Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Make it Happen

I always like browsing through craigslist and seeing whats on there. There is always someone giving away some free trash, maybe you could make something with it maybe not, but when I found the following ad, I was very interested.

When I found this it is something i would love to get and take advantage of with an installation but I am not able to because I am currently without a car, and I dont do much installation work. But as an artist I feel we must keep our eyes open see what we can find and how it would inspire us. Any of you guys got any ideas? Feel free to contact the owner and take advantage of some free material for your next big thing.

I have 13"/14" Apple monitors - 9 in all. Take one, take all. Really would like to get rid of them. They worked when they went into storage. Can provide a power cord just so you can see if they turn on, but no computer to connect to. Contact me via the craigslist link. Leave a phone number if you'd like. We'll make arrangements for you to come pick them up.

No deliveries, no scammers, no phishing, no solicitors. You want, you pick up. Serious inquiries only. They are free!

  • Location: near Oxford, Hamilton, Trenton, Camden
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Paper Tiger Dogfight: Opening by Heidenreich and Johnson Productions

Paper Tiger Dogfight: Opening

We have a lot to do to finish the story and we plan on going back and redoing some things later. Like the visuals, but right now we are trying to get the story out there and make it look as good as possible, we already have a list of critiques, but please feel free to add. You might find something new that we havent.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Dark Secret Production

A little Intro

This is a small intro I made to put before clips I made on my account, but I am going to have to edit it now that I changed usernames. I like being part of Dark Secret Productions. I recorded the sound myself and it was just a trial type of thing. Back before I wanted my name out there so much. Click, View, Enjoy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Working the Night

Im working on a collaborative piece with Kenny Heidenreich tonight. Its going to take awhile to finish, but we are trying to finish what we can to show for the quarter. Though we do plan on finishing it eventually on our own time. When its done I will post a link to it online. Should be up by the end of the week.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

We all need some inspiration

I had seen the library staircase before, but I discovered this new website

I would check it out, even if you arent looking for inspiration, you might find it ^^

Friday, March 5, 2010

When I Make a Comic

There are many different ways to do the same thing. To make a comic there are a lot of different styles, but there is a traditional way that I learn that is still used today by many comic publishers.

First step is, get an idea and make a script:

Maybe you had an interesting moment, that you want to write about your life experience. Maybe you thought of a funny joke and you want to illustrate it for a small newspaper. Maybe you have been developing an alternate world with characters that no one could ever imagine. Having an idea comes first but before you start working out the panels, you need to write out a script about what you want to happen, who says what. Put in as much detail as possible.

The second step, is decide your media, and sketch:

I personally find that most publish work is done with inking and as that is how i was trained I feel I would be able to teach you that the best, but some people feel that working digitally is best. While I like to work in my personal sketch book, no matter where you do it, you need to sketch out the placement of characters and where the words will fit. Look at the flow, are the visuals easy to understand? Can you flow through the panels and understand without being lost. Remember to be objective, will someone who does not know the story be able to understand.

Step Three, Illustration board with pencil and ink:

So now you got your idea you need to focus on the technical skill. This is not the most glamorous step but the most important. You need to get a strong board to work on, like Bristol or Illustration Board. Measure out your boarder and tape it off. You need clean lines for panels. First make sure the corners are 90 degrees, usually they are not, but if you work off one corner you can get an even work. I suggest using a T square and a Triangle to work on getting the corners perfect. After getting the square or rectangle straight, Use a paper cutter then, use a T square to make even straight lines for the panels. Remember to sketch it out lightly, extremely lightly with pencil first, then measure out even straight lines for your font and work on making it look professional and straight. I suggest measuring out the three line bars for your words. One on top, botttom, and center of the words. Also make sure to leave space between lines. When you get done with the panels, text, bubbles, and transfered or lightly sketch drawings. You will use permanent black ink. They have Quills with different tips for fine or bold lines that can help create interesting strokes. Think of the work content to choose style. Ink everything in, and then erase the pencil work.

Step 3.5 Color and Detail:

After this is finished maybe you want to add something to it, like color. They have color ink, but a lot of different options exist. Some use markers, color pencils, highlighters, and water color. I personally usually use just black and white. But before you start coloring, work out your color palette on another piece of paper first. I suggest limiting your colors or choosing your style for bright or dark, cool or warm. Think of the scene, your target audience, and the overall composition of the piece with flow. I suggest working in black and white until you have built up enough experience to know that you can trust yourself with color.

Step Four, Scan, Edit and Print:

This is so very important. Keep the original, those are priceless, but ultimately remember what is being distributed is the print. If you don't plan on printing the work, you still need to have clean scanning and editing. Make sure the scanner is clean, it doesn't hurt to take a tissue and wipe the screen down before scanning. The reason why I suggest this, is because the way work looks on the screen and printed is different. There may be a unclear smudge that will show up at print that you will have to re scan, re edit, and re print. When scanning, scan at 300 DPI at least, this is dot per inch. When printing a work you will want this to be clear, but if its on the web you will want to save it as 72 DPI. I suggest starting with 300, you can always make it smaller. Also I suggest scanning in color, even if it is black and white. If you make it black and white, sometimes, it will assume some grey scales are one or the other and can lower the quality of your work, like if there is any pencil marks they could show up as more of a problem. 

When it is scanned, you might have to do some touch ups in photoshop or in a similar program. Maybe you want to experiment with color on photoshop. Feel free to do what ever, but I suggest always keeping the original file and save frequently as different images so you can work out which works out best for you. Its almost impossible not to make mistakes when inking, this is where you can clean up those mistakes, like smudged ink, or accidental drops or line marking. Be as careful as possible though, because it can look overly photoshop and loose its hand drawn look. When saving the work, i suggest saving as a tiff file there are a lot of differences in jpg, and gif files, You can read the differences online at...

When printing, you need to organize your piece. You can go to a place like Kinkos and pay to have them organize the files, but to save money and time, its best to organize it yourself. I suggest using adobe indesign and export it as a pdf. This is really only needed to print multiple pages. This is so you can print your pages on both sides, and possibly have them bind the work for you. The one thing is that not all comics are printed the same way, there are different layouts for flip books versus graphic novels. Really this needs to be personalize. Be clear and make sure before you mass produce any comics, always do test prints, see what papers work best for you, and make sure the test print is exactly what you want before you buy anything.

Step Five, Distribute:

So who is going to buy your work? Who is going to see it? This is all up to you, if you want to sell I would suggest starting out a underground comic convention. I say underground because you are a new face, its going to be hard to send it to a publisher for them to buy a work. But if you just want to get your idea out there. Look up free community newspapers and do not expect to make anything starting out. After you get some experience and build up a resume your chances of making money will improve, but go ahead and go for it. Also don't feel like you have to go through all this. You can always try a networking art website, like to share your ideas without working about printing. Maybe print out some freebies for your friends or other artist who might show it off and get the ball rolling. This is a lot of work, but the experience can be rewarding, and if this isn't for you then don't push yourself, there are plenty of ways to work. 

A simple copyright

When posting work or ideas. It wouldn't hurt putting in a copyright symbol. so here is a extremely simple how to

To create the copyright symbol © on a PC:

hold down the alt key while keying in the numerics 0169

To create the copyright symbol © on a Mac:

Simply enter Option + G

There is a lot more to copyrighting your work with an official US copyright law and to copyright your work internationally. To learn more go to the following website and it should have all the details you would ever need.

Sketching Her Out

So sometimes people want to know how to draw, but its something that most artist will say they have been practicing since they were young, not born with a natural skill of making it perfect. So for all you new learners, remember that this process takes time. I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil. Now, how do we do it today? We can't just draw perfectly there is a lot more to it, and while everyone trains their skills differently this is how I do it, if you need any help maybe this will guide you.

So first I like to work on loosening up. Do a couple of sketches of what is in front of you, if you have a still life in front of you, rearrange it, and look at it from other angles, give it perspective. Just don't focus on the detail. You just want to catch an idea of the work with dimension. Usually I start out by sketching lines to catch angles of shapes, then going a little darker has I build up basic shapes, with more exact line weight. Show the weight being put on some part over others, and break shadows into over all shapes so when you look back you get an idea of dimension and understand what is going on without so much detail.

The more you do and the more you understand about the overall shape, the more you can get into your work. Focus on shapes and parts that interest you. Try not to get distressed, as you start working you might struggle with getting the form right, or maybe it will look like it is leaning weird, remember that this is just an exercise. If you find something interesting then go to town and develop it. When you start working on the final product you are to be putting all of this together, so practice it now.

So now think about what shapes worked for you. Where did you find the most interesting shapes, and lighting. Before you start drawing your next master piece take the time to figure out as much as you can in your head. Pick out your palette, what tools will you use, make some light marks on your paper of how it will fit. While you are putting in more time on this piece, do not be afraid to take some chances. There is more there than just what you see. Try an interesting color palette, or different mediums than what you are use too. Right now at this point I would try just drawing everything. You can always crop later.

Now you want to spend a bit longer on a piece, remember to follow all the previous steps, but this time, think about the final product. "Where is the most interesting shapes, what parts take away from the piece? How big do you want it? Who is this for? What does it mean? Where will this be kept?" This isn't a study anymore, this is art work. This example was for me, I wanted to work on high detail, and capturing the person without drawing everything, to create a flow that keeps the eye on the piece and not let it fall off the page.

This idea can be used on anything, not just a figure. Every Piece is a learning experience. So have fun and good luck, just never give up. These pieces were drawn on 18 x 24" paper. The first two I used charcoal to sketch it out and the colored work was done with pastels. But feel free to use any think you can hold in your hand.

© Kristen Johnson