Art Progress & Upcoming Vector Demo

Hello Everyone!
Tracy writing! Today is a progress update on Sapphire's art and an official announcement about Yesenia Carrero's upcoming Intermediate Adobe Illustrator Tutorial.

Sapphire's Art
Last month, I posted some rough sketches to Sapphire's concept art. I started cleaning them up to get ready to be vectored, and finished her first image:


I still have to create an image of her interaction with the main characters, which visually exemplifies some of the character conflicts we can explore for story material. I may also re-do her second image for a better pose than what my sketches are, currently.


Upcoming Intermediate Vector Demonstration
Yesenia Carrero is the final rendering artist for this project and does amazing, complex vector images from my drawings.



Thanks to all of your responses on Tumblr, Facebook, and Deviantart, Yesenia is going ahead with it. She promises to explain her process vectoring our Taffetas concept art:

I'll be mostly going over:
  • Soft Shading In Ai and how I handle light sources and blushes
  • Masking and grouping elements
  • Easy Line-work Tricks - and how to get nice Thick-Thins
  • My general process, favorite shortcuts, and misc tips along the way

The demo is intended for users who can use the program well, and wont be going over commonly used tools.
It will instead tackle my process, and how I get over problems like blending, line-art, and lighting.

We are setting a *tentative* release date of June 2nd. It will be a recorded video demo, since we did not get much interest to make it a livestream. You can still chime in if there are any questions you would like answered in Yesenia's tutorial by commenting below or e-mailing us!

We also love sharing our knowledge with you all. If there any other tutorial or insight from either Yesenia or myself that you would like to see the future, or you just have comments on how we're doing, let us know below or through Facebook, tumblr, or e-mail.

Sapphire Underway

Hello Everyone!
This is Tracy writing today's monthly update. With Elena and Veil's art finished (save for the final final pass on the Elena-Veil picture), we made good progress developing Gemini's spunky and cool gargoyless BFF, Sapphire.

Previously,  Sapphire was sassy and level-headed, but we felt the collected way which she carried herself made her too similar to Veil, and didn’t fit her high-concept role in our story. Sapphire is like the 'id' side to Gemini, someone who acts as a pushing force towards self-expression and independence. This is meant to be in opposition to Veil, who acts as a guide to self-control and selflessness (you can imagine they don't get along!).





In this new version, Sapphire wears her emotions on her sleeve in an it’s-all-about-me-get-over-it attitude. She’s tough, feminine, and a little weird, though she’ll ever concede to that last part.

Design-wise Yesenia and I have been working on adding in those quirks through pose. We're already happy with the triangle and heart shapes in her design and the touch of built, blocky texture, so we're focusing on making her new personality show with more dynamic gestures which come across angular and strong, to contrast Veil's uptight vertical posing with a hint of passiveness.



This coming month, I'm going to make some more Sapphire drawings, including one of her interacting with our cast. You can follow our work and see more sketches and thoughts as we create them through our tumblr!

So what do you think about Sapphire so far? Leave your thoughts in a comment below or contact us through facebook or tumblr! Thanks guys!

Early Febuary Update



Hello Everyone!
This is Yesenia speaking, updating you with our in-progress artwork. While Tracy and I are in an unsteady transition period, we still kept up with finishing The Taffetas artwork for Veil.

Below are the completed Veil images.


Now complete, Tracy and I will move on to our side characters, Elena (who has some completed artwork), Sapphire, Eschewal, Wolf, Tom, and others to complete the characters section in our page. As a recap, here are some of the side character designs we have completed, along with a brief description. 

Elena: an awkward young Siren who works as a barista in Veil’s favorite coffee shop. What she lacks in people skills, she plans to make up for with her budding powers of persuasion.


Sapphire: Gemini’s best friend (and sometimes worst enemy). A gargoyless, dramatist, and wannabe model, she lives with her hundreds of cousins where she acts as matriarch and landlord. She loves to party and let loose, and is fiercely loyal to her family.


Wolf: an artistic Wulver renting a room in Sapphire’s house. He can be strange and a bit gross, especially when his canine instincts take over, but Gemini befriends him through their mutual love of food and baking.

Tom: a geeky, anti-conservationist dryad and single parent of three. Tom is Veil’s co-worker and only friend, and on occasion acts as a mentor to Gemini and Veil.

Eschewal: Veil’s coddled older stepbrother who makes a living as a journalist and social activist. Cute, adventurous, and everything Veil is not, he and Gemini make quite the pair – and he knows it.

It will be a blast getting to flesh out the rest of our cast of characters. We will start with those above and move on to the rest as our pitch needs them. In the meantime, your continued support, thoughts and critiques are always welcome! If you would like to ask any questions let us know here on the blog, our facebook fan-page, or by e-mailing us at info@thetaffetaspitch.com.

The Future of Our Project


Happy 2014!
This is Tracy writing about our reflection on 2013, our plans for 2014, and a look at our current progress.

2013 was difficult, but we did a lot.
We didn't complete what we expected to this year, but this does not mean our accomplishments aren't noteworthy. With three out of five main characters updated, the last two underway, a new tumblr layout, an insight post, the majority of the winter prizes taken care of or being taken care of, and tons of research poured into the project, we’re happy with our output.

Those who follow us closely know that Yesenia and I are working-artists by day, and Taffetas is a passion project we produce on evenings and weekends. Finding a balance between work, Taffetas, and life is difficult to say the least. 2013 felt like a struggle of constantly trying to find that balance, and not always succeeding!

We appreciate the time and patience everyone gives us on the project- our fans waiting to see more than just drawings, our blog followers, and our 2012 prize winners. Thank you, thank you ALL for sticking with us and encouraging us. Our project is fueled by your well-wishes.

2014 is uncertain, but Taffetas is a given.
Our goals for 2014 are:
• Finish the character updates and concept drawings
• Update our Facebook & Blogger
• Commission Concept/Background artist for “World” illustrations
• Update our written concept

Last post, Yesenia mentioned that there are big changes coming up in our careers and life. We are moving out of our apartment by March, and our future isn’t clear.

But, we will always work on this project

Currently, Yesenia is vectoring Veil for our pitch book.
Since last update, she finished the bicycle image!:


I completed the leading New Year’s image above, and am still researching and developing Sapphire. Keep an eye on our tumblr for sketches to be posted!

Thank you all!
If you would like to ask any questions let us know here on the blog, our facebook fan-page, or by e-mailing us at info@thetaffetaspitch.com.

Dec 2nd Update

Hello Everyone!
This is Yesenia, back from Thanksgiving break with a Taffetas update :)

Real-Talk and Possibilities
This month was an up and down roller coaster of events for us. Tracy and I are talking about moving and pursuing an independent artist lifestyle full-time, or close to it.

For me, this will be a change from my full-time lifestyle with my former employer at Hallmark, but I am excited to put more of an effort into my own art and my design work. My first love is Taffetas, so taking the opportunity to focus more attention on that is rewarding (and a bit scary).

What this means for Taffetas
We will continue our once-a-month schedule, and complete our plans to finish the pitch packet, despite the changes in our personal lives.

What we have been working on so far
Understandably there is a delay in our process, but currently I am finishing vectoring Veil:




and Tracy continues to research myth and folklore as she prepares to draw Sapphire, who seems to be well-received thus far!

Your continued support, thoughts and critiques are always welcome!

If you would like to ask any questions let us know here on the blog, our facebook fan-page, or by e-mailing us at info@thetaffetaspitch.com.

Update November 2-2013 : Veil Vectors, Sapphire Research


Hello! Tracy writing.
Today marks the first post of our new update schedule. We now post our progress every 2nd of the month!
Last update, I showed off my drawings for Veil’s concept art. These images aren’t the final versions though, and co-creator and illustrator/designer Yesenia Carrero is busy at work tweaking and vectoring them. She already released one of the vectored Veil images on tumblr.


Like Gemini and Elena's images before, Yesenia not only fixes things from my original images (like, in this case, we decided to reduce the size of Veil's feet for final concept),  but she is also lays down early exploration work for our proposed style. Personally, I'm excited for what she comes up with. The use of shapes, shading, and sparse lines is fantastic!

Yesenia and I are simultaneously concepting for Sapphire, Gemini’s gargoyless BFF, which includes visual and written research. Yesenia has already pulled together some great visual inspiration for Sapphire.
Images for research purposes only

…and I still have to do mine. But, this was my last two weeks:
I am researching gargoyles, fairies, and elves (and other miscellaneous creatures as I happen across them). Research is on-going, but since I hit the books hard this past month, I’ve learned a lot of information that will lend some inspiration to our fictional cultures and characters, especially as we draw closer to defining our world and writing our pilot episode!
 Your continued support, thoughts and critiques are always appreciated! If you have any questions let us know here on the blog, our facebook fan-page, or by e-mailing us at info@thetaffetaspitch.com

Veil Concept




Veil is Gemini's roommate (and secret crush!). He is an uptight bibliophile who stresses to keep her out of trouble, but usually ends up making her problems worse.


Tracy Writing, and I'm so excited to share with you all the new Veil concept! Like Gemini and Elena, co-creator/artist/designer Yesenia will vector these images to finalize them in the coming weeks and I will move on to concepting Gemini's best friend (and sometimes worst enemy), Sapphire the gargoyless!

What are your thoughts, readers? Do you think Gemini feels weird staying in the same apartment with her crush? Do you think Veil feels weird?! Maybe upset? I'm sure Gemini is a messy roommate, and he looks like a bit of a neat freak.

Next up is Sapphire! Don't forget to keep an eye on our tumblr for updates and sketches, and feel free to tell us what you think in our comments below or on our facebook page.

Progress, Insight Posts, Update Schedule Changes, and a T-shirt

Hello Everyone! 
Tracy writing. Today I have I have a few topics to discuss, including an update on our progress, a recap of your response to our last insight post with a call for ideas of what YOU would have us write about, a change to our update schedule, and something fun: the first ever Taffetas t-shirt.

Our Progress 
 I have 2/3 of Veil's art done! This week I completely redid one of the two images I already finished, in order to make it better. I'm excited to share, and I have one more image to go to complete his set.



A peek at Veil's set

Re: Sharing Your IP Online
Thank you all for your positive feedback on our last insight post, Sharing Your IP Online! We are glad Yesenia's writing reaffirmed your own conclusions, provided helpful copyright law overview, and/or was a push to start sharing work online. We're grateful to all of you who contacted us about the post with thoughts or questions, and to those who shared it with their friends.

We enjoy writing insight posts and are happy you like them, too. Just like Sharing Your IP Online, In our past posts, Yesenia and I wrote about what we personally learned about Character Creation, Finding the Heart of our Story, and Reseaching, to name a few.

This is because, while our blog is meant to be a progress tracker and checkpoint for Yesenia and I, it is also a means to share our journey step-by-step, and talk about what we've learned with the rest of you. We'd like to continue writing insight posts throughout the process of working on the project.

 Are there any topics that you would like us to discuss in a future insight post? Let us know through e-mail, commenting below, or leaving us a message on tumblr or Facebook

Change to Update Schedule
Beginning Wednesday, October 2nd, this production blog will update ONCE A MONTH, on the 2nd of every month, instead of every other Wednesday.  It is my hope that the new schedule will free up some time Yesenia and I would spend worrying about the extra post.


Us, updating the blogger twice a month.


Us, updating the blogger once a month.

Our tumblr will continue to post casually.

Taffetas T-Shirt 
Finally, co-creator Yesenia Carrero created the first ever Taffetas T-shirt using some professional tools she has light access to. She chose to use a recent Veil and Gemini image I created:

How cool is that?! 

Your continued support, thoughts and critiques are always appreciated! If you have any questions let us know here on the blog, our facebook fan-page, or by e-mailing us at info@thetaffetaspitch.com

Sharing your Intellectual Property Online

Hello Everyone,
This is Yesenia! Today I am discussing a topic we are asked frequently on our tumblr and email: Aren’t you afraid of someone stealing your work when you post it online?
Our opinion is this: It is better to share it, than keep it a secret. Sharing our idea online has many perks, and there are several intellectual properties already on the inernet that illustrate the benefits of posting a story online. While the possibility of theft of content exists, an idea or a concept cannot be stolen entirely, and there are ways we can protect our work with copyright law.


Why We Share Our Work Online
Tracy and I feel that sharing our work, rather than trying to keep it safe, has aided us greatly in our journey to bring our story to fruition.

Showing our project online allowed us to:
  • Reach a bigger audience than our small circle of friends
  • Get critiques and feedback from our fans for a more well-rounded viewpoint
  • Meet and speak with other great creators
  • Connect with talent for collaboration
  • Gain interest from different organizations to help us to make the project more successful
  • Document proof of our ownership and content (more on this later...) 
This is not a novel idea. There many independent productions that have come before us; some with content, and some with pitches or concepts like ours that all post their work publicly.

Intellectual Properties on the Internet
We live in a digital age where independent productions are posted online every single day, and the success stories outweigh the cautionary tales. Web comics, e-books, web series, and kickstarter pages alike freely share IP in various forms- from finished content like Lackadaisy Cats and Inverloch, to work-in-progress concepts like Fate Saga, or well, us.

In Example: Aaron Diaz
Aaron Diaz shares his work online.

His passion project, Dresden Codak, is so successful now that he is able to live off of the merchandise. He reports once talking movie deal based on his premise, and recently held an insanely successful kickstarter. His resume doesn't stop there. He also concepted and created  The Clockwork Empire pitch to Nintendo, and possibly received some sort of contact from them.

Aaron's successes com from a lot of hard work and dedication first, but also from posting the work online. 

So Let Your Ideas Shine
 Tom William said it best in his book Get Paid to Write:
“YOU’VE GOT TO SPREAD YOUR IDEAS AROUND. OTHERWISE YOU’RE LIKE A FARMER WHO REFUSES TO SOW HIS SEED FOR FEAR THE BIRDS WILL EAT THEM. HE SUCCEEDED IN PROTECTING HIS FROM THE VAGARIES OF THE NATURAL WORLD, BUT HE ALSO PREVENTED THEM FROM GERMINATING AND BEARING FRUIT. IF YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER, [OR ANY TYPE OF CREATIVE] YOU'VE GOT TO SEND YOUR IDEAS OUT, TOO, OR THEY JUST ROT IN YOUR MIND LIKE THE FEARFUL FARMER'S UNSOWN SEED ARE LIKELY TO DO IN THE BARN.”  

 Without exposure, critique, inspiration, and proof-of-ownership, an idea will wither and die.

Protecting an Idea vs Protecting Content
Most people who contact us about us putting our concept online, express fear over the theft of their idea.

I feel it's common to find artists who have a story in their head, who freely post drawings of settings, characters, and plot points with intentionally vague descriptions to protect their concept. Yet, I feel you are more likely to have trouble with theft of content than theft of an idea

This is because ideas are a dime a dozen, and only the unique interpretation of your idea – your content - is your own.

What is the difference between an idea and content?
I believe this: There are ideas- the concept or the basic premise of your story, and your content - the ways you choose to execute your idea, whether it be through writing, performance, art, etc.
  • Our idea is a story about a protagonist trying to start a new life in a city full of characters from myth and lore
  • Our content is anything we write about our story or the artwork that we post
Through our execution, we keep our idea our own. 

We have been working on this project for some time now- researching, developing our story and making mistakes in the process. We are always learning, and one thing we've come to understand is it’s not just the idea the makes our story, but our spin on it, our style, our characters, and our passion and drive, which only we can replicate.

Protecting Your Interpretation
There are intricacies to IP law that may be confusing. Still, you should try to have a basic understanding of copyright law before you begin to take an idea into the public realm.

Here are some quick facts on U.S Copryright (Since we are based in the US) to get you started.
Copyright protects any tangible form of expression.
Some examples :
  • literary works
  • computer software
  • music
  • choreography
  • images, illustrations and sculptural works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • architectural works & etc
Copyright exists automatically upon creation, and in the US (and many other countries) you do not need notice of copyright for anything created after 1989. It's good practice to still put a © symbol, or some notice, where you can just to inform the pubic.

Under the current laws, copyright protection starts from the moment of creation of the work and continues until 70 years after the death of the author or artist. After that it is considered public domain.

Works not protected by copyright are non-tangible things or works by the Government.
This includes:
  • Ideas, processes & concepts (but written descriptions or illustrations of such things are)
  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans (in "He Walks Alone," by John Doe neither name John Doe nor "He Walks Alone" is subject to copyright. The written contents of the book however are).
  • listings of ingredients or contents
  • Things unrecorded (like an improvised speech that was not written down)
  • commonly available information (info on a calender, or Tuesday for example)
  • and works by the Government
(Keep in mind the above information are things we've learned, and should not be a replacement for your own research.)

 To define what constitutes as stolen work, consider it anytime your artwork is duplicated and/or used without your permission.

Final Thoughts
My hope is this article serves as a talking point for anyone who has a project, is starting one, or just wants to join in on the subject. It is also important to remember that while I can tell you my own experiences and thoughts, it is your decision whether or not to make your content available online.


It is is our opinion that it is better to share your work online, than to hide it away. We live in a digital age, with several online IP success stories to look up to. We encourage you not fear the theft of your idea, but to be knowledgeable and to protect your content through copyright law.

Give Us Your Perspective
Do you have any stories , thoughts, or questions?
Let us know what you think by writing below, emailing us at info@thetaffetaspitch.com, or commenting on our facebook fan page or our tumblr page.

________________________________________

For more opinions on idea theft read :
For more information on USA copyright laws I recommend visiting :
For everywhere else, Google it. (really – there’s a hundred sites out there willing to explain copyright in any country in much better terms than I)

Update 7/24/13 : Third Prize, Veil's Art, & Portfolio

Hello All!
Tracy writing. Today's post is a general update on our progress since last time.

My Progress
I finished the third place prize from our Winter Contest of doomed-dreamer's character, Vihni:


This leaves second place and grand prize for me to do, with the second prize next on my queue. You can check my to-do list at any time to see where I am in my work.

I am also excited that I have a footing on Veil's concept art again.
I started to ink two of his poses, but I've yet to tackle the new "piggyback" drawing since receiving warm critique from followers and friends on my tumblr. Thank you to those who responded!


 I'm going to make this so much better!


Near Future Plans
My goal is to have the two poses I mentioned inked and colored, ready for Yesenia's vector by the end of this month. This will leave the "piggyback" drawing to spill over into early August (which puts me behind my imposed schedule a bit, but I did take an unexpected week-and-a-half hiatus this month).

August will be a busy month for Yesenia and I, though. A piece of mine was selected to appear in an exhibition, and so I am invited to an opening award ceremony/gala in September. On top of that, Yesenia and I purchased reservations for Midoricon in Ohio- just as con-goers, no table - also in September. As such, I  am motivated to get a new demo reel, portfolio, and website finished for these potential networking opportunities. I am expecting that the time to develop my portfolio and branding will take away some time on Taffetas, but I will do my best to stay on track and update everyone accordingly!

No Update This Week- Back From Hiatus/Vacation



 
Hello All,
Tracy here. There will be no progress post this week because I took an unexpected hiatus from the project for a week-and-a-half! I went on vacation, riding the long Independence Day weekend, to visit my parents, and although I usually stress to use vacations from my day job as Taffetas-work time,  I decided I needed a break from the project altogether.

Having had a while to breathe without worrying about self-imposed deadlines and pressures of working creatively while already creatively exhausted, I can say that I feel rejuvenated

As with any long project, my- and our (Yesenia's and my)- inspiration for Taffetas waxes and wanes, but part of doing something great is just sticking with it even when you don't feel like it anymore. That said, there are also moments when you really need time away.

Creatively renewed, I look forward to producing more work for next update - more of Veil's concept art to come!

In the meantime, Thank you all for being so supportive, it is truly all of you who read this blog, comment on the work, and follow our progress who pick me up when I can't take a vacation.

Update 06/26/13


Why hello there!
This is Yesenia Speaking.
Today’s post focuses on Tracy’s artwork and on more of the changes to our social channels.

Working on the Artwork
Tracy is hard at work polishing up the Veil sketches in order to ink and color them.
Most of the sketches are tight enough to be passed onto this stage with the exception of one that is pending critique.

All the while, Tracy is also exploring the side characters Eschewal and Sapphire.


Changes to the blog and Facebook.

Last post, I mentioned some things that I needed to fix on our social channels, like making the information consistent in all 3 channels. My attention will now be placed on getting a character bio page for Gemini, Elena, Veil, and the other characters as we complete them.

Any help is appreciated!
How do you like the newest look to our characters?
Is there anything on our blog, tumblr, or facebook you want changed or find confusing?
Send us any critiques or comments by writing below, or through our tumblr, facebook, or by emailing us at info@thetaffetaspitch.com.

Update 6/12/13



Hello everyone!
This is Yesenia speaking. These last two weeks were a doozy- trying to fit Taffetas work between getting my teeth pulled and celebrating my birthday (Thank you to everyone who wished me a speedy recovery and a happy birthday), but after spending a little more than a week recooperating, great friends & and a bit too much icecream cake, I am happy to get back into the swing of things again.
Still smiling from all the sweet food and sweet people tho

Today's post is a small one, mostly focusing on the artwork Tracy's creating and the upcoming fixes to our social channels.
An Update to Veil - continued...
Our last post highlighted a lot of the pre-work that Tracy did in order to explore Veil's structure and posing. Continuing along that mindset, Tracy developed a solid pose for the pitch book and some pretty cute expressions along the way.




One of the critiques we ran into with Veil when we first pitched him was that he came off too harsh and villainous.
As Tracy continues to adjust his proportions, and explore his expressions and design, we found he's become a lot more likable...which we want!
 I like to imagine this is our rating system.
Somewhere 3/4's of the way down is where we like Veil

Tiny Tweaks to Facebook and Blogger
Some time ago a massive overhaul of our tumblr was made, editing the layout and design to fit The Taffetas look. Keeping in stride with updating one of our social channels small parts of the Facebook and blogger will be changing in the next few days. 

While a lot of little things will change here or there, some things you can expect:
  • Edits to our information sections in all our channels -keeping things consistant
  • Edits to links and interface within blogger
  • A Character Bio Page - (characters added we complete the artwork)
  • Edits to our Facebook Tabs
  • & misc minor bug fixes overall

Feedback plz
What are some things that you would to see updated or worked on? How do you feel about Veil? Send us and critiques, comments or questions by writing below, or through our tumblr, facebook, or by emailing us at info@thetaffetaspitch.com.

Veil Artwork Progress


Hello!
Tracy speaking. Today I'm sharing my progress with Veil's Concept Art.
Progress this month was pretty good, which is a relief since I decided to start over on his concept sketches once again.

I re-evaluated some small details in his conceptual design this month.
Among these details are his hair:



His hands/feet size proportions (see if you can spot the minute size differences, ugh):



And a better understanding of his new bunny ears in 3-D space:



My goal is to better understand Veil's proportions and shapes so that he is more appealing. It also makes drawing him easier, which in turn allows me to find the perfect poses to express his personality easier.

A pose for pitch book, tight sketch.


Here's where you can help!
Send us any critiques or comments by writing below, or through our tumblr, facebook, or by emailing us at info@thetaffetaspitch.com.
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