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:

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