Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lessons for the aspiring artist. #001


For a comic book artist, it is to be expected that from time to time changes need to be made to the artwork to suit the various needs of various people. Sometimes they are corrections for continuity, preference or the artist just did a bad job. It happens. You don't have to like it. (And frankly, it wouldn't really matter if you didn't.)

The fact is, in order to be a Professional, you must simply accept it

|----------(original pencils)-------------------------|------------------(final production)------|

Let's face it, comic books aren't always about 'art'. It's about business and teamwork as well. It's NOT all about you.

Let me ask a question, are you frequently referred to as "artsy-fartsy"? Or "another moody artist"?

Do you wear a lot of black and hang out in dimly lit coffee shops?

When people ask you what you like to do, do you narrow your eyes and shun verbal descriptions such as " I draw", "illustrate" or "work-up"? And in their stead, prefer to use terms like "I create", "imagine", "breath life into" or "evoke my creative muse"?

Well, maybe comics aren't for you.

Now I understand this may be hard for some to hear, so let me be a voice of comfort and say; it's going to be okay.

To be fair, all professional artists are at least partially guilty of having these feelings of love and attachment to our drawings/beloved offsprings of the mind. There's nothing to be ashamed of. We love to draw cool stuff.

We hurt too sometimes.

Just don't expect us to easily admit it. And here is the lesson; you must'nt either.

Stand firm.

Be unflinching, cold and stoic when seeing the final product of your labor. Even after it has been "tweaked a little". After things have been "accentuated". Or "fixed", "corrected", "finalized". After something you worked-up/grew in your hearts loving womb is sent throught the grimy and merciless cogs of edits, deformed and counterfeit. Barely recognizable.

The fact is; Alan Smithy has never drawn a comic book. So just try not to notice that it's still your name appearing next to it.

Don't start whining about it. Some may say you are a perfectionist, or waaaaaaaay too attached. They may say; 'I can't tell the difference, It looks pretty much the same.'

Is that a tear? Bite your lip! Stop that chin from quivering! Buck up, man! This isn't 'art'! You're getting paid!

If you have reached this point, you have failed. Never let them see you sweat. You've moved into damage control now. Just nod your head, and shrug it off with a "yeah, I guess you are right."

Choke back those pride oozing tears, and move on to your next llustration/glistening conception of creativity, and hope this one makes it through the cogs intact, and even cooler looking than the last.

Good luck.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Green Lantern's NEW uniforms!

Okay, not really. It's just a sketch I did from last issue of the Corps. In it we get to see Soranik Natu literally slumming it in the ghettos of her home world, Korugar.
And since the scenery was different, I decided to take the opportunity, (albeit briefly) to feature Natu in something other than her uniform.

I don't know about you, but I get bored seeing characters always looking the same. Clothes, hair, whatever.
Maybe it's just my coping mechanism, but even as a fan, I think that having that kind of variety every once in a while just keeps things zesty.

On the stands.

It may be interesting to note, that when I get assigned covers, I do both Robin and GLC back to back. When these two came along, I was told the basic Idea. Hero/s surrounded by bad guys/babies. So basically the same exact thing, content-wise.
So hopefully they don't come off looking too much like carbon copies. I guess Ill leave that up to you to judge. Here they are with Robin first:
Robin 160> Pete; "I want Robin fighting a bunch of super strong thugs."

Okay Thumbnail sketch #1 is lame. Ill give you that. But I still like the idea of the two guys smashing their faces into each other in a near miss.
#2...I like this one a lot. it would have been even better to get to show the stoic, steel resolve in Robin's face in the final version, but alas...
#3 I am glad I didn't have to do this one because I basically ripped it off from a Bruce Lee movie still. Plagiarism is bad.
#4 the final and the chosen. fun, kind of unconventional, but I get to show of Robins acrobatic style, plus it is always nice to draw thugs flying.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #11> Pete; "....let's try Soranic and Iolande surrounded by babies with guns."

As far as GLC's thumbnail sketches, not much variation in content. Mostly posing. But you want to get it just right when posing women and killer babies. No room for error there. Great job by Moose and Christian here as well. you can almost smell the dirty diapers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Kilowog and MOGO

(click on images for a scary close up!)
I love Moose. No, not the animal. They are alright, But the Moose I refer to here is my colorist. For those of you who don't know a colorist can make or break a piece of art. Moose is very good at what he does. I never have to worry about what he'll come up with. And it's great because he can take a relatively uneventfully picture and jazz it up somethin' fierce! So to you my friend,Bravo!