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Answering a few anonymous messages. A long life-question, brush settings, Para-Ten books (delayed answers, sorry!!)
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Answering some anooooooon messages. There might be a few I missed or couldn’t remember if I answered already. Sorry!!!!!!!!!!! Some questions about Robin in the City, the anthology, motivation, etc.
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Anonymous asked: um there's something i wanted to mention about your twitter icon!! Currently in science, we're studying the moon and I couldn't help but notice that your icon is actually a waxing moon instead of a waning one?? sorry I didn't mean to be rude or anything but I just wanted to say it... maybe it was on purpose and I didn't catch it so
WOW I didn’t even realize that it occurred on different sides but that makes sense. Thank you for telling me!!!! I was going to change it soon anyways I think..
Maybe this was the universe telling me, “William, you still have so much hope”
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A couple anon messages!! Someone who got pumped, and.. opinion on the death penalty!!
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Anonymous asked: howd you learn to draw such beautiful figures for your drawings? i always seem to have a hard time when it comes to poses, it always comes out bland :/
Ah! To be honest, I still have trouble myself but I’m flattered you’d ask. The best advice is really obvious advice is just “draw a lot.” But I guess to expand on that, set goals for yourself.
Buy a sketchbook and fill up a few pages with poses every day. Fill them tight. If you don’t have an hour or two ever day see if you can do it in smaller segments throughout the day. If you check out these sketchbook pages from Rob Laro you can definitely see why he’s gotten so good. There are some other pages in his gallery I recommend checking out.
I know pose invention, in terms of just thinking of WHAT to draw can be a problem too. Try to think about every day tasks, and you might be amazed at what you CAN’T imagine. Someone sitting at a table, standing at a street light, checking their phone. Try to imagine it, draw it. A lot of the times I just draw a gesture line for the spine and then draw whatever pose that line suggests. Try thinking like an animator, and actually I recommend trying out animation if you can. Animating forces you to imagine poses and define shapes in a clearer, but gestural way, and there are things you can’t get away with that you can in an illustration. Even if you don’t have the software or hardware to animate, sketching series of poses can really help.
And don’t be afraid to draw the same thing over and over and over until it doesn’t feel awkward anymore. I don’t mean to be a one trick pony, but if you have trouble drawing faces or bodies looking forward, don’t be afraid of filling up a few sketchbook pages of the exact same thing. That’s basically what I was doing last night, ha ha. If you’re bad at drawing people at weird angles, draw a bunch of poses at weird angles. The important thing is that if it feels awkward and difficult, KEEP DOING IT. If it’s awkward that probably means you haven’t drawn it enough. So for me I try t draw it over and over (and maybe look at photos or how other people draw it to make sense of it)
And I guess remember to think of you figures as composites of shapes. Round tubes or more accurately oblong spheres that rotate in space. Of course referencing poses from real life and pictures helps a lot too. Especially if you haven’t done a lot in the past, it helps to have a visual library of how the real actual human body works that you can extrapolate from. Plus the human bosy does some really cool things visually that you might not have thought of if you hadn’t looked at enough actual people.
I also like to watch process videos of artists, particularly at the beginning of their drawings just to see how they approach the sketch. Above all I think as best you can try to sketch consistently day after day so that your hand doesn’t forget. Drawing is part how well you can picture things in your brain and part how your hand develops the muscle memory to create those forms. Sketching is really important. Even if you spend hours a day painting, it’s important to sketch.
ANYWAYS I still have a LOT to learn, but this is all basically the advice I give to myself as I’m trying to improve. Hopefully it’s helpful, if you don’t want to follow any of this that’s fine too!! It all depends on what your goals are as an artist!!!!!!!!!! WHO BOY I wrote a lot.
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Anonymous asked: how do you stay so positive about your art? (i never add something on after this question, but it was inevitable that i would eventually ask you because you just seem so ENTHUSIASTIC about everything!)
Ah!! Well, it’s like the tides. I don’t stay positive, but I become positive again over and over. I answered this previously here and I’d like to supplement it with this little essay that someone else wrote that kind of describes a healthy attitude towards negative feelings towards your progress and just life in general, which I think is pretty aligned to the perspective I have on myself!!!!
(side note: sorry if it seems like the balance between art and text is starting to get off on this blog. Maybe I’ll post more sketches or something).
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Anonymous asked: what are your favorite books?
HMM!!!!! Here’s some:
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Ishmael/My Ishmael/The Story of B by Daniel Quinn
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Power of Myth (Joseph Campbell Interviewed by Bill Moyers)
and a few months ago I finished Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami and I quite liked it. East of Eden is my #1 forever. I feel like I’ve forgotten something important; if only I kept up with my good reads account. Right now I’m reading “The Wind Up Bird Chronicle” by Murakami and “Existentialism and Human Emotion” by Sartre and I’m enjoying both so far.
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Anonymous asked: Do you ever feel unaccomplished? (Sorry Ashwara, just feeling really emotional about my artistic abilities...) Do you ever just have those days (sigh)... what do you do to get back on your feet and start believing in yourself again?
Yeah, all the time, ha ha. Maybe more often than I should. Especially in the past year since graduating college and having finished Para-Ten over a year ago with little fanfare or career opportunities. It’s easy to feel like you’ll never get hired, or like the work you DO get paid for doesn’t mean anything, and the stuff that you really find meaningful will never be recognized and you’ll have to degrade yourself to make it anywhere in the world, or just give up entirely.
But I try not to let it get the best of me, because the only sure fire way that you’ll never accomplish things that matter to you is to stop trying. I tell myself, even if the stuff that I really want to do never finds a home in peoples hearts, or never makes my life the way I wish it would, just putting the effort in is a success in its own right. I’d rather die a failure than having spent a life doing something that didn’t matter to me (not even everyone has the change to be that kind of failure due to whatever circumstances of their life!!!)
So in away, it’s important to find some kind of meaning in the struggle, because it’s always going to be there. Try to use the frustration as fuel if you can. We’re always growing as artists and as people and I guess the thing to try to do is find some balance between recognizing that you’ll never be perfect, being ok with that, but still trying to shoot for it anyways.
I always liken it to a cheesy metaphor of walking along around with a destination in mind but enjoying the scenery along the way. Everything is a part of your path. Ha ha. Even Sisyphus found meaning in his task, at least as interpreted by Albert Camus.
And just try to remember what made you so excited to be an artist in the first place. Be enthusiastic, be excited if you can!! Treat enthusiasm like a virtue!!!!!! Watch things you love and try to get infused with it!!!!
Staying optimistic and maintaining belief that whatever your’e doing is possible and matters is a skill in and of itself, and something to keep figuring. Take it head on and try to find as many reasons as you can. That’s what I do anyways; the more I’ve thought about it in good times the easier it is to remember and keep going in bad times.
this video always helps (I keep it in my bookmarks bar) as well as this song.
Anyways, it’s not easy, it’s very rarely easy to feel like you’ll be accomplished especially when you’re young and nowhere. Just try not to give up. Keep going and believe that you’ll believe in yourself again. Fake it if you have to, fake it until it comes back. This song helps too.
I don’t feel like I was very articulate but it’s almost midnight…….
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Anonymous asked: I really like your taste in slice-of-life readings... Can you recommend some (slice-of-life) comics/manga? Or maybe some reads that really make you think about life (and possibly appreciate it more)?
Oh!! Thank yoU! ha ha. Let
Let’s see here’s a list of some slice of life manga I read and enjoyed: Real, LOVE ROMA, Boys on the Run, Solanin, Oyasumi Pun Pun, Himizu, Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms, Kimagure Orange Road, Kimi ni Todoke (I stopped at chapter 40 though because I thought it ended ha ha). I also started Cross Game and really liked it, but I’ve only read 15 chapters so far..
I’ve probably missed a few things, but these are all ones I read in the past year or so that I remember (I really didn’t read a lot of manga before the past 12 months). As far as western slice of life comics, I think the best one I’ve read so far was Koko Be Good by Jen Wang but I still haven’t read any of the “big” ones like Blankets because I’m shameful I guess.
Real is probably my favourite one up there, it’s a good one to read alongside Oyasumi Pun Pun, I think. I always think, the characters in Real deal with their problems in a way I want to, and Pun Pun is the opposite but I guess in a way that makes even the smallest victory or simplest life seem like a triumph. Himizu is like that too.
I know you only asked for reading, but I’m going to recommend a couple films, too: After Life and Ikiru. Both of these films definitely make me appreciate life more, especially the smaller aspects of it, and I guess make you wonder, “What is it that i’m really after, what is it that really matters anyways?” They both have slow, patient pacing that lot of Japanese films tend to have, but they’re interesting and worth the time. Also watch Tatami Galaxy.
Anyways I’ll stop now before I go into books and end up just recommending everything I ever liked.
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