Thursday, April 27, 2006

some info on learning.

some info on learning. Originally uploaded by Gelatomettista2.
(entry ricH)

I don't see there being a ton of activity over the next few days so an extra post won't really matter too much. I get to show a piece of art by Phil Hale and maybe speak my mind on a few things.

Comics is a strange and wonderful place. I think much like any industry where your work is viewed in one way or another by the public and new people are ebbing and flowing in and out sometimes things that were commonly known/ are then NOT commonly known as time goes by and new people come into the fold.

I got hit a few months back on some online comic column called "swipe of the week" (normally meant for published comic work although mine was a non-comic and a non-published drawing.) it was pretty frightening at the time considering I don't draw professionally and I am just showing practice work here. That fact was established 2 years ago on the blog and on my msn group 'redcircle' (now RichardFriend) I found the accusation hurtful and mean spirited. Why attack a little guy working very hard to do something new. I sacrifice a lot to work on my art the way I do. I have chosen to work more traditionally in the way I approached learning to draw as opposed to focusing in on 1 or 2 comic artists and getting all my drawing info from them.

In November of 2003 I started to work on penciling. I spent the first 7 months ONLY working from Bridgman, Loomis, and about 6 real anatomy (some photo and some illustrated) books. That's all I did. I never popped open 1 comic. Not even to enjoy as a break. Next I started doing a raft of photo studies to learn things that I thought these artistic anantomy books could not provide. I went back to try and draw comics and it went ok. I realized I hadn't really learned much about drawing comics...but I had learned quite a bit about drawing.

Next I did what I call my 'free flow' experiment. I have never heard or seen anyone do it before. It was something that happened naturally. I sat down one night and started doing "an illustration a night" They were the Friday night monster sketches, girl pin-ups, mars volta drawings, abstract paintings. Whatever happened or felt right. I did it. Each piece led to the next. A little water color on one, became a full color piece on the next. a little weird effect I did on accident, became 10 abstract paintings. It was a wonderful experience and if you are lucky enough to have 6 months to blow. I would strongly suggest trying this.

That leads me to where I am today. I have been working on my drawing skills for 2 years and I guess it would be 7 months. I am putting myself through a fake art college. I always wanted to learn to draw well and be as original as possible. That's been my only two main focuses for as long as I can remember.

I guess the most annoying thing is that someone would go after me when my intentions and I guess hopes for my comic work are some of the purist. I have gone way beyond comic art to try and find something to bring back to ADD to comics. Something fresh I hope, and something new when I get it all worked out in my head. It's a long road, it's been somewhat a lonely and confusing journey, and it's a hard road. I could sit and copy a comic artist and get work. What's the point? I am not learning to draw to get work. I am learning to draw to express MY ideas. I've been offered penciling work at least 7 or 8 times...I have never took it because I don't want to draw comics yet.

I don't have a mentor who's done what I have set out to achieve. What I am hoping to find, develop, and hopefully someday bring back to comics. If people want to dissect every little twist in turn I take while I put myself through this gauntlet of tests (my fake art college as I like to call it). I say fine. You are only giving more encouragement to prove you wrong.



MERARI said...

don't sweat them scrutinizing pricks , if your putting shit out like that in just 2 years..imagine what you'll be putting out in the next 2 to follow.. keep doing your thing.

Marvin Durán said...

You know? something similar happened to me some years back. I had a couple of friends who got together to make xerox comics... we where all trying to learn to write, to draw, everythin. But these guys started putting me down for no reason. So I stopped drawing. These guys are now working pro.
I don't mind now, I got into other stuff... I'm a fairly succesful writer and I'm pickiing drawing again, just like you.
POINT IS: don't let anyone get in the way of your dreams. I let 10 years go by without picking up a pencil, but not anymore. I too am gonna prove these idiots how wrong they are.

All the best to you.

Gelatomettista said...

hey cool thanks. I am still editing the post a bit. I hope beyond clarifying where I am coming from, it encourages other people to work on their art as well.



UrbanBarbarian said...

Rich, I think you're kicking ass with a big boot! I've been visiting this blog for some time and I'm continually impressed with what you've achieved in such a short time.
I've also had to deal with a lot of flack over the years as I try to improve as an artist. Always being labeled an "inker" is something I've struggled to overcome for some time. Escaping to the advertising world has forced me to grow in all sorts of ways and seven years later I'm slowly finding my way back into the comic book scene.

I really look forward to seeing how your cross training melds with the comic illustration of your future!

Gelatomettista said...

hey cool.

I like all these different stories people have. Please feel free to share them.


I don't feel like I have been overly persecuted. If anything it's been the opposite. I have, I guess a platform to reply to things like this and if I feel like I need to clarify something, I will. I like just posting the art mostly and I wanted to let people just enjoy the different images for what they are. Occasionaly you need to pop your head out of the hole, and re-direct people's focus if you're getting feedback that there's distorted perceptions of what you are doing exactly.

'cross training' is a good analogy. I like that! I really would say that I am 95% non-comic influnced now, with the other 5% coming from comics.

It's weird actually. Considering I want to draw comics.

who know's right?



csquared said...


I've been to University, I've been to College for the thing you do in your livingroom and I am no where near as accomplished. You turn out an incredible amount of work everyday, and at the most ungoldy hours too. You have tenacity and integrity because you are doing what you want to and you are teaching yourself. I haven't had the sense of hunger or passion that you have. It's great to see. To think you haven't been doing this all too long just makes me shudder in reverence. You've got an innate talent and what you're doing for yourself is the greatest achievement for a young pro.

All the best!

TB said...

Your a good guy Rich, and you're doing it the right way for the right reasons. Keep up the great work, and I'm behind you all the way to comic shop buddy!(whenever you get there)

antonio said...

Dear Rich! I am now without computer but If you can drop me an email I will try to answer as fast as possible.
I have my two cents to talk about what you posted but I want to keep it personal.
Honestly I still believe YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT SAY ABOUT YOUR WORK AND FUTURE WORK You are evolving and that is great!!


MR FURIOUS said...

well said, rich!

go prove them wrong.

Kalenguppy said...

very well said. It shows something I wish more people would show and something that I hope to sustain. The passion to simply improve work by work. It's one thing that bothered me about going to school for art. It seemed like barely anyone felt the need to improve and felt the degree warrants a wage. Kind of goes against the entire purpose of being an artist. It doesn't really matter if it's acceptable by yourself and your peers if you don't challenge yourself.
The idea of improving oneself as an artist happens to be a opening thread on my myspace page. It's kind of reverse criticism without the posting of work. I find it's important to talk about what's going through someone's head while in the process of creating what it is they are creating. What I started, and hopefully someone participates, is kind of like AA for artists. You confess your bad habits clearly, and state why they are problems, then the following poster offers a strategy for improving upon it. It allows communal interaction and criticism while at the same time giving a voice to your number 1 critic...yourself.

So keep on trucking. I'm sure it won't be long before YOU know you're ready.

Ryan said...

Everyone has their own path in life, and this is the path you have chosen. To hell with anyone who would question how YOU go about doing things. We all have the ability to choose, and this is the direction you have chosen to go take in becoming the artist you want to be. I say artist and not comic book artist because, although you want to be drawing comics, your art is much more than just a defined job description.

You know how much I admire you Rich. I commend you for your dedication to art, your tireless work ethic, and your desire to achieve more in life. When the day comes for you to "debut" as a penciler, the hating will cease and your supporters will be touting your praises.


CPSmith said...

Exposing Biters is always good but, in your case they must of got it all wrong. O'well that's the internet. It's 100% factual. Now iff you'll excuse me I have to "get rich quick" and "add 3 inches to my erection."

NY Comedy Bling said...

my Flash teacher (who is quite famous in the Flash/ digital art world) says this: fuck the internet and never listen to any of us bastards

always do what you want and what you feel is right in your heart.

so let me be the first to say "fuck me"!

ba_da_bang said...


i dont want to even bother pointing out all of the hypocrisy and lies in this post

Rob Schamberger said...

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

-- Albert Einstein

GY!BE said...

What kind of stuff did you draw before you got serious about it? Didn't you draw when you were younger?

And for the record, I enjoy your work MUCH more than most of the comic art out there. And in such a short time to be that much better than most "pro" is impressive. I'd really like to see you at least do covers and pinups in this style you've been using. I like it a lot.

As for 1337 fanboys...who cares? The intornode is LAME-orzzzz.

General Chang said...

Rich, dude just keep doing your thing. We know you've been taking alot of crtitisim lately, just remeber the internet if full of retards and trolls.

Like the hendrix peices, the convertion to small screen jpeg deminishes your work. People say they could do better or that its a copy of a photo, but who cares. its a drawing/painting on paper and for the most part you had to make an enlargment. And thats a new and diffrent idea.

Some people spend Years working on drawings, not just their style or being able to render but years of trying diffrent things. people dont understand this till they actually do it (several times).

As far as Style goes.
Take garfield for example, theres only one way to daw that pregnant cat. so much to the point that you can cut and paste your own garfield strips. My point being having a diffrent approch to comics is great but people just dont accept it as easy. 100 bullets for example, at first people I showed it to hated it! had this one friend he didnt like the style, said it was too minimal and looked unfinished. oddly enough he LOVED tunner's work, and although its great I've grown to not like his cookie cutter method of drawing women.

So in short, ignore the peanut gallery, keep up the good work, and dont worry the more people your work pisses off the better you're doing. It's what your friends and closest co-workers who you should listen to, not some internet troll.

(btw in the future would it be too much if you posted the diemensions of the originals?)

thanks again and keep up the good work.

Neo said...

Hi Rich
Your attitude determines your altitude! Your way up there pal. I'm a digital portrait artist (painted Jim and posted it to him recently) A bit like yourself, many different people see my work. I've had comments from friends about 1 or 2 of my portraits which make me believe "they camnot see what they are looking at!"lol
I choose to take insults as compliments. No one can make you feel bad unless you give them permission!!! I don't give permission and it looks like your strong enough to let this incident blow past you, as you build on the great progress your making.
There is definetly something new/innovative about much of your work. I think your pioneering something new.
CARPE DIEM(sieze the day)
Just know YOU ARE RIGHT!
Neo (aka Dr Phil) :-)

NB2 said...


Your work ethic is inspiring and I love your development. The Hendrix stuff is especially cool to me, since I'm such a fan of his playing. You sacrifice a lot showing people your weaknesses as an artist, and vulnerabilities as a person when you post personal sketches. Its much easier to point at people and take them down. Its much easier to hide behind internet personas and bombastic opinions about things one can't do.

You've set out on too arduous a journey to listen to people taking the easy path. Keep it up, man. Love the stuff.


Odon said...

In the future just remember all the support you're getting now and all the appreciative comments you regularly get for your very open honest and helpful posts. You're inspiring probably 10 times the number of artists you think you are. And you're kicking @$$ with the art.
If you get the chance look up Watts Atelier online if you haven't already. They are at the Con every year. And another incredible teacher is Ron Lemen if you can take a class from him. Learning from books is great but can't compare to having a good teacher give you a critique and suddenly push you past a plateau. And Steve Huston-- another great teacher! he teaches workshops in LA.
And my offer to hang out at a coffee house and sketch is always open-'cause I know you have lots of free time!

Peace-and thanks!


Kateness said...

Posting an example of an artist having referenced a photo, and calling it a "swipe," is one thing I never understood when the old Swipe Of The Week website was still around (it was retired in '99...I think the column you refered to was actually "Lying In The Gutters"?). I don't view referencing a photo as being *very* different from swiping from a previously published illustration. (With the exception of cases were a published illustration pretty much reproduces someone else's published photograph to the point of tracing, without bothering to change anything at all -- as in the case of Mike Mayhew's swipe, which went a tad beyond simply referencing.)

I'm pretty sure most people find seeing the original photo that was referenced alongside the illustration to be merely fascinating, rather than thinking the artist did something bad. But actual swiping is a very shameful thing (the fun of Swipe Of The Week was these artists being exposed), and because of that, I think it's really inappropriate to refer to an image referenced from a photo as being a "swipe"...I always felt it was really out of place when the old Swipe Of The Week used to post examples of that.