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Hello!

My art is available as prints on Society6 from now on.
I'd be glad if you checked it out! The prints are hi-quality giclee.
Thanks for your continued support.

Peace,
Ani
Hi guys,

I've received a lot of notes from people who are interested in getting into concept art and/or landscapes and I always struggle to come up with advice that doesn't seem awfully confusing. I can't say I'm a veteran in this industry, but since people keep asking me and I do have experience, here's my 2 cents (PSA: by no means a comprehensive guide or the absolute truth). I am very humble when it comes to learning this stuff and I never know enough myself, but these are some of my thoughts that came up when a student sent me a note today;

My best advice is to climb to the tree from the root and accept that there's no shortcut.

Concept art is a very loose term. It can mean anything from sketching characters, enemies, vehicles and objects to doing detailed plans of level visual design or landscapes. Game concept art can also serve a lot of purposes. Most of the time the most crucial purpose of concept art is to communicate (a) game designers' idea of how a game looks and feels. So for that you need to know how to draw pretty much anything. What is always important is that you can sketch out a piece that communicates to the viewer how a certain place feels to the audience; what are the scale and proportions like, communicating through colors if there is a feeling of peace, serenity or action, using lighting to give focus to important elements... The list could go on forever. There is no bottom line. Concept art is hard to 'make up'. You need to have at least an imagined 'customer' (this can be yourself) that has certain requirements, a bit of a backstory, an idea that they want illustrated. The best you can do for portfolio is ask maybe a game designer or a writer friend to ask for an illustration for something they would like to see, something that is a visual representation of a concrete idea they have in their head; maybe a scene (hero enters a foreboding mansion to avenge his dead father, it is a stormy night, he is afraid but determined) or a game idea (a platformer drawing inspiration from Indiana Jones where your goal is to collect shards of crystal to complete a weapon to save humanity from an evil space lord, the level takes place in a sci-fi lab) just to name a few.

As for landscapes;
Learning everything from color theory and lighting and perspective gives you the necessary information that you need in order to build on top of that. If you just get into landscapes and skip the theory, it might feel quicker but it will stab you in the back because that stuff is something you will have to go back to learn when you realise you can't advance without having learnt it. For me the best way to do good landscape art is to be genuinely interested in what you are drawing. I draw nice trees because I'm honestly interested in how they look. Observe real life and draw. I use a lot of time just looking at stuff when walking my dog. You don't even need to draw it. Just look at whatever is around you in the city or nature and try to figure out that if you were to replicate that on canvas, what colour everything is. Ie. Is the treebark darker than the stones, what is the darkest colour if this were a picture, what colour is the light, how does it affect the different textures around you?

My main piece of advice is to draw from nature and photographs. Don't just mimic and replicate pictures and copy, think for yourself. Sometimes its more important to communicate the feeling in the picture and how you see the landscape than getting stuck in the details (like trying to draw something in a photorealistic way just for the sake of realism). Getting stuck in the details and focusing on execution rather than message and idea often ruins pictures and they become uninteresting to look at.

Those are my thoughts, hope it helps.
It appears my internet keeps dying every few minutes so the broadcast gets cut all the time. I'm sorry, I didn't see this coming. I'll finish my painting offline. It's not twitch.tv's fault, my apartment just has a crap connection.  
Hi guys - especially those of you currently residing in Helsinki,

I was recently invited to Taidekuja which is apparently a small comic / art con and it takes place on November 17th at Gloria. I was told there will be discussions/lectures/panel covering various subjects, I'm most likely going to be participating in a panel and talk about my experiences working with games/digital art/illustration. I haven't been there before but events at Gloria have usually seemed very nice. If you feel like dropping in, you are welcome to do so. Free entry.

Taidekuja taidekuja.blogspot.fi
Edit: Livestream over. Thanks for watching!

Hi guys,

anyone interested in watching a livestream? I was supposed to go to sleep/rest since I'm still sick but I might be up to messing around in Photoshop, drawing palm trees and junk!
Maybe an imaginary visit to a tropical place '-'

Twitch.tv www.twitch.tv/ani_r
Hi guys, the animation for which I had the chance to do some backgrounds which I have previously posted has been finished. Check it out!
vimeo.com/74001698

FYI There were many background artists working on the project, as you can see in the ending credits, so if the backgrounds don't look like my style it's because they are not! Thanks for watching!
Thanks for watching on 24/6, see you next time!
Hi guys!
I'm planning to do some livestreaming soon, so in case you wanna tune in go to my
Twitch.TV - www.twitch.tv/ani_r

I don't have any idea what I'm gonna do yet so I'll try to think up something before I start, otherwise I'll freeze, lol.

[Streaming is over, thanks for keeping me company!]
Ani
Hi guys!
I gave Livestream a try but it was a total pain in the ass, luckily my friend brought to my attention Twitch which is really easy and intuitive to use; therefore, despite my camera shyness I'll attempt to livestream some live color sketching and speedpaints and what ever silly things I do with colours since some people have been asking if I do youtube vids or livestream and asking for tutorials, so I figured this is my easy way out. You are welcome to watch when I'm online.
Twitch.TV - www.twitch.tv/ani_r

Thanks,
Ani
Now that I've got your interest with the totoro image...

Who would be interested in an Echo book? For you guys who don't remember or know what Echo is, you can check it out here or in its original environment tegaki-e.
The narrative really craves for closure, and I'm interested in re-imaging all the screens in full color, in printable format, for a real, tangible Echo book. The screens would be one page each, done from scratch at 300 dpi for A5 or even possibly as large as A4 format. Doing it all again and finishing the storyline would take effort, which is why I'm either only doing a few test pages for fun or then if I get serious, try something like kickstarter or indiegogo. The style would be faithful to the original look but update the colour range for a deeper experience (still keeping the original athmosphere).

UPDATE:

I'm trying to get some price estimates for printing maybe 20-50 copies of the book, 26 full-color pages, soft or hard cover, semiglossy paper (170g maybe) and then come up with reasonable estimates for shipping to different locations worldwide to get some kind of idea of the total costs and if I could throw in some A3/A2 prints for sponsors or very supportive people. Or just for buying a bunch of books.
All of this needs redesign of the narrative, doing the layout for the book, covers and stuff. Also, a proper site for the project would be called for to track its progress and see some samples to get you interested in the merchandise :)
We'll see how it all turns out.