03 January 2012

2012: The Year I Learn to Draw

Hi all! So glad it's a new year. And that means new goals! I've got some big ones, and they're so big they've been spread among a few posts.

Did you know...

2012 is the Year of the Con!  Conventions are a big deal for writers, and I've neglected them for too long. I'm making it up by going to four conventions this year.

2012 is the Year of Good Health! 2005-2010 were rough years for me health-wise. 2011 kinda sucked all around. But 2012 is the year I make changes.

And now for the next theme for this year..

2012 is the Year I Learn to Draw!

My brain went into overdrive around August 2011. It hasn't stopped humming since then. I want to continue to develop in other areas in addition to writing, 'cause I kind of want to be like Neil Gaiman and stick my hand in everything...fiction, film, music, theater, graphic novels, manga...

So, the graphic novels part.... if I want to hop into that I have to learn to draw.

I've always scribbled stuff out for fun over the years in a fit of goofiness (ask my friends--they've been turned into fun characters over the years with my weird Disney/Barbie/Cartoon aesthetic) but I wanted to kick things up a few notches. This is going to be very, very hard work because most of the time I have no idea what I'm doing. But I've got the tools to start my journey (hooray for Christmas presents):

1) I got a drawing tablet!  Wacom Bamboo Create.

I've never used one of these before and it's been fun training myself to. I picked this particular brand based on reviews I've read all over the internet, including customer reviews on sites like Amazon. And I did a ton of research on pricing and got a really good deal on it. It's been exciting (and a bit tricky) to learn but once I've figured this out I'll be ready to start pumping out some images for you.

2) I got software! Manga Studio Debut.

Again, I've never done anything like this before--no graphics design, no art programs, no Photoshop, nothing. I picked this software based on reviews and research, and I again took advantage of crazy last-minute Christmas deals for a great price. And I picked the Debut software precisely because it's for beginners (Manga Studio EX is the professional version and apparently the holy grail for comic and manga artists).  So far my learning is time-consuming...like a few hours a day trying to figure out how to use the program through experimentation.

Working with layers has been interesting (totally new to the concept) and I don't even understand the terms that pop up (like vector, for example, or raster layer) while I'm using the program. Working with tones has also been a bit difficult for me, and when I do an ink layer, I'm not quite sure how to get my lines as clean as some of the artwork posted in the tutorials and on the Smith Macro gallery site.

My goal is to have original artwork (featuring characters from my novel!!!) up soon on this website. In the future, if my book doesn't make good with an agent or publisher, I may self-publish with artwork included as ebook bonus content.

And at the very least I'd like to be able to do a webseries at some point. Gotta keep practicing...but I'm going to have to back down on how much time I devote to this because this week, I'm back to school. And that means back to the novel, full-throttle!

1 comment:

  1. Great work! Excited to keep an eye on all you produce!


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