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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Continuing Education

I start something called TLA next week, which is a required training program here. One of my assignments will be drawings for a class that is held at the same time I attend a meeting of the department.

The book is coming along pretty well; about 1/3 of it is finished, complete with illustrations. It's quite amazing to think that I've never actually met my editor Georgia Kennedy. I send all the materials to her in Brighton, England via FTP after Yvette Kaplan gives the 'professional critique' on the writing in L.A. The Internet is little short of miraculous...we can literally turn around changes in a day, while working in three different regions of the planet.

Yvette and I have known each other for years, and she's a very direct and straightforward critic. That's good for me since I need another pair of eyes to tell me if this is working or not.
And I wanted someone who would tell me. The worst reviewer never tells you what can be improved as well as what works.

Luckily since I don't really have any issues about corrections to the writing, I have used all of Yvette's suggestions and the book has become much better as a result. I made a few other tweaks after her changes were implemented....then fixed an illustration or two...

Of course I have to eventually kiss it goodbye and get it into production. I was tweaking some of the paragraphs and reworked one illustration and finally had to say, Enough. Chapter's due in Brighton. Deadlines matter in publishing as well as in animation. So I'll get it as good as I can get it in the time that I have, and get it finished on time. This is the same instruction I give to my students for their assignments. Time management is a useful skill.
Artists who work for themselves can take as long as they like, but if you work for someone else, they will want the material by a certain date, and that's why we are called 'commercial' rather than 'fine' artists. Our skills may be the same, but our clients aren't.

In other developments, the Sheridan Industry Day was a week or so ago, and Mark Mayerson wrote it up on his blog and since I could not attend the whole thing I won't duplicate things here. The animation department puts on a very fine show for the visiting studios; it's very impressive to see each student's display on their own individual monitor in a huge library space, with print samples of their work and sometimes even copies of the animation reel available.

There is a comic art show in Toronto today and tomorrow. I'll head in on Sunday and write it up for the next entry, possibly with some photos. The new camera is working very well.

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