It’s been a little over a year since I finished Final Track, my submission for the 2010 Yen Press Talent Search and I’d like to share the importance of reviewing and reflecting on your work as an artist.
I’ve failed a lot as an artist. Especially as a comic artist.
A couple of short weeks ago, I hit about 100 pages of rough pencils. I finished this set of pages the other day and soon, I’ll be wrangling these pages to ink, slowly inching my way closer towards completing my first graphic novel.
There’s a fantastic new resource for comic-makin’ folks called Making Comics spearheaded by reMIND creator Jason Brubaker. It even has its own podcast which I’m pretty excited for. It looks like they have a bunch of industry pros lined up for interviews and I love hearing artsy people talking about their craft. One of the guest bloggers posted a reminder about the usefulness of Photoshop actions for repetitive tasks in comics and it made me want to share my own personalized action buttons.
They’re on the simple side since I haven’t made anything more serious than a bunch of gag webcomics and a few oneshots for now. Above is a screenshot of a list of actions I use the most for comics and have been especially useful for Polterguys. Most of them are self-explanatory and usually involve creating, naming and ordering a bunch of layers designated for specific purposes. In the case of the Resize folder, I created a set of actions that lets me create a copy of a comic page, flatten, and resize for web so I can have previews of my working pages at a touch of a button. When I made the first template file for my digital thumbnails, I hit a bunch of these buttons and badabing-bada-boom, stuff got done for me! Weee!
I’m sure there’s a bunch more I haven’t thought of yet that can speed up my process. Questions? Suggestions? I’d love to hear ‘em. Sound off below.
When you run into one of those off days when nothing you draw seems to turn out right and your work feels lackluster compared to your peers, it’s helpful to remember you’re not alone! All creative individuals feel their energy rise and fall. On days like that be sure to check out these fantastic posts on art, creativity and the creative life. Inspired by this Artist Survival Kit I found regarding painting, I present my favorite links dispensing advice for the artistic soul!
How to Steal Like an Artist
I love the sentiment behind this because the author acknowledges the flaw in pursuing completely “original” ideas. He mentions how artists can take cues from your inspirations and idols to create your own work. The author compares the idea to genealogy whereby each artist is a unique product of his own artistic influences and preferences.
“Persist” A Letter from PIXAR artist Austin Madison to Aspiring Artists
Austin stresses the fact that all artists have to work hard to get to the easy parts of creating. The key is to persist and never give up on yourself! You can read other inspiring letters from animation industry professionals at the Animator Letters Project blog.
Super Obvious Secrets I Wish They’d Teach in Art School
There are lessons about making art you get in a classroom setting and then again, there are some you end up discovering on your own with some experience behind you. Lucky for us beginners, other people are willing to share their wisdom!
This American Life’s Ira Glass on the Skill Gap
I am always grateful to have stumbled onto this wonderful video because it’s the first time someone discusses the frustration between how you want to see yourself and your current skill level. Again, the important takeaway is to just keep at it!
The 50 Things Every Creative Should Know
All very useful advice for beginning professionals in the creative field.
The Complete Guide to Not Giving a F*ck
Remember this advice when you find yourself paralyzed with anxiety and worried people are not going to like your work. Spoiler: Stop worrying!
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