Featured Animation: Nightwolf Productions Logo

Many of you know that my first creative aspirations were in the realm of animation. But how many of you have actually seen something I’ve animated? Exactly one–my mom, and she doesn’t count. (Sorry, Mom!) I think it’s high time I fixed that, so I’m going to reveal a small piece I did during college. I had something else planned for this week, but if I don’t post this now, I’ll lose my nerve and you’ll never get to see it. What am I afraid of? I’m not sure. I’ve just never really showcased my animation skills, even though, supposedly, I’m pretty good. But, like all things creative, it’s hard to trust the opinions of others when you’re your own worst critic.

Anyway, I’m stalling. The following video is a line drawing (known as a pencil test) of my non-existent animation company’s logo–Nightwolf Productions. If you’ve followed me for a while, you may remember me talking about how I envisioned a living logo, inserting the Nightwolf into the beginning of each film like a seamless part of the story. This is not that. This would be akin to the standardized logos you see–Dreamworks’s moon, or Disney’s castle. It features a basic walk cycle, a howl, and the company name. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?

It’s not. Each frame took roughly an hour to draw, and a four-legged walk cycle is notoriously the most difficult thing to capture. So between the hours I spent watching my dog running around, and the hours spent drawing, you’re probably looking at upwards of 100 hours of work. That doesn’t include the time spent mixing the soundtrack and sound effects (because, yes, I did create that music mash-up you hear in the background) nor the time spent inputting/syncing everything in Flash. My point? Animation is hard.

But when it all comes together and you hit play, seeing your drawings come to life for the first time, it’s oh so worth it. Even now, years later, I can’t watch this without a stupid grin of pride plastered to my face. So here’s hoping you enjoy it!
 

 

**This video was created as part of a college assignment. It’s solely for personal use and has never been used for profit or actual business transactions. Nightwolf Productions is a fictitious company name.**

Music Credits: (I mixed the music, but I do not stake any claims to it beyond that. These are the people truly responsible for creating it.)

“Prologue” by Alan Menkin, from the Broadway rendition of Beauty and the Beast. Copyright belongs to Disney Theatrical Productions, LTD.

“Bonus Track” by Guy Whitmore, from the Shivers 2: Harvest of Souls Soundtrack (featuring music from the original Shivers game–i.e. the wolf howl). Copyright belongs to Sierra Entertainment, Inc.

Animation Credits:

Art and animation by Kisa Whipkey. Copyright, 2008. All rights reserved.

Featured Image: Myusa Won Hwa Logo

Last week, I promised you art. This week, I’m making good on that promise (Finally! Right?) and starting a new series of blog posts– the Featured Image. This will be an on-going series where I showcase work I’m particularly proud of or that has some other reason for being of particular note. Since I’m offering the possibility of a logo design as one of the prizes in my blog-birthday giveaway, it’s only right to kick-off this new series with a logo.

So, without further ado, I present my best logo design to date:
 

The Myusa Won Hwa Logo

(which means “Warriors of the Original Flowers” in Korean, by the way)

 

Myusa Won Hwa Logo

 
This was a commission by Dragon Heart Tang Soo Do owner, Master Becky Rupp. Tired of the stories of violence against women that are growing ever more prevalent (along with violence against everyone), Master Rupp decided to take action, creating a curriculum designed specifically for women and girls. The martial arts have long been touted as a means of self-defense, but the sad truth is that the majority of techniques taught simply don’t work in the real world for women or children faced with a larger assailant. Master Rupp’s curriculum does.

She took aspects of her traditional Tang Soo Do training, along with influences from Larry Wick’s Split Second Survival and created a modified curriculum that plays to the strengths of “the weaker sex.” Charged with a desire to see all females armed with the ability to protect themselves and the wherewithal to avoid dangerous situations in the first place, she then offered it to her small Northern California community for free.

Since it’s a separate class from the Tang Soo Do curriculum taught under the Dragon Heart brand, Master Rupp wanted to create a separate, unique identity for it. That’s where I come in. I was hired to create a logo that reflects the spirit of female warriors, something both hard and soft, feminine and strong. The result is the image above.

I chose to use the lotus flower because it is a long held symbol for over-coming adversity, for strength even in darkness. I paired it with the flourishes to create a distinctly girly design. The addition of the sword is an obvious reference to warriors, and the high heels, purposely colored to mimic a certain famous shoe-maker (you know who I mean, ladies! 😉 ) are meant to represent a woman’s power. Stiletto’s have long been tied to female sexuality, but those of us who wear them will tell you that they’re also empowering (and hurt like hell!). Somehow, torturing our feet for the sake of fashion makes us feel stronger, prettier, and more confident. Which is why they’re perfect in the logo of a class that upholds those same ideals.

The color choices weren’t as complicated– red, because the bottom of the shoes had to be red and it’s Master Rupp’s favorite color; pink, because that’s the color of girly; and black to create the harsher lines meant to evoke an Asian influence. (Plus everything looks good with black!) I threw it all into a mixing pot, stirred it up for about 30 hours and voila! The Myusa Won Hwa Logo was born.

Master Rupp’s class continues to flourish, and she continues to offer it to the community for free, encouraging women of all ages to train. But nothing can operate without some sort of funding. I will be creating and launching a product line featuring the logo to help fund this worthy cause later this year. (Watch for the announcement!) In the meantime, if you would like to help keep this program afloat, (and hopefully someday allow it to expand to a region near you), you can make a donation to Dragon Heart Tang Soo Do’s non-profit sister organization, The Dragon Heart Foundation, whose mission is to help under-privileged and at-risk youth train in the martial arts.

And don’t forget, my giveaway is still running. You could win a custom logo design like the one above, or your choice of two other prizes. For every 100 entries I receive, I’ll add another winner slot. Meaning, if I get 200 entries, 2 people will win; 300 entries, 3 winners, etc. How’s that for added incentive? If you haven’t entered yet, click here. Don’t miss out!

Nightwolf’s Corner Birthday Giveaway

Birthday Candles

Birthday Celebration” by Cédric Boismain
Copyright 2013

Last week, I mentioned that the one year anniversary of my first post was rapidly approaching– in 3 weeks, 1 day, to be exact. I honestly never expected to last this long. (I don’t exactly have the best track record for finishing what I start unless there’s money involved.) And I certainly never expected to have so many wonderful people support me with follows, likes and shares every week. So, in honor of this milestone, I’ve decided to celebrate. It is a birthday after all. And no birthday is complete without presents! Or, in this case, a giveaway.

I’ve got some rather interesting (and hopefully exciting) prizes for you. As you know, Nightwolf’s Corner is split between the three aspects of my storytelling life– writing, art and martial arts demo teams. Therefore, it seemed only fitting to offer a prize from each area. But my schedule is a little flooded right now, so as much as I’d love to pick a winner for each prize, there can only be one. That winner will get their choice of the following:

 

Prize 1: A Substantive Editorial Critique

 

Writing has had an unfair advantage on this blog over the last year– something I hope to change in the coming months– so I suspect a majority of you will be interested in this chance to score editorial services for free.

I’m offering the writers in the audience the ability to gain some outsider input on your WIP. I’ll give you a full substantive (structural) critique, illustrating what’s working and what might need a little improvement. I’ll cover everything from flow, to character/world development & consistency,  to believability,  to scene transitions, etc. I won’t provide feedback on a line-by-line basis, (you’ll still need a copy editor at some point), but this will give you a definite leg up on the way to publication. And the best part? I don’t care if your manuscript is finished or not.

That’s right, you can submit your WIP in all it’s unfinished glory and still receive the same level of critique I would give a finished manuscript. That’s pretty cool, if I do say so myself. There aren’t many chances out there to get an editorial critique on an unfinished work, so I would jump on this opportunity, if I were you. 😉

 

Prize 2: A Custom Logo Design

 

I realize this may be the least popular option, since most of you haven’t seen what I can do artistically. Art has been sadly neglected over the past year, all my grand topics languishing in the draft queue unfinished. But that’s about to change. I’ll be posting examples (specifically of logo’s I’ve done) to the Art Gallery over the next few weeks, so don’t rule this prize out just yet.

I’ll create a custom, vector-based logo design for whatever you want– business, t-shirts, decals, whatever! (Remember, a logo is a simplified image meant for wide distribution on various printed materials, so please don’t request something that would be better served as a traditional painting/sketch.) The value here, besides having someone design your vision into reality, is the inclusion of commercial rights to the image– meaning you have the exclusive right to merchandise and profit from it. (I still own the copyright though, and retain the right to display it in my portfolio.) These rights can cost hundreds of dollars above the design fee itself, so this isn’t an offer to scoff at. If you’ve ever wanted to create a logo for something, or need a revamp on your current one, here’s your chance!

 

Prize 3: A Ready-Made Demo Concept

 

I’m not gonna lie, this is the prize I’m most excited to reveal. Many of you are familiar with my particular brand of demos– a hybrid of theater, dance and martial arts. Many of you have also expressed desire for learning how I create them. Over the past year, I’ve delved into the nuts and bolts of my demo team storytelling technique, but there’s nothing quite like actually applying it. And since I can’t travel to every school that might be interested and literally coach you through the process, this is as close as I can get to loaning you my brain.

For the first time ever, I’m offering to supply a ready-made demo concept. What does that mean? I’ll supply the music (usually something I’ve mixed for optimal storytelling capability. Yes, I can do that and I’m quite good at it, so stop giving me the skeptical eyes 😉 ), the overall concept (aka theme), a script detailing the storyline and how to sync it to the music, the costume/prop design and casting recommendations in terms of abilities needed per role. All you have to do is create the choreography. (You didn’t think I was going to give you everything, did you? There still has to be a shred of your creativity in there somewhere!) Pretty cool, huh?

Have I caught your attention yet? Good. Here’s how it works:

The giveaway will run from now, April 12th, until midnight on May 4th, at which time I’ll randomly select the lucky winner and notify them via email. All you have to do to enter is click here and follow the prompts.

That’s it! Let the birthday celebrations commence! Here’s to another year full of sarcastic storytelling awesomeness and wonderful people to share it with. Thank you for reading! 🙂