I've been starting the days with some timed figure sketches, then posting them over on my Twitter account. I'll eventually collect a week's worth and post the here, but feel free to check them out on Twittter.
If you're anywhere near the Central PA area, you should check out the ILLUSTRATED gallery show at the Hive Art Space. I'll have work on hand in the show, and will be creating a piece live during the opening. Check out there Facebook event page for the show.
The winners of the 2014 french Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire (Great Award of the Imaginary) have been announced, and the Stefan Wul line of books won an award! I'm proud to have contributed, albeit in a small part, to the line with my series with JD Morvan - Oms en Série.
The books in this series are truly gorgeous, and I'm honored and humbled to be in such great company. Thank you!
Besides "Why don't you go to conventions?", the second most asked question I get is "Why don't you sell art?". I'm always flattered that anyone wants to buy my work, and appreciate it more than I can say in words, but more often than not I'm just not ready to let the work go.
Now, I should say that I have sold some art before. Just here and there, mostly around the time I was on Comic Twart. I like seeing the art go to good homes, but I almost always regretted letting them go at all. The reason is simple: I don't know what the hell I'm doing.
I'm pretty good at making a comic, but I'm no genius. I can't absorb work the way some artists seem to be able to. I have to live with it a bit, soak it in. Thing is, working in comics is grueling. I imagine it's like being a stand up comic. You tell a good joke, awesome. Now, tell another. Now another. Now ANOTHER. No more jokes? F&*k you, get off the stage!
That's how I have to draw day to day. I remember, before I could get work, the thrill of finishing a new page. I was sure that page would be THE ONE to get my foot in some imaginary door at some publisher. I'd enjoy the page, study it, tell myself how awesome and clever I was for drawing it. Thing was, I was stupid then. I didn't know I was stupid, which is magic. I wish I could be stupid like that again. ... but I digress.
As you get better you start to see the misses, the goofs. You see the dumb, avoidable mistakes in the art that you SHOULD have seen while making it. Problem was that once I started to get work I was moving fast all the time so I wasn't seeing the mistakes in the art, I was seeing them in the finished books. That kills you. Well, it kills me anyway. But even then I'm not really seeing the mistakes. I'm seeing the shrunk down, colored, printed, lettered versions of my bullshit. To really learn I need to see the pages.
All I really want out of life is to tell a story with pictures better than every person who ever drew from now till the end of time (That, and to play the harmonica. Maybe speak French better... but that's it). Thing is, for me to get better I need time to see where I went wrong. So, I keep my pages. This way I can study them later. See where I went wrong, show them to smart people who can show me the stuff I missed.
This is why I don't sell pages very often. It's not you, it's me. I have the problem. I just want to draw really, really well. To do that I have to have the pages to go back to.
That's not to say I'll NEVER sell pages. In fact, I will. Some day.... when I can finally draw well or when the need for dough trumps my desire to draw better. Which ever comes first.
Thanks for understanding.
PS - I actually did sell the page above. "Hypocrisy" you say? No, no, It was for a charity thing.
Sorry I've been quiet on here. Going through a family crisis of sorts, nothing you need worry about, but it's kept me offline for a bit.
However, this issue of sexism in comics has reared it's ugly head again and it got me thinking about my last post on this issue and how women in comics have positively affected my career. Thinking about that lead me to think about how women in comics, and the arts in general, are affecting my present and maybe my future.
I just wrapped up my Visual Development class at PCAD, and there is a fact I'm seeing each semester that folks should be aware of. Most of my students are women. My last class was roughly 2/3's women, which is not unique to my class. The Illustration department, and the school in general, has a higher female enrollment rate than male. I understand that in general terms this is the norm for higher education, but it's great to see up close.
Also, these ladies are really good, I mean just CRAZY good, and intensely dedicated. The illustration program at PCAD is really rigorous, and the Visual Development classes are particularly challenging, but these ladies don't shrink away from the demanding work for a second. They're training damned hard, and they're determined to be ready for the work that is ahead.
There are students who graduated from my class but still come back to visit and gather more information, learn as much as they can, even if there are no credits involved. They just want to work and learn and get better and better.
I guess my point is this: If folks are not taking an artist seriously simply because she happens to be a women, or don't like having women in the arts well.... they're in for a surprise in a few years. The ladies I'm meeting are not playing around, and they are many. They're eager to work, but if work doesn't come for whatever reason they're willing to clear their own path, make their own way.
These folks who don't want women in comics can go ahead and keep telling themselves that only their tastes matter, or that women only get work because they're attractive, but posterity will only remember the work of the women who will prove them wrong.
Things will change, things will improve. I've met the future, and I have faith that they're going to fix things up. Dismiss them at your own risk.
As for me, I've decided to get on these ladies' good side. I kinda see me hitting them up for work in a few years ;-)
Ok, back to worrying and working for me. Talk to you later.