Friday, October 30, 2009

Recovery, Apology, and Announcements

First off, thank you to everyone who offered encouragement and support in the comments of that last post. I wrote it while in a stew, so I wasn’t at my most rational. I’m glad I wrote it, though—it’s good to get these things down on paper (as it were). I’m going to take several roads to recovery. Most importantly among them, I fully intend to enroll in a college art class next semester. I took a UAA beginning drawing class waaaaaay the hell back in my freshman year of high school, but I was probably too young for anything to really “click” with me. This time, it will be an advanced drawing class at APU. Gina’s going to try and get me in at a discounted rate (she has some pull there, being a professor an' all). Up until now, it’s mostly been self-taught, which may have been ultimately to my detriment: you may have noticed that I’m fairly immobile in my habits. I’m also going to start drawing on the Wacom more. It’s something I’ve always meant to do, but pen and ink is just more convenient. I’m coming to realize that good art is never convenient. Scott and the Silk Succubus taught me that. Good art takes days, not hours.

I also have several art-related announcements. First, I’m going to bring back the When Pigs Fly comic on a semi-regular basis, maybe even once a week. The comic is good for me: it helps me with my sense of composition, space, and comic timing. It’s also nice to have a stable of characters to develop. However, I will not be sticking with the usual four-panel thing. That’s a holdover from my college days. I think the digital horizons have freed up space restrictions. The first comic I want to complete is not working well in the confines of the traditional four-panel setting, so I’m abandoning it.

Second, I will (perhaps after the art class) begin an honest-to-god online webcomic in the vein of Lackadaisy Cats or Dreamland Chronicles. I’m talking about big, page-sized entries with lots of panels and a continuing storyline. It will not star Selena Isley, but a new character I’ve been quietly developing: Lilem Beatrice Mephistopholese. I’ll dedicate an entire post to her soon, don’t worry. However, this project is much larger and complicated that When Pigs Fly, which itself is more comparable with Penny Arcade. This will be a persistent mythos, with developed characters, settings, and art direction. The catch is that I will need to learn to draw people in a variety of ways. This will be the primary challenge, but I can already see the first few pages in my head…

Third, and most importantly, I am going to write a book. This task will begin straight away: the text is the most critical aspect. If all goes according to plan, I will not, myself, be illustrating it. Hopefully, I will be leaving that half of the work to an artist far more capable than myself. Of course, should this hopeful venture not succeed, I can find other ways to complete the project. It will be about dinosaurs, yes, and I have hinted at its contents before on this very blog. Brian Switek has given me inspiration and much to think about, and I have glimpsed a way forward. It will be a daunting task, but one that will hopefully leave an impression on the world before I leave it.

…which will be sooner than most of you. I often ignore this fact, yet it is unavoidable.

I will explain each project in more detail in the coming days. For the first time in what seems like forever, I am genuinely excited about my upcoming projects!


Sean Craven said...

(Pumps fist in air.)


This all sounds good. Practical and ambitious. Good for you, dude.

Raptor Lewis said...

We all say irrational things when emotions run high, right? ;) Dude, I COMPLETELY understand, as I've been in the SAME boat SEVERAL times, as it were! I'm glad you're making amends for it! :)

davidmaas said...

I didn't read your last post as overly negative at all. I'm a professional illustrator / animator (ie. I earn my keep with it) and I'm constantly confronted with similar issues. My sauropod entry won't be finished because of technical difficulties arising in part from the fact that I didn't have enough mastery of the toolset (ie software). That's my luxury, however... can't allow for that on a paying gig.
The point is... the struggle you describe is normal. And the goals you've set out are cool! Define your strengths (writing) and go for it. I'm subscribed!

lantaro said...

You're a good dude, sir. Keep up the awesome work.

Laelaps said...

Thank you for the link, Zach, and I am glad to hear that you are thinking about moving forward with your various projects. If there is anything I can do to help you on your way, please let me know.

Peter Bond said...

Positive breakthrough! I can't wait to see all your projects take form!