Friday, December 7, 2007

Messin' With Sasquatch Part II

Wow. When I get busy, I get busy. Haven’t had much time to do much of anything lately. Work is going nuts. And it’s worse for Suzanne. She was at the agency until 5:00 a.m. last night and then came right back with me at 9:00. Why is it that doctors and lawyers and bankers and all the other important, necessary professions work normal hours, have social lives and children and people who work in the arts always live at their friggin’ desks? I’ve never understood that.

Anyway, the other night I was here late (as I am tonight) and I had some time to kill while I waited for something. I fought the almost uncontrollable urge to sketch and instead started writing out my story. Jeff Parker gave me some great advice on how to get started and, though I haven’t quite worked everything out yet, the technique he suggested has really worked wonders. I usually write everything out in my head before I get started, beginning to end, and it takes forever for me to actually start typing. So this was a new experience for me. One of the earliest scenes was something I was dreading because I didn’t know quite how to handle it. As I was typing, it just spilled out onto the keyboard. It’s also been a blast writing something new instead of constantly reworking the same four or five concepts I’ve been toying with since college. I’ve finally let most of them go and it’s been very liberating. Writing a new story has been very exciting and refreshing. And the fact that it’s horror (well, more Terence Fisher than Eli Roth), something new to me, is a lot of fun.

One of the roadblocks for me has always been the fact that I’m not confident enough in my art to write stuff I don’t think I can pull off. But in this case, I’ve tossed that aside and I’m pretending I’m writing for someone else. I’m just going nuts with it and throwing in all kinds of moody stuff I don’t think I can draw. I’ll probably hate myself later but, as Leaf would say, “bucket.”

Unfortunately, work has kicked in and with all the Christmas crap (Um, I mean stuff, honey! I love Christmas! Honest!) I’m not really able to spend much time on it. Worse, I’ve stalled out on the Perhapanauts pinup. I have to use the light table at home for my final pencils and, since I’m virtually trapped at work and in Durham, drawing is a luxury lately. Still, I promised I’d post the second rough, so here it is:



I tried to fix the weird tangents Craig Rousseau pointed out and I fleshed out some things a little more. I also tried to make the Megalodon a little more fearsome. Most importantly, I fixed Big’s pose. In the first one, his legs were a little awkward and I don’t know what the hell I was doing with his left hand. Here, I’ve switched the dipper to his left hand to give it something to do and made a fist with his right to make him more, I don’t know, manly? I drew this rough with an Ebony pencil and those things are great for quick sketching. They just glide over the paper. I love how the shadows on the deck came out. (Yeah, I know the shadows on the barrels are messed up. I’ll fix that.) I wish I could transfer that effect to the finished pencils but I usually use a lighter, thinner lead for the finals so they won’t smudge and everything’s coming out very tight. While I think it’s looking pretty good, the final pencils are losing some of the energy I like in this one. I guess I’ll never be Darwyn Cooke. Sigh.

Okay, back to work. Gotta make the world safe for advertisers.

15 comments:

Brian said...

Hey Matt,

Sorry about the crazy hours and I hope things calm down soon so that you can enjoy all that holiday cr@p, I mean cheer.

I think the 'Haps pin up is coming along nicely and I really like the expression on Molly's face. You've really gotten a lot in there given how little space you have to work with.

Cheers,

McGill said...

I work a swing shift, so I hear ya on the hours kept...
If you do not mind me asking, what tangents were pointed out...still new to all the lingo...

scottandjenniferjohnson said...

Thanks, Brian. McGill, the tangents were places where lines from two different objects touched each other in weird, confusing ways. The worst, which I also noticed myself, was where the back part of the shark became the line of Big's chest. The rest were mostly where the water spray was involved, most noticeably where it met with Big's upper lip. In this version, the left fist meets with the pocket on his belt and I've fixed that in the final.

Matt Wieringo said...

Oops. That was me. Sorry. I was setting up my sister-in-law with a Google account and forgot to log out. —Matt

McGill said...

Ah, so it is sorta mathmatical...gotcha...

Still, the piece kicks butt. The shark does have that fierce look down pat!

Warren said...

This piece keeps getting better and better -- can't wait to see the final! I guess having the patience to redraw a good drawing into a great drawing is what separates the pros from us wannabes. And congrats for the ol' brain gears running with the writing. Sounds like you're working on your own personal renaissance. As soon as you get the time.

Heywood Jablomie said...

Hey Matt,

I totally hear you on the crazy ass hours! I've been pulling like a 65 hour work week for the last 2 weeks. The thing that sucks is that I really wanna enjoy this holiday season, but due to work it's cramping that chance!! Glad that the writings kicking along! Keep us posted with that. And the 'Haps pinup is coming out killer! The Megalodon looks totally bad ass! Keep it up, and we should all try to get the holiday spirit kicking, no matter how much our jobs blow!

McGill said...

Oh, I got the holiday spirit going...got the kid's sdw(Santa's Dirty Work) done, and we got them pretty much what they put on their list for a change...I've watched A Christmas Story 3 times already, A Christmas Vacation the same!
Tree is up and running (gotta buy a new Angel for the top though). We are in a new neighborhood this year, the street has no decorations, so we kept to decorating the inside...walls are covered with the school projects of yester christmas's...lol...anyone remember bringing home those self-made holiday decorations? We keep every one of the kids' they bring home...still waiting for one of them to bring home the paper chain so we can take a link off everyday till christmas....
Plus, and besides the holiday...coming here is cool...got me drawing and writing again meself...thanks, Matt!

Adam Hutch said...

Matt,
The pin-up is looking good. It looks like Molly should be saying, "I found it!"

I know what you mean about writing things out start to finish in your head. That's what I find myself doing. I just can't seem to find the time to sit down and write/typ anything out. I'm glad you're making progress on your story.

emilio said...

Matt-
The piece is looking better and better. Can't wait for the final.

Glad you're getting the writing going.

Well, Hope you get caught up in all your stuff so you can enjoy the Holiday.

Later

todd said...

hi, matt!

d'oh!

y'know, i try to check out yours and craig's and christians blogs everyday--they're here in my bookmark bar--but , for the first time, i hadn't checked it in a few days (work and shopping and work and a meeting and work...) and this one got by me! so glad that you're finding new levels of excitement on BOTH artistic fronts!! the pin-up looks great and all the changes you've made made an already awesome design grow and evolve into an even cooler one! it looks great!
as for the writing, so glad that that jeff parker was able to kick your ass--i mean, gently suggest that you should just let go of your expectations and just go, go, go! writing should be as surprising to you as it is for your readers! write, write, write and if you write yourself into a corner, trust in your ability to think yourself out. it is so much more fun when you just allow yourself to be the conduit to something you know nothing about...
anyway, blah, blah, blah--i'll shut up now.
smell ya later!
todd

Squeeze said...

Love the scary Meg'! I'm sure poor Molly isn't getting any good vibes off of pissed off big ass shark.

Nicely done sweetie. You are amazing!

PJ said...

You know, unless you are getting paid OT (and by OT I mean time and a half) it just isn’t worth it.

Even with the OT, what I fail to understand is why it is necessary to have someone chained in an office when they can just as easily work from home via ftp.

I’m sorry to say but, whenever I hear about stuff like that happening in the ad business it really raises my hackles. Usually, those kind of hours are the result of someone’s poor planning or the failure to negotiate or renegotiate realistic deadlines.

Maybe your place is different but, the other thing that I used to witness was the ‘big bosses’ leaving the drones to deal with the crisis and keeping regular hours themselves.

I used to do those long days but after I heard a couple of stories about guys dropping dead at their computers, seeing one guy I worked with work himself to the point where he has a seizure and seeing my own health being sacrificed on a couple of occasions, I won’t do it anymore.

I can’t tell you to refuse to do it either but, you should definitely place limits on it for your own safety.

Matt Wieringo said...

PJ, I appreciate that and I hear ya, man. But, unfortunately, in Richmond, there just isn't any alternative for people who do what I do. I come from a service bureau background and the hours were the same but the compensation was nowhere near what I get in advertising. As Mike often pointed out, I have a steady paycheck, great benefits and a lot of vacation time. Yes, the hours are horrible and I've had to sacrifice a lot of things some people take for granted like kids, time with friends and time to spend on hobbies but I also count myself as very fortunate to have a well-paying, interesting job. Sometimes that doesn't come through when I'm bitching about working late. But I really am grateful for what I have.

Yes, there are times when I have to work late because of the shortcomings of others but mostly, we're all in it together, stuck at the office because of the whims of the client who, quite often, is in another time zone. When they're working three hours late, we're working six.

PJ said...

Like I said, I can’t tell you to refuse to do it - it’s a choice each of us have to make. However, no one ever looked back on their lives and said ‘I wished I had spent more time at work.’ There’s no crime in asking to have extra help bought in when it’s needed - the problem is a lot of people in this business are afraid to ask for extra hands (help). Long hours like that are for people under the age of 30 anyway.