Background TipsHey all! I've gotten a few people asking me about advice for drawing backgrounds. So instead of being a true gentleman and writing each person back separately, I figure it's easier to tackle this with an nice, impersonal journal post! Maybe one day I'll shoot a tutorial or something to actually demonstrate what I'm talking about, but for now a quick list will have to do.More Like This
*Before I start, a quick disclaimerby no means do I have "it" figured out. My opinions on backgrounds and how to tackle them are always changing. And a lot of what I think is based on the artists on whose shoulders I stand upon. Feel free to disagree with any of this.
Remember those point-and-click adventure games from the 90s? I loved those games! Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Flashback, Full Throttle, Space Quest, Hero Questadventure games blew me away by how beautiful, imaginative and expansi
5 Art Selling TipsWhile I used to see "art sales" simply as bonus money coming in on the side, over the past few years it's become enough of an asset that it justifies an art dealer, record keeping, insurance, and taxes at the end of each year. It's currently 25% of my total income, and that has a lot of impact over my work. And just like storytelling, design and page flow--abstract principles that keep my career afloat daily--art sales also deserve to be studied, theorized, and understood.More Like This
These are guidelines, not rules. And while most of them usually work for me, they might not all work for you, so keep in mind that my market might be different than yours. Because not only do we not draw the same, we probably have different sorts of buyers.
1. Don't stay on a book for too long
I find that doing mini series of 4-12 issues is optimal for selling art. If you spend a year doing one-shots or 2-3 issue minis, you'll be hard for buyers to keep track of because it's too infrequent. And it's hard to make an i
THREE TIPS FOR DRAWING CARSYou know that green ellipse tool that you bought in art school? Do you know how to use it for something other than oval shapes? Do you know what those "cross-hair" marks are for? And do you know how to use it for technically correct perspective drawings?More Like This
TOO many comics artists don't, and it's driving me crazy. So instead of starting a blog that starts showing examples and naming names, I figured it was better to make a quick tutorial. And this isn't just for cars but also for guns, fire hydrants, and millions of other machined objects found in comics.
If you go through this and you're still stuck, please don't write to me. I'm happy to show you at a convention to make it clearer, but within a blog this is the best I can do. Check out "Perspective for Comic Artists by David Chelsea" for more.
Cars are a whole lot easier to draw if you know how to properly use perspective and ellipses. The more familiar you are with the math, the more fun it is to draw cars. Once I figured out th
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.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
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.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
Commission Advice for ArtistsI'm not an expert on the matter, but given I've spent eight or so years officially doing commissions for people, I'd like to say I've spent a fair amount of time in the field of dealing with clients and exchanging art for money. So for those artists, young and old, new to the game or veterans just starting to consider renting their talents to people - I have some minor advice you can take with a grain of salt. I've been seeing a lot of posts on the matter on Tumblr and I just felt like speaking my thoughts on it a little bit. Hope you don't mind.More Like This
So, if you're considering doing commissions for the first time (or starting back up), or you've never done them before because you were too afraid or intimidated, here is some advice for you from the perspective of a full-time freelance artist who has spent the better half of her last 8 years of artistic creativity working on art for other people.
1. Never work outside of your comfort zone.
Though some people may think
read this when you're so angry you shakelittle drops of oil make rainbows on wet concreteMore Like This
and i don’t know how beautiful you find that,
but sometimes you gotta learn that
the littlest things are the prettiest,
like the shape of your fingernails and the crinkles
you get at the corner of your eyes when you laugh and
when you grow old and i know i said “grow old”
like it’s a temporary thing, but that’s because it is.
you can think it’s forever but it’s really
a split second because you don’t matter, not when
the universe is still growing and speeding through a nothingness
we can’t even fathom, not when color doesn’t exist in space
but nebulas still explode in shades of gold and green,
not when there are stars who die
before their light ever touches our faces. you don’t matter,
not to anyone but the people who have fallen in love
with the way you walk and the way you breathe
and the way you keep doing both.
i don’t care that the universe is spinning and grow