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Hirtenstraße 19, 10178 Berlin, Germany
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ouroffice@vangard.com

She-Ra Returns!

The big news in animation this week is that She-Ra is being rebooted by Dreamworks. I swear that every artist I follow on social media drew her. So I had to too. Why? Because drawing badass women in power stands is fun! (Check out my Wonder Woman illustration for another good example.) I grew up drawing Dragonball Z characters on all my school books, so bad-ass power poses are just fun to me.

That being said, I honestly have never seen the original She-Ra! But it came out in 1985 and is a cult classic. I actually know next to nothing about the character or the original series. I knew that she had something to do with He-Man and The Masters of the Universe. I only really know about that because I loved Queen as a kid and this song rocked my little kid face. I know it’s technically from Highlander, but they sounded similar and when I looked them up as a youngster, I found out about Masters of the Universe too.

I’m hoping that they drop a trailer about it during San Diego Comic Con this weekend so I know a little more. Heck, I’m looking forward to all sorts of new from SDCC next week. I’ll have to be ready to draw lots and lots of fan art.

 

she-ra dreamworks reboot preview

Dreamwork’s new design has her with a much more sturdy upper body than the original barbie-esque design. I can’t help but think of the Saiyan armor from Dragon Ball Z when I see those pauldrons though. Apparently, and not surprisingly, people are freaking out about the new design. But that’s all par for the course when you’re rebooting.

cosamo-lineart-shera

I added a little more definition to the original design, since unlike animators, I don’t have to draw this design thousands of times so it doesn’t have to be as streamlined. I could only imagine the nightmare that animating high detail hair and musculature is. Stuff like that is why I’m not an animator.

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A few of the comp sketches for She-Ra. I always wanted the top-down dramatic perspective look. But the angle was a hassle to get right for me.

June Fan Art Compilation

These were a few fan art images that weren’t really worth their own post. First is a fan art created as part of one of the Draw in your style hashtags that are going around right now. The original character was created by comic artist Carlotta Dicataldo.

Second piece of fan art was a for-fun digital sketch I did for the band Ninja Sex Party. I was listening to their stuff on YouTube. If you’re fans of Game Grumps, like I obviously am (see my other post on Monster Prom), then you’ll recognize Danny Sexbang and Finn Wolfheart from the their new video “Danny Don’t You Know.”

Third is a fan art sketch of the very famous Korean video gamer turned mech pilot D-Va from Blizzard’s Overwatch. I originally drew that with just mechanical pencils and ended up coloring it in photoshop just to experiment with coloring over a traditional media sketch.

Want to see me draw a character from your favorite game or movie? Leave a comment or get in touch on social media. I’m doubly likely to draw if I think it’s awesome too.

Monster Prom Polly - head

I don’t play dating sims…

Monster Prom Polly - Full Color
Monster Prom Polly - Lineart
Monster Prom Polly - Sketch

But I watch so many people play them. 

Despite my recent post about helping build a horror game/dating sim I don’t actually play dating sims. I don’t think I’m really in the target demographic, being older and whatnot. Okay, I played Dream Daddy with my good friend because that game was really good looking and seemed funny! That being said I love watching comedians play dating sims and horror games. There’s so much opportunity for some good laughs when grown up adults are thrust into these awkward dating situations. Never too old for a good laugh, right?

Jumping right to the point — I watched the Game Grumps play through of monster prom and felt compelled to draw the party-loving ghost Polly. I’m not a big fan of PieceOfCake’s colorful art style.

Ara the Tiefling Druid — Prints Now Available!

DnD Tiefling Druid

**Update – June 2018**  Ara the Tiefling Druid is now a full illustration! I’ve modified this to have a better composition for prints. The original was nice, but was missing the background I wanted and a slightly tweaked pose. I have phone cases, tablet cases, laptop cases and bags all available over on my  COSAMO ART Redbubble store. Stickers and art prints will be along soon!

Ara the Tiefling Druid
Ara the Teifling Druid
Ara the Tiefling
Ara the Tiefling

The original pose and lineart for my illustration.  I liked this composition, but I wasn’t a huge fan of how the figure was cropped off at the bottom. I loved the warm fall colors, but wanted to add more color than just a flat background.

This character is “Ara” my DnD5e tiefling druid that I recently created for my second session ever and ended up drawing and coloring her digitally. Most Dungeons and Dragons druids seem to have a spring theme with lots of green and blue colors. I thought a purple skinned, devilish-looking tiefling would have the opposite of that — a “fall-druid.”

Last time I played it was over ten years ago! I was actually the DM. It went better than expected. First off, the D&D Starter Set is solid for someone who has never played of DM’ed before. Second, my friend who does improv was a hoot. Collaborative storytelling and world building is the best.

Wanting to get your own character drawn up for your DnD campaign? If you’re a fan of my style, wander on over to my commissions page and I’ll help bring your character to life! →

/X/Tan Bust Sketch

A Forgotten Project: Forgotten Existence

XTAN Character Sprite
Ozoi Character Sprite
Alice the Succubus Character Sprite
The Butcher Character Sprite
Blood Mary Character Sprite
Ghost Jackie Character Sprite

Six of the eight dateable options for the game Forgotten Existence. 4chan’s paranormal board’s own X-tan and Ozoi, who I believe was a horror character from another similar image board. Both were characters that existed before the game was conceived, but were owned by no person in particular. A succubus named Alice, a mysterious character named “the butcher,” “Bloody Mary,” and a ghost named “Jackie” were all created for the game based on horror creatures tropes or classic urban legends.

/X/Tan Bust Sketch
XTAN Character Sprite
/X/TAN Concept Sketch

Art I created of X-tan, the avatar/mascot of 4chan’s paranormal board. I’m not sure how the mythos of the character has evolved since the olden days but back then X-tan fluctuated between being a female and male. I suppose you could call the character non-binary. They were known for being a lover or horror movies and had a affinity for dark magic. You can just read all about the tradition of board mascots over on Know Your Meme.

Happy throw-back Thursday artist buddies. My sort of recent post about DDLC reminded me of an indie game I helped out with nearly a decade ago. If you follow the indie game scene for a few years, you might remember the game Katawa Shoujo. It was a dating sim that was released in 2012 by a Four Leaf Studios, a clever name for a group that started on 4chan. (Their logo is a four-leafed clover.) I mention that game because the game I helped out on, Forgotten Existence, was also a dating sim that originated on 4chan. In this case, Forgotten Existence originated on the paranormal (/x/) board.

Scientist Concept
Succubus (Alice) Concept Sketches
The Butcher Concept Sketches
The "GreatMother" Concept

Additional character sketches and concepts that were never quite finished included: a Victor Frankenstein inspired mad-scientist, an amphibious humanoid, a narcissistic vampire and a mad knight-templar.

It never quite got past an alpha release though. It was a game build by passionate hobbyists. Like so many of those games do, excitement fizzled without a monetary incentive to keep working hard. The game would have been a horror theme escape-room style puzzle solving game disguised as a dating sim. I have no idea what happened to the dispersed team. It was fun at the time, but I wouldn’t count on it coming back from the dead.

Weirdly enough, working on this game was the reason “cosamo” became my online artist avatar. At the time, I was still using my “csujake” name that I made when I first signed up for DeviantArt. The old csujake Deviant Art page is still up, like a little time capsule filled with my old illustrations. Now that’s a throwback. I miss the art community that was there. Doing comic collaborations with other awesome artists was a great way to learn early on. But, so, csujake wasn’t a clever name. I’m Jake and I went to Colorado State University (CSU). It’s simple. But most people were reading it as “tzu-jah-kay” as if it were a Japanese word. So I switched over to cosamo, which is just where I live, Colorado (CO), plus my favorite art piece at the time, the Nike of Samothrace (SAMO). It was nothing fancy.

Anyways, I wonder whatever happened to the old team. I hope they went on to make cool things.

Mermay 2018 – Lineart

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cosamo-mermay18-lineart-full

Happy Mermay 2018 folks. Heck happy May holidays to everyone. Happy May the 4th. Happy Cinco De Mayo. Happy Piccolo Day (Google it). Happy Memorial Day. Happy Mothers’ Day. Happy  May! Happy summer break to all you students and teachers out there as well. They days keep getting warmer and longer and Spring is always nice.

Of course, I’m not even sure how Mermay came to exist. But here I am, drawing mermaids because they’re mythological creatures and they’re actually pretty cool. My third favorite musical as a kid was Little Mermaid. Lets be real here, Lion King was number one and Aladdin number two. Shout out to my folks who, with patience I cannot fathom, drove us a thousand miles to Disneyland with nothing more than the Lion King cassette on infinite repeat. Follow me on instagram so you can see when I post the colored version! →

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My Mermay entry from from 2017. I drew this in pencil then cleaned it up with ink pens and Copic markers. It’s fanart for a book called Rescue Sirens.

Color Doggo

I Think My Mascot Should Be A Doofus Lookin’ Dog.

Color Doggo
Doggo Lineart

I’ve always been a fan of the Toby Fox-style online mascot. It’s the sort of thing where an artist is just represented by a small, harmless looking creature. In this case, I think a goofy looking dog with a hat and a backpack wandering through the wilderness works well. I feel like I should make stickers of this little fella and his friends. I mean, maybe I’ll draw this guy some friends and put them all on stickers so they can fill your life with strange doggo goodness.

Oh, by the way, the backpack is full of tea and art supplies, naturally.

Selkie Color

The Mysterious Selkie

Selkie Lineart
Selkie Color

Selkies are a transforming type of humanoid born form legends in Northern Europe. They can swim through the ocean as a seal and can remove their seal-skin when they want to go on land. I’m familiar with a few creatures that have similar shapeshifting abilities, but I can’t think of any that can be imprisoned if you capture their item that lets them shapeshift or a piece of them? Also, most of the stories are creepy stories about people taking their seal-skin as a prize and forcing the selkie into marriage. So that’s, you know, creepy.

Does anyone have a good myth or legend to share about them? Are there many contemporary stories about selkies? Please teach me! Until then please enjoy the commission I did recently of a Selkie character that a fan requested. I’m off to spend a few hours hunting down details on selkie lore.

Check out my commissions if you’d like to get your own original character brought to life as a lineart or colored illustration. Details are at my store page. →

Jane Doe Colored

“Jane Doe” — Lineart and Colored

Jane Doe Colored
Jane Doe Lineart

Drawing fur isn’t really my go-to for drawing characters but I really wanted to do a electric blue and earthy brown palette. Colored digitally with photoshop.

Doki Doki Literature Club Fan Art

Thoughts And Fan Art For Doki Doki Literature Club

Natsuki Fan Art
Sayori Screenshot Mockup

Natsuki and Sayori illustrations I created, placed on in-game backgrounds from Doki Doki Literature Club. Backgrounds were created for Team Salvato by Laszlo Neserd.

Fan art post time! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been posting some fan art for the indy game Doki Doki Literature Club. For those of you who haven’t played it, I’ll warn you that this post is filled with spoilers about the game. If you’re interested in a unique story telling experience, head on over to Steam (Doki Doki Literature Club! on Steam) or Doki Doki Literature Club!’s site and give the game a download. It’s free and takes about 3 hours to play.

Okay, now the spoilers start. Last chance to turn back. 

Before I talk about Doki Doki Literature Club, it’s important to talk about what interactive art is. In a way, all art is interactive. An audience turns on a movie and watches a series of images that move by really, really fast. They are consuming that movie, but at a very low level they are interacting with it.

Sayori Thumbnail
Sayori Sketch
Sayori Line Art
Sayori Colored

Snapshots of the process for creating the Sayori fan-art: thumbnail, figure sketch, line-art and full colored sketch. For these I tried to match the colors to the in-game art for Doki Doki Literature Club.

Art is known for being consumable experiences. Interactivity is more of an afterthought. An audience views Picasso’s Guernica, listen to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, or read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird.  You experience these pieces of art, they inspire feelings and actions in you and that’s the end of the transaction. Maybe, if you really liked what it did to you, you come back again and again. Maybe it will inspire you to create something new. But you can’t paint over Guernica—or at least, that would be a generally horrible idea.

Now, interactive art has popped up a few times through out history. Im my humble opinion it started booming in the digital age. Computers could facilitate interaction on a much larger scale. Video games were one of the first big mediums that allowed this.

Now, you’ve probably played a video game. If not, how did you manage that? It’s almost 2020, come on. I know you’ve at least played Super Mario or Minesweeper or something. Anyways, the level of interaction a gamer has with a video game is much higher than other forms of art like movies or books. The actions a gamer takes will usually influence the story they experience and the feelings they’ll take out of it. People cannot experience a video game without interaction—it’s kind of how they work.

Interactive art mediums can provide experiences that traditional media cannot. Flash back to the 1990’s. Computers and gaming consoles were becoming a common thing in homes. Visual novels, a sort of digital comic book that you can interact with, grew as a fiction medium. Dating sims were born as the pulpy romance fiction of the visual novel world. 

With dating sims, you didn’t have to just read a story about the sordid love affair between the broad chested, but down on his luck firefighter and the beautiful, but under appreciated school teacher. Now you could be that firefighter! Now you could be that school teacher! What’s more, you could navigate a simulated dating experience where you could try to win the hearts of any number of romantic interests. 

These sorts of stories flourished in Japan and to a lesser extent in the USA. The doe eyed school-girl amine style were the norm. Naturally, that all sounds like kitchy pulp humbug. To be honest, often times it was. It wasn’t known for being fine art, or even art. (I mean, maybe erotic art, but that’s a completely different blog post.) It was something more like old penny dreadfuls, cult-classic B-movies, and horror zines—cheap, consumable and a worth little more than a short burst of feel-good endorphins. 

Then one winter day in 2017 DOKI DOKI LITERATURE CLUB comes, looking all pink and cute and harmless and just burns everything to the ground. The internet lost their collective minds. 

The title screen for Doki Doki Literature Club features from left to right: Sayori, Yuri, Monika and Natsuki. You play as the protagonist who is seeking to date any combination of these characters, if you dare.

Doki Doki Literature Club (or DDLC for short) is a narrative wolf in sheep’s clothing. It burst onto the scene in 2017 when Team Salvato, the game’s creator, decided to hit the indie scene with a saccharine-pink, sickeningly-sweet flavored wrecking ball.

There are five characters in the story. The first four are the dating options; Natsuki the tomboyish manga fan. Sayori your childhood friend, Yuri the reserved poet and Monika. I won’t say much about Monika, she’s just Monika. She’s the most popular one in class. The one everyone wants to hang out with if they were just cool enough to talk to her. The smartest, greatest heartthrob a dating sim protagonist, the fifth character, could hope for. That’s you. You’re the hapless classmate that stumbled into the literature club in the hopes of wooing one of it’s members.

I don’t mean that you’re playing as some character in the game. You’re the fifth character.

DDLC ends up selling itself as a dating sim, an interactive piece of wish-fulfillment. It lures you in with cute characters and pastel cuteness. Once the veil is dropped, it is an interactive psychological thriller. You’re the protagonist and there is, well lets call her an entity, that wants to keep you playing. Forever. So you could say things go bad here too. You have to defeat the entity. How? By digging into your own computer. You have to interact with this story or else you can’t experience it. It turns the room your in into the set of the story and damn if I didn’t get an erie chill while playing this.

If art inspires emotion and action, DDLC is undoubtedly interactive art. The disgust, anxiety, fear and paranoia you feel are more immersive than if you saw the same story presented as a movie or a paperback book. It takes full advantage of the medium to weave it’s dark story. When the entity starts talking to you, you look over your shoulder, just in case. When files go missing on your computer, a place you though was safe and outside of the narrative, you feel the anxiety that maybe you did stumble into something sinister. Like the entity that comes packaged up in DDLC, interactive art is not going to be stopped easily. It’s popping up more and more, in places that would have never expected it before. 

Have a good example of interactive art? Leave a comment and let me know. I’m on the hunt for good stuff. Want to get a higher level of interactivity with me and my site? Join my mailing list and get the important news about new art. →