Monday, July 19, 2010

Behind the Paleface

Once in a while I like to show you guys a little bit of the process behind my ghettomations. Guys like Sherm Cohen , Raul Aguirre jr, Ted Seko, and Javier Hernandez are so good at showing their processes, I'm usually pretty lazy about doing the "how-to's". I gotta be honest, over the years I've really streamlined my process down to as FEW STEPS as possible, keeping things fresh and surprising myself as I make these cartoons. I have to stay entertained while doing these. I need to keep things fresh. There are a few things that have stayed consistent in my last few cartoons, though.

Still using my trusty 5.5 x 8.5 sketchbooks to warehouse all of my cartoon art. I think making a method where I can draw anywhere and get the art done easily has really helped in my cartoon output. That and the fact that I'm pretty much a ghettomation stud, right? Right? Above you will also see my 2 pens of choice. A Pilot Precise pen 5.0 and the beloved Sharpie fine point. This is all geek knowledge, I know, but you love it.

Let me tell you, reusing character art has been a real help with my cartoons. Drawing the main characters in just a few poses and slipping them into different backgrounds is a great (and widely used) method to get the most mileage from your art. Plus, I tend to morph my characters if I draw them from scratch too much. I make sure to mix the re-used stuff with brand new art, just to keep the audience on their toes and to make sure the cartoons have fresh life in each scene. Above you see Running Drain Stormcloud and his confederate confidant, Cooper. I inserted them into the background below.

Color makes a world of difference. It changes everything. It really brings a scene to life. Here you'll see that I took Cooper's arm and attached it to his body. I'm an art surgeon. Many times I'll draw the arms separate from the body and use different versions of the arms to express body language, like someone talking with their hands. You can thank Raul Aguirre, jr for that. I think he kind of sparked my animation gene. I'm enjoying having my actors "act" on screen. Its become my ghettomation trick that I use again and again. In my opinion, Ghettomation is about staying loose and creatively hungry. I'm always looking for new ways to have fun while I'm making these cartoons. Therapy, passion, hobby, drug, outlet, canvas, and forum for my weirdness/talent all in one! Thanks for being a viewer. I really appreciate that.

Now go out and create something good!


Mike Garvey said...

That was great! Love the drawing of Cooper sitting next to his arm. Raul took me to Geeks so I could pick up Ghettomation Garden while I was in LA last week. I'll have to get a shot of me with it here in Chicago. Keep it up man!

Luis Escobar said...

Thanks for the process report. I think it's most helpful to hear how YOU do it. I know how a studio does it but it's more work than I care to do. Anything that helps shorten the process while making a good quality product helps.

Jim Lujan said...

Mike, hope you enjoy Ghettomation Garden. Sorry I couldn't catch up with you. It was a busy busy week for me, too.

Luis, I hope this serves to inspire even those IN the biz to get up and work on their own stuff. It really is therapeutic. Its good for the soul on so many levels.