Making my way

April 29, 2009

Been a while since I posted. I’ve been quite busy with a number of projects, many completely outside of the art world, but I’ve been busy with that too. I’ve become an Art Contributor to the staple Open Source game Battle for Wesnoth. Below are two pieces of mine that have been accepted into mainline and one that is a WIP but will be mainlined soon I hope. Expect many more of these in the future. Wesnoth is a great project that is starting to really shine artistically.

Secondly, I’ve been working quite hard on a new project. The idea behind it is that I will create a number of “Item Packs”, packs of 15 to 20 item illustrations that can be used freely for Game Prototyping, Equipment dialogues and other game uses, or be used for tabletop games as normal illustrations. I have one pack done, and am near completing another two. When they are done I am going to give copyrighted sneak peeks of the images, and set a ransom that once met will gradually make the licensing more and more permissive as money is raised for each pack. I’m hoping this will be away to contribute to open source game art while allowing me to make a little income to put towards classes and workshops so I can better do concept work for Open Source games. Here are a few from the Modern, Fantasy and Survival Horror packs:


Finally I have been trying my hand at concept art for a game called PARPG. It’s a post apocalyptic game based on the FIFE engine, whats especially interesting about it is that it takes place during a nuclear winter which allows for a whole new take on the costuming of the characters, since most PA fiction takes place in a desert setting. Expect a great deal more of this plus models from what I’ve made as they are completed.



September 29, 2008

These are some simple prints I made over the summer. I wanted them to be graphic and simple. The other (the turtle) was a piece I did as part of Monothon 14, and was a counterpart to another piece of a mammoth I did which was auctioned as part of the Monothon to raise funds for the Riverside Art Museum. All images are under a CC-By License. Contact me if you’d like better photographs. Each of the three color piece is a series of 9 and can be purchased for 50 dollars or 75 dollars framed. The turtle can be purchased for 100 dollars or 150 framed.

Sci-Fi Game Art

July 26, 2008

Well, I devised a simple way of creating some relatively cool looking little planet images that might be useful as game art. I really liked making them and I made about 20 total. I figured I would put them up here and see if anyone wanted to use them. All of them are relatively small (only 300×300) and they’re all released under a Creative Commons- Attribution license. Following are some thumbnails of a few of the images, this is roughly half of all of them. You can go to my Photobucket album to get them all at full size.

EDIT: As requested, I have made all the source files for the planets available as .xcf’s so anyone with a copy of the GIMP can eliminate the backgrounds and have the planets on a transparent background or they edit what already exists and make something new. Hope people get some use out of them.

My first stab at Typeface Design

July 23, 2008

So, I have been pretty fascinated with Typography and Type design for a while now. So much so that I actually drool a little when I look at some of the old fonts like Nobel, Microgramma and others. It had always been something on the back-burner. Another of the long list of skills I would have to pick up when I had more time. But I found this site Fontstruction, that has a neat (if a little buggy) Web Based modular typeface design app. What you can make with it is somewhat limited, and curves are difficult and never really look smooth. But it is great for creating blocky, angular, or just plain wacky typefaces. I’ve been playing with it off and on over the past couple weeks, and below are the Fonts I’ve created so far (all of which are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license).

The first I made was my attempt at a thing designer style font. Success was mixed, but I think someone could find use in it

Troy Thin

Then, when I realized what the application was best at, I thought I’d play to it’s strengths and whirlwinded out this one in a couple hours. It’s a soviet style font that I think many people could find use of.

Red Menace

and a variation on it…

Red Menace Outline

When you look at them, there is a little arrow on the lower right of the flash box, if you click that and drag it to “Show Pixel Preview”, it gives you a better overall look at the Typeface. Anyways, like I said, they’re all licensed CC-By, so I hope someone can find some use in them, and I must say, I have Font Forge sitting in my applications, and this has really been an inspiration to pick it up and try and make some typefaces with it.

A sampling of my work

June 22, 2008

I thought I’d load a few images to show the progress I’ve made so far with my work. This is all figure drawing stuff, as the figure is on of my artistic passions. Later I’ll post a couple of Illustrations I did.

p.s. all of these images are released under a CC-by license, but they’re all lo-res for the purposes of space and loading time, so if anyone wants a better copy, just contact me.

More can be seen here. All of them CC-By.

Creative Commons Patronage

June 19, 2008

Hi, my name is Justin Nichol and over the past few years I have become extremely interested in and enamored of Free and Open-Source Software and Open-Content Media. I was recently accepted into the Fall 2008 Term of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena as an Illustration major. Part of the reason I hope to attend an Art School is so that I can use the skills I gain there to create media that bolsters and aids those causes I see as worthwhile. I hope to not only gain an income through my education but also the tools to enrich the commons and public domain. I hope to enter the Entertainment Arts track and as such I would be gaining vital skills that could be used in the creation of Open-Content: Illustration, Sequential Art (comics), Animation, Film, Video Games and Design.

My Fondest Hope is to use the skills and knowledge I gain to aid in Creative Commons media projects, and help espouse the ideals of Free Cooperation and Gift Economy. And I am not alone. I have seen the Open Source and Creative Commons communities generate large amounts of money and pour hours and hours upon labors of love and have myself tried to aid wherever I was able in these cause.

Now somewhat unfortunately, the art school I’ll be attending is quite expensive (but worth it), and I am not wealthy. So I struck upon an idea. Why not ask the Open-Source and Open-Content community to act as my patrons. Why not ask my community to sponsor my education in some small part, not only so that I will be catalyzed into creating more Open-Content Art, but also so that when I graduate I will have far less in loans to pay off and therefore will be able to put far more effort into working on what is really important to me, but which may not pay well enough at all to handle loans and living expenses. So if you like the idea, and you like the art I’ll be posting to this blog to document my progress than please consider Donating to my education.

Also, please feel free to offer suggestions of pieces I should work on, projects I should contribute to, or ways that I could engage in Fund Drives. I intend to prove my worth to the Open-Content and Copyleft community, and I’m always open to ideas on how I can please you , my patrons, my community.