Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

A Town with Pep

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

I finished the illustration for A Town with Pep – the Riverdale-esque game by Richard Williams – that I showed a process for a few weeks ago. Below are the ink and finished colour stages.

A Town with Pep - ink A Town with Pep - colour

Did you spot the difference (other than, well, one being in full-colour)? After seeing the finished piece, Richard mentioned that for a title illustration for a game called “A Town with Pep”, there’s very little “town” in the artwork. Luckily we found just the right spot to quickly build a little settlement, complete with a small factory that I borrowed from one of the early background references Richard provided. There’s always some pep happening around a factory.

Share

Objectifying Characters

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Much has changed in the year+ since the last post. Well, not MUCH, but one big thing: I’m now a full-time freelance illustrator! My website got a small renovation, which this blog and my Facebook Page should probably share at some point, but if I waited with updates until that was done, well, it might have been another year before the next post.

The reason I decided to become self-employed is that – while I really enjoyed working on Viber sticker packs and being part of that awesome team – I wanted to branch out and do some different things as well. After a little more than a month “on the job”, I can happily say that I’m doing just that.

One project I recently started is an illustration for “A Town with Pep“, an indie RPG from Richard Williams. It’s the first in several projects Richard commissioned, which is great because a) they’re all different and interesting, each in its own way; b) Richard is a client who knows what he wants, knows how to convey that, and still leaves a lot of the creative “reins” in my hands and c) he’s totally cool with me sharing my work in progress. Which is what’s happening now.

A Town with Pep

“A Town with Pep” is a “Teen mystery drama in small-town America”. Think Riverdale in RPG form. Richard commissioned a title illustration featuring 5 teenagers – examples of the characters one might play – and he gave me complete freedom in designing them. But, since complete freedom paralyses me artistically, I asked him to give me some character design “seeds” in the same way a player would start creating a character in the game: picking an object that symbolises the character. Richard sent me these five images of everyday objects. As a little exercise, see what kinds of characters come to your mind before reading on to see my interpretations.

A Town with Pep - Objects

Looking at the objects, I started getting ideas for some of them, and collected references that came to mind from various media (mainly TV). I often do that when coming up with characters for roleplaying games as well, probably because I watch ALL the television and that’s just what my mental library is composed of. After getting a more or less solid idea of each character I drew a quick sketch for each. Are they anything like what you imagine when looking at the objects?

A Town with Pep - character concepts

The next step was tackling the composition of the image. Richard gave me a good reference shot (from Riverdale actually), and I tried two takes on it:

A Town with Pep - composition sketches

#1 was approved, and I moved on to pencilling the scene. During feedback on the first draft, Richard got the idea of showing a “missing” sixth teenager made up of negative space. I like it because it makes the composition more interesting, as well as playing into the sense of mystery this game is all about. Here’s the approved pencil stage.

A Town with Pep - pencils

That’s where we got to so far. Work in progress, whoo!

Aviv

Share

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 25th, 2015

It’s customary to upload all holiday-related content before the actual day of Christmas, but this is a whole day when no one works, everything is shut down, and the chance of rain is too high to risk going out for a walk (also, that would involve getting up and going out for a walk), so what better time to compile some recent artwork into a festive blog post?

So first with the Christmas-y stuff: this is a pack I designed and was released for free on Viber as a holiday gift to our users (you can download it now if you have Viber). The idea was to steer away from the usual sugary, kitsch Christmas stickers, and show both sides of the holiday: the annoyingly enthusiastic and the bitterly cynical. I don’t even really celebrate Christmas, but having had my fair share of family dinners, long holidays and festive atmospheres, I could absolutely relate to both.

Viber sticker pack: Christmas Elves

Speaking of festive atmospheres, our two recent posts in Up to Four Players are all about Christmas, from the (quite autobiographical) point of view of foreigners coming into this strange wonderland. I’ve spent three Christmasses here, and I’m still discovering new things; for example, how many times a person can hear the same Christmas song before losing their mind. (Clicking the thumbnails will take you to the full-size strips in Up to Four Players.)

Up to Four Players #50: The Meaning of Christmas Up to Four Players #51: Festive Perspectives

Speaking of players, next Saturday will join several of them, in a 12-hour-long roleplaying marathon for charity. It’s in Hebrew, so if you’re into that sort of language, do check it out. Eran will be running a victorian monster-hunting adventure in the Savage Worlds system, with 3 brave heroes who’ll stick by him throughout the day, and several guest players who’ll pop by for a spell (me included!). I drew portraits of all our characters.
Rippers character portraits

Speaking of guest-appearances, I made one in Leigh Lahav’s recent video about Star Wars’ rising star, BB-8 the robot. I also helped her design some of the characters, but I’m much more excited about my small voice-acting role. See if you can guess which one it is.

Speaking of…umm…roles, I recently sketched the characters from our ongoing roleplaying campaign in the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying system. These are, in order: Evyatar’s character Brioche, the slightly crazy religious fanatic; Dassi’s character Marion, the slightly mysterious gold order wizard; and my character Agnes, the slightly criminal apothecary.

Warhammer: Brioche Warhammer: Marion Warhammer: Agnes

I think these are all the segues I can come up with this morning. Have yourselves any kind of very merry holiday that you’re prone to celebrating this time of year, and if perchance I fail to write my “End of 2015” post before the end of 2015, a very happy new year!

Aviv

Share

Cartoon Wedding Bells

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Congratulations

A few months ago I got an email from a guy named Ivan. He told me about his long-distance relationship with his girlfriend Jelena, how Viber’s helped them keep in touch across different continents, and how – when the sticker market launched – they found their alter-egos in Freddie and Eve.

Other couples have shared similar sentiments with me, and it warms my heart to dangerous temperatures, every time.

I’m a sticker artist. I draw stickers for a living. It’s a bloody awesome job, don’t get me wrong, but occasionally I find myself feeling frivolous, wondering what’s the point of doing what I’m doing. And then someone sends me a message on Facebook, telling me how the characters I created have become part of their relationship with their significant other, and cheer them up when they’re away from one another. It surprises and humbles me every time, and it’s the best damn reason I can ever think of to do what I do.

Back to Ivan and Jelena. Some time before writing to me, Ivan visited back home to propose. Jelena said yes. And since Freddie and Eve have been “with them” throughout their relationship, Ivan wanted to surprise her with real Viber wedding stickers, and found me. He said he knew it was a long shot – we don’t really create sticker packs “to order”, but his story really moved me (few work emails bring me to tears in the middle of the office, thankfully), and I passed the idea along to people more in charge than myself.

Freddie and Eve proposal

The result was one of the packs I had the most fun working on. I drew on experiences from my own wedding, stories and photos from my parents’ wedding, and of course every trope from every romantic comedy I’ve ever seen. And as a gorgeous cherry on top, the talented animators we work with animated the whole pack, and did a brilliant job at it, which you can see if you get it from Viber’s sticker market.

Freddie and Eve wedding sticker pack

We even got Jelena’s reaction on video, in a surprise production by Viber.

This pack may have been created following Ivan’s request, but it’s dedicated to every couple who’s found joy, humour or comfort in these characters. You make me happy and proud to do my job.

Aviv

Share

Blog facelift and new sticker packs

Friday, November 6th, 2015

After years of looking more or less the same (and following some antiquated web design guidelines from when screen resolution averaged 1024x768px), I finally gave the blog a bit of a facelift. The changes are not massive: some extra width and bigger fonts, as expected with age, and an updated header that was drawn this decade.

I also added a button for Up to Four Players, the webcomics I illustrate that has been online for almost a year and yet had no links from my own blog. Nice.

This isn’t very exciting news on its own, so here are a few recent sticker packs I’ve done for Viber, to make for a worthwhile post. Anyone following my work for Viber probably knows my Freddie and Friends characters, but occasionally I get to come up with new ones, so here are three of those; and the fourth pack is for one of our Public Chat partners (my favourite one), 2Forks.

Becky Viber Pack   May Viber Pack

Jade Viber Pack   2Forks Viber Pack

Share

Summer Art Dump

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Oh, it’s been ridiculously long since I last posted, hasn’t it. With a full-time illustration job and a weekly webcomics I hardly have any creative juices left for extracurricular doodling, and when something does finally let itself out onto the canvas, I usually rush and post it on Facebook or Twitter for the immediate gratification of audience feedback.

Some things have accumulated, though.

Commissioned Work

My good friend wanted to surpise her roommate with an original Kyrandia-themed poster (one of her favourite games) for her birthday. How could I say no to that? Do you know how little Kyrandia fan art there is online? Well, now there’s a little bit more.
Kyrandia poster - work in progress Kyrandia poster

I was approached by an Israeli publisher who’s translating The Dresden Files series to Hebrew, and wanted my illustrated Dresden on the cover. It took a while to get me on board (so busy, no time, what stress etc), but I’m a big Dresden Files fan, and have already done some character designs a while back that the publisher liked, so now Hebrew Dresden has my art on the cover!
Dresden cover - sketch Dresden cover

My new obsession in the realm of content conusmption during work is the actual play podcast One Shot. Actual Play podcasts are recordings of tabletop roleplaying game sessions, and the group in charge of this one is full of improvisational comedians who make every episode an absolute joy to listen to. They try different roleplaying systems and settings every month, so you also get to learn about new games and get a glimpse of how they work before trying them yourself. Their other podcast, Campaign, is a single ongoing game set in the Star Wars universe and played in the really cool system Age of the Empire. I’m not a Star Wars fan, but I adore this story and the characters in it. So much so that I couldn’t help but do some fanart for one of the episodes, which happily led to also being commissioned to draw a T-shirt design for their Patreon’s T-shirt club.
One Shot fan art
One Shot T-shirt Design sketches One Shot T-shirt Design

Doodles

Whenever I feel like doodling something but have no place to start, Sketch Dailies is still my go-to place: if the daily topic tickles my artistic fancy, it’s a great trigger to get sketching.
Sketch Dailies: King Arthur Sketch Dailies: Heman Sketch Dailies: Wonder Wombat

There’s also an Israeli group on Facebook that serves the same function, but focuses on hand-drawn sketches, with a time limit of 30 minutes. Awesome for getting back to classic media sketching and practising quick execution of ideas.
Daily Sketch - Binoculars Daily Sketch - A Gentleman

And when all else fails, one can always resort to a quick fanart or a bunch of random face doodles. Or, uh, an illustrated daily food diary (lovely idea by a Twitter friend, but unfortunately I lost interest after just one (albeit yummy) Sunday).
Attack on Titan Food Diary
Face doodles

The usuals

I’ve also been doing some fun new stuff at my day job. After drawing my “Freddie and Friends” characters almost exclusively since I started working with Viber, I recently designed a few new characters, slightly less furry this time. I love my foxes and panthers, but it’s cool to shake things up and do something a bit different.
Viber sticker pack - Summer Girls

And if you’re into webcomics, gaming or general geeky stuff, I hope you’re following Eran’s and my webcomics, Up to Four Players. Here’s an exclusive peak at the sketchy phase of one of our recent strips. See the final here (is that considered clickbait?..).
Up to Four Players #32 - Mana Burn sketch

That’s it for now! Hopefully next time will be before 2016…
Aviv

Share