Monday, July 27, 2009

The results are in!

I've renamed the event. It is now and forever to be know as exhausti-con.
157,000 people shoulder to shoulder for four & a half days.
SO much to share so I'll try to boil it down.
David Peterson... Winner! He is very serious and I felt that his input on my work was sincere and honest. He didn't want to just give kudos, but knew I wanted something to chew on. I'm so glad I showed it to him before approaching publishers. In the not so back of my mind I knew my putting the cart before the horse was showing and he saw it. He thought my line was very strong, and that juxtaposing it against the tooled photos that I've done was jarring. He is so right. I was trying to cut corners, hating to draw buildings as I do. He saw the stretched photo elements in the dinner scene "It distracts from your work," so he suggested light boxing it to get my line into all the elements to unify the work. He mentioned the nuts & bolts of my presentation. Make sure the gutters & margin are uniform, make sure the text is a uniform size throughout from page to page. He mentioned that the digital mottling in my text boxes was a little over done. tone it down. Something he said made me feel that there may be some prejudice against digital paint."Nice digital painting." was like saying, "Nice toupee." I wonder how wide spread that feeling is among the pros. although all his coloring is done digitally, he said, "I try to make it look like physical media," and so I see that as the golden standard. Make it look true.
in spite of all the work that needs to be done he said he thought that I was "further along than most," which really made my day.

Mark McDonell was of coarse his wonderful encouraging self. He loved the sketch book Jill made for him.
He went through my portfolio & gave me some really good pointers. label each page, what it's from, which page its from. He is such a great guy. And Lill crit group don't worry, he said he's got some more really detailed critiques ready & will be sharing them soon.
Got great feed back from Andy Schmidt a senior editor with IDW publishing. He was part of a great panel discussion on how to write Graphic Novels. I picked up his book at their booth and Highly recommend it. The first impression he had was that it was something new to the table which he said was very important. He said that it was a nice presentation overall and thought it vert imaginative.

Spoke with Phil Foglio of Girl Genius. He did say nice art. I handed him a GNN card and asked him for an interview in the future & tried to explain the group. He asked me "What's in it for you?" and his skepticism kind of put me off. I said, "Input and encouragement for my own work." and kind of left it at that. We'll see. Some people must have had bad experiences.

Saw Jeff Smith demonstrate how he works and found out why I see so many blue penciled sketches. after inking, when it's scanned in or photographed, the blue drops out. no need to erase the sketch. Perty Cool!

Placed some cards I made up on the free swag table & they were all gone by the next day!

Left a stack of GNN invite cards with Doug Neff Of Toucan Publishing. He gives a really good program about motivation for creative types. Maybe some picked them up & we'll hear from them. I hope so.

Last, probably the most encouraging thing after a panel on thursday. A twelve year old boy got up before a group of distinguished veterans and asked a very mature question. "Sometimes when I'm working on a book I kind of loose interest. I'll go on to something else and try to come back to it later, but I can't seem to finnish anything, How do I break through that barrier"
I was so impressed that some one so young was so serious about his craft. and too, how universal our creative struggles can be. I got the same problem. :o) After the panel I approached his mother and asked if it was alright for me to invite him to join our group. When I handed him the card and one of my Grew character cards, his face lit up so bright. That made my convention. If for no other reason than to know I've encouraged a bright young mind, the whole trip was worth it! I do hope he emails me for am invite.

I've decided to put GREW up for a little while so I can develop OWANGALAYMAH! into a graphic Novel for Kids. It's a need to fill and the story is finished and sound. So With San Diego in the rearview mirror and Wondercon Before me in February, my goals are set. Nose to the Drawing board!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Comic-con 2009 Here I Come!

Well we've come to the moment of truth. Will Comic-con Be all I hope it will be?
If there is one thing I've learned over these past few months of podcasts & blog surfing is that it is all up to me. I'n not going to expect anything to be handed to me, I'm not going to panic & freeze, Not going to loose my confidence. I don't know exactly what will happen but rest assured I will make something happen! More after the con!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Suffering the day job. The importance of keeping a journal

The Summer of my junior year in high school, I was blessed with the privilege of taking a school sponsored trip through Europe. Today, my mother sent in the post this journal that I kept. I had no recollection of doing so! Silly sketches that I had done on site, Buckingham Palace, Notre Dame, The Hay Market in Florence... I cant wait to read it! I am surprised at how much I wrote! Just reading the first few passages brought so many details to life again after having slept for over thirty years! It brought to mind the importance of our keeping journals & sketchbooks, not only as chronicles of our lives, but source materials and measures of how far we've come as artists.

I've also taken to heart the advice from all that I have interviewed, follow on twitter & Facebook & bloger, and that is to always Have a sketchbook handy. And through this I've come to terms with the Day job. Everyone out there who, because of the structure of this world, find them selves tied to the Life wasting grind stone. Paying mortgages and bills but not feeling uplifted or inspired, Listen... Every moment of your life is a moment spent. You wont ever get it back, so spend it well. I'll spend two or three hours watering trees & plants & pots, stocking shelves and taking inventories. I'll be interrupted continuously in the process by customers needs and wants. I'll spend four hours on a forklift loading stone or soil or mulch. If I forget what these moments mean, What they cost, I run the risk of wasting those moments. So creatively speaking, I use this time to take a journey through the worlds I'm trying to invent. I give birth to scenes and plot elements, I flesh out the characters, give them form, substance, and a face. I have eureka moments where I have to stop and make a sketch or jot down a few notes. When I think I just can't take it anymore, I remember that I am the master of my attitude. If I think negatively Thats exactly what my day will be. Negative. And it is sometimes, but really its my fault for not thinking clearly, positively. So I will not give up, I will not give in.
And one day the world will come to know just how worlds are formed. In those moments of time we could otherwise waste as failure fodder.
Keep it real, Keep it alive, and KEEP A SKETCH BOOK!
and in the mean time... Keep the day job.