I have a lot of news to share, since my last post. The past few months have been a little stressful, but also very exciting.
At the end of February, I completed the first version of my BFA thesis project. For my thesis, I chose to combine my focus on digital painting and illustration with my love of world-building to create a digital "book." The end product is a Flash-based compendium that provides visual and text information on six different species of my own creation. Titled "Encyclopaedia Creaturae Rationalis" (that is, "Encyclopedia of Thinking Beings"), version 1.0 features a built-from-scratch interface, designed and coded by myself; information on the biology, habitat and culture of each species; and large, full-color digital paintings to depict each species and their planet.
It was a massive project--which I still want to add more to!--that presented a lot of challenges, but in the end, it really paid off. At the BFA Thesis Show this March, I was pleased and utterly shocked to receive the Alumni Association Award for my thesis project. The president of the college informed me that I was the first Digital Art major to win the award.
I really need to give credit to my friends and classmates for this, as well: Wes for introducing me to the basics of Flash and helping me to troubleshoot my "book."; Leah and Olivia for critiquing my work; and Christine for tea, moral support, and more.
The other goings-on over the months have been a bit less intense. I began freelancing in addition to searching for permanent employment, and got my first commercial freelance job with Kinou Games. I did a large batch of 2D coloring for their upcoming MMO "Papa Pirate, Baby Bandit." Kinou was a really great client, and I'm very happy to have gotten the opportunity to work with them. I've also been doing a large number of personal commissions for miniature artist "Insane Kangaroo" of CamoSpecs fame, which has been another fun project.
Lastly, I've jumped back into web design, and have been working on a portfolio website for Dr. Dominic Catalano. Dr. Catalano is a children's book author/illustrator and and was one of my instructors at BGSU. I really admire his work, and enjoyed his class, so I'm very excited to be able to do this for him.
I've also completely revamped my own website. It's built from scratch and far superior to the old one, not to mention nicer-looking. You'll notice there's even an RSS feed on the page for this blog.