Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Click the image to enlarge and read type!

I did this illustration for the movie "Inception" in the style of those old fairy tale books I used to read when I was a kid. Grimm's, Hans Christian Andersen, Perrault. Monochromatic line drawings with a passage from the story underneath. Love that stuff.

After I saw the movie I really wanted to create an illustration about it but I didn't want to do a straight narrative piece. There were so many interesting ideas in "Inception", it inspired me to go in a different direction with my thinking. Mal floating ashore on a giant brain a la Botticelli's Birth of Venus was something I finally came up with after kicking around the idea of Mal bursting out of Leo's skull like how Athena busted out of Zeus' noggin.

Because this iteration of Mal is a product of Leo's subconscious, I thought using the Venus figure emerging from the sea foam worked metaphorically. The sea has long symbolized the mind -- a seemingly fathomless, unknowable frontier.

Mythologically speaking I like having Mal represent Venus. It fits better! She's the love goddess, after all. And Leo standing in for the nymph with the cloth helps the concept. The visual reference of the water, shore, and buildings is also a shout-out to some of imagery in "Inception", too.

I was going to do a colour version but I really think it looks better this way.

"Inception" was a decent movie. One of the few original movie ideas I've seen lately, although I do wish Christopher Nolan was less drab with the colour palette. JunoGirl's suit was the illest-fitting suit in the history of clothing. Pete Postlethwaite is the man. JGL wears clothes like a fiend. 8/10!

Julia Minamata site / blog

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More Old School

Here's some additional gif-y goodness I did today for my little adventure game project. The animation is very basic at this point, no special delays or anything so it looks pretty robotic. Fun to make moving art, though :)

I made the character red, yellow and blue so she'll stand out against everything else. Also, I love me some Laura Bow from Sierra's Colonel's Bequest and Dagger of Amon Ra! My next mini-project is to do walk cycles.

It's a lot of fun to see how much can be done with a few blocky pixels. These are a work in progress.

I am working on another illustration portfolio piece that's coming together, so definitely watch this space!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mage n' Lock silkscreen prints on paper

Here is a pair of World of Warcraft symbols I screenprinted for my sister and her husband, the mage n' lock as a wedding present. Getting the symbols to look good is actually a little bit tough because I grab the images off of a google image search and they're usually pretty pixellated and not that contrast-y or clear.

Each print is something like ten inches in diameter and nicely framed. They put these up in their computer room / WoW lair, along with this one. I think they add a nice pop art flavour to the room!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Doug Stanhope portrait

Here's something fun I did for comedian Doug Stanhope. I'd read a while back on his forum that he was looking for art to promote his shows with, so I came up with this and emailed him. When I saw him perform in Calgary I gave a framed screenprint to someone who worked at the venue, who told me he'd hand it off to event coordinator and that it would eventually get to Doug.

This is the first time I used nearly the same ink colours on two pieces. Check out my recent Canadian Running piece to see what I mean! I changed the yellow, but the peach, blue, and orange are the same. It just so happened that I thought the colour palette would work equally well for both. And it's really helpful when you've already printed the colour once so you know how it'll look when it's dry, and how it'll look with the other colours.

I wanted to give it a "Garbage Pail Kids" look, with the drippy brown letters and the gross colour scheme. I think the yellow-splattered clouds are a nice touch.

It's a square composition because hey, maybe he could use it for an album cover! I can dream.

I haven't heard anything back so I don't know if it ever got to him, but I still hold out hope! I have all his albums and have seen him live three or four times, it'd be awesome to get a chance to work with him on something. When I was doubled over with airsickness on the way to Calgary I listened to his "Something to Take the Edge Off" and "Die Laughing" to get me through it. I'd bought the albums on iTunes (he finally started selling his albums there) specifically for the flight. What a miserable four hours. Nothing like feeling nauseous in a confined, public space with no hope of escape.

He says that he trolls the Internet googling his own name so maybe he'll find this blog and see the piece if he hasn't already!

***UPDATE: Woo hoo! He thanked me on his Facebook page! It didn't even occur to me to check there, because I don't use Facebook for anything besides Farmville. But I probably should.

Julia Minamata site / blog

Friday, August 6, 2010

Going old school

I have a really, really soft spot for old school, early 90s Sierra and LucasArts point-and-click adventure games. King's Quest 1-7, Space Quest 1-5, Quest for Glory 1-4, Colonel's Bequest, Dagger of Amon Ra, Monkey Island (all except for the 3D one), Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max Hit the Road, Grim Fandango... Played them all, loved them all. I especially love the ol' EGA, 16-colour-ful ones.

So when I found out about Adventure Game Studio, a user-friendly program that allows people to create their very own adventure games with minimal programming savvy, I couldn't resist. I've started to teach myself how to use AGS and YouTuber densming's video tutorials have been terrifically helpful. Eventually I'd love to make an entire game!

In the meantime, here's a character portrait rendered in glorious GIFness, with the number of colours running in ascending order: 2, 4, 6, 8, 16, 32, and 64. There's something about jaggedly, non-aliased graphics that really take me back.

Click each to see them enlarged in all their boxy glory!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Reformatted site

I've reformatted my site slightly -- it's no longer Flash-y! About a month ago I got my hands on a sweet, sweet Apple 3GS. While it might be mankind's greatest achievement, it isn't friends with Flash. Nobody's perfect. So, I've redone my site in html and now my site can go anywhere!

Click here to see.