Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Monday, July 12, 2004

Sketchbook 101 

There's the intro piece I put in Corey Thomas' sketchbook recently. Big Stupid refers to his website, not him. Rather, his grin. He was finally starting a book to collect originals in, and I was reminding him of the Truths of Convention Sketchbooks...

1. Always get an artist to start off the book with a nice piece that takes longer than usual. This will obligate the next few guys to do not do a lame Batman head (I've done my share of those, too).

2. Around piece number five, go pay a little more money and get a good artist to juice it back up, or it will degenerate into lame Batman heads.

3. Put a backing board in that book or you're going to have ink and marker bleeding through and creating wasted pages. I often take up the challenge of putting a drawing on those pages that will use the blobs and revive the page progression, but not everybody will.

4. If you have a girlfriend or wife, get her to take your book to the artist instead of you. The picture will come out much better, even if she's got a rock the size of Everest on her left hand. This is because male cartoonists are pathetic.

5. If an artist looks rushed and not into it, don't give him/her the book. And if you noticed this after handing it over, snatch it back out of their hands before they put something crappy in there. Or you'll have to razor it out later. The biggest key to avoiding this again is:

6. PAYING said artist. If you're just asking for free quickies, then expect what you'll get. It would be nice if you'd keep a separate book for freebies and one for commissions though,-- it's not fair to have someone who was under the gun and could only do a fast face in there later get their piece compared to Bill Stout's girl and dinosaur piece you paid $200 for.

7. Try to find a sketchbook that uses decent paper, lots of them have thin, crappy textured pages. It makes us look like we don't know what we're doing.

8. Please provide reference if you have a specific character theme in the book.

9. Don't let the artist take your book home to be mailed later unless you really don't want to see that book again for a year. I don't know anyone who's good about this, myself especially.

10. Make sure and get me to do one.

Especially at the upcoming Comicon San Diego, biggest show in America. Oddly, I'm already getting commission requests coming in ahead of time, which helps. Later in the week I'll be posting a list of what I'm bringing with me to the show, and theories on how to find me there, which is a little harder than finding someone at Wondercon these days. If you have more Sketchbook Suggestions, fire away in those Comments below.


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