Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Calculating the Odds

(Click on the image to MONSTER size it, or click here to read from the beginning!)

Thoughtful kind of cuss, isn't he?  I'm very aware that there's an awful lot of text up there, but I wanted to give folks a snapshot of how much and how quickly Doc thinks.  Also, how cold and calculating he is.  In a single thought, he sizes up his opponent, decides that he'll kill it if he needs to, and weighs the odds that someone is going to get hurt if he proceeds.

Somehow, I don't think that "62 percent" figure is going to slow him down much, do you?  Ah, science.

I had a good time drawing this piece, though I struggled mightily with it.  I originally wanted to do one side of Doc's face, with the shadow bleeding into the creature, swooping down on the gang.  It looked stupid.  So, I did the natural thing of having half Doc, half creature look, with the idea that Doc was almost looking into the creature with his assessment.
Now, I'm afraid the strong visual division makes it seem like the thoughts on the left are Doc's, and the ones on the right are the creature's.  Sigh.
Maybe, like Doc, I think too much.
If you're interested in buying this panel, it's for sale for $25.00 at my Comicartfans gallery!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Artist - The 15 minute rule

So, you've had a crappy day.

You've been in meetings all day at your job, your allergies are making your head hurt, and the last thing in the world you want to do is to sit down and make art.
It's OK, we've all had days like that.

You've got to make art anyway.

Remember that day when you decided that you were an artist?  Well, the only thing that makes you an artist is if you DO art.  Not doing art and calling yourself an artist makes you a wannabe.  No one wants to be a wannabe.  You want to be the real thing, right?  Well, the only way that happens is if you sit your butt in that chair and do art.

But let's say you're like me.

I come home to my wife, dragging my feet across the floor and collapsing on the couch.  I heave a dramatic sigh and say "I really don't want to have to do anything tonight.  I've spent my whole day doing stuff I didn't want, and I'd just like an evening to do nothing for a change."  (This happened last week.)

My wife smiled sweetly and said, "Just show up for 15 minutes.  If you don't like doing it after that, you can quit."

This is a devious rule that my wife developed when her son was 5.  You parents know what it's like..."Mom, when's food ready?  I'm HUNGRY!"
"Soon," you reply.
"But, I'm hungry NOW!"
"Tell you what, wait 15 minutes, and if you're still hungry, I'll give you a snack".

He never was hungry.

You see, feelings are like the weather.  You can feel one way one moment, and another way the next.  You CAN'T let feelings decide if you make art in the evening, because...well, to put it nicely, they don't think long term very well.  As in, ever.

So, here's what you do when you feel like crap and are angry at having to sit down and make art:
Give it 15 minutes.

I swear, if you honestly are doing art for 15 minutes and it hasn't captured your creative spirit and imagination, you can quit.  I'll tell you a secret, it doesn't happen very often.  (I can only think of once for me.)

And DON'T worry if you're angry and grumbling when you sit down and smugly tell yourself "I'll show her, I'll only do 15 minutes and then I'll quit." Feelings change.

And when the evening is done, you'll have been an artist, which will feel very, very satisfying.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Your Plan Stinks, Doc.

(Click on the image to MONSTER size it, or click here to read from the beginning!)

Yep, things are getting a little crazy...for Doc and for me.
Well, for Doc for very obvious reasons..he's got an alien...thing... barreling down on him.
Me?  Well, I agreed to be part of a play written and directed by a friend of mine.  It's a very good play, and I'm honored to be asked to be a part of it, but rehearsals start this week and I have no idea how that's going to impact Doc's production schedule.
This will be my 18th play, for those who are interested, though I haven't been on stage like this since 2004.  Don't wish me luck...actors hate that.
Don't wish me broken legs either because...well, that would suck.
Just wish for me to find time to do more art! :)

If you're interested in buying this panel, it's for sale for $25.00 at my Comicartfans gallery!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Artist - Calling a cow a cow.

When I was a boy, I used to think that everyone knew how to milk a cow.
I mean...don't you?

I only thought this sort of thing because that was what my dad did twice a day, every single day of my life.  I got to help lots, so it was a complete surprise that, when I would talk to my friends at elementary school about cows, I'd get lots of blank looks.

Eventually, when you realize that you're involved in something that not many people around you are, a funny thing happens.
You stop talking about it.

It's more because of social reasons than anything else, I suppose...you get the standard questions about how to milk a cow, and then....there isn't much to talk about.  So..you talk about something else.  About television, or something.

An interesting side effect of this is that you stop THINKING about it.  It becomes essentially invisible and goes underground.  When people ask you what you do for a living, you tell them about your job.  You don't mention cows at all.

Or art.

When you do something that not many other people do or understand, not mentioning it becomes comfortable.  You avoid the same pointless questions and the "not-quite-fitting" answers.

You're also denying what could be the most important part of yourself.  You may not realize that you are ALSO denying the other person the knowledge that there are even artists AROUND.

Don't do that.

Being an artist is like being a priest or a poet.  It is a reminder that creative power is REAL in the world, and that people are born into this particular faith all of the time.  You aren't honoring your gift or yourself by sheltering it from the world.  You and your art were MADE for the world.  Your art NEEDS the world..  The world NEEDS your art.

The world needs you.

So, why  not start by calling yourself one?  Why not, if only in a whisper before you turn the lights on in the morning, you tell yourself "I am an artist"?  Instead of being someone who works a job and does art on the side, why not be someone who is an ARTIST with a day job?

Who knows....you might even remember that you used to think of yourself as an artist once.  That you were one of the kids whose hand shot up when a teacher would ask "Do we have any artists in the class?"

Remember who you are.  BE an artist.

You have nothing to lose.