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Is being ethical as an illustrator in today's market foolish?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Inkthinker View Post
    I wrestle daily with pushing to the next stage in McCloud's steps, I do feel I need to create something out of my own little ideas. I could probably at least join the throngs of other storyboard artists and animators who self-publish at least one or two graphic novels.

    My struggle there (aside from the full recognition of the daunting task and labors required) is deciding if I have anything to actually "say", some thematic purpose to drive the work, or if I just want to do a story where I rely upon my mad skillz as a pictchure-drawerer to carry it along. There's nothing wrong with doing the latter, but I feel like I ought to try and do more.

    But something is better than nothing, and thinking about it ain't doing it.
    I would hope that you had an idea to share, but even if you don't - you could just take a crack at a sketchbook collection.

    You're one of my favorite illustrators on Penciljack. No bull.

    You were a unique voice in a sea of Cory Walker, Paul Pope, Jim Lee, and Joe Mad clones in PJ's early days along with a few others, including the dearly departed Jeremy Dale - who I was so pleased to meet at Heroes Con years ago. I should have mentioned our common association with Penciljack, but I didn't want to pretend like that mattered in any capacity. Instead, I made sure I was there to purchase every issue of Skyward starting when he was self publishing, and once it got picked up, and posthumously in the omnibus.

    I've actually moved three times to chase the job, and nowadays I drag a wife and two kids along so it's getting to be quite the logistical challenge.Last move took me up into Canada, and here I still am because here the work be (also my boy was born here and has some special needs. In Canada he is well-provided for, in the States this care would be... less ensured). I wouldn't chalk it up as a positive aspect of the commercial career, but I cannot deny that higher-paying commercial work is significantly easier to obtain when you live in or near a major urban center. As long as I was trapped in Tampa Bay, I was limited in my options even with the mediating advantages of the internet. I could do okay as an illustrator (after 10 years of building up) but my career in animation and media production overall was pretty much stuck. Thankfully I got out, but I know what it is to be stuck.
    I'd file that under "living the dream", keep up the good work man.

    Yes, if you want to work commercially you need a working knowledge of Photoshop and a general knowledge of image editing, file formatting and even a little networking (at least, it's helpful to know how to set up an FTP client so that you can interact with client servers or host content). Those are pretty basic skills now and it's very difficult to operate even a basic freelance business without them.

    Thankfully you don't need to learn EVERYTHING about Photoshop. I still don't know what 3/4 of the image editing tools do, and I never need them. And if you're gonna keep drawing with physical media (hey, resale value is a real thing) then really all you need is the basics of import, cleanup, formatting and scaling.
    Oh hell, I know enough about Photoshop to get into trouble. Illustrator is the real issue. I've been working with my own FTP servers since setting up my first web page back in 1997.

    I may be underselling my actual skill set due to lack of confidence, and at the time I dropped out of PS - I didn't have a Surface. So it was difficult to draw digitally, unlike Manga Studio which made it simpler with better tools. Now that I have a direct drawing device, I may fare better.
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