New Rock Art in ProCreate | Rush | Work in Progress

Rush has been my favorite band since I was in high school. I’ve seen Rush in concert four or five times since 1982. I own every album they’ve ever put out. I own a Rickenbacker bass guitar because Geddy Lee played one. My latest art piece is a tribute to Rush, done from a photo by the late Andrew MacNaughtan.Rush, drawn in ProCreate by Jeff Whiting

 

Over the past six months, I’ve been working on layouts for the new Static Live magazine. Static focuses on the music and entertainment scene in the Daytona Beach and Volusia County area and beyond. I take all of the edited articles and photos, and arrange them into coherent pages. I’ve done a few illustrations for the cover art of the magazine. They haven’t been of subjects that resonated with me personally, like Rush. I didn’t do the cover art for issue 6. I decided maybe I would do a few pieces of my own. I could possibly make some prints to sell at conventions.

I just finished the comic project I’ve been working on for the last 18 months, and am getting ready to start something new. While I’m between projects, I thought I would try something a little different, and draw some of my favorite musicians, like Rush.

New Rush Artwork

This piece, featuring Rush, is still a work in progress. It is done entirely in ProCreate on the iPad Pro. I used an Apple Pencil with the ink line tool. I’m almost done with the line art on the figures. Soon I’ll add a backdrop and do the colors. Rush has had a lot of different looks over the years. I felt this image captures the mature, confident version of the band. I may do a stage setting for the backdrop with a lot of color. If this Rush piece turns out well and generates some interest, then I may try a few more and make it a series. Every artist tries to find a niche that they can make their own, and this may be mine.

Looking for Book to Ink – Day 1

Today marks the official beginning of my campaign to find a comic book to ink. It doesn’t have to be a regular gig, or even a full issue, but I’ve been practicing and getting my hand back, and I’m ready to get a fresh credit to my name as an inker. To be more specific, I’m looking for a paid gig that will definitely be published, and not spec work or unpaid samples. My page rate is very negotiable, as I’m looking to rebuild my name and reputation after a long break. My line work is clean and I’m fast, having done two pages a day when required. I’ve never missed a deadline, and was often the person editors would send work to when others fell behind. I can also do lettering and coloring if need be. I can do traditional hand drawing with ink on paper as well as digital inks from scans.

I’ve visited the Marvel, DC and Image submission guidelines, and the general consensus seems to be, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you. Put your work out there, network with people, and get yourself noticed.” Well, here I am. If you’re an editor, drop me a note. If you’re an artist who is looking for an inker, or knows someone who is, drop me a note.

My first professional work was on a book called The Tick, over Ben Edlund’s pencils. From there, I worked on many of the Malibu Ultraverse titles in the 90s, working over a slew of diverse and talented pencilers. After Malibu was absorbed by Marvel, I didn’t have steady work, so I self-published a few books of my own called Shanghai, which I write, drew, colored, lettered, and acted as publisher, dealing with the printers and distributors. I returned to the mundane art fields, while still dabbling in comics here and there. The last book I worked on was the World of Warcraft comic for DC.

About a year ago, I started buying comics again, and discovered that there are still plenty of great stories being told in the world of sequential art, and some amazing new artists. I dusted off my crow quills and virtual inking tools, and got my hand back. I don’t where this quest will take me, but I was happiest when I was inking comics, and I want to reconnect with that again, even if it’s just for a little while.

Mid-life Crisis

I’ve been thinking a lot about my artistic career lately, and what I’m going to focus on next.

The comic book thing has never really taken off for me.  I’m good at it, but after all these years, I’m not getting any offers to draw or ink anything, and my own projects haven’t been able to get past the first few pages in the last decade.  I learned a lot from all my work in comics, but I’ve come to the realization that I’m never going to be more than a hobbyist in the field, and maybe I should devote my efforts to trying to become better at something I have a better chance at succeeding in.  I’m sure a lot of my art will continue to be influenced by comics, though.  It’s a part of who I am.

I’ve gone back to school, and am working on a BA in web design and interactive media.  I’ve been building web pages for more than 13 years, and the progress this art form has made since I started has been staggering. There are a lot of new tricks that I need to learn, and I’ve been working on the list.

So, I’m primarily going to be focusing my attention on becoming a better web designer.  I’ll be posting a lot more notes and blogs coming up as I re-design my own site and put the things I’ve learned into practice.

Infinite Canvas


Working on some ideas for doing an online comic utilizing the Infinite Canvas idea.

A web page has an entry point, and from there, I can drop a variety of content forms on a two-dimensional plane that stretches infinitely down and to the right. Text, images, animation, sound, video, stacked layers – anything I want. The only considerations I need to make are the size of the Window the viewer sees the content through, and the length of over abundant load times. I’ll need a system to be able to jump to the next “page” in the series. But, the beauty is, the pages don’t have to be in order! There can be multiple threads and jump-points to other links.

When it’s no longer just static images, it probably ceases to be what we know as comics. It’s a hybrid medium of comic books, animation, and interaction. In short – a new art form that can no longer just be thought of as a web comic. The term “comics” doesn’t really apply anyways, as the medium is not mostly funny. It’s not comical in nature. I guess it would be considered more of an episode, or a webisode than a comic book.

The trick is maintain a flow and keep the navigation easy. I don’t want the reader to become lost or disoriented.

Publishing and updates are instant. Art is much quicker, because it’s done at web resolution, and not for print. Edits and corrections are possible and easy to do. Constant and regular updates provide daily reminders that the project is there on social media.

My obstacles are – I get bored, and I have no feedback, so I drift away. Working on a project for a long time with the intention of publishing it later, keeping it under wraps the whole time, is a killer for me. I need feedback. I need encouragement. Putting something out on the web allows me to add “like” buttons and “share” buttons. I need a forum and a Facebook page where people can comment and ask questions.

Just throwing some ideas out there.