Tuesday, April 24, 2012

inspiration 1B

started drafts of more posts on inspiration, world building etc. unfortunately, i draw a lot faster than i write and type.

in the meantime, here are some excellent pointers from jillian tamaki (i put in a few additional notes in bold):


- Consume media. Participate in culture. Read books, go to movies, the news, fashion magazines, stupid blogs, etc. Browse the bookstore just for the hell of it. All of this contributes to our personal visual fabric. Soon you will be CONTRIBUTING to this world.

– Find inspiration in museums and the visual arts. Discover the connections between what is going on now and what has already come before. You might be surprised to learn that your favourite artist is really a knockoff of someone from 100 years ago.

it's always easier to randomly absorb things when you're in the mood, and leave them already partially-digested in your subconscious, than to cast about looking for specific inspiration just at the moment you need it for a specific project.
the world is full of inspiration that it is dying to shove down your throat. embrace it all, you never know when you may need to know about x or y, and you never know where or when those little inspirations are join to pop up. for that reason, you should ALWAYS have at least a pencil and a little pad to scribble out things.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


- See an amazing photo/illustration/design? Save it. I keep a folder entitled “Reference” on my desktop where I keep anything I find interesting. Sub-folders include: Bodies/Gesture, Chinese Posters, Colours, Faces, Vintage Objects, Maps, Nature. A quick jog through these images can really help you out when you’re stuck for a colour scheme or composition. Or they can form the BASIS of an idea.

- As a professional, one can write-off much of the media you purchase. Books, movies, museum tickets, etc. all become professional expenses.

part of being a professional is treating yourself like one. every film, vacation, stop at the grocery, etc is an opportunity to be inspired, but that also means you should always be thinking at least a little professionally. for example, if you're watching tv, you might pay attention to how lighting affects a scene, or how a particular character is holding a cup. save these memories and mental notes.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


- Read content (the book, the play, the article) carefully and thoughtfully. Several times. If possible leave a day between reading and starting work on it. Sometimes leaving it to sit in your brain for a while is very helpful, I find.

- WHILE reading content, highlight vivid imagery, key phrases, descriptive passages, notable quotes, and anything else the jumps out at you. Take quick notes or do a quick doodle in the margin if something comes to mind.

– Go find supplementary material, if necessary, to help you parse the content. If you’re doing a cover illustration for War and Peace, it may be helpful to read online discussions, dissertations, reviews, and such. The internet makes this VERY EASY."

if you can't do basic research in this internet age, then i will personally hunt you down and punch you. a basic grasp of history never hurts, but even an ignoramus can work out something.
for example, i worked on a dracula comic. even if i was generally clueless, i could see by the dates that the story takes place in the 1890s. a quick wikipedia of british history would tell me this was the late victorian era, so i could look up "victorian" and get tons of images and info on clothes, buildings etc.
this example also shows how a wide-ranging interest can help; just before i started dracula, i got an annotated, illustrated edition of sherlock holmes novels. several of them are set in the dracula period, so i was able to find all sorts of details about typewriters and posters etc. 

i'm actually putting together a full-color, annotated sketchbook covering this process for all the classics comics, so i won't detail everything here. but you get the idea. you can also check out my annotations for the wednesday comics wonder woman to get an idea of some of the research that went into that.

1 comment:

Craig Mackay said...

This is great! Thank you for sharing you wisdom!