May 26, 2012

Good advice, part 1

Greetings readers!

I'm filling in for Matt while he is off the grid this summer, working with the Maine Conservation Corps. I am working on getting a few Bernier-style tutorials together, but in the meantime, I will be posting a series of tool-and-technique focused interviews.
Long time readers may remember that this blog started out as a weekly survey, curated by MK Reed, that focused on tools and working methods.. I recently took a look through the archives, and found a few pieces of great advice from past interviewees, some of which are compiled below.

I will be back next week with an interview with cartoonist and illustrator Koren Shadmi, in which we talk about the joys of penciling, buying art supplies in Israel, and part two of his webcomic, The Abbadon.


Karl Christian Krumpholz: "Well, the complaint I hear the most from other artists that are just starting out (and I was guilty of this as well for a time) is that they get stuck on one page. They aren't happy with their results, so they obsess and redraw their comic over and over again. My view is to get over it. Move on. You will improve. It's more important to finish the work and get it out there then to fret on it's not perfect. It will never be. I cringe looking at my earlier work. Even the stuff being published now."

Pat Lewis: I enjoy reading about artists' tools as much as the next dude, but don't let anyone make you feel guilty for how you work. The results are all that matters, and odds are any shortcomings you may have are probably the result of your skill level rather than what kind of pen you use (at least, that's the case with me). No matter how weird or unorthodox your methods, I guarantee there's a professional artist out there doing great work with an even crazier way of working.

Alec Longstreth: "It doesn't matter WHAT you draw with, as long as it reproduces properly. Do some tests with a scanner or a photocopier and figure out what looks the best and feels the best for you!"

Debbie Huey: "Be aware of how some tools may wear out your drawing arm/hand more than others. If your arm or hand begins to feel funny or a little numb from drawing, STOP. Take a break, and stretch everything out. It is a scary feeling when you realize what would happen if your arm gets messed up!"

Liz Baillie: You may not think your pages are worth saving now, but you never know what the future will hold. Take very good care of all your original comic pages and try to use archival tools whenever possible. And don't cut up your original art for any reason (I made that mistake once... it's a long story, don't do it).

Matthew Bernier: "…good tools do help. It's true that a great artist can make good comics with the worst pen available. But- I could never get the exact kind of line I get out of a good brush with a bad brush. Bad tools slow you down, break your rhythm, harsh your mellow. I pay good money so that I can know for certain that any problems I have at the drawing table are my fault and not my tool's."

May 19, 2012

Hi everyone,

I have a new job doing trail work for the Maine Conservation Corps this summer. I didn't know whether I'd be able to get back home on breaks to do posts, but as it turns out I'll be residential, so the answer is no. I'm gonna try and coordinate with some friends to post stuff in my absence just to keep new stuff in the feed, but in the meantime if you have a question for me I can be written to here:

Matthew Bernier, MCC Team Member
c/o Baxter State Park
64 Balsam Dr. 
Millinocket, ME 04462

My address will change in June when I get stationed elsewhere, but I'll let you know when that happens. 

Have a good summer!