I’m proud to announce my new Kickstarter with writer Tevis Thompson!

It’s called Second Quest, and it’s a comic book inspired by Zelda. It’s an original story about a young woman from a small town in the sky who begins to suspect that the legends about her home aren’t true.

Please visit our Kickstarter page to learn more!

We launched this morning and we’re off to a fantastic start. Thank you to everyone who is jumping on board, and spreading the word!

Leading up to this thrilling and terrifying moment we have received so much encouragement and good council. We could not have dreamed up more talented and generous friends. There are a few people I want to mention specifically who made huge material differences to our project.

Ryan O’Donnell of Area 5 directed, shot, and edited our video, which is the most important part of our appeal. He is a close friend who totally got what we’re trying to do and knew just how to articulate the story in video form. He made time in an incredibly busy schedule and the result is just awesome.

Shawne Benson and Timothy Gregory composed the music that appears in the video. Their compositions perfectly convey the emotion of the story, our fondness for the old games and our excitement about this new thing we are creating. They worked fast and in good spirits and we couldn’t be doing this without them.

Greg Rice is a close friend and one of the top Kickstarter experts. He consulted on numerous occasions, providing invaluable insight for our tiers and other big decisions. He also made some very important introductions. So thanks Greg!

Just a few others I would be remiss not to mention are Tyler Thompson, Ellen Zhou, David Malki, Ryan North, Aaron Diaz, Cory Schmitz, Jonathan Blow, Steph Thirion, Ron Carmel, Aaron Isaksen, Nathan Vella, Casey Muratori, Bret Victor and Raber Umphenour. And of course there are others still who offered their thoughtful attention in person and over email. Thanks so much!

Onward!

New art on Facebook

August 1st, 2012

With a couple new projects launching this year, it seems like a good idea for me to develop a more active relationship with the people who are interested in my work. So yesterday, I posted some of my recent sketchbook drawings to my Facebook page. More to come on a regular basis.

I also took the risk of sending out a raft of “Like” requests. I didn’t spam everyone available, but went through my friend list and picked people whom I felt relatively comfortable harassing with such a thing. (Obviously I did not pick anyone very tall or strong, martial artists, or gun owners.) Thank you to everybody who took a look at the page, clicked “Like” or left a comment. I know we’re all awash in this social media stuff, but for me, it was a surprisingly heart-warming demonstration of support.

Sentiments aside, by clicking “Like” you are helping me get the word out about new projects. Specifics coming soon…

For now, please follow my work here:

facebook.com/davidhellmanart

Progress Report

May 4th, 2012

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I can explain.

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Yesterday, as the jubilant chirps and tweets of starlings heralded the springtime, in the silence of my room I was doing some tweeting of a different nature.

I’m working on a landscape painting, and tweeting updates as I go. I did this one time before. As much as I like to be private in my work, this kind of exposure can be invigorating. It’s great to receive suggestions and encouragement, especially when they come from talented artists.

I am trying out some new techniques. In the past, I’ve often started drawing with a thick, heavy line right off the bat. I make a big mess and do a lot of erasing as I go. Sort of like “sculpting” the image. Often, I’ve let the messy process show through in the finished work. I always liked this because … well, I guess it speaks to the truth of art making, and of life, as a messy struggle. The painting arrives to dinner with sweat on its brow and its sleeve ripped at the shoulder. “Wow,” you say, “what happened to you? Are you okay? Can I get you some water?” “I’m fine,” the painting replies. “Now let’s eat.”

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Travel by Eyeball

February 27th, 2012

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Zelda Landscape in Progress

February 25th, 2012

Ever since playing through the latest Zelda adventure back in November, I’ve been brimming with conflicted feelings. My frustrated devotion to the Zelda franchise has perhaps never been more acute, never more debilitating. Leave it to Tevis Thompson to describe what’s going on inside my exhausted brain, in his essay which you should read, Saving Zelda.

Reading that made me more determined than ever to convert my unhealthy fixation into some kind of creative output. So here is a painting, still in progress in the final image below, which attempts to capture what I love best about Zelda. The good part of Zelda. Zelda as it should be.

(Some relevant nouns: openness, exploration, autonomy, mystery, challenge, continuity.)

Here’s a slightly higher res version of the latest draft.

To make things interesting, I’ve been tweeting updates as the painting develops. I like the attention and it’s fun to hear from people who are also crazy about this stuff. It’s good motivation to keep going. Next, I’m adding color. If you want to follow along, follow me on Twitter.

(A while back I wrote a blog entry called Zelda Games Petty, Domineering, which details a disturbing incident.)

Bret Victor talk

February 14th, 2012

Bret Victor, visionary software designer and purveyor of impossible dreams, recently delivered a keynote at the Canadian University Software Engineering Conference.

A video of the talk is now available to all.

It’s an hour that flies by with beautiful software demos and an impassioned message about pursuing your creative purpose.

Bret used to work at Apple, where he was sort of a one-man dream factory for experimental user interface concepts. He also produced the interactive info graphics for the Al Gore book for iPad, Our Choice.

Anyway, this is good stuff, but the reason I arose from the ocean deep to blog about it is that I’ve done some original art that features in a couple of Bret’s demos. There’s one with a tree:

Consistent with my usual working method, I first produced an inappropriately dark and moody version (David Hellman blog exclusive):

And these:

There is even a Braid cameo in there.

So go ahead and watch Bret’s talk. It’s great.