The Comics Survival Kit


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Al Davison is an amazing artist, having worked for many different publishers including Vertigo. He’s also created several graphic novels, including the acclaimed THE ALCHEMIST’S EASEL, which deals partly in the very topics this tumblr is about…creative courage. He’s also a dear friend and a master of several martial arts, so behave!  GS




This might seem simplistic, but it is often overlooked by those just getting started. Don’t avoid drawing stuff you find difficult. Work on that stuff extra hard. If you are going to be professional, chances are you will have to draw that gnarly grasping hand or that foreshortened figure at some point. If you are honest with yourself and identify your weaknesses, then chances are you can find a solution that doesn’t avoid always having your characters hands in their pockets, or off panel. Attend conventions, and if their is an opportunity, show your stuff to some pro artists, be upfront about what you struggle to draw, and seek advice.


Nothing worse than getting your first pro-gig, and finding the script full of all that stuff you have been avoiding. Do life drawing classes whenever you can, get some good anatomy and perspective books. Get to grips with the visual vocabulary of storytelling, don’t avoid shots/angles just because they are tricky, remember the story is paramount, the art serves the story, so if that difficult high-angle shot of the foreshortened figure with gnarly hands running through the streets is the best shot for the story, put it in there and work out how to draw the hell out of it. Sure, work to your strengths, but don’t avoid tackling your weaknesses.