Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Death of the "Original"

I was asked today if I ever sold any originals.  The funny thing is that I don't have any originals to sell for the most part.  Not anything that looks like the finished piece, anyway.  The only things that I do as original full color pieces are presents for my wife.  Everything else is just done on a sheet of copy paper small enough to fit onto my scanner bed.  I squirrel away the "original" for some reason.  I remember an older friend of mine several years ago said to me, eyes wide, "never throw away your originals!"

Well after about 10 years as an illustrator, I've got boxes of originals.  I left an entire box of them at the house I moved out of a few years ago.  In the attic.  That's where I still keep the boxes of originals that I have now are-- in my attic.  Just so you know.

My working illustration process just doesn't generate heirlooms right now.  Oh well, maybe someday.

This particular piece was done for an ad pitch.  They asked for something Seussian, and this is what I came up with.  I used a ballpoint pen to ink it up because the pen lines closely resemble pencils, but are easier to clean up.  The archival quality is questionable at best.  In 100 years this drawing will be really crappy looking-- then again you probably will be too, and as one's eyesight fails after living that long, you probably won't be able to see it even if you're one of the few people who live longer than 100 years.

My advice to the potential art connoisseur is to amass a collection of ballpoint pen drawings.  You can ask to be buried with them when you die, and no one will care because they'll all look really bad anyway.

Moving on...

After I finished the ink work, I scanned it in (actually in two parts -- it's on an 11x17 piece of copy paper) and colored it up.

I use Photoshop and a graphics tablet of some sort to color stuff up.  When I did this piece, I used an Intuos 3, but I have a crappy Cintiq that I got off of Ebay for about half price.   I adjust the "Levels" to brighten the white of the paper and darken the linework a little.  I have the drawing on a "multiplied" layer sitting on top and subsequent layers of color underneath.  I always try to preserve a digital copy of the original drawing.

I really liked the "original" piece I did for this drawing.  Super busy.  Lots of stuff going on.  Fun to look at.  So it's in a drawer in my filing cabinet with a bunch of brother and sister drawings.  They keep quiet for the most part, but sometimes I open up the drawer and it's apparent that something had to have been going on in there.  Some kind of party.  I never leave my drawers that messy.


Anonymous said...

That's so funny. I'm the exact same way! I have an old briefcase filled with random original doodles that I can't bring myself to throw away. Most of them done in ballpoint pen as well.

stephen said...

If you ever find out something to do with that kind of crap let me know, man :)