They say it takes 10,000 hours to get good at doing something. As an artist thats 10,000 drawings… For comics 10,000 pages… The best advice I can offer is to find a way to have fun doing those 10,000 drawings.
If you had to walk 10,000 steps and tried to count every single one… you would be miserable. But if you walked those steps with friends and did fun things along the way, you wouldn’t even notice how quickly they went by. So have fun, play, make yourself laugh! And by all means, try to enjoy the journey.
Decide not just that you like to make work, but why and to what end. Now if you’re in a rarified position where money isn’t an issue, this gets cloudier, but for the rest of us coming to see and understand clearly what our purpose is as artists is the best way to manage how we present ourselves as artists. This is likely the hardest part and the one that’s going to come only after you need it. It comes down to having a clear and cogent understanding of your work, and where it’s center lies… (x)
Today I participated in World Art Drop Day. What is World Art Drop Day? Its where artists around the world make and hide artwork for others to find and post online using the hashtag #artdropday to share their discoveries with the world. I hid 8 different little painted sketch cards around the Oceanside/Encinitas area. And all of my sketch cards were found pretty quickly.
I scanned the art before hiding it, here they are for you all to enjoy. It was a fun day. I kind of want to do Art Drops all the time now. Especially when I travel. I think I’ll keep that in mind.
Since I’ve been learning gouache paints lately I wanted to use this as an opportunity to practice doing quick little paint sketches. These first two took me about 40 minutes each. Then I wanted to speed it up a bit so I went to my favorite go-to… adorable monsters and trees. Which turned out much better with paints than I’d expected. And it suddenly reminded me of a lot of my favorite children’s books growing up. Its gouache. The medium of choice for children’s book illustrators for the longest time. So that makes sense.
I am living in Southern California now and I’ve been taking classes recently at the Jeff Watts Atelier of the arts. I’ve been keeping a video blog of my progress. I’ve learned so much especially about painting with Gouache watercolors.
Week 1 video
Week 2 video
Week 3 and 4 video
Week 5 video
And be sure to check out this Watts Atelier Orientation video
Miyazaki responded: “To have a film where there’s an evil figure and a good person fights against the evil figure and everything becomes a happy ending, that’s one way to make a film. But then that means you have to draw, as an animator, the evil figure. And it’s not very pleasant to draw evil figures. So I decided against evil figures in my films.”
One reason for fascination with Miyazaki may be his contradictions. The director whose films typically end with an uplifting affirmation of humanity suitable for children is the same director who told his Berkeley audience, “It would be wonderful if I could see the end of civilization during my lifetime.” The man who is able to entrance children, and adults, with his animation is the same one who complains about children spending too much time with virtual reality instead of being outdoors in nature.
I’m going to be doing a series of what I’ve dubbed ‘Mo Tips.’ A period of my life where I was soo utterly lucky to soak in the wisdom of a wise wise man. Some will be art related, some will be life related. Eventually I’ll post about how I got to have this experience, but for now, tip number…
sure, lots of great artists have kids. I feel like it would only give you more to talk about in your work.
not that I’m gonna have kids though.
Yeah, it is possible but it changes your entire life. I finished the third North World book in anticipation of my first born, however I got about 75 pages into a planned four book series and I completely and literally lost the plot. My daughter would typically take 20 minutes of outright sobbing to get to sleep, and that on top of working at a soul-crushing job equaled that I just could not do it. The story was shelved and I rediscovered video games for a few years.
Then she started sleeping better, I started working nights and being alone for hours in silence and io9 did a review of North World and kicked my butt into gear. Penultimate Quest 1 was drawn in anticipation of my son and the second volume was drawn despite his occasional sleepless nights (but he goes to sleep great, thank you, Lord).
Because I drew before and through this time I feel far more confident about continuing to draw even as I have now passed the 30 year mark. Also thanks to my son I can reflect on the lost years as being pretty understandable. Kids are draining, but also wonderful. Similar to comics.
Hello friends! I was interviewed a couple months back by the Pencil Kings podcast and its up now! It was a pretty fun interview. If you’re interested in starting a sketch group, this is a good listen, I talk a LOT about the process and what it looks like. Hope you enjoy!
Here: PENCIL KINGS INTERVIEW