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About Design & Interfaces / Professional Premium Member Kristy CunninghamFemale/United States Group :iconinfinite-spiral: Infinite-Spiral
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What age groups are my watchers/Spiral readers in? (Just feeling out to moderate rating of things) 

7 deviants said 30+
6 deviants said 17-25
4 deviants said 25-30
1 deviant said 12-17
No deviants said Under 12
I think I didn't post these here ... just Tumblr. Really, I post these as I go on Tumblr because I need a break from seriousness ...

tumblr n8x3bnBLSI1ragor0o1 500 by novemberkris
What would be a very awkward reunion for the Perkins family ... Rory and Griffin.

tumblr n8x2tm5B121ragor0o1 500 by novemberkris

Random action study. Whoa, Christian ... You got serious.

Jamesandrorygrass2 by novemberkris

Crimsonladydance by novemberkris
And oh, hey, Crimson Lady lets her hair down. YES there will be more of her this chapter.
So Limereject , brought up some interesting points about artistic growth and the modeling of other people's styles. Sometimes we use it as development-though it became a crutch for me, I recognize many of us go through this as we build our mental and perceptual lens on the world.

Although manga/anime as a whole became a crutch for me during foundations (yes, artistic foundations are important--they teach you new ways to see even though it can be soooo frustrating!).  The styles I went through in middle school through college are very, very important to my evolution as an artist, and very closely tied to stories and genres that also influence what I write for Infinite Spiral.

So, as a point, here are some general cartoon/comics influences to my art and genre interests over time.

Middle School
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego
Sailor Moon (anime)
Classic Disney (yes and Meepers are influenced by the Lion King let's let that go ...)
The Last Unicorn
Dragonball/Dragonball Z (anime)
Unico (anime)

High School
Sailor Moon (anime)
Gundam Wing (anime)

Gundam Wing (anime)
Angel Sanctuary (was not a reader, just loved the art)
Shoujo manga styles generally
Resident Evil Code Veronica (okay, that's a game ... but I drew a LOT of Claire Redfield ...)
Final Fantasy (also games ... mmm character designs in JRPGs)
Trigun (anime)
Fullmetal Alchemist (anime)
Alphonse Mucha
Albrecht Durer
Anything Studio Ghibli ever

Then I stopped drawing for a very long time. By grad school, when I started drawing again, I was coming into "my style". I also consume a lot more eclectic media NOW then I used to!

What is funny is the Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego and classic Disney elements have come back from the past and mingled with the manga/anime mix. With apparently some Mucha type linework thrown in now and then because I dig it.

Now ... how about themes and writing. Oh boy ... um, these be some good books, shows,  and films

Elementary School
- Disney anything
- Inspector Gadget!!!!
- Super Mario Brothers (games and shows ...)
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- um ... Captain N and the Gamemasters
- Legend of Zelda ... guess which character is decidedly influence by THAT
- The Boxcar Children!
- The Chronicles of Narnia (Rory ... as me ... sort of)
- Carmen Sandiego

Middle School
-Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego (*coughs* James, Amanda, Allie, Christian ...)
-The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper (*Coughs* James evolved ...)
-The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
-The cartoons mentioned above
-Peter Pan
-The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
-Arthurian literature

High School
-His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
-The X-Files
-The Power Puff Girls
-Ender's Game (OSC's behavior aside ... grumble)
-Titan AE
-Indiana Jones
-Star Wars
-Elfquest (COMIC!) (*Coughs* James evolved more ...)
-The Sixth Sense (*coughs* Gavin)
-Arthurian literature continues
-Lord of the Rings
-Mythology (mostly Greek and Roman, some Norse)!

-His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman(still)
-the cartoons mentioned above
-Samurai Jack
-Ender's Game (OSC's behavior aside ... grumble)
-Peter Pan (it came back)
-Arthurian literature (oh yeah!)
-Final Fantasy X (watched it)
-Resident Evil (Claire Claire Claire! Leon Leon Leon! um ... also biohazards)
-Lord of the Rings
-Beowulf (the poem)
-Still mythology (more cultures represented)!

Teaching Middle School
-The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
-His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman(still)
-Final Fantasy VII (I was late to the game)
-Pirates of the Caribbean (yes the first three)
-Ender's Game (OSC's behavior aside ... grumble)
-Some of the Dark Tower by Stephen King
-Still mythology!

Post Teaching
-Still loved Pirates of the Caribbean
-Still loved Firefly

Graduate School
-Doctor Who
-The Child Thief by Brom
-Still loved Pirates of the Caribbean
-Peter Pan (it came back again!)
-Still loved Firefly
-Fullmetal Alchemist manga
-Mythology's back!

Current Reads and Watches (are likely influences ...)
-Doctor Who
-Fringe (I never finished it ...)
-Still love Pirates of the Caribbean
-Cosmos (yes it is a documentary, I love space sass!)
-Amulet by Kazu Kibushi (hey, a comic!)
-Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (yes I was late to this too, shhhhhh!)
-Peter Pan (it shall never grow up!)
-mmmm Ghibli films ...
-Still loves me some Firefly
-Still mythology!

I'll probably edit that list. I'm sure I've missed a ton. My sister will call me on that ... 
I got a great ask in  my Tumblr about getting started in comics, and thought there were some watchers that might be looking for similar guidelines. So ... I figured I'd repost here

A little background, I had been putting off making Infinite Spiral since high school (that’s over 10 years). I would start then stop, because I had it in my head it wasn’t good enough-like it had to be this epic, perfect narrative. That’s not how learning to tell stories works … and the longer I waited, the closer it got to “you’ll never tell this story.”  I was introduced to comics through a class in grad school, where I was studying serious game design. And it hit me there, if I don’t start telling this story, I will never, ever get it out there. I have to stop worrying about being “good enough.”  And I’ve been writing and drawing now, and my work has slowly and steadily improved bit by bit in a world I have adored since I was a child.

So here are some things you can do (in no particular order):

1) Don’t be afraid to just get started. If you have a story and you think comics is the way to tell it, start writing itstart drawing it-find a way to get it out there. I’ve made 66 pages so far with 2 more almost done.  I average something like 8 panels a page. That’s over 500 drawings in the course of 2 years with increasing complexity in characters and environments. Tons of practice! If you are afraid to start, you can only get better.

2Choose a length and format that you can commit to and succeed (think game design, early success).  For me, a deadline and readers are a great way to keep disciplined (barring my most recent hiatus due to some major life events) so I started a webcomic early. But, I took a class where I had to create a 28 page mini-book of shorter comics (2-8 pages).  Short comics can build confidence, let you figure out a technique, and let you explore things you might not have a chance to once you commit to that long term theme, story, or topic for a webcomic or longer work. Not only that, but short works add up, and when formatted for print (I can share more on that if you like), suddenly you have something that you can sell too. And let’s face it, I love to make art, but it is validating to make money from your art (and it is hard work that costs time and resources).

3) Find someone you trust and respect to help you with techniques that will increase your comic’s professional touches early on—things like typography, composition, panel construction, bleeds and gutters. The little things that no matter what the drawing or story is like, can be well designed with the tools we have. And if you can trust them to critique the drawing and storytelling too, even better. We all need mentoring and feedback (and if you are too self-critical, sometimes that is positive feedback so you don’t blow up things that are actually fabulous!). If you can, take a class, join a local meet up group for creators, find a safe online community where you can share, learn, and ask for resources.

4) Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think art often attracts a perfectionist. Desire for perfection in art is often inevitable, but there's a time and a place.  And that drive can keep works forever unfinished. Let some things go. I do that by trying to focus on one technical weakness at a time (i.e., hands, 3 point perspective, line weights) ! Lately it has been improving line quality for me. You can't be "perfect" (whatever that really means) in everything at once-or really ever. And if your were perfect all the time, wouldn't that be so boring ... (Bob Ross happy accidents anyone?) This goes with 1. It can be stifling and leave you with more blank pages than finished ones.

5) On that note, don’t be afraid to do everything yourself (meaning, writing, penciling, inking, coloring, lettering)! It is hard to find a partner without compensation (as we know, good art and writing is hard work!) and you’ll, again, get better the more you do it anyway.

6) If you are doing a webcomic, build a buffer of 10 + pages. I did not do this (well, my buffer wasn’t big enough) and then life happens … When people subscribe to RSS feeds and the like to read your comic, if you aren’t updating then you lose them. (Sorry readers, I know I’ve been bad lately.)

7) Read Scott McCloud’s Making Comics. Not only is it a comic, but it is full of rich suggestions about technique, writing, and special ways to tell a story that exist because of the very nature of comics. If you haven’t had enough, many recommend Eisner’s books.

8) Go hang out with people who like comics. Most are awesome and will keep you excited about what you are doing. Conventions, comic book stories, meet ups … lots of ways to find some people that keep you wanting to tell stories in boxes.

9) Know your tools. Whether using digital or traditional mediums (and with traditional, there’s digitizing steps anymore), know how to work with them for the comics medium. Scott McCloud’s book can get you started there again, but really, get to know whatever tool you choose. The internet leaves us no excuses ^_^.

10) Read comics. This seems like a gimme. I’ve been slow to add to my reading list, but it is worth it. You’ll soak up things about visual storytelling you’d never get otherwise. Dissect comics after you’ve read and enjoyed them. As you get a more critical eye, you can deconstruct how they are put together in a way so you don’t go crazy thinking about how you are out of your league (no, really, the brain glosses over other people’s little … for lack of a better word flaws because you did not put them on the page! You can turn that into a total morale boost, as well as learning tool).

11) Don’t treat these as rules. Everyone is different! 

I’m sure I could get into more, but this seems like a solid list to get started.


novemberkris's Profile Picture
Kristy Cunningham
Artist | Professional | Design & Interfaces
United States
Kristy Cunningham is a UX Designer in the DC Metro area that believes play is important to people, and seeks to design and create experiences, interactions, characters, worlds, stories, and games that inspire wonder and spark the imagination. She also lives life on the wibbly wobbly, timey wimey side (no blue box necessary), listens to Imaginaerum on repeat, loves the thieving antics of the Mustelid family, and still remembers how to fly.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world. " -Albert Einstein


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MMHudson Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for watching!! :happybounce: Heart 
Miss-Tbones Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
WielaZystna Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2013  Hobbyist
I am so happy that you've faved Phil!
For me this means something!
Lyrak Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Fffffffffffffffffffffffff <3 (brain go static can't think of other thing to say YAYZ subby thankyou I fall down now lolnosleep)
novemberkris Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
You're welcome. I'm spoiling you a little this year. :P Go SLEEP (unless you are at work …)
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