Revised versions of Mean Mug and Wiz-Kid. Treasure-hunters, coworkers, pals.
He got shorts, she got a couple years older.
I made this drawing of Sakura for IAM8BIT’s Street Fighter show, but I was sidelined due to freelance work and never finished it. I had planned on finishing it later, and that turned into “planned on redrawing it” and that turned into “well, it’s been a year guess it’s not getting done.”
I still had a lot of additional drawing to do (covers and type on all the manga, a planned jrpg image on the screen, some other stuff I’ve forgotten).
Anyway, I liked the idea of Sakura coming home after school to a room full of manga and posters of Ryu and just blowing things off before heading to the gym. There are a million things I’d change about this now.
I’m a freelance illustrator, which means I kinda float from job to job, taking on different opportunities to make money. It means that I have less stability than someone who works in-house for a company, though it also means I can keep my own schedule and generally be a little more flexible with my time. It’s what I prefer, but it’s not for everyone.
When I got out of school in 2009, I was working as an assistant to a comic book colorist, doing fairly menial work while I tried to scrounge up some freelance clients. I got that job because he was one of my instructors and I finished assignments early and so I had some extra time and showed that I could finish things professionally and on time. After a couple years, I was getting enough freelance editorial work (small illustrations for magazines, mostly), that I was able to quit my regular job and hop into freelance full time.
For about three years freelance editorial jobs were the bulk, almost the entirety of my pay. Magazines typically don’t have enormous budgets, so you have to do a lot of illustrations to make a decent living. Some illustrators have a natural affinity for this type of work, and are really good at it. I tend to do more narrative work with a fantasy slant, which means that, when working on something like a business or legal magazine, I would have to step outside of my comfort zone to finish the work. Sometimes that worked out well and sometimes it didn’t, but more often than not it wasn’t really taking advantage of my strengths as an artist or as a thinker. I did a couple advertising jobs here and there, which pay a lot more but are generally harder to get and have more stringent art direction. I made a lot of work on my own time and it got some attention online. I sent out postcards and emails to art directors, though the majority of the work I’ve gotten has been because some art director found my work online, or another artist pointed them to me, or something along those lines.
I’m still freelancing now, but I’ve gotten a few more regular clients that are in line with the kind of work that I like to do. I’m working more on books and in the animation industry (doing background drawings for Steven Universe), and I’m generally taking on fewer editorial jobs. Even though I’m not working in-house at Cartoon Network (they’re in Burbank, I’m in Baltimore and soon to be Brooklyn), I’m part of a team, and it’s nice to be involved with a community of artists working on one project. Books typically have longer timelines and larger budgets than editorial images, which means I can labor over drawings for longer - something I love doing. I also taught illustration classes for two years at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the school I attended as a student.
I also make money from making and selling my own products — prints, zines, that sort of thing.
The point is, there are lots of ways to make money with illustration, you just have to be flexible and take opportunities when they pop up, while keeping in mind the kind of work you want to make. At the beginning of your career, being enthusiastic, professional, and flexible are just as important as being good.
A new piece for a very strange story over on Tor.com. The story deals with a world in which all species have evolved beyond humans and have adapted a system of universal cloning for reproduction, rather than sexual coupling. Humans remain the only species left with their natural urges, and are kept as pets by sophisticated animal masters. The main character is a slime-mold named Tim who works as a stock boy at Walmart.
It’s a very weird, very funny, kinda gross story.
I think the last sketch was my favorite, but we couldn’t get away with that one. Thanks to my terrific AD, Irene Gallo.
Space Paladin Prints
Archival inks on 100% cotton rag paper. Printed with the help of the fine folks from INPRNT.com
-Open edition (4/21-4/28)
-12x18 - $30
Space Paladin and limited color version for the woman warriors zine Abby, Julia, and Roxie are putting together for MoCCA. From the work I’ve seen for it, looks like the zine’s gonna be bonkers. Might do a limited print run of that top one. Inspired by Andrea's space babes and Sailor Moon backgrounds.
I did the poster artwork for Streetlight Manifesto’s next (and final) tour. They wanted something featuring a bunch of warriors at the end of their journey, and obviously, I was very happy to help them out with that. I got to combine some of my favorite tropes of 80’s fantasy (Grace Jones look-alike included) with some Final Fantasy with some D&D.
I’ve been really focusing on limiting my pallet lately, since I am becoming more interested in letting my linework show through.
More b&w preview stuff. I dunno when this book comes out, but I’ll obviously post more about it when it gets officially announced.
Pencil, ink, and digital. Pencil line drawing, ink-wash values lightboxed on wc paper over that, additional values added digitally. Easy.
I have a creepy drawing in the Wall Street Journal today. It accompanies a book review of “Snow White Must Die,” by Nele Neuhaus, a new police procedural set in a village outside of Frankfurt. The book is about a series of killings with some Snow White parallels.
I wanted to keep things menacing but vague, with some fairytale-esque colors. Turns out I do a pretty good job on creepy topics? I seem to get them a lot.
AD Dave Bamundo