IN THE DARK ARCADE

STARES IN THEIR EYES
(close-up of a comics panel)

STARES IN THEIR EYES

(close-up of a comics panel)

IN AN HOUR AND A HALF I’LL BE 29.
Staying up late doing some colouring. In the middle of it, at the moment. The Kid, approaching the Haunted Wood. (From a book Gabe Soria and I are doing)
Preview of PAGE 2 (minus text).
Also, some of you good folks were asking - I’m only illustrating this job, the script and concept are by someone else.
PAGE ONE (sans text) for a LOVELY comics job I’m drawing.
I FOUND IT.

paarfaux said: Is it ever hard to push yourself forward as an artist? Often I feel like my art doesn't matter. How do you motivate yourself as an artist to keep going in the face of failure?

Hey, thanks for the questions. I’ll try to answer them as best I can.

I think the most important part of pushing yourself, for me at least, is to enjoy the resistance you meet along the way. Everyone has their comfort subjects/styles that they return to again and again. I have piles of sketchbooks full of nothing particularly challenging, either technically or intellectually. I think I’ve only started improving ever since I began wrestling with the things I find harder to draw and conceptualise (perspective + sense of motion are two things I neglected for years because they didn’t come naturally to me, for example). So, I started drawing things that were more difficult, that made my hand feel heavy and uncertain - but trying always to treat them with a certain child-like wonder. Like a puzzle that can be solved or the markers on a map. That way, by going in with your limitations bared you can enjoy the process of learning, of discovering these mechanics. Recognising that my skill-set has huge holes makes me excited to get filling them in.

Hmmm, the second part is trickier. If we take a wide lens to the picture, yeah your art, or anyone’s art doesn’t matter. Death will bury us and our work ;) …though, that exact limitation makes things quite exciting. You have this allotted time to try and produce the very best you can….GO! 

Failure is a natural part of the process, of creation. There are errors and follies and time and again you’ll be pushing against the ceiling of your own ability. But, again, I think it’s important to enjoy this messy procession of triumphs and set-backs. And that ceiling raises over time, with practice and practice and practice. Failure is rarely black & white, and in the grey areas is where the interesting comments on your work can be found. I think it’s important to use failure as a sounding-board. It places you on the mountain, with the people whose work you admire, at various higher points on their way to the peak (with Mervyn Peake, right at the very top ;)

In summary: I think we should enjoy the challenge, it makes you stronger and more capable, as well as humbler in the face of better artists (but you’ll catch them eventually ;). Secondly, failure does often mean that you weren’t good enough, but that’s not the end of the story. Failure often pricks, razor-like, the areas in which you have to improve and that’s useful. Finally, practice, all the time. It goes some way to legitimising the struggle and gives you that Rocky-like resolve that helps to shadow-box your doubts and keep them, more or less, at bay.

I hope some of that made sense.

Working on a wee comics job at the moment.
This is the opening panel, with place-holder colours (and sans text). 
I’m having a whole lot of fun drawing this!
Second pass at the colouring style that will be used for this book. MUCH happier with the results. I wanted a faded-by-the-sun-in-the-corner-of-a-second-hand-book-shop-in-a-village-by-a-sea look.
Test colouring for page one.
Hmmmmm. I’m not sure. Too plain? 
Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. Crowd-sourced colours.
I’m back in Scotland for a month. Working from the Kingdom of Fife.
I’ve been going for walks everyday, first thing in the morning, to draw the countryside. Here is today’s effort.
Pencil and ink, drawn in messy circumstances, under a tree.
(picture taken with my terrible phone)
Here’s PAGE 2 for this project I’m on. 

It still has some way to go (letters and colours) but I thought I’d share this progress shot
Playin’ with digital paints again.

RYU, get a grip mate, you’re gonna trip over that mad crumpled up face of yours.

HEY,

I’ve started a band. It’s called: EERIE IDLES. It’s just me in my apartment, in my underwear, basted in gin. All the music is written on a 3DS and recorded on the balcony using a mic-row-fone, held up to the 3DSs speakers. Technology, baby. This will probably be my first and last song.

I’ve been away for some time, haven’t I. I’ve just been so busy with work that I haven’t been able to show (yet).
So, here’s a page from a personal thing - a collaboration with the lovely Gabe Soria. We’ve been working away on this for ages, and it is finally coming together. The lines aren’t quite finished and the final pages will all be in full colour. But, I thought it was high time I posted again.
Hope you’re all very well! 
x x x