Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Needless Things

I never liked to do backgrounds very much. To me it was a hassle to deal with perspective and all the objects. I considered myself a character artist and didn’t care much for anything else. Of course this is not a good prospect for a professional and working artist. But I soon discovered that as laborious as it can be, once a good background is complete, it gives the scene a sense of grounding reality, whatever that reality might be. Take a look at Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido’s book “Blacksad” as a great example of… well, everything.

I also started to see the storytelling value of the background and started to treat it as a character itself. A character’s surroundings can give as much sense of their personalities as any action, dialogue, or piece of wardrobe. In Inspector McConnor’s case, I wanted to convey a sense of a man whose overwhelming amount of work was piling up on him for lack of time. When I design a panel, everything in it has a specific purpose to add to the larger picture of the scene, the character, and the story. Nothing is placed randomly. In the background, I've put little private jokes and some cool details that have become a pleasure within a pleasure for me. I’ll talk about those in the future.

When I finally found enjoyment in doing something that I used to detest in the past, I came to the realization that I was definitely working on something that I really love. Is it hard? Sure! But I love every minute of it. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out