Saturday, May 09, 2009

Post 358

For some reason using the moleskine has been really cathartic during the past stressful few days. It's given me a chance to just do some stream of consciousness writing/drawing. It always helps me to do that, then I can leave the thoughts on the paper and out of my head.

I'm about to go finish day 6 of a six day grueling work-out week I'm putting myself through to see what kind of results it produces. So far it's been fantastic (except the day I nearly pulled a Martin Lawrence wearing neoprene and a hoodie into the 90 degree humid weather since I didn't get to work out at 5 a.m. like normal). I'm actually getting closer to my first target weight that I wanted to be for Heroes. With the cooler weather a few weeks back I wasn't thinking this would be possible, but the recent heat surge has my body actually wanting to lose weight, and not keep it on to fight the cold.

Haven't seen Star Trek yet, I'm taking my family for Mother's Day to see that. But if Twitter is right, nearly everyone else has seen it already!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Post 357

Yesterday I realized I was starting to enter summer mode...but I still have 4 weeks! Gotta get myself back into day-job mode!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Post 356

So, I'm posting tomorrow's early. I've gotta' go back to work, the swine flu apparently did not warrant any further days of closure, and I'm going to need the extra time tomorrow morning since it's trash day, and I gotta' go exercising.

Someone I haven't talked to in a long time had seen my more recent art and me going back to some more realism, really showing some more versatility. They asked me what the push was that motivated a bunch of change this year compared to others. The main one is weight loss. I've been dedicated and going strong for over half a year now, and it's become apparent to a lot of folks that I haven't been slouching. Another was the Zuda process. I was looking at some people's entries this month, and I haven't really talked about it. It was a pretty agonizing process, not because of the loss, but because of what I learned through reflection was not the way I wanted to break into the industry. I'm actually pretty glad I didn't win now, because I know that's not what I was meant to do.

In running around like a chicken with my head cut off promoting the story, worrying that I was losing, and too many other things going on at once, I got to a point where I had enough. I hit emotional bottom, and just didn't care anymore. I didn't want to have anything to do with the project anymore, it stopped being fun. I learned that when something stops being fun with comics, it's just work, and I already work, but even that is still fun. Because I make it that way. It's a little harder though in comics if you're stuck promoting in ways you normally wouldn't, which seems less than genuine.

But through the process of doing the Zuda competition, I asked myself what all I wanted from comics, and also found that I missed my fine art roots. In college, the two worlds of school and comics had to stay apart. People would get drummed out of programs based on the knowledge of doing "comic style" drawings. But I've really started to marry the two worlds together, and constantly evolve. I'm just having fun pushing myself and hopefully pushing the medium of sequential storytelling so I can contribute something that's fun and most importantly genuine. I don't get behind projects I don't believe in, and I don't sacrifice quality on time constraints if at all possible, which is why I haven't been doubling up on projects like I used to.

This is a medium that is about doing something you enjoy, and hopefully other people will find it enjoyable. But first and foremost, as an artist, you should genuinely find the source material engaging, or it shows in some way to the reader that you just aren't that into it. You also need to do it for yourself. If people like it, they like it, if they don't, they don't, but you can't win everyone over, and the only thing worse than nobody reading something, is nobody reading something and knowing that you didn't give it your personal best in YOUR OWN style!

But what I'm trying to get at is that there is no one path in this industry. Sure, you can follow the blueprint of successful artists and copy their style, but you can pidgeon-hole yourself. You want to stick to your guns and show what you want to do, and make it happen. Sure I may just sound like a crazy zealot who is disillusioned or angry...but I'm none of those things. I'm happy, and I'm having fun making things on my own terms. I don't have any major obligation, so if something isn't what I want to do, I don't have to take the assignment. You have to be true to yourself to unlock your true potential, and once you get that style or technique that gets peoples attention finally, don't just stay comfortable there, refine it, innovate!

Rant over!

Post 355

Here's another one I did for Evan. I'm glad that recently I've decided to really work on my pencil abilities. I had been working most of this year with brush technique and paint, which gave me confidence and forced me to focus on hand positioning on mark making tools. But now, working with colored pencils has forced me to capture movement quickly, and then focus on better rendering techniques. It's easier to see 5 steps ahead, knowing what information needs to be left until later, and what needs to be done to make something look a specific way.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Post 354

I just finished this yesterday (started it yesterday too), an art trade with a friend I made on the drawingboard (donate to keep it alive!) who is...oddly enough, named Evan as well! It's funny, Evan always says we're versions of each other from an alternate universe. I have to tell you, it's funny how eerie it can be sometimes, too many similarities for the mind to comprehend based on only the sharing of a first name! Here is what I get out of the trade, which is totally awesome! My brother and I love some Doc Savage, so this is getting framed!

The piece is around 13X20 inches in prismacolor on Canson Mi-Tientes paper. You too can have something of this sort in commission form...if the price is right!...and my schedule permits!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Post 353

Quick sketch of Dylan Dog! So, I got an iPhone yesterday, and spend a good part of the day setting things up on it. Then I get to my RSS reader...nobody is updating!!! What's the deal?! This hasn't been a once in a while thing, I might as well stop checking in a lot of instances. I think outside of me, Craig and Benito updates their blogs/journals the most of things I read. I mean, I know people are busy using twitter (I hate the term tweet, ESPECIALLY as newscasters continue to use it). But I use twitter, facebook, I go to two messageboards and update regularly. I update here EVERY-SINGLE-DAY! PLUS, I get pages done (just can't show them to you guys until they near release), and I'm doing a webcomic, plus a bunch of other things besides the dayjob.

I know it's pretty crazy to call people out, but I'm calling people out!!! Lets see some more updates on what you're doing. It's called networking, and it's what's taken me from an ABSOLUTE nobody to a SEMI nobody. That's an infinite increase of progress!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Post 352

Here's one I did the other day. I was trying out some different lines than I usually use for shading. Geez, it's fun to work in this style. I'd never use it for an actual book...even though I'm pretty quick with it, but for covers I could definitely see the possibilities.