30 Day Monster Boy Challenge 02: Centaur
Just a sketch for this one: a unicorn centaur boy with pink hair. Uh. Hmm.
Monster Boy Challenge Day 01: Harpy
I debated not posting this because we’ve got full frontal right outta the gate, but, well. I really liked the way it turned out so here we are.
Guess what I’ve been watching
1. At what point did you feel like “Ah, now the story has really begun!”
2. What were the points…
Useful questions to ask for all storytelling projects!
This is Nwain, my animated webcomic. Every panel has click-activated animation. I draw it all in 2D with full color. It’s an insane amount of work! I want to work on it full-time.
So I started a Patreon page! You can help by sharing this info around.
My friends are incredible people. Patronize this dude! Patronize her legs off! Patronize her arms into dust! DO IT!
Yo this is a thing set up by a friend of mine who is crazy great, you will dig this story I promise. I don’t know you and I know nothing about this story but I know her and that’s how I came to make that statement
If working as an illustrator is so difficult, and if the customers expectations are so often outrageous, why did you choose to pursue a career as an artist?
I get this question occasionally from well meaning friends and family who don’t know me well enough, people who don’t hear my convention horror stories and didn’t know me when I was a young teenager. I don’t want to dismiss this question, as it’s an excellent one, rather, I’d like to elevate it. I would LOVE it if my fellow artists reblogged this with THEIR reasons for purusing careers in art, perhaps our dedication and passion may sway a few minds and make a few friends.
History as a Storyteller
I can’t say I’ve always been an artist, but I’ve always been a storyteller. As a wee little kid, my scrawlings were basically comics- elaborate stories with convoluted explainations that required input from me to be intelligable. Once I was able to grasp a crayon well enough to write and had a basic understanding of spelling, I wrote short stories and kept journals. I didn’t read comics as a kid, but I loved childrens books, Highlights, and cartoons.
Being a storyteller is integral to who I am as a person, and is no more seperable from my personality than my sense of humor. But I’m not a stand up comedian, I’m a comic artist. Why?
As a kid, certain media touched me so much that it left me changed forever. Early Disney movies, Studio Ghibli films, certain children’s fiction left me with more inside than I started with. I viewed these works as gifts from the creator, and I desperately wanted to be able to give others the same feeling.
It didn’t have to be comics. I just as easily could have gone into animation. In highschool, my dream was to work for Disney until they fired their 2D animation department my senior year. Before that, I thought of myself primarily as a writer, and had planned on doing a comic with my artist friends. When they bailed, I realized that if I wanted to accomplish anything, I’d have to be the one to draw it.
Sacrifices Made for Skills
Illustration doesn’t come easy to me, what skills I have are the efforts of 14 years dedicated daily study, one undergraduate education in fine art, and one masters degree in Sequential Art. I’ve given up a lot to be able to draw the way I do, and I realize there are many who think I am a fool for having made that trade. I don’t expect them to support my work.
Three Major Types of Customers
I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had a few professional jobs during and right out of graduate school. With these editors and employers, my experience has been lovely. They pay on time, never argue my rate, and are always very pleased with the work I produce. The commissions I’ve completed for private individuals have also always been well recieved. I work fairly fast, treat my customers with respect, and am grateful for any opportunity to create art for fair pay. My hourly rate for freelance work is $15 an hour, although I do often work for flat rates that are pre-agreed.
My three main clients are:
- fill in work for an illustration studio
- private detailed commissions
- quick commissions done at conventions, mainly anime
Problems usually pop up when I’m tabling at anime cons. For the most part, my work attracts an audience I really click with- easy going 20 somethings looking for an affordable but meaningful convention souvineer. Sometimes I get to draw couples, sometimes I’m commemorating a particularly cute outfit, sometimes I’m commissioned for a joke between friends, often I draw customers original characters. I love this work, and I love how thrilled my customers always seem to be. For a chibi pencil sketech, I charge $5. Unharassed, this is about thirty minutes of work, 2/3rds my hourly freelance rate. This doesn’t include the money spent on the materials, the packaging, nor the money spent mailing in commissions placed at the convention and finished at home.
Unfortunately, my cheap rate sometimes attracts the sort of people who want more than they’re paying for. They want to haggle every price point. Would I throw in another character for free? Would I do a detailed sketch for the price of a chibi sketch? Would I do a watercolor commission for the price of a sketch? Would I bump their commission to the top of my list, since they’re leaving in fifteen minutes? Would I ink their sketch for free?
I don’t get offended by these questions, since I assume that anyone who asks doesn’t know better. They don’t know what my time is worth, they don’t know what my education is, they don’t realize that this isn’t just a hobby for me. My job is to educate them.
The real issue comes from people who get angry when I politely say no to these requests. The insults begin, as though damaging my self esteem will lower my prices. They stand in front of my booth, chasing away other customers, while they make their points.
The worst are people who assume art is a meritocracy, that we earn what we deserve. They don’t know anything about the commercial art market, the illustration market, or the comic industry. They don’t know that when I went into graduate school, things were a lot better than they are now. They don’t realize that because people consider art to be a luxury, art suffers during a recession. They don’t realize that for many anime kids, piracy is an acceptable way to acquire the media you want to consume. They aren’t in the trenches, and usually don’t stick around long enough to find out what it’s like.
So why do I continue to do this? Because I love using illustration to touch people, I enjoy how I feel when I’m drawing, I love being ‘in the zone’, and I like making people happy with my work. What do I dislike about my work? People who expect me to lower my prices to compete with artists they’ve seen online, people who want to consume all of my work for free and then demand more.
NOTE: If you want to cut my story out and replace it with your own, that’s cool. As long as you reblog me, I’ll reblog your answer. If you want to keep my story, that’s cool too.
I’ve been mulling over my response to this post for a few days, ever since I first saw it. I’m at a weird place in regards to my feelings towards my art, and at first I didn’t think I’d say anything at all— I couldn’t be eloquent enough, I’ll phrase something in a way I regret later, I can’t talk about why I got into comics without talking about aforementioned weird place (feels like whining). But if my feelings help anyone with their feelings, or if writing this out helps me with mine, well…
1. What do they like to talk about?
2. What don’t they talk about?
3. What have each of them given up for each other?
4. What compromises have they made with each other?
5. Do each of them know how the other takes their tea/coffee/other?
6. How much do they trust each other?
7. In what ways do they prefer to show affection for each other?
8. Do either have habits that annoy the other?
9. What habits does each find endearing in each other?
10. What is the division of power like in the relationship?
11. How did they meet?
12. When did they realize that they were interested in each other?
13. How did their first kiss go?
14. What was their first fight about?
15. How was their first time having sex?
16. When did they first tell each other that they loved them?
17. What was their last phone call (text/letter/insert applicable) about?
18. What was the last lie each of them told the other?
19. When was the last time either slept alone?
20. Where did they last have dinner together (and what did they eat)?
21. Will this be the last relationship each of them has?
22. What will their last words to each other be?
> Describe or Draw
23. Each of the pair from the other’s point of view
24. A hug between them
25. A kiss between them
26. One borrowing the other’s clothes
27. The pair entertaining themselves on a rainy day
28. One caring for the other when they are injured/sick
29. One cooking for the other
30. How would the pair fare in a post-apocalyptic setting?
31. If they were a fruit or vegetable, which fruit or vegetable would each of them be?
32. How quickly, and through what means, would each be able to tell if an imposter had replaced the other?
33. How well would the couple do as a team in a bar fight?
34. Who buys the milk when they run out?
35. If one was abducted, how would the other respond, and how capable of organizing a rescue would they be?
36. Who handles spiders?
If you ask me any I’ll totally respond with doodles! JUST SAYIN’!
Astonishingly self indulgent
So much time to kill #sketch