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Thanks for the ideas everyone! Here's the post many of you requested...
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Here's a sample of responses I've heard from some editors over the years when I've raised practical business concerns regarding comic book publishing:

"No, we don't know exactly what books you'll be doing, but we're (insert name of big publisher) Comics, so sign exclusive with us and not (insert name of competing publisher who has titles ready for you)!"

"This is a (insert name of big writer) book! I know he's late, but just think of how many people would love to be in your shoes!"

"The page rate isn't good, but at least you'll be getting to work with (name of big superhero whom you're supposed to be a fan of)!"

"We won't fly you out or put you into a hotel, but you should come so you can sign at the booth for us! Who doesn't love signing autographs?"

What do these statements have in common? They're emotional arguments made to sidestep your  legitimate professional concerns--and they only work if you're in "awe" of comics. Being a comic creator is fun because you get to pick up your proverbial toys again. But there's a danger in being too in "awe" of the medium where you might end up wearing blinders, increasing your chances of being affected by bad business practices.

For example, a publisher is offering you a title, but the page rate stinks. When you ask about getting your normal rate, the publisher politely reminds you that it's a Teen Titans book, hoping to play off your emotional love for Cyborg to allow him to ignore the normal business practice: maintaining your page rate.

Emotional arguments don't have any real use in the business world--the world where it's all about the bottom line and what's written down on contracts. Imagine that you're buying a car, but you want only want to pay 50% of the sticker price. The salesman asks why you think you should get that price, and you explain that your mother just died, hoping that the salesman (who likely has a mother of his own) will empathize and agree to let you have the car for less. In other words, you're asking him to ignore normal business practices because of the emotional charge of your predicament. And while he might empathize with you, there's no way he'd allow you to take advantage like that.

I ran into an emotional argument with myself over Batman once. I'm a huge fan of Batman: The Animated Series. My love of Batman is fueled by my emotional attachment to him as a kid. Last year I was offered a 6 page fill-in on a Batman story--there were delays and they needed someone quick. The emotional argument in my head was this: I love Batman, how cool would it be to do a Batman story in my current style? But I turned it down because the professional argument was stronger: it's better for me to wait on a bigger Batman project, not one that's just a fill-in, but one that really showcases my art. No one looks good on a fill-in (I also had PRJ in the works and other reasons for turning it down).

You could argue (as my friends did) that another professional argument is this: doing the fill-in could get you onto other Batman gigs! And you're right--that's a good argument. But whichever decision you make, we can agree that the stronger argument is usually made professionally, not emotionally.

The runaway "awe" factor in comics is something professionals do to themselves, I feel. We're all in love with the medium, and we're all thrilled to be making a living. And the shakier it gets out there, the more thankful we are to get any job offer, I know. But the more we allow ourselves to think as "fans" and not "professionals,"  the easier it is for editors can play off our "awe".

To be clear, there a lot of great editors who don't work this way. They treat you as a professional and take the industry seriously. The writers, artists, and editors whom I consider most trustworthy and helpful are the ones whom are very low on the "awe" factor. And when you see them at conventions, they're not usually big on meet-and-greets or at crowded bars where back-slapping runs rampant.

What are some other ways being in "awe" might hurt you? Maybe a huge writer wants to do a book with you, and you're so thrilled to be teamed up with him, you shy away from asking for a bigger cut of the profits. Or maybe you're a writer who's head-over-heals for Superman, and now that you're calling some of the shots, you're too afraid to take any real chances with the character.

Don't get me wrong--I'm not suggesting you not be excited about getting work. You've just got a call that you'll be taking over X-Men? Good for you--hit the pub with your friends and go get hammered. But as soon as your hangover clears up, time to act like a pro and do your best to separate yourself from the little kid inside. Yes, you'll dip into being a little kid again, but hopefully not at those moments when an editor asks you to keep working even though your last paycheck is a week late.

Watch out for emotional arguments! And not just in comics but everywhere--especially in entertainment based jobs where being in "awe" can be a detriment.
  • Listening to: Beethoven piano sonatas
  • Reading: Attack of the Theocrats
  • Watching: Science Channel
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About a month ago I finally got to meet an art hero of mine, Klaus Janson, a well known pro who's been in the industry for over 30 years. A mutual friend introduced us, and we hit it off right away. The group of us went through the Village hitting pub after pub, and soon I was drunk enough to ask Klaus something that had been bugging me.

I asked him if modern comic artists are, on average, slower than we used to be. He said yes, and I agreed.

From the Golden Age until the 80s, pencillers were generally expected to turn in at least two pages a day, while an inker was expected to turn in around 3-4. There were a handful of exceptions, I'm sure, but most of the artists could pump out pages like human printing presses. In the current comic industry, it's completely reversed: while a handful of artists can still hit this speed, the vast majority can't. Pencillers today struggle to produce a page-per-day, while inkers (those who still ink with ink) are hitting around 2.

So what happened? I've talked to a number of artists and a few comic reporters about this, and they came up with a lot of great points that I'd never considered. With their help I was able to construct a loose time line the helps explain what I think happened: artists are slower because the industry has allowed it.

THE 90s
There are a lot of great things that came out of the 90s: creative ownership, new titles, computer coloring, etc. The idea of a superstar artist wasn't new (Adams, Romita, Toth and Kubert), but the idea of superstar artists handling their own books was. The only hitch was that the Image guys, some of whom were extremely talented, were not workhorses like their predecessors (granted, few of the above ever started their own publishing company). Many late books didn't bother to use fill-in artists, rather they'd just delay the release until the superstar was done. And because the books made so much money, there was no monetary pressure to stay on schedule with the rest of the series. Suddenly it was okay that books were late because they were selling really well.

This, by they way, still makes no sense to me--why didn't they strike while the iron was hot and put out as many issues as possible? If there was ever a reason to force someone to work faster, it was during the 90s when they were printing their own money.

And while the 90s are over (supposedly), that decade forever increased publishers' tolerance for slower artists. Especially when it comes to tent-pole books: instead of hiring artists who can fit the schedule, the schedule is now created to fit the superstar. Whoever says that it's not an "artist's industry" anymore is wrong. Having the artist serve the book means the artists is forced to work quickly. Having it the other way around means more delays. But that's not always a bad thing...

QUALITY
While looser deadlines meant more fill-ins, delayed books and shaky schedules, it also meant that readers got a chance to see art that would never had been published before: guys like Travis Charest and Art Adams. Certain artists used the looser deadline to raise the bar, and because so many readers gravitated toward these more detailed styles, comic art became seen more as a "craft" and less as a means to an end.

Don't get me wrong--we had "craft" artists before (guys mentioned above), but those styles were created to fit a schedule of  2-3 pages a day. With looser deadlines, artists are freer to express themselves more completely on the page, and with that freedom comes a wider range of styles, some which take longer than others. One could argue that if you want to stand out these days, you're better off pushing a meager 3 pages a week--I mean, how else are you going to compete with the amazing talent of Paquette or Coipel, guys who's pages clearly take more time to produce.

CONVENTIONS/COMMISSIONS
Another contributing factor is that artists take more time off for conventions and commissions. Personally, I think it's irresponsible to attend a show if an artist is behind on deadlines, but that doesn't seem to stop so many from going. But I understand that comics don't always pay well (especially with artists who are slow), and there's a lot of cash to be made selling sketches, prints, and sketchbooks. More than once, I've seen editors get upset when their late artist shows up at a convention. Yet, they'll continue to tolerate it, because it's the new standard of the industry. Publishers are often so busy gearing up for shows that even the editors will fall behind.

THE NET
Having an internet makes a comic career easier than ever. Not only is it great for quickly looking up references, it also speeds up communication with your publishers and allows artists to quickly check word balloon placement, color samples, and final PDFs before going to print. Of course, the net also provides a lot of vices--frivolous email checking, Skyping, and Tweeting probably makes the net more of a hindrance when it comes to speed. And while Google searching your references is helpful, it's also time consuming and allows some artists to become obsessive. Social networking is great for loneliness and reaching out to fans, but it's bad for speed.

And for the record, I have nothing against a slow artist. In fact, most of my favorite artists aren't fast--Zach Howard, Olivier Coipel, Yanick Paquette, and dozens of European comic artists. These guys slave over their work for an ungodly amount of time, and it's clear when you see the final product because it's something you want to hang in a museum. I wouldn't want them working any faster because the work would suffer. For some artists, being meticulous is part of the process, and I respect that.

But what we shouldn't respect is lazy. A lot of times I'll hear artists complaining about deadlines, and how the publisher needs to respect his meticulous working process. And that argument is completely valid-- assuming that their art is meticulous, well crafted and carefully considered. Which, often times, it isn't. Lucky, we now inhabit an industry more tolerant of lazy, it seems.

I did an interview once where someone asked me about being a fast artist (I draw a page per day, pencils and inks within 6-12 hours, 20 page a month). I told the interviewer that I wasn't that fast at all compared to Bagley, Cook and Davis. But considering the average speed of artists today, I could see why some would consider me fast. Then he asked me what my secret was. And I told him there was no secret--I just focus on my work, I don't waste time on the computer or playing video games, and I don't stop until I'm finished, even if it means working late.

I'm still babbled, so please share your thoughts, folks. I'm not totally convinced by some of the arguments I've put forth, either, so feel free to disagree. And help me answer this question:

In a world with time-saving devices like Cintiqs, Sketchup, digital cameras and PS filters, why are some artists still so slow?
  • Listening to: Beethoven piano sonatas
  • Reading: Attack of the Theocrats
  • Watching: Science Channel
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SPECIAL GUEST STAR (against his knowledge) IS :iconandrew-ross-maclean:

You guys know when I get really excited about art geekery, I JUST CAN'T KEEP IT IN.  I also feel like composition is a really hard thing to learn, and all you can really do is try to learn "what is good" in composition, and then try to find examples until you can recognize it.  In addition, composition for comics is extra hard because you have to worry about the overall flow of the page as well as the composition of each individual panel.

So I was doing my spring cleaning of my message center and came on some new comic pages he uploaded, all of which are awesome, but take a particular look at this one: Head Lopper page 3 by Andrew-Ross-MacLean

This page is AMAZING.  I started watching this guy for his slick style and stayed for his crazy composition skills, and this page makes a particularly good example because his work is so clean and straight-forward, there's not a lot of noodling to distract from the motion lines.



1- We read left to right (thanks to MikeMoroney for pointing out my idiot type-o there,) and then up to down, so we start in the upper righthand corner here.  The hills shoot us right into that ship, tallest thing on the horizon, first focal point.

2- Little rock trail creates a path for us to go between the sea (extreme background) to the castle, (middle ground), and then the line of the bird picks it right up.

3- Line of the beak and back of the bird, up and around that wing with the considerate curved negative space behind the back wing.  Also, the bird is flying right>left, if it were the other way around, our natural inclination would be to follow it right off the page.

4- Strong diagonal is the main shape of the bird.  Shoots your eye right down to the second row.

5- Here's where it gets sexy.  Little moments of low-contrast details keep your eye interested and get you right into that upper left-hand corner again, where

6- Sharp diagonal line directs you into the next panel.  Shadow lying scientifically impossibly on the two walls that make a corner?  Doesn't matter if no-one questions it because it looks so right.  Also worth mentioning that ll the lines of the walls and windows in panel 2 are slightly warped to the right to help keep us going forward.  

7- Line is continued in the netting, again, low contrast and interesting detail as opposed to strong contrast which would indicate important content like in

8- Back with the bird, amazing action line up and over.

9- Line of wall and line of shadow funnel energy into that sword grip.  THAT'S A GRIP.  

10- Contrast of the light arm provides the direction.  Once again, down and over.  Panels at the end of a line can't keep going off to the right- that just falls off the page and takes you out of the flow.

11- All the rope lines continue that trajectory.  They're only unparallel for the sake of interest.  As with the cobwebs in 5, and the netting in 6, he's using repetitive objects to guide your eye and provide interest but at the same time demonstrating it's not something you really need to spend a lot of time with.

12- BIRD.  It's literally an arrow in the direction your eye is moving.

13- Prow (or whatever) hijacks the flow, reinforced by the hills and the negative shape of sky.

14- Simple diagonal shadow line like in panels 2&4 showing you where to go.  That finger has just come DOWN on that wick.

That's just the first pass look.  Obviously, you have to stray from this path to see a lot of what's going on, but if you feel like taking the time and looking at all the details, you'll find his page still works on every level.  For instance, on panel two, you need to get down to that sword and candle.  If you do so, you'll follow those warped window and wall lines down, where the sword stops you, and redirects you to the candle on the table.  Then that horizontal patch of light that it's in, and the up-and-to-the-right markings on the table guide you right into that netting on panel 3.  So hot.
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(((I decided to just make a journal entry about this one, since there's really no drawing required here))))

The way I see it, if you're reading this, either you have a story you're working on or you're desperately trying to come up with one. Maybe it isn't coming together quite like you pictured it? Maybe there's too much to work with, or you have too many options to choose from? Maybe you're like many people and can't seem to come up with a good satisfying story no matter how hard you try!
Chances are, YOU ARE THINKING TOO HARD. Sure everyone wants to be the person who writes things like 'Inception' that are super complex and insightful and fun to watch/read/enjoy, but the point is that, when you boil a plotline down to it's basic elements, you should be able to summarize it in ten words or less.

Inception: Man is hired to deceive someone.

Think about it. Watch the movie again if you have to. The MAIN PLOTLINE of Inception is Leonardo DiCaprio's quest to make a guy think something that's not true at the behest of an Asian businessman. What about all that dream nonsense? WHAT ABOUT ADORABLE LITTLE JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT??? Both of those things, though very important, are secondary to the main driving plot of the movie.

If you cannot take your giant space opera down to it's basics—a noun, a verb, and a direct object—you have a problem. The problem is you don't understand what your story is basically about. It has become so complex that you can't tell what's most important anymore: what's really driving the story.

But, at this point, if boiling it all down to ten words or less is a little too difficult, let's take a step back. Summarize your story in one grammatically correct sentence (aka, not a run-on sentence, that's cheating.)

Inception: At their employer's behest, a man and his team of specialists must infiltrate a budding business tycoon's dreams to stop his company's rise to power.

Now THAT sounds a little more like Inception. We have the dream element, we have a nod to adorable little Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but at this point we don't have names or other extraneous information. Names and subplots are tertiary in the summary hierarchy. In the noun-verb-object summary, we established the WHAT. WHAT is this story about. In the single-sentence summary, we established HOW (infiltrate dreams) and WHY (stop rise to power.) ALL OF THESE, ON A BASIC LEVEL, ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAT THE WHO, WHERE AND WHEN OF A STORY.

Too often people get caught up with a single character, wanting to write an entire epic around this singular figure, only to realize later on that their story is severely lacking in structure and reason. Too often people get caught up in a single place, wanting to build a world or universe, and the same thing happens. Too often people pick a point in history they really like but can't seem to create a story around it. Unless you plan to be the only person who enjoys your stories, you'll have to take a step back and think critically about your storytelling.

So, to recap, in order of importance:

WHAT (happens)

WHY (does it happen)

HOW (does it happen)

WHO (are the characters)

WHERE (does it happen)

WHEN (does it happen)

Fit your storyline into these parameters, and be as vague as possible. Continue to break it down further and further until you've reached the point where you can't simplify your sentence any further. Only then will you realize what is truly the most important thing in your story. Once you find THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, then you can begin building back outwards, adding information bit by bit, editing out the subplots and extraneous information that are cluttering your story. Use the noun-verb-object sentence as your center, and try not to lose it again.
Hope this was helpful and not just me banging on my keyboard for an hour. Next I'd like to post about creating actual plotlines! THE ACTUAL FUN STUFF!
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: Modest Mouse
  • Watching: Tiger and Bunny
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Hey guys, I know for a lot of you graduation is coming up super fast, and it seems completely absurd that it's been almost a year ago since I was in that boat.  I well remember the two options presented to me:

1) Get a studio job.  Preferably close to home.
2) Move back in with my parents.  Possibly get a day job or something.

I just wanted to remind ...whoever is reading this... that there are about a gazillion alternatives.  In fact, any possible train of actions you can conceive of is an option.  It's hard to think of options not presented to you as options, but you really can go anywhere and do anything.  This is the only time in our lives when we don't have any greater obligations- we don't have a wife and kids to provide for, no company that would collapse without us, our bodies can handle sleeping on a springy old couch for a while.  This is EXACTLY when you should take a gigantic risk because the only thing you actually NEED to "make it work" is perseverance and optimism.  (I'm not going to lie, a pair of devoted and generous parents doesn't hurt while you make the transition, and for the record I know times are tough but at least ASK them before you assume that they wouldn't help you out with money stuff for a while.)

I'm an absolute mess, and I'm only about 50% self-sufficient, but that proportion is growing every month and so is my confidence and the one thing I've NEVER doubted is that jumping on a plane to the other side of the country the day after graduation was exactly the right choice for me.

Pep talk over.  I just wanted to get my 2 cents in there since I'm certain it's on a lot of y'all's minds.  Best of luck!
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So this is a thing! www.deviantart.com/commissions…  

So.  Your friendly neighborhood Auntie Toerning is going to step in for a second here.  Firstly, I think it's very groovy and awesome that DA is establishing their own marketplace.  It's a scary world out there of work for hire and it's totally awesome that DA artists now have this stepping stool to practice professional habits in the same way that we practice artistic skills!

A
BIG
FAT
HOWEVER

I would like to take a moment to discuss the rates here.  I was just exploring quickly, and saw on the navigation on the left "price," and, like every other human on the planet, clicked on the most expensive first, thinking to myself "wow, good for DA to promote work that costs $1,000!" and wanting to see what that work would be.

Well.  Boy was I wrong.  In fact the prices are organized by Points.  Remember when you were a kid, and the dog peed on the Monopoly box, and so you drew dollar signs on a bunch of scraps of paper and used that for the money?  Points bear more resemblance to those scraps than to actual currency.

Quick conversion here: 1-29 points category?  (prices are organized in ascending categories.)  One Honest American Dollar is about 80 points.  Meaning the entire 1-29 points category is work for under a single dollar.  UNDER A SINGLE DOLLAR.  On the other end of the scale (not really,) the highest category is 1,000+ points.  1,000 points is, pardon my math, about $12.50.  This is not the maximum an artist can charge, no not at all, but it IS the HIGHEST CATEGORY, meaning it's setting a precedent and boundaries that no one's going to want to exceed.

Let me reiterate.  The most DA is suggesting you pay for a commission is $12.50.

If this system works for you, if it gives you joy and you are producing work and getting paid and being happy, there is NOTHING wrong with that, I mean that completely honestly.  If it works, that is fantastic.  I just needed to state for the record, for the sake of my conscience, that I think DA has a responsibility to its artists to set an example.  This is going to be the first encounter with art as a commodity for a lot of artists, and it is going to give them ideas about how this works and teach them habits and every other thing.  And I think that the example being set is, frankly, shameful.

I'm not going to go into a lecture about pricing your art.  I just wanted to have a "let's be real" moment.  My inner goddess of indignant vitriol is satisfied. 

Be safe; be happy; get money; get paid.
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Are you tired of deliberately writing easy comic stories that let you get away with not drawing backgrounds?

Are you sick of your buildings looking like cardboard boxes?

Does every book on drawing perspective look like greek and super-advanced calculus to you?

Do you have amazing scenes in your head, but you feel like your hands just can't draw them?
I've teamed up with Skillshare to put my years of professional comic art experience to good use...by teaching the background-phobic among us how to LOVE backgrounds, draw them right, draw them well, even draw them in your sleep!

Read all about it here: www.bizenghast.com/classpage.h…
Then sign up for the class here!: skl.sh/12DwEqh

Not a comic book artist?  Not a problem!  This class is for ALL kinds of illustrators and artists, both beginners and intermediates.  If you can hold a ruler and locate a pencil, you CAN draw backgrounds!

So stop wasting your time trying to plan your whole story out so that you can avoid drawing buildings, cars or crowds.  Take this short course and you'll be amazed at how just talented and innovative you can be when you stop fearing backgrounds!

CLASS IS JUST 20 DOLLARS FOR THE ENTIRE COURSE and you can learn at your own pace, go back and re-watch video lessons as much as you like and collaborate with other students online to get honest and helpful feedback!  Classes start August 21st, but the first 100 students to use the discount code EDANIEL will get a 10% discount!

And the first TEN students to sign up who use the code EXLIBRIS get a whopping 25% discount!  Fifteen bucks is all you'll pay for the whole course!

So make an investment in yourself and your skills...sign up today!: skl.sh/12DwEqh

If you like this class idea, but don't really need it for yourself right now, why not fave this journal so your friends can find it?  Lots of people need background art help and have no idea where to turn, so spread this journal around and spread the word.  Thanks! :3
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Haven't been posting much of what's happening with me (lazy I guess |D), I decided to make this list of all the animation shorts I've seen and enjoyed and want to share with you guys. I expand whenever I need to cover up a previous journal lol.

Enjoy.

:bulletred: Added today 
(SM |Stop Animation)
(2D) (3D) 

------------------
IN ALPHABET ORDER

The Backwater Gospel (3D) As long as anyone can remember, the coming of The Undertaker has meant the coming of death. Until one day the grim promise fails and tension builds as the God fearing townsfolk of Backwater wait for someone to die. Not safe for innocent kids.

Big Bang Boom (SM) Evolution done through graffiti art and even the occasional object. 

The Cat Piano  Stylistic slick anthromorphic cats in a city of music terrorized by a mad man, all set to a lovely beat poem narration.

:bulletred: Dans le cochon tout est bon (SM) In the pig, everything is good... except the cry.

Death buy Lemonade  Short but hilarious cartoon about a little girl and The Reaper man himself.

Deathinger The children of soul reapers come to death school to learn to reap soul, but old hooded sickle Reaper's kid is well...a little different from the other kids.

Father and Daughter  A 2d animation with this wonderful, sometimes melancholic soundtrack.

Fresh Guacamole (SM)Stop motion animation on how to made guacamole. To start off you need some fresh grenades....

Harvey Crumpet (SM) Clay Animation about the life of Harvey Crumpet, narrated by Geoffrey Rush. 

How to Cope with Death  What happens when an angel of death visits an old lady.

I'm a Monster Dad readies his family to a family outing. Nothing out of the ordinary except for one little thing...

Luminaris (SM) It's a live action stop-motion animation that involves chewing glass beads into light bulbs.

The Maker by Christopher Kezelos A stop motion animation about 'a strange creature racing against time to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life.'

The Mysterious Exploration of Jasper Morello  A 3d passing off as a 2d shadow animation, it tells off well...title says it all really.

Nine  The original short film by Shane Acker (for his masters in UCLA), which in turn spawned the Full length feature Tim Burton produced.

The Old Man and the Sea Part 1 www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1EbNv… Part 2 www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2_Ksz… Alexander Petrov makes this 20 minute animation with oil paintings. Hell yes, every freaking frame was made with oil paints. Do look for his other works like 'The Cow' and 'The Mermaid'

One Day 2D animation about a man constantly in travel and trying to find a place to call his own.

One Rat Short  3D animation about a Rat and how a bag of cheetos (?) has made a big difference in his life.

Out of Sight 'Seeing' the world through the 'eyes' of a little girl after she loses her guide dog.

Poussiere  'Dust'- the story of a dustball in a cabinet.

A Quoi Ca Sert L'amour? 'Perils of Love' -By Cube studio and sung by Edith Piaf, an oldie anim short I saw years ago and still love today.

Rosa A post-apocalyptic sci-fi 3D film with plant themes and action. Not much of a story here, just an appreciation for a man who worked at this for an entire year.

Storm  Official animated movie of Tim Minchin's 9-minute beat poem Storm. Written and performed by Tim Minchin. Directed and animated by DC Turner.

Sheeped Away  A Hilarious-y cute short about a farmer who just wants to play with his flock of sheep, except there's that UFO taking them all away...

Thought of You A visual animated dance choreography to the tune of "World Spins Madly On" by The Weepies.

The TV Show  Hilarious pop music and the repercussions of different media realities colliding on one another.

Topi by Arjun Rihan Based on a family story the animator heard during the 1970s and Partition of India and Pakistan, and how one small act of kindness leads to another.   

Wife of Bath A film by Joanna Quinn and berylproductions about a raucous and acerbic adaptation of one of Chaucers Canterbury Tales.

Windmills  Just a gorgeous short film about a little girl who doesn't give up trying to fly despite the odds and the her father's grief with the death of her mother.

Who's afraid of Mr. Greedy? Scary animation about a man trying to reclaim what was once his from a monstrous being.

-----------------
MUSIC VIDEOS

LOUISE ATTAQUE - Du monde tout autour MASSIVE ATTACK From all around the world  A teacher of ours showed us this particular video not only for it's catchy rhythm but also for it's walk cycles! :D

--------------------
The 11 Second Club - Want to practice/sharpen those animation skills? There's a monthly contest going on wherein you download a (monthly) random audio clip and make 11 second's worth of animation with it. Can be 3d, 2d, whatever.
  • Mood: Humor
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This question came in from Twitter today: "How would I go about getting a first storyboarding gig?" I thought I'd put my answer on the blog so others can read it too. Here it is:

When I was starting out I had absolutely no idea how to look for work myself. It ends up being different for everybody. The big thing when I was starting out was to make sure LOTS of people saw my work. This was before the Internet got started, so I was working on my college newspaper, making comics and showing them off at conventions. It was meeting a Ren & Stimpy director at a convention that helped me get my start. He liked my comics, and he told me all about how storyboarding for TV works.

The main thing that helped me get started was that I got my work OUT THERE where people could see it. That's a million times easier to do now than ever before; no publishing costs too get your work see by countless people through blogs and Facebook and Twitter, etc.

Here's a crazy story: last year I came across a guy on Twitter. Never heard of him, never met him, nothing. His avatar looked cool so I clicked on his link. The art on his website was KILLER. So I tweeted and Facebooked about how much I liked this guy's stuff. Just one time. Just as an admirer…nothing to do with work. BTW: the guy is Matias Hannecke and his website is mhannecke.blogspot.com/ he's @MatiasHannecke on Twitter

A couple weeks later Matias emailed me out of the blue to thank me for helping him get a job (!). Apparently one of my bosses here at Disney follows my Twitter/Facebook posts, he must have liked what he saw on Matias' website and hired him for a freelance development project. I didn't even know about it. My boss never even mentioned it to me. But because Matias had his (killer) artwork out there, easily accessible, and because he had a social web presence, a huge door was opened up for him.Some of my local students have found work – lots of work, in fact – by constantly checking listings in craigslist.

You can also find out about animation opportunities by having a Twitter account and following users that specialize in talking about animation job listings like twitter.com/#!/animationjobs and of course following the storyboarding job announcements on my StoryboardSecrets.com/blog blog

Check out this video class that talks a bit more about how to get started putting a storyboard sample together: storyboardclass.com/q-and-a/qa… You can build up a portfolio of storyboard work by volunteering to storyboard student films or by finding short-term (probably low-paying) gigs through facebook and local job boards.

It's definitely not easy… You have to be very determined and somewhat thick-skinned to persevere through the storyboarding job-hunting maze. But I've noticed that perseverance and a constant dedication to improving your work goes a long way.

I hope that helps!
–Sherm
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Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 11:08 AM
I may or may not have linked to these folks but if I did it was a long time ago and I'm sure I've gained some new watchers by then.

www.vlaa.org/index.php

A lot of artists starting out feel overwhelmed by the legal, business, and tax issues involved in starting a small business and becoming a freelance artists. Fortunately, there are organizations around the country to help those who exist under a certain income bracket.

Here is a list of organizations by state.   

Each offers different services and consultations, but if you're stuck for information, these people are here to help.  Even if they don't know the answer to your question, they might be able to direct you to someone who does.

Though some of the organizations are disbanded, I imagine you could ask for an updated list.

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