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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Art Rejection

A good friend was asking about rejection as an artist when trying to get work in the industry. as a young artist it can be kind of devastating when the big guys call and things just don't  pan out.

Art is a very personal thing it is something we do alone in our little holes.The thing people do not understand  is that art is a piece of  the artist. All our time effort and thoughts made physical, our offspring.  When rejection happens it can hurt if you don't form a tough enough skin.

For all the experience I had It happened to me on (Batman) Detective Comics. For whatever reason DC felt I was not right after one issue and four covers of work. I will not lie I was pretty annoyed about the whole situation  and it affected work I did for another comic at the time.

But I feel we all need to go through that stuff to humble us and push ourselves to be even better. To toughen us up and to not give everything we have to the industry. Remember, The stage will always be there and if you get called up again you will have a better performance than the last. The great thing about this business is we get to do the same things over an over and do it better the next time.

A testament to that is the painting style I used for Detective Comics. I ended up using it for a special edition comic that came with the Batman: Arkham Knight video game and it eventually became the painting style of #AmoryWars the series I working on with  Rags Morales, Chondra Echert and Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria. Issue 10 just came out and we are  two  issues away from twelve. Not bad for a guy who wasn't right for Batman ;)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Industry Standers

There is always that balance of just enough reality or believability in style when it comes to US comic books. For mainstream comics the interest in more stylized art comes in waves. It is usually guided by the general public. A lot of people think that just because something is realistic it is good and shun a lot of the more stylized “Quirky” artists.

Some folks have a misguided perception of what comics are "supposed" to look like based on what was established in the past.But when you look at comic work from other countries you notice a wide range of interesting styles and content beyond superheros.

There are definitely times where I have been told to make things less "Cartoony" and more "realistic" Though I think an artist should be able to adapt their art to get work. My thought about it all is you should be able to beef up an strip down you have depending on the needs of the industry. Look at what is out on the market and get a general feel for what they are looking for. If you look at a lot of the more wild artists when they started they weren't drawing that way. Look at Jack Kirby's stuff when he started. I bet if he went in with the style he had later in his life he wouldn't have gotten a job. So what you do is hold  back the wild style stuff and when you get established that is when you start to inject what you really have. You have to play the game before you can change the game. Playing the game can be a bitter pill but you do it to get in the door.

For comics I consider myself incredibly lucky that I got in on a project where the chains were off. I did everything I wanted to do which was the opposite of what it was like when I worked in animation.

My later career in comics has been kind of proving to the industry that I can do the established industry style with a little of my own flare and work my way back to that freedom I started with.
In a bigger sense that is what every professional artist is working towards. You pay your dues and grind the gears so that you can gain your freedom back like when you first started drawing and doing art.


Or......... you can just say "f@ck it" do s#it on your own and let the industry come to you. ha ha