Thursday, September 18, 2014

Should I be Afraid of Drawing Glyphs?

What the glyph?

A glyph is a visual shortcut to communicate story information. Similar to hieroglyphics that have images for men, pharaohs, water  and more to help tell the story.

Glyphs take the form of stereotypes, caricatures, audience expectations and lazy drawing.

Stereotype examples



There are some characteristics we associate with how an evil person can look, so we rely on glyphs to communicate that quickly to an audience.

The hero has the square firm jawline. The audience expects that, so when they see it, they think heroic character.

Lazy Drawing

This is an Asian man. 

This a lazy drawing of an Asian man, with exaggerated slanted eyes.

Drawing Crutch
An artist may also draw the same eyes and mouth all the time.The characters may be different, but the eyes, mouth and nose shapes will always be the same or similar. It’s a learned drawing crutch from mental or muscle memory.

This completes our look at the visual vocabulary used in comics, graphic novels and comic strips.

Remember… Just Create!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How Much Should I Charge for My Art Services?

How much is my time really worth?

The comic book industry is a different animal from the rest of the world concerning payment. Even at the major level, it sometimes compensates you for the time you spend creating and is still far below real world rates. Once you become a name creator, you can make much more than the rates listed below.

When you do work in the advertising, editorial, film, television or game industry, you will be asked what your rate is to do the work?

Here’s how you figure out what your time is worth.

1. Add up all your monthly bills. 
For example*:

  • Food - $200
  • Rent (with utilities) - $1000
  • Phone - $80
  • Internet - $80
  • Cable - $80
  • Car Insurance - $100
  • Gas - $250
  • Supplies - $50
  • Misc (laundry, haircuts, etc) - $200

Total = $2040

2. 40 hours x 4 = 160 hours per month 

3. 2040 divided by 160 = $12.75 per hour is your absolute minimum, Accept nothing below this!

$12.75 per hour is the minimum you can make in order to pay your monthly bills. The client is not just paying for time. If you only wanted got get paid for time, then you could work at a fast food joint.

Now let’s multiply $12.75 by 3. Why 3 do you ask? I’m glad you asked, because they are also paying for your talent, education and experience.

4. $12.75 x 3 = $38.25 per hour is your starting rate.

You may of course charge more ( and most of the time you should), but now you know the absolute minimum you need to make to pay your bills. You should try to avoid jobs that don’t meet your minimum. So if you need to negotiate, start  high and work your down to, but not past your starting rate.

*This is only an example. Your monthly bills will be different. Include what you have; health insurance, credit cards, debts, school loans, any quarterly payments (divided by 3), your child's dance lessons, diapers, your always broke relative, etc.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Color Troubles? Calibrate Your Monitor

Get Your Color Printing Correct

I recently answered a question about how to keep color consistent on computers and making prints that aren’t dark.

My answer was to calibrate your monitor. A quick, but ultimately unhelpful answer. I’ve been doing it so long, that I think everyone knows how to calibrate their monitor.

Below are links to PDFs that walk you through the process from Stephen Johnson, Will Holland and Mark Gundlach and for your Mac and PC in general.

Short Digital Printing Screen Workflow Primer Photoshop CS5Stephen_Johnson

Color Managed Workflow

Digital Printing Workflow

Photoshop Workflow Setups

Check them all out and choose the best one the works for you.

Remember… Just Create!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Top Ten Must Haves for San Diego Comic-Con Survival Kit

2. Metro Transit Regional Day Passes are $5 with a Compass Card ($7 without: $5 Day Pass plus $2 for reusable Compass Card) and available from ticket vending machines

3. External Battery - Because someone else may get to a plug before you.

4. Travel Power Strip - If you do get to a plug first you share it with others.

5. Gadget Bag - Keep all your gadgets and wires nice and neat

6. WhatsApp - Just found out about this app a couple of days ago. Keep connected by messages with your friends. 

7. Water bottles

8. Dress in layers - It can be freezing inside the center. It will be hot outside, so be pre parted to peel off layers as needed.

9. Wear comfortable shoes or sneakers - You will be walking a lot.

10. Buy some fruits from the supermarket - A nice healthy snack and cheaper than the expensive food inside the convention center.

Check out the Comics Beat for more ideas.

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Remember... Just Create!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just the Blog and Only the Blog Monster

Hello my dear readers.

Things have been topsy turvy since my move. I made a lot of changes at once. Some necessary to move my career forward and others out of my control.

I will get back to my regular schedule of blogs after San Diego Comic Con. Even though my roommie backed out because an opportunity he couldn’t pass up and now I have to find another place to stay.

SDCC looks like it’s going to be exciting this year and I wouldn’t want to miss it.

In a few weeks I’l be able to share a big monster of a project I worked. It was very exciting and I was geeking out.on the inside, while being very professional on the outside.

Remember... Just Create!