Arizona Artist Alley_August
Arizona Artist Alley for August with Aldred Trujillo
Alright. Last month, I promised to tell you how I got started. But we all know: The Doctor LIES. Fortunately for you, I'm not The Doctor. BUT first, I'm writing this just a few days shy of embarking on a magical journey to San Diego, so let's talk about that!
ComiCon International, San Diego ComiCon, SDCC... and stuff.
When this time of the year rolls around, I'm often asked if I'm exhibiting, what my table number is, etc... etc... My only time to have exhibited there was with Zenescope Comics. At this moment, San Diego is not a financially feasible place to exhibit. Yet, I am still going. I'm working on doing signings and have a few other things lined up. By the time you read this, I'm sure I will have even more stories to tell. At this very moment, I have finished a set of seven sketch covers to be dropped off at CGC's booth in San Diego. I've incorporated some kind of Japanese aspect to each cover. We'll see who notices. Also, I have a couple of other commissions to get done. All in due time. (By the by, if you ever want some art commission work, I'm your guy!)
Ok, ok. Let's talk about getting into comics. Go to conventions. There. I've said it. What? You want more? Fine. Let's see if this is at all helpful.
We're back at 2009. I had not been actively trying to get into the 'business' very long back then. I'd gotten some good mentoring by the amazing Loston Wallace as well as many members of the art critique forum Penciljack. Online critique forums are great. Invaluable. I highly recommend them. They will teach you to #1, most importantly, of the highest benefit...can you guess? No. Ok. They will teach you to have tough skin. When you're in the art biz, especially commercial art, especially comic art...there are always things to be expected. Ways things are done. Tried and true things without which you will be reinventing the wheel for decades...and these things can be learned by showing your art to more experienced artist who, if you're lucky, won't JUST tell you that you suck, they will tell you what, why, and how to improve. To all you aspiring artists I say, find such a place, post your art and ask them to 'give it to you'. The rate at which you will improve will astonish you, your girlfriend, your mom, heck even your pets! And pets are hard to impress.
Where was I? Oh yeah, I went on an improvement rampage. Reading about storytelling, studying lighting, hittin dem anatomy books and trying to piece it all together. I created some page samples and on a friend's recommendation, I went to the very next available con: Emerald City Comicon. Seattle is like 1400 miles from Phoenix and it was my first experience attending a convention since the 90's. I printed a bunch of samples at the Copymax and talked to everyone at the show who made eye contact. Took my stuff to Marvel, took my stuff to Dark Horse, showed it to EVERY artist there I could and got some more critique. To those of you with the ability to go to a convention, I highly recommend not just showing your art, but also find out when art workshop panels take place and be there, or be square. And learn some very cool stuff from others.
Everything I learned, I took back home to Phoenix. I applied ALL the critique, did some more work and took the sum of all my efforts to my local con, Phoenix ComiCon. I shared a table with a friend for a day and a half and showed my art to DC and Zenescope Entertainment. There I met Raven Gregory whom I now consider a dear friend. Raven is not only the editor-in-chief at Zenescope, but also their head writer. I got my first published book with them after he saw my art, gave me a shot and got me the book. I have now been published by quite a few independent publishers, but I still remember that feeling of accomplishment getting my first book. It looked great when I was done. I even finished it several days under the deadline too. More on deadlines later!
Ok, my fine readers, I must be off. I have comics to write, commissions to draw and stories to tell. Don't forget to add me on facebook, check out my website and buy stuff through my store. Drop me a line if there's anything you'd like to talk about and we will see each other, figuratively speaking, next time. Until then, don't stop believing! Onward! And...stuff. Peace!