SykoGrafix
SykoGrafix.com
December 23, 2015

The Force Awoke.

I remember where I was when it happened.

It was during an illustration class in the first year of the Video Game art college program I had gone back to school to take. We were all at drafting tables, mostly working independently. During a break in the action, I pulled out my phone to check my message and read my Twitter feed. My eyes widened as I read the events that has transpired earlier that day. I knew I had to be the one to tell everyone.

“George Lucas sold LucasFilm to Disney and they just announced that they’re making Star Wars Episode VII.”

The room rustled. Cool moment.

It seemed hard to comprehend at the time. Star Wars was not in any danger of being forgotten, but the prospect of getting more movies, numbered sequels even,  was unfathomable.  It was exciting to think of the possibilities but the question over what they were going to do with it cast a shroud. After all, how do you create a sequel to Return of the Jedi?

Quick painted BB8 doodle drawn by me using the software Mischief.

Quick painted BB8 doodle drawn by me using the software Mischief.

Well, here we are. They did it and it’s fantastic.

I’m not going to go into too many details or post any spoilers but I do want to say that I’ve seen The Force Awakens twice so far and loved it. The new characters were great, the call-backs were fun, the returning cast was so good to see again, and the ending was pitch perfect.

I have to say that watching it the first time was kind of a weird experience though! I feel like I know every inch of the other 6 movies, so seeing a movie that I didn’t know anything about, but was so obviously Star Wars, was very strange! I didn’t know what was going to happen and that new sensation was ever-present. Upon my second viewing though, it had become much more familiar, and in a very good way.

I think that it is very much a Star Wars film, but it’s also it own thing with a modern sensibility. From a lot of the action and the dialog, It did feel like a movie made in 2015, and that’s fine. It’s a new beginning for this franchise, and while I don’t want it to become too over-saturated to the point where it looses its magic, I’m excited to see what happens with it moving forward.

All that said, my most favorite part of Episode VII is when the annoying kid sitting next to me, who kept on saying things like “Who’s that?” and “What’s that?” and “My tummy hurts!” and his dad, who had to keep telling the kid to be quiet, left their seats and did not come back. Then I could finally enjoy the movie! My main concern regarding when Episode VIII comes out is that I do not sit beside anyone else like that, or, coincidentally,¬† sit beside the same kid again.

Sayonara.

November 24, 2015

New art and lots of it.

It feels like I’ve been finishing more new pieces of artwork this fall than I have in a long, long time. It feels good.

If you’ve been following me on Tumblr, Twitter, or DeviantArt, you’ve probably seen it by now, but I have added a bunch of new pieces to the illustration page. There is Optimus Prime, Nintendo stuff, and more.

newart

Also, Ninjapocalypse is back in business after a long break. There will be at least 5 new characters, one every week for the next while. I’ve got them all queued up and, let me tell you right now, these new characters are some of the most detailed I’ve done for that site. It would be fantastic to get more support on Ninjapocalypse as it continues to expand with more entries, so please check it out!

Sayonara.

October 31, 2015

Fifteen

Trick or treat!

I launched the first version of SykoGrafix.com on October 31, 2000. The first Halloween of the new millennium,  appropriately enough. That was fifteen years ago as of today. There have been many changes to the site since then, and several ups and downs in my life as a creative individual, but I still feel just as connected to the theme of this website as I did on that day 15 years ago.

I think that this current version is the coolest SykoGrafix has ever been, but I thought it would be fun to look back at some the graphics that I used to use to give the site its character. I found two that are pretty nostalgic for me, so I’m marking the occasion of this 15th anniversary by sharing them here.

old-1

Here is the original enter graphic. I had totally forgotten that I used to use this faux-asian looking font with the exaggerated bar-code. I thought it was futuristic and cool, but it eventually turned pretty cliched.

old-2

And this title graphic comes from some time later. I still think this one is not too bad. Some of the drawings I used to use were not that great, but this one of my original mascot character Cyan is alright, and there effects were usually pretty cool too.

What will I be doing 15 years from now? Will I still be doing SykoGrafix? I don’t know, but if I am doing anything, it will probably still have this electric blue personal stamp on it.

Sayonara.

October 6, 2015

It’s Tumblr Time.

tumblr

Seems like every artist is on Tumblr now, so I am making my cyan-splattered mark there too. SykoGrafix on Tumblr will act as a companion to SykoGrafix.com, and will feature quicker posts and more frequent updates. Of course, there will be finished art there, but there might also be works in progress, silly doodles, pictures of stuff I find, interesting links, video games, toys, other artists’ works, and all sorts of inspiration and insanity for artists/ninjas that I either find, make, or want to share. I will also be using it to announce if I am doing any game or art streaming.¬† I will probably set it up to post once every day or two for the next while, but don’t worry, I’m not going to spam your dashboard. I hope to be able to build an audience over there, so please check it out and add it to your following list.

As you may know, this is not my first foray with Tumblr. I’ve been using it for awhile now with my other web-based project, Ninjapocalypse. I wanted a way to connect Ninjapocalypse to SykoGrafix as a part of this new Tumblr, so I made a random Ninjapocalypse character trading card widget. You’ll find it on the right side of this site and in the left sidebar on the Tumblr. Each time you load the page, the widget randomly chooses a Ninjapocalypse character and creates a trading-card style image, complete with nameplate and a link to that character’s entry. Here are some examples I screenshotted.

np1 np2 np3

I don’t know anything about using jQuery, or even what jQuery actually is, but I managed to figure out enough to make this happen, and it’s pretty much exactly as I imagined it. Some characters work better than others, but most turned out pretty good and some are pretty funny once they’re inside the widget’s confines.

More new artwork is on the way. With all of this web-stuff out of the way, I feel like I am just getting started.

Sayonara.

September 25, 2015

The New Look SykoGrafix.com!

Finally!

sg468x60-3I am so happy to unveil this long awaited new design for my webpage! It has been in the works for longer than I care to admit, but I think the results have been well worth the effort. This new design is much more in-line with my artistic sensibilities and does a much better job of showcasing what I’m all about. This new SykoGrafix.com is not meant to serve as a portfolio of my finest work, but more of a hub for what I am doing and what I am into.

Sykografix Concept

Early Pencil Title Sketch Concept

The visual concept for the site was to create this strange, nonsensical, ramshackle computer that is powered by and/or processes the tubes of cyan ink. I wanted my website to look less like web-graphics and more like something I would draw.¬†There is old and new technology combined together to make this machine do whatever it is that it does, creating lots of funny or unique details that you can find if you take a closer look. At this time, there are 5 random images on the main page for both the left and the right sides of the machine, potentially creating a new configuration each time you reload the page. You’ll find old computers, video game accessories, an old VCR, a kaiju brain, and even a frozen drink dispenser!

SykoGrafix Concept 2

Early digital sketch mock-up.

Beyond the visual aspect, this new version is just a much better website overall. I took an online class on HTML and CSS, so now the coding is much better and closer to modern standards than the 1997 style of web design I first learned about. The width of the site can also scale up and down depending on your window size. Try it out. I think it looks pretty good any way you wanna stretch it!

The biggest change to the site is that I switched the main index weblog from Blogger to WordPress. This was the biggest reason that things took so long to finish, as many unforeseen quirks and problems had to be ironed out before I got it looking like how I wanted. Almost all of the posts, going back to the very beginning, have been transferred over, but I decided to get rid of many of the shorter or less informative ones. The old version, weblog.sykografix.com, will still exist but will no longer be updated, so if you are following that site, please follow this one instead.

SykoGrafix Concept 3

Pencil drawings for the random alternate image designs.

A few things have not survived the trip. The guestbook and message board were quietly done away with some time ago. I think they broke and stopped working and I didn’t feel like it was worth fixing them. The Articles page is still around, but no longer linked from the main site. It would be too much work to go through them all, extract the content, and revamp the code to bring them up to the new standard. Maybe someday I will do a few of them over again. We’ll see.

The Illustration page now works in a gallery style where a page opens up within the center of the main index and overlaps the other content. This is much easier to manage for the future, but it means that I can not link directly to a single page. Most everything is also up on DeviantArt though. I wish I had more artwork to show here, but now that the hard part of getting the new site up and running is out of the way, I hope to get on that soon.

So, what’s next? I want to do more blogging, more content, some new fan art, some more Ninjapocalypse characters, learn new techniques, and get my stuff out there more. I am excited about doing some streaming and connecting with an audience, and I will be offering commissions soon too. The best way to keep up is to follow me on Twitter. More stuff is on the way, but until then I hope you dig what you see so far, and feel free to get in touch or leave a comment right here.

Sayonara.

Posted by Ninjatron on 9/25/2015. 1 Comment