January, February & March Original art cards

Hello Patron’s and casual passerby’s! Welcome!

Three months of art cards featuring my original artwork are ready to release into the wilds of the U.S. postal system.

These are sketches from imagination. What does that mean? I just start drawing and turn the lines into something meaningful as I progress.

It is a new technique to me. But, many famous illustrators like Karl Kopinksi, Peter Han and Kim Jung Gi.

I will notify the winners through the Patreon in-mail! Thank you, Patron’s!

Brian

Cover roughs

Working on the cover for the book…What rough concept do you like the most. BTW I am not going to explain them or what is going on. I would like your visceral reaction to the concepts.

Patreon Storyboard/writing part 1

Like some of you reading this post, I am always looking for new ideas from accomplished people pursuing the path of creation. Whether it is new painting techniques or ways to organize insights I have gleaned so much from others sharing the “way they do it.”

That is the only reason I created this Patreon page to share my thoughts, techniques, and approach to creation. I must admit the act of sharing is difficult. While I am working, I make a mental note, “this would be great to share with the Patrons!” But, putting that thought into action takes a considerable amount of effort. So, I am shooting for a weekly post. These will vary in-depth, but I know that repetition yields excellent results.

Writing for me is a mixed bag of quasi disciplines, and everything I have listened to or read tells me I am not alone. Everyone that creates narratives of any kind has their organic way of tapping into that creative flow and capturing it. My advice in this area is to try everything and don’t get too rigid with the process. I don’t recommend reinventing the “storytelling wheel” every time you sit down to play. I also don’t recommend sitting down to play creatively when the “muse” is present. Discipline and repetition are critical keys to moving your craft forward.

One of the techniques I have adopted this past year is using Trello to organize my stories. I will go into more depth on that in a future post, but mentioning it here is vital as a set-up for this share. When I plot my books, I set up “lists” within a “board” in this app. Each of these lists I number to a “hypothetical” section number. This number can change, and I only use it for the cross-organization between plot point-prose-storyboard-final page layout. Within this “list” I can create “cards.” These are the plot points for that section. For example, 

List 39,

Storyboard,

Card: Ghyslaine climbs a tree with the hopes of hiding.

Card: Ghyslaine reflects on the events that have created this nightmare and worries for herself and her family.

Card: Geoffrey returns.

I can move these lists and cards in any order and transfer cards between lists.

From the lists in Trello, I create a storyboard. I use the content from that list for the main story beats, and as I sketch them will generate more nuances to the scenes that enhance the narrative. Sometimes these nuanced parts from the storyboarding process become cards in another list for plots farther down the road.

I hope this share is helpful to you and encouraged or edified you in some way! Please let me know in the comments if you liked it and what I could add to make it more relevant to you and your creative journey. Thank you!

Page Layout Research

My book project is a mash-up of two storytelling mediums; novels and comic books. I knew that the prototypes of the book thus far were not the final formats, they were designed to create something I could get in front of people and solicit feedback.

Well, now I am starting to layout the final book, and it is exciting! As part of the process, I am doing research and applying some best practices from the publishing industry.

If you are like me, an avid reader, you probably take for granted some of the art that goes into easy to read text found in popular fiction. And it is an art. Publishers and the designers go to great lengths to make writer’s work easy to digest. Type choices, line spacing, text height, and line length all play a part in a reader breezing through that book and comprehending it.

So, the start of my research was to take three examples of popular fiction and dissect the mechanics involved.

Each book pictured above had subtle differences in how they approached the page. I ended up using a hybrid of the Longmire book and the Benedict Society. They were almost identical; however, the type size in the Benedict Society was a point larger. Since this was a young adult novel, and that is the market I am targeting with my book, I followed their lead. More to come on this topic, and I will share my layout progress later this week! Thanks for stopping by!

Art card test prints!

Recieved these cards yesterday! Things are looking good overall! I was using ClipStudio Paint to color these, which is a change from my usual software Photoshop. So, I wanted to check the color from my file to the printed piece.
My friend Isi has a letterpress and print shop. She printed them and will print and finish the final order.

It is funny to me. When I work on the files I feel like they don’t measure up (to what standard, I am not sure). Then I will take some time away from them, completing other tasks and when I come back I am thankful and like them. Then I see them produced and I say,”who did these? They look like a pro worked on them!”

It is screwy, but I am way better than I used to be. But, self confidence in some areas is a process. Keep on going!

Current State of Affairs

Hello Patrons,

This is the first monthly update that provides a more holistic picture of the progress I am making as I race towards publishing my first book on Kickstarter.

All of my focus in January and February has been on bringing the book to life. Hopefully, with this update, the past posts and the future ones will have some context.

Kickstarter has a few checklist items that one should have to launch a successful campaign. This list for my project has included everything you could imagine. This has been getting paired down to some essential swag that enhances the book.

The book

-48-page estimate.

-Perfect bound, graphic novel format.

-Oversized goodness, 9×12.”

-Embossed, foil, and UV (shiny sections) on the cover.

Art cards

-5×7″

-Cotton paper, archival quality

-Digital prints

-Letterpress details, foil, and blind embossing.

-Full-color version

-Monochromatic artist version

30 extras

-30 backers will get their likeness in the book as background characters. Think shop keepers, barmaids, street urchins, and the like.

-A printed guide to help locate your portrait in the book. Remember those guides in elementary school that would show who was who in the signing of the Declaration of Independence? Like those!

Custom Chucks

-2 backers will get custom Chuck Taylor hi-tops with original artwork on both shoes.

Stretch goals are for when you hit predetermined pledge goals. Here is the list thus far.

-Bookmarks (think art cards, but narrow)

-Enamel pins for every backer of a physical book.

-B/W (ashcan) version of the book, digital. Just the digital inks of the comic panels.

-The penciled version of the book, digital. Only digital pencils of the comic panels.

-B/W (ashcan) version of the book, PHYSICAL. Just the digital inks of the comic panels.

-The penciled version of the book, PHYSICAL. Only digital pencils of the comic panels.

What things would you like to see as rewards or swag items for the campaign? Comment and let me know!

Progress report

I sent the three art cards to a local printer I will use for the final production run to have color proofs printed. I wil pick them up this week.

Came up with a bunch of foil ornaments for the art cards, but they still need some focus. I will share them this week with you.

There are seven pages of comic panels that need to be storyboarded fo the final book. I completed two this week. Will share that shortly.

Started laying out the final book with a new layout grid in InDesign.

Completed January’s sketch card pencils for one of you my Patrons! Will post a pic of it shortly.

More to come and thank you for your patronage!