Livestream: When and what I do when I work on one

Fish like creature I created in a livestream.

Recently I have got back into my livestream. My current platforms are Youtube and Twitch and I stream digital art. I wanted to show off some of the projects I am working on, whilst talking a bit about when and why I do it. The details of the livestream at the bottom of this post. This is more to talk about what I do and why I choose to do it.

Livestream benefits for creative work:

When I draw I find that having a livestream helps to keep me on track and engaged on the project. When working to an audience with a specific timeframe in mind it helps to keep myself. Or if you are reading this to help yourself our then you. The creator in a position where you are engaging with the target audience for your work. I find that active flow of feedback from people watching, helps a lot when working. In all will help you produce better work with the audience in mind.

Working like this is really beneficial for lots of reasons. I work to two hour blocks, in this time I can create simple designs that I can later build on. At the same time there is the idea that by doing so you are giving yourself that time. When you work on projects by yourself and without a designated time it is easier to give up or get distracted (especially if you are like me and you have three children). If I didn’t livestream they would naturally take that time. This is not a bad thing. However at the same time it is important that you can work on your craft in order to get better. Blocking in this time becomes a nice way to save that time for your own development. which in turn’ will put you in a much better mood for thiers.

So why do I do it?

This is simple, it’s fun. Well not just fun but also a great way to get valuable feedback from peers. Look, I get for some people it’s about making a livelihood, getting viewers and having lots of followers. For me it’s all about having fun and enjoying the process of designing characters, creatures and environments. I do this whilst sharing that with whoever will listen .

In my livestream at the moment. This still being early days I get a maximum of maybe 10 concurrent viewers. Maybe 30 views in my two hour schedule. Really I don’t think this is bad. In fact it’s enough people to provide me with feedback. If a design is bad then I find out about it fairly quick. I see it as a collaborative approach to concept art as I get live feedback whilst I work.

My current projects:

Currently I have completed two livestreams. Below are the wonderful creatures I created in this time.

This character is a basic idea for a game and in all would be quite interesting to see in a classic adventure game for livestream.
This character is a basic idea for a game and in all would be quite interesting to see in a classic adventure game.

The character above was inspired by an insect. The idea in the livestream was to create characters that might belong in a video game. How would these work and how to differentiate these from one another.

Fish like creature I created in a livestream.
Fish like creature I created in a livestream.

This creature above is a creature I designed after looking at pictures of a sturgeon, the idea of a prehistoric looking armored fish came across as pretty cool and it was well received throughout the livestream.

Each of these designs were completed within around one hour and forty minutes. My personal plan is to start getting these to a level where I am able to produce two or even three of these sorts of designs within the two hour space. I would love feedback and for more people to join so this is where I share the details.

I stream every Thursday evening from 21:00 – 23:00 UTC+1

Youtube

EGX Birmingham 2018

EGX Birmingham 2018 was  a seriously cool event, from the careers section to get Rezzed I absolutely loved the experience. Something I would definitely participate in again if only to meet all the people. So this blog post is going to talk about the day, what was useful and the few things I would have loved to of done if only I had the time.

 

Two men playing games at EGX 2018

Get Rezzed:

This was by far my favorite part of the event, I know when you look into an event like EGX you go with the hopes of trying some of the big titles. We had kingdom hearts three, Spyro, Assassins Creed Oddesy and more. But for me, waiting for a good 30 to 60 minutes for a chance to play these games doesn’t really appeal. I like to get into it and see some games I wouldn’t normally have played.

I attended EGX  to meet people, to see what others are doing and why what they are doing is so great. It really didn’t disappoint. Get Rezzed was a great showcase for indie games, there was so much going on and honestly that was amazing to see. The biggest title and by far most intriguing for me personally was Thea the Shattering (Thanks again guys for not being too angry that I accidentally shut down your gameplay video whilst I was trialing the game). I have always been a huge fan of Thea the Awakening which was the first game in the series. So to be able to play an alpha version of the game was seriously fun. This card based survival game set in a fantasy world where you work as a team of various people is something so original I love it. This game is made by a small team of people and they work exceptionally hard. Definitely have a look!

Careers:

I have a career I love, I am an educator. I can’t get enough of teaching students how to create and design video games, animation and apply VFX. This doesn’t stop me interrogating the poor professionals at the Creative Assembly and Sumo Digital in order to get a feel for what it takes. So what did I learn from them?

Well a helpful 3D artist named Jas (Thanks again Jas) took the time to review my whole website. Every last image. What was lovely is that I found out not just where I need to improve. But what I was doing well. I like getting feedback from professionals. By getting mentors whether it is a one time feedback session or an ongoing relationship. You can learn so much!

So guys the best bit of all the advice  – Proko. I now love this artist. His anatomy tutorials are phenomenal and you should definitely check him out. This was recommended to me as anatomy is an area I really need to improve on and so far the improvements have slowly been happening (Keep an eye out for this in future blogs). So to anyone interested in working in the games industry. Make the most of these events; the games are great but the supportive people in the careers fair will bend over backward to offer you advice and guidance. Use it!

What I missed:

There was so much going on, I really do wish I had taken more time to view the Nintendo section of the event. I would have loved to have played the new Pokémon game.. I saw others playing it and it genuinely looked like really good fun. Something I would buy a Switch for.

As well as this, to play Assassins creed would have been really awesome. I have never really been much of a fan of the series. Even so the change they have made is really something I could sink my teeth into. I would like to next time get an earlier pass to get to these bigger games and trial them before it gets too busy.

Overall the event was fantastic, this has just been a brief overview but I hope it accurately shared what I loved about the event. In all I wanted to showcase for myself and for others the highlights I came across as I went round. Try it yourself next year. Well worth it.

Abura Akago

I wanted to write about this piece as I felt it’s one of my more original ideas when looking at mythology creatures. This creature is from Japanese folklore and it’s referred too as the Abura-Akago.

How the legend goes:

In Japanese folklore a greedy merchant was caught stealing oil from villagers lamps. He would make his prophet by selling this oil back to the villagers at a higher price and it eventually led to many of these people being considerably worse off in the long run. So disgusted with this act the ancestors cursed the merchant to wonder the world as a spirit. A little fat creature that drank the oil from peoples lamps to survive. My rendition of the story is probably not very accurate and my drawing is maybe not what you would expect from the story I just told.

When I created this however I wanted to see what I could make different. Adaptations in the animal kingdom  allow creatures to drink their food (instead of consuming it via eating). I decided to cross between a spider monkey in body but with the head of a humming bird. This allowed the project to meet the set criteria.

This creature would be nocturnal. It has developed feline style eyes as this is often used to see effectively in the dark and will allow it to focus at night. This creature prowls in the shadows on dark nights. It waits to drain the oil from a perch at a distance when no one is present.

Technical aspects:

To build the base the best way to do this was to work using shapes. Using shapes allows for blocking and the creation of an overall anatomically sound creature.

The colour scheme I picked of reds and oranges was purely coincidental at the time. I liked the warm colours and felt these would work best with a creature found around oil lamps. The colours allow the creature to seem warm. I added green in the bamboo to work as part of a Colour wheel’s complimentary colours.