Trex Sketch with heads

Do I have to make Art a Career or Hobby?

Interview with Kunio Okawara from the Sankei Newspaper

I was listening to a podcast where a listener asked should I pursue multiple passions or just focus on one thing? How would I know which Art or Craft is really just a hobby or possibly a career?

Continue reading “Do I have to make Art a Career or Hobby?”

Interview with Kunio Okawara from the Sankei Newspaper

Mecha Masters: Kunio Okawara

Love this short bio about Kunio Okawara by Youtuber GundamUK. This is the guy who gave made mechanical designer for anime as a profession. I like how he was able to make the mechs seem plausible and believable. His iconic design is the Gundam RX-78 and Zaku.

Check out some of his designs on Imgur and Pinterest.

I did not know that he came to Singapore to give a talk about his career.

Some thoughts by Kunio Okawara

“The way I think of my work is to realize what the director wants as close as I possibly can to his imagination. So I don’t think I am an artist but maybe more of artisan. The creation of animation is not something that only one person can do either, as it is definitely a team-based endeavor. So one person’s insistence should not delay the whole process, because a project’s schedule is very tightly planned to coincide with things like the broadcasting date and all that. My priority then is how I receive the project; understand it and then how quickly I can get to the output stage. I don’t spend too much time thinking whether the design is good or bad, it is just that I receive the commission and then my output from that.

“I never thought that Gundam would be so popular nearly 40 years on. In this industry there are always new things coming along, so I never thought it would be like this. In terms of the mobile suits variations, or MSV, there are just so many now. To the extent that there parts that don’t really make sense. What I wanted to do in regards to that I managed to do in terms of gunpla.”




Kunio Okawara Exhibition “Legend of Mechanical Design”

Why you want to make art?

Recently I happen to chance upon a video by Brandon Dayton on why he quit his dream Job at Disney interactive to make comics and art full time. I would encourage anyone wanting to do your own creative work to take a look at these videos before jumping  in. He has recently released a comic Green Monk after quitting Disney.

Some Notes:

His early goal was to be an animator for Disney but ended up at Disney Interactive

His time at Disney Interactive Studio pushed him to be a be a better artist.

But he felt that something was missing from his life.

We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make movies. – Walt Disney

Art did not make money for Disney initially, but he wanted to make the art form better.

Currently the CEO Bob Iger says Disney knows how to leverage the mind value of their Intellectual Property and make money.

But he feels that Art has become Intellectual property. That has to be mined for money. Market forces determine the value of the Art. Which sometimes feel uninspiring.

He feels that because of this there is little room for Art to experiment and is regulated to side projects after your day Job, which sometimes after a long day you do not have the motivation left to push boundaries of your art.

Some thoughts

There is no right or wrong if you do art for money or just want to make Art just to improve the form. Its important to know why you are doing it and how to make it as an artist. There is no end to the discussion.

That is why he quit his job to create art that is not market drive and see how it goes.

His advice goes if you want to purse art that is not made for IP. Save up and plan for it do have a short time period before you go in, its a challenge but it has a reward for taking the risk and he hopes that he can make money to make Art.

This reminded me about Jim Henson Book on Making Art to Make Money. Jim made art that is true to himself but also aligns with the market needs.

One other video to watch:

Brandon talks about his reason to make comics after he has went on to make art for himself.


Learn by Doing

Canadian Pizza car rendering practice. Using this for learning to design and render a car. I drew the 2nd car view to practice my sketching based off Dwayne 1st sketch. Did the rendering in both photoshop and Corel painter really learned how to make grayscale to color and rendering the car highlights. Following up to the previous sketch render. A new kind of pizza single seat car for delivering pizzas in urban areas. The sketch design was originally done by Dwayne Vance from Masters of Chicken scratch @mastersofchickenscratch #pizza #canadapizza #car #automotive #practice #rendering #photoshop #design #digitalpainting #grayscaletocolor #renderreflections #pizzaguy #painter #corelpainter

A post shared by William Teh, Weiqing (@weiqing_teh) on

How often have we read up on stuff and think we can do it but never take action? Well, recently I have completed a small painting Project. I deceided to learn to paint grayscale to color painting. 

I did this by taking Dwayne Vance sketch of a vehicle and painting over it, taking lessons through a book from How To Render on the techniques used in painting a grayscale image.

For this project I wanted to know 

  • How to make a grayscale image to color.
  • Learn to practice painting in B&W values first.
  • Understand painting basic car reflections and highlights

Here is the process:

  • I planned out the steps needed by looking at others and seeing how they did it.
  • I drew over the sketch drawing to create my line drawing
  • I did a value study referencing images and photographs
  • Using the How To Render technique by Scott Robertson to convert the grayscale to color.
  • I repeated this on a different perspective of the same vehicle I reference again.

Lessons learnt:

You learn only by taking action of the theory you learn in the books or video tutorials.

Take action today it will help solidify your learning even doing a small task of the lessons you are learning.

    Podcast: Ep03 First look at Media Composer

    I recently recorded a podcast on Anchor talking about my first experience with Media Composer First. Check it out on Anchor. So far Anchor has been interesting I like that its 5 Mins and you can record and publish on your mobile phone.

    Anchor Link:

    A Bit on my review on Media Composer. Some other

    Things I like

    • Its the full media composer nothings seems missing.
    • Has Color correction
    • All the effects and filters are there you can do basic comp work.
    • Can publish to YouTube and Vimeo.

    The Bad and Negatives

    • You have to do the AVID Way of things. Like AMA linking footage and
    • UI is a bit Clunky and not as streamlined as Premiere or Resolve
    • Coming from a premiere pro user I am so used to throwing any kind of footage into the timeline. Not all Media files work.
    • Only 5 Bins per project
    • 4 Video Tracks and 8 Audio Tracks which is enough.
    • You need to be connected to the internet to start the program using the AVID App manager.

    Avid has come a long way to release a free program to let you learn and get started. I wish there were some integration with their Free Pro Tools First so you can dip into making audio effects.