Thursday, December 30, 2010

Going Gray

Since I showed off the inks for the skateboarding books yesterday I thought it might be cool to show the next step the pieces take after they are scanned into the computer.

After scanning each piece into the computer and cleaning them up a bit I'll make a few layers of each piece and start adding grays. When I first started doing these books I would only gray in the backgrounds and leave the figures purely black and white. But, over the years, that has changed and now I'm adding as many grays to the figures as the backgrounds. In order to make the figures still pop out from the background I started playing around with turning a lot of the background black lines into gray lines.

I think it works really well and I like the technique. I'm not sure whether the client likes it or not (or even if they notice that I am doing it) but they haven't said anything so I think I'll keep it.

In other news, I went to Seth Godin's blog this morning. I visit his site everyday and, day in and day out, he always has great advice and tidbits of information about being creative and marketing. This morning he suggested we all do a simple excercise and make a list of all the projects we "shipped" this year. In his world, shipping means getting the project done and out the door into the world. It doesn't matter if it was successful or not. Simply that you got it done and out the door. He went on to list the books he published, the seminars he put together, and the programs he launched.

So, I looked back at my year and realized, other than doing the same client work I do year in and year out, that I have absolutely nothing personal that I got out the door this year. The world was an open door to me this last year and I didn't take advantage of any opportunities presented to do something for myself.

My list was empty.

To tell you the truth, that realization made me more than a bit depressed.

But, it also had me making a vow to myself that I wouldn't make the same mistake in the coming year. The world has opened a few doors to me and this coming year, in 2011, I promise, I will "ship" something.

What it will be will be interesting to see.


Manu said...

Hello ! Very interesting, this article about gtays ! But I don't understand a thing : all that isn't colored after ? So you don't keep the grays, no ? : o)

Concerning the list, I think it's not a bad idea, but as we say in french, there are some to drink, and some to eat. I think to work for the same client as you did is an accomplishment in itself. I read your blog several times a week, and I can see how much you work, so I don't think you have objective reasons to be depressed. It's hard to find time to add some personal work when it is so hard for all of us to find some paid work ! For example, this year, since june, I did a lot of personal work to improve my skills and to open to a kind of presence in the US comic world (you know, WWDay, charity against cancer, a gallery at CAF, and so on...) but if all that can be considered as a good thing for now, and for the future, I'm in a big trouble, because it's not paid, I have no illustrations commissions since may, and a lot of workshop projects I looked forward to, have been delayed, or cancelled : ( So what I mean, is you did a lot and it was paid, and you get through sickness and overbooking. So, I don't know Mr Seth..... but don't let his stuff depress yourself too much, I think you have done the most important, and you have done it well ! So let this guy sell his books, and keep smiling ! :) )

Concerning OCD, I'm sure you'll do something great with it in the future, but, even if I have no advices to give to you, because you're very much more experimented than me, I think the problem is that you're alone ! A good thing should be to find professional partners to share the development of this project. Because, it probably request a lot of various skills, and I'm not sure a sole man can make it. I suppose there are a lot of american companies to whom you could propose a collaboration, or maybe you could try in Japan ! Once again, you're enough a good professional to know what you have to do, and I'm sure this story isn't to its end ! Sometimes, we just have to wait !

Have a great year 2011 my friend ! :) )

Sean Tiffany said...

Hey Manu,

I guess I didn't explain the interior pieces all that well. In every kids book I've been doing the covers are the only thing I do in color. The rest of the book is done in black and white and grays. No color at all. So, the grays you see here are what will be printed in the interior of the book.

And thanks for pointing out my accomplishments I did fulfill this year. I do enjoy working for my clients and I always feel blessed for making a living doing what I love.

I just think it's time to do a few projects for myself.