An Adventure in the World of Art ...
I went to Dragon*Con this weekend and showed my artwork to quite a few people. I wanted to network and bring in more traffic to my website, as well as get to know some prefessional artists to find out way of getting into the field. I took my art to various Artists in the industry already to get their advice and opinion on my work. You know how I am. I like feedback, comments, and critique on my work. I prefer constructive criticism however, and if someone gives me criticism and doesn't really explain what they mean it can work my nerves. I don't care when average people to trash my work ... because their opinions to me might be coming from tastes rather than experiences. If they aren't an artist themselves, then they only know what they like and what they dislike and will trash my art if it's a style they don't like. -=shrug=-
But, I wasn't showing my work to just average people at Dragon*Con I was showing it to actual professionals! The first one I showed my makeshift little portfolio too was someone in the Game industry. He asked me what it was I wanted to do with my art. This is something I keep asking myself all the time, and just recently came to a realization on. I really want to do it as a comic series and as cartoons and have it grow from there. So, I told him that. He nodded, then started with the advice. He told me my lines were off, and my focal points were off. I don't know the method or techniques of focal points! I don't even have an official focal points in my art anyway. I also had no clue as to what he meant about the flow of my lines. I was confused by that and didn't know what I should do to correct it aside from look up information on it. He also told me the Anime thing was being used too much and I'd probably never make it doing that unless I work extremely hard on it. Not the kinda stuff I wanted to hear, because well that I already know anyway. Anime is everywhere and just about everyone does it. I also know my artwork isn't the best and isn't going to cut it as is. I know I have to work really hard at this. I'm not a fool ... no other actual insights into my technique were offered except the focal point gripe. Terrific. I smiled and thanked him for his advice, then went back to the hotel room and broke down.
I didn't want to show my work to anyone else after that, but my friend Aleathia took me to see Joseph Micheal Linsner and Eva Hopkins. They are huge names in the comic book world and Joe is the creator of DAWN! Eek ... I had wanted to speak with them the day before ... and Aleathia offered to take me to see them because she knew them from being in the Dawn contests the past few years. After my talk with the game guy I was terrified to even show them my work. I broke down and told Aleathia what the other guy had said, and she insisted on making me see Joe anyway. Sad Boy was I scared.
Aleathia stopped to talk to another artist she knew on the way there, I can't remember what her name was, but her work was awesome! She didn't look at my work, because she was busy with customers at the same time, so she offered me up some advice. Advice that rang so true and really settled my racing thoughts. She said it doesn't matter what age you are when you start , how much talent you have, or how much skill you have. What matters is how bad you want it! Wow, her advice made me feel a lot better, but I was still terrified to see Linsner. He's famous and I felt like I was walking to my doom.
On the way there Aleathia asked me if being an artist was a job I wanted or was it a way of life for me. I answered without having to think about it, it's a way of life! So, she took me to Linsner's table at last. Eva Hopkins was right next to him. I clammed up a little upon first seeing them so Aleathia took charge. She introduced me and told them I was seeking advice and opinions on my art. They both asked to see it right away, they seemed a bit excited. So, I unzipped my trapper keeper and showed them my art. Linsner flipped through the pages and I heard words from his lips I really didn't expect to hear like "Wow" I was ready to faint into the floor before he actually started telling me he thought my work was really good. He, like the last guy asked me what I wanted to do with it, and I again told him comics and cartoons. He stopped at one image and told me he loved how good I was with hands. O_O Eva overhead him as she was talking to someone and quickly leaned over wanting to see what he was talking about. I got nothing but awesome feedback from them both. Linsner told me that if it was comics I wanted to do, that it didn't matter how well I could draw so much as how well I could tell a story through comic panels and how my story would flow. My jaw dropped. Wow, he asked me why I didn't have any comic pages drawn up in my portfolio, and I explained that I just hadn't done any. He told me to work on some comic pages and stick those in there and not to focus so much on pinup shots like I had in the folder. Now, here is some real advice I can understand!
Finally, I asked him about the focal points, and after looking over my work he told me basically that it's a style of drawing but that I didn't need to worry about that. ^_^ Damn! I'm happy as hell and I've a new outlook for the future! I'm going to make Linsner proud of the advice he gave me! I can't wait to express myself through my artwork every day of my life, and it is a way of life to me! I'll never give it up. And, I'll never let someone get me down again, not after that pep talk from the creator of Dawn!