Well in many ways the list of things I am already committed to is so long its a silly question, I have months work ahead of me. Most of it probably un-paid, who said being an artist was a good idea?
- I have a couple of chapters to colour for a really exciting and horrific story writen by Cy Dethan & drawn By Stephen Downey.
- I have a couple of sample pages to draw up for another graphic Novel horror pitch, it was lovely to meet the writer at Hi Ex.
- I have a strip to draw for Something wicked comic by end of summer, another writer I met for the 1st time this weekend.
- A double page illustration to do for Horror Anthology 'Murky Depths'
- a logo to design for local thing
- a giant exterior mosaic themed installation to plan and workshop within the community ( pending funding applications )
- My own book to finish writing & draw up some character designs and sample pages for.
- another Viking god illustration to finish
- A wild west wendy strip to draw.
- two Art exhibitions to paint for. the first one in May for Open Studios week
- A press launch and public art demonstration in town to plan, organise and do.
and this is just Aprils list !?
meanwhile he's one I did earlier, this is a gorgeous double page splash drawn by Kevin Levell, in Dogbreath fanzine, a story written By Richmond, digitally coloured by me.
lists are all very well- but where am I going with all of this? I believe one needs a clear goal and then the path becomes clearer. I feel like I am all things to everyone, working far too hard and earning far too little, compromised on all counts. what are my strong points? what do I actually want to do? I liked the catharsis of painting my Firefighting job, but it just doesn't sell enough. locally folks like very representational paintings of highland cows and the local castle, but they still don't buy enough to make it worth specializing in. The good galleries want fairly abstracted landscapes...you see where this is going? this could go on for a paragraphs...I know what I don't want and that is another year dragging boxes of mediocre crafty bits and art prints around all the local craft fairs listening to " ooo I don't like this modern stuff, I like the sheep though " , " I wish I could draw, £2 oh its a bit expensive " etc
so being a pencil for hire is still better than being a wage slave at a desk, especially when there aren't any desk jobs available anyway. Its very easy to get lost in the art jungle working away alone and isolated in the mountains, so At Hi Ex weekend I talked to various editors and artists about this and showed them my badly photocopied wee folio of my overly diverse work.
Most people I showed the work to liked a drawing that had been a random doodle for my own fun, so does my best work happen when I'm not trying to do things that other people want ?
It was pointed out to me that just because I am a fan of comics I don't need to draw them, which is true, as I know my layouts and anatomy is weak especially compared to some of the masters we watched at work this weekend. However since I find myself fully immersed in the comics world, its comic doors that open more readily than other ones. The trick to drawing skills is simply practice, which again I feel is a problem when the only art classes for miles are indeed run by me, the only life models are my immediate family, and its a struggle to find time to eat and sleep never mind simply doodle. am I making excuses?
Or talking myself up into getting away from the reams of Hi Ex spread sheets, clearing a space in that cluttered dingy studio, ignoring the task list, ignoring highland cows, ignoring all the million and one mental blocks, and simply throwing some paint about ?
BBC page last week this was the illustration above )
It was also said that I should approach comics the way I paint, which sounds good, but paintings start from a photo or scene in front of me ( or mostly both ), comics start with a script, and horribly laboured stick figures..how to marry the two ?
enough questions ! The keyboard is a good chapter break, but the answers lie in paintbrush and paper...
Thanks for listening. And A HUGE thankyou to those who took time to look and talk at the weekend.