Some rough concept pieces I created for a Nike pitch last year which sadly never came to fruition! In this line of work you often create things which end up never being used or seen by anybody! This was one of those cases.

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Question & Answer

Q: Just wanted to say that your art is awesome, and very inspiring! I was wondering, maybe you could give me a piece of advice? It's been a long time since I've been dedicating to art. Neither my job nor my college degree are art related, but a couple of months ago I turned back to art, and am studying really hard. Past couple of weeks I've been stuck in anatomy studies and color theory. However, I still have these terrible feeling that I'm really behind... Do you have any tips on improving faster?

asked by Anonymous

Hi!  I really relate to your situation.  I was super into drawing when I was a kid, but then spent most of my high school years learning how to code.  I even spent a year of college pursuing a computer science major before I decided to switch my focus back to art.  I felt like I’d missed some formative years where all of my peers were learning things that I would never be able to make up for.  Even once I was in art school, my primary focus was on 3D character modeling, not drawing.  I didn’t fully dedicate myself to drawing until I was maybe 22 or 23.  I think it’s important to know that however you’ve decided to focus your time, as long as you’re learning something, it’s not wasted time.  My background in coding has helped immensely in the way I problem solve, given me the ability to create my own websites to promote myself, and also in my general knowledge of computers which is super helpful since they are my primary art tool!  My background in 3D modeling has helped me in visualizing spaces and in translating 2D ideas into 3D.  All of these things help you in unexpected ways and make you a more versatile artist.  So I wouldn’t think of it as “falling behind” but more as broadening your skillset.

As far as improving faster, there’s no secrets or quick fixes for that!  It all comes down to how dedicated you are.  The people who end up succeeding are just the ones who didn’t give up.  You have to be able to weather a lot of hard times and frustration and ups and downs and keep drawing and stay focused through all of it.  Don’t think about time you’ve “missed out on” and focus on using the tools you have now at your disposal to carve out your own path and don’t ever give up!

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Question & Answer

Q: Hi Kevin! I really admire your work and love seeing it on my tumblr feed! I was wondering what you do to stay inspired?

asked by Anonymous

Hi! I wanted to answer this because I remember when I was younger I used to go through long spells where I felt like I had a creative block or “just didn’t feel like drawing”.  I haven’t had that feeling in a long time and this question made me wonder what happened since then.  I think it boils down to having a broader appreciation of the world.  I’ve found as I’ve studied art and gained more life experience in general that it’s easier to see amazing things all around me, whereas my younger self would need a massive creative spark of some sort that would give me a flash of inspiration.  These days I feel more aware of stuff and feel like it’s easier to notice things that are just vaguely different enough to be super interesting and inspiring, like an especially orange cloud in the sky that I can’t ever recall seeing, or an exceptionally blue shadow on one side of a box.  I think as you draw more, your brain learns to make connections between things more easily, so mundane observations of the world can quickly turn into grand ideas or give you an answer to a problem you’ve been chewing on for a while.

I still have plenty of days where things don’t go how I want them to or I hit a wall with an idea, but there’s almost always another idea that can quickly take its place.  You shouldn’t ever be afraid to scrap something if your intuition tells you its not working, but at the same time you shouldn’t be afraid to follow an idea into the ground even if it feels like it might not work out.  I think the key is to just try your best to be a keen observer of the world, compare, contrast, and critique everything you see, take lots of mental notes, and keep an open mind!

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New travel posters! I will have prints available of both of these at Comic Con + t-shirts with the Rio design! Booth 5007!

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Collector’s Space Shuttle Screenprints!

I’ll be debuting 3 new screenprints at Comic Con next week commemorating the amazing Space Shuttle program which spanned 30 years! These will be available indivudually or as a set. Each one is 10”x28”.

Come visit me and my friends Jasmin Lai and Tiffany Ford at Booth #5007!

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COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey

Part IV: Drought

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COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey

Part III: Barbarian Invasion!

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COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey

Part II: The Gods

One of the really cool things about working on this project was that they were VERY interested in getting all the facts right when it came to historical depictions and they had a dedicated research team that would provide me with all of the most accurate information they could find for every scene in the mini-doc. It was incredibly helpful for illustrating things like the ancient farming techniques, and also for this sequence which featured distinct gods from 6 different civilizations. There was still a little bit of creative interpretation on my end, especially for some of the more obscure gods, but luckily it was close enough and I got the OK from the research team!

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COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey

Part I: Ancient Mesopotamia

I don’t know how many of you caught this, but I totally had a little segment in last night’s episode of COSMOS, “The Immortals”! It’s about a tremendous drought that destroyed the ancient civilzations of Mesopotamia! FOX approached me about doing this little piece a few months ago and I sprung at the opportunity! If you didn’t know, I am a big fan of SCIENCE and I was so pumped to be a part of this incredible series and to have animated a piece to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s (my hero!) narration and Ann Druyan’s writing! I am so thankful to Kara Vallow, Brent Woods and Allie Crane for inviting me to take part in this project and being so supportive throughout the production! Also I had an amazing crew to help me create the animation - long-time collaborator Stephane Coedel who was the lead Animator & Compositor, the incredible Stephen Vuillemin who did character animation, and my amazing sister Emily Haidri who produced the spot for us! A real dream job!

Here is a LINK to the full episode if you want to watch (our segment starts around 26:40)!

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Mojo Jojo

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Please wait one minute.