Friday, July 29, 2011

Process. (and things I learned from Jo and Joyce)

I just did a guest post for SF Signal spotlighting Jo Chen and Joyce Farmers (they are both amazing, go read the post).

Something I didn't touch on too much in that post but which is HIGHLY applicable to me: Their working process as artists.

Jo works very much the way I do right now: initial sketches with pencil on paper, then scanning it in and creating the rest of the piece digitally. In her panel at SDCC she talked about what that means when it comes to selling art, when the 'original' is just a sketch and the 'finished' piece is a digital file. That's something I've been coming to terms with as more and more the only physical manifestations of my art are throw-away sketches laying around my studio.

And another thing: See here, on Jo's deviant art page.. look down under the image, at her description... That absolutely amazing cover she did for Marvel's Girl Comics no.3 last year... she did it using CS2. I use CS3 and in the back of my mind I occasionally think "I need to get the most current version... then I'll be a real artist." Um, yah. apparetly, latest versions of software aren't required.

Which brings me to Joyce. Joyce created every page of Special Exits with old fashioned pen and ink, using whiteout to make corrections. The pages were never touched by a computer. Very similar to what I was doing last year when I did illustrations for Rigor Amortis and Cthulhurotica. Oh... and also, she was losing her vision. She developed macular degeneration and to combat the effects she had to wear an eye patch and work with her face about 6 to 8 inches from the page. Um, yah... the things I gripe about...

My own working process changed dramatically when a generous friend gave me his old used intuos2 wacom tablet. Whoa, whole new worlds of possibility were created with that gift. The recent cover I created for Fish was done almost entirely in the computer using that tablet. And right now I am hard at work using that tablet to finish the comic Traitors and Tyrants for Monsters and Mormons (a joint project with writer John Nakamura Remy).

Anyhooo... I keep thinking "if I lose my tablet or my laptop, I am toast" But then, I remember Joyce, with her old fashioned pens, and her eye patch. Never say die. (But also, shit, I had better take good care of this tablet and laptop!)

Meanwhile, here's sneak peak at work in progress for Traitors and Tyrants:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Distilling my one day at SDCC

San Diego Comic Con continues but today I am back at my day job. Missing lots of good stuff, but happy I had yesterday.

Several posts will be forthcoming (oh yes) but I need to distill it first quickly (making good use of my day job, yes I am).

The Oh You Sexy Geek panel was... interesting. And disturbing. Supposed to be a critical discussion of the sexualization of fangirls, instead I think some folks just read the title and came thinking they would see sexy chicks. Case in point: While I was waiting for the panel to start a guy came up, sat *right* next to me, pulled out his Jabba the Hut action figure and told me he was hoping he could get a Slave Leia to "do the dirty" with it. Um...?
Anyhow. Moderated by Katrina Hill, with discussion between Bonnie Burton, Adrianne Curry, Jill Pantozzi, Jennifer K. Stuller, Kiala Kazebee, Clare Grant (so of course Seth Green showed up) and Clare Kramer. Oh.. and Chris Gore finally showed up towards the end (I think he was hung over).

I have a lot more to say about this panel. but that will come later.


Jo Chen is just awesome.


Joyce Farmer, Trina Robbins, and Mary Fleaner discussed underground comix, and using the Graphic Novel as a medium for high art and literary storytelling. (Awesome, but with a disheartening overall dismissal of genre writing & comics that I wished could have been addressed with a bit more nuance.) (More on this later.)


I finally meet Geardrops irl!!!

The No Damsels in Distress Here panel offered another critical look at sexism in spec fic. Authors Marie Lu, Kathy Reichs, Chloe Neill, Jeanne Stein, Merrie deStefano, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Maryelizabeth Hart discussed gender and the characters they write about, and all agreed that they very much look forward to when a panel like this will just be called "Writing Great Characters."


I'll have more to say about all of this, I'm sure. This was just for me to do some initial processing (I'm still spinning a bit from the rush of the trip).

Meanwhile, here are two sketchbook pages I started while waiting in lines (there was a lot of that) and sitting in panels:

93 of 365

94 of 365

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

San Diego Comic Con. (Quick and dirty)

Tonight I get on a plane to San Diego. Tomorrow night, I get on a plane heading back home. Yep, that's how my first San Diego Comic Con experience is gonna be. It's all good. I only was able to get a ticket for Thursday, and I have to be back to work on Friday. So, yes. Going to do this the quick and dirty way. (Just like the Phoenix comic con was. Eventually, I'll be able to go to the full thing one of these days.)

Here is my wishful thinking line up for Thursday:

10:00-11:00 Comic-Con How-To: Heroes & Villains: Creating a Character-Driven Story with Maxwell Alexander Drake

10:30-11:30 From Fan to Creator: Goal-Setting for Creative Types— Which side of the convention table do you want to be on, professional or fan?

10:30-12:00 Comic Book Law School 101: "C" Is For Creator (and Copyright!)

10:45-11:45 Oh, You Sexy Geek!— Does displaying the sexiness of fangirls benefit or demean them?

12:00-1:00 Spotlight on Jo Chen

12:00-1:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #2: Graphic Representations of Otherness.

12:30-1:30 Dumbrella— Artists from Dumbrella, one of the most popular online comic collectives, discuss webcomics, independent publishing, and subverting popular culture.

1:00-2:30 Comics Arts Conference Session #3: Digital Comics— Nick Langley and Ron Richards (Henderson State University) ask whether the move to digital comics will doom paper or help comics reach a new audience.

1:15-2:15 Books vs. Graphic Novels and Comics

2:30-3:30 Joyce Farmer: Special Exits, A Memoir Can graphic work become serious literature through excellent artwork, writing ,and subject matter?

2:30-5:00 Comic-Con How-To: Live Painting Demonstration with Lucio Parrillo.

3:00-4:00 Comics: Comic Color 101.

3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Frank Stack.

4:00-5:00 No Damsels in Distress Here— Female voices in sci-fi and fantasy create kick-ass heroines.

5:00-6:00 Figure Drawing for Popular Media— Emilio Soltero, Ph.D, along with Alex NiƱo (Mulan, Marvel, DC) and Stephen Silver (Kim Possible, Clerks), presents a primer on drawing the figure for popular media.


Actually, that last one, the figure drawing one.. that is right about the time I'll be hoping in my cab and heading back to the airport, which really sucks. That's one I am *very* interested in going to.

And.. you may have noticed, to actually go to all of these panels would require me to be in two places at once. Going to have to do some hard picking and choosing. Also, going to have to pack a lunch....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Drink and Draw round up.

So the the other nigh we got together on twitter and had a little Drink and Draw. There was a fabulous turn out and the following is a brief collection of links to give you a sampling of who was drinking and drawing what:

aldoojeda's worked the life drawing and portraiture like none other
@atfmb started with iPad apps, moved to a sketchbook, and never lost touch with his inner nerd.
(opps, now @MamaKathy_) drew Dr. Who/Star Trek mashups.
@abrymora .. wow... airship!!!
@scourger took time out from ReaderCon to join in with some precious... awesome... amazing... doodles.
@traciewelser showed what she can do with a sharpie and some suggestions from her offspring.
@renesears kept it classy with wizards, fairies, and unicorns pooping rainbows (yep.)
@inkgorilla did, surprise surprise, a simian-harry potter mash up! the Chimp who Lived... Harry Wooly... and Severus Ape (....BWAHAHAH <3)
@jacobRuby made some surreal imagery while reclaiming an old sketchbook that a toddler had gotten a hold of (also, his iPad work is beautiful)
@MarlyseComte's work is just always sublime. Always. (Drunk or no.)

Did I miss anyone? please let me know if I did. (This post is the result of a bit of tricky work looking back through my over-full twitter feed.)

Meanwhile.. I had a bit of fun combing drawings with real objects at hand:

And then I sent them to photoshop where I drew over the top of them. (Also, I pirated @palecurve's mug for a bit of fun :) I think my favorite one of the evening was where I didn't draw anything at all on the pad of paper, just took a photo of it and added all of the drawing digitally:

Anyhow... the first functional nerds drink and draw even was a smashing success. We shall definitely be doing this again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Art Nerd (Drink and Draw!)

Oh, yes... btw... I am now the Art Nerd blogger over at Functional Nerds podcast!

Last month's post was about the drawing game Exquisite Corpse. Fun Fun stuff.

But I am particularly excited for this month's post that just went up: I got Booze Nerd Andy Romine to help me gear up for a Functional Nerds twitter Drink and Draw. That will be going on this friday night, come join us on twitter! You do not have to draw: Only if you want to. Also, you do not have to drink: Only if you want to (and you can drink *whatever* you want). Feel free to come hang out on with us on twitter, chat a bit, laugh a bit, retweet some of the creativity, etc. (Follow me @galendara and Andy @inkgorilla as well as hashtags #drinkanddraw and #functionalnerds)

Looking forward to seeing you there.