Saturday, December 30, 2006

When the dust settles

Well it would appear that I have a running theme going here with posts coming up around the 20-ish days of the month! So to go along with that trend, here's an update on my life as she goes. (You know, for my huge fan base of people reading this hahaha)

So, what has happened since I last posted? Well, to put bluntly? ALOT!

So since my last post I was seeking employment, not just your standard employment. Employment in the field that would be the beginning of the rest of my career in the entertainment industry.

So it was approaching time towards the end of November, I was at the tail end of my cash that I had saved. It was high time I got myself a job, only thing was, I wasn't about to settle. There are jobs out here in the west. Lots of jobs... You can walk around anywhere to any mall, any shop, any section of town, you see help wanted signs everywhere. But none of which I wanted. At this point in my life, I have worked many a job. From cubical jockey to tree planter. The problem with this is, those were all transitional jobs. Jobs that facilitated my life style and the pace of work that I enjoyed at the time.

Transitional jobs for some... can become regular jobs, or jobs that will rob the years away from what you intended to do in life. Sometimes, we'll get comfortable and settle for these transitional jobs, that tend to migrate from the "transition" category to the " lets try and build a retirement off of this" job, but not me.

It's amazing what the power of friends can do, and the people you surround yourself with can give you the power and motivation to do great things. Which is why I'm happy that I've been blessed with good friends, and always welcome good company. If your blessed with the right kind of friends, the ones that encourage you and aspire you to do more and go beyond, while at the same time have ambitious pursuits of their own, it's really motivating. And you'd be amazed and the people you meet and the places you'll go. (I think I'm starting to sound like a Dr.Seuss book)

So, I had worked on those pieces and posted them up here. I also posted them up on my portfolio site. And as I was finishing clean up on one section, I get an MSN from my friend Eric. Eric is a good friend of mine from animation. He had relocated out here for work as well, conveniently for me, in an animation company as well. Mercury Film Works. After he noticed that I updated my blog site, he checked out what I had posted and said that I should come in and that I was ready (Might I add that Eric is also a supervisor at MFW). So I finished up my work ASAP, made it out to a Staples, got a clear case folder, prepped my bag, got my sketch book, put on some nice clothes and out the door I went.

I arrived at the office late due to an address mix-up. But luckly everyone was cool with that. My interview went well... and it's funny that I think about it. For all the work I had put into my resume. To build it up to that point where I had a pretty crazy job list, even though my formal education was... well lets just say thats on hold until further notice.. the only thing that happened with it was. It was sorted into a folder for Human Resources employee reference and personal information. That's it. It was a little bit of, "Wow, I've entered into a work place that doesn't care about my prior job experience, it's all skill of animation." and whole lotta of, " Man that is freakin awesome!"

Needless to say, I've been at MFW for about a month and a week and I love it, it's great. The people are fantastic to work with. The office environment is really nice a refreshing (open concept office place) Everyday I go to work I feel challenged in my tasks and also learn something new everyday. It's great because, I haven't had this feeling of enjoyment from a job in a long time. Another thing thats nice is that it's a tight knit group. We're a pretty small team, and if you scale it against the Ottawa offices (Ottawa - 100 + staff. Vancouver - 30.. maybe), I don't know. It really give you the feeling that you're apart of something special. And too me, all these reasons above are what the defining differences between a job, and a career are all about to me. Something I'm willing to dedicated my life too. Well, not just to animation (thats a big part of it) but to animation and where ever animation will guide me. And I'm thankful that I'm fortunate enough to have that luxury to choose, and I realize that many people don't have that freedom of choice.

Anyway, working pretty much leads up to now, I've been working quite abit these days. Except for maybe Christmas break. Lots of time with the family which is fun and sometimes alittle frustrating at times, but it's family, how can you frustrated with them? I got to spend some quality time with my cousin Phil. Unfortunately, his wife is in the hospital, and has been since Christmas eve... My cousin Phil was very close to my dad, so we get along great, and we've had talks here and there about family which always interest me. It's always nice to learn something new, even if it's not good news about the family. It's engaging.

I hope I didn't gain a belt size or anything, because either way I'll have lots of left overs for a while...

Anyway, I kinda rambled on with this one. But either way, life is good. I hope it stays that way. And for those who I haven't gotten around to saying it too, I wish you a Merry Christmas, or Merry Pagan Holiday! And a Happy New Year to you as well.

I'll probably make a New Years post with declarations of the new year. (Wow, a post in less then 20 days?!) Lets see if this really happens!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And finally the part 2 that actually came! (check the previous)

OK so I decided to switch it up for this post and it's probably going to become my standard, maybe Im doing something wrong with the formatting but adding pictures doesn't go to the area of text just after what you wrote, it goes to the TOP of the post and then you have to drag it down through the post (or Im just lazy not going through the HTML part of the post) anyway...

OK so with all the characters I came up with. The coloured one (holy crap I COLOURED SOMETHING) is the take on the Dexter's Lab styled design, ultimately the easiest one to colour because of simplicity. It took me some fidgitting around with the colours to find something I was kinda happy with. The other character is named Erik, he's suppose to be the huge hulking mass thats the same age as the other 2 characters just he's xbox HUEG as the half assed size chart is concerned. I had alot of fun doing his facial expressions, and I like his character alot actually even though I put more time into the other two. I guess sometimes simple is better! I had by friend Jarrett go over my stuff and make suggestions to the designs and some issues for clean up. He also liked Erik, and you can check out a cool rendition he did of him on his website. (see links to the side)

Anyway, I'm on the victory lap of my portfolio, while I'm not totally happy with what I'm handing in, however I am confident that I can get an entry level animation position.

I've been worrying and procrastinating because of I guess my self esteem when it comes to my skills and level of ability in art is not as far along as I hoped. But I think through getting a job in the industry and working hard at improving my skills in my off time, it will help me to improve and further expand as an artist. modesty and willingness to learn being my weapons in the fight for a job.

I gotta at this point, even though I haven't got the job yet, say thanks to my friends and family for their continued support of me doing something like this. My family for agreeing to let me do animation (you know, Chinese families) and my friends for pushing me to keep moving and improving. I promise you all, I'll get there one way or another!

So.. about that update... Funny story, yah see...

Well it's coming kinda late but.. Hey! Better late then never right? ... Hello? This thing on?...

Anyway, I've been going through quite a bit these past couple of weeks. (multiple birthdays, regular bar outings, redoing PF stuff which is VERY TIME CONSUMING) However the biggest hamper the my schedule, I sprained my wrist which I couldn't use it for basically a week and a half. When your not working a week is a LONG TIME. I guess the nice thing is I got my Japanese copy of Phoenix Wright: Justice for All. Which kept me company for all of 3 days of that week... ahh I want the 3rd game to come out.. it's like that feeling after finishing up with a comic book and having to wait till next month to get the next one.. just it's the 8th.. which means you still have like 26 days left till the next issue comes out.. well sort of like that but will probably be a year... arrrghh..

But it might not be a bad thing considering that I actually need to work on my PF, on the flip side, its kinda bad that I picked up FF III and Children of Mana... oh gad the opportunities for procrastination... and the WORST OFFENDER!! Nintendo Wii and Zelda: The Twilight Princess! Man that game is great, and the Wii is a great system.. man I gotta stop playing that and the Wii Sport games!!

But enough of that! I actually have been getting work done! (no seriously here) So Im just going to post up my line clean ups on some characters I've been working on, and one coloured piece that I did for a very flat style, Dexter's Lab look. Anyway, here they are:

The first character is named Jake, I was just thinking of making a bunch of kids in it. All pretty young and I decided to give him a bat (don't ask me why, maybe Dead Rising has made a permanent mark on me) The second character is a girl, I called her Nancy, and I gave her a golf club. I figured I'd give the guy a bat the girls going to need something to slug at someone. So why not a golf club? Now I'd like to post more in this post but moving pictures around with blogger completely screws up format of the post, so Im just going to make another post with the rest of the character designs. This is the one thorn in this rose of a site, it's PICTURE POSTING ARRGHH! Anyway, enjoy these!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Day in the life of Chan Update! Part 1!

So I've offically been in Vancouver for a month now. How does it feel you might ask? AMAZING!! I really like this city alot! I have my close friends I've know for a long time out here, settling in and getting in with the even my friends friends couldn't be easier.

I do miss Ottawa from time to time, but Im pretty sure that it'd happen the same way as it does for both Dan and Justin who go back every Christmas. It's a city of gradual change, and the people... well dont change, it's an Ottawa thing.

Anyway, it's a picture update this time around, some update photos of the place, still no wall frame pics, I dont have that kinda luxury money. Later will come plants and wall mount pics. but in the meantime, heres some other pics.
ok so organizing format with this thing is quite possibly the most frustrating thing in the world. It's like pulling teeth to try and organize this shit...

Anyway. Some new update pics include:

Another shot of my room on the top right, this pic is the area next to my computer, where my dresser and bed are. My rooms not badly sized at all. Compared to my room in Ottawa it's abit small, but it's a good size so Im happy. The next pic on the right is the living room revised. More room up front for people playing games, couch is moved around and now we have a TV! How about that! I got a pretty good deal on it too, ($180 for a Sony Trinitron 27" /w stand) Next picture down doesn't really need much description. Thats the video game shelf. We got a DC, PS2, Saturn, SNES, Xbox. N64 and a VCR. The game cube is in the stand since we use it the most when we have people over. The last shot is a shot of Shayne's room from the other side, right next to his door he's got his table with his computer and his MOUNTAIN OF VIDEO GAMES AND VIDEO GAME PARAPHERNALIA!!!! (ECHO Echo echo). Anyway thats the most recent update, I dont think much is going to change for now. At least until I score a job.

In other news I recently setup my new site for my portfolio. My friend Jarrett had the right idea so I decided to do the flattering thing and copy his idea. the site is: which Im going to be updating shortly if not today. In the meantime it's going to be a double post day today on Chan's Blog Spot! as I have some new pictures to post as well. With that said, welcome to Part 1 of 2 of Chan's Blog's Update for Today!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Have you ever travelled time? While still counting the seconds as they pass normally?

Well they did for me! My last post was made on July 5th and only now October 5th (ohh the 5th again.. weird....) Did I last get to update my Blog. Well it's been a absolutely CRAZY 3 months, and it all went by in what seems by the blink of an eye. Drinking up with the boyz, working like mad, packing madness, airport madness, living arrangements madness, aquiring furniture madness, and now life drawing and portfolio madness.

Looking back at things this was a big move for me. leaving my family (My mom), friends, the comfort of a decent job and a vehicle to get around. It was pretty cushy to be honest. Just not something I'd like to do for the rest of my life. Which makes this move that much sweeter.

I've been in Vancouver since the 19th and I feel that I've settled in just fine! Since I've gotten here I've been to life drawing several times and feel that I'm improving. I'm learning Flash now, and generally I feel like Im on top of everything so it's a really nice feeling. I guess the only factor is... I still need a job. But thats not too bad, since I have so much time I can focus on my PF and have nothing around to distract me! besides the internet... (did I mention I have no TV? but the rest of the place is furnished?) Anyway. Since I know alot of people have been asking what my place looks like, here are a series of photos I took of the place. Welcome to Chan Pad!
(From left to right starting from top photos) my computer area/work/procrastination/creationstation center (part of my room). The Kitchen, the living room and dining table and the living room with a book shelf full of Shayne's movies.

Anyway, i'd like to keep talking but it's 7:13am so Im in dire need of sleep, but when I post again (which will be soon this time I promise) I'll be posting up artwork and stuff. So anyway, new life in a new city with new beginnings. For me, Van is where it will all begin!

*note* forgive my horrid layout with the pics.. they kinda didn't format the way I wanted them to go....

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

When the point hits home it hits HARD!

Well it's been a couple of days since I've updated so I'll go through whats happened for you real quick:

- Canada Day was crazy, and I got drunk
- Worked on Canada Day in the morning and I got a meaty double time and a half for it. The wallet is pleased.
- had to gas up the cars at crazy gas prices. The wallet is sad.

Yeah it's not a whole lot really, just another day in the somewhat mundane life of chris chan.

So today happens and I go into work and one of the guys on my team is leaving, he's moving to Calgary with his girlfriend and he's going out there to make use of his piece of paper he got from University. It's kinda sad seeing as how the team of guys I work with is pretty close knit, but the moment hit me on another scale. And that was that I am moving. I'm moving in 2 months and it's coming FAST.

It never quite hit me like this before I've been talking about it for a while, almost about a year infact. It just never sunk in that this was happening until it happened for someone else in my group. It's kinda nuts. Im moving away from home, from Kanata, from a place that I have lived for 23 years of my life (my life up to this point) and now.. it seems HUGE. I'm not too worried since I still have 2 months to pack stuff up (realistically a month and a half) and then sort out all loose ends, visit family, enjoy times with friends. I think the biggest factor is that the months have been moving at mach speed and it'll feel like yesterday when I wrote this and the next day I'll be saying bye to my house, my family here in Ottawa (Hell I should be saying east coast!) and getting on a plane to take the next step to the rest of my life. It's almost surreal, and Im pretty sure Im over analyzing it, but it feels like this is it, it's do or die sink or swim time. In fact it felt like my first priority was to put it up here on this blog what I felt at the moment so here it is! live and uncut feelings of anxiety and excitement all rolled into one... HOLY SHIT BALLS!

that is all..

oh yeah, I'll post up some more artwork soon either tomorrow or the day after.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Kick start my heart!

I actually wish Ouendan would come in and kick my ass to work

Well last night I went out with a bunch of the guys from animation to visit a friend who's in the hospital right now. It looks like he's doing alright, but he got roughed up pretty bad (he fell from a 3 story high balconey).

Anyway good day with the boys and chance to find out what everyone else is doing with their summer. Got a chance to talk to a good friend of mine Alec. Quick blurb behind Alec is kinda funny and sort of what Ottawa is like for me most of the time. 1 to 2 degree's of seperation.. literally.. Anyway, Alec is a friend of a friend who eventually became now my friend since we were both in animation. Alec and I share alot of the same battles and frustrations in life like fighting for motivation and finding out what we really want out of life and it's pretty nuts to find someone else that is in the same position as you.

- We're both older (like 23 - 24) and feeling like we're getting older and nothing is happening in our life.
- Have friends or people we know who are out there doing what they love or doing well in what they're doing, and end up feeling as though we're being left behind.
- lack motivation to start drawing due to work, lifes chores etc. but mainly work that leaves you dead at the end of the day.
- Lethargic at home and end up instead of drawing, surfing around somethingawful, 4chan, or some other black whole of quality time.

So inorder to get him motivated as well I've pushed him towards getting a blogger as well seeing as it's occupying alot of my time now wanting to keep it updated and keeping me motivated to draw. So once he chooses a name and gets everything setup I'll link to his site.

I also had a chat with my friend Dan about life in general. Dan one of my best friends, I've know him for a damn longtime (I think about 12 - 13 years now maybe?) Quick back story, Dan and I have been neighbours (across the street from each other) We share very similar interests but interms of games, he's a programmer and Im an artist. We are currently working on a game. What game? visit Orbis Studios on the side link for more info. Anyway, we had a good talk about just getting out there and applying for a job which is true, but he's also got a list of programming projects that he's worked on in the past thats allowed him to get to his current skill level. To make it comparible, Dan has put in his time and has dedicated himself to work on projects, where as I haven't so the gap in skill is obvious due to experience.

Just gotta keep on Givener!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Getting back on track

Well it's about time I started drawing again. I mean it is the purpose of why I started this blogger in the first place.

I think it's best I get this out of the way now since I'll be posting alot of work styled this way. I like anime, and I like the style they use for characters. Thats not to say Im a biased fan of the genre or style of art, hardly. I like disney, I like alot of north american animation and find that exaggeration and expression of emotion, plus fluidity of charater movement in north american animation (feature productions anyway) is king to that of what you can find elsewhere. (except of Miyazaki, his stuff is much the same, just very different in ideas and excecution) I mean I grew up with all the regular shows kids of the early 80's had, both the good and the bad. (Inspector Gadget, Ninja Turtles, COPS, heck freakin Care Bears) So it's not like I shun the stuff and swear by anime like it's the bible. It just happens to be my particular preference in character design, thats all.

It's not all hunky dory though, theres alot of times where I feel restricted in my style and that since I've been drawing it for so long it prevents me from trying other styles or taking on a more gritty north american comic book style. I'd like to be able to be well versed in all aspects to be honest so I'll be working hard to try and mix in a variety of work into this. I also need to go back to life drawing badly... I feel the lack of it is making my work rougher, even more so since I haven't been drawing in a while...

Ok so lets start out with these two pics. Both of these were done for anime north this year and while I was sort of happy with them at the time (I finished them the night before the convention) the kinda sad part is that its pretty apparent on where my issues lie. Just for reference, the first pic with "Ray=Out" on the top is from a show called Eureka Seven and the other pic is from a show called Full Metal Alchemist. Both shows I liked and had great animation for long running shows (roughly 50 eps each series)

First pic I should have put the hand in the back WAY back not as close to force perspective abit more. The hand up front on the board is TERRIBLE and really shows that I need to work on my hands... alot... The picture is suppose to be forced perspective and it really had my mind bugged when I was trying to do the board he's on so it's probably wrong all over the place, worst places being the board wheel (circular thing on the front) and the duct on the back which now stick out like a sore thumb. The foot thats on the front of the board you shouldn't be able to see, and now that I look at it again, the shirt should be curved up on more of an angle since hit body is going away from the board and the viewer.

The second pic the character up fronts arm is suppose to be going closer to the camera which makes the outlining thicker, however it just looks like it's HUGE instead of forced perspective instead. The fingers on the hand look like cocktail wieners (again going back to my lack of time doing hand studies) and.. what the hell was I thinking doing the metallic shine, it just looks corny.

I find that when I look back at my old stuff, I can hear my design teacher from animation saying, " You need more thumbnails, more structure, more reference.." And to be honest, he's right, theres still alot I lack, and it shows how amature I am through my work. But it's all stuff that I'm willing to work on and improve. Through friends and honest feed back from.. well anyone whos artistically inclined really would help!

But at the sametime in all this Im trying to rediscover the fun of drawing, and exploring new things... Algonquins animation program teaches you as much as they can from a, "You can get a job out of college" perspective and doesn't leave alot of time for personal style development. It's not neccessarily a bad thing, but it's just draining and for people like me who take time to become motivated into drawing, it sucks the life out of you.

My friend Jarrett Young have talked about this often. Jarrett goes to Sheridan College and is entering his 4th year, he's been a good friend of mine since HS and we talk and meet as often as we can. There are 2 fundemental things that Sheridan and Algonquin do differently. Sheridan allows you to explore and find different styles in your work, they let your creativity run free and animation can take a slightly laid back focus (but still teach you the principals) in comparison to character design and design style in general. Algonquin will give you instructions on animation fundementals and provide you with training for animation from the get go and let you gradually trying things out ONLY when you've grapsed the basics in order to prep you for a job once your done. Both programs are good, and ones not more correct then the other. Where Sheridan wins is through budget, facilities, avalible classes (such as extra life drawing) and reputation which can play a big or small roll whatever way you cut it.

ok I digress, I seem to be stemming topics here.. man who knew I could type this much in a blog.. cripes...

anyway, going back to things... the last one is the most recent.. and well.. heck it's not even done, but again I needed something to get back in the saddle so I whipped this up after watching a show called Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1989) the character on the left is leaning and one arm is longer then the other, the little girl up front is leaning and proportions are wacky, and girl on the right is.. well she has no legs... plus I didn't draw through at all so it's a mystery where her arms and legs are right now. It's not done, but I was done drawing it (dont feel like continuing it) Pretty cruddy way to get back on track. But as bad as it all sounds and how bad I put down my work, it's all constructive criticizim and things Im pointing out myself about my art work. Im not on here starving for attention saying stuff like, " Yeah my art sucks! love meeee " but at the same time I think it's good to know when you can point out and say whats wrong with your own work. It's better then saying, " I dont know whats wrong with it..." because if you say something like that you better
a.) get someone else to look at it
b.) get your eyes checked
c.) go back to school for art because chances are you'll need some instruction to slap you in the face about this.
d.) get a live journal account emo kid, where you and thousands of others can battle to the death for attention.

oh and thanks to the readers who made it this far in my... novel... fuck I gotta start cutting my post size down..

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Ever get that feeling of dissatisfaction?

This I guess will be my first post where I rant, I don't have these all that often, just today maybe because I'm feeling lazy and unmotivated. Anyway, as I stated before that I'm moving out to Vancouver and right now I'm just biding my time working, and saving money. But theres something just unsatisfying about all this. I guess it's just anxiety, Im anxious to go to Van-city, I know what I want to do where I want to go, but as of right now dont have the means too (because I want to save a certain amount) so Im here.. at work sitting at my work station typing this disgruntled message. No matter how many car websites and video game websites I visit I just end up feeling unsatisfied because Im restricted by so much in life. While Im sure I'll get used to it when I move out on my own, right now it's just.. well stifling..Seeing a car you can't afford, getting a haircut that was only alright, waiting for a game to come out thats 2 months down the road.It's stupid since I have no reason to really complain, life couldn't be better really. Im working at a job where I make good money, I have a car to get around everyday, I have money to get things that I want (within reason) by anyone standard this is a good life. and for anyone that comes across my website who doesn't know me that well, I know your thinking, "Man what a whiney bitch!" Yeah, I can agree with you on that.. maybe it's just one of those days...

Monday, June 26, 2006

First time for everything!

Well it's come to this, I have a web blog.. who thought this day would come... My name is Chris Chan, Im a CBC (Canadian Born Chinese) and I have lived in Canada all my life. Im 23 and have dropped out of the animation program at Algonquin College and am now pursuing a career in animation. Ultimate goal is to get into the field of video games.

The reason I started this blogger is because I need something to keep myself drawing. Drawing has always been fun for me, but these days since Im working to save up to move to Vancouver, all I end up doing is go to work and go home, stew on the internet for abit watch a show and go to bed. It's kinda sad really hahaha!

Anyway, I hope to update this regularly as I'll be posting artwork up what will hopefully become a daily basis post. Feel free to drop me a line or leave me a comment and thank you for visiting my site!