Wednesday, January 14, 2009
"HELL BELOW, STARS ABOVE" -- the final pass, I swear it!
A big part of getting back into the swing of things is going through my rather large backlist of personal projects that have been started but never finished. Call it my "new year's resolution", if you will. I started going through my files of in-progress work and was stunned at how many ideas I had been tinkering with or nearly-completed but then abandoned either due to freelance work monopolizing my time or just from setting the thing aside and forgetting about it. Going through a housing move recently didn't help either, as all the stuff I had strewn about in my work-pile got packed away and fell victim to the out-of-sight out-of-mind rule.
Anyway, this is something that's been in-progress for far too long. It's time to polish this thing off once and for all, but not before retouching it a bit. A big problem with setting something aside for so long is that, inevitably, when I come back to it I'm not at all satisfied with how it looks or (perfectionist that I am) I simply look at it and think "I can do better". Actually, that may not be such a bad thing. Sometimes an artist can benefit greatly from stepping away from a piece for a while and coming back to it with "fresh eyes". That's a big part of the reason why I don't like to rush my illustrations and let them progress at a natural pace. Unfortunately, if I take too long on them, or rushed them in the first place, I usually just want to redo the thing 4 months later!
It's always good to have a few projects going on concurrently. This keeps things fresh and allows you to jump back and forth at your leisure, and keeps a piece (and your interest in it) from stagnating. I'm always doing this, but I think I've taken it to ridiculous extremes by allowing my backlog to bloat to an overwhelming size. I made a list of all the illustrations and personal projects I have in various stages of completion and there are about 30 items on the list (and I know I'm still forgetting some). So, while it's very hard for me to promise that I will not begin something new before finishing off the old stuff, I can at least try to complete 3 new illustrations before beginning one new one. Hopefully I can whittle this list down within the next few months and build up my portfolio nicely in the process.
Currently, I'm in the midst of inking this thing, as well as the first DONKEY KONG piece, as well as reworking the final revision pencils for both the UGLY STICK and CARRION, WAYWARD SUN t-shirt designs. Also tightening up the final drawing for the second DONKEY KONG piece. More updates soon!