good, it's just not the most mind blowingly-amazing show I've ever seen by far. It was entertaining, though, and I eagerly jumped on every cliffhanger for the next episode. I love to be critical of stories and really pull apart what I think worked, what didn't work, and really sink my teeth in. In the case of AoT, I boiled down my list of complaints to the four most serious ones that kept me from loving it... no matter how much I (seriously) would love to start watching the next season to see where this whole... thing... goes.

Enjoy!
Hey this is a quick post. So I'm really on the lookout for one-shot graphic novels. Single volume, full story comics. I think you guys know what I'd probably be interested in (especially if you look at my Influence Map.) I really like comics that read out like a good movie all in one book (or VERY few books) rather than a trade paper-back episodic never-ending format. But I'm having a sorta hard time finding some I'd like to read. So I'd like to hear what, if any, I should be on the look out for at the local shops.

It's worth noting that I'm just not into Marvel and DC universe stuff. Superheroes, superpowers, eeeehhhhh I'll pass on any and all of that. This will also sound shallow of me, but I get into a comic WAY more if it has a tremendous art style (see: Barbucci.) But I'll definitely still take a good story from recommendation.

So what'chu guys GOT? LAY IT ON ME.

(PS: Some people like to say that "Graphic Novel" is just a really pretentious way of saying "comic." But I make a very real destinction: A graphic novel is just as it sounds. It's a novel. You know, a nice long self-contained story in a book? Take that, but make it sequentially illustrated with panels. Bam -- you got a graphic novel. Comics, meanwhile, are more serialized/episodic/shorter format. ..... However I usually only refer to a Graphic Novel as such in the first identifying sentence. After that, for the sake of saving speech, I just call em' comics. This is complicated.)
I like to draw and look at rather complex works of illustration. Perpectiveful pinnacles of technical achievement, etc. However, I watch a good number of artists who use simplicity to great effect. Whether it be representing more complex objects and figures as simpler forms, or just a philosophy of "less is more," I can easily be just as impressed (if not more so) with the understanding and implementation of simplicity as I get with more complex works.

Here's a short feature of some examples of works I've seen recently that got me good. Enjoy!

Kyokobreak by radsechrist Bleachers by radsechrist Attack by radsechrist
This work by radsechrist looks complex (such as the third image which I'll be talking about a bit here,) and to an extent it is -- however upon closer inspection, the actual details and construction is quite simplified, even crude. And it's fantastic. The artist shows such a vast understanding of how and where to place detail that matters, (not to mention that mind-bending fisheye perspective,) that we have an image that maintains fluidity and is very easy to imagine being in motion. Going more complex than this would have stiffened this up, and honestly be detrimental to its success. Check out more of his work for fantastic simplified and exaggerated style. Make no mistake about it, simplifying a style like this takes immense skill and understanding to do successfully. Anatomical mistakes will still look wrong even if they're exaggerated for style, and can't be excused just by saying "well it's my style. so I'm right." Rad here is an example of doing it right. 

Dumplr 19 by nargyleDumplr 18 by nargyleCF: Color dumps by nargyleDumplr20 by nargyle
Some of the many sketchdumps by nargyle. She draws. A lot. She's one of the strongest examples of "style comes from drawing non-stop and the resulting muscle memory" -- not sitting down and actively trying to "come up with a style." She's learned to simplify her forms and anatomy to astonishingly expressive levels. And not just her characters -- her backgrounds too. You'd be hard-pressed to find an artist so hell-bent on character design to also be skillful at backgrounds and color theory. She posts more to her tumblr than to her DeviantART, so go have a look.


Sketchhhhhhhhh by paooo sketchhhhhhhhhhh by paooo
Some extremely simple and very attractive speed paints by the otherwise complicatedly skilled paooo. The feeling of this scene is so well captured through mastery of color and VERY specifically well-placed brush strokes -- you can't help but be impressed. Look at just how dead simple those shapes are making this scene. Yet it rings through crystal clear in your mind. This is the true essence of a sketch. Check out the rest of his gallery for mindblows.


Street Cat by GorosArt Shhh by GorosArt
One of several of GorosArt's incredibly simple but intriguing scenes. Showing what's possible with just a couple shapes, the well planned colors, and some lines. Check out his gallery for digital paintings that range from simple to complex, humorous, and oozing of style.


Charadesign :: by Zouap Charadesign :: by ZouapPomme02 :: by Zouap
I've featured this character by Zouap before -- but I have to again. I can't get enough of this character's design. It's simple, maybe not in style per se, but in just... as a person. It's wonderful. One of my favorite OC's and I have no idea if she's even used for anything. The rest of Zouap's work is also playfully simplified with great understanding of design and graphic appeal.

www.synthesiscomic.com


Just thought I'd share this with you guys! Things are really starting to come together with the story/script, so I thought it was time I update that old 2010 placeholder site to something more relevant to the new story now!

Hope this gets you guys interested!
Every time I log in, I have like 10 new spam comments of the same "Hey I learned about this new thing, this could be your next big break! [link]" type of message. Interestingly they seem to be using stolen accounts as some of the spam comes from users with submissions and favs and stuff.

Keep a look out guys, change your password to something tough!
Thought I should give you guys an update about Synthesis.
I've been giving it much more thought and attention lately and I'm happy to report that its "development hell" status is being lifted. I've struggled with many different approaches to the story over the last couple years, throwing out and flip-flopping between countless ideas and concepts. Well finally, this latest take is one I'm set on making happen. It feels overall like a much stronger approach to the story I've wanted to tell, and when it finally starts being made will probably resemble little of what many of you may know about it today -- except that, of course, Maia is still the main character.

I still don't have a projected launch date yet, but be rest assured that it isn't a killed off project or anything -- progress is being made and the progress is good. The (now obsolete) placeholder site at synthesiscomic.com (look how old that art is!!!) will be changed/updated as more developments become solidified.

Keep a lookout at my twitter and tumblr for future blurbs and bits pertaining to Synthesis' progress!
Hey everyone!


Things covered in this episode:
- The anatomy of a basic tileset
- Setting up and using Photoshop's grid system for making tiles
- Using Photoshop's Offset filter to make tiles seamless
- Adapting a tiling texture into a tileset
- Some results of a finished basic tileset
- Thoughts and some opinions!
- I forgot to master the audio. Sorry if I sound just a tad muffly!


Enoy!

By the way, have you been paying attention to my tumblr? I post stuff like this more often there, as I only see my DA journal as a means to communicate about more DA-only stuff.
I think "Man, has it been ten years already?" when really it feels like I've been on here for WAY longer.

Still, I totally missed the fact that about 2 or 3 weeks ago was my 10-year anniversary here on DeviantART. I joined on April 17th, 2003. My first two ventures into posting art online was on a forum (still around!) called AAW, (Akemi's Anime World,) as well as Elfwood. (Elfwood---hahahahahahaha. Oh those were the days... that make me weep.) I also posted on the Baka-Neko forums. A user there named Mathias (now CaseyLaLonde) talked me into posting on this crazy new site called DA. So I went with him. I chose the name fox-orian based on an old character of mine when I was a kid, but this particular spelling, (yes, the "a" in orian is a misspelling of "orion,") with the dash in the middle was the first appearance of this name and it kinda stuck since it was so unique. (Powerful in google searches!)

I was in highschool at the time, a second year student if my math is correct. At the time I was still a whole year away from owning my first tablet, the Intuos2 6x8 platinum edition, I didn't own my own computer, and Maia was only a couple of months away from initially being created for the old, old, old, old, old concept for Synthesis. I was super into Evangelion at the time, (well, I still am,) but I was just learning how to better draw people at the time, so I was doing fan art of various characters during classes. I owned a freaking How to Draw Manga book, man. Picked it up at my local comic book store. I was like "NYAHA! A SECRET WEAPON!"

City of the Sparse by fox-orian
Here is the first thing I ever submitted to DA, and one of the first things I ever did in Photoshop. I was 15/16 years old.

Anyway, I am one old-ass member here on this site. That's ten years of not abandoning this account to go randomly start a new one, ten years of no drama, ten years of only one brief hiatus, and ten years of repeated and continued support by all of you! Ever since I joined, the people that find me and interact with me on this site are one of the reasons why I do the things I do.

A shout out to my friend :iconluniara: -- she was one of my earliest watches / watchers, and been on her same account for 11 years. How about THAT? True seniority! [Hey, for laughs, click here to go look at her super-old first submissions too. *smug face*]

Thanks everyone! Next up: 700,000 pageviews.
FRIEND CODES!

Mine is: 2036 - 7219 - 1265
Add me, comment yours if you're OK with it, note me if you don't want to announce yours out loud, let's be friends!

I picked up a blue XL the other day because, well, not only do I love handheld gaming much more over console gaming, my Vita just doesn't have a lot going for it lately. I love the thing, but Sony had better step up support for it this coming year or I'll be very sad. In the meantime, I'm liking the 3DS much more than I thought I would have previously! Nintendo characters are timeless like Disney/Pixar characters. Never owning a Wii or regular DS, the last time I've played any new Nintendo titles was during the Gamecube days. It's nice to play some light-hearted, well-crafted games again :) [Especially while I'm not at home!]
The XL is a little plain looking, though. So much for the days of the DS Lite design. I want to put some vinyl decal on the lid of mine. I'm thinking something related to Mega Man since the blue color is so..... mega man as it is.

Btw I'm also trying to use twitter a bit more than usual finally. I've resisted for years but sometimes I have dumb things to say and nowhere to say them. So twitter it is.
New round of artists I watch and enjoy very much! Comin' up today we have:

Anthony Holden is a professional artist/animator in the US and is just plain fun. His work is light-hearted, charming, and full of character. He's a dad alongside his professional art career, so he does a lot of "life journal" style illustrations and comics (usually animated) about recent life events or happenings along the way. Elsewhere, his work just makes me smile and laugh.
Lupin The Third Tanka by AnthonyHolden The Big News by AnthonyHolden Emily Test Ink by AnthonyHolden A Brief Health Disclaimer by AnthonyHolden Moving Day! by AnthonyHolden New World-Nami by AnthonyHolden Lost in Time! - Chrono Trigger by AnthonyHolden Garage Gunfight by AnthonyHolden Chasing My Muse by AnthonyHolden Son Goku Transformation by AnthonyHolden Sketch Adventure Header by AnthonyHolden 

I've featured Rikkitikki before, but I'm putting him up again because he deserves the exposure. An especially personal all-time-favorite of of my friend YanYu, Rikkitikki has an awesome vintage-timeless-y cartoony style, full of exaggerated proportions in all the right ways, and posts lots of beautiful sketches. A lot of his work based around his OC's looks like it could have come directly from the cell sketches of an animated movie. (Oh, and has an all-time love of Audrey Hepburn.)
time to go by rikkitikki wonder woman by rikkitikki adventurers by rikkitikki precious metal by rikkitikki sliding into trouble by rikkitikki chary by rikkitikki see it through by rikkitikki catty by rikkitikki play the part 2 by rikkitikki legend of zelda pt 2 by rikkitikki

Hitarika, a graphic designer and illustrator from Japan, is one of the most unique artists I watch, (never really seen anything like her work.) Her  work is very graphic, very distinctive. Great color palettes, use of shapes, and overall interesting interpretation of the world around her. She says on her site, "I like geometry. I like the universe."
WONDER PARALLEL GALAXXXY 02 by hitarika Bitter Sweet Night by hitarika Meeting by hitarika Play Now by hitarika melt in blue by hitarika Will by hitarika

An illustrator from France, Tohad has a lose, painterly style to his artworks yet obtains incredible details in all the right places. His scenes are believable, feel like they have scale, and life with incredible warm colors.
Under the bridge by Tohad Lost headquarters by Tohad The roost by Tohad On my crane by Tohad Basketball Ground by Tohad The heartwood by Tohad

:iconhotcake: hotcake [now troffie on tumblr]

Hotcake has seemed to have stopped using DA like a year ago now. She's moved to Tumblr, [so check her out her latest work here.] She has a fun approach to her work, experimenting with new styles and colors all the time. Her work is constantly changing and expanding, it's fun to watch! I've always loved the way she draws faces for some reason :3 [I'd link more of her stuff, but a lot of my favorite stuff is on her tumblr. Go check it out!]
IS THERE LIFE ON MARS? by hotcake BBC SHERLOCK by hotcake 



Go at it! Give these guys some love!
Hey everyone! Thanks for all your interest for the print sale I've been having! Just letting you know that the first wave of orders are shipping out today, with more to follow going out on Monday.

General Care Instructions: The print is fastened to the inside of the shipping tube with a strip of blue masking tape. It's there to prevent the print from sliding back and forth within the tube, potentially denting the sides from hard falls in the mail. When you remove your print from the protective sleeve, wash your hands first and handle carefully by the edges or backside. EPSON Enhanced Matte is a quality paper stock, and will scratch/show oils from fingers on its surface. (These aren't some cheap poster prints!) A can of compressed air is the best way to remove dust from prints like this. (Just make sure to test-fire the can first, so you know it won't shoot out a spurt of liquid compressant.) Wiping dust off could cause a scratch or smear the dust into the grain of the paper.


Okay! So I'm trying to save up for the new Cintiq 13HD so I can do work away from my desk, but I'm something like $200 short. I'm trying to bridge the gap before I do some travelling this summer so I can stay productive on-the-go!

Until I get my Cintiq 13HD, I'm offering my 13 x 19" super fine quality full archival process prints for $20 with $5 US shipping, $10-$15 (depending on your location) international shipping! (Combined shipping if interested in more than one print.) Normally they're $40~$50-ish. It's a SAAAAALE~. Like before, they're still being printed with an 8-ink color process on Epson Enhanced Matte, 13 x 19" cut sheet, in an acid-free sleeve and shipped in a nice tough tube. These are seriously nice, gallery-quality prints. Each is signed and numbered!

Email me at matt@plasticshards.com or note me here if you're interested and tell me which picture in my gallery you'd be interested in!

I take Paypal and ship out typically within a couple days. [I'm a professional artist. Believe me, I'm not looking to rip anyone off. My reputation is valuable so feel safe ordering a print from me :D]

Example of what a print looks like:
(yes the following image is a photo of a print itself. I have one hell of a printer.)



Hopefully this is a better price for you guys! :D I love making/selling prints to people!

If you're not interested at all, sorry for slightly spamming you!

I wrote a big, important rant about the things that people around the country have been saying about the Boston bombings and subsequent city lockdown on my tumblr.

As a 7 year resident of Boston and lifelong citizen of Massachusetts, I feel I have valid opinions to express to these claims.

If you have the time, it would mean a lot to me if you gave it a read:

They caught the guy, finally! Yaaaaay...

What a week, geez.</s>


You know all this is only taking place like a half-mile or something from my apartment? I can see helicopters circling the area outside my window.
Gonna keep this brief because I'm not at home at the moment. You already know what's happened. If you don't, go to any major news outlet. I'm fine and my family and friends who were in the area near the finish line are thankfully fine too.

Boston is a small city. Even in Brookline the air is tense and everyone is on their phones.

Lots of social media news going on, so we're getting whatever info we can that way. The major Boston news sites are down from too much traffic and the cell towers are saturated with use. Gonna be an interesting next few hours...