HOW TO GET PUBLISHEDThis is an old piece I wrote and posted a while ago, but just recently people have been asking what my experiences were with regard to publishing and getting published - so here it is again, with a few new notes added about dA and Madefire!
This is a very honest view based on 27 years experience as a writer, artist and publisher. The point here is to try to HELP you go into the business enlightened and with open-eyes, knowing what to expect. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PUT YOU OFF! However, you should know that getting into comics is NOT easy - as too many people frequently imagine - and neither is it a glamorous 'rock-star' existence. It is hard work, as are all trades, and it should be treated as such. I see too many people despondent and badly hurt by their experience, and this can be avoided if you know what you are getting into right from the outset.
Getting into comics is something a lot of people want to know how to do, but there's a lot of questions you w
The evolution of an artistI'm a right pain in the arse as far as fans go. I admit it. I chop and I change, and if you're looking for a book that is consistent then you'd better not invest any time in me!The evolution of an artist6 months ago in Personal More Like This
I'm only half joking. Case in point - 'Captain Stone is Missing...' (on dA here: www.deviantart.com/art/Captain…) may be, in my opinion, the best work of my career, but consistent it is not!!!
For me there are artists that are able to produce work that spans decades in a style that remains consistent, professional and inspired. I envy these guys enormously! Page one of 'Watchmen' drawn by my friend and personal hero Dave Gibbons looks to my eyes as if it was drawn the day before the last page of issue 12. It's an incredible achievement! But then there are artists like the equally brilliant Moebius who would change styles page to page, even panel to panel, depending on his mood, aspects of his life, or a suddenly fl
The Creative mind, pop, and money.Following on from my recent musings around getting into publishing, and my own views on creating art and comics, here's a little more fairly random padding!The Creative mind, pop, and money.6 months ago in Personal More Like This
People might think that in comics skill alone will get you there, but it's a lot like the music industry. Talent might be one thing, but somebody in a position to publish your work has to actually LIKE what you do - and we all know taste is a VERY subjective thing! There are thousands (actually, millions) of people who like their entertainment in easy-to-swallow bite-size chunks. They don't want to stretch themselves when they get home from work or school or wherever. They don't want to think too hard in the cinema, or read stuff with words they have to look up in the dictionary. They want music to dance to, or as a background soundtrack to their lives. It is a pop culture we live in, on pretty much all levels. This makes it hard for more alternatively creative people to find an audience. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-pop, thoug
5 Year Plan*Because I'll be teaching in about a week at SCAD, I've been thinking a lot about what to tell the students. And I wrote it out so that I could solidify it in my head. This stuff is for younger artists mostly, so feel free to skip.5 Year Plan2 years ago in Personal More Like This
When I spend time with another comic artist, sometimes I'll ask, "What's your 5 year plan?" In other words, what steps is he taking in order to gain control over his career in order to move up the ladder? Usually I don't get much of an answer.
The reason I think many comic artists aren't forward-thinking has to do with the way our industry is set up. Whether by conscious design or through the neglect of its participants, younger freelancers get into a habit of complacency while hoping for a chance to suckle from the teet of a major publisher. Waiting around for a career doesn't promote the idea of freelancers taking active control of their OWN careers.
If I had to sum up the 5 Year Plan
Convention BasicsComic Cons are our bread and butter. They're how we interact with our fans, how we sell a lot of our merchandise, and how we meet with other artists. Comic Cons are fantastic... but at the same time there is a lot of unknowns and variables to contend with. I'm just going to outline a couple of things which should be common knowledge. If any artists who have attended Comic Cons want to add their own advice in the comments section, please feel free to!Convention Basics9 months ago in Personal More Like This
Make sure that you travel light. Try and fit everything you can in as small a space as possible to avoid having to pay for excess luggage. Even if you don't fly, getting around an unfamiliar city with piles of luggage will just complicate things. If the con is local, you can probably afford to have more stuff on your table. But if the con is far away, or you need to take a plane or bus, it's probably best to try and pack as light as you can while still having as much inventory as you can manage.
Liam Sharp 3.0 - True Talent Never RestsWatch depthRADIUSLiam Sharp 3.0 - True Talent Never Rests7 months ago in Art Features More Like This
August 16, 2013 / by $techgnotic
Liam Sharp was and is one of the most sought after comic artists in the business. After bursting on the scene by drawing the bestselling Marvel UK title of all time, Death Head II, he was back in America illustrating top line comics like Superman, Batman and Spiderman as well as special projects for people like Stan Winston. For anyone unfamiliar with his amazing work, his galleries can be found on deviantART. I recently got lost for an entire day perusing a single file of his Conan illustrations.
Gears of War Brumak issue 3
Community Relations Newsletter - March/April 2012Table of ContentsCommunity Relations Newsletter - March/April 20122 years ago in Deviant Events More Like This
1. Gallery Clean Up Project
3. Volunteer Openings
4. Share Your Opinions
5. Community Projects
6. Official Contests
7 Project Educate 2011/2012
8. Art History Project
9. Gallery Description Project
10. News from the Chats and Forums
11. News from the Galleries
1. Gallery Clean-up Project
The Gallery Clean-up Project will focus on literally cleaning up the category tree in several ways. This first part of this project, is all behind the scenes. Over the years there have been categories that have been "removed", merged, or changed and there are back-end changes that need to be done to fully remove them from the tree. This part will not affect you, and if everything goes properly, you won't even notice it
The second part of this will be ensuring that the categories are all accepting the correct file-types. If there is a file-type that isn't being allowed in a particular category or
The Myth of DigitalI read about a little girl finding her first Teen Titans comic in a shop a few days ago, and her excitement at holding that comic in her hands. Owning it. And it was a genuinely touching story – the next generation meets paper, print, and the characters they love from the TV. The story went on to talk about digital, and it being no substitute for the real thing. You can’t own the object in the digital world; You can’t treasure it – so the argument went. The response – and there’s always a response these days – was almost unanimously pro-print, though the author conceded room for both.The Myth of Digital1 month ago in Personal More Like This
I spent the last couple of days mulling this over, because this is a mental barrier we are up against – a false meme. And I don’t believe it. It’s not what I’m seeing in practice.
The first point is that the girl found a comic of her favourite TV characters. She didn’t know, most likely, that they were characters in a
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)1 year 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
Had the Urge...…to write this because I'm getting repeated questions that are pretty much along the same lines and rather than direct each one to my FAQ, I have a different way to answer the question, which is basically:Had the Urge...1 year ago in Personal More Like This
"Why am I not getting anywhere in my art? What can I do to get better? No one is liking my work, how can I get more people to like my work so they can pay me?"
The real question you should be asking yourselves is:
"Why am I drawing?"
I mean, I take a look all the time at people who may not be skilled or whatever, and I'm sure they don't feel the best about their work (or they may), but they always have something to say that made them feel good while drawing it. Saw a sunset beach picture earlier that someone drew/painted and of course, it's not professional-looking at all. What ringed to me was the fact that in their comments, they said they "enjoyed it and was a relaxing piece". Not complaining about how the sand looks too crappy or the colors in the s
What you can do if a big company stole your art An indy artist's work being used by Disney without permission: http://katiewoodger.tumblr.com/post/47454350768/disney-have-stolen-my-artwork-i-dont-know-whatWhat you can do if a big company stole your art11 months ago in Personal More Like This
My tumblr reply: http://mayshing.tumblr.com/post/47627305546/katiewoodger-disney-have-stolen-my-artwork-i
PS: this one is on the verge being settled, Disney already started working on it, she's being helped.
Seeing posts like this, I just thought I should share some knowledge I have, I personally already have met 3 different artists who doesn't know what to do when:
Record company ripped them off
Publisher ripped them off
Big corporation used their artwork without permission (that's usually by accident because of an outsource company broke the rule etc)
USA people: Go
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
New series = new art = tears.Hey new watchers and followers!New series = new art = tears.10 months ago in Personal More Like This
Well apparently Yoshi, Finn and Donald Duck seemed to have drifted across the internet--loved by some, while scarring others.
They're part of a new series I will be doing which will be based off pop-culture references and characters. My object? Make you forget what you thought you once knew about those loved characters.
But in the best way possible! Yes, they will be menacing, they will be violent, and some may even be just badass.
"Why", asked many tweens the past few days as as I submitted. "Why must you ruin my childhood and shit all over my loved ones?"
Well, because it's funny. And it's also quite refreshing to do.
Why do I use my powers to fuel your nightmares?
First of all, because I can and will, just as any of you can. I also like to think that I can grow and try new things and not draw the same shit over and over again, 24/7.
So for those who are here to enjoy and watch, by all means, thank you so much for your continued support and love. It re
FREELANCING TIPS: Good jobs and bad jobsThe world of freelance business is populated with all types of clients and artists. If you are a freelancer or a potential client, you will eventually start to recognize the early signs of good and bad job situations. There are some tips and notes below that may help you recognize these signs sooner and therefore improve your ability to connect successfully with good job partners. A client or artist will seldom display all of the attributes or warning signs described below. However, watching for the following list items may help you to assess a potential workmate as a good risk or a bad one BEFORE work begins. Similarly, if you strive to embody the positive characteristics listed below, they may help you to engage in more successful and fulfilling partnerships.FREELANCING TIPS: Good jobs and bad jobs2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
ATTRIBUTES ASSOCIATED WITH A GOOD CLIENT/ JOB AD:
Client seems polite and professional and reasonable.
Client knows what she/he wants and describes the project clearly.
Client has checked the advertisement for spelling, g
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 Write1 year 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
More on HatersThis is a copy and paste from my facebook page, but I felt it was really important to say something, and equally valid here:More on Haters2 months ago in Personal More Like This
'I HATE that trashy Image style. Hiding bad drawing with flashy technique….'
Oh boy. I'm so tired of hearing this.
The internet nearly broke yesterday with a battle (on FaceBook) around good drawing, bad drawing, technique, bad manners, being able to take criticism or not, and whether a certain artist did or didn't deserve his success, and why we hate him, or not. It was epic.
I'm not going to go into the details. It got out of hand. My toes curled when I read all the comments. My heart sank. The entire original point of the thread was buried under a mound of vitriol which, justified or not, made me a little ashamed of my industry.
Comics are not all about good drawing. I've seen plenty of Jack Kirby anatomy that aligns to reality only in the most rudimentary sense, but we all know he was great.
The so-called Image style actually evolved at Marvel - and if
Fiction.How redundant is it pointing out these following statements?Fiction.7 months ago in Personal More Like This
There's no such thing as a gigantic mechanical robot fighting off alien monsters. There has never been a report of a man being bitten by a radioactive spider and becoming a hero. You can't summon a mini-tornado at your own beck-n-call, don't matter how much into the occult you are. The odds of a young male teenager having a harem of sexy girls at his every turn is nil. There aren't bipeds of animals that are supposed to be quadrupeds flying spaceships in the galaxy above us. You can't legally hunt and catch thousands of different animals and use them to protect you from other animals and people in a sports-like venue. You can't eat a flower and ignite fire from your hands.
I can go on and on... this journal is probably being expressed because of recent built-up distaste for people bullying others because of what they like when it comes to fiction.
Just to reestablish what it even means, here it is, straight
I'm Not A Social Butterfly......well, anymore. But I'm not an introvert, either.I'm Not A Social Butterfly...5 months ago in Personal More Like This
Most of my IRL close acquaintances and friends always ask me "Rob, why you work so much? Why don't you go out with us like you used to?" "Man, we used to hoop all the time dude, when are we getting back to the court?"
My response usually consists of "I... just got things to do." And I do. I'm practically at the computer almost 18 hours a day, hacking away at the game. When my wife gets home, I spend a couple hours with her until she goes to sleep, and then I finish up whatever work until I hit the sack.
Then they'd be the ones to go on how much they hate their job. Actually, its pretty funny: One of my closest dudes has an artistic background in music. He could be killing it in the indie scene even; he's a very talented dude. But man, he's dealing with chick-o-drama, always spending his free time (now on GTA5) playing games or going to the bar, and then have the audacity to go on how much he hate his jo
5%If you're reading this now, it means you're roughly in the 5%. Most people who go online to read about comics will end up reading previews and "top 10" lists--subjects we all, or course, enjoy. But the articles/blogs that critically analyze our industry are usually only read by two types: people in the biz whom are affected by this stuff, and the few readers who are interested in reading more than word balloons when it comes to comics.5%2 years ago in Personal More Like This
And I'm not knocking people who don't care to read these articles. All readers are contributing to the industry with their buying power, and I'm thankful for them, even if they're not in the 5%. I admit, if I had a normal 9-5 job and a boss that was kicking my ass 5 days a week, I might not have the tolerance for these sorts of articles either.
That being said, I think we need more of these articles/blogs written from different points of view--more from creators especially. The 2010s will likely be r
Why I Draw Women OftenI recently got a message, and I will slightly reword it so as not to cause profane friction, nor will I state who it came from, but it read like this: "Why is everything you post regarding a woman? I think it's very sexist when the only thing you can draw are breasts and buttocks like it's the only thing in the world."Why I Draw Women Often1 year ago in Personal More Like This
Okay, so by now, if you haven't been watching me for a good minute, you know that I really like to draw women, and I like portraying the female form, usually and often in a tasteful manner. I could hypothetically end that question there and just answer "I wasn't aware everything in my gallery was a woman or had breasts and a butt" and then post a picture or two of Rai Rivet... But I'm not going to do that. I'm going to explain my stance on drawing the female form and my adoration for it.
Disclaimer: None of these viewpoin
No More Unauthorized ArtworkRegarding the debate of whether comic artists should continue selling unauthorized prints/sketches of characters they don't own, I think Bissette and his legal advisor are 100% correct. So from now on, I won't be doing any sketches or commissions at shows of any character that I don't own. Am I rolling over in fear of Marvel? Maybe, but as it states below, they're in their legal right to come after me if there's ever a dispute. I love to complain about the Big Two, but I can't (in good conscience) get upset at them if I'm breaking the rules myself. Being DC exclusive, maybe I can get a waiver that allows me to sketch DC characters, so I'll keep you updated.No More Unauthorized Artwork2 years ago in Personal More Like This
From Steve Bissette's FB page:
ALERT, ALL COMICS CREATORS: With permission, I'm quoting key points my dear friend and own legal advisor/contract consultant (since 1992) Jean-Marc Lofficier raised on his posts to a Yahoo forum discussing Ty Templeton's cartoon concerning the Gary
Doomsday....sorry; you missed it.Since the concept of the Leap Year was first implemented back in 45BC, there have been about 514 of them.Doomsday....sorry; you missed it.2 years ago in Personal More Like This
Without the extra day every 4 years, we would be in 2013.
As the Mayan Calendar doesn't take leap years into account; 2012 has been and gone.
(Edit - no: I'm not smart enough to work that out myself. I read it!)
Submit Your News to CRLiterature!Now you can submit your literature community news directly to CRLiterature's journal! We're super excited about this because it allows us to streamline our news. Time-sensitive activities are less likely to fall through the cracks, and deviants will have to click through less stuff to find your news. Your article will go directly to watcher and member inboxes allowing them to see the headline and description.Submit Your News to CRLiterature!2 years ago in Deviant Events More Like This
As a hub this is a great step in the right direction. Watchers will have an easier time discovering news, activities, and events outside of their watch list. Instead of figuring out if you're watching all the right people and hunting down your lit news, it will come to you.
If you're newer, or not as well known, to the literature community, submitting will help you reach more active and interested deviants. In turn, it's an opportunity to increase your participation levels. And you know we're all about participation!
Some more tips to FreelancingJust over a year ago, I compiled a small list of things you need to get started as a Freelance artist.Some more tips to Freelancing2 months ago in Personal More Like This
Let's accelerate a little bit, and assume that now you're in the business and have a pretty good groove going. While the core principles are still paramount to anything else, here are some quick one-shot tidbits of information that will assuredly save your bacon.
Back up everything, including the backups.
When working digitally, it's so easy to accidentally delete something off your hard drive and be unable to get it back. I've done this a few times myself. Even had entire hard drives fail on me. But it has been a very, very long time since the last time I had to redo an image from the start. Sure, I've had crashes that put me back an hour, I've merged layers together in a manner that ruins my work flow and makes the file unusable. But fixing these issues isn't nearly as painful
Exposure, Getting Better, & Having the ChopsEXPOSURE & GETTING BETTER AT WHAT YOU DOExposure, Getting Better, & Having the Chops2 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