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I Want to Draw…!

Posted On Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"Just Do It."  The consummate motivational phrase, wrapped in a branding slogan, tucked in truth.

Since the age of 10, I've wanted to be a comic book artist -- to bust out amazingly epic tales, rendered in graphite imagery that captures imaginations much like the artists/writers/stories/books that inspired me.  It has been my main creative pursuit for the last two decades -- even when I hit a creative wall with my own illustration abilities.

"I thought you were just a writer."

For the last few years, I've been predominantly known in a writer/publisher capacity only.  A while back, I felt that my skills as an artist kinda went stagnant, far from the level that I wanted (and truly believed was necessary) to become a comic professional.  So I kinda quit.  I would draw things here and there, but certainly not to the fervor that my 10yr old self would've wanted and even further from what my 30yr old self should be comfortable doing.  My self-criticisms were so strong that out of the many books I've had a hand in creating (a total of 12 titles), I've only seriously contributed art to 4 of them and maxing out at only 33pgs (out of over 300!).

What's the problem?

Coming into comics in the early 90's, my idea of "good/great" art was in the super-dynamic-hyper-crosshatching filled styles of Art Adams, Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld (that's right…Rob Liefeld).  It colored my artistic reverence for YEARS, undermining the skill of earlier innovators like Frank Miller, Walt Simonson, John Byrne and yes…even Jack 'The King' Kirby.  But I've matured since then, discovering what was so mind-boggling awesome about their work and how they paved the way for the high-kinetic art I was so enamored with.

But gaining that understanding did nothing for the sense of drawing style that I craved.  In fact, it's somewhat fed into my stagnation -- where once I had a particularly influential style that I was adamantly trying to mimic, my art sensibilities were exploded open and I was susceptible to a whole range of comic arts.  The influx made me a sponge, able to take in an appreciate what I saw, but not exactly capable of generating a satisfactory style of my own.

Gaining ground.

I've realized that I've created an unfair slant for myself.  So keen on my understanding of what proper "comic art" should be, I've forgotten the beauty of simply making some comics.  But ladies and gents, I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!  I'm taking myself back to square one -- the truth is, I KNOW how to draw.  I've shared my insights enough to help others draw better.  What I need to do is be more comfortable with the way I draw.  Stop trying to mold my art output to the stylings of someone else's voice, but to truly put stock in my own.

So, consider this a warning!  Expect some random (seeming) comic booky goodness to be coming out of yours truly.  I've got some stories that I'm itching to play with and I won't be waiting "till I grow up" any longer!  Thanks for your time and listening to me ramble -- it's time to get back to the drawing board!

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