Did someone say story time?!?!?

Hey guys,
Fellow artists Michael Meir and Nic Klein, were awesome enough to ask me to be a part of their upcoming issue of Dolor. Stoked at the opportunity to be a part of something really cool, I jumped at the chance. Dolor is a small 4 x 6 mini black and white comic, put out by Rotopolpress, and is just a chance for a few artists to get together and do what they love; comics!
So, after a few weeks of non stop work I managed to pump out some more comic stuff. Though I can't post the pages, I should stop holding out and post my process stuff. I figure it would be great for me to go through my steps and hopefully hear feed back from you all on things that I could do better. Now I tried to get the best scans I could, but...Col-Erase pencil + tracing paper x my crappy scanner = really bad scan. So I guess, try to decipher the scribbles. I am positive you will not be able to tell what the heck is going on in my thumb nails.
I was once told by a good friend of mine, in order to write a story you must first live. In other words, procrastinate. Go for a workout, eat, talk to friends, look at art, read books, and watch movies and sketch. When charged with sitting in front of that blank open word document with that little blinking line, my mind goes blank. Man what do I write about, what story do I tell? It is only when I get up and move around that an idea will hit me. I then get all jazzed up, plop myself in front of my computer with a pen and pad only to begin writing and researching. I do mean only WRITING and RESEARCHING. It’s like pulling teeth, but I try to keep myself from drawing too much. If I let myself go, I will draw up these great awesome amazingly inspired drawings, only to find out that I can't use them in the story. Then waste valuable time trying to fit this image into the comic. That my friends, is a real drag.
Next up... Lay out:
Untitled-1 2
It is here where I get to play director. Dolor’s limit was six pages, and on my first pass I had at least 12. It’s fine if you go overboard in the beginning; it’s more to work with. But try not to get too attached to a particular composition or drawing, because you might end up not needing it, or forcing a scene that won’t be in service to the story. I find that my first few attempts always have really boring compositions. George Pratt always told us that it is not about drawing at this stage; it is about idea and story, nothing more, nothing less.
Using tracing paper I continue to make edits and cuts, pushing and pulling, until my story is solid.
So I will recap for myself: writing/researching is the foundation and rough layouts are the sturdy walls and roof. Now with the essentials out of the way, we can get to the details, what I consider "decoration":
Concept art, or what some might consider the fun stuff!
Now, so far I have found that I like to start of with a few head studies; some people believe that starting with a round of silhouette is a better way to begin. I personally find that if I did my home work (the stuff above) I will have a proper overall idea of what my character should be like. That could always change but I feel: what better way to figure out some ones personality than through their face. I crank out as many as I can; pushing and pulling until I get a satisfying lead character. From here on I do some silhouette drawings; I feel that just from the face you can usually tell what kind of body type he/she/it will be.
head-studies bonita2
shiloutes beastbox
beatbox1 beatbox
* Normally I would do environment designs, but this was a predominantly character based story and I was running out of time.
IMG_2896 IMG_2898s
Sorry about the unclear pencils, I was in a rush, so I did not have time to properly photograph it. After all that prep work, grab some reference and proceed to finish. In this case It was just black and white ink and zip a tone for the final.
IMG_2919 IMG_2911
Now this is just one form of process, I am sure there a millions of different ways to go about this. It is just the method that I choose to follow at this given time. Each writer/artist has his or her way of getting to the finish line. However the one rule that I firmly believe all great stories have in common is that everything must be in service to the story. Well I am done ranting for now, hope you enjoyed the drawings. Be sure to pick up Dolor #3 whenever it comes out.
Big shout out to Michael Meir, Nic Klein, Rotopolpress and all my peeps over at Ringling College of Art and Design. I hope you all enjoy Illest of Ill , wish I could be down there with you. If you are in the Sarasota area this weekend be sure to stop by Ringling and check out the annual Illest of Ill show.
You can tell them I sent ya!


oliverd_876@Hotmail.com said...

Sup man!! Awesome work. You are making me proud. Love the direction your going so far. Hope all is well.


Roland said...

Its great to see your process. Your ink work has so much life in it and the final inks look delicious.

Rotopol have some really nice stuff. Do you know when your issue of DOLOR will be availiable? It looks like they sell out pretty fast

Pop-Monkey said...

Dustin, your work looks great, and you're growing by leaps and bounds! I had no idea that your original pages were so large -- definitely bigger than normal comic-size art boards. What size paper are you working on? I assume you have access to a giant scanner, no?
Keep it up!

Francis Vallejo said...

damn, after looking at these....I better not f*** mine up...NASTY work sir...flipping awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ill be needing your wisdom soon..

luis espinosa said...

man..its great to see you're doing some kick ass stuff. I love that advice about living first. I think its something i need to practice.. lately its been all work and no play to the point my computer gave up on me.hahaha. beautiful drawings man. I can't wait to see it all come together!

Andrew R. Wright said...

that monkey character is badass man! I look forward to seeing the finsh in print!

Optimus Prime said...

i love this dust! ahh its amazing!

Illink said...

I like the process, especially the part about living life to be able to tell a story. Good Stuff Dude! The character design is sweet lovin Beat Box.

Matt Gayle said...

you've come very far from the days of the gilpin! PROPS!

Orlando Sanchez said...

This is incredible work man. Their is alot of life to each of the characters that I really like and wants to make me turn the page to continue seeing how the story unravels. Awesome. I'll suck it up and start working harder thanks to you and Oliver.

Adam Tamte Volker said...

soo juicy dustin. SOOO juicy. can we do some story telling and drawing on rooftop bars again soon? Miss your aura dude.


Kyler Dannels said...

Great post! Great drawings! We all missed you at Illest. Keep it up, mang, you're kicking ass.

- Kyler

Nicholas said...

Super duper man!
NICE post, and Great drawings... I have to say you inspire the hell out of me!

wish you were at the Illest so I could have picked your brain, but hey... maybe some other time.


luis espinosa said...

hey man.. I wish i could update more but I've been pretty busy with a job I got in Arizona. I got a pretty decent project on my hands to where its taking up a lot of my time. I am happy to hear from you man.. take care.


LuisNCT said...

I like a lot your brushstroke, I found it very expressive but precise. great work!

michelle housel said...

Dustin!! You're awesome and I totally miss you. Come visit soon!

Joe said...

Dustin man, congratz on the comic. This stuff is lookin baadaassss.

neily-o said...


Man your stuff is looking awesome. Both Nic and Michael or bad ass, what an honor. Your stuff looks so crisp!

Hows Reel FX going?


willard said...

hey man, beautiful inks! thank the blog gods and your post of rick berry's demo that i came across your work again...finally. it was nice meeting you in SD. i look forward to frequenting your spot on the inter web =]

Eric Orchard said...

wow1 Your work is amazing! Just phenomenal, I know where I'm going to get inspired. I'm so glad you visiting my blog so I could follow you back here and become your newest fan. I'm definitely putting you on my blog list.

alessio said...

Ehi!! It's a beautiful works!!!!! Wonderful!

gumkid said...

THanks man, I'm Doing pretty good here, working at a parttime job and freelance on the side a little, man, these drawings are freakin sweet, especially rhe monkey character, and the girl's got alot of life as well

neikos said...

Hey Dustin, awesome works on your blog, I really dig your style (and your ink work too). :)

Keep 'em coming.

I'd like to put you on my blog list. Do you mind?


Jens said...

hi dustin, I'm the third artist who's in dolor togheter with you and francis, cool to see the progress! can't wait to see the the rest. see ya!

Sorrentino said...

Awesome!! congrads!! comics are amazing!! new stuff is looking sexy dawg!

neily-o said...

Hey Dustin,

Thanks for the kind words...yeah I'm in Pratt's class this year..it's a lot of work, but it's awesome, I'm really enjoying it! He makes us crank out so much work, which is great! We're doing the comic assignment right now, which is a first for me, it's fun though. You're working at Real FX right?

Let me know how things are going...


Roland said...

Just ordered Dolor 3 with your comic in.