The Art of Soul


The Art of Soul has 176 pages, and there is about 35 pages dedicated to character design and that is being nice. There wasn't one section for character designs in the book like in most, they a sprinkled all throughout each section. The book mostly contains backgrounds, some storyboards, and experimental designs for the spirits and the spirit world and what it could look like.  

I was really disappointed in how they used the space in this book. For example they show this wonderful group lineup of the high school kids by Tom Gatley  but instead of using the whole page, they shrunk it down so each character is an inch and a half big so you can hardly see the details. And then funny enough, the page before has a picture on an empty classroom which takes up half of the page, which could have been left out to make room for the group of high school kids picture to be a whole page if they switched some things around. There are many frustrating things like that throughout the whole book. 

There are some amazing pictures by Rachel Xin, Grant Alexander, and Nancy Tsang that I would've loved to have seen much bigger, but instead they were shrunk down surrounded by empty wasted space. And then there were these empty abstract paintings (like the cover of the book) blown up to fit the whole page. 

Whomever decided which pieces of artwork to show as well as the layout designer of this book should never do another art books again. It sounds harsh, but this is probably the worst "Art of Books" I have seen.

I give the book a 1 out of  5

The Art of Onward

The Art of Onward Is a really impressive book full of artwork.  Out of  the 176 pages I would say up to 60 pages are dedicated to character design.  Not only that, but most pages have multiple pictures of them working out what the design could be, before they finalize the character design. This is the kind of stuff we all love to see.

It looks like Grant Alexander, Chris Sasaki, Maria Yi, and Matt Nolte, are doing the bulk of the character designs on this film. They all seemed to be on the same wave length with the design rules, even from the start you can tell that they got the look and feel of this film pretty quickly.   I'm so happy to see more artwork from Matt Nolte, he is one of my favorite artists and I am so happy they show a lot of his art in this book.  Overall It's a pretty packed book full of good stuff

I give the book a 4.6 out of  5

Matt Nolte, digital.

Spread only of Laurel.

Manticore’s Tavern characters.