Artist Asks meme (very long) Show more
So @email@example.com posted this and I am like, sure, lemme do this.
1. Do you prefer traditional drawing, or digital?
Digital all the way. Oh no those proportions are off, I just spend 5s fixing them and I'm good. Undo's great. So's being able to completely rework the palette of a piece as one of my final acts on it.
2. How long have I been drawing?
Since somewhere in the early 1970s, when I had enough fine motor coordination to pick up a crayon and apply it to a piece of paper.
3. How many classes have you taken?
Tons. My middle-class privilege may be showing here: private art lessons off and on from around the age of 8-20, bachelor's in graphic art, animation school at 25...
4. Do you have a DeviantArt, personal website, or art blog?
http://egypt.urnash.com has pretty much all my stuff, with links to DA, Furaffinity, Tumblr, and whatnot.
5. What's your favorite thing to draw?
Comics. Preferably with femme leads.
6. What's your least favorite thing to draw?
7. How often do you use references?
Hard pose? Weird angle? Reference selfie, or toy photograph. Loosely trace the construction I need and turn the photo layer off.
Weird future sportscar? Spend a week with a 3d program, make a simple reference model, rotate to match your roughs, draw over. I did that for a chapter or two of 'Decrypting Rita'.
Making up new stuff and need inspiration? Image searches, coffee table books, reference works. I have a book that is nothing but lavish photographs of *stairways* in my library, ffs.
Most day-to-day drawing is without reference, but the instant I say "gee this is really hard" to myself I will immediately reach for reference.
8. Do you draw professionally, or for fun?
9. How much time do you spend drawing on an average day?
1-2h. When it's warm and sunny I'm much more likely to get more done; I am working on leaving Seattle for warmer climes.
10. Are you confident about your art?
Yes. I reached the point where I was pretty sure I could draw better than 90% of the human race somewhere around 2003, when one of the grizzled animation veterans brought in some of his high school work to the studio I was working at for some reason. It was terrible, in *exactly* the same way my work from the same age was terrible - except it was older than I was. He'd been practicing ever since. I wasn't as good as him, and I'll probably never be as good at him as the particular kind of things he loves to draw more than I do; if he keeps practicing then he'll *always* be a better artist than I am until age halts his hand.
Also I am especially confident about my art right *now* because this Monday I was doing lunch with old acquaintances who are working near the top of a reboot of a Beloved Corporate Cartoon, and one of them breathed out an amazed "Holy *shit*" when flipping through some of my current work.
11. How many art-related blogs do you follow?
does watching a few people who post lots of cartoon porn I like to tumblr count as "art-related"
12. Is it okay for people to ask you about your process?
13. Do you prefer to keep your art personal, or do you like drawing things for other people?
I am an antisocial little monk who has carefully arranged her life to let her sit in a corner and draw things that make her happy, or will get her paid.
14. Do you ever collaborate with others?
Not on images, though I collaborate on the scripts for my comic.
15. How long does an average piece take you to complete?
Varies a lot. Typically I will spend about a half hour per panel going from roughs to finals on the characters of a page; backgrounds can range from about another hour for the whole page to *weeks* for a big scene-setting spread, which I will eagerly re-use bits of for as many subsequent pages as possible.
I don't have a sense of how long I spend roughing in a page; I usually send 1-3 hours all told on a commission.
16. Do you draw more today than you did in the past?
No, I like video games and spend too damn much time in that "there is nothing new on the Internet" loop, especially when I'm depressed. I am pushing fifty and I have less energy than I used to.
17. Do you think you're justified in giving other people art advice?
If they want it enough to ask for it, yes. Almost nobody ever likes an unsolicited critique.
18. What are you currently trying to improve on?
Writing stories, promoting my work, hiring/persuading other people to help me do my over-ambitious projects. Letting myself do easy projects sometimes.
19. What is the most difficult thing for you to draw?
Things I don't care about.
20. What's the easiest thing for you to draw?
Cartoon dragon me.
21. Do you like to challenge yourself?
22. Are you confident that you're improving steadily?
Yes. Each project is a little bigger and crazier than the last; each project teaches me something that speeds up doing things I've already done on the next one. Every project has its mistakes, and I really try to make new ones rather than the same ones.
23. Do you draw more fanart, or original art?
24. Do you feel jealous when you see other people's art, or inspired?
Art, nothing really any more.
I have filtered certain people out of my social media streams because I cannot stop feeling that spike of jealousy at the numbers on this quarter's Kickstarter campaign, though.
25. Do you like to draw in silence, or in music?
At home: music.
At the cafe: usually whatever they have on
In the park: nature sounds.
26. For digital artists: what program(s) do you use?
Adobe Illustrator, start to finish.
27. For digital artists: how many layers does a typical piece require?
Single image: 4-10 layers per character, texture layer, a couple for the background, or much more if I really want to get into the background. Also layers for sketches, and for references.
Comic page: 1 layer/panel, containing 1-4 layers per character, and 1-30 layers for a background. Which might just be an opaque flat color, or might be a dozen or two layers of stuff. Also a layer of roughs, containing at least one layer for each panel; a layer for dialogue, a layer with layers for Other Stuff like copies of related pages, panel grid references, scripts, etc. And the occasional layer for parts of a panel that need to break its borders, which may have a few sub-layers.
There is a spread in Decrypting Rita that probably has multiple thousand layers. I really hope I never draw anything with that many layers again.
28. For traditional artists: what medium do you like most?
Sometimes I get really baked and make messy acrylic paintings.
29. For traditional artists: how do you usually start on a big piece?
There is a life-size painting of my cartoon dragon self on the side of one of my bookcases. I did a quick color image in Illustrator, then used a small projector to let me trace that in pencil onto the flat color I'd painted. I keep on telling myself I'll do more than just flat colors but it's been like six years and I'm about to move and may just leave this bookcase behind.
30. What inspires you to not just make art, but to be a better artist?
Just sitting back and drawing stuff I can draw with my eyes closed is *boring*. I'd do it for a while if the money was spectacular, but challenging myself keeps me *interested*.