Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Good Point.

Derek Brought up a good point in a comment on my last post:

Derek Knight said...
so I clicked through to Graveside and found that they pay the pittance of $10-$15 (US) for artwork. You know, I'm all for things like "exposure" and "helpin' folks out," but...Brotha', these represent far more work than a trip to Taco Bell...

I've felt that way myself for quite awhile as well about other companies. I even took about a week after receiving the request to make the decision to do the illustrations. Here are my reasons for doing this:

- Graveside is a new company, just getting started. It's at a very "indy" level right now, and companies like that need help where they can get it. If you've been a reader of mine for awhile, you may recall the one time I did an illustration for Dark Recesses Press. They were in the same situation. However, with them, I think I blew the one illustration I did. I've never heard back from them. I have no idea if Graveside will take off, or crash and burn. That's not in my hands. But if they do take off, and they really like the work I've done for them, and we build up a good working relationship, then when paying jobs come along I'm confident they'll think of me. Amazingly optimistic for me, I know, but there you go.

- I'm not a "professional" illustrator. I'd like to be, but I'm not even close. I need practice actually illustrating stories. I know I could get a book I already have and illustrate things from it, and I've even considered that in the past, however that would pay even less than this and lacking external pressure to get it done I'd likely end up never finishing. Left to myself I tend to put things off. Like the book you and I were talking about a year or two ago. I see working with Graveside right now as a kind of internship. The pay isn't great, but maybe I'll learn something about what I'm doing and how to do it better.

- The feedback I get from doing a project like this is helpful. The only time I get more than a couple of comments here about things I've drawn is when it's a part of Illustration Friday. As helpful and confidence building as those times usually are, illustrating a story is more difficult than illustrating a word. For that matter, I've been participating in Illustration Friday – more on than off – for almost a year and a half now and it doesn't pay anything. But I have been learning as I've been involved in IF, developing a few styles, and I feel it's worth doing and continuing. But the pay's not great.

- At the end of this all, there should be a book released with my artwork in it and it takes from me is a few hours of sketching in my downtime.

I certainly understand why someone might not want to participate in something like this, but for me – where I am artistically right now – I'm willing to do it.

So. Here's a zombie.



It's a lot more plain than the rest because I'm going to apply "finishing" work to it and I like the lines to be clean at that point.

These zombies I've been drawing lately are fan art for D.L. Snell's book "Roses of Blood on Barbwire Thorns" which just recently went to press and can be found by clicking the sidebar button, or going to Amazon. It's zombies vs. vampires.

I've been a fan of Snell's work since I read 'Cold Flesh'. He contacted me a month or so ago and asked if I was still drawing. We emailed back and forth and he recommended that I try submitting some of my work to Permuted Press for them to keep on file in case they needed any illustration work done. I didn't know if that would work since the body of my horror illustration work is smaller than that of a missing circus midget. He then suggested that I try my hand at doing an illustration of one of the types of zombies that makes an appearance in the book. That way I'd gain a bit of experience, and the guy at Permuted that gives out the art assignments could see my process and the end result for a story he's familiar with. This is the fourth zombie I've sent to Snell, and the last sketch I'll make before the finished work.

That's the story behind the odd zombies. Have a great rest of the week.

3 comments:

Heather said...

So here's a comment.
Are you dreaming about zombies with all this zombie drawin'?
Love you, love the drawings!! :)

Derek Knight said...

well, as long as you're ok with it...I didn't want cast aspersions, I was just shocked at how little they pay.

And yes, I was looking into doing some drawin's myself...Until I saw the rate.

Anonymous said...

Well you make some good points and yeah, it's all good exposure. Plus it's kinda nice to have your work IN something.

I guess I'm a little jaded after both Chris and I have been shafted a few times on our writing. Ya know the deal, chap books and anthologies wanting to print your work for the sake of it being in something and then using it in ways you never planned for it to be used. We learned our lesson tho and his next book will be mainly home grown with BOTH his writing and my photography in it so we have some creative control.

If you're good with it tho then I'm sure it's fine. It's nice of you to help them out like that and it works to both your benefits. They have a really decent illustrator working on their book and you get to help some folks out and be in print. It's all good so I completely understand. Plus development is always a good thing!!

I'm liking the zombies, they're fab!!

Hope all is well in the land of you- and sorry for leaving YET another monstro comment!!

Take care,
~Nate.

"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."