Month: December 2013

008-JUL19-2013-Sample[1]

Rant about writers, publishers, and other vague individuals commissioning art

008-JUL19-2013-Sample[1]

Here’s another one from this year’s archive of unposted stuff. I held off posting this because it’s a sample for a children’s book. I get frequently approached specifically for children’s books. It boggles me. What on my website gallery captures this particular interest? Maybe it’s the choice of style… but you know, just because you wrote a gleeful children’s story and it’s fashionable in our desperate economic time to put on a happy face, it doesn’t mean I am suddenly going to drop everything and draw bright, friendly, optimistic pictures. It’s artistic integrity. I have a firm commitment to the sense of realism to everything I do, whether it’s the anime/cartoon style, or super realistic images. Realism doesn’t mean it looks photo realistic, it refers to the conceptual aspect of a style.

Now this guy didn’t do what typically happens. He had a story that actually fit my style – it was a darker, grittier story, and it was more for boys I’m guessing or girls with that strand of interest.

But what I’ve experienced and seen happen to other illustrators has been that people inexperienced with working with artists treat illustrators like mindless puppets. Let me get this out there…I really don’t give a fuck how good you think your idea or story is. You’re talking to creative people…creative people have ideas all the time. It’s easy to have an idea, but it’s hard to have a truly great idea… and then when you do, that doesn’t make you king of the hill. An idea by itself isn’t worth anything until it’s actualized. You have an idea, but you can’t draw, so you go to an artist. Because you can’t draw, you must treat the artist with respect. For me personally – I’ve been kicking around doing this for 8 years professionally. I think I have some idea of what I’m doing, and I don’t need a condescending tone from a client like I need them to tell me how to move my hands to make the lines. I have a professional demeanor, so it’s not going to show, but I do get really irritated when I deal with this. And you know what? That irritation ends up going into the work, unfortunately. It’s subconscious, and I am human, so it’s hard to let it go sometimes.

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031-MAY08-2013+Weird+Careers+Comic[1]

Weird…comic

So I posted a little screen shot of this a while back… Let this demonstrate the learning curve I went through the past 6 months in terms of digital art with this image. This is before I took any classes and I was generally really frustrated with digital painting because I had no clue how to approach it.

When I made this, I shaded it in gray and separated absolutely everything. I planned on applying an overlaying colour, but I soon discovered how difficult it is to get that to mix right. I thought it would be a quick solution… but the values are very light, and the shirt there has some patterning….ended up being a bad idea. I should’ve just straight up tried to colour this instead of being scared, because trying to overlay colours after proved to be as much guesswork as I would’ve done if I had just coloured it. Back then, I had no idea how to read the colour picker and make a smart choice on colour.

Anyway….the colour I did on this originally was so hideous I deleted it, and just threw on this stylized gradient map to apply colour. It looks pretty funky…the “idea” is that the desert is so scorching hot, it has bleached out all visible colour. Whatever…

I wouldn’t put this in my portfolio for a large array of reasons.

1. It’s not my style. How do I know that? It’s a complete fluke and looks awkward. When I throw it into my artwork folder, it stands out because it’s weird, not because it’s unique or a step up from what I’ve been doing.

2. This colouring is a sad excuse for colouring. I mean, some of the values are gross…you don’t exactly have a lot of control with a gradient map unless you want to drive yourself totally insane.

3. The scale is wonky – it looks like a tiny comic strip because of the font and proportions of the picture elements, but the details are very small. If this was printed on a page as a spot, it would look off because the details would become hard to read. In comparison to some of my recent comic work (the SFX collab I am doing), this looks very poorly thought out, even though I was more fighting with my inexperience with digital art.

031-MAY08-2013+Weird+Careers+Comic[1]

My biggest hurdle with digital art has been dealing with the layering and the whole…mathematical side to it. Gradients are math, all the layer blending modes are math, colour picking is a math. The process is very inorganic. There’s just something about doing it with your hands and watching the pigment of whatever medium you’re using react, and learning what it’s doing… it’s probably the same for making music on a real instrument versus a digital instrument. Something real gives you the whole process from A to Z, digital is like straight from A to Z without anything in between. You apply a blending mode and BAM! there it is – no way to observe how it happened.

Anyway, this was to let off some steam on job searching.