Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bringing it back down to Earth...

The rejected second page of the book.
Hey folks, sorry for the long delay here. (Though I'm sure a few of you are used to it already.) I've had a busy month here, with final exams and some artwork to do here. Plus there's a pretty good chance I'll be moving sometime in the near future, out of state away from Michigan. But during this month, I had actually had no time to work on the Third Accelerator... Which when I finally sat down to begin work on it again, I discovered something disheartening: I hated how it looked.

Y'all remember a year ago when I had that artistic ephiphany? You know the one where I realized I had been slacking off on the lineart and I need to make improvements, because I'm better than I've been producing? Well, apparently... I suck at listening to myself. I'm going to give a little back story here, because I think it'll be good for us all. Prior to my years on Shadowgirls, I used to draw in a much more detailed style. It was a far cry from my current cel-style of artwork. I've said before that a big reason why I embraced the cel-style look is because of my love for animation and also because of ease of production, when I was producing Shadowgirls on a regular basis. But, you also might remember that toward the premature end of Shadowgirls, that I was hating my artwork pretty badly. I admit, for a while there, it was just easy to blame the tight turn around time for it all... But recently, I've learned that's not the case.

Once again, it's all color, no linework.
While working on the Third Accelerator's pages, I realized I wasn't happy with the pages that I was putting out. Hell, I was outright disappointed in them. The first page was fine, but the second and third just felt... Weak. It felt to me that I was copping out again, and not putting proper effort into the lineart lie I should have been. Not long afterward, I did a couple of commissions, where I decided to put a little more into the lineart than I normally do, and I discovered that I not only really like how it turned out, it felt “right” if that makes any sense at all. (It's the Question picture at the bottom if you're curious.) I had drawn and inked it in the older style I used to ink in... The style from the linked earlier post that I said I was going to start drawing in more often. (Like I said, I apparently do not take my own advice that well.) Now some of this could have been attributed to me dealing with final exams, but I think I've learned a very important discovery about myself that's... Well... Probably more important than just about anything I've learned thus far, as far as my art goes.

I think I was afraid.

You see, when you draw in a cel style... And please bear in mind, we're talking drawing, not coloring... There's a level of quality that, unless you're really awful, you will always attain. You'll never raise above or below a certain level, unless there's something really spectacularly good or bad about your work. It's “safe”. But when you draw in a more traditional comic style, the risks raise. You can become a better artist, but you also raise the risk of sucking more. And I think, even after Shadowgirls ended, I kept up the cel style thing, out of safety, out of fear of failure. It's funny really, that I'm willing to change careers and education in my late thirties... But I'm afraid to give the lineart my all, out of fear of sucking?

I went through some older lineart that I had stored away. Many of it, not only really old, but much of it predated me even owning a computer. Quite a bit of it sucked... But there was a period of time, in 2004-2005 that... Ah hell, look at this.

Machine Wars Starscream, Optimus Prime and Prowl.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS GUY?! Jesus, look at the detail and lineart I used to put on these guys! It's not like I'm coloring it any differently. (Actually, I streamlined the coloring and did less of it.) But hell, that and the Question picture is probably one of the better art pieces I've done in a while... And the three Transformers there was done almost nine years ago!

I know what I want to do with Third Accelerator, but I need to change how I draw. I need to be this guy again first. I don't want to cop out and be cheap on you guys. You've been patient for so long, that not only do you deserve nothing less than my best... I deserve it. So I gotta do something first here and that starts tomorrow morning. If the art gods are with me, you'll see results within a week or two. I sort of got to bring it all back down to Earth...

I appreciate your patience, and I hope this works as well as I'm hoping it will...

Watch this space.

Uh yeah, Montoya above had nothing
to do with the SG site hacking. Though she
probably has her suspicions...

(P.S. A few of you have mentioned to me that the old Shadowgirls site had been hacked by an Anon group. I'm aware of it. Not sure what an internet hacking group hopes to accomplish by having a webcomic site that's not been updated in a year and a half... But I don't question these things. It's out of my hands, but people's been notified about it. Thanks for letting us know though. We appreciate it.)

1 comment:

Joe said...

I'm glad to see your head is in a good place. Uh, on your neck? Centered between your shoulders? Whatever.

I'm glad you're feeling good about your art, because we all love it.