Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Stuff I Think I Know
Hyptosis at 9:13PM, Sept. 16, 2007
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Couldn't think of a better title. Over the past year of working on my comic I've been typing up little bits of helpful info to go with my updates. I tohught I might pool it here if that is alright for others to read, who don't want to dig through my seemingly endless number of pages. =] Hope some of you find it useful information.

Sorry my apostrophes are missing. DD windows always seem to replace them with ugly glyphs. I don't know if it is DD, or firefox, or a combination. But it only does it on DD. =\ I tried copying from different sources, my webpage, the comic pages, from notepad, microsoft word, if I don't type it directly into a DD window, the little (')s turn into jumble. So I just removed them all.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:53PM
Hyptosis at 9:13PM, Sept. 16, 2007
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– Working for Others –

I wanted to talk about working for others. Getting into design work, doing commissions etc. Just a few things Ive learned over the years.

After youve done all the NDA stuff, you move on to the creation. Most private commissions people dont care about NDA stuff though. Theyll usually let you know if they do.

1. First thing, make sure the client knows what they want, before you start working for them. Lots of times theyll be like, I need you to design a monster. Which is great! Designing monsters is cool. But you need specifics beyond that, dont start working until youve pumped them for more information.

Does the monster need to run on all fours, or upright? Is this a modern beast, or a fantasy beast? Does it need to have powers? What powers? If this monster a hunter, or a thinker, or a mindless rampaging beast? Get the specifics, because if you dont, theyll suddenly pop up when youve already done some work. I cant count the times Ive been hired to do some work, and the client hand to god didnt know what they wanted until after Id done some work for them.

2. Work in levels. You do some thumbnails; tiny sketches based on step ones info. Get those to the client. Let them pick what they like, what they want to change, etc. Sometimes if your client isnt very experienced, theyll get scarred at this stage, sometimes they dont understand what a thumbnail is. They think you cant draw, because your thumbnails are messy and they made a mistake. Be sure to let them know, these are VERY rough sketches, were trying to uncover what you want, so that we can save time.

Once they approve a thumbnail, youre to the next level. Kind of fill them in on this. Dont be a dork and go, Onward to level two now! in a bogus robot voice. Say, Alright, great. Thats the hard part, the first stage, from here on Ill be tightening pencils, so are you sure youre good with this? They say yes, you move on. They dont get to go back unless there are special circumstances.

Do the same with the pencils, you get them to give you the okay for the pencils, that way you dont need to go back and make changes, and if you do, then you wouldnt be entirely out of line to ask for additional tender. I mean, little things are fine, but if they want to change a pose or something, that is a lot of work, and often means an entirely new drawing. Work with them, but dont let them run over you. The same applies to inking, coloring, etc. With digital tools this all has gotten more flexible, but work is work, it all takes time. And Ive never charged by the hour, I always charge by the job, but I watch my hours too.

3. Tying things up, I always make sure, at the end of my transaction, that the client tells me theyre pleased. If theyre not, I press them a little to find out why, and fix it. Most of my private work is return customers. Which is why online you see so many of my works are anthros, yet Im not into anthro stuff. I used to do a lot of anthro commissions, and have return hits sometimes. Make them you friends, but business friends. There is nothing wrong with being friendly while also behaving in a professional way. I'd say 99.9% of the time I end of good or better terms with my clients.

On payments, with the average person or very small company, I request half up front, half when Im done. With large companies they act like theyre doing you a favor letting you work for them, and youll just have to wait. Ive waited a year to get paid. Its bs, but that is how the system works right now. Freelance artist = not getting paid on time. Just get used to it and have something to fall back on if you can. Until you hit it big and become a commodity, youll have to deal with that kind of thing. =]

If you have any questions, let me know. Hope some of you found this useful, Im certainly interested in hearing your thoughts.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:53PM
Hyptosis at 9:16PM, Sept. 16, 2007
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– Character Creation –

I wanted to talk about character creation this week. Now Im no master, but I do have a few tips you guys might like to hear. Im mostly going to try to talk about the physical creation of the character.

Shape: Alright, think about you characters shapes. Try to make those shapes part of the characters creation every time you draw him or her. If you look at Brond, hes essentially a cube, with a hemisphere for a head. He takes no time to draw. Capp, his body is a rough wedge, his head is kind of a cube with a triangle on the bottom. Etc. Think about these, and if you use different shapes for different characters, itll show in the end. The human eye is lazy, and it reads the shapes quickly without even realizing. Think, Would my reader be able to tell who this is simply by their silhouette. Obviously this isnt necessary for every character. I know Avatis and Jasper would look alike it was just their silhouettes. But almost everyone else youd be able to identify.

Height: I cant stress this one enough. If you make all of your characters have different heights, and youre consistent with it. It will become part of what identifies them. There isnt much more to say other than to DO this. It helps a lot.

Color: Not as literal as I take it in TroA, color can be very important in telling where a person is from or what they are like. Red is passionate, a person who wears reds and warm colors will often feel powerful or filled with life. There are tons of articles on this all over the place, and it wouldnt do any good for me to repeat them. But just be aware of it. Color is vital. Hair color can give you instant info on where someone is from as can his or her skin color. Types of clothing combined with popular colors can convey if someone is part of a team, or an organization. Just think of these things as you create your world. Itll pay off in the end. Chances are, no one will notice all this hard work, but it is there and makes your world tangible.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:53PM
Hyptosis at 9:16PM, Sept. 16, 2007
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– Drive –

I get a lot a questions about how I manage to keep working on TroA. How I don't get distracted, upset, etc. But I do! I get discouraged all the time! It happens to the best of us. But the key to creating a comic, is to keep at it. Don't listen to anything negative that anyone has to say. If you're making pages, you're training yourself. You have to be able to tell the difference between the haters and the people who are giving advice. If someone's being an ass, don't even finish reading what they have to say. It'll just bother you and make the next page more difficult to make.

If they're trying to help, don't blow up at them, and don't take it to heart. Creating a comic is like exercise, you're practicing. My ONLY goal with TroA was that when I reach the last page, it's two or three times better than the first pages. I can see improvements in my work, and looking back at the early pages inspire me. I can see how much better I've gotten. Don't worry if you first pages aren't up to par with your latest pages. If they were, then you're not improving anymore.

– Inspiration –

Sometimes I have a little trouble getting inspired. Im sure we all do. After Ive spent all day coloring someone elses work or drawing storyboards, Im tired of looking at the computer screen, I just want to watch tv, or play some games, or sleep, etc. Theres NO drive to work on what needs to be worked on, my own stuff. What I usually do is just go to the park or workout for a little bit, take a shower, anything to rest my eyes for an hour. Then I come back and get to work on my own stuff. You just have to realize, it isnt Should I do it tonight? it is I am going to do this tonight. Thats just how it is, so you better get inspired.

If you know you should be working on something, then you need to get yourself inspired so what you produce isnt half-assed. Thats all there is to it. The first key to this, at least for me, is to find what inspires me. There are a few books I keep within arms reach of my work area, Spectrum, Blacksad, Pride of Baghdad, Blad eof the Immortal. Skydoll, and tons of conceptart books. Art of Halo, Halflife 2, Lord of the Rings, Warcraft, etc. Now, these books are sort of related to my own work. TroA is my baby because I enjoy making the world more than making the comic. So I keep that kind of stuff around me at all times. When I play games, I want to work on games, when I read books about world creation or look at amazing comic art done by my favorite artists, I want to work on comics and create.

So identify what inspires you. Then keep it nearby. When you say, I need to be making a page right now. Then pick up one of these, read ten pages, then put it down and use that drive. Realize, you have to start before you can finish, and theres nothing in the book youre reading that you cant one day do. Those books (or whatever inspires you) are your fuel, and your pencil is your rocket ship.

Be careful not to use these as a form of procrastination though. Im guilty of picking up a book, planning to read ten pages to get fired up to work, then reading thirty. Dont do this! You need that time to get your work done, read enough to get going, then put it away. Itll always be there and you might need those additional pages for more inspiration later! =P

And dont get discouraged, just work and create!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:53PM
SomaX at 6:06PM, Sept. 17, 2007
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You are God… Your knowledge and insight are admirable.

Now I must save the rest of this to my hard drive.
~*~
#253 in Comic Book/Story #344 Overall ~*~ #383 in Comic Book/Story #517 Overall
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
Hyptosis at 9:42PM, Sept. 19, 2007
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lol, well I don't know about that, but I'm glad you found it helpful. I figure it's too much text for most. ^_^
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:53PM
legendkiller13 at 3:48PM, Sept. 22, 2007
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this is quite good i think you should go on. your insight and knowledge is benefitial to those just getting in the game. i think a how do you get yourseld out there and get clients section would be great
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
kyupol at 8:51PM, Sept. 22, 2007
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If someone's being an ass, don't even finish reading what they have to say. It'll just bother you and make the next page more difficult to make.

I disagree. As Asses are a source of entertainment and inspiration… :D

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
Bohemian at 6:09AM, Sept. 28, 2007
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Hyptosis, there is some good information in these notes. Thanks for sharing. I found the character creation material particularly helpful. I'm saving these to a file. Thanks!

:spin:
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:32AM
Hyptosis at 12:33PM, Oct. 3, 2007
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No problem guys, thanks for reading it. =] If anymore hits me I'll post it here. =]
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:53PM

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