More dwarves. Scholar and Scrapper.
gingerlandcomics asked: Do you have a favorite author?
Hey Sam! It was really nice meeting you at SPX.
I sort of jump around, but I usually stick to fantasy stuff, and I like a few authors in that genre for different reasons. I really like Gene Wolfe, who is very weird and very dense. Sort of like James Joyce if he wrote about wandering executioners who travel through time and space without really realizing it. Very bizarre. “Book of the New Sun” and “Urth of the New Sun” by him are amazing.
I like Ursula Le Guin, Joe Abercrombie, Daniel Abraham, and GRRM a lot.
radagahst asked: Hey Sam! Really love your work and the style of Fantasy Basketball is something that amazes me! You're definitly one of my references. I was wondering If you could give us some guidelines on working the lines and textures digitally. Any tip or advice will be very welcomed! Regards and keep feeding us with your awesome work!
Thanks! But…I…don’t really have any tips? It’s all super simple. I make all my textures by hand with paint or ink, and scan ‘em real big. I set them to Overlay or Multiply or Soft Light or Whatever and erase out what I don’t need. The lines are just lines. I’ll do a breakdown of a FANTASY BASKETBALL! page sometime soon, so you can see.
davidarendse asked: I've been looking, but I can't find alot on your process (maybe because I'm having a little fatigue induced brainlag). I've recently started out illustrating myself and I'm still experimenting with style and materials. Care to share a little about the steps you go through so I can try it out myself? And one particular question: how exactly do you implement your reference folders? Do you sort them by theme or something? Thanks in advance Sam! You're a cool guy and I love your work.
I used to write a lot about my process, but I haven’t in a long while. For reference, look here: http://sambosma.blogspot.com/search/label/process
johnsjumper asked: Did you ever get into the Society of Illustrators student shows? I always feel like if I don't get into it I've set myself up for some sort of huge artistic failure.
Haha, nope. Never got into the student shows. I was up for the Zankel Scholarship from the Society a few years back, but I didn’t win. I got into the professional show the first time in 2010, I think? The next year I won a Silver medal, and the next year I was on the jury, so, haha, yeah. Just keep trying!
Take every rejection as a personal slight and you’ll go nuts. After judging one of the shows, I can tell you, it’s insanely difficult to get in at all. The process is grueling. I can’t believe anyone makes it in at all. SO much good stuff doesn’t make it every year. That’s just how it goes. Keep trying.
mscorley asked: In regards to your ink wash drawings, how do you go about making the greyscale tones to paint with? I normally put a drop of ink like 5 wells on a paint tray and then add increasingly amounts of water with the intention of getting lighter and lighter colors but it never comes out properly. I get like 2 dark darks and then super light greys and no good in betweens so I just end up doing numerous layers. Any pro tips?
I do a similar thing, but a little differently. First, I only use sumi ink and a big fat Chinese calligraphy brush, which can hold a lot of water and a lot of ink. I put a few drops of sumi ink into a jar of water, and swish it up. Then I grab a bunch of that ink-water on the sumi brush, and transfer that to a new jar of water. A few brushes full. Then I do that with another jar, but I transfer less ink.
I usually end up with a very dark gray (the first jar, which I don’t use too often in the actual work), and two midtones. I clean my brush in a separate jar, which becomes my super light “glazing” tone. I think that’s about it!
drcrunk asked: Hi sam this is bridget! (from mica) I got Fantasy Basketball in the mail this week, it's so rad! I've been drawing Mug all day, I hope that's cool. Uh, a question... um, have you played any of the pokemon mystery dungeon games?
Bridget!! Hey! I’m glad you like the book! You should show me your drawings!
I’ve only played the main Pokemon games and a bunch of the hacked versions (which are much better, imo), and the Stadium/Colosseum games, and Pokemon Snap, which is the best of all.
davidhuyck asked: What's your favorite pshop brush for line work?
Hey David!! I use a modified version of the ballpoint pen brush from Kyle T Webster’s brush-pack: https://gumroad.com/kyletwebster#HKgA
I use a couple others for specific stuff, but that’s the main one! That’s the one you’ll notice in recent drawings and sketches.
dragoblah asked: Is there a game/book/comic universe you really like? What attracts your interest the most in it?
I like stuff where you can see layers of history being piled up and destroyed and painted over again. Nausicaa, Book of the New Sun, Shadow of the Colossus, that type of stuff.
I like anything where information that is pertinent later on is seeded in early. Like, hearing about some place or thing or person early on, in passing, and then interacting with that thing later. I like when the world is fully conceived. Song of Ice and Fire does that really well. Mass Effect did it really well, too, until the third one.
autumnmcleod asked: I'm teaching myself to illustrate, and while I'm learning a lot, I'm also super overwhelmed by the amount of things I need to learn! Is there a particular area (like color theory or line-art or composition) you'd recommend I focus on first? (P.S. I really love your style!)
Concept, obviously, but as far as technical stuff is concerned? Composition. That’s the bones of an image. Everything else just sits on top.
dianacastle asked: I love how all the items/props in your art are so varied! How did you collect such a wide variety? Do you get a lot of prop/item inspiration or ideas from specific big sources? (like upgrading home magazines, or just item lists from fantasy games?)
I have a lot of reference folders with images from games, movies, other illustrators, etc.
I feel like a lot of it is just varying parts of different templates, honestly. Like, ok, I’m drawing a sword. Now I take into consideration a few things: what kind of sword is it? One handed, two handed, bastard, short, long, curved, etc. General shape stuff. Who made this sword? Who’s using this sword? Where was it made? How old is it? How good is it? Is it ornate or simple? Is it utilitarian? Was it made for this person or was it salvaged or scavenged or stolen? What kind of culture was behind the making of this sword? What materials did they use? What is this sword used for? Slashing? Piercing? Bloodletting? Is it elegant? Is it brutal? Is it magic? Decide on enough of those and the rest kind of figures itself out. I’m not reinventing the wheel, here, just being specific.
aggroscene asked: Do you draw straight digital or scan in traditional line drawings? If so, any scanner recommendations? I haven't bought one in 8 years & don't know what everyone uses to transfer pencil/ink to digital anymore.
I draw totally digitally, now. When I need to scan stuff, I have a Canon CanoScan LIDE 80 that I’ve been using for eight years or so that is pretty good. I still have to make a lot of post-scan adjustments, but them’s the breaks with any scanner.
bitnjer asked: What's your starter Pokemon?
Pretty sure I’ve started with all of them. The last game I played was Fire Red Omega, and I started with Smoochum.
kwonshell asked: How was your day?
Super good. I ate a big salad and got really good coffee and a chai cookie and beat the Pokemon game I was playing and listened to podcasts and watched last night’s Boardwalk Empire and it’s been super nice outside.
imaginationshow asked: I often find it frustrating going from sketch to finished illustration because the picture often looses a lot of life/energy/heart on the way. Have you had similar experience? And if so, do you have any tricks to get around it?
Yeah, if you figure out how, you let me know. That’s the great mystery. The closest I’ve gotten is to labor over the sketch/underdrawing for as long as possible — as long as it takes to get it perfect. After it’s right, draw the final as fast as possible, trusting the prep work that you’ve put in underneath and let your muscle-memory take over.