Marrus, Randy Gallegos, and Francesco Francavilla
At Dragon Con one of the activities is a portfolio review. When I saw this on the schedule I was very excited and made sure to save time for it. When I got to the review I had the privilege of meeting Marrus, a veteran of the art world. She looked through my portfolio and very quickly gave me the following advice.
She said my art was too varied. That within one portfolio, I showed 3 pieces geared towards fantasy art, one of a fish, one of a modern scene, and one towards editorial. She recommended that I focus on doing the art that I loved and make a whole portfolio out of that, and then send it to people in that field. Along those lines she noted that I showed an interest in game illustration and encouraged me to do more action scenes with interesting backgrounds and multiple figures. I only spent about 15 minutes or so with Marrus, but I really felt I got some good advice. Yet again someone else was telling me “draw what you love, and the work will come.”
Randy Gallegos is an illustrator that works for Wizards of the Coast and World of Warcraft. I stopped by Randy’s booth in the art hall and was pleased that he took the time to look at my portfolio. After looking over my stuff he encouraged me to take a life drawing class, one every week if I could find one. He spoke on the importance of working from life and using references.
One thing really stood out from my conversation with Randy. He said that for him, he doesn’t move to painting stage until he had solid drawing. Stating that coloring flows naturally once drawing is done. He liked to go back to basics and focus on elements of drawing and then move on to color.
This advice really struck home with me as I love to draw, but when I drew for a painting I often skipped over the drawing step. Since my conversation with Randy I have changed my way of thinking, instead focusing on the drawing and then moving on to color. It has worked great! THANK YOU RANDY!
If your not familiar with the art of Francesco Francavilla, do yourself a favor and look into this guy. His pen and ink work is excellent! He is the main artist on Zorro right now and he is working on a book of Dracula meets the Wolfman. I had the opportunity to talk with Francesco after he did a panel on “Writing for Artists and Drawing for Writers,” and at the comic book artists alley. After showing me a tone of his own amazing work Francesco took the time to look through my portfolio.
Francesco’s initial comment was that I needed to be more sensitive of a single light source in my work, especially in my piece “Dinner Joke” where there are so many multiple light sources that is makes the light source look wrong in several places, which confuses the viewer. He then asked if I planned to do comic work, or illustration? I told him my intent was to be an illustrator. Francesco replied that he thought this was a good thing because my portfolio is more bent toward illustration, and illustration pays better. He said that to work in comic books, one should love comic books, because it’s not done for the money! Francesco works in both comics and illustration.