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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ask an Artist on the 11th! - A3on11 - Inspiration?

This month's question is: "What inspires you?"

I honestly think when people ask me this they want to hear about some mystical creative secret that only a few folks know, and aren't allowed to speak about except in hushed tones. (ie: The first rule of ART CLUB is do NOT talk about ART CLUB!)

The reality? When it comes to inspiration...deadlines help.


As much as we like to think of comic art as true 'art', and take all the time in the world to create it -"I'm an artist dammit, it'll be done when it's done!"- the reality is when drawing for publishers you just dont have this luxury. Comic art comes with a timeline.

This means that SOMETIMES you have to crank up your own inspiration and draw when you really dont feel like it. When this happens to me, I usually flip through some comic works from my favorite artists, and surf over to deviantart. Just looking at other great artists can help get the creative juices flowing. The trick here is to not spend too much time surfing, reading, and generally 'getting ready'.

The right music always helps too. I've gotten some great band and disk suggestions from other artists, as we all seem to have a rather voracious appetite for tunes! Occupational hazard I guess. The right music can really get me ready and zoned in to draw.

If these options haven't got me going, I use my ace in the hole technique...I go to my bookshelf and grab Stephen King's ON WRITING book. I flip it open to page 151 ( hardcvover version). It's here that he writes "if you read alot , write a lot", and proceeds to tell the story of the writer Anthony Trollope. Anthony's "day job was as a clerk in the British Postal Department, and he wrote for two and a half hours each morning before leaving for work. This schedule was ironclad. If he was in mid sentance when the two and a half hours expired, he left that sentance unfinished until the next morning. And if he happened to finish one of his 600 page hevyweight novels with 15 minutes of the session remaining, he wrote THE END, set the manuscript aside and began work on the next book."

Sure he's talking about writing and not drawing, but that's not the point. For some reason, just thinking about that level of dedication to one's craft motivates the hell out of me and makes me want to get the pencil moving. So that's what inspires me. I hope that helps. Excuse me, I'm psyched now and gotta go draw something. ;-)

Previous month's 'ask an artist' articles can be found here: A3on11 !

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