An eight page class assignment from 1999, back on the web to deprive xeno of blackmail leverage. My ego was huge, my skills were absolute shit, and I still managed to get an A on the project. If memory serves the instructor had to grade the class on a curve – I was competing against even bigger egos and even worse artists. While the Alias/Heirotus arc began development in high school, I started development work on TD a week or two after I arrived in Pittsburgh. While the core concept was eventually tossed, the core setting and characters ultimately evolved into elements of Dead City Radio. Whitehouse, Yang, James and Rand were all TD characters – this piece of crap happens to feature Whitehouse version one and a character roughly analogues to James.
Titanium Dreams is proof that ego doesn’t translate to excellence. Bristol and rapidographs don’t make a sequential artist, and thinking an idea is awesome doesn’t make it awesome. I was embarrassed by this thing when I handed it in – I knew the execution was hideous, I knew I had a hell of a lot to learn, I felt a few of the basic ideas had merit, I knew that the fact it was better than everything else in the room didn’t mean it was good, and I spent the next fourteen years grinding skills. If I’d specced for straight artist it might have been half or even a quarter of that, but I spent ten years as a multi-classed artist/editor/web developer, with a career and free time continually split in two or three directions. The skill set is awesome but the experience table is a bitch.
When you ask a professional artist for advice and they say PRACTICE, get over yourself and fucking listen. Nobody wants to hear that it takes ten thousand hours to suck a bit less but brute force effort is the only method of self-improvement that actually works. For most people, anyway. Some days it feels like I’m climbing a cliff face with my nose, and that’s one of the reasons I’m keeping Titanium Dreams around – it makes the worst pages of The Dualist look like high art.
Point of fact, the only thing worse than the art is the script, which is why said “script” has been redacted.