Friday, January 29, 2016

From Comic Book Writer and Creator to Artist

What happens when you lose a member of your creative team? Adapt and reinvent yourself.

I've started taking drawing lessons in the past few months. I've been wanting to learn how to draw for that "just in case" scenario, if by chance, Odin forbid, I lose an artist or for some reason they can't finish drawing the comic book. And it's a good thing I did. When my main artist unexpectedly moved on, I had a choice: find and hire another artist, or start drawing the comic book myself.

This was by no means an easy decision. I'm a writer, publisher, and creator, and hardly an accomplished artist with years of experience.  To draw a comic book on my own was a complete and new challenge and something I could not do without help, and because I did not want to risk  sacrificing the quality of the work. So I had to weigh my options: To attempt to draw on my own was not an option.  However, hiring a drawing tutor was, fortunately, doable.

Enter Andrew Huerta, my drawing instructor. Luckily, he was in the Los Angeles area, and I could meet him face to face and take lessons. So we began meeting every week. And I lucked out in finding an absolutely amazing and experienced teacher. Take a look at Andrew's bio and work. I know I'm in good hands.

It was not an easy start. I was basically starting from scratch, from the ground up. But Andrew is a great and patient and thorough teacher and I'm learning quickly, and practicing everyday. When I lost my main artist, Andrew and I decided that the best thing to do was to actually apply what I'm learning to my own comic book. So Issue 6 became my drawing project. Andrew would help sketch the initial figures, and I would fill in the faces and the rest of the details with what he was teaching me. I didn't want to look like I was taking any shortcuts, but I felt that as long as I was taking the lessons, I might as well apply them to the actual comic book, which meant that yes, I had to really work at it. This wasn't going to be some casual drawing lesson, this was an actual project in progress. So I really had to kick my own ass and make it count. And I really do have to work on it, since Comikaze is only months away and I'm aiming to publish Issue 6 in time for October 2016.

The only thing I could not do quite yet is inking. That in itself takes years to learn, so I hired Andrew Huerta to ink the pages. He fixes up my drawings and inks them. And yes I'm happy to give him credit for making the pages look good! It's working quite well so far. And I'm learning more in the process. It helps me to really take my work seriously, knowing that the final product will be published. And I certainly don't want to make Andrew, or myself, look bad if I didn't apply what I learned to the pages. :)  If I wanted to gain respect as an artist, even a beginning one, I had to really work my ass off and listen to what he had to teach me. And follow the guides he gave me to draw my own characters.

I've always "preached" that if you want something done, you find a way. And yes, I'm following my own advice. I'm doing it, and keeping at it is the key.

And in the process, I've found that this is really what I want to do. I've been a filmmaker, a novelist, an actor etc. But comics has become my niche, the one thing I've finally found that I love doing, and will continue doing. And it's my goal to become an artist for my own comic book series. And I know I have a long way to go--inking, coloring etc. That'll come eventually. I just have to keep learning, and there's still a while lot to learn: perspective, figures etc. I'm aiming to draw this on my own eventually without any assistance but that will come with time and practice, and I'll keep up the lessons with Andrew for as long as it takes. I've actually got a head start in that I already have my own comic series to apply what I'm learning to. And for Issue 6, I can actually say, yes, I'm one of the new artists! And thank you very much to Andrew Huerta! As he once told me, things happen for a reason-- good things. And looks like my becoming an artist is one of them.

More Character Design January 2016

Some more preliminary sketches of my main characters from my comic book series, basically it's a re-design. I already have Gabriel and Jeromos pretty much completed and I have the other characters to work on. It's a work in progress but it'll all come together. The final design will make their debut in Issue 6.

January 2016 Updates and Compilation Book Coming

Monday, January 25, 2016

Page 2 of Issue 6 Ready for Color and Text!

Update on Vampire Guardian Angels Issue 6: Here are some images of Page 2 from start to finish, no color or text added yet. Initial figure sketching was done by my drawing instructor Andrew Huerta, and then I worked on the face, hands, and filling in other details from our lessons of the drawing with his guidance (As in “Here. You complete the page.” :) ) Finishing touches and inking by Andrew Huerta. A great effort working together on my 2nd attempt at drawing Issue 6 of my comic book series!  I wanted to learn how to draw my own characters and the next issues of my comic book and we work every week at it, and I’m learning from one of the best artists in the industry!  I’m still not fully there on drawing completely on my own without his help, but I’m practicing everyday and I have a fantastic instructor and artist on board who really kicks my ass and makes me practice and work harder!  Andrew Huerta is incredibly amazing—beyond amazing! I can’t thank him enough for all his help on Issue 6! I am absolutely motivated and determined to work on this issue! 

Drawing Practice Week of January 24, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

Drawing Practice: Week of January 22, 2016

Comic Book Series Fan Posts Part 89

A very special thank you to all my wonderful friends and fans, I'm truly honored to receive your feedback, posts, responses and shares on the comic book series and I am grateful for everyone's support! Thanks again! You all rock!