I haven't posted in awhile. I've been trying to figure out what I really want to say. This last trip to Emerald City Comicon didn't go that well. But I did learn a few things and am pretty stoked about what lies ahead.
The main problem I had with ECCC was the fact that I was sooooooo exhausted. I stayed up late the few nights before, working on getting everything ready. I had a friend come in from out of town the night before the convention. We ran around all day before we took off the next morning. And, as usual, I was anxious the night before so I didn't get much sleep.
Then once I got to Seattle I had to carry a big ol' box of comics, my backpack and a couple portfolios up the hills from the train depot to the convention center. If you have ever been to Seattle, you have seen how incredibly steep the hills are there. Geez Louise!!
To sum up, EXHAUSTED!! I kept nodding off and wasn't able to hold a conversation with anyone longer than a quick, "Hello." I didn't get to talk to any artists like I usually do about process or the biz. There wasn't any room for me to sit down at the booth we had set up for ZFW. I didn't hear about any of the fun get-togethers that night. Not that I could have stayed awake anyhow.
I also didn't get to talk to CB Cebulski. It's hard to believe that it's been two years since I first talked to Marvel. A lot has happened since then. The two people I showed my sample pages to gave me conflicting reviews. One said I had too much in my portfolio and the other said I didn't have enough. This is to be expected. Everyone has different tastes. Thankfully I was following CB on Twitter so I got to make my portfolio fine-tuned to his liking. The trick is to take everything in and use it all to make your portfolio the best you can to your own specifications. You can learn a little something from everyone.
I've got about an issue and a half left to go on the ZFW trade. I'm pretty stoked to see how it all turns out. I've learned a lot this past year working for Creator's Edge Press. I've gotten a little quicker with all aspects; penciling, inking, pacing, layouts, etc. But I haven't really been doing what I want.
Another thing that I get asked when I show my portfolio is "What do you want to do?" This is because I include comic pages and paintings. They prefer for you to focus on one or the other. I always think how I went to art school and learned various techniques; drawing, sculpture, printmaking, painting, and everything else.
So, this is my new game plan. I want to combine the two. I haven't been drawing the way I would like. I've been drawing how I think Marvel or CEP would like for me to draw. I want to start bringing in more of the style I developed when I first moved to Portland. Similar to these:
And I also want to get back into painting. All aspects of painting. I haven't really painted in years!! I want to paint my comics like I have painted in the past, mixed media style with collage, splatters, drips, spray paint and stencils, graphite, the works! Like these and these.
I have 5+ stories, comics, philosophy and kid's books, that I have put on the back burner for the past two years while I was sending samples to Marvel and working for CEP. I think it is time to get back to my original plan.
Back before I went to college I drew 2+ issues of a comic I was going to self-publish. I bought a ton of books about self-publishing and was talking to everyone I could about the business. I went to college to study art and philosophy to make my comics better. I got caught up in gallery shows and forgot about comics for a bit. And I have been distracted by the prospect of working with Marvel for the past two years. Now it is time to get back to my original plan.
When I finish ZFW I am going to start focusing on my own comics. I am pretty excited. Excited about painting, about writing, about setting up booths at conventions, about showing the painted pages at galleries, about creating my own worlds and telling my own stories.
I also haven't liked many of my daily sketches. The ones I like the most are the looser, sketchier ones as opposed to the traditional style. I want to work on developing my own style. I am getting tired of all the photo-realism in comics these days. It lacks style. One of the things I keep telling myself while working on ZFW is that everything doesn't have to be extremely detailed. The most important thing is to focus on telling the story. This also helps in creating comics faster. One of my favorite examples is Ben Templesmith. The artist for 30 Days of Night and many other great books. I love his quick, loose style and his painted colors.
Here's my latest Daily Sketch. I liked this one. Leaning more toward my own style. Hoping to get back to these sketches now that I have figured out my game plan.
Another thing I like about my new plan, I can keep being hopskotch SunDAY and not worry about having to use my real name. Lame!!