I’m shuffling in both good and bad ways lately. The good: I got an iPod Shuffle for my birthday, my first iPod ever. I love it. I thought the Shuffle thing was really a marketing gimmick, but so far, I’ve enjoyed the randomness of my music. I did have to make some custom Smart Playlists for it to pull from so I would stop getting my spoken word and radio shows from getting pulled in. However, that has been a rewarding task because it has forced me to actually start rating all the songs in my iTunes library. The Shuffle’s light footprint is perfect. I slipped it into my chest pocket on my shirt at work yesterday and away I went, banging out a homepage update and several landing page updates, happy as a clam. Also, when I want to do some work out of my home office, I can move a sketchbook into the living room with the Chief and Quincy. They can continue to watch television, and I can sit and draw undistracted to music.
Now, I mentioned that there had been some bad shuffling: putting together the art for this old proposal I mentioned the other day has been hell. My anxiety hit a peak Sunday as I stomped around the house yelling out “I suck!” to anyone who would listen (Quincy – the Chief ignores it now). Thankfully, I think I figured my problem out. It’s a weird one so bear with me.
In cartooning, everything has to look like it belongs in its own world. A car can’t be ultra-realistic if you are drawing stick figures, for example. Everything has to look like it has the same level of realism or abstraction to it. What I was finding with my work was that things looked forced, and my “A HA!” moment came when I drew my characters much more abstract then I had been: my backgrounds weren’t matching my characters! Then I started to think about every page that had ever given me problems, and realized that this was it. My backgrounds have a nice degree of playfulness to them (mostly because I hate to draw them, but who doesn’t), and my figures were just a tad more realistic than they should have been, making them stand out terribly.
So, I whipped out some quick character sketches like the one above and started from scratch. Not only did I re-do the first page in about 3 hours, it worked much better. Everything fit. Confidence crisis averted! Family happy!
Except now I’m two days behind… sigh.
For more on world consistency – read this article about Tom Hart.
You can also browse through the Parlor archives.
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