Back in 2009, writer of Kid, Inc. comic strips, Chuck Duffie, asked me to illustrate a few strips for him. I was working with existing characters, so I had to stay within the style guidelines already set by the previous artist. Here is one such strip I did. You can check out Kid, Inc.’s website for more creative works from Chuck Duffie and his creative family.
A lot of what I do is create designs which will be used by a factory for production. As I’ve explained in previous posts, these designs were not done with a view that anyone would see them. However, for anyone who may be interested, here’s one of those designs.
I’ve never wanted to do animation, because it seemed like one had to draw nearly the same thing over and over, with only slight changes between drawings. In all honesty, that seemed too tedious and uninteresting for my limited attention span.
Comics, on the other hand, allows for more progress from panel to panel, so it was something that appealed to me more than animating — though, if I had my druthers, I’d rather trim the fat even further and simply do an illustrated book. In any case, I’ve always found sequential storytelling an interesting enterprise.
Here’s a page from a comic I did some time ago which had very little dialogue or text and depended heavily on imagery to tell the story. Hopefully, I didn’t entirely choke in my attempt to express the story in pictures. Well, the writer was very happy with the work I did on her story, so at least someone was satisfied with my effort.
I was recently asked by a young reader to visit his blog and offer comments on his art. I encouraged him and let him know that he ought not ever be discouraged because of criticism or rejection.
The reality is that, in this business, one can expect rejection over 90% of the time, so it’s nothing with which an artist should concern himself. I had to point out that getting work is like fishing; there are a countless number of fish in the sea, and out of all those you’re only likely to catch a handful. Those handful, however, make for good eatin’, so it’s worth plugging ahead.
The following is a design which was rejected because, while the client originally had asked for an alien creature with a lion’s head, he later changed his mind and asked for something different. I’m no prima donna, so I happily followed my marching orders. In my mind, the client should get what he wants (within reason), and it’s my job to revise things accordingly until the customer is happy. In any case, rejection shouldn’t be taken personally. It’s all part of the job, and anyone wanting to do art professionally ought to have the thick skin to handle criticism and rejection.
Ever wonder why artists have these mannequins? I certainly never use mine. Perhaps they provide a very rough idea of perspective to some, but the anatomy is so vague and nondescript that it’s less than useless. So why do I own one? Well, because the Intergalactic Federation of Artist Standards requires all artists to prominently display one of these articulated dust-collectors near their work-space. It’s how we in-the-know identify each other, like a secret handshake. Of course, one would think the old-underwear-turned-paint-rags, poor sleep habits, and empty bank-account would be sufficient to identify one as an artist, but, no, apparently only a dingus like this is sufficient to convey to the world that one occupies the ranks of creative minds. Ever noticed how artists who have died in obscurity failed to get one of these? Laugh if you will, but my little wooden-head has performed wonders for me. As long as I’ve owned mine, I’ve never had a million-dollar deal go sour. Of course, I’ve never had a million-dollar deal, but that’s besides the point.