I've been meaning to write this for a long time, but never found the right words or the right time. But with Taeja winning MLG Summer Arena recently, Liquid beating MVP to advance to the loser bracket finals in IPL TAC to face against Startale, it is now or never. Members of TL, as an artist, I'm here to tell you my own story of Liquid Rising.
Since this /is/ my first blog ever, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kevin (uikos), your typical starcraft-fanatic college kid. I'm not smartest guy you'll meet, not the greatest Starcraft player you'll meet (i'm a Platnium 'toss). I never broke a bone, never did anything /that/ exciting, etc. But if I had to name one thing I'm proud of, something I would want people to know me for, is my artwork. You see, I got into Princeton almost entirely based on my art portfolio (lololololol).
I use this picture all the time because I haven't got a good profile picture =__=
I went to an art school that had studio for 2 hours every Saturday, and as any aspiring artist kid in high school would know, RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) is one of /the/ art school to go to. And part of RISD's portfolio requirements is that one of their 3 required pieces is a graphite drawing of a bicycle. But not just any bike. RISD was looking for something unusual, something that showed personality. And for me, it was jamming a bicycle into a horse skeleton.
Bike in Horse. (Summer 2009). Graphite. Estimated Time: 25 Hours.
And that was my first and only experience of drawing horses. This was before my senior year in high school. I wasn't a big starcraft person later on when school started again, and I didn't hear about TL until my freshman year at Princeton. So I suppose this was foreshadowing in some strange sense? XD
But as I said before, I'm currently a Princeton kid, and I am not currently studying art as my major by any means at all. (After all, what's the fun in studying something you're good at?) I'm studying statistics and probability mainly (a story for another day) and plan on going to graduate school for probably machine-learning, the hottest thing ever right now. And for that, I spend a lot of time focusing on academics, blahblahblahblah. But with the rest of my time, I spend it with Starcraft and with Princeton's Starcraft team. :D And this is where the pretty starcraft art comes in. For any of you who are familiar with the collegiate starcraft scene, chances are, you heard of @hazleynut (Mona), one of the founders/admins of CSL. For all the college kids, if you aren't part of CSL, shame on you because you're really missing out.
But as the story goes, I wasn't part of any starcraft group (in person or online) during my freshman year. I was too shy, and I kept it to myself while I watched tournaments in my dorm room. I did end up drawing something Starcraft-related. It was supposed to be part of a Christmas gift to a lovely couple I know at MIT, but I never finished it... You could tell it was rushed.
Untitled. (Winter 2010). Watercolor, Marker, Color pencil. Estimated Time: 12 Hours. The CSL sign wasn't originally on there. I added it way later to give to Mona to bring to Blizzcon 2011 to get signed.
And I actually met Mona in person (was too shy to talk to her) in my freshman year on two occasions: 1) I missed my 8am Chinese class one day and went to the one at noon to make it up and there Mona was haha, and 2) when she was hosting/casting a Rutgers vs Princeton match for CSL. I knew she was big into Starcraft, but that was it. And I also knew about the CSL. But it wasn't until the summer (before sophomore year) when I realized she was actually the /founder/ of CSL o__O All thanks to her post recapping NASL Season 1 finals. And you must imagine how blown my mind was. I mean, she's like my age!! You have to understand that a lot of Princeton kids strive to become famous and/or rich as fast as possible through very established paths. Heck, I was almost like that too with becoming a WallStreet person.
But no, not Mona. Here you have someone who's only 2 years older than I am... creating/supporting/managing an entire Starcraft community for college kids from nothing... and it's really successful! I mean, that has /got/ to be inspiring on some level. A college student roughly my age who has a dream not just chasing the dream, but bringing the whole thing into reality.
And that was the moment where I decided I had to join Princeton Starcraft in my sophomore year. And that's where all the art stems from. You see, Mona is basically our ESPORTS mother for the younger people (like me) in Princeton Starcraft. xD Hahaha. She takes us to events and introduces us to other Starcraft people (and occasionally buys food for us :3), one of the first events being NYU Fallcraft. And as I got to know Mona more (through food, weekly practices, etc.), I was like, "Well, damn. What can /I/ do for ESPORTS?" I mean, I certainly care about Starcraft more than most of the other things I've encountered. Through Day9 Dailies, starcraft has become a mindset, a proper way of thinking about uncertainty and planning. Through the MLGs and other tournaments, starcraft has created moments of tension and excitement that other sports (usually) fail for me. So certainly I care about it enough. And at Princeton, I'm talking to someone who's essentially living proof that nothing is ever too far from possible.
And that's where the true Starcraft art began. :DD Since I no longer draw much at Princeton (I'm not studying art, right?), I decided to pour all the art skills and time I had into Starcraft. I looked around, and there was certainly a lot of digital art being done with Starcraft. But I don't understand digital art. You can't feel the paper, you can't leave the unfinished piece on the wall and just stare at it every now and again while you do your work. Traditional art is where it's at. And when Mona asked us if I wanted to go to MLG Providence, that was it. That was the spark. There was so much talk on SotG about fans getting signatures from players. And it wasn't too long ago when HerO joined TeamLiquid. After his first interview with HotBid & Wax, seeing him smile immediately made me a huge HerO fan instantly. And so 2 and 2 came together, and the resulting two artworks came about:
Sad Zealot No More. (10/14/2011). Watercolor, marker, color pencil, photoshop. Estimated Time: 10 Hours
Team Liquid. (11/18/2011). Watercolor, marker, photoshop. Estimated Time: 22 Hours
I walked around the convention hall with these two huge posters and got lots of signatures. And I was proud. There's something about all the art-forms (art, dancing, music, theater, heck, even sports might be like this). You could be a fantastic artist, but if no one ever saw your work, you might as well not be an artist at all. Art is meant to be shown. And Providence was really the first time other people (people I never met before) would walk up to me just to take a picture of what I drew. And as the artist, it felt wonderful. I mean, the quality of those two posters was nowhere close to good to be honest. xD I was struggling with schoolwork when I drew it, so it was extremely rushed. For those who never drew before, know that art needs time to age. It takes weeks to stare at something to even know how to fix it.
LiquidNazgul, LiquidHerO, LiquidTLO, LiquidTyler, LiquidSheth, LiquidHaypro, LiquidJinro, Kennegit, HotBid, TheMango, LiquidZephyr I couldn't get Ret's signature... So close. This was before Taeja and Zenio joined, and after Huk left
Hahaha :D both the original and printed side by side!
My poster just chillin' there as we play TL mafia through the night ^__^
But hey. For the first time, it wasn't bad at all. :D I ended up giving Nazgul a copy of the LiquidPoster and they ended up hanging it up in their office!! ] And it gave me confidence to do even more. HerO soon won Dreamhack Winter, and as a cartoonist for the Daily Princetonian (our school newspaper), I just /had/ to draw HerO. I felt the need to show (the what, 10 other people at our school who follow Starcraft =___=) how happy I was.
From Mona's twitter :3 This was what it looked like in the paper~. I ended up being able to give a copy personally to HerO at Summer Arena ^__^ It was super awkward conversation though~~
Yeah.. I had no idea what I was thinking when I wrote the caption. But whatever. And after that, Mona told me about Princeton LAN, one of the four LANs that CSL was helping to host. And she told me how many schools were coming, the speakers she was inviting to give a panel discussion, etc. And it was absolutely brilliant, and as an artist, it was once again my time to help. And since it was intersession at the time (a week of free time between the two semesters), I managed to squeeze out three pieces, one for each race. :D And /this/ is something I can say was close to decent. Back to my roots of good'ol pure-graphite.
CSL Racial Profiles. (2/12/2012). Graphite, photoshop. Estimated Time (Total): 65 Hours. Thx thx to Flamewheel and R1cH for helping me put this together!
Terran Hellion, Protoss Dark Templar, Zerg Queen. XD
Most people (once told these were starcraft units) got the Hellion. Some thought the 'toss was a Stalker given that the scythe looked like a stalker leg. Understandable since I didn't draw the full scythe. However, some thought the Queen was like.. T__________T a zergling, hydralisk, ultralisk, etc. Guys, guys, guys xD Queens don't have mouths;;;. Hahahaha. Takeaway for all future artists: people who play starcraft don't actually know what the unit faces look like XD This is so true. Do you remember what a Phoenix pilot looks like? Or what a infestor face looks like? Hahahaha. I just didn't want to draw another damn marine, zealot, hydralisk :x other units need some love! /Especially/ the air units.
Better Version (I have no idea why the Toss isn't the same dimension...) + Show Spoiler +
I got the inspiration from the Transformer promotional poster, haha. And it was brilliant because I could use the grayscale to my advantage. First off, I didn't need to draw a background. Second, it was really easy to print a lot of these out thanks to our free B&W printers at Princeton. And third, you could do some pretty neat stuff like this:
And we even got some extra money to do promotional stuff like this: + Show Spoiler +
Advertising straight from my dorm window~
Doesn't it look neat?! :D
;__; I was doing this when it was Hero vs Violet in Fight Club. Hero lost. I was very grumpy afterwards
good'ol printing at kinkos :D Guess what we did with them?
Advertising 101: College students are too cool to stop and read a poster. Therefore, you put it in their face during class.
Take over ALL the lecture halls
Just remember to check when the lectures halls are actually being used. Expect all the cards to end up on the ground and tape end up in places you don't expect. And clean up afterwards so the staff don't get angry!
And my god did a lot of time get spent putting all those cards up. (As it turns out, the cards didn't help bring much people to the LAN T__T; But whatever. Another story for another time.) Regardless, it /felt/ good afterthefact. (Any artist would tell you that the actual process of drawing is painful. It's after the artwork is done and hung up when the artist (hopefully) starts to feel really good about himself.)
Along the way, there were other opportunities to draw more stuff. Some on my own, some for various events. Here they are:
Princeton Mafia!! (12/17/2011). Paper cutout. Estimated Time: 10 hours.
Laterns - Naniwa. (3/24/2012). Paper cutout, acrylic paint. Estimated Time: 10 hours. + Show Spoiler +
Yeah. I read a lot of Green Lantern. xD I've decided to relabel the emotions. Yellow - Willpower (Toss), Red - Fear (Terran), Blue - Hope (Zerg). Hahahaha. This is supposed to be part of an entire series of posters. More will come!
CSL Cutoutt. Paper cutout. (4/5/20120. Paper cutout. Estimated Time: 8 hours.
My room as I was drawing the CSL posters. Next year, it'll /only/ be starcraft art :D
Yeah, haha. We had a night of extreme mafia at Princeton. A lot of people from outside princeton came. And I started to experiment with paper-cutouts since it was fast and expansive (as in, it can fill a huge poster really quickly. Heck, you just cut out stuff. It doesn't get much easier than that.) And the Naniwa poster came right around the time he was dominating Code S for the first time, and I wanted to try doing portraits with this style :D Many thanks to @R1CH for the photo I based this off of.
The school year soon came to an end, and there was no more ESPORTS events to go to for the academic year. No more posters to bring around to get signed. But as with year when May comes to an end, seniors will graduate from college, and this time, Mona and the rest of our seniors were ready to go out into the "real world." And although I've only actually talked to Mona for one year (freshman year didn't count lolol), she definitely has been the most inspiring person I've met yet. And so we (Princeton Starcraft) decided to throw our own little celebration for her 4-year dream/workings with CSL :DD And as any other college student who is broke but able to draw, I drew a little something for her ^__^;
(She plays protoss btw.) The tagline, "Big things had small beginnings" was taken from the Amazing Spiderman trailer hahahah XD But it was fitting! After all, my path of drawing more and more for Starcraft was inspired by seeing Mona doing her wizardry to make CSL happen. (I swear, I don't understand how it works, but it happens. ._.) And I guess that's the main theme of this entire blog. Take enough small steps, and you'll make something big.
There was cake, a surprise at the party. It was fun Unfortunately, people from outside Princeton were unable to come And this was during the week of finals, so the quality of the poster wasn't anywhere near what I wanted it to be. The poster was a bit messy, and I actually got really sad as I came close to "completing" the poster (more like "running out of time." I literally finished it 10 minutes before we were having our surprise party) since I was running out of ways to fix the artwork. Even I was like, "Screw it" and just blacked out the parts that were bad >>;;... with charcoal... (Kids, don't mix charcoal with graphite. Bad things happen.) I tried to mirror a comic-book style, but it didn't work so well. (I read a /lot/ of mainstream DC and Marvel comics. Batman and Green Lantern are by far my favorite.)
But that was the end of the school year! :D And now, finally we get to the picture I started this blog post with: Liquid Rising. So for this summer, I'm actually interning at MLG. (Some of you in chat this past MLG Summer Arena might recognize me as one of the chat mods~) I found the spot through one of my close Princeton friends (Alex) who linked me to the Princeton Keller Center (they deal with entrepreneurship-type things) who forwarded me to the internship. And I applied, and that's how I ended up at MLG. I'm under the finance department, working as an analyst and mathematical models blahblahblah BUT more relevantly, I got the chance to stay in the studio to see the Arena unfold :D
So taking this unique opportunity, I just /had/ to draw something for Liquid once again. Hero, Taeja, and Sheth were coming to the arena, and I'm also friends with Hotbid and R1ch (whom I met through various other events already). Since the liquid documentary recently came out, I decided to mirror the tagline: Liquid Rising. And different people got different takeaways after watching the documentary, but one of the strongest things I got out of it was in the beginning when HotBid said that Liquid wasn't about getting someone like Jaedong who has a name bigger than all of Liquid already. Liquid was about getting someone up-and-coming and growing that person into someone successful. And the rest of the documentary reflected that quite well. In a lot of the player segments, you got to see one (or a few) elements holding the Liquid player back. TLO and his wrists, Nony and his depression, HerO and his anxiety, Ret and his month of no motivation, etc. And the documentary was a calling. If those problems were fixed, something great will happen.
And here are the images of the other poster I bought and with the signatures on them ^___^.
HerO, Taeja, and Sheth!
Day9, DJWheat, Artosis, Mr. Bitter, Apollo, Clutch, Stephano, Grubby, Sase, Axslav, Puma, QXC, Trimaster, Sasquatch, Welmu, Goody, Cytoplasm, Ryung, Dream, Alicia, First, Revival, Golden, Losira, Ganzi, Oz, Illusion, Revival etc. Sorry sorry ;__; I can't read a lot of these sigantures.... I must say, this was a gosu timing on my part. xD Right around the time when zergs were winning everything, partly due to infinity-range queens that nullified traditional hellion usage. Hahaha
And I must say, this LiquidRising poster is the first one that I'm truly proud of. An artist knows when he actually drew something good when the artwork is done, and a week later, he stares at it and is like, "Damn. I can't believe I actually drew that." I gave one to Hotbid to hang up already :D And since I'm really excited about this artwork, maybe you guys will like it too! Here are the links to a higher resolution copy and also a coverphoto version for Facebook (ahaha, it's currently /my/ cover photo on my facebook And it should be yours too!)
And that catches up the story to present day. (God this is such a long read. You deserve a medal for actually reading this .__.) I'm currently still working out how I'm getting to Raleigh :D And I'm still wondering what I should bring to Raleigh. As you might've noticed, whenever I got live events, I bring a Liquid poster and a "everyone else" poster. If (and this is a big "if") I find cheap printing somewhere, I might print out 10 copies to give to each of the 10 Liquid players (assuming they'll all be at Raleigh). If you know cheap places to print 20"x30" posters, /please/ PM me!! I currently print at Kinkos and it's ~25 to print a 20"x30" Dx. Very expensive. But definitely I will bring this poster down to Raleigh to get the remaining 7 signatures of the Liquid people ^___^. As for the "Everyone else" poster, I'm not sure yet. I want to draw something new, but since summer is quickly coming to a close, I should focus on organizing what Princeton Starcraft will be doing this school year... Getting our intramurals together, getting funding, etc. haha
So yeah!! :D If you're at Raleigh and you see me carrying around the Liquid Rising poster (awkwardly XD), come say hi! I'll love to meet more Starcraft people~. (I'm horrible at talking to new people, but hey, gotta do it.) I'm especially always looking for other artists. To me, an ideal artist team would consist of 2 traditional artists, 2 digital artists, and 2 graphic designers. In the starcraft community, I know a bunch of graphic designers, and.... one digital artist... and no other traditional artist ._.
And that's it! That's my story for now. Thanks so much for reading!! And hopefully I can continue drawing awesome things and make the TL community proud :D Thanks thanks! You can follow my stuff at uikos.tumblr.com (yeah;; i'm one of those tumblr kids) and my twitter (which will be used more in the future) is uikos_sc.
Here's to you, Mona~ I know almost half of this entire blog is about her (lololol), but now that all the seniors graduated, it's now up to the remaining of us Princeton kiddos to keep the club going. Finding more Starcraft kids, bringing them out to events, getting them to meet other Starcraft kids outside Princeton. I just hope I'm able to inspire someone else the way she inspired me, haha Princeton Starcraft, and probably most of the other starcraft collegiate clubs, are made possible all thanks to her and the rest of the CSL team I'm just glad I got to know such a great group of Starcraft people~ Never give up, never surrender. (Oh, and Liquid will win IPL TAC. I dun care what you say.)
I deserve no medals because I scanned through some parts. But I lingered over the artwork. Christ almighty you have talent man. Thank you for everything. I'm glad to know now of all the awesome stuff you've done.
Thank you, really.
우정호 KT_VIOLET 1988 - 2012 While we are postponing, life speeds by
Antimatterz United States. July 28 2012 05:28. Posts 998
Holy fuck you are a good artist, I do some art occasionally (mostly for school if I'm taking an art class), but I have never understood how people get this good. That Liquid Rising poster is mindblowing haha, well really everything you posted is mindblowing :D
It's not a witchhunt if you have KR: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=371282#1 "HotBid [11:45 AM]: i dunno i kinda like the big muta shooting smaller mutas out"
dicedicerevolution United States. July 28 2012 05:31. Posts 231