When you are inking, you want to be loose…as in not tense. I have a bunch of pages that I have been saving to do last, for the next book. Illustrating can be just like any other physical skill, like say…being a pitcher in the major leagues, you are better in the middle of the season or even the end, than you are when you just walk into spring training. The term “mid season form” means just that, you have been playing regularly for a while and not only is there no rust on you, but you are at your peak mentally, having been through a lot of games. You have no jitters, you aren’t all up in your head with nerves, and so on. You are focused, confident, practiced. You wouldn’t want to pitch in the world series after sitting on the couch for three months, you want to be battle tested and ready.
So to, It is better to handle tough pages when you are in a solid groove. That was my thinking on holding the more important pages for last. This is a double edged sword though, because any looseness or confidence I might have had is eroded by the notion that these are the last…and then it is done. So that is when I hyper focus and second guess and over analyze (more so than usual). Frustrating when penciling but detrimental when inking because tense inking never looks as good.
SO…to loosen myself up I decided to do a project or two that wouldn’t really matter if they turned out or not.
a Dr.Seuss parody was the first. That turned out to not exactly loosen me up.
I loath taking commissions. I rarely take them. Consider yourself to be a reader I hold in some esteem if I take you up on a commission.
My thinking on them is this…they take as much time as a page of a regular story, but I only get paid once. I draw it, you pay me…end of the mileage I get out of it. Where as if I spend that same time on my own story, I sell the art, I sell books with it inside, maybe I collect that book into a graphic novel and sell that material again, maybe I sell the rights to reprint it to another publisher, maybe I sell the story itself to Comedy central. Much more return on my time if I do my own story.
Once in a while though, I do one. Either because It’s a good solid reader who likes and shares and has been pitching in, or it is a really cool idea, or…it is something I have been wanting to try my hand on.
Hank Pym (antman/yellow Jacket) is one of my favorite characters. I have never been asked to draw him. I though when the movie came out someone would….but ..nope (Ultron, Doctor Doom, Plastic man are others that I like but that I have never been asked to do…just an FYI). So I commissioned myself. “I’ll draw it for myself…I don’t have much of my own work, might be nice up on the wall”. This would be “fun” and “loose me up”. Of course , like with the rest of my work, by the time I put 15 hours into it, I was sick of seeing it and sold it. I’m not sure this really falls into the realm of “parody” so I wouldn’t expect me to be selling prints of this, but…never say never, if a good solid fan wanted one , maybe we could do it on the sly)
anyway…here’s some pics of the “process”. Not much to explain, other than I used a brush for every single line.
Next time I’ll show you how this idea …
turned into to this idea…
and how it turned out.
Coupon code – thred – still works ( 20% off I think…I think) at the online store, where there are some nice looking (weird but well done) prints and a few pieces of original artwork.
Fall convention Schedule