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Thanks for stopping by. I'm Colin Searle, the dude behind Searle Productions.
I'm an artist from Toronto, Ontario. I draw, paint, write, do 3D, and somehow I've managed to make a living out of these things. I've worked for and with many clients over the past few years, all of whom have given me a ton of cool projects to cut my teeth on. I work best on many different things at once, and my mind's need to do a lot of different shit has over time has rewarded me with a very broad range of abilities. I've also made a lot of really good friends doing this stuff, many of whom have been excellent teachers and mentors along the way - I'd be a jerk for not mentioning them.
I've got a big love for certain franchises and fandoms, and I channel that love through illustration and fanart. Games and animation have given me some of the greatest experiences of my life, and I feel that the work of the people who made those things a reality needs to be honored - hence, fanart. From single illustrations of single characters I like to full series of fanart images dedicated to one IP, I always strive to tell some kind of small tale in each image, from subtle nods to character relationships to outright full scenes. And although this art depicts characters and properties that are copyrighted (and thus, this is a grey legal area), the art itself is my own original work. As such, I have no problem selling it to people who are gracious enough to buy it, which in turn fuels and funds my future plans and storytelling endeavours.
But that's not all I do, and not all I have planned.
My big thing is story. It drives everything I do. My mission in life is to tell good stories, with great characters in amazing worlds, and to improve my storytelling abilities as I go (because let's face it, the work in progress that is Colin Searle will never be complete, and that's a good thing). Story is a superpower that every artist can and should be using as the central driving force behind their work, because experiencing story through characters is one of the most meaningful experiences we can have. The power of narrative is the great equalizer, the thing everyone can relate to, and one of the ways we all experience the world.
I've got big ideas, bigger ambitions...... and two big weights called self-doubt and self-criticism tied to my feet to keep me firmly on the ground. I'm building my own stories and my own IPs, ones where I (and people I trust) control the direction and quality. Too often these days, once-classic franchises are being driven into the ground by a corporate lack of creativity or outright greed, but I believe that my experience in the animation and games industry (and my wild, wild mind), puts me in a very good position to counter these issues with my own ideas. I might not have millions of dollars to throw around (nor is having that a major goal of mine), but I do have my interest in and love for story. The way things seem to be going, just having that puts you WAY ahead of even the biggest entertainment giants. The smallest, most humble illustrated story can move more minds than the biggest mass produced films or games, which is something I've come to realize after being burned too many times on franchises that had a wonderful start (usually a fairly small and humble start), but crashed and died because of a change in priority from quality to profits. Don't get me wrong, money is great and will always make things easier, but it doesn't drive my soul. However, story does.
Independent creators like myself and so many others are the future of storytelling, even if it may not feel like it right now with the endless tide of 'safe' remakes and reboots of stories that finished long ago, and need to be left alone. I'd like to raise the expectations of quality in entertainment across the board, in my own small way. Competition between qualified, competent rival independent creators and companies is the struggle that is going to revitalize and reinvigorate storytelling in the broader cultural sense, and also the only way we're going to get new original stories. Independent individuals and small groups can be braver, ballsier and take more risks than corporate producers that are slaved to their investors and financial bottom lines. And the audience (that's you!) is going to decide which stories sink, and which ones float. I'm planning to tell stories that not only float, they're gonna fucking surf the waves!
So if all this sounds like fun to you, then stay tuned. Big things are coming from myself and Searle Productions, and I'd like you (yes you, the human reading this), to be a part of it.
SP is an entertainment design production company that produces design, concept, illustration and storyboarding work for clients such as:
- Elliott Animation
- Fresh Interactive
- Blackbird Interactive
- Fantasy Flight Games
- BDA Entertainment
- Collective Games
- Nomnivore Games
SP also produces illustrations and fanart that are sold at conventions and online.
Short answer, yes. Long answer - they're coming. Currently, I have a long list of fanart illustrations that I'd still like to get through. Freelance work is constant, and slows development in others areas (but to be fair, I can't turn my nose up at paid work, and it's almost always really fun stuff to be working on). After the majority of my planned poster list is put to bed, I'll be steering SP's attention towards continuing the development of the first main story/intellectual property, which has already made a ton of progress, and the time is fast approaching when I'd like to reveal it officially. The specific timeframe for the launch of my first IP is in mid-late 2020.
Right now, the plan is to test the first story idea at conventions and with an online launch. A kickstarter or crowdfunding campaign might be in the cards once I have enough work built up to guarantee an end product and justify asking a bunch of nice people for their hard-earned money. This may take the form of a series of posters and a pitch book or graphic novel series, which will be produced and launched to introduce and establish the world, conflict and characters. Given my focus on story, it's important to get people invested in the world and characters first before attempting to adapt it into anything more substantial.
That is absolutely the plan. I would like to see my ideas become games, long-form animated series, full graphic novel runs, and any other medium that may be right for the specific story.