So. The first draft is done. Finished. Complete.
Well done me.

Now the really hard work begins as I have to start work on the illustrations for the novel.

My biggest flaw has always been that my ambition has out stripped my ability. I am at the point now where I'm finally being realistic about what I can accomplish with the time and skill available. Though not without a lot head pounding, to be certain....

So, eight black and white illustrations and six-ish months. Doable? Possibly. But only if I approach the illustrations with the same passion and dedication I did with the writing. That I refuse to cut corners and actually do the hard graft.

Firstly and most importantly, I need to complete "one" to the best of my ability in order to see both where I'm at skills wise and how it takes me to complete the piece. Based on that outcome I'll have a clearer idea of whether I'm still being too ambitious and I need to curtail the amount of pieces I intend to submit.

So, eight illustrations to do. But which ones? Its been suggested that I should either work on the images that I can visualise clearest, or create a beat board and illustrate the most pivotal moments in the book. Which funnily enough are all the moments I originally envisioned illustrating.

So, here I am. I know what has to be done and how to do. And I know what how much work its going to take. What I don't know is how long its going to take. The only way I can find out is by doing it.

It never ends people. But, I wouldn't rather be doing anything else.

More later.
Liberated from his twitter feed.  I hope he won't mind me reposting them. 

here's a couple of artist tips i wish someone had told me:these are generally not going to be about technique, there's tons of info on that

1) excercise. I can't stress this enough. This is a sedentary lifestyle, sitting at a drawing table, or computer. You will spend hours......not moving much and it WILL impact your health, your mood, your life and your work. You must counteract this by eating a good diet......and going to the gym. And dont bs me abut time. This is a basic. You find time to breathe and to eat and poop, go to the gym

2) Don't depend on all nighters, lots of sugar and coffee to get you through. Your work will never look as good as when you are rested......thinking, and happy. The myth of the nutty artist flailing away at the board through a veil of tears is just that...a myth. WORKING......artists, whether commercial or otherwise, have a work ethic, a set schedule (mostly) and a reliable method of production. Does that go for everyone? No, of course not. But mostly yes. Admit it, most all nighters are the result of procrastination.

3) the same thing goes for drugs. i don't judge and many of my friends indulge. But don;t do it because it's going to expand your mind....... Legit unbiased studies show, drugs may lower your inhibitions but they also dampen the creative centers of your brain.

4) give yourself a chance to succeed: use the best materials you can afford.

5) remember it's a business. I mean two things by this: you are trading something of value for money. If what you provide doesn't have......value in the eyes of those with money, it's not personal or a moral judgment.Also, and everything i say here is from experience, comics specifically can be a social club. It can be fun and HIlarious......but not everyone os your friend. I don't mean they're your enemy, I just mean they are not people who'd you'd necc want to go to .........dinner with, and vice versa! And if you meet someone you don;t like, remember it's a business and unless they are really willing to work with them. We all love comics and have much more in common than not.

6) When getting your work looked at, an editor's only legit critical stance this work publishable, will people like it and do.....I think he will get it in on time? Believe me, while there is value in criticism and you should always try to get better......NO ONE'S work is perfect. NO ONE. That;s not the point. But you should keep in mind that a lot of times all those things an editor......criticizes your work for may not be that important if he's under a deadline crunch. Don't take it personal.

Also, if you have a fan following, all of a sudden those things don;t matter either.

7) Editors are people. Some will get your work. Others won't. Some will become life long friends, others you won't be able to stand the.....the sight of. That's part of being human. Deal with it.

And some will go from one to the other. A good commercial artist is a diplomat. While also staying true to himself. Yeah I know, hard.

8) Same thing goes for fellow creators. Keep in mind when an artist gives you a crit, he (or she) is telling it from his (or her) ......point of view. We, as a species, have tendency to see OUR way as the ONLY way. Take the crit, smile, parse the info out later.

9) During a crit: do NOT argue. Do not take as gospel. Do not excuse your work. Present it well.

Dress appropriately. I wouldn't choose to go to a portfolio review in jeans and a t0shirt. But a jacket and tie might be too much as well
Don't wear a costume! And I don;t just mean like Dr. Who. Don;t try to create a persona. Be yourself. Editors want to work with......easy going people who draw good and mostly get their stuff in on time.

10) Lastly, don't resent. There isn't a person on this planet who's achieved everything they want, that doesn't experience disappointment.. heartache and the agony of defeat. You will. Boxers get up after being hit. I'm here because i will not go down (tee hee.)Sorry. Remember, it's not who hits the hardest, it's who can take the hardest punch and remain standing.

11) (okay one more) if you want a career in the arts, you are asking for periods of feast and famine, heartache, personal agony and......disappointment. At best, periods of financial uncertainty. But if you work hard, play your cards right, the breaks will come and'll have an extraordinary life, like I do. Whenever I or my friends get down about something, we say " this is the life we asked for." This is the life i asked for, and I wouldn't have it any other way. How many people can really say that. Thank you!
There really needs to be a book on great living British illustrators. Why hasn't anyone done one yet? When these guys are gone, their knowledge and experience will vanish forever. Someone needs to produce one. I believe it NEEDS to be done. And soon.

James Montgomery Flagg:

Joseph Clement Coll:

Yoshitaka Amano:
Yoji Shinkawa:

Claire Wendling:
Katsuya Terada
Bill Sienkiewicz:
Posy Simmonds
John Cassaday:
Sam Weber:
David Downton:

John Foster:
Mark Harrison:

Danijel Zezelj:
Juan Gimenez:

Bernie Wrightson:
David Foldvari:

Marko Djurdjevic:

Sean Phillips:
Barry Windsor-Smith:
Craig Mullins:

Ashley Wood:

Roger Dean:
Todd Lockwood:


Jim Murray:
Francesco Hayez:

Harry Clarke

Rose Cecil O’Neill

Enoch Bolles

Fletcher Sibthorp

John William Godward

A good pre modernist art gallery:




March 2015

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