Journal #43

Hey everybody! Happy New Year! First, I must apologize for the lack of comics and blog posts. I got kind of busy towards the end of 2014. I got a few freelance jobs off of Fiverr. For those who don’t know what Fiverr is, it is a website where you can sell your services for $5 a pop. I know that doesn’t sound like a very good deal but it is a good starting point for someone like me trying to break into the professional world of illustration. Through Fiverr I got a much high paying gig to illustrate a whole children’s book! So it does pay (literally) to be on Fiverr. A few other smaller jobs have been piling up as well so I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to work on “Habitat.” I want to start finding time to do the webcomic again and as soon I can, I will.

For Christmas I got a new Wacom Intuos 5 Pro from my parents which couldn’t have come at a better time just when my illustration work is taking off. I love it so far. The touch dial on it is awesome and makes doing things in Photoshop so much easier. I thought I would use the touch aspect of the tablet more but at least in Photoshop it just kind of gets in the way. The pressure sensitivity is great and I like that it detects at what angle you hold the pen at. My Monoprice tablet was great for the price but this new tablet makes working on the computer so much easier. Although with this book project I’m working on, I still pencil and ink the drawing traditionally and then color it on the computer. I’m still not comfortable actually drawing with the tablet. It seems just easier to do it the ol’ fashioned way.

In other news, I’m now officially a “Big Brother.” I had my first meeting with 10 year old, Keith on Dec. 17th. The two times I’ve hung out with him he’s been pretty quiet but that’s really to be expected. He is polite though, and puts up with all my questions. He has trouble reading so it is one of our goals to get better at that. Our 2nd meeting I took him to see Big Hero 6 which I probably wanted to see more than he did. Haha We both had a good time though. I’m hoping this can be a long lasting relationship filled with mutual respect. Only the future holds that answer.

It is now official that I’m teaching a Comicstrip class on March 7th at our local museum. No backing out now! Ha-ha. Yet another thing I have to get ready for but I’m still excited about it.

2015 will be a busy year but that is alright with me. It is good to be busy and not have too much idle time. I just have to make the most of my time and not find excuses for procrastination.

OK, I’ve rambled long enough. Hopefully my next post will come sooner than this one did. Till then, kepp your eyes, ears, and minds open. Peace.

Habitat Comic #4

The inspiration for this came while walking Iggy.

The inspiration for this came while walking Iggy.

Hello again everyone. It’s time for another comic strip. I’m going to try my best and work my buns off to get a new comic out every Saturday. So keep stop by every Saturday to see whats going on.

I figure that if I’m going to submit my comics to a syndicate by my next birthday, I’ll have to do more than one strip a month. Putting them out weekly should be enough to give me choice of which are going to be sent off. I’m sure not every one of these things is going to be gold so it would be nice to only send the best. To make this hobby into a career is my goal.

This past week wasn’t as productive as I would have liked. I stayed up too late most nights and didn’t wake early enough to practice drawing before work. I’m a fairly proficient at drawing but I struggle with it sometimes and I would like it to come a bit easier. Anything I can do to make this comic better I’m going to do even if it means getting to bed earlier and waking up early.

I still would like to create a podcast even though I’m unsure how good it would be. I actually bought a cheap microphone for my MacBook but it wouldn’t work so I had to take it back. I did find a free app for the iphone that records audio and is pretty easy to get on to my computer so I’ll probably just use that. As for content of the podcast, I probably will just talk about what I usually would write about: How the strip is going, ideas for future strips, my process, random dumb ideas… you know, boring stuff like that.

OK, That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping.

Process and Accomplished Goals

Hey all! So I didn’t really get around to working on any real character design. Needless to say I don’t have any model sheets ready to be shown. I’m still struggling in my mind with how I want the style of the book to look. I want the style to be easy/simplistic enough on me that I can sustain drawing an entire book but I also want there to be enough detail to make the story more realistic, interesting, and believable. My big 3 comic influences are R. Crumb, Craig Thompson, and Jeffrey Brown. I would like to put them all in a blender and make something special of my own.

The little comic above is just practice for the book really. It was done with Sharpie marker on regular 8.5 x 11 printer paper. I think I will stick with the six grid format for the book though. I think working with that grid should be simple enough for me to work through a whole graphic novel. I will try to do as many as these practice one-page comics  as possible and post them when I’m done. I want to show my process and to see if I’m improving in any way I can. As you can see they aren’t really thought out very well but I want to keep at it up so I get better.

As far as goals and deadlines, I almost have everything crossed off my June deadline list! I have decided on the materials I will use for this project. This past weekend I spent under $20 for supplies I will need. I have written both of my artist statements. And my next September goal list has already been made but, I will get into that more in a later post. Soon I will develop the look of the character and I will complete my final task before June hits.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by!

Artist Statements

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this post I would like to talk a little bit about last weekend. Last Saturday was the Summit City Comicon in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fortunately, some of my family live there so Sara and I were in attendance. My uncle, who is a local Ft. Wayne artist, was nice enough to take us there. Unfortunately I have no photos to share but it was still fun to see how a smaller city throws their comic book conventions. Katie Cook was there drawing a crowd as usual. We also met Jeremy McFarren who had the genius idea of doing daily doodles and putting them in his kids’ lunch boxes. He has several books you should check out. A really talented and friendly guy! I didn’t end up buying anything but I still enjoyed my trip and I think Sara enjoyed it too. Maybe someday I’ll be able to get a table there. 🙂

I have been doing a lot of thinking and I have finally come up with an artist statement for myself and the book as I had promised last week. Both are to help me stay focused and inspired enough to stick with this graphic novel thing. So for those of you who really care, here they are…

Personal Artist Statement: I am an illustrator with a goal of conveying the human experience  graphically. I want the emotion in my drawing to look effortless. I see my art as a constantly evolving. I should be constantly improving as a draftsman. Idea / purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface is the path I will strive to follow. Good art always tells it’s own story but is told in a way that others can relate to and that is my goal.

Graphic Novel Art Statement: This will be a semi-autobiographical graphic novel that everyone can relate to in some fashion. It will be a collection of “snap-shots” or little glimpses into my life. This book will also collect thoughts that I have about life in general. The theme of the book will be about how hard it is to “grow up” and not be so self-centered. It also will ask the question that I so frequently ask myself, “what does it mean to be an adult man today?” I will approach the book with a beginners mind and see this as a learning experience. Although, I have drawn my whole life I still feel there is room for improvement so this will be my way of becoming a better draftsperson. Even though it will be drawn with a relatively inexperienced hand I will strive for beauty in every panel I draw. I’m hoping that the drawing style will contrast nicely with the story of growing older and wiser. I will also limit my drawing tools on this book to cheap pencil, pen, marker, and sketchbook. I want to show that beauty does not need to be created expensively.

So, there it is. It may be a mishmash of thoughts but it is something I can go to if I lose my way during the project. This is probably only interesting to me but I’m hoping that someone might be able to see my process and be inspired to start a project of their own.

Why go through all this for something I’m probably not going to make any money on? Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m at the age now that I feel the need to create something important that shows that I was once here and that I was an artist. If this turns into an illustration career that would be GREAT but I’m trying not to make it the main reason why I’m tackling this project now.

Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully next week I’ll have a few model sheets to show how I’ll look in the book!

 

When You’re 33.

It is the week of my birthday and I can feel death’s hands draw inevitably closer. ha-ha Of course I’m kidding. I’ve actually heard that 33 is one of the happiest ages to be. I’m not sure why that is or how that was found out but, I would hope it to be true. I would like 33 to be a turning point at least in my artistic career. No more screwin’ around, I either start AND FINISH some huge artistic venture or I don’t do it at all.

As far as the book goes, I’ve started messing around with some character design, which is namely me since it is partly autobiographical. I think I’ve pinned down Sharpie marker as my media for this project as well. It will give me a more varied line width. So I am slowly on my way to getting this ball rolling.

Not much else to report. I’ll be back next week to let you all know how my b-day went. Till then… “Keep looking up!”

This is a sharpie drawing I did of one of our co-workers. That has become his catch-phrase... I'm not too sure he knows it though.