In anticipation of sharing some new work on the horizon, I'm trying to clean out the cobwebs here. I posted an illustration and interior pages of Light, Sweet, Crude ages ago.The first chapter was completed along with an entire script that went through many careful workshops and revisions, and with the help of an agent we shopped it around to publishers to some interest. The fires died ebbed though, and we weren't able to sustain our efforts and finish a promising adventure. I've come to understand this is quite common to experience in any creative endeavor for many reasons. Most of the time, a project like this lives and dies on the collective passion of it's creators to see it through to fruition. Commitment and the knowledge of how to manage my energy to sustain those projects is probably the biggest lesson I've experienced over the years. I never know how to fully give up on ideas so maybe sometime in the future, when the stars align, aye? At the very least, I'll publish that forgotten chapter.
Anyway, a lot has happened to me and my career in the past 3 years, and I'm looking forward to finally sharing some of my work on Liyana soon! I'm so proud and excited by what we accomplished together on that team. Oh, and since my last post, I've been working at a new studio called Jam City developing mobile games as an Art Lead for the past year now too. Cheers to new colleagues and friends making cheery games. We should be releasing our new game, Cookie Jam soon 😉
'A luta continua' is a Portuguese phrase the translates roughly to 'the struggle continues.' The co-director for Liyana, Aaron Kopp adopted it as a rallying call for us, 'A Luta Continua.' Of course it's a lovely Miriam Makeba song as well.
My work on Liyana is winding down and this past week marked a major milestone in the production of the animation of the project. It's a surreal feeling to reach this point on what has been the most creatively fulfilling project I've worked on. It was equal parts challenging and rewarding and worthwhile in ways that I haven't processed yet. The team and I have high hopes for the story's outreach, but personally, right now I feel a deep sense of relief and pride for doing something so worthwhile with my career. The loved ones in my life that supported me along the way, and Aaron and Amanda cannot be appreciated enough.
Unfortunately, I can't show any artwork just yet. You can check out updates on the Liyana site. Of course, I too hope to soon post updates along with some insight into the production over those 2 years.
Been a while since the last post and over the past year, of course I've been working on Outcasts of Jupiter and all things Coker CoOp related, but I've also had the immense satisfaction of working on the most creatively fulfilling project of my career so far. I've been working with Aaron and Amanda Kopp on the documentary film, Liyana. It's a unique documentary animated film in which a group of bright Swazi kids narrate the tale of a brave heroine of their own creation. The co-directors, Aaron and Amanda (two of the best human beings whose presence you'll ever be graced with) interviewed these wonderful kids and worked with them in structured workshops with Gcina Mhlophe on a homestead for orphaned children in Swaziland a few years ago.
I'm an art director and the principal artist on the animated parts of the film. We're in the throes of production right now, but I wanted to take a break to let you all know what a special project I've been involved with. Hopefully, we'll be releasing more news soon. A release date hasn't been set yet, but of course I'll post that news as soon as I get it. If you'd like to read more about the project you should visit the link below. Thanks for reading people of ye olde internet.
Just wanted to post a selection of fun things related to Outcasts of Juiter of the last few months. The test t-shirt came last week and it looks excellent! We'll be putting in the full order soon. The 1st test proof of the comic came by a couple of weeks ago and there is a process image of the Denarii minis coming together too.
Phew! Sometime last week I finished work on Outcasts of Jupiter. I loved every bit of working on Outcasts and I'm so glad my brother and I got the chance to realize our dream.The digital comics will be sent out to our dear Kickstarter backers quite soon. We've sent it to a select few for proof reading and general editing, but I must say I'm a very relieved man at the moment. The next few months will be the journey to see it printed and that's another level of excitement. I'll post a few process pages here and there in the interim. Of course, till then you can see even more news related to the project here.
The Outcasts of Jupiter Kickstarter has been both draining and highly exhilarating to run, but lo! I have managed to complete another page for you wary traveller. Sit a while and enjoy another slice of this tale we're trying to release upon the world.
Shobo and I also got interviewed by Chris Sains over at Capeless Crusader. Check it out!
Here is a small preview of the first two pages of Outcasts of Jupiter. The Kickstarter has been up for a week now and we're making steady progress. It's not a trivial whim when a long held dream is fulfilled. There are some wonderful people out there making it happen.
Hey everybody! We launched our Kickstarter today for our very exciting science fiction comic, Outcasts of Jupiter. Shobo, Funlola and I couldn't be more excited!
Outcasts of Jupiter is a new, scifi adventure comic written by Shobo Coker and drawn by Shofela Coker. Our story takes place on Earth, in 3125, in the fictional City of Seven Faces, a visually and culturally rich cliff side city in our version of Morocco. The exotic City of Seven Faces is a mysterious place, full of strange secrets, slavers, gangsters and wanted criminals.
This is the the sculpt of Denarii I mentioned earlier. The final step will be a 7 inch, 3d printed figure produced as a reward for one of the tiers of our Kickstarter campaign for the Outcasts of Jupiter comic. Here are some of Shobo's words to describe the character:
'Powerful and ruthlessly efficient, all wired energy and tension, Denarii is gifted with absolute fearlessness and the unique ability to infiltrate just about any structure with extreme efficiency.
Shof designed him as a man of Afar ancestry. Denarii is a descendant of the once great Kush empire in Northern Africa, where the Blue and White Nile's meet. He is quiet, noble, and kind, with a strict personal code of honor and a character stained by a black temper and a weakness for drink.
A man of few words, he prefers action to chatter and harbors a strong dislike of the facade of modern civilization.
If Sulesh is the brains of the group, Denarii is its conscience, its beating heart, its compassion and its instrument of swift, terrible justice.'
Here are some sketches I based the model on as well as turnarounds. If you'd like to see some WIP images, head over to the Coker CoOp blog for an excellent read on this sculpt's progression from an idea to a fully fledged 3d character. Seeing the WIP images collected in one spot, it is astounding to see how much the character evolved. Enjoy!
My brother and I have been fervently working on a comic project for the last several months and we've decided this week to officially announce plans for an exciting Kickstarter for it! The campaign will be going up within the week so please keep your eyes peeled. For now, here is the cover, a little taste of adventure. Do you believe in adventure?
So the comic my brother and I are working on is coming along nicely. It now has a name- Outcasts of Jupiter. You can read about the process it took to develop the name here. We are gearing up for a big announcement for the comic, so please check back soon. This cute little guy is a mini version of a larger sculpt for the project. Denarii is one of four of the Outcasts of Jupiter. If you want to see some WIP images of the sculpt, head over here. I also got an earlier version of him 3d printed (My first 3d print!) and it looked much better than expected. The print below came from Sculpteo. Exciting times!
It's been ages since I last posted a blog highlighting the work of another artist. I saw Jake Wyatt's short film, Metro first in 2012 and thought it was wonderful, but I recently stumbled across his tumblr and I'm just spellbound. Gaze upon the magnificence of his work. His work on the Necropolis web comic in particular just makes my heart ache. Brilliant draftsmanship, texture, ethereal color, and unusual storytelling. I've found a kindred spirit. Cheers, Mr. Wyatt.
Here's visual development for a short comic my brother and I are working on for the new year. It's a tale from the Jonahverse. Layouts and more visual development work for it are done and I'm so excited to start work on it. We've set up a site that will serve as a news hub for all things Jonah related. There will be lots of goodies coming to the site in the future so keep an eye out. We're CokerCoOp. Which includes Funlola (my sister), Shobo (brother) and I.
For now though, Christmas with the family. Happy holidays everyone!
Update: If you'd like to view a process blog post of this image head over to this link. I detail thoughts on color and decision making from the sketch phase to the final image.
Some time ago, I worked with Shane Acker and Benthos Studios to create this character sculpt for an upcoming project called Deep. Some of the character concept art, created by Laurel D Austin can be seen here. The project uses Valve's engine Source Engine to aid in the creation of its cinematic visuals. It was a great experience working within an art style I thoroughly enjoyed and with an art director I learned a tremendous amount from.
Continuing the lunch sketch series (dropped since January, haha), I decided to reinterpret one of my favorite movie heroines. I'm a great fan of Miyazaki. The sense of wonder and hope that he infuses into his worlds/stories is enviable. I rarely create reinterpretations of already existing characters, but I thought I'd break that rule this one time.
A little while ago, a certain someone accused me of not being comfortable showing the 'ugly' side of my work; my process. Sigh, he may have been right, so today here's SIX AMAZING EASY STEPS it took to do this Jupiter Jonah poster. Now you can do it too.