So, let me tell you a quick story:
My grandpa on my dad’s side came over from China when he was pretty young— grew up in Chicago. He was in high school when World War 2 broke out; he joined up, and was put in the 407th Air Service Squadron. It was part of the famed Flying Tigers fighter group, and one of the first all Chinese-American units in the military. He fixed planes. He also shot at them when they strafed the airfield. With a pistol.
He was there when the Japanese officially signed the surrender, and was honorably discharged soon after. The very first thing that he bought with his stashed up pay was a sterling silver bracelet with his serial number on it.
I keep it within sight of my desk at all times.
After the war, he went back to Chicago, but his father was already housing too many Chinese immigrant workers (up to this point, most Chinese immigrants were single men because of strict immigration laws and quotas), so he had to move to Detroit to live with an uncle and finish high school.
One of his high school teachers noted his artistic abilities, and recommended that he use his GI Bill to go to art school. Of course, his dad wouldn’t have it. So, he worked in laundromats, owned his own grocery, and later worked as an insurance salesman instead.
70 years later, I’m the graduate of an art school, and I’m taking a break from drawing to write this out.
I guess my point is this: the time that you use to pursue art has to come from somewhere. At some point, a sacrifice was made by you, or others, to allow you to have that time. Illustrators try to make a living in that intersection of art and commerce in an effort to lessen that sacrifice. There are some that are doing quite well at that. There are many, many more that are not.
Even those artists who we view as extremely successful have to sacrifice time. It just comes from other places: relationships, health, or family, etc. The real struggle then, is to find that balance on how you are spending your time.
If you know that a life spent making art is your ultimate goal, then doing things you don’t like aren’t really frustrations. They are necessities that must be done to give yourself time.
I think this is why I cringe every time I hear someone say that self-righteous creed of the “creative class”: “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” That statement discounts all the hard work and sacrifices that you or others have made to be in that situation—what on Earth would entitle us to only work jobs that we love?
I don’t do this because I love it. I do it because I must.
It’s in my bones.
A friend with incredible insight. My hat off to John and the sacrifice it takes to be an artist.
Sorry for lack of activity lately…busy with all kinds of things, including sad things. :(
Hopefully I’ll be back to drawing soon.
Used the mermaid prompt on sketch dailies as an excuse to do a nice thing of one of my manatee mermaids. And a manatee! X3 Mixed media on toned grey paper!
So, I’m officially launching Wanda’s Wart, my indie picture book about little witches, at Emerald City Comic-Con at the very end of March. But if you pre-order it now off of my etsy, it will come with an acrylic cellphone charm of her purple hat and also the cute promo bookmark (not pictured)—for the same price as the book will be once it is officially out. Pre-order books will ship the last week or so of March.
Book specs! It is a cute little guy, about 6” tall and 8” wide, with the standard picture book 32 pages of full color cuteness.
About the story!
The other little witches call Wanda ‘pickle nose,’ because of her unsightly wart. But she doesn’t seem to mind. After all, she’s the best witch in the class! Her secret? It’s the unsightly wart that is the source of her great power. But her best friend doesn’t know that. All Jinx knows is that it hurts when the others tease her friend, and that she is determined to do something about it. But she isn’t called Jinx for nothing, and her wart removal potion doesn’t work exactly as planned…
(if you’d like to help me publicize this pre-order or just the book itself, contact me for my full press-release.)
This looks fantastic!
OMG that font you used on the back cover, that is my favorite font
I used it on my wedding invitations
Have you been watching True Detective? If you’re in the UK then unless you are a no-good illegally-downloading lawbreaker then the answer will be ‘I have not, but I sure am excited about seeing it when it starts this weekend on Sky Atlantic’.
Well True Detective is GREAT, and here is a little editorial spot i did to accompany it’s launch. I promise the girl in the antlers will make more sense when you see it, but i was pretty happy with how this turned out.
For those of you without Sky, i recommend you take the law into your own hands and track down the five (of eight) currently aired episodes, if only for the staggering six minute tracking shot that concludes episode four. Amazing stuff.
OMG. Such beautiful work
Captain Shakespeare, drawn in PS.
CAPTAIN SHAKESPEARE HAS A FEARSOME REPUTATION
I am replaying ME2 and ME3 and…yeah…Garrus FOREVER
If you are into dudes and ever need a quick pick-me-up…google “men cooking.” Stock photography is so damn amusing.
Not sure who the fuck decided to crop this,
The original artist of this design is Sarah Andersen.
Please don’t steal other artist’s work!!!!
As the original creator of this piece, let me explain why stuff like this is bad for artists.
When someone edits an illustration, it hurts the artist because they had a specific intention and you took that away from them. A person spent a long time trying to make something look a certain way, and with two clicks in photoshop you can undo all of that work. To put it bluntly, you ruined it. And when someone worked hard to create a very specific image, it’s sort of painful to see it being spread around as a downgrade version.
Some artists allow people to use their work in other media, such as collages or glitch art. Sometimes they want to make minor changes, like cropping. That’s okay! But it’s really as easy as just asking the artist and seeing if it’s alright.
I also see my comics edited a lot. Specifically, people will take out my signature and add a url to their website. Frankly, that’s just selfish. That’s my comic and my idea, so you shouldn’t redirect traffic to your website.
Also, you really shouldn’t be taking traffic away from artists. The starving artists thing isn’t just a cliche; it’s very hard to profit from your work. So you can at least let the artists keep their credit, right?
Regarding credit: Sometimes people don’t take credit away maliciously, they just really don’t know where something came from. So obviously I’m not going to attack those people, but there are ways of finding the original artist.
Here’s a link to a tumblr that explains more of this, and has a post explaining how to find the original creator of a piece.
Also, as an artist, you don’t want to have to throw watermarks all over your art’s most important focal points — people’s faces, the star of the piece…and yet it seems that is the only way to keep people from cropping your art into avatars/buttons/header images/whatever without any attribution. It sucks. Don’t do that.