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:
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.
* Normally I would do environment designs, but this was a predominantly character based story and I was running out of time.
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.
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!