Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Constantly changing

I think I have an addiction now. Funky hair dyes! They're semi-permanent and wash out after a few weeks. Doesn't harm the hair so you can re-dye it whenever you wish and they are really cheap too! So I've kind of switched hair colours three times this month already. I think this will last a bit longer though since the turquoise dye is waaay more intense. Looks green in my photos but still!

It also feels like with new styles in clothes and new ways of styling hair and the colours I use, I can play on different parts of my personality. It's like the pink brought out the cozy, cuddly enmi while this green stuff makes me feel all punk and spunk, acting cocky and self confident to no end. It's almost like dressing up for a costume party or a live RPG session. Just that I don't dress as anyone but myself and I just act spontaneously. So much fun!

Gaah, speaking of fun, things are really great in general. Sanctum 2 is coming along fine. I get to draw comics all day, plot storylines and create lots of cool content for the future. It's so exciting I have to remember to breath sometimes. I make sure to just chill to the max in the evenings instead. Evenings are great nowadays!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sweet Autumn

 Yaay! My personal fav character of Sanctum 2 is finally revealed! I think you can guess why she's my favorite. The idea of Sweet was there even in the development of the first Sanctum game, mostly as a vague idea of Skye's younger sister and her name. Just her name sparked all my inspirations at once. Sweet is probably one of the words I use most in everyday speech. I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted her to look like and I remember being really hyped up while making her concepts. I knew she'd be the heavy weapon wielder and we wanted to give her a really sturdy exo-skeleton. I wanted her small body to stand in stark contrast to her heavy gear. We were also quite happy about making her a bit more curvy than Skye since Skye has always been tall and really skinny. The sisters are supposed to be very much like each other but also have big differences both in personality and style.

Sweets looks are inspired by over-the-top japanese street fashion as well as skate and snowboard gear. She wears the standard bodysuit of the Core Guardians but has modified it herself by placing stickers all over, attatching cute keychains and painting her armor and equipment. People have often commented that she looks a lot like me which is kind of funny. I think it's very common for an artist to always put a bit of themselves into their art, but this character just feels so much like me that it was impossible to avoid it. I didn't design her looks after myself though, rather the other way around. I always paint characters after my own tastes and preferences and it feels natural to copy their styles on myself later on. Such as the pink hair!

Her personality is also very similar to my own which wasn't intentended either. I haven't been alone in the process of defining the characters and after hearing my co-workers input about her way of being I wrote her as a hyperactive, easily distracted kid. Being more like a teenager despite being almost 20 years old. That has it's reasons too but those will be revealed in the story later on in-game.


Making the concept art for Sweet was like truly living the dreams I had as a kid. I've wanted to be a character designer since I was about 10 years old and to be allowed to create a character that is so close to my personal taste and all the things I love was amazing. I could include all those things I usually put into personal art. Sweet Autumn is a girl who gets bored easily and entertains herself by making her surroundings a bit more cute and fun to look at. Tagging graffiti and little doodles everywhere she can, customizing clothes and her hair to fit her moods. Jumping around the battle-field while happilly shooting lumes with her enormous REX. Yeah, pretty sweet.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thinking outside or inside the box?

So first of all I should explain the photo. When I started working at Coffee Stain Studios I remember randomly climbing into some empty cardboard box in the office and someone took a picture of it. Since then it's sort of become a habit for me whenever I find an empty box to place myself in. No reason, just for shits and giggles. So lately I've gotten some encouragement to develop this strange habit into a photo project that is also mainly for shits and giggles related to Coffee Stain.

Ah, and secondly, the title of this blawg pawst! Thinking in general is something most people do. Some more than others. I think I think way too much for one person but for once in my life I'm actually enjoying it. I walk around at home, talking out into the air about different trails of thoughts that I need to get out somehow. Serious political debates, my views on certain celebrities or opinions about pizza toppings. It can be anything really and usually in a mix that nobody could understand even if they tried. I make no sense.

Thinking too much can be a bad thing while worrying or being anxious. Thinking too much while being happy and creative is gosh darn neat! My head is like a box full of thinking that just needs to get out of said box. Are you able to follow this? Confused after reading completely irrelevant stuff? Probably. I'm confused too which is why I'll crawl back into my box now and leave you to your own thoughts.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bubblegum

I took the final step to finish my makeover from subtle gray lump to the real enmi as I've always wanted to be. It feels way more like me now and I love it. I dyed half my hair bubblegum pink and I smile every time I see it. It's a semi-permanent dye and when it washes out I'll try turquoise. It's really nice to be able to change little things and experiment with looks.

I'm a bit annoyed though, because when I uploaded this pic on DA and wrote about the reasons why I'm so happy right now and how this change is a result of that, some people commented that it sort of appeared as if I was fishing for compliments. I mean, compliments are really nice! That's not why I wanted to show this to people however. I want to inspire other people to experiment with their looks too because I think it's awfully common that people hinder themselves thinking that they can't pull it off or that they are too "boring" or "old" to play around like that. I've felt that way too and really, nobody can look down on you as much as you can look down on yourself. I've done that for years and now I've stopped completely.

I honestly believe that moods are contagious. I think I've been spreading some sort of gloom to those close to me by always being so tired and sad. I couldn't really help it though but I managed to pull through somehow. People I've known for years comment on my behaviour and looks now, being really positive. They obviously notice the change, and I don't mean my appearance. People I talk to on the phone even notice my voice sounds different. I love hearing this since I can feel it too. I want to spread this wonderful feeling I have to others. Another girl commented on my DA that she wished she could have that confidence too and my reply is that you shouldn't try or wish for it. Just do it. Everyone has the power to change themselves. Not to switch personality in order to please anyone else, quite the opposite. Be exactly who you want to be, because that is probably your real true self! I've never felt more like myself than now even though I've changed completely. This is me. I want to see you! Step out of your closet and wear what you want to wear! BE FREE!

Haha, okay, I'm quite over the top now, but I'm serious too. Free yourself from self-doubt and such shit. You can do it! Just throw it out a window and never look at it again.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Overflowing creativity through music

 I've made two pieces of art and not put them on my blog! What is this madness?! Guess I've been kind of kept away from my computer for a while, in a good way. Anyway, everyone loves music. Sometimes you listen to it because it sounds nice, sometimes you discover songs that just pour straight into your soul. I've discovered so many songs like that recently and it feels like it just fills my mind with inspiration and beautiful images that I need to get out into art.

The first image is based on the song Mother Protect by Niki and the Dove. I feel like I'm close to tears each time I hear it, and not tears of sadness, just pure amazing energy. I don't think I've ever appreciated music the way I do now. Every little word, sound and detail matters now.

This image is based on everything I feel while listening to Pictureplane. This specific image was based on the song Real is a Feeling. The entire album named THEE PHYSICAL feels like calm, loving, sensual and strange affection. I wanted to capture that feeling in this piece, mixing warped anatomy, erotic undertones and trance rave neon.

I've recorded both of these images on my livestream channel so if you want to watch the process, go ahead!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Not givin' a flyin' fokk!

Ok, so what I first thought was hypomania is still sticking around and I suspect this is what normal people experience when they feel happy and good about themselves. It's kind of surreal to think that my entire personality has been hidden under a thick layer of sticky depression-dust! It feels as if someone sprayed me with a fire-hose to get rid of all that shit and what was underneath is... me!

I used to have absolutely no self-esteem, be scared of all social interaction, terrified of rejection and I felt sort of like the ugliest duckling in the entire dirty pond. I really really wish everyone could feel the way I do now because honestly, it's like I'm high on every kind of drug that makes you happy, confident and able to appreciate the good things in life, without the nasty side effects, the cost or the fact that the cops might get offended.

I really love myself now, for the first time in my life and not in that narcissistic way, just in a way that makes me able to walk out and be myself without caring if anyone judges me. I'm the cuddly sweet unicorn-loving girl mixed with a wild and crazy badass now. I know, I'm kind of talking like I'm so full of myself my eyes are popping out, but I don't care. Know why? Because I deserve to feel this good, and so do you! In Sweden we have this silly unwritten rule (that really originates from Norway) that you shouldn't think you're actually good or important in any way. Who do you think you are? - sort of. Well, kind of exactly like that. For people with low self esteem that unwritten rule is a lifestyle and it's so self destructive that every time I hear someone talk down on someone else or judging people because they act the way they want to, I just want to smash some faces. Violence isn't good though, just when it's playful brawling with friends.

I always used to feel like I didn't have any friends, or that my friends probably thought I was annoying. Shitty childhood "friends" made me think this was normal. Now I'm starting to meet a lot of new people and also realizing the people I already knew actually do like me. I never ever dared to even think that people might like me. I was so scared that they just pretended to like me because they didn't want to be rude. I know I'm intense and I know I sometimes talk so fast and say things that are completely random or inappropriate but I'm never rude on purpose. I would never want to harm anyone because I've felt like shit. Wouldn't want ANYONE to feel so shitty. Not even Hitler. Besides, I think Hitler would have been a much nicer guy if he felt happier.

Yeah, my brain. Uuh, I kind of forgot my point in all this. Oh yah! I LOVE YOU! All my friends, old and new. You are all awesome and you've saved my life a million times over just by existing. Take that! Lovebomb!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Haigen Bagge Hawkins

The second character of Sanctum 2 is revealed. The official release can be found on the CoffeeStain blog.  Since I've been waiting for ages to get to show my work I thought I should write about my personal experience during the character design process.

So, This skinny and sleepy-looking dude is Haigen Bagge Hawkins. He was actually the first character to be designed at the start of developing Sanctum 2. We had a pretty clear image of his silhouette and the general feel of heavy gear and chunky armor. His personality wasn't quite defined and he had no name at all to begin with. While sketching and experimenting with his concept he also developed a personality of his own. I wanted a really intelligent brawler since it's a pretty nice contrast that you don't usually see. A close-combat fighter that is aided by protective gear and heavy weaponry instead of bulging muscles.

Originating from the slums of LOEK III, Haigen would be naturally svelte, probably quite worn out, used to dirt, grit and harsh living conditions. He succeeded in becoming a Core Guardian because of his intelligence and amazing engineering skills. He is a self-taught tech nerd that can spend endless nights rebuilding and repairing things.

As for his looks I tried to imagine what the society would be like in this shiny bright sci-fi world and what the people there would look like. The thought of blending cultures and ethnicity is quite nice since it opens up a lot of creative possibilities. No borders or countries would exist but the people originate from a lot of different places which over time has made the society into a unique mix of everything. I have a thing for big, pointy noses and sleepy eyes. A slightly darker complexion contrasting with pale gray eyes. His armor is designed to protect him in close combat but also to carry all the gadgets and tools he needs. The inspiration was the thick protective gear used while disarming bombs. I wanted to create a clear silhouette by exaggerating the proportions of his baggy pants, that protective collar and chunky breastplate with his scrawny arms and torso. I really like this guy, and yeah, that shotgun of his.