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Old 24-06-2010, 06:08 PM   #141
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Squeee I love these threads! Keep em coming. Well resurected, Morag. I still can't believe the difference in yours ^_^

I find it tricky to get piccies similar enough to show the differences, but here's a set of three: the Dragon Heir boys! I wanted to focus on lineart for now...as what I wanted to compare was how my inking and line style has changed.

1. A page made for issue 2 - circa 2003

2. By your spirit - made for a poster displayed at Ayacon 2007/8

3. a NEW image! Work in progress.....2010


So - obviously since 2003 there have been changes. I'm more interested in changes since 2007 - they're not as obvious.

Something really interesting about that middle image is that I remember distinctly it being the most current image I had of Dragon Heir when I went to NYCC just last year. I had some feedback on my work which, at the time, did hit me hard...I remember secretly feeling quite defensive inside,no matter how pro I was trying to be (we're all human), and yet now - looking at it - I can see so many problems and understand entirely what they meant. It's a strange but relieving feeling.

The cycle of improvement will never stop amusing and entertaining me! It's a wonder. And what a weight off if we all look at our most recent work and think 'well, i know I'll be better in a year' XD

I want to do the same thing for my full pages and my colour work.... but I did a pretty comprehensive thing at the start of this year, so maybe not just yet...we'll see.

So, keep em coming! ^_^
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Old 24-06-2010, 06:22 PM   #142
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Wow squilddley! His head is huge!! So glad you've improved as much as you have
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Old 24-06-2010, 06:41 PM   #143
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Geez, Emma... slow down with the improvement, it's not fair on the rest of us Nah, seriously... so very very good. Awesome to see even the pros improve exponentially

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Wow squilddley! His head is huge!!
I know, I know... I'm hopeless. It's my own fault really for not using guidelines like normal people do I guess, all that's really happened is that I've gotten better at drawing like an idiot.
I remember when I drew them, I thought they were outstanding. You should see some of the other cack I guffed out last year. I'm oh so very ashamed.

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Old 24-06-2010, 06:45 PM   #144
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I guess, all that's really happened is that I've gotten better at drawing like an idiot.
haha, I LOVE the improvement in yours! It's not just line quality, but you can clearly see where you've picked up new influences and your style has evolved. It's fab ^_^
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Old 24-06-2010, 06:52 PM   #145
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haha, I LOVE the improvement in yours! It's not just line quality, but you can clearly see where you've picked up new influences and your style has evolved. It's fab ^_^
Lol, thanks

I may as well change the timeline to 'Watched Pokemon > Watched Code Geass > Watched Death Note/Joined Sweatdrop' (I'll give you lot some credit for the last pic )
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Old 24-06-2010, 08:22 PM   #146
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There's another patchwork sky on the way!! (maybe I'm reading between the lines too muchXD)
Have you noticed my tagline?

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I agree! What really hit me is how your style has become more and more dynamic - watching Kite (it is Kite, isn't it? ) along the bottom of the page, it's like you can see him getting more and more "movement". If that makes sense.
Saryth. Kite is the girl No worries, though, and thanks ^^

Ooh, Kairi - I want to see more of that last one!

I love seeing these - well done on the changes everyone
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Old 24-06-2010, 08:23 PM   #147
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Something really interesting about that middle image is that I remember distinctly it being the most current image I had of Dragon Heir when I went to NYCC just last year. I had some feedback on my work which, at the time, did hit me hard...I remember secretly feeling quite defensive inside,no matter how pro I was trying to be (we're all human), and yet now - looking at it - I can see so many problems and understand entirely what they meant. It's a strange but relieving feeling.
Without wishing to pry too much, or bully anyone to exposing their soul destroying moment on a forum ( ), I see the characters have "aged"/matured in style and layout, what bits of feedback on the middle image was it that floored you at the time?

(Of course ignore this / tell me to bugger off)
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Old 25-06-2010, 04:53 PM   #148
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Have you noticed my tagline?
OMGOMGOMGOMOMGOMGOMGOMG
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Old 27-06-2010, 12:30 PM   #149
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Something really interesting about that middle image is that I remember distinctly it being the most current image I had of Dragon Heir when I went to NYCC just last year. I had some feedback on my work which, at the time, did hit me hard...I remember secretly feeling quite defensive inside,no matter how pro I was trying to be (we're all human), and yet now - looking at it - I can see so many problems and understand entirely what they meant. It's a strange but relieving feeling
How so? Or is it too painful to recollect and you're repressed the memories...or it's private, I can live with that! I'm sure not sure what they would have picked out personally...how you draw? (but that's your style), lineart? (again that's personal style) layout? composition? I mean if you had an arm coming out from the heard of one character then maybe, but even then that's personal style! Or the character design! =P

I like this thread so I'm glad people have started posting their pics! Thumbs up Morag! =P
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Old 28-06-2010, 11:26 AM   #150
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haha, no - not private at all ^_^
I'm not above admitting my faults, and it's a good story to share as it reminds us all that we're always learning and have to be able to see the faults in our work - or at least acknowledge that we may GROW to see those faults in time.

Basically, the editor in question (who was lovely btw!!) mentioned that my lines needed work (something I'd always been proud of) and that my characters lacked impact because I clearly hadn't found my style just yet.
Now, as someone who was pretty proud of her characters and inking specifically back then, it hit me fairly hard. But I took it on the chin, was a bit low for a while, and slowly started to work harder. It was a real 'do I give up or try harder' moment.

What's lovely is being able to now look back at that pic and see exactly what she meant! My inks have a lot more weight and variation to them now, and my characters have matured with me...so that I do indeed feel happier with them. They feel more 'me'.
Of course, I have to remember that this is the now, and in another couple of years, chances are I'll look back on the most modern pic today and think 'ugh', but at least now I know it could happen and (hopefully) I'm more prepared for it.
It was one thing knowing I'd get better when I hated my work...but it's quite another when we feel mostly happy with our work.

Something interesting though is that, looking back over DH issue #9 (done more than a year ago now), I actually don't feel the way I've felt looking at older issues before, despite the fact that I've drawn the entirety of Reborn and about 70 pages of my first Oni book since then...Sure, there are errors, but I still feel reasonably proud of it. (Thank goodness, considering the Eagle nomination!). So it could be that around that time, and thanks to that editor's cruel kindness, I hit some form of level up?

We're always moving upwards and we'll always look back at work we were proud of and think, man, I could do better now. It's part of being a creator. But that particular turning point was a kick I needed, I think.
I was thrown into pro comics before I was ready in many ways...so it's been a steep lurning curve. I may finally have rounded a corner so that - though I hope I'll keep improving - I at least can look back at work a year old and not crawl with shame, haha XD
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Old 28-06-2010, 11:56 AM   #151
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Those makes sense, but I still find the lineart thing an issue. I can actually see you've changed your ways, more variant, but there are plenty of artists who choose to keep to a nice formal line in their work...do their work need more...work? But I do agree there is something that has been gained with your latest lineart work, although I wouldn't have mentioned the lineart as a major problem...which is why I'm not a pro! =P

Art is subjective I suppose...but do you think you should take on board every criticism/advice you get, even if you don't agree with it? I mean, you can't let someone else judge the way you draw, if it means changing your whole style...of course suggestions to improve it are always useful but what if a pro says you need to dramatically change! What do you do!!! =P You can't deny the pro's ways...but you can't betray your own style!! Gahhh! =P
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Old 28-06-2010, 12:05 PM   #152
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Ah yes the linewidth variation. This was something my tutors used to go on about at Uni too. Having a clean line is nice but can be clinical and emotionless. Having a variable linewidth shows craftsmanship and skill, so they say.

Kairi, I think if someone is more experienced than you, and has marketing/expertise, as well as has done this sort of feedback-thing for a living... well, they could have given their time and advice to someone else - as the recipient, make the most of it You need to show you can do it, I think - even if the style change or whatever isn't applied to every single piece.

But, we should all be wary of the old "it''s my style" argument to gloss over any faults, especially when folks have pointed them out in the past, it's a bit futile.

I think it's part of the growth process being butthurt (growing pains?!), but life goes on, and it's not easy - so with much resistance or none at all, I think it's best to suck it up and get on with it, in your own time
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Old 28-06-2010, 12:09 PM   #153
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Not every criticism, no....of course art is objective. But when a chief editor of a publisher you respect offers comments not just on style, but on technical details...it's well worth at least trying to change things and see how you feel about the result.

I appreciate your kind words on my old inking style (fankyuu!), but I can see, looking back, that my lines were a bit dull for what I wanted to achieve. They were lifeless, if that makes sense.

The editor wasn't saying 'you MUST change'. Her main issue was that my work at the time didn't reflect 'me' as an artist. that I hadn't yet hit the style that would work best for me, and therefore it lacked impact. Very hard words to take, but I can see what she meant now.
She was offering opinion and it was down to me to choose to continue on as I was, or take what she was saying seriously. I chose the latter and I'm very glad I did.
I don't say that I consciously did this even...sometimes the feedback sits in our brain and we start evolving our style without realising we're doing it

I've worked with several art editors in the past. And, almost without fail, when they suggest a change (no matter how much I think 'this is pointless!') when I try the change they suggest, I'm happier with the end result. ^_^

It IS tough, for sure. I don't think I so much betrayed or changed my style as evolved it. It will happen naturally for many of us. ^_^

So, no...you can't take every piece of crit 100% on board, some will be personal taste....but sometimes a viewer will see things in our work that we can't. Picking and choosing what you take on board may also depend on your path. If you want to work for a certain publisher, then obviously their feedback will mean a lot more to you. If you're happy working independently, then I guess you don't need to worry what a publisher thinks, haha.
Never close off paths to potential improvement though!
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Old 28-06-2010, 04:07 PM   #154
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Yeah, I suppose us/ourselves are the harshest critics of them all. I've struggled with style myself, and I'm always seeing people's art and thinking "I wanna draw like that!" but I just end up reverting back to my old ways. If I was in your shoes, I'd feel the same about not having a style that fits me. I see your art and I know its yours, but I feel I've got a more cliched style, so if someone told me I needed to look further to find my style, I don't know where to begin! =P

I do find it funny, and pretty difficult when people say "can you give me any tips (of how to draw in that style/specifically manga)?" =P=P It's one of those answerable questions...to me anyway...=P

@Laura: Saying "that's my style" is a cop out, I agree, but if you know that some sort of crit was giving, and you want to take it on board but you find out that it's just not for you. Should you go a head as not to offend the advice that was giving to you by a pro or should you go with your feelings?

I was like that in art. There were somethings I just didn't agree with the art teacher, and deep down I knew what I wanted would be the best. But they're the teacher who would be marking your work! Dilemma!
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Old 28-06-2010, 04:24 PM   #155
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@Laura: Saying "that's my style" is a cop out, I agree, but if you know that some sort of crit was giving, and you want to take it on board but you find out that it's just not for you. Should you go a head as not to offend the advice that was giving to you by a pro or should you go with your feelings?

I was like that in art. There were somethings I just didn't agree with the art teacher, and deep down I knew what I wanted would be the best. But they're the teacher who would be marking your work! Dilemma!
Yes, to get published/the mark, you concede, and compromise. They are more experienced than you and giving you their time to help you. That's life. Have you not seen the work I did for Shout magazine in the early 2000s compared the the stuff I was only doing a few months ago? Completely different styles depending on who wanted it and when, etc. I got published and paid

One gives it a shot at least, see if you like it. Then at least you have tried, and you do it to get the grade/the payment. Not shoot onesself in the foot by always reverting back to comfort blanket method. There is always room for improvement because otherwise people will not have bothered speaking to you about it.

"Try it, you might like it". Even if you don't see the point now, you will in the future.
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Old 28-06-2010, 07:45 PM   #156
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I'm a little scared, actually. I went back to my gallery from 07 and frankly it made my eyes bleed.

The first picture is of the very original character design back in 07, and the second picture is one of the latest from earlier this year.
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Old 28-06-2010, 10:14 PM   #157
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And then I got inspired. I took one of my 3 year old pieces and re-did it just now.

The original piece I did almost exactly three years ago, when I was just starting out and didn't really know much about anything

It's the same character, just evolved over a while in every possible way!
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:38 AM   #158
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Hehe rumours of this epic thread have reached my ear... great stuff!

I've always felt my level of skill has fluctuated. Back in the days I could occasionally pull a rabbit out my @$$ and do something above the level that I was at. Over the years I don't think the quality went up dramatically but I started being able to take things to a certain level more consistently and that was a great relief. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to match the last picture that turned out well by some freak accident.

Apart from consistency I think another improvement over time was the ability to draw increasingly complicated poses and angles. There's a great sense of freedom when you can start to nailing down those poses that you actually want instead of having to compromise. The only solution to that is to get better at drawing and at thinking 3 dimensionally.

Right now I need to draw more backgrounds, hopefully diversify even more and as always, simply get better at drawing. I still love "manga style" but I'd like to get to a level where I can draw in a certain style because I choose it (perhaps depending on the project) rather than because it's the only way I know how to do it.

To show what I mean by inconsistency, I've tried to put the best and worst that I could find from 2003 and 2007 side by side.
  1. 2003.
    Around 2005 I started uni and hardly drew for about a year. Shortly before then I had felt my improvement starting to plateau and I lost some interest in drawing because of that as well.
  2. 2007. The inconsistency gap is closing but I'm sure there are plenty of worse "Worsts". I probably didn't find it worth scanning them.
  3. 2009-2010 is a bit too close, it's hard to pick best and worst since I've been trying to do different things... Well, I think diversity is an improvement I'll show that instead.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:33 PM   #159
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Just posting these cos I though it was interesting. The first one I did a bit more than a year ago for my comic, which you should read /plug

And the second I did the other day, totally from scratch

Its interesting to see where I have improved, with general polish and stuff, but its also interesting to me that both images, I feel, have the exact same impact. I guess what makes an image successful goes past polish and into something more abstract. Found it interesting, I think I actually prefer the old one... O_o
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:53 PM   #160
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Apart from consistency I think another improvement over time was the ability to draw increasingly complicated poses and angles. There's a great sense of freedom when you can start to nailing down those poses that you actually want instead of having to compromise. The only solution to that is to get better at drawing and at thinking 3 dimensionally.
I've started to feel like that too, able to draw a bit more dynamically, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm pulling them off...right! =P

I really want to try different stuff, but I don't know where to begin and, it alwasy ends up back in the style I usually do!!
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