Month: November 2012

Holiday update 11/28

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Hi there folks! Just wanted to give a quick update as we roll into the very busy holiday months…

I’ve been hard at work on writing and drawing a few children’s picture books, one of which you can view a rough version (or “dummy”) on the “Children’s Books” page of this site. In addition I’ve been getting caught up on my comics workload including duties on Benjamin and the Fish for 215 Ink, Don’t Mess With Texas for I’m a Geek Entertainment and a few creator owned pitches with industry colleagues. My graphic novel for Arcana Studios and children’s book for Viper Comics are set to be released in a mere couple of months and I will be posting much more news about them in the very near future!

Recently I was asked to provide an illustration to help promote a kickstarter campaign for my friend, and all-around great cartoonist, Lex Fajardo who writes and draws the Kid Beowulf series of Graphic Novels for all ages. Though the campaign has already reached it’s goal you still have time if you’d like to contribute. Find the campaign HERE. Below is my illustration which is an homage to his characters Kid Beowulf and his pet pig Hama. There is one more homage that I snuck in…can you see what it is?

Process

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Today I thought I would share my working process regarding writing and illustrating. Currently I have been focusing on children’s picture books and while the writing style and design aspect differ greatly the process is very similar to that of writing and illustrating comics.

It begins with the idea. I have tons of spiral bound notebooks which I fill up with ideas. Yes, I am old school like that. It is here that I tweak, rearrange, heck even draw little doodles in the margins to tighten up said ideas.

After this I jump on the computer, which you young’ins are more familiar with, to type up the polished manuscript. Typically quite a bit of revision and altering happens in this stage as well but by this point the story is mostly fully formed. From the writing/story stage I move to the illustrations. For the purpose of this particular process walk-through I’ll use samples from the children’s picture book I’m presently working on. First I sketch what are referred to as “thumbnails”. They are very rough ideas, which I typically render with ball point pen, for how an illustration may appear. This stage allows me to play with the positioning of the character, motion of action (if any), camera angle, perspective, etc. Just as with my notebook, I have several sketchbooks full of these “thumbnail” ideas.

After I have what I believe will be the finished design I move to the final art. I “pencil” the image with non-photo blue colored pencils, a trick I picked up from animators I knew while living in the Bay Area, and “ink” the drawing with Micron pens. As you can see, if I don’t feel a design is working I still do some altering in this stage. It’s extremely important that the words and the pictures work together to convey the story seamlessly but I strive to create illustrations which can tell stories of their own without having to rely on the text. Personality (the character’s “acting”), tone and, in comics, pacing are a few key elements I focus on when illustrating. You haven’t read my story as of yet but can you come up with one of your own about who this boy is, where he lives, what he liked to do, etc. from the picture alone?

Once these stages are completed I drop images and text into photoshop and format the page to be either a picture book or graphic novel/comic book. Then digital files are created and sent off to editors and/or publishers.

There ya have it folks! That’s pretty much my process. There is no one way to create though so find the process that best works for you. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse in to how I go about creating and if you have any questions, comments or hate mail feel free to email me: leadheadajs@yahoo.com

Thanks and remember to VOTE!