Christopher J. McDowell is a digital and traditional illustrator and conceptual artist with an eye for the imaginative. Since he was young, he has pursued the goal of becoming a creative artist, and has always looked for new ways to bring his style to life through film, pictures, and books. His ultimate goal is to become a freelance artist, and he’s already started down this path. SInce transferring to The College of New Jersey with an associates degree in Studio Art, Christopher has been commissioned by clients including musicians, small businesses, a theatrical production of The Wiz, as well as individuals for personal portraits.
Abnormality: Tales of the Overwolrd is a fully fledged interactive short graphic novel that is constructed entirely using the Unity 3D Engine and utilizing the power of parallax in an effort to bring each panel to life in a creative, aesthetically pleasing way that will leave an impact on those who choose to read it. This project takes influence from standard comic books and graphic novels, adapting their styles and techniques to create something interesting and new to the storytelling spectrum.
My inspiration came from my overall appreciation for concept art and design, as well as my interest in graphic novels and comic books. I follow a big number of high profile illustationsit on Twitter, Instagram, and deviantart, and it was through that fueling possession of someday becoming as great as them that my project came into full fruition.
Process and Tools
The process involved creating the assets then constructing the project in Unity
- Adobe Photoshop CS19
- XP-Pen Artist 16 Pro Tablet
- Unity 3D Engine
- Panoply Tool Kit - Unity Add-on
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My artwork is the centerpiece of this project. It demonstrates the type of skill I have been able to pick up in terms of making my artwork stand out amongst the others as well as showcase a style that is now towards me. Hopefully those who see this will look at me as a potential employer to be hired for this line of work with character and concept design.
I would say that the biggest challenge was related to creativity. Some of the dialogue I had pre-written I felt needed a lot of work to feel just right, as well as some personal thoughts like “Am I even up for something this ambitious?” I found that doubt creeping in during the process of creating the book. I’ve never been completely satisfied with my own work, partially because it's out of this sense where everything has to be perfect or to impress others. A part of me had to learn how to let go of these thoughts, because it hindered and delayed the process of the project. Emotionally and mentally this has been a challenge. But in the end, I am more than happy with the results. And for the future, I’m confident with my skills and ability to manage projects of this scope.
Impact of the COVID pandemic
LBefore the outbreak, I had little concern that it would turn into anything, but obviously that proved to be false. Yes the virus has without a doubt caused massive blocks in the writing process for this project, but has allowed ways for me to adapt in order to fight off the blocks. Walking outside, reading fan stories, and looking at other works of art has brought the flow back, and in a way, I'm happy it turned out the way it did. This will be a story not only for our grandparents to hear but future generations to bear witness to.