I do this plenty of times. No wonder things don’t get done. The graphic novel is back to square one. Page one, taking it literally. The reason? Same as usual. Boredom. Getting fed up with the slowness of the technique.
As I mentioned plenty of times in my videos, I want to draw fast. The purpose is to shorten the time between the idea and its concretion, keeping emotion and spontaneity as vivid as possible. When writing, phrases come to our mind and gain existence immediately, with concepts presented as they are written or pronounced. Corrections can be made, but the connection to the final result is pretty much straightforward. I want to achieve the same process while drawing. Otherwise I get bored.
I’m back to pages with less and bigger drawings. This time they will be even more simplified. More synthesis and expression and less realism. I will not watercolor the drawings and that allows me to use markers instead of the paintbrush for blotting shadows and volume, particularly in small areas. Colors will be added digitally, using the paint bucket. The final result might be clearer and more expressive drawings, perhaps a bit cartoonish.
Will it work?
I’ve drawn a poster on both male chauvinism and racism and put it on my Etsy shop for selling. I used the same design for tank tops, mugs, even swimsuits and so on. Am I exploring a cause for commercial purposes? Am I making a legit campaign?
I believe in the second hypothesis and hope not to be an opportunist taking abuse of people’s misfortunes and disgraces. Some objects for printing my designs appeal to me as platforms for the expression of my ideas and convictions. Probably I’m not campaigning at all. I might only be making use of my right to free speech. Male chauvinism and racism are absolutely not welcome to me and, to my eyes, the daily violence upon most black women is horrendous. I can’t imagine the summoned strength and effort to cope with it. Therefore I felt compelled to express my indignation.
When fear of being taken as an opportunist appalls me I must remind myself that no one is forced to buy these products. People can choose and are free to make their judgement.
My drawings are rather clumsy and awry but it is a thrill making them. Once surpassed the intimidation of the blank page, shapes start emerging from the fog of our inner eye. The process is similar to music improvisation and composition, and to writing. It is all about the emergence of shapes and gradual definition. Some artists are capable of designing to the most intricate detail, maintaining vividly expression. Others, like me, are not that resilient and keep things to a synthesis. I envy the talent and craftsmanship of the masters of proportion, detail and realism. They are like virtuous musicians, out of reach no matter how hard we practice.
I like drawing characters and find amusing the process of defining their physical traits, postures and gestures as expressions of their frame of mind. Clothing is a hard challenge to me, due to the necessary focus on detail. My mind is blurry and I should practice sight drawing more. The same can be said about settings. I am stubborn and instead of creating a visual archive I try to make a mental synthesis of what I observe around me, with the result sometimes being utterly poor.
Nevertheless, it is a thrill, especially when one feels the improvement of the craft.