Phatcomics process – part 2

This is the half of the phatcomics workstation.   This is the analogue, writing and photoshoot side. This is tidy compared to when it’s covered in  weeks worth of books, papers or whatever idea i’m running with.

This stuff is very important to me. I am great believer in writing up or recording in some way the garbage that falls from my brain. I probably will never use the ideas that jump to, but at least I will have a record of them. So in the foreground is a stack of notes for The Voice Of The hall. Then stuff stuck to my notice board, stuff stuck to my wall planner stuff stuck to the paper that is stuck to my walls.

So, i like making notes. This is a throwback to my temping days, when I would fill sketchbooks with ideas, as and when  opportunity arrived. There was always a frustration the  paid work would not allow time to work on my comics. Imagine the nerve of that ! These pages would then get torn out, cut up, re-written into an actual comic. I’m not sure it was the most efficient way of working, but it got stuff made. That’s all that matters. However long it takes.

In the corner is my little photoshoot studio. The lamp was found in the street. The studio is built out of Foam board. My current interest is learning how to light subjects, so I have  a variety of objects to model for me. This includes construction stuff out of plasticine. You may be able to see the skull covers in red plasticine. I’ve no idea where i’m going with this, something that needs returning to.

Next to the desk is a shelf full of art materials. I keep buying them, and then try to find away to justify this. Loads of watercolour stuff, marker pens, rulers and far too much printing ink and paper.

Printing is important. I have an A3 printer that hates me. Well, it seems such. A mind of its own, attitude, throwing shade. All of this is in action when I have to print something. To see images outside the screen, to have them on a desk in front of your eyes is a great way to what works, what doesn’t, what can be improved. At the moment I’m printing off work to go into the exhibition at Cass Arts. It’s a series of pages and cover design that will sit alongside original drawings and prints and large format  digital prints. It has been a long time since I have made any of those.

My first experience of digital printmaking was way back in the misty dawn of 1990 something. I had an Amiga 600 and a dot matrix colour printer. The future had arrived. With this set up that I put a ‘folio together for an application to Camberwell college and the M.A printmaking course.

To think of what I use now, which isn’t even modern, it still smokes anything I used then. ( But the equipment is not the creator ) My final work was a series of A0 prints of grayscale manipulated self – portraits. Basically I put my face on a flatbed scanner  and then manipulated the image  in Photoshop. As a series they looked really cool. I’m not sure how my tutors felt, but they gave me a pass.

There was a kind of making it up freewheeling attitude to my art making at this time. This was alongside the thrill of digital media and rave music. It all felt really exciting and inspiring.

Although that era is really in the distance, the thrill of making and exploring still lives in the present.

Long may it continue.

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I get so bored so easily, my ADD is my super power

I don’t have ADD. I may have coffee twitch though, that brings on  plenty of restlessness. I watch a lot of UTube stuff while I’m drawing, at the moment I’m working through various creative process in relationship to entrepreneurs and business. Yes, I did just type that.

What has become of me?

Some of it is fascinating a lot of it’s totally over my head. The contradictions, unsurprisingly are frequent and loud. This is what prompted the headline of this blog post. One person says that  ADD leads to a restless search for the next thing, never resting on one idea or project. Then another says need to spend time with your idea, to develop stand bring it to maturity is key to creative success. To have tenacity, stamina and endurance.  Both processes have their merits.

Relating this to the comic making process, mainly I am the latter. A slow, grind it out, keep going, it will get finished type of creator.

I’m Working on The Voice Of The Hall,  a Graphic Novel that I have to complete in a year.

Because I have the time available, this will happen.

I’ve set up a way of working that has excluded a lot of time consuming elements. The main decision was to work in two page spreads, rather than panel to panel process. Therefore it is more like an illustrated book than panels per page comic. It’s a great way to work, very freeing.

A younger version of me would have been very angry at this rejection of the purity of the comic page. To add to the smouldering rage, I have rejected black and white in favour of colour.

It’s a wild old time at Phatcomics at the moment.

But why do I have to work in this way ?

Soaring Penguin will be publishing this as a book, but they have not put any constraints on the look/process.

So why chose this approach, this look ?

I could reject it all now, bin it and try drawing the whole thing as ceramic tiles, or bricks or any material sympathetic with the building materials.

Or write and draw and collage on  all the  reports and council minutes regarding the sell — off of the hall.

I could start and finish in a zillion ways, the only limits being my thought process and creative aptitude.

Or I could just carry on and finish it.




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