Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas time is here!

I've been so busy in the past month! Working, working working! I will have the reviews I promised about the Yoga Hands after the holidays as I have much baking, drawing and Christmas cards to do! 

I hope that you all have a safe, wonderful and warm Christmas time this year and that you find yourself loved, warmed and full of delight no matter where you are in the world! 

Our Christmas is small but we do a nice dinner, have our closest friends over and have some time in front of tv watching Christmas movies! 

My favourite movies for Christmas are: Scrooged, Christmas Vacation, Harry Potter and the the Prisoner of Azkaban (winter time) Robot Chicken's Christmas Special, Elf and Star Wars! Ok...Star Wars isn't Christmas although I do love the Empire Strikes back because a lot of it takes place on the ice planet of Hoth. 

My favourite Christmas music/songs: Sarah McLachlan Wintersong, Carol of the Bells, Little Drummer Boy, Do You Hear What I Hear, and the Nutcracker Suite. 

Geek much? I think yes. Geek is the new black and I look amazing in black. 

I will be busy getting into my new Urban Decay make-up products, gingerbread, Photoshop and Card making! 

Cheers friends! 

Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review: Gunnar Optiks for Graphics work


Gunnar Optiks lenses are made for those who stare at a screen for hours on end for either games or work. I was already sold on the idea years ago when I found their booth at PAX Prime 2010 and tried a pair on. They were amazing! 

Gunnar Optiks Lenses: 
  • Reduces eye strain 
  • Improves visual environment
  • Improves detail and focus
  • Reduce eye fatigue
  • Available in prescription lenses

And.... they came in only yellow - for gaming. :/ Not good for any sort of graphics artist who works in colour. So... I waited and behold! The Crystalline series was created and became available! I tried on a pair at PAX 2012 and was sold. They were comfortable, attractive, light as air on my face and instantly made my eyes feel more relaxed. 

After practically throwing my $80 to the salesman, I took my newfound set of Sheadog Crystalline glasses to school to see if they would do the job they claimed. I was in school 5 full days a week, 8 classes per week, for 3 years straight (not including home time on the computer after school for endless hours of homework). 

Gunnar Optiks Crystalline Lenses in Sheadog style frames.

And the big answer: YES.

After using them for a 8 hours straight staring at a computer screen, I noticed that my eyes were considerably happier, unstrained and that I no longer had a headache at the end of the day. Even the frames sit so nicely on my face and nose that I didn't even notice they were there most of the time. Now I have 20/15 vision (technically superior vision) and I don't wear glasses other than sunglasses so wearing glasses indoors all day was something that i'm not used to doing. Being a mature adult, it's important to me to take care of my eyes since being a digital artist requires decent vision. 

For the price of $80 US for a pair of these gorgeous Sheadogs, it's a more than reasonable investment on your eyes, which if not taken care of will cost you big in deterioration over the years and with that, hundreds to thousands of dollars in restorative surgeries and laser treatments.


How long have I been wearing them? 1 year.

Do Gunnar Optiks Crystalline lenses live up to the claims? YES.

Is the price reasonable? YES.

Would I recommend these glasses for graphic artists? YES.

I am happy to wear my Gunnars with pride every day knowing that I am helping to reduce the wear on my eyes due to my chosen profession of digital artist. I can't recommend them enough especially being so reasonably priced.

So head on over to Gunnar Optiks and check out their fabulous products and try some for yourself!



Next review: Yoga Hands

Monday, November 4, 2013

On the subject of Computer Gear...

If you don't know me, I am a professional illustrator and therefore spend hours and hours in front of two computer screens while I work.

After trying out a few products over the past 6 months, it's of interest to me to share these products and my opinions with you.

I will be reviewing one product per week and welcome any comments or opinions on the said products mentioned in the next few blogs.

Products up for review:

Gunnar Optiks - Crystalline Glasses (made clear for digital work with colour)

Stay Tuned! 

Cheers, J

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Imagine FX Image of the Day!

What an amazing surprise! My White Queen of Narnia made Imagine FX's image of the day! :D Read the article here: Imagine FX Image of the Day.

If you don't know, Imagine FX is the best Fantasy Sci-Fi artist magazine around. Comes from England so they can be pretty pricey ($20 CAN) but the subscriptions always have a really good deal attached to them. It truly is my fave magazine so it was so nice to be featured!

p.s. Sorry for the slack in posting... been busy busy busy with upcoming projects!

Cheers, J

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Expbar meets the Fifth Element

EXP Restaurant and Bar in Vancouver, B.C. is THE place to go if you are game... or rather... a GAMER. It's my favorite place to go in the city as gamers can unite, drink and be happy as we are all cut from the same cloth. Wether you're a PC, tabletop, console gamer... this is the place to feel at home. facebook.com/expbar

Best place in Vancouver, BC!

Beautifully decorated with retro and currently recognizable pieces from so many games, the inside is like walking into a fun-inspired lounge with a lot of badassery on the walls. The service is awesome, the food is not only unique and super delicious but also aptly named, the drinks are delectable and the atmosphere is cozy, colourful, ambient and warm. 

Connor of Assassin's Creed 3 and various game elements of the bar.

EXP recently celebrated it's 1st Birthday in September and I was inspired to create a fun illustration to express my thanks and love for the entire restaurant. 

"We'll see you in the future." by Jaime Gervais

I wanted to create something highly detailed, fun, with a lot going on that represented EXP in the awesomeness that it is. I was inspired by the brilliant movie "The Fifth Element" to make the lunch scene in Corbin's apartment look as though he was patronizing an EXP floating boat restaurant like Mr. Kim's in the movie. The title "We'll See you in the Future" is my way of expressing my belief in the idea of EXP and that it will survive beyond any of us and continue to serve the gamer nation in the future.

First Sketch of concept.

Corbin and Mr. Kim from The Fifth Element.

Kickass Bartender Zander Davison at EXP.

By adding elements from the bar (Connor of Assassin's Creed, Retro Lancer of Gears of War, Portal's turret, the actual bar (bottles), the points machine etc.) it was a fun exploration of placement, lighting and overall foreground to background environment creating. I really wanted to show LeeLoo as though it were a continuation after the movie and they were happy together, enjoying a drink with Corbin's cat "Sweetie". It was a labour of love and I can't wait to do more fan art of the like.

Happy Birthday, EXP! 

A precious and most memorable day indeed. Wrapped in Avengers gift wrap, owners: Brian Vidovic, Julianna Kolakis, James Higuchi and Miranda Higuchi unwrapped my surprise gift and were delighted with smiles and laughs! They were really touched by the gift as it was solely painted exclusively for them, the staff and its fine patrons, immortalizing the style of EXP with a beloved cult movie. 

My art on the wall of EXP! 
Now whenever I go to my beloved restaurant... I am delighted and proud to have my artwork on their wall for everyone to see and remember such amazing times. It truly is days like that where I feel and know that being an artist in this life is truly my calling...and a blessing. 

Thank you EXP for giving this shut-in artist/gamer girl a place to go and feel utterly accepted and welcome. *HUG-SPLOSIONS*

Cheers, J

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Takeover - the story behind the illustration

This illustration was inspired from the widely popular table top game Magic the Gathering by Wizards of the Coast. I wanted to tell a story where the main character has been committed and obviously hostile and a danger to himself and others (scars). In this case, he is obsessed with necromancy (dark magic) and the significant glyphs that occur in written spells and incantations of the like. The wall drawings and scarification reveals his obsessive behavior and that he is loyal to the darkness within the power of the glyphs to the extent that he has in essence made himself a vehicle for the spell itself. 

After all of his efforts to raise this said dark magic, he finally succeeds in invoking the spirit when he is free from all attachment in a place where he is alone in the dark with only himself and bound. 

The small parchment (given to him by an insider or servant of the darkness) acts as a portal and with speaking aloud the incantation inscribed, the magic is released and thus flows to the spellcaster. 

Now the man's journey through dark magic has found him a place as a servant in the house of the Dark Spirits behind the glyphs as he is now being taken over by the light of the magic within the spell.

This is an undeniably dark piece that was inspired by wanting to illustrate the action of the story. To capture that moment in time where cause meets effect where transformation would soon occur. 

I paid much attention to lighting as It really is key when telling a story. My references were some generic and royalty free stock and from the wonderful Daestock. Photoshop was used for the entirety of this work. I hope that you enjoy this slice of darkness as it was a great experience to create. 

Cheers, Jaime 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Got Pinterest?

What a cool way to zone out, fill your mind with collections of incredible visuals, collect your favourite things and share them with your friends. I found out the power of Pinterest when I thought I would just pin a 'few' things to a board or two when it turned out to be about 2.5 hrs of pinning. 

We are such visually responsive people. I love my boards. They are my own personal collections of things that I consider to be extraordinarily beautiful in my eyes. I also appreciate the option of wether or not I want to share my 'visions' with the world. 

Visiting other people's boards is like stepping into their own personal worlds with things that make them happy or inspired. 

I have started a few boards, some with my childhood toys (didn't realize how spoiled I was for toys until I started collecting), purple things (favorite colour), beautiful places etc. 

Some of my art is also posted on there as well: 

WARNING: Excessive pinning could result in loss of time and higher than normal serotonin levels.

Do you have a really inspiring or unique Pinterest board that you would like to share? Please feel free to post links in the comments section as I would love to see them! 

Add me! And I'll add you! 

Cheers! J

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bobby Chiu and The Perfect Bait

So I'm always on the lookout for bits of advice, experiences, ideas and stories relating to the freelance art world and maintaining one's own career. One little gem in particular is Bobby Chiu's book called, "The Perfect Bait". It's incredible. I would recommend it to anyone in the freelance art business wholeheartedly. You can purchase it on iTunes as an app you can either read or listen to.

I can't get enough of listening to him talk about how he managed to succeed in the industry throughout many walls, roadblocks and downright bad things happening to him. His persistence, positive attitude and open mind is what got him where he is today: a multi-talented business man, artist, teacher and supporter of the arts.

His online school called: Schoolism.com is a fabulous place to pick and choose what you would like to learn and have access to the videos with absolute golden content from other successful artists currently working in today's industry. You can learn live or watch the pre-recorded sessions and also send in your work and receive video feedback.

One of the main reason's I appreciate Bobby Chiu is that he once had a time in his life where he didn't know where to go with his art nor what to do about it so he consulted a good artist friend of his who spoke to him for over an hour. Within that time, Bobby had a clear idea of how to begin and where to go with his work to the point where it became a life-changer. He was so appreciative of this gesture that he asked his friend if he could repay him somehow. His friend didn't want any compensation but suggested to Bobby that when he finds a time in his life where he is successful in his career, for him to give back and help other artists find their way through the art world. This is Bobby's way of repaying his friend and also giving back to the world that he loves so much!

You can find Bobby's book/app here: http://www.theperfectbait.com/about.php

The Perfect Bait

You can find schoolism here: http://www.schoolism.com/


Happy Learning! :D