5 Ways to Avoid Being DiminishedThere's a discussion brewing in comics about artists being more diminished as of late--that readers, reviewers, and publishers are focusing too much on writers rather than the artists who draw the book. I agree it's happening, but I'm not sure it's worth sounding an alarm over. I never felt diminished, but maybe I'm part of the exception. Maybe it's because I'm an artist and a writer.5 Ways to Avoid Being Diminished9 months ago in Personal More Like This
Either way, I do have a few thoughts on what artists can do to pull themselves out from under the rug.
1. DON'T DRAW LIKE A COG.
If you conform to a "house style", then you're at higher risk of being treated like an interchangeable cog in the comics machine. Yes, you're more likely to get consistent work, but you won't stand out as much. Therefor you'll be sought after less by big name writers, you're less likely to make a lasting impression on reviewers and readers, and you'll have a harder time getting raises (12 others draw like you and for less money).
I also suggests inking yourself if it helps. Penc
5 Comic Book Truths (that I don't think are true)There are lots of tips, chestnuts, and other pieces of advice that I've heard over the years--tidbits of wisdom passed on from one generation to the next, from professional to professor to prospective student. Some of them are drawing tips, some of them are tricks to dealing with publishers, and some are general guidelines on how to survive in comics. Most of them are useful and true and will stand the test of time, but a few of them have become hackneyed platitudes and have gone unquestioned for too long. Here are 5 that I'm questioning...5 Comic Book Truths (that I don't think are true)11 months ago in Personal More Like This
1. READERS WILL ONLY LOOK AT A PANEL FOR 5 SECONDS, SO DON'T SWEAT IT TOO MUCH.
I understand the intention of this bit of wisdom, and I mostly agree with it: drawing great interiors is important, but at the same time, you don't want to get bogged down with small details that most readers won't even notice.
But here's my concern with this: if you treat every panel like it's disposable, then you're less likely to make an impact with reader
5 LevelsI've spoken as guest speaker a number of times over the years (come visit me at SCAD Atlanta in January). While I'm not the best or most patient teacher, I think my strength is my pragmatic and blunt approach to the business side of comics. In order to help the students think of a "5 YEAR PLAN" (more on that in an upcoming post), I'll often break down the different page rate levels of comic book artists as a way to help analyze the playing field of our industry. If there's a ladder to success, what's wrong with defining each rung? I imagine such a breakdown helpful for moving up in most any industry, not just comics.5 Levels3 years ago in Personal More Like This
Here are the 5 LEVELS of comic artists as I see them--NOT based on talent but on page rates, popularity, and the prestige of the titles the artist works on. You might define them differently or have more than just 5, but I find that less-is-more when it comes to people being able to retain information.
PRJ Writing ProcessA friend of mine (and ex teacher at The Kubert School) Gabe Bridwell suggested I write something about how I wrote Punk Rock Jesus. So here it is! Also, check out Gabe's great work at this http://gabebridwell.com/index.php/galleryPRJ Writing Process3 years ago in Personal More Like This
In a way, I've been writing PRJ since before Off Road.
Originally, it was called "Kael" and starred an IRA freedom fighter/terrorist named Thomas McKael who sees the error of his ways, and eventually turns things around to become the hero. But the history of the IRA was too complex for a 23-year-old first time writer, so after months of research and failed scripting attempts, I put it aside to work on "Off Road" instead.
Years later--in 2006 I think--I started piecing together "Punk Rock Jesus". I'd just read an article on human cloning and began wondering whom the first human clone would be. And the answer came immediately: someone would clone Jesus Christ. And then they'd probably
4 Kinds of StorytellingHere's an old journal from 2010 about storytelling. Because I have a lot more readers these days, I think I'm going to start reposting some of my earlier posts for my newer audience. So for you old timers, feel free to skip.4 Kinds of Storytelling1 year ago in Personal More Like This
In full disclosure, I slightly edited this journal to make it a little more balanced (while also fixing a ton of typos).
I feel like the word "storytelling" gets thrown around a lot in our industry. Yet when I look out there at some comics, I don't always see a lot of evidence for it.
It feels like people in comics pros--myself included--often use the word only because we feel like we're supposed to. Over the years enough professionals have been accused of being poor storytellers to the degree that everyone is now afraid of being a pinup artist as opposed to a bona fide storyteller. But it's not enough just to claim you're a storyteller.
Most people reading this probably h
The Sean Murphy ApprenticeshipI'm thinking about taking on some students for a two week "boot camp" course in comics--based off the classic master/apprentice style of education. But before I move forward with the idea (and begin Kickstarting), I wanted to get your feedback and see if anyone is interested in enrolling this winter. Please pass this along (Twitter/facebook) to anyone you think might be interested.The Sean Murphy Apprenticeship1 year ago in Personal More Like This
I bought a house in Portland, Maine this past weekend. It's a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom Victorian house that's been newly renovated. The top floor is finished and will become the drawing studio for 5 students. The idea is to furnish the building with tables, chairs, couches, beds, a TV, a library, a photo studio (for taking reference images) and all the other amenities that would create the school.
After selecting the 5 students (I'll take submissions that will be juried later on), we'll all meet in Portland this winter for the two week apprenticeship. The students will live i
5 Reasons to WriteI wrote a blog once that urged comic artists to try writing their own books. I held back a bit on what I said--Punk Rock Jesus hadn't come out yet, so I didn't feel like I had the proper authority to really speak up.5 Reasons to Write2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Since then, there's been a lot more discussion about the etiquette of publishers toward their freelancers, the recent rise of creator owned books, and the effects of Hollywood moving into comics (or vice versa). And as friend of mine at Newsarama pointed out recently, I'm one of a few guys who's found a middle ground--not only because I'm writing and drawing my own book, but because my OGN is partially owned by DC Comics.
Certain events of the last year have created new concerns within our industry. Do you still need to work for big publishers if you want to "make it"? Do they deliver a better product than creator owned books? Are the Big Two treating creators as fairly as they've always been? Between the rise of digital comics and comic-based movies, are creators getting
BEST readers in comicsI have the best readers of anyone I know.BEST readers in comics1 year ago in Personal More Like This
No lie--I really do. Other pros who have sat next to me while I'm signing have, on more than one occasion, told me that they'd gladly trade readers with me. Most everyone who comes up to me feels like someone I would hang out with. Lots of artists, writers, students, and other kind people from all walks of life who make it all worth while.
After shows, I'll usually end up drinking at some event. And while everyone is usually cool, once in a while I'll overhear a pro talking about the weirdos in their line, or about how an over zealous fan was rude to him/her about how Batman's utility belt wasn't drawn properly. I've NEVER had that in my line. I drew an absurd "Dark Knight stick" on my Batman statue, and I've NEVER heard any crazed Batman fan get worked up about it! Adding things to Batman without permission will usually cause trouble on some forum SOMEWHERE, but I've never gotten that.
Not sure what I've done to deser
How to make money outside and inside DeviantArtThis is meant more for younger, newer deviants who have run into a spot of trouble making some extra cash,How to make money outside and inside DeviantArt4 years ago in Art Features More Like This
I see many people posting how they make no money on their prints through DeviantArt.
To me, it just seems like all you need is a lesson in business.
First, before you do anything, realize what our "Target Audience" is.
Do you draw anime? Or do you take pictures of cute animals? Or are you into realism? Let's face it, you aren't going to find very many older people who enjoy fine art on the internet. Try and figure out what age group your work appeals to.
Second, use DeviantArt as your "Warehouse"
DeviantArt is great. You can showcase your products and then ship them to people without you doing anything. However it is an Art Community. In DeviantArt, you work is only shown to other artists, to get more money you have to use DeviantArt as your Warehouse. It will supply the customer, but you need to bring the customer to the site.
Deviantart is fairly appealing, but lets face it, man
Exposure, Getting Better, & Having the ChopsEXPOSURE & GETTING BETTER AT WHAT YOU DOExposure, Getting Better, & Having the Chops3 years ago in Personal More Like This
I'm only going off of my own personal experiences talking about these few things. (And I'm not specifically talking about ONLY dA here.) So take it with as many grains of salt as you can.
I've recently been asked questions like "How do I get people to see my work?", "Why am I not receiving commission inquiries?", "Why isn't anyone following my work?", "What can I do to get better?". Often, and I answered it before, the answer is as simple as this:
Create, as in, DRAW. PAINT. RENDER. SCULPT. You have to do develop a tolerance (or the obvious definition: LOVE) for creating if you want exposure and to get better. You have to LOVE the drawing or illustration that you HATE how it came out in the end. You have to ask yourself after every piece, what could I have done to do that differently. And you have to do this frequently.
Some folks come on the scene, post once or twice a week, and expect an audience to flock yo
Punk Rock Jesus (finally, right?)JULY 11th, everyone!Punk Rock Jesus (finally, right?)3 years ago in Personal More Like This
Here's a http://www.newsarama.com/comics/punk-rock-jesus-sean-murphy-exclusive.html to an interview I did with Newsarama. The series will be a B&W 6 issue mini with 32 pages of art (instead of the normal 22). Tell your local shop to pick some up, because they might not be the type to take chances on non-colored books.
I'll be at C2E2 and Boston this month SELLING some original PRJ pages, so stop by if you're interested (I'll be at the Essential Sequential booth). Because I'm not officially selling art via the website (not until the book hits the shelves in July), now's your chance to grab something before the crowd. Joe the Barbarian #1 sold out in a day, and while this isn't a Morrison book, pages might be hard to get, especially because I'm only selling half (more on that later).
Thanks for the support--I know I've been teasing this book forever by posting/unposting pages and whatnot.
Chinese New Year Pineapple TartsHi everyone, for all those who are interested to have a go at making your own Bunny Pineapple Tarts, here's the tutorial with pics! Do post pics of your attempts and leave a comment/link in my journal! Have fun!Chinese New Year Pineapple Tarts4 years ago in Personal More Like This
Recipe for Filling
4 large ripened pineapples
300 g sugar
1 inch cinnamon stick
1/2 star anise
250 g liquid glucose
2 Tbsp corn flour
1. Slice and grate pineapples till fine. You can use a food processor to grate it.
2. Strain the grated pineapple till dry.
3. Let it simmer in a pot till the juice has dried up. Add sugar, star anise, cinnamon stick and clove.
4. Stir till the pineapple has thickened and dried. Add liquid glucose.
5. Stir till the pineapple filling is thick, sticky and dry.
6. Add corn flour. Continue to stir for about 10 minutes or until filling is dry.
7. Leave to cool and shape into small balls using a 1/2tbsp measurement (flat).
Top 5 Mistakes (I've made over the years)To many people in comics, I only arrived a few years ago with Joe the Barbarian. Then came Hellblazer (completed in 2008 before I began working on Joe), American Vampire: SOTF, and finally Punk Rock Jesus. Once in a while someone will mention Off Road (an OGN I did with Oni back in 2004), but for the most part it seems like I've been published only these last few years when in fact I've been published professionally for a decade now.Top 5 Mistakes (I've made over the years)2 years ago in Personal More Like This
This isn't a plea to have everyone go back through my previous work--in fact, I'm glad that a lot of the books I've done over the years aren't on readers' radars. I'm proud of it all, but the books above are a nice, tight group of titles to be associated with. They're all in a similar brand, they're all recent, they all have good creators/publishers associated with them, and the artwork is mostly consistent. Go back further than that, and you'll see artwork that looks nothing like the stuff I'm doing these days. (Although Off Road still holds up to some de
No Zombies Allowed Art Journal!No Zombies Allowed Art Journal!2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Here's where I'll be collecting the art from No Zombies Allowed posted around DA. Below you'll find it separated by artist.
NZA! Heroes by petura
Icon Madness! by frogbillgo No Zombies Allowed Agent by frogbillgo No Zombies Allowed Agent House by frogbillgo Through The Years by frogbillgo Building Collection by frogbillgo No Zombies Allowed Hero Concepts! by frogbillgo
No Zombies Allowed - Early Development by Zatransis No Zombies Allowed - Zombies! by Zatransis No Zombies Allowed - Eye Tests by Zatransis No Zombies Allowed - Heroes First Pass by Zatransis
Big Menace Industries: http:
Mermaid Contest (CLOSED)So ... You CAN'T imaginate how difficult it was to make a choice for the result ... All your creations touched me so much, and I really thank you for this and to have taken the time to participate. I'm happy to see you all have been really inspired by the photograph, your works are so creative !! .Mermaid Contest (CLOSED)2 years ago in Personal More Like This
But, it's a contest, and in all contest there are winners (here 3, so).
Then, these are the winners, congratulations to all of them ! :iconclaplaplz: :
:iconkawaiistarloveplz: From Behind the Rocks :iconkawaiistarloveplz:
Well, Jade ... You can't imaginate how much your photomanipulation touched me ... This looks like me so much ! It could be exactly the world I have in mind, and how I see me in ... I'm speechless, really, I can't say more than: I'M IN LOVE WITH IT !! And this fluorescent blue eye is really hypnotizing me . As I already
ProjectPorkchop Vol233ProjectPorkchop is all about bringing more exposure to the many talented yet under appreciated artists going unseen on deviantART daily. The artists chosen truly deserve more attention based on low counts of favorites, comments, and watchers, added to their incredible artistic talent.ProjectPorkchop Vol2331 year ago in Art Features More Like This
Suggested by jane-beata
Spider Skull 300dpi by VossfineartFin Skull 11by14 by Vossfineart
Suggested by LauraPex
For those who still dream the dream....I posted this on my Facebook page, but I thought it more appropriate here:For those who still dream the dream....2 years ago in Personal More Like This
I've been meaning to write this in some form or fashion for a while now. Orignally I was going to try to write it as a Cracked article (which I still may) but these are in my view among the most important things to remember when struggling to get into the comic business:
1. It's not just about how good you are. Comics are a highly competitve medium and everyone wants to get a shot at their favorite book. Many of the people trying to get that break have great skills, and i'm certain fine ideas. But can you meet a deadline? How well do you communicate your ideas or issues with your Editor/Writer/ Penciller/Inker? How reliable have you been on the books you've done in the past? How easy are you to work with?
Honestly most of these questions are more important in many ways than how talented you are. As an artist you are not an island unto yourself. Ask anyone whose been in the business how long it took them to get r
Trends.There are a number of trends I'm amused by at deviantART.Trends.3 years ago in DeviantART Announcements More Like This
Search for draw this again and you see a meme where deviants are showing their progress through the years. Examples:
Then there's a trend on YouTube where deviants are posting video blogs about their deviantART experiences. I recently caught this one by DomieNeek that I was charmed by. She makes great points, too!
In November we published a Journal on dt's Blog, very discreetly announcing that we've launched a set of API's (Application Programming Interfaces) so that developers out there could make Apps for deviantART.
The right way to end a storyI'd like to share a few paragraphs from a great book about writing fiction by Nancy Kress, called "Beginnings, Middles and Ends". Boring title, but a very useful book that every aspiring writer should have on their reference shelf.The right way to end a story2 years ago in Personal More Like This
The following passage is from the chapter "Satisfying Endings: Delivering on the Promise". Please note that Nancy expounds at length that not all endings need to be happy, and indeed, many shouldn't be in order to be effective. I was not at all upset that there was no "happy" ending with the new ME3 DLC. The issues were more fundamental, with the way they developed the story arc and in the end, betrayed several of them, mostly in delivery. But the problems weren't unsalvageable to begin with.
"To succeed, a climax must do four things:
" 1. The climax must satisfy the view of life implied in your story."
Nancy mentioned before this about making a promise with your story, that t
Commissions are OPEN~!! (^ v ^)/NOTE prices for physical artwork to be shipped vary so note me for those prices specifically ^^Commissions are OPEN~!! (^ v ^)/2 years ago in Personal More Like This
My prices are:
Full Body $5
Full Body $9
Background $12-25+(depending on complexity)
Extra characters sketch: $2 extra for each
Extra characters ink: $5-10 extra for each depending on complexity
Extra characters color: $10-20 each depending on complexity
Full Body $25
Background $30-50+(depending on complexity)
Note me your commissions ^^
ProjectPorkchop Vol228ProjectPorkchop is all about bringing more exposure to the many talented yet under appreciated artists going unseen on deviantART daily. The artists chosen truly deserve more attention based on low counts of favorites, comments, and watchers, added to their incredible artistic talent.ProjectPorkchop Vol2282 years ago in Art Features More Like This
Suggested by KoreaRailroads
School Boy by xymzymyAlison Facebook by xymzymy
Bikini Radiactivo (print update) by 1upNimrodSomewhere in Satanville by 1upNimrod
Beastwhale by 1upNimrodBeastbird by 1upNimrod
Street Photography Tutorial - IIPART IIIStreet Photography Tutorial - II3 years ago in Art Features More Like This
The series of 5 articles about Street Photography made by myraincheck and slightly edited by moi* continues with:
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY TUTORIAL - PART TWO
COMBINATION OF HUMANs+SURROUNDINGS
Photographing together human presence and surroundings, combining them in something interesting and unusual, we obtain the classic structure of a street photography.
But mind you, it is not enough taking a photo with people and surroundings to have a good street photo! Remember that we have to strike, surprise, trigger an emotional response.
And that we can do CONNECTING people and surroundings.
by Nils Jorgensen
by Nils Jorgensen
by Nick Turpin
Why are we slower?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.Why are we slower?2 years ago in Personal More Like This
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'v
RIP Rik MayallOne of my fave comedians has died.RIP Rik Mayall6 months ago in Personal More Like This
Pretty much everything Rik Mayall starred was in was over-the-top, offensive and purile.....and it always had me in stitches.
Edit: Now this is how you do a tribute