Well after the last convention I started to see all my weaknesses and decided to go ahead and focus on getting my skills stronger and at a higher level. Although I feel like my drawing skills have reached a good level, in the end if I produce a poor coloring job it will ultimately bring down the quality of the work completely. Every potential of what that drawing could acheive will suddenly disappear. In the end, that coloring job could just completely destroy it all and end up a mediocre mess. Which is sadly what happened to my work (or at the very least most of it).
So on top of making my drawings better, I have to put a great emphasis on how color works as well as the utilization of light and darkness. Most of my earlier work had to do with black and white only. Of course I was influenced by manga and that type of artwork. I learned quite a lot doing that, but I completely neglected color. And now I am struggling to get a hold of it now… Not that I can really be surprised by it though, I saw art as just a hobby and only thought of it as something I would do for my self. The idea of doing it as a career was something I really didn’t see my self doing at all. The closest I ever got was thinking of being a photographer, and even then…
Well you reap what you sow. Now I have to pick up the slack and really focus my efforts into it. Fffhhhmmm… Looking back just a couple of years ago after high school when I began thinking of becoming an artist, not even then I put the effort to really take color seriously. I felt it would be something I would pick up quickly. But as time would soon let me know, that wasn’t the case. I tried developing new techniques but they all seemed to produce very rough and mediocre results. I also had my ego get the best of me. I forced my self not to see what others were doing in order to get the understanding of it all on my own. I wanted to be completely self-taught. That… was stupid. Time is precious and reinventing techniques that have already been invented is simply quite stupid. I don’t have time to wasted anymore. I have to push forward and prove to my self that my work is actually worth investing my time, efforts and future into. Because let’s face it, if I can’t sell my work then I should just find a new profession. As much as it is nice to say that I should be making art only for my sake, that doesn’t provide a chance to live in this type of world. I need to make it viable.
This year I’m really pushing forward trying to achieve my goals. I started my own business, I attended my first conventions (though they did end up in failure) and experimented on what kinds of things potential customers will want. The piñata was a total failure… The quality I fell was there, but the price and actual product kept people away. of What use is a piñata going to be to the average consumer? I was warned that I would fail for all the reasons that the people at the convention made very clear. So even though I did definitively learned that it wouldn’t work, it was at the cost of very precious time that I could have used to work on other activities like getting better with coloring and drawing.
One thing I learned at the conventions was that most of the anime I tend to gravitate towards doesn’t have a big following at these conventions, and if you do find someone they may not have any money to buy anything or not even find your work to be worth it. With that in mind I have to make sure to offer work that is popular but of course that I also like my self. I don’t like doing work (unless commissioned of course) of things I don’t know anything about since I like to make my work reflect on the series by adding a story to it that fits.
I guess, there lies another problem. My consists of a a story or theme that those who see it will perceive, but not everyone really cares for this. Many people sometimes only care about the character, the theme and background are all really not that important. Only the better artists (compared to me anyway) can pull what I’m trying to pull off right. Most art I see at conventions are quite simple and showcase the characters in either some inside joke, meme or of course fan-service… But I wan’t to be good enough to not rely on that (even though this is what customers want… so really what I’m doing is completely due to my selfishness). One thing to keep in mind is tha no background give one the chance to produce more works since doing a background takes a lot of time, especially if it’s done traditionally. But I feel I should keep doing backgrounds and get better at them even if I end up not using them later one because it will help with me getting better as an artist. So despite all the reasons against it I will continue forward with making them.
One of the first things I did when the convention ended was practice digital painting for about a month (one of the reasons I was absent here for so long). I wanted to finally sit down and learn how to use my bamboo tablet. It took a while but I started to get the hang of it and also picked up shortcuts on the keyboard along the way which sped up the workflow by a large margin. My painting style is still very much based on traditional techniques so I had a hard time. It’s doable but to make the transitions from one color to another is something I have to work on.
What I have developed is a traditional and digital approach where I do as much as I can traditional and then finish it up digitally. I have decided to cut as much of physical media away from what I will offer clients to make it easier and also more cost effective. This way I don’t have to worry the client with shipping fees and whatnot (physical copies will still be available for those interested and other physical items will aso be available as I produce them, it will become more clear what I’m talking about when I actually show you some other time). What I mean by this is selling digital copies of my work instead of physical prints. Don’t know if this will work, but time will tell.
I plan to produce Youtube videos again, but that will have me making them over the coming months and then posting them in a somewhat stable schedule. But I wan’t to make high quality content that also integrates other things to my format that I currently have. That with me actually producing quality artwork will take time. So when I will be uploading these videos is still unclear, but I hope it will be worth the wait.
On top of that I have also started drafting the book I have been planning to work on since I was in high school. I have enough ideas, notes and experiences to go ahead and start working on it. as I continue working on it I’m sure my drawing skills and storytelling skills willl increase alongside it. When I have enough good material I will make sure to update you guys on it.
Well those have been my activities and thoughts recently, I will upload some of the work I have worked on and have been working on at a later date so you guys get a tasted of what I’m currently developing. That’s quite a lot of projects I have going on huh? Some harsh times fast approach but it’s not something I will shy away from. I’ll continue pushing forward and make this all something I accomplish.
Sorry for the long post. (wonder if anyone will read it to it’s entirety?)
Hasta la proxima.