Cartoon and Illustration

Been busy

I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long.  Well, sort of sorry–but I had to pay the bills.

In this particular case paying the bills meant working on a rather secretive project for a very well-to-do client.  And that’s about all I can say about it.

I guess I can say that it was rather a lot like drawing comics, though not exactly.  The style was comic book, but the process was unlike comics in that there was no pre-existing script to work from.  I simply had to think up comic book things for the main character (in this case the birthday boy of said client) and then thumbnail those out, get approval from a number of sources then flesh out the ideas.  Which, when fleshed out, were submitted again for approval by various people and then assembled into a story like structure by the job broker.

It was time consuming–about three weeks total working time.  The first couple of weeks were pretty easy going, and I was able to devote a lot of time to other projects while waiting for feedback.  But the last week was a lot of long hours, revisions, and corrections.

Still it was a lot better than the jobs I did twenty-five years ago.  Twenty-five years ago I was engaged to my wife, living in a basement apartment in Macomb, IL and doing work for clients that were way picky–for $15 jobs.

This latest job pays considerably better.  I also got to draw stuff that looks like comics.

Back in 1988 I was drawing pictures of local birds.  Staying up all night to do so with a light table I’d cobbled together out of a lamp held between my feet and a sheet of glass borrowed from the apartment refrigerator (‘fridge which didn’t work, BTW).

I’d work into the wee hours of the morning, get up and eat a bowl of cereal (that came in a bag) doused with powdered milk (no ‘fridge, remember?), shower, then carry my latest drawing of some bird into the office, have the editor gripe about how worthless I was as an artist, then take my lousy $15 check to the bank.  Then walk 5 miles to see my fiancée at Wester Illinois University.

Now I work in a nice studio.  I have a custom built light table which doesn’t singe my kneecaps.  My clients are rich (well, some of them).

Not bragging–just saying God’s been very good to me.

Oh, and I’ve been married to my wife for nearly twenty-five years.  That’s the best part.  No more walking ten miles a day (although I could probably use some more exercise).  No more sleeping in a spider-infested basement just so I can be in the same town with her.

Still, I’m out looking for work.  That hasn’t changed.  It’s just the way I go about it has changed slightly–thanks to the internet!

Still, it’s going to be nice to pay some bills with the money from this latest job.


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