Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Style or Another Thing I Learned Whilst Doing Sketch Cards

I am about 20-25 cards from finishing my first sketch card obligation.  I pray that I get more doing these after this job but thats not up to me.

What is up to me is to share the things I gave learned while doing these cards.

My previous post was the first thing I learned and that is not to do likenesses. The companies can't use them for legal reasons so don't do it.

This second thing is this. Style comes from drawing a lot the way you are comfortable.  The way you want to draw that is fun for you.
You can't "invent" a style. Or better yet you can invent a style but it won't stick.  You will get tired of the mechanics of it or the look of you new style and you will change it. I've seen pleny of artists decide they their style was "Cartoony" just to see them change it in a month to realistic. Or draw in beautiful black and white expertly inked and then decide that they want to go loose and sketchy a month later.
In trying to define your style you build a box to put your art in and creativity doesn't work that way.

Not saying its wrong to try to draw something like Mignola once in a while for fun but you are not Mignola. We all have our influences and thats good.  In the 90's the Image guys all had people in thier individual studios that drew like the founder.  Lee and Homage (currently Wildstorm) had Clark, and Choi, and Protacio all clearly heavily influenced by Jim himself. Look at those artists early work with Homage and thier work now and they stopped mimicking Lee and started drawing the way they were comfortable that was fun and let them hit deadlines.

You recognize an artists work because they have done a body of work that you are familiar with. You pick out the way McFarlane draws a face or webbing and it registers. Next time you see webbing like that you remember the artist. Odds are if you are over 30 that last sentence conjured up the vision of McFarlanne's webbing. 

The way Lee draws a mouth, Liefeld draws eyes and foreheads or Sale draws anything. You know the artist by what you refer to as his style. What you refer to style the artist refers to as "just the way I draw".

You set down and draw enough people and you will start too see a pattern in how you shape a head or a nose.  In the way a hand is blocked in.  It's not because Jim Lee is trying to draw like Jim Lee.  It's because thats how Jim Lee draws. If you have a professional comic book artist a piece of paper to sketch in at a comic con they will return the paper to you in a matter of minutes.  Sometimes seconds, and you know what? A McNiven sketch looks like a McNiven piece. Without trying, just cranking out fun art and goofy sketches

I have a few friends thru Twitter that are fellow artists. Kev Brett & Mike Jackson are both great inspirations to me and I love to see their work.  I can tell their art from other people's art now because I've seen so much of it and I know both of them just draw.   They have to draw.  It's not about finding a style to them they just draw something and the line weight or the coloring or the lines of a face all Scream Mike or Kev.  They might get more control or more skilled at thier art but you show me a drawing from either of them 5 years ago and I bet I'll recognize it. It's consistency that creates a style.
If you are not consistent then you DONT HAVE A STYLE.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

SketchCards or Artists are a Cowardly Lot

Likenesses are not "ok".

That's it that's the big secret that my friends knew but didn't tell me.

People I considered friends, people who have done sketch cards for the very companies that have told me this didn't bother to let me know.

They watched for weeks as I drew and laid out my "sample packet" of sketch cards and knew that I was providing exactly what would lose me the gig and said nothing.

This is either due to the fact that they didn't want me as competition or they just don't care a lick about me.

3 weeks I spent doing my personal sketch cards and posting them for approval on my twitter and blog and no one said boo about it.

So I'm telling you if you are reading this.  If you are going to submit yourself for a set do not do likenesses.  According to my handler at a major company and my rejection letter from another Likenesses are not ok.

Even if you get on a set for a movie or TV show you can't use the actors likeness and they will be rejected immediately.

Praise God I got a hold of someone at the company and pleaded my case.  Then sent  non likeness cards and got the job.

Just thought someone out there might want to know.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I'm definitely not one of those people that doesn't eat meat because the treatment of animals.  I really don't care a whole lot how a a chicken is treated if it was put on earth for me as food.
I do not care if a cow has its feelings hurt.

However I decided to see if I could go a week without eating meat.  It all started when a friend of Mine (Drew) met me at a new BBQ restaurant for lunch.  in the following 7 days I ate at that restaurant another 4 times.

They only serve sandwiches and they are delicious but its a lot of meat.  I ate one that consisted of sausage wrapped in ham then that was wrapped in bacon.  It was huge.

So I decided to lay off meat for a week.  The plan was to not stat until tomorrow but Since I had went all day Thursday without meat I figured I'd start then and continue for a week starting tomorrow as well with Lin.

Friday to Sat overnight I slept better than i have since I was a kid.  I woke up refreshed and feeling great.  Sat to Sun was the same way and everyday since.

I don't know if this is in correlation to the fact that I haven't had any meat for  6 days or not but I don't even want meat right now.

I'm not a tree hugging hippie, and Im certainly not an animal rights activist but if this treand of amazing sleep persists then I am off meat for good.  Which I don't think would be hard.

Hardest part will be getting my family to not be weirded out by it.  i don't care at all if they eat meat or not, its not about that for me.  For now its just a test of will and a great nights sleep.