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March 19, 2012
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Draw it Again - Nova by will-Ruzicka Draw it Again - Nova by will-Ruzicka
So back in 2007 I did the image on the left for the cover of Tokyopop's Rising Stars of Manga vol. 5 for which myself and writer, Erick Melton, won 'Best Horror Story' for our comedy romance story called at the time Gagaku Berceuse, and would later be changed to Ghost Ensemble.

While putting together that lineup I posted a few days ago, I was going through a lot of old art for it on my machine and found this one. Decided it would be fun to update the picture and see if I've gotten any better. There are still flaws, but I like the new one.
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kimnarsete Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Professional Filmographer
The lighting on the hair in the second one is more subtle and beautiful
will-Ruzicka Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Thanks. I hope the second one is better in all regards, actually. XD
mishihime Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is really amazing. I remember reading about the Rising Stars of Manga Contest when it first started and I always wanted to participate, but of course I was too young and too... bad at the time. Did things work out for you after the contest? I heard a lot of comic artists, refuse to sign contracts with big publishers and go indie because a lot of them got screwed. I've heard a lot of interesting rumors about Tokyopop in general, did you enjoy working with them?
will-Ruzicka Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Things kind of unraveled after winning a chance to do a series. Mostly because of my own unease from talking to other artists who had completed their three books that were then sat on by TP and never published. I was also growing tired of where I was in life and in my career, and refocused my attention on school which has led to me working for Nickelodeon on Legend of Korra... So I guess personally things worked out well. But I'm a little sad I never made the time to finish or even really begin this piece.
mishihime Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, I wish I could have seen what things were like when you were building your career. I have an interest in manga and anime too, especially character design and concept art but i'm not sure what my focus should be, so I have delayed going back to school. I never thought i'd be good with animation and that i'd be better suited for illustration. However, I find myself developing stories myself more and more so perhaps I should pursue animation? The problem is that no one seems to respect or take my anime (or cartoon) drawings seriously compared to my semi realistic work. I know many artists in the past who have felt they need to give up cartooning altogether in their portfolios. It really is disappointing. However, it is inspiring to see someone with similar interests succeeding and working on a very popular and well produced animation like Korra. Congrats to you for getting such an amazing position. You must have a really impressive portfolio.

It's a shame you are so busy with work that you have no time to satisfy such a long developed personal project. I can understand that feeling well. Perhaps, one day when you find yourself with more time you could do a short one shot abridged version of the story and print it independently. I bet you could even run a kickstarter and go all out on the project, even with your old buddy if you really wanted too.
will-Ruzicka Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Professional Filmographer
My early days starting out were not very glamorous. I worked in an office to barely pay my bills, and during lunch breaks and free time after work I would try and draw the comic books I was working on with my friend. It was slow going and not paying very well. I used to tell myself I couldn't make it in animation and there was nowhere for me. Mainly because I liked drawing in an anime influenced style and people told me I would not be wanted.

I would say to you, draw what you like to draw and set goals. Large goals and smaller goals that lead to that larger one. If you want to work in animation, set that as the large goal, and then set smaller goals that lead you there. If anatomy is tricky for you, take a lot of life drawing classes and do lots of practice on that. Study youtube videos of people moving around. Then choose your next weak point and focus on that. Take classes, try out for internships.

As for the comics... I do like the idea of resurrecting one or two of my old comics and maybe doing it as a web thing. But I just don't have the time for it now. And I would need to consult with my colleague who wrote them.
TheNELL Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The outlines look much improved - I like outlines which have a translucent blend with the adjacent colour scheme. I also think that fabric manufacturing has improved so form fitting clothing had probably changed composition of the clothing of the characters a lot since half a decade.
will-Ruzicka Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional Filmographer
TheOctopusMan Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012
What was Ghost Ensemble about?
will-Ruzicka Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012  Professional Filmographer
A borderline shut in attending a music college learns to live his life after falling in love with the ghost of a dead Japanese girl whose spirit is attached to a Shamisen he received as a gift.
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