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A Monster of a Book Cover


© Aaron Shively 2011

Yep, I’ve got a book cover for my short story collection.

You may be wondering to yourself… Why does it say ‘we’ and why in the hell is it only ‘compiled’ by me?

Wonder away. The introduction to the book will answer all the questions. Too bad you’re going to have to wait until editing is finished. HA HA… HA HA HA… ah, crap, I think the devil has rubbed off on me.

That’s illegal and unsanitary. You may want to get a napkin.

I meant you.

Preposterous. I’d never masturbate on another person unless they requested it.

… There’s nothing I can say after that, really, there isn’t.

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LEARN TO DRAW IN 1,029,398,382.24012 EASY STEPS!


There are a lot of great videos, tutorials, books, and classes out there that teach you how to be a great artist and more specifically, a great illustrator… Well, they try.

They tell you that in a couple of weeks, you’ll be drawing like the pros and have the ability to make money from your own artwork.

But we have to look at this like adults, like businessmen/woman/hermaphrodites/transgender/asexuals.

The problem with their claim is that if it was actually working, they wouldn’t be doing it. Competition is everything to an illustrator… Sure, some of them have contracts, but they all want to be in demand for a long time. The quicker new artists reach a certain level, the more artists that reach that level at the same time, the higher the chance for one of their styles to become the next big thing. If you’re a comic book illustrator, for example, you have a style… Even if it’s not actually yours. The ‘greats’ have their own style, which influences others for years… If a great really had the capacity to teach a less talented person how to become as great as they are, they wouldn’t be great for long.

To become great at anything, you have to study, yes… But contrary to popular belief in our compulsory schooling society, you don’t have to study in an institution. They help, yes… They help with guidance, help and they also give you a mindset of seriousness. It becomes a ritual. The school becomes your temple. Read the rest of this entry

Myth Concept – Jax


There’s a poor little rich boy in the first chapter of Myth: of Men and Monsters. His name is Jax. Even though the chapter ends pretty badly for the kid, he’s still a part of a huge aspect of the story.

He’s an Aelphi.

The Aelphi are an interesting species. Easily one of the least and most complex I’ve ever developed. They’re highly intelligent, tall, physically greater than their human counterparts (though never the two shall meet, sorry folks, none of you Homo Sapiens here) but they’re easily led. They have a strong ‘group’ mentality which leads them to have a greater focus on fitting in and spreading out. They follow the orders of their lord, Obeiron, to the letter. Obeiron is a title, by the way.

Obeiron holds god-like power, both literally and figuratively. The Aelphi don’t know how or why, or even who he REALLY is… but they worship as well as obey him as their ruler. It’s as if Jesus was president, that’s what I’m trying to get at. But it’s not… because Obeiron isn’t always the most benevolent. In fact, he’s downright Malevolent. As a matter of fact…

wait… no, I almost gave something away ;). Read the rest of this entry

Boyd Project update – phase 2


No one ever gets it absolutely right the first time… not if they work with humans who have a vision.

My friend has a vision.

He told me that my drawing was a “total piece of pig-snot wallowing monkey shit”. I may be paraphrasing.

I am paraphrasing, he said nothing of the kind.

© Character, Boyd Dodgen 2011. Image, Aaron Shively 2011.

I did, however, redesign it and he’s much happier with this version.

Most of the difference from the previous one is style… but there are some physical changes in the character that really stand out.

What do you think?

OHHHH MY GOD! IT’S FILLER AGAIN!!!!! HOLY SHIT! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M TYPING! 

I COULD PUT ANYTHING HERE! I HAVE SO MUCH POWER… OK… WHAT TO PUT… UHMMMMMMMMMM…SHIT.

Errrrrr…. Poop… yes… poop… SO WHAT IF I SAID POOP! IT’S MY FILLER TEXT!!

– Aaron Shively

Is that? No, it couldn’t be. You’re right, it’s not.


As with all things, practice is necessary to ensure that artistic skill remains intact… More so, when one is lacking in skill, one must go diligently into the unknown and force oneself to focus on the underdeveloped area.

What is mine?

Well… I’m not sure. I’m a crazy summ-bitch and I really just want to be the best there is… so I’m constantly practicing at EVERYTHING, be it figure drawing, perspective, writing, mathematics, science, corn-holing (midwest term, look it up), what-have-you.

Today, I went to focus on some pencil sketches of ‘industry standard comic figures’. You know the types… You have the women, the giant breasted, fluid and dynamic celebration of soft curvature, with their lovely poses and tight little… er… sorry… You get the idea.

Then there’s the big burly men (Some Norse gods, sometimes cast as black men) with giant pecs and rippling abs leading down to the delicious cut of… wow… didn’t see that coming.

Anyway…

© Aaron Shively 2011

I started sketching and this little chickety popped it.

Most of you will probably not know who she is.

If anyone does, please come forth so you can claim your prize and I can dub you the BIGGEST LIAR ON THE PLANET!

HA!

GOT YOU!

IT’S AN ORIGINAL CHARACTER!

I WIN!

AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

But, she does look like a character that’s pretty well known in the Marvel world, Rachel Summers/Grey.

She was a Phoenix host in the late nineties when her mammy wouldn’t accept her cause she was bitching about some odd stupid non-continuous future having the possibility to come true… You get this a lot with Marvel.

I was sketching and nearly completed with the line weights (the thickness disparity in the lines that can signify multiple things, like shadow and movement and other things that you have no knowledge of) when I took a look at her and thought… All be damned, it does look like her.

So I decided to color her up to be in a mock phoenix outfit (definitely nothing like what she actually wore) and there you have it.

It’s a small pic and I err’ed on some of the coloring (sue me, that’s not what I was going to go into the industry for anyway.) But it’s pretty good for the less than an hour it took me between drawing Power Puff Girl porn working on my major projects…

Hope you enjoy her, because I’m not really one to go by industry standard. My women aren’t generally this robust.

Claire sure as hell isn’t.

– Aaron Shively

Boyd’s Project – Concept 1


A friend of mine by the name of Boyd sent me some info on a project he’s working on. I thought it was fascinating ,with a lot of potential.

Boyd is an interesting one, himself. He comes from an entirely different perspective than I do. I stay as far away as I can from things that may influence my pool of inspiration while he tends to immerse himself in them.

I’ve been developing Myth by bouncing things off of a lot of people but few have been quite as readily available and immediately responsive as he has. He has a knack for being as blunt as possible. He’s always been able to give me real feedback I can use rather than fluff-balled reflections of my own thoughts that a lot of others are more than willing to throw at me.

So, for that, I agreed to help him with his concept, of which I’m going to tell you nothing at all… because it’s not mine. See how that works there? xD

You only get my end of the deal. You get what I send back.

Concept © Boyd Dodgen 2011. Image © Aaron Shively 2011

And up there, right above this line you’re reading, is what I sent back to him the day after he gave me some info on his main character.

The character is his but the smoke-cape and the sword effect is mine. I thought it’d be interesting for the character to use his own smoke emission as an accessory. The sword is a more practical addition… It’s metal, metal heats up when in contact with fire… To me, that’s a gimme.

– Aaron Shively

Imagined Nation – Harold Character Sketch


This is Harold…

© Aaron Shively 2011

Harold is an interesting one.

He works for the Haunters… It’s not so much an organization as a union. You see, they’re not in it to power anything or to collect anything… There’s a secret purpose to the Haunters existence. They were placed in their roles by a much larger force with much grander schemes… More on that later…

In the hierarchy of resident room haunters, it goes like this: Read the rest of this entry

Imagined Nation Concept – Roger


The next in line for the character design machine is Roger, the less-than-wonderfully educated bogeyman living in Javier’s closet. He’s the third cousin, twice removed, of the other resident room haunter living under the bed.

Something be said about room haunters, they are never quite as scary in person… until you cross into their world…

© Aaron Shively 2022

This is by NO means a finished character sheet… just a quick sketch.

– Aaron Shively

Javier’s T-shirt design


So, the main character of Imagined Nation is a tad different from your normal comic-strip character. I’m trying to fit with current styles rather than making it really universal (a risk, I know). The first strip, the one that’s been posted, is a bit misleading as it covers every major show of his stylistic personality.

He’s a Mexican-American emo/punk metal enthusiast who’s made friends with his room’s bogey men…

I never make it easy for myself. 😉

© Aaron Shively 2011

This is the design for his  T-shirt which he always wears (sorry, I am going with the basic mechanism of the character always wearing the same clothes… there’s a joke in there about it..)

I’m almost done with Javier’s character design… will post soon.

-Aaron Shively

Project Concept – Necromanced


My wife brought over my Wacom tablet today… I haven’t used it in a LONG time because of certain issues I’ve had with my ability to draw my own creations.

I sketched around and this came about:

© Aaron Shively 2011

It isn’t very finished, but I’m sure you get the idea… It’s far more like a storyboard panel than a full illustration. I sketch out my thoughts like this constantly.

On my ‘projects’ post, you’ll find an entry titled ‘Necromanced’. I’m not telling much about the story except that it’s not your usual zombie yarn.

This is an idea I had a while ago… A reanimated corpse with army rangers training.

His name is Saul.

He’s kind of pissed.

 

– Aaron Shively