Journal Entry #30

guitar redneckHello friends. It’s time for a another blog-o-entry! I’ll try to keep this one short. I’m still working on the children’s book. I’ve finished the thumbnails and did a little re-arranging of the scenes. A few of the scenes seemed out of place where they were so I switched them around. The thumbnail stage is the perfect time to do this since you haven’t spent so much time drawing and and coloring a a whole massive page. I’m now working on the book dummy, which for those who don’t know, is a loosely drawn version of the actual book. I’m using the dummy as a way to see if the story still flows well. I’m not stay strictly to my thumbnail drawings of the pages either. I’m trying to make each page more dynamic than what I might of done on the thumbnail. I only have four pages of the dummy drawn but I’m still feeling good about it. I’m going to leave the harder pages for last. I don’t want to give too much away but there is a traffic scene and factory scene I’m not looking forward to draw. I don’t know If I mentioned it in previous blogs but I’ve decided to illustrate the book with a french grey colored pencil and water color. I like the look of the pencil over the the harsher black ink.

I’ve been researching other children’s book authors as well. I recently read “Show Me A Story” that has interviews with around 20 children’s book authors including Maurice Sendak. Yesterday I borrowed a book from the library on Sendak and only now am I appreciating his work. I’ve also been visiting the  children’s section of the library which makes me feel a little weird but there are books that I hear about and want to check out in person. Other children’s book authors that I’ve become interested in are Satoshi Kitamura, Oliver Jeffers, Peter Sis, Lisbeth Zwerger, William Steig and Mo Willems.

I’ve been reading things and it seems the only way to get published by a real publisher is if you have an agent. And agents won’t take you on unless you have something great to show. There is one agency I’ve been  looking at that illustrators need to have an online portfolio. So the little drawing above is going to be part of my online portfolio. I have other stuff that can go online but I want to have an impressive selection of art to look at before I create anything permanent.

OK, that’s all for now folks! Thanks for reading! New comic tomorrow, Monday! PEACE!

 

Journal Entry #29

10004041_10203347779604239_622619451_n

Just some doodles.

Hello guys! Back for another blog post. Lately I’ve been doing the comic kinda at the last minute. For instance, the last comic about the pen knife I came up with as I was waking up that morning. So if it seems stupid or isn’t funny to you it’s probably because I made it up on the fly. I know I shouldn’t be admitting this but I thought you should know. That’s what these journal entries are all about… admitting my faults. ha-ha

I’m still working on the children’s book. I have a script typed up and thumbnail sketches of each page spread done. My next step is to experiment with media and see what I want to use and what style is appropriate for the book. I’m thinking I’ll probably use ink and watercolor. The experimenting stage is where I really run out of steam on projects and they never get finished so I really need to push through and just get it done. I really want this book to exist so I’m going to make sure that happens.

Well, thats all the blabbing for now. Thanks for reading!

 

Journal Entry #28

From the sketchbook.

From the sketchbook.

Hey folks, back to just typing out these blog entries. I might post occasional videos still but I think this is probably the fastest and easiest way to get my point across.

So March is soon approaching and the days are getting longer. I am so ready for Spring. I get my exercise shoveling snow but it is also such a drag. Since the sun comes up earlier now, it is slightly easier to get my ass out of bed and try and be creative at 5 am. I’m going to start treating my morning 5am-7am hours almost as business hours for my creative self. On weekends I’ll set aside 5:30am-9:00am to get creative work done. I’ve struggled with keeping a set time to work on projects but I’m going to stick to this schedule to get sh!t done.

This past week I made it a goal to draw in my sketchbook every day for at least 10 minutes which I pretty much stuck to. I’m sure some days I didn’t draw a full 10 minutes but the point was just to draw SOMETHING. I’m going to try to keep that up because the more I do it the more comfortable I get with actually putting my mark on the paper.

I have an idea for a children’s book brewing in my head and I really would like to get that started (and perhaps finished) this year. I don’t want to get into the story now but I have an idea that I think is great… so great that I hope it hasn’t been done before. In future posts I’ll get into the book more.

I’m trying to pare down my goals for this year. I for sure want to keep creating Habitat comics every Monday and Friday. The process of making them is going much faster, I just need to bring the quality of drawing up more. Another goal is to be well on my way to finishing a children’s book. If I stick to a schedule I should be able to work on it almost everyday. I also wanted to set up a promotional portfolio website for myself but that might have to be put on the back burner. Right now, I don’t have many illustrations I would want on the site so hopefully as I work on the book I will start creating more illustrations that I think are worthy of the website.

So that’s my life for now. Thanks for reading it. Peace.

Journal Entry #27

Little drawing from the sketchbook.

Little drawing from the sketchbook.

Hello everyone. I hope you are all well. It’s almost the end of January and I’m proud that I’m sticking to my twice a week goal for the comic. Unfortunately, I haven’t been getting up as early as I should and that’s been screwing with my comic schedule. Don’t worry though, I have one coming up Monday!

On top of the comic I have made it a goal to work on illustrations for my online portfolio. I have stuff I did in school but I think I can do better than that now. I have a goal to do a total of 20 illustrations, 10 traditional, 10 digital. I’m debating on showing some of my better sketchbook entries too. Right now, I’m just in the idea stage of my website. I’m still trying to see it in my head and trying to figure out what I really want it to be.

Along with the illustrations I would like to create a children’s book this year. This is something I’ve always wanted to do but never got up the nerve to buckle down and actually do it. I would like to try to do it digitally but it will look a lot different than “Habitat.”

I know, I have a lot on my plate but I’m up for the challenge. My top priority is getting a website up to publicize myself and show my design / illustration portfolio. I feel the website is my first step to being able to freelance more and trying to make a living from my art.

Thanks for reading this little post and I hope you keep tuned in. Thanks! See you Monday!

 

Journal Entry #26

About a 2 hour sketch from my sketchbook.

About a 2 hour sketch from my sketchbook..

Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing great this year. So far this year has been pretty good. I have been trying to stay productive. Part of my productivity includes working more in my sketchbooks. I have plenty of empty or half filled books laying around that are just begging to be filled. So I told myself that I’m not buying another sketchbook until all of the ones i have are filled. I’ve been working on the human form a lot because I have trouble drawing it and I’m never satisfied with the way I draw it. I’m trying to make my drawings a little less stiff and more life-like, especially with body movement. I want this to be the year that I really get involved in drawing and hopefully I can track my progress.  I’ve been watching a lot of youtube videos of people showing off their sketchbooks and that has inspired me… and discourages me sometimes. I see all these art school animators showing their sketchbooks and there doesn’t seem to be a stinker in the bunch… even when they point one out that they don’t like.

So yeah, not much else to say. I hope you’re all liking the comic. I really need to get more used to the graphic tablet though. I like drawing toward myself and it’s hard to get used to a stationary tablet that doesn’t have much movement. That is probably the biggest challenge, I think I’m pretty used to not seeing my hand drawing it’s just not being able to turn the virtual paper that is weird to me. If there is anyone that has advice please let me know. Thanks for reading and I hope you come back for the new comic on Monday!

Journal Entry # 25

sketch layerHey everyone! It’s time for another quick journal entry! First, I want to say thanks for all the views and likes. It’s always nice to know that someone is out there reading this stuff.

I feel a little bit like I’m betraying the comic strip by going digital but it is so much easier and I feel I get better results. Going digital makes it much easier to look professional. One example of that is the lettering of the comic. My hand lettering was horrible but now I use a typeface that is much more attractive to look at. Yes, it is cheating but I feel that if it makes the comic better, why not? Drawing is still involved and I still go through the same process of sketching out in blue first and then going over with the black “inked level.” It’s just way easier to fix a mistake. The comic is still not perfect but I hope that as i go along the character design will solidify and I will be more courageous with the posing of the characters.

2014 is going to be my year of “creation not consumption.” I want to be way more artistically productive. That means more sketchbook work and less television and internet (unless it is productive.) I’m going to save my money and create instead of consume. I believe we are creative animals and it is more natural for us to create something than it is to spend money on something. I don’t want shopping to become my pastime which it seems has become the national pastime. So my new motto is consume less and create more.

Alright, that’s all I have to jabber about for now. Thanks for visiting and I hope you keep on visiting. See you Monday when a NEW comic is posted! Peace.

 

Journal Entry #23

practice dog 2So this is my second attempt at the graphic tablet. I just have to keep telling myself it takes practice to get good. I’m sure I’m not creating color in the most efficient way but I am still learning. I think having the tablet will at least speed up the drawing process and make it look a little bit more “professional.” If you are wondering, yes, this will probably be the look of the re-designed Morton. Thanks for reading. I’ll check you all later!

 

Journal Entry #22

 

practice dogHello again. This is going to be a pretty short post. I just wanted to show you something I made with my new toy. I got a Monoprice graphic drawing tablet for Christmas and this is my first serious practice with it (other than doodles). Not very spectacular but I’m trying to get the hang of it. I’m also toying with the idea of redesigning the look of “Habitat.” I think I would be happier with a style that is more natural to me. So when Habitat reboots next year it will probably look totally different and might be done completely digitally at some point. So, thanks for reading. Morton, Finn and I will see you in 2014!

 

Journal Entry #17

Howdy folks! Although I don’t really have anything of substance to say, I thought I would post something just to let you know I still exist… plus I think people like knowing the boring, mundane things that go on in people’s lives… I know I do.

I’m still writing scripts for “Habitat” pretty much everyday. Even when I’m feeling uninspired I force myself to write a strip. Amazingly enough they turn out to be pretty funny (to me at the time.) I’m enjoying my time away from drawing the comic. I know that since I’m a cartoonist I should like drawing but I find drawing for an audience or for a goal stressful. I believe even one of my heroes, Chris Ware, said in an interview he rarely finds drawing pleasurable. I’m rarely pleased with how my stuff turns out so I struggle at making drawing pleasurable for myself as well. So every time you see my comic, be aware of my inner struggle to make it better! LOL

You’ll notice in the next comic (on Friday) that there is just a little bit of computer shading added to each panel. I’m thinking of doing a basic “talking heads” sort of comic for awhile until I can master drawing the faces of the characters. I started out the comic thinking I could be as detailed as Walt Kelly with “Pogo” but, now I think mastering one aspect of the comic at a time would be best. So in future comics you’ll probably see a bit of a de-evolutionized “Habitat.” I’m bringing it back to basics: just two characters from the waist up, text, speech bubbles, and gray background. I’m just letting you know so that when you see the upcoming comics you don’t wonder what the hell is going on. It may be more boring to look at but I’ll try to make up for it with the writing.

Lately, I’ve been getting up early to work on re-teaching myself algebra. I got myself a book from the library and I’ve been working on it every morning. This sounds insane but I do a have reasoning behind it. First, I’m trying to knock the cob webs out of my brain and trying to become more knowledgable of math and science. Second, If I do have to take any placement tests for math in college, I want to try to test out of as many math classes as possible. Thirdly, if I ever have a child it would be nice if I could help him or her with algebra homework.

I’ve blabbed for long enough. Thank you to everyone who continues to read my junk. LOL Stop by on Friday to see the new comic! PEACE!

Journal Entry #12

Done in sketchbook. Made especially for today. Morton and I are sorry for taking the day off. :)

Done in sketchbook. Made especially for today. Morton and I are sorry for taking the day off. 😦

NO COMIC TODAY. I’m sorry to disappoint any one who follows my comic but because of my day job there will be no comic today.

I’m actually writing this on Wednesday, the day I normally do today’s comic. I’m flying solo at my graphic design job for the next couple of weeks and that adds a lot of extra stress and worry to my life. Tuesdays are deadline days and I worked from 6:45am to 8:30pm last night. Needless to say, I’m burnt out. True, I could have made a comic but I didn’t think it would be very good with the way I’m feeling right now. Since I plan on having these comics sent for syndication consideration, I want to work on them when I know I’ll have my full concentration.

Once again, I apologize to anyone who follows my comic and actually looks forward to reading it… so to that one person… I’m sorry. Ha-ha! I will still be making a new comic Tomorrow (Saturday) and posting it on Monday at 10:00am! Thank you for your understanding, and all your readership! See you Monday!