MAIJIN New Gen For The Future and Beyond

By Architecture, Branding, Concept Art, Creativity, Design Resources, Digital Marketing, Drawing, Freelancing, Graphic Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Logo Design, Maijin Artwork No Comments

The MAiJiN brand ecosystem has been completely overhauled across the online and offline spectrum. Numerous changes have befallen the current creative industry and emerging markets are starting to materialize for the future. For the past year, I’ve engaged in hot fixes and patches on my web platforms to account and adapt to the evolving landscapes, but some months ago, it was evident my entire brand architecture was reaching critical mass where it was beginning to erode effectiveness and pinch my performance, which ultimately would pulverize sustainable growth for the ecosystem I’ve built for over a decade and must continue to manage for the future. With that said, the website design has been redeveloped and rebuilt from scratch with a more salient conversion-oriented design, brand language and positioning, color palette, headshots, and the site performance has been significantly improved with less coagulated code. In addition, is expanding into offering cryptocurrencies, block-chain platforms, and NFTs. My team and I are developing a massive infrastructure and assets to house and distribute into the coming metaverse which I will announce by the end of this year.

Always strive to be better than the person you were yesterday, and always seek to make a platform that you can build your future upon. I am ready to continue the daily the mission and the long drive toward the vision of my future.

…check this space.

Graphic Artist vs Graphic Designer | How To Find The Difference

By Blogging, Creativity, Drawing, Graphic Art, Graphic Design, How To, Illustration, Logo Design, Typography No Comments

The role of a graphic artist vs graphic designer is normally mentioned in the same context as if they have the same meaning and disciplines – many of my first-time clients usually ask for a graphic designer, but after a consultation with them, I’ve often found they’re looking to find a graphic artist instead. Although the two creative types do share some similarities, they are very different in several ways, and each profession has its own distinct methods and purpose. So how to find the difference you ask? Let’s talk about it!

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Have You Seen The Book Of Eli?

By Blogging, Creativity, Graphic Art

Studying many film books as of late–one book in particular continually praised the skillful execution of the film, ‘THE BOOK OF ELI’ (Denzel Washington). At first I couldn’t grasp the reasons behind all the favorable appraisal and critical interest, because as I recalled from my viewing of it a few years back, my impressions of the movie were of disappointment and boredom. Mainly due to the deceptive marketing campaign which seemed to promise a high-octane gritty action film akin to a ‘I Am Legend’ or ‘Road Warrior’ leading up to its release date. But given that I held the author in high regard for his expertise and knowledge of cinema, I felt the film deserved a second viewing to examine if there was something I missed the first time…

…and Oh Boy! I missed A LOT!

From the edgy editing cuts, quiet but powerful soundtrack, stylish cinematography, and narrative caveats. I have to say…IT’S MY NEW FAVORITE FILM! Also, it was quickly evident that my own personal disappointment of not getting the movie i expected the first time, clouded my thinking and receptiveness to the subtle elegance of this film’s execution. I mean the revelation of Eli’s handicap revealed at the end blew my mind so profoundly that a shock-wave of images and scenes rushed inside my mind and collided into a perfect understanding behind the cinematography choices, gestures, and character building moments I overlooked before. This made me smile from ear to ear–not out of laughter, but as an acknowledgment of a whole new level of respect for the filmmakers execution and Denzel’s BRILLIANT performance.

Should Visual Artists Study Classic Films To Improve?

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Should artists and designers study films to add to their vault of visual concept and style?
Absolutely! You may need to leave earth or even this dimension to find an artist who is not using film as reference or inspiration in their art-making.  There is just as much to be learned from a great film as there are from classical paintings, because the aims are nearly identical despite them being categorically distinct in their execution. A great film has high-end acting and compelling character development, just as a great painting has a well conceived character whom exhibits a real reaction in the scene they exist within. Whether it illustrated by a human or by a pencil, the conveyance of believable emotions and the development of a character through those emotions and visual representation is paramount in our connection to the art, no matter the format.

Make no mistake, most of your favorite directors are visual artists in private, such as James Cameron who did not attend an art school, but had art skills, presumably from his mother who worked as a part-time artist. Cameron illustrated much of the preliminary concept art and designs for most of his films, Terminator, Avatar, and even did all of the famed (Jack Dawson) drawings for Titanic (yes even that nude portrait of Rose. lol). While our favorite dark visionary, Tim Burton, attended the California Institute of the Arts and delved deep into his art education and even recently exhibited his artwork from many of his films at LACMA museum in Los Angeles, CA. Oh and Yes! Even our favorite popcorn action directors, Zack Snyder (Man of Steel and 300) and Michael Bay (Transformers and Bad Boys I + II) both attended the renowned Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and were ironically classmates…(A.D.D. moment) by the way, is it just me or did anyone else notice they have the same dark visual flamboyance and almost insipid yearning to punctuate every 10 minute time mark with blowing shit up? Do you think it would increase my traffickers if every couple of lines I just wrote BOOM! Lol.

Although film is the latest iteration of visual communication, until video games overtake the film industry entirely in innovation over the next 10 years, artists should study filming techniques on a visual level, same as they indulge in the classical education of art from the Renaissance-era, to Egyptian hieroglyphics, to the Venus of Willendorf, down to archaic cave paintings. Isn’t one of the chief reasons we love Stanley Kubrick and Akira Kurosawa are their consistent gestures of cinematic reverence for the arts? Aren’t the fundamental principles of art so apparent in their most iconic movies that it would be absurd to try to convince any creatively sound person that Kurosawa’s Rashomon or Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange were not visually opulent with well developed characters? We can even go so far as to say that if you were to take screen-shot stills from many of their films you would have a beautifully executed photograph with great composition and emotional/visual narrative.

One of my favorite directors to study and pull ideas from is Steven Spielberg; his style of film-making is sort of like mashing up Alfred Hitchcock with Normal Rockwell. I found this fantastic article published by CG Art Freak on the legendary techniques of one of history’s best filmmakers, Steven Spielberg.

GREAT resource, check it out!

Thanks for reading.


Man Of Steel Review

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MAN OF STEEL. A lot of us have fiercely devoted ourselves to the myth of superheroes as they have always given a reality to our wildest dreams, whether it is flying amongst the stars or standing courageously in the face of a crippling fear. We love superheroes in that they have always exemplified an ambitious reflection of ourselves. Therefore, it is of no surprise that the creative minds behind films such as The Dark Knight Trilogy and Watchmen made a concerted effort to focus on the MAN underneath the legend, mixing many permutations of the canon narrated/visualized in comics, and adapted it on the big screen like never seen before. According to director Zack Snyder, this was to be an examination of Clark to not only relate him (and superman) more to moviegoers, but also to inject reality into an otherwise fantastical world, a formula which turned The Dark Knight into a billion dollar franchise. Does Man of Steel succeed? The answer is more of a ‘No’ than a Yes.

It is interesting that many directors and writers have avoided Superman movies, as it is difficult to exhibit real emotional weakness or physical danger due to the character’s inherent God-like abilities and undeterred moral high ground. So yes, Man of Steel is successful in its unapologetic depiction of Clark’s moral infallibility as a reluctant hero who questions the legitimacy of his birthright and it offers many adrenaline-charged moments of action with exceptional fight sequences, though at times TOO CG-heavy. However, M.O.S. fails considerably for the very same purpose it was first created…Character Development. Both writer and director explained that their aim was to show the development of a ‘MAN’ (Clark Kent and kal-el) who discovers he is an alien with extraordinary powers. It was to be a pure re-imagining of the brand superman by exposing the difficult choices and inner struggles of Clark Kent/kal-el, which is why the moniker of ‘Superman’ is hardly mentioned in the movie.

Unfortunately, much of the audience will be left scratching their head as to who exactly are these re-imagined characters and should we even care about them. Much of the scenes that were ripe to develop the main character’s personalities to give the audience SOME emotional attachment were either rushed through or given to the supporting cast to make us care more about them. Without great character development or understanding, it really desensitizes the audience in caring if these
characters live or die. We are unclear if we should like or even care about the Clark and Lois character in M.O.S., all we know is Clark is striving to be a good guy because his father told him to and Lois is tenacious… is that enough? Hell No! I would argue the only person who had proper character development was General Zod because we knew of his personality and his purpose. We can empathize more with Zod’s cause and resolve to destroy earth more than we actually want to champion or root for superman’s willingness to save it. The only emotion resonated throughout the film was pain, and while it definitely was something never before seen in live action incarnations of superman, the film should have dived into more examples on his interpretation of his pain. It would have been substantive to show the audience more interactions, instead of the brief scenes of bullying or parental advisory, so we can get a sense of his personality/purpose and not simply JUST his morality.

M.O.S. was expected to be a re-imagining of a popular icon and it was on many levels, but so many plot holes and unexplained happenings leave us to only fill in the blanks with the familiar references of previous stories/films, which damage the intent to re-brand superman. Snyder has said the intention with M.O.S. was to make the character more better to relate to for a new generation, he succeeded in relating Clark’s pain and anguish a way moviegoers never experienced on screen. However, he
failed in that he made superman so hard to relate to as a person and as a hero that I doubt the audience, even in his martyrdom, would feel anything close to sadness if doomsday were to show up in the sequel.

I hope they balance out the character development as much as the action in the next installment.


Man Of Steel Soundtrack Soars With Superhuman Sound.

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Man Of Steel. If you haven’t guessed by my numerous posts on nearly every social media platform made available to me, I am a HUGE superman fan. I’ve been following the details of this reboot VERY closely since the talks first became public shortly after the conclusion of the Dark Knight Trilogy. From the beginning, I’ve witnessed Warner Bros make some of the best casting and production choices they’ve made in YEARS (aside from batsy). I was thrilled that Christoper Nolan came on board to produce the project and immobilized his old Dark Knight team to tackle the task, because Warner Bros would’ve been deranged to allow Nolan to ride off into the sunset after his groundbreaking stint of Batman. He’s shown that he has the best poker hand at the directors table when you think of how many filmmakers have failed to bring realistic stories to fantastical figures. I think we’d have to acknowledge that Christopher Nolan has the best instinct of tapping into contemporary pop culture more than any other singular director right now. Just look at Nolan’s decisions in the crew he assembled? He enlisted Zack Snyder (dawn of the dead, watchmen, 300, etc) who has proven that he is top tier visual storyteller. Along with a wish-list cast of highly respected actors, production and visual effects teams, it was easy to assume that this film was going to be a really solid effort. But it didn’t really hit me like ‘Okay This Is Going To Be EPIC!’ until it was announced that Hans Zimmer was cast as the film’s Composer. Hans Zimmer, Second to only John Williams, is one of the very best and most versatile film composers in the industry. I’ve always wondered how does he sonically travels from autumn meadows (gladiator) to colossal skyscrapers (dark knight) while still finding fresh sounds that move a narrative and characterize the emotions of the characters? He continues to mix these elements with his latest effort as the composer of the ‘Man OF Steel‘ soundtrack? My favorite track off the deluxe soundtrack, titled ‘Hans Original Sketchbook,’ is a 28 minute long tapestry of mundane and futuristic sounds which we can only assume was in fact his ‘sketchbook’ or a non-sequenced palette of music which was later divided/refined into single tracks. Whatever the hell it is…ITS BRILLIANT!

You can purchase the man of steel soundtrack on amazon music.


Why Illustrators, Designers, Artists Create Art Work Anyway?

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Why illustrators, designers, artists create art work is not a simple answer. It’s no coincidence that most people who speak of their dream ‘9 to 6’ job, the answers are typically tethered around some variation of the arts. Just take a moment and think about how many people have revealed their desire to become graphic illustrators, designers, concept artists, musicians, painters, models, dancers, writers, or even athletes on a professional level. Lost count yet? ALL those endeavors exemplify a chance to professionally stretch the creative legs of the human spirit and express our individuality. It is our purpose; a purpose we often complicate by our disbelief in our own POWER of influence. We are on this earth to collectively inspire the human spirit and we normally deliver that influence through creation, whether it’s through interaction or a result of our own creative expression.

Simple observation would tell us that our reasons for creation may be anchored in emotional rehabilitation, thoughts of grandeur, or simply a love for aesthetic and appealing visuals. But, I’d argue that a more cogent and powerful perspective would be our spiritual need to touch people’s lives by sharing our gifts. The idea that you can impact and inspire your audience(s) with work that is true to your soul… is an indescribable emotion. A feeling which can only inspire you to create MORE because you have renewed resolve that you can affect people. We create to share. We try to convey a piece of ourselves, a scent of our consciousness, and a seed of our ideas to the world in hopes that will give growth and inspiration to not only value ourselves but appreciate the value in others.
So thank you to everyone who continues to inspire me with your thoughts and positive feedback, and I will continue to share as i hope you will also, so we can keep sending out positive vibes to everyone.