Weekly Juice 3

So, I’ve decided to keep moving down the Freddie Method of drawing digitally for now. For those who are unaware, buy this book:

THE DC COMICS GUIDE TO DIGITALLY DRAWING COMICS.

I’ve talked at great lengths about this book, and it’s simply wonderful. The main complaint I continually hear (as it’s the only one), is Freddie’s art style. I personally love it, but that’s not reason enough, to not get the book. The workflow described inside I’m somewhat following (with a few deviations here and there).01 02 03 05 06 04

I also started a brand new sketch book today. Such a great feeling!

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And lastly, for my digitally brothers and sisters out there, if you’re having pain in your hand / wrist whilst drawing, try this! It’s working wonders for me. It’s a test setup right now. A ripped up shirt, rolled around my Cintiq pen, then tapped with clear tape, then some masking tape for texture. Can’t recommend this enough!
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Weekly Juice 2

Bounced around quite a bit this week. Kept jumping between digital styles of drawing, and also dived back into ‘traditional’ pencils, then digital inks.1 2 3 7 4 6



Weekly Juice!

Hey everyone!

So, I’m going to update my blog once a week, with all the art that I’ve been sharing on the social networks. I know not everyone follows me everywhere ( and you shouldn’t have too ), but until my portfolio section goes up, let’s treat this blog like a BLOG!

So come back once a week, and there’ll be pretty new pictures for you :)

Let’s start with last weeks sketches, doodles and pictures!

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THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE – FOR COMICS

So many tiny fires to put out

I’m working on a few different projects right now, some of which are shown on the left hand side of this website. Each new project I take on, each new idea I get and each project I currently have, are all wildfires. So many little baby fires from each that sprinkle themselves everywhere, and it makes it difficult to even start. The volume of work is crazy, but I’m willingly taking it on. After all, what’s the point of being an artist if you can’t create brand new things all the time? As well as constantly breathing life into current projects?

No matter what workflows I’ve tried to find to help me tackle all of this, some would stick for a few days, weeks or months. Nothing lasting. The root of all these problems was and still is ” TIME MANAGEMENT “. We all wish we had more hours in a day to get business done. Whether that’s art work, client work, house work or whatever.

The worst part of this is the feeling that you’re never getting anything done. At least that’s the feeling I get. I have a handful of projects (both client and personal) and I always feel like I’m playing catch-up. I’ve realized slowly the type of artist I am. I have a difficult time sticking with a single project for the duration of it’s life span. I always need side projects to help push me through. Weather they be personal projects or study, I need multiple projects at all times to feel like I’m making progress.

So the search began! A quick Google search into productivity and/or time management brings up a plethora of information and solutions. I’ve tried so many, things started overlapping. It wasn’t until I stumbled on something called “THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE”. The basic overview of the Pomodoro is this:

  • Write a list of tasks that need to be done
  • Write another list underneath of the above list, including things that would be nice to get done
  • Grab an egg timer, watch, clock, something that you can gauge time with.
  • Pick one of your tasks that needs to be done, and start your timer for 25 minutes.
  • Once the timer runs out, take a 5 minute break.
  • Rinse and repeat until all the tasks are completed.
  • After 4 sessions of this, instead of taking a 5 minute break, take a 10-25 minute break. With these breaks leave the room (if possible). Stretch, put on a comedy show for your pets, or read a book. Get your mind off of the work

http://pomodorotechnique.com/ – Here is a link directly to the main website for the Pomodoro Technique. I recommend watching it and researching it. There are tons of videos on YouTube that give information as well.

I’ve uploaded a video on YouTube, explaining how I use this technique, SPECIFICALLY FOR MAKING COMICS & ART! You can check that out below:

I gotta tell you guys, this time management technique has worked wonders on my productivity. The only real downside is starting ha ha, but that can be said for any time management technique or workflow. Being able to plan out exactly what I need to get done each day is one thing, but also being able to see what I can fit in each day, is even better.

I work a full time job. I have “life” responsibilities, so I know I can only get so much work done in a day. And my “split project” workflow needs, have to be fed. That’s what’s so wonderful about this. I always have the feeling that I’m hacking away at projects. This might work differently if you’re the sort of person who tackles one project at a time, but watch the video above. I’m sure you’ll be able to use the practices I bring up.

The last awesome thing that this technique lets me do, is the feeling of pure control and granular time management that I feel I now have. I’m able to move projects around into chunks of time, as well as plan out the individual needs of my comic/illustration work. “I only have an hour today”, well, that means I could sneak in penciling two panels today, or maybe pencil one panel, and ink another. Maybe ink two panels from yesterdays pages. Perhaps study time (because I’ve been slacking in study this week) for one Pomodoro, and pencil a panel for the other. It’s this sort of flexibility that lets me feel like I’m controlling the projects.

They don’t control me.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and checked out the Pomodoro website, and my Youtube video. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve used this and if it’s helped or hindered your work. Keep reading comics, and keep making comics you guys!



THE LIST!!!

Hey everyone, how are you?

If you look at the top menu, I’ve now added an updating list of all / any new YouTube videos. So if you’re looking for something specific, check for it in there! Hopefully this helps with some clarity and saves you from confussion.

Also, if you’re like many crafty people, and don’t like to scroll, or don’t want to find the link in the menu, CLICK HERE NOW FOR INSTANT TRANSPORTATION TO THE PAGE OF LUXURY!!!!



CASTLE DRACULA

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mini Comics (in the broadest sense of the word), let me fill you in on awesomeness. The whole idea for a mini comic, to me, is being able to hammer out an entire comic book, in a relatively short period of time. The size of the comic lends itself to this. The real beauty is, that mini comics can be done between heavy work loads on other projects. It gives you the feeling of an entire comic project in a bite-sized meal. I’ve read many mini comics, ranging from a simple Joke or Gag, all the way to something that made me think about some deep connections inside all of us. The worst thing someone can do is disregard a mini comic as something as ‘throw away’ and ‘not worth my time’. I think a better way to look at them, is as Short Stories.
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The more I thought back on the original Jesop King mini comic I did back in 2011 (you can view the entire thing online for free, HERE), the more I remember the FUN! I realize this won’t be for everyone, but printing, folding, stapling, mailing the book out, posting updates online, opening a store for people to buy artists editions if they wanted, was all so awesome. It felt as serious as a ‘real full sized comic’, and gave me the same reward. I don’t want this post to try and sell you all on buying mini comics, I just hope it makes you consider making them!
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I stumbled on Corey Lewis‘s mini comic/zine ‘Arem’, which is inspired by a video game franchise called ‘Metroid’. One of my favorite gaming series of all time. But it started sparking new ideas in my head (like everything tends to do). Creating a mini comic based on a video game that I enjoyed growing up. So after some thought, I picked Castlevania. I get to draw a Fabio looking Barbarian with a whip, fighting monsters? I’m in!

I’ve included some art throughout this post so you guys can see some process designs. Castle Dracula is a story about a Castle Hunter, who wants to obtain a kick ass castle in Transylvania. It just so happens to be the home of Count Dracula.
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You can follow the progress of the mini comic on the left menu of this website. I’ll be posting new content regarding this mini comic on my site, so stay tuned! I’m almost ready to start the first draft of the script, and it’s looking to be 32 pages of Castle Hunting goodness! Looking to have the project ready for print by October, just in time for Halloween, mwah ha hahaaa!



THE ‘THREE ACT STRUCTURE’ OF GOAL SETTING

I have so many goals I want to achieve, that hardly any of them ever get started. Hopefully, you guys and dolls can share in this (at least a little). Every day at least one new idea pops into my head. Anything from new project ideas, stories, business plans, or just general ‘make my life better’ ideas. Any one of these usually has a mountain of smaller tasks, attached to it making the mountain so much higher than it needs to be. Many times, it’s just totally un-climbable.

Take for example, working out to get that ‘healthy’ body most of us artists don’t have. How do you even start that? Eat better? Work out? Schedule the time to make all those ‘healthy’ meals? Cardio? What kind of cardio? How much? How much will all of this cost, financially and time-wise?

The main problem I started to notice with this kind of thought was that I was focusing on the entire story, when what I should have been focusing on were the chapters. Once you know what you want to write, zooming in on the details, and making sure those all add up, makes stepping back and seeing the finished story happen. A lot of us rush this step, but the details are what make up this little story or book we see in our heads.

How can we use the three acts of storytelling to set goals? If you’re not familiar with the three acts, they basically break down to this:

The three-act structure is a model used in writing and in evaluating modern storytelling that divides a fictional narrative into three parts, often called the Setup, the Confrontation and the Resolution.”

I’ve included a note card for my personal project, ‘GUILDBORN‘ below. How all of this works is actually quite simple. Grab a note card, or a small piece of paper (the smaller the better, as it takes away our ability to elaborate). The first thing you write down is what the root of your goal is. Place it in the middle of the notecard. As you can see with mine, it’s ‘Create GUILDBORN’. That’s the mountain. That’s our story. Next, write all the important things you can think of right now that are the ‘Setup’ or our ‘Struggle’ with getting this to actually happen, above our goal. A few things I added were ‘Research (covering many different avenue’s), marketing, and most importantly, actually making the damn thing. Finally, the ‘Resolution’. From our struggles and pain, come the pleasures. In many cases this is what we were really after the entire time. Write this below our goal. You can see some quick notes I put down include publishing, conventions and essentially trying to point eyes at it, so people can enjoy the book.

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All stories we read, that most of us remember and enjoy, include either a PRO-active hero, or a PRO-active villain. That’s what we need to remember. YOU and I NEED to be the PRO-active hero (or villain ha ha ha) of our goals. No one really cares about those whose stories are in-active. All of the struggles, no matter how hard or simple will make us PRO-active. We need to chase the goals down. Don’t let your goal be pro-active, that makes you in-active.

The fact that these gigantic mountains that we want to climb are created by each of us, and our imaginations is empowering. Sure, we might not ever get to the top of our mental mountains, but by working out your goals like a story, it makes it crystal clear as to what motions, steps and preparations you might need to take, to being your journey.

Finally, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a video I highly recommend watching daily, if possible:

You can’t climb the ladder of success, with your hands in your pockets.”



GUILDBORN IN 2014 (Maybe, probably not)

One day, I’d like to be like Doug TenNapel. I remember listening to a short interview he did on YouTube a year or so back, where he talked about creating 1-2 graphic novels a year. That sentence continues to blow my mind. The thought of creating my very own graphic novel is exhilarating, and terrifying all in the same.

To this day I continue to tell myself, that “I have no time.” Working a full time day job at a video game company, hacking away on The Standard, and wrapping up many commissions seems to give that excuse some weight. Gives it some legs. But all of those things (as great as they are) are not “personal”. Don’t get me wrong! Working on a project like ‘The Standard’ has been one of the best experiences of my life. Creating the world and the characters is very personal. What I mean to say is that “personal” projects done by yourself, and only you.

I have yet to seriously push towards attending comic conventions as well. I did attend a few conventions in Chicago around 2003-2005. I also hit up the amazing New York Comic Con in 2012, and that was great! Meeting all the Comixtribe guys was humbling, and inspirational. But I continue to have this fear in the back of my mind to purchase a con-table. One of the biggest fears is “What would I try to sell?” Silly question, isn’t it? I’m an artist! I can make prints, and draw up sketches. There’s a ton to sell. But that’s not enough, for some dark reason, I feel like none of it will matter unless I’m selling a comic book.

That’s why I’ve decided to be a bit more like Doug TenNapel. We’ve all only got a few years on this beautiful pale blue dot, floating in space. Why not do everything we can to make it count? I’ve begun to read novels again, and researching writing tutorials, discussions and lectures. It’s all so amazing! It’s like learning to draw all over again! I know a few of you might think that’s a huge load of work to toss onto yourselves, but for me, it’s been truly liberating. I feel as though my art and story telling has gotten better as well. I can’t explain it entirely, but scripting has actually helped my visual sense of pacing and direction.

GUILDBORN (working title) will be my first graphic novel. There are still tons of things to be done for the book, including the script, but it’s all so exciting. Ever since I read Lord of the Rings in high school, played Magic the Gathering and played Dungeons & Dragons, fantasy has been a huge deal for me. In my entire professional career, I’ve never had the opportunity to create a fantasy world. GUILDBORN will be my excuse to do so. I’m not expecting to create anything that will stand the test of time, or win awards, or be read by millions. This is all about solving two major problems. 1) Creating my first graphic novel, and 2) Have fun letting my imagination go where ever it pleases.

I’ve been posting things here and there, on Facebook and Twitter over the last month. Sketches of character designs, monster designs and other little things. Nothing is cemented or set in stone just yet, but again, listening to Doug’s advice, he brought up trying to work in a simpler style in order to hammer out 2 graphic novels a year. So, here’s a bunch of concepts for GUILDBORN:
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Sad face :(

Hey everyone!

The old website was taken down by my previous host, and I’m trying to rebuild this new site. So please bare with me. In the mean time, you can find me all over the internets with the links below. We’ll get back up and running very soon! Thanks for your patience!

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