Blazedent has began their new drawing series. Previous drawing tutorials have dealt with basic penciling concepts. Now we are going to focus on drawing what comic companies and writers ask you to draw. How do you understand what they want, what are some common mis-conceptions, where do you start and what should you be ready to work with when you begin penciling for a company or writer.
The first tutorial of this series, 'Outside the Box', will deal mainly with what to expect from companies and writers, we will also give you some tips on how to get the job. Once you sign that contract, or acknowledge that you will take the job, you can't let them down. New jobs are hard to get due to the millions of incredible artists out there and only the thousands of great jobs.
The first thing you might be wondering is why are their artists out there that are just as good as you, yet they have the jobs you've been working at so hard to get.
Most artists that have the job you wanted are in their position because they put more work into getting it. They sent resume after resume out until someone responded. They didn't just listen to people critique them, they asked more questions and discovered exactly what could be done better. They were easy going people, easy to work with, kind, considerate, and most of all...they thought outside of the box. They didn't just draw what was asked of them, they sketched every detail that their creative brains could come up with.
Here's a real life example, for the upcoming Blazedent comic series Ninja Styles, the series artist John Mercil was asked to sketch some conceptual art of the characters fora basis of which to work on. (all new series will have a large database of concept art that will serve as the foundation for the next few years) He was asked to sketch Cao Dun, one of the main bad guys. The description that was sent to him included something along the lines of: Cao Dun is foreign, hardly smiles, business man who is rich, ridiculously mean, short tempered, rules with an iron fist. Be creative, create what your heart feels.
John Mercil sent us the picture that you see on your right. A great picture of a person...but not quite the person we were looking for. While he drew a great business person, he didn't look rich enough...and while his Cao Dun looked mean, not quite mean enough. To tell the truth, we thought the picture was good, but not a Cao Dun. He was mean enough, didn't look like he held enough power, didn't quite look liked he cared about being one of the "bad guys". So we told John what we thought, we told him that maybe he could give him a pin-striped tux, and take off some of the facial hair. And instead of gettin in a bad mood, or not making changes, he gladly accepted the criticism. This is how a company works, and this is how the artist needs to be. An artist drawing for someone else has to be open to change and open to the fact that what he thinks is great could be better. While we did tell him to draw what his heart felt, he needed more. And the beginning of concepts is just that, we wait to see what the artist comes up with, and then we see what we like or don't like about it, and that's how a great character is designed. Through an understanding artist who can accept criticism, and this is how you my friend must be as well.
Expect companies and writer to not always agree with you, and know that their opinion ultimately matters...as bad as it sounds. Let them worry about sales and looks, you worry about listening to them.
Lastly, don't sign up to do art for someone when you can't produce. If you can't handle the workload of 30+ pages a month, then don't sign up for it. If you can only draw characters and no backgrounds or settings then know ahead of time what jobs to take and which ones not to take. Lastly, remember that this whole tutorial is just advice, take what you want from it, and the rest forget about. Thanks.
- Joseph Lookabaugh