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DaveAllsop's avatar
We're back! Ready for Part 2

This is a tricky one when you're just starting out, as you're not sure how long a painting may take (particularly if you're working on unfamiliar material). Three weeks for the sketch submission may seem like a long time, but you've got to factor in the revisions to your drawings, and the time it may take to get feedback. Answers may not be immediate, especially if the art director has to consult a writer or R+D team – (it may take several days).
Basically you want to give yourself as much time as possible for these eventualities, so try and get on with these sketches in as promptly as you can.
Don't try and gamble on the 'I know, I'll leave my sketches til the absolute last possible moment so the art director has to approve it or he'll fall behind'. Most of these guys will just smile knowingly, and give you the exact same amount of changes regardless. Now you've got to race to catch up and the late changes are eating into the time you should have been doing the final paintings – oops.
You can't really escape changes to you art submissions, but there are a few ways to possibly minimise them: -

Thumbnails: These are good if you've been given a cover illustration, or a complex scene. Just draw a few small boxes and quickly rough in what you're planning on drawing. Do a few different versions and send those in. It gives the art director a general idea in the direction you want to go. If you've gone way off target you'll only have lost an hour or so, instead of potentially days completing a highly polished drawing from scratch.

Ask Questions: Don't guess and hope for the best. If you're not sure about an art brief then send a quick email back to the art director. You won't be pissing them off; it's their job to direct you. That's not an excuse to be sitting around waiting – if there are illustrations that you know what to do, get on with them while you're awaiting feedback.

It's all very exciting when you're starting out, you're still riding on the crest of your success, but it's time to knuckle down and get on with it. Sure, spend some time getting reference material either online, at the gallery or via your digital camera but don't go drowning in artistic pretentions. What do I mean?
- 'I'm sorry these sketches are late; I'm trying to find the right artistic direction to take these paintings. I want to absorb…. I mean, what do these Orc illustrations really represent?' -
You can be the cultured artiste when you're doing your own artwork, but the art director is only interested in getting the best quality work out of their professional artists, and in a timely manner.

So you resubmit the art, and there's even more changes. Again, it happens (did I mention that you should watch your deadlines? I did? Good, just checking!). The best thing to do is save copies of every change you make, and try and keep the initial changes on separate layers. You may find yourself going backwards and forwards so keep everything backed up. When it comes to alterations to sketches, I usually make the changes in Photoshop – I can scale a head larger or smaller, alter contrast; flip the image and mostly anything else the director can require. These can be very time consuming if your talents go down a traditional path.

Congratulations, you made it baby! The art director gives you the go ahead to get on with the next stage of your art commissions, and a whole set of new hurdles appear before you. Don't panic, it's going to be all right. If you can survive sketch phase, you can survive anything!

See you in Part 3!

© 2010 - 2021 DaveAllsop
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AustenMengler's avatar
Thanks a lot Dave!
SulaMoon's avatar
Thanks for sharing. I have read this on Art Order ning, and its awesome information packed with care. Thank you very much for sharing!
Andantonius's avatar
Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.

I'm beginning my education studying entertainment design and this information is unbelievably valuable! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! This is the kind of information that everyone needs to get a hold of.

Again, thanks!
NightmareGK13's avatar
the NO EXCUSES part is the part most of people here just can't put it throught their thick skulls
if an artist is good it should be employed or at least given a chance at a certain thing and not be judges by the f**ing grades they got at art college

thank god im in one just for the sake of it but god knows that whats i said is true, they only look at the degree you have, thats why im trying my best to go out there or at least work from home but for companies abroad
anjyil's avatar
Thank you! ::saves:::
SlavicWolf's avatar
Time management is highly important. And its on you, not them. I have seen a book be released by my former employer with sub optimal art for one of the sections. The whole project was behind, which is something you will encounter out there.
mollycarroll's avatar
Another very helpful journal. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. :)
Loath-some's avatar
How much should generally be in the sketch? Just lines? Base colors?

Thanks again for putting this up.
blademanunitpi's avatar
So far this process seems very fair to me. So far I am really wanting to give this s shot. Keep them coming!
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