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Monday, September 10, 2012

9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist

I've been getting lots of people looking for art advice on twitter lately. They send me pictures and ask questions (always a good thing!) But I have noticed that some of those pictures are unfinished, like they started it then stopped, like they got bored or were having too many problems with the legs or the hands (trust me, I know how this goes!) And even recently I was asked about colleges with comics classes.

In January I will have been working in the comics biz for 20 years. I graduated from college (they discouraged comic work, or at least some of the teachers did. I did it anyways) in 92 with a 2 year degree (degrees are pretty mush useless in comics, but I figured is I flamed out I could always go back for something else.) I REALLY have little to no knowledge of what's out there school wise now, so I'm pretty useless there. BUT you do pick up things, and even now I'm still learning, which brings me to the point of this post.

Today on the twitter, I came across this; 9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist. This is fantastic! If you want to be a professional comic artist, writer, inker, colorist then THIS is your Bill of Rights, you're 10 Commandments. I will admit I do fall into the last one a bit, but I am trying to reach out (I have to say, twitter is great for that!)

Go read! Learn! Enjoy! And then DO!




Chris Hall said...

Great Link Brett! The list was right on. I recently decided to give some serious thought on whether or not I was going to continue to pursue being a colorist or not. I decided after almost 9 years of banging my head, trying to break in and make a living at it, my heart just wasn't in it any more.

I decide to switch my focus to my other passion, which is photo restoration and photo-composite art. I still love comics and plan on doing comic based art from time to time, but in my new chosen medium.

I have to say it is refreshing and exciting to change mediums and what I'm doing now is much more personally rewarding and is already working out better financially.
All said and done this is exactly what I needed and I feel I can get back on track to doing this professionally. :)

Brett said...

Hi Chris,

I get you. I tried to get paleoart work and it simply just wasn't there and after the debacle of my small press career I though maybe SH comic weren't so bad. Been having a mostly great time since. A few hiccups here and there but on the whole it's been very good. One day I'll tell you of the books that could have been!

What I decided to do was to just do the dinosaurs for fun. And actually since then I'm gotten projects so it's worked out pretty good. There is like 0 money in it so it's just for fun and my own love of the beasties:)

As my wife said to me, people will always need picture touchups, they wont always need comic book colorists. And after seeing how badly most fo those guys are treated I think you might have made a wise choice:)

Chris Hall said...

Thanks Brett, I'm positive I did make the right choice. The colorist market is just so over saturated right now and is probably going to get worse. I don't believes comics are going away anytime soon, but they are definitely morphing into a different beast and It wasn't the right fit for me anymore.

As for Paleoart, I could be wrong but I think the only way to make money at it is either to contact a publisher and do your own books(I know I'd buy one)or to get in with a museum(someone has to flesh out all of those new species they're digging up.) Maybe textbook illustration?

It's simple, all you need to do is clone your self so you can have time to do comics and Paleoart. ;)

M.O.R said...

TO be fair to you Brett, you have been nothing but helpful to folks like me. Those of us who have contacted you and been respectful of your work, dog breeding, dino art, and your beliefs, we get treated pretty well. There have been the jerks who say 'I love your work, but this sucks, that sucks, that sucks, this sucks, and you use the wrong pencil to draw....' kind of idiots, but you have rightfully called them out on that crud. Criticism makes one feel good, but constructive criticism makes both parties feel good.
But for those of us who debate with you about politics, life, love, dogs, mythology, legends, comics, Team Edward vs Team Jacob..;) You have been nothing but kind. It is rare to see that in life. Very rare.
Especially when you look at other comic creators who do not allow such a debate or discussion.
So for that, I am grateful.

TheORKINMan said...

Unfortunately Brett there are a lot of "professional artists" that fall into 6 and 7. Ranging from taking on more commissions than they can handle and taking years to finish them to not being able to meet deadlines constantly.

Chris Hall said...

But for those of us who debate with you about politics, life, love, dogs, mythology, legends, comics, Team Edward vs Team Jacob..;) You have been nothing but kind.

SCREW THAT!! TEAM JACOB ALL THE WAY!! Ya'll can keep that pasty, white, sparkling, moody, undead, ass.(chuckle) ;)

M.O.R said...

Bella made her Team Jacob guys should just get over it!!! ;P

Be happy for her!

Melanie Dawn said...

this is great... SOME of it applies to me for sure. I fear I am too old now to get "serious" about my art :(

Diteyn Elmsoxogu said...

This link was a great kick in the pants. Thanks Brett!