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.