Faint Heart Never Won Fair Freelance

So, the story for today started (as a surprising number of the stories of my life do) on Craigslist. I try to troll through the ‘creative gigs’ section a few times a week. Mostly, I email people and never get replies, but every once and a while, something comes along that might actually be an opportunity to expand my portfolio a bit, and perhaps make some slight bit of money.

I found such an ad a few days ago, for someone needing basic character designs. Basic characters? I can do that! I can do that! I reply to the ad and I get back a set of specs to draw a couple characters- if they like ’em, they’ll pay me and send me more work. The description was basically: Generic handsome man in generic military gear holding a fancy knife. And THEN, just to shake things up, draw a generic pretty lady in generic military gear holding the same fancy knife. Woo.

But, beggars can’t be choosers, and I did some designs. Were they the most inspired, breathtaking work I’ve ever done in my entire life ever? No. They weren’t. I didn’t have a lot to work with, and I was afraid to experiment and go outside the lines and upset the client. So I came up with these guys.

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(Reeealy poor image quality, I’ll put up a better version when I’m on my computer at home.)

Are they great? No. Are they generic as hell? Yes. But they’re well colored and everything he asked for in the ad. Well, he asked for ‘gritty cartoon style’ and I have no idea what the hell that means. Frank Miller? Jhonen Vasquez? Hideo Kojima? Or, you know, pictures of dirty people? I just worked in my style and hoped for the best.

Over the interwebs these designs went, with me hoping to maybe make a few bucks out of the deal at the very best. The next day I got an email back saying that my work was ‘interesting’ but ‘not the quality’ he was looking for. And it put me in a bit of a snit, not going to lie. No matter what I do, my work is NOT low quality. It may not have had the certain qualities he was looking for, but don’t word it that way. If he wanted a specific style, he needed to be more specific. “Gritty’ don’t fucking cut it.

It was at this point that I told myself to take a deep breath and remember that I was dealing with someone off Craigslist, not a rep from Konami. But even with all the zen breathing and rational thoughts, I was still bummed out about this whole thing for days. Days. And I’m beginning to realize that’s part of my problem. Every tiny failure hits me like a ton of bricks and it takes me forever to pick myself up again. Silly things like this take huge chunks out of my self esteem, when they should bounce off of me without a second thought.

I want to put heart and effort into everything I do, but how do I do that while still maintaining a thick skin? I guess that’s the six million dollar question, isn’t it?

 

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National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day

Apparently, this is a thing that exists. I heard it on the radio, and I guess it’s an actual thing.

So, in honor of National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, and also in honor of the fact that I am extremely bored, I have illustrated (i.e., scribbled) my attempts at delving deep into the feline psyche.

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Snot Factory

As the title suggests, my body has decided to start producing mucus at an industrial rate, which has really been messing with my creative flow as of late. However, I have been getting a few things done, mostly at work when I should be doing other things. 

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Almost done with this one, still don’t know what to put in his hands- everything I stick in there seems to look like a penis. Sigh. 

 

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Also threw out this one today- started as a self portrait, realized it looked pretty much nothing like me, and so I continued to doodle on it just for practice with color. I liked working with the kind of limited palette in her face, but I feel like I should experiment more with getting life-like color. 

 

Also, I have just discovered basically everything in my fridge has gone bad. I’m thinking that’s a sign that I’m meant to eat nachos. 

Happy Birthday Golly (Also, there might be a poltergeist in my laptop.)

So, I know I said I was going to focus on comic stuff for the next long bit, but I’m taking a break to work on a painting for a dear, dear friend of mine. She’s my partner in an RP/art group, which means her character has to put up with my character all the time, as well as her having to put with me whining and rolling around and generally being a goofus most of the time. And, being the goofus that I am, I of course missed her birthday. By like, two weeks. But I’m getting this done for her, by god! 

So I finally got a sketch that I liked for her, and I started working on painting it today. When I open up photoshop and plug in my tablet, I see this: 

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I notice photoshop’s a little laggy, but I keep sketching. Then, all of a sudden, my laptop goes INSANE and starts doing THIS: 

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I WASN’T TOUCHING ANYTHING. 

And then, if that wasn’t freaky enough, it kept doing it after I unplugged the tablet. 

For a FULL MINUTE it scribbled all over the screen. I screamed. People in my office thought I was hurt. I didn’t know how to explain this to them. The only explanation I got is poltergeists. I need the Winchesters, STAT. 

Thankfully, (after having to walk away and have a cup of coffee to keep from freaking out completely) I was able to salvage the image and keep painting. 

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Super rough block-in over the sketch- I’ve been trying the method of working up a digital painting in grayscale and adding color as the last few steps. I’ve tried it on a couple pieces so far- but I tend to end up liking the grayscale version better than the color. Siiigh. 

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Then a little bit more work on Sibbi’s face. (This is my friend’s beautiful baby, mine is the creepy kid up top). It feels good to be painting again, really hoping this one comes out well for my gorgeous friend Golly.