as a kid, i would get angry at illustrators who CLEARLY did not read the material, and i would then fill all the blank pages of my books with my "correct" drawings. i think that is how i decided that i wanted to be an illustrator. did you ever do stuff like that as a kid? or am i just a weirdo? (or both? probably both)
I spent a lot of time making my own little books when I was a kid. I don’t remember drawing in existing books but I do remember drawing all over pictures in newspapers because I didn’t think they were funny or interesting enough.
What's up, Two-Hundred-Kill-Phil?
I read the question/answer about the illustrati and to be completely serious, I worry about this a lot. Obviously, I'm hanging on the comic side of things but it is the same deal; a lot of us follow each other and are buds in real life, but I am concerned that from the outside (of our circle of friends) we look like a big clique.
I feel like we might be pushing people out or making then
feel like there is a walled kingdom, I am really
concerned with this matter, 200Kill Phil.
Like; we don't intend to be an elitist clique, but maybe
we are anyway??
What are your thoughts, please advise.
Assuming you mean its a walled kingdom to young aspiring cartoonists, my experiences have brought me to this conclusion: don’t worry so much about making friends with other cartoonists/illustrators. Yes, having a network of friends is a good thing but just keep drawing and if you stick with it long enough and are nice to people, friendships will just happen. Your career isn’t defined by which popular cartoonists follow you on Twitter or hang out with you at conventions. It’s defined by the comics you draw! I think a lot of young cartoonists think that if they can just wiggle their way into some sort of established cartoonists clique that they’ll suddenly “make it” in comics. The best way to turn heads is to simply draw awesome comics.
If we’re talking about people who are purely just fans or readers being turned off by cartoonists being friends with other cartoonists, I don’t think we gotta worry about that, my friend! Knowing that actors or novelists or musicians hang out with their colleagues doesn’t have that effect. Comics are no different.
When did you know that you wanted to illustrate as a career?
At some point in my childhood I realized that there are people out there who get paid to sit and draw pictures. From that moment on the thought of being anything other than an illustrator seemed unbearable.
Do all of the tumblr illustrator people know each other? It seems like that from a followers perspective, and I'm becoming increasingly convinced that you're all part of a secret society. Probably called the illustrati, or something.
(I'm fully aware this sounds mildly mental.)
Several of my real life illustrator friends do in fact use tumblr. But I’m sure there are hundreds of illustrators on tumblr who I do not know. Hopefully I’ll get to meet them at the big illustrati meeting next week…
One of the top secret projects I was working on late last year and early this year is sort of up in the air right now. But it’s okay! If it doesn’t end up working out it may lead to other things. More exciting things! I’ve shown you guys hints and little glimpses of some of this stuff in the past, but I was given a thumbs up to show off some of the full images. So here you go!
Working on these samples really helped me stretch my comics muscles after having focused mostly on single illustrations and short gag comics in 2010.
I really enjoyed drawing these dogs…
I realize that last page doesn’t make a ton of sense out of context but I can’t reveal any thing else!
Okay! Back to work I go. Have a good weekend, everyone!
I just spent five extremely busy and exciting days in Los Angeles. And I’m gonna tell you all about that in a minute. First I wanna show you this…
The new issue of MAD Magazine is now out there in the wild, waiting for you to buy it! Issue #510! And I’ve got a comic in there! My first time in MAD! A few of my cartoonist pals are in there too, right along with legends like Sergio Aragonés and Al Jaffee. It’s a gosh dang honor and I still can’t quite believe it!
Okay! Moving on: Los Angeles! What a place! I went up last Friday afternoon and was there until Tuesday afternoon. I stayed in Burbank with Natasha Allegri, one of my very best cartoonist friends. I’ve known Natasha for a long time now, literally since we were both teenagers. We both used to post little journal comics on livejournal. Now she draws comics and works on the show Adventure Time at Cartoon Network and I’m drawing comics and illustrations full-time.
When I got up there on Friday, Natasha met me at the train station. I went with her to Cartoon Network studios. I goofed around and watched cartoons and doodled while she finished up some work.
That night I tagged along to celebrate the birthdays of several people that work on various Cartoon Network shows, one of those people being Natasha. It was an absolute pleasure getting to meet and hang out with so many delightful (and talented) people! I’d attempt to list and link to all the wonderful people I met and talked to but I’d surely forget someone and would feel terrible about it later. I will say thanks to Adventure Time production assistant Patrick Seery (it was his birthday too!) and his brother Chris for driving Natasha and I to and from the festivities and thanks to the incredible John Pham for his wisdom.
On Saturday Natasha and I met up with Pendleton Ward (creator of Adventure Time) and David C. Smith (Adventure Time storyboard revisionist) at Pen’s house.
Pen made me play video games with him. I’m not sure what game we were playing (I’m extremely out of the loop when it comes to video games) but we were working together to kill zombies. I wasn’t that great at it but it was awesome and fun regardless.
We then went to Griffith Park and had lunch at the Griffith Observatory, which was really cool!
A million thanks to David for playing tour guide and showing me around! Afterwards Natasha and I spent the rest of the day hanging out with Pen. We went to The Dresden (one of the bars featured in the movie Swingers) and doodled for a while. Here’s a picture of me, drawn by Pen…
After that we somehow we ended up going to see Re-Animator: The Musical, which was GREAT.
On Sunday I spent the day hanging out with my friends Zach Marcus, Becky Dreistadt and Frank Gibson. We hung out and laughed at terrible old tv shows. They also turned me on to A Town Called Panic. We watched the first 20 minutes or so of the movie and it was amazing. It’s been on my mind a lot since then. I’ll definitely be watching the rest very soon. Becky, Frank and Zach also took me on a walk around their neighborhood to Secret Headquarters and Vlad The Retailer. Both places were awesome. I picked up a few things at Secret Headquarters to read on the train back to San Diego. That evening we went to a BBQ at our friend Jamie Dee Galey's house. I hadn't seen Jamie in years! Thanks to Jamie and his lady Katie for a super pleasant evening and to Becky, Frank and Zach for hanging out and showing me around their 'hood!
Monday was an extremely busy day for me! This whole trip wasn’t simply for fun. The main reason for the trip was top secret meetings. I had not one, not two, but THREE different meetings with different people to go to on Monday and then another one on Tuesday. I don’t want to reveal anything about any of the meetings quite yet but I will say that both Monday and Tuesday were very thrilling and surreal.
Monday wasn’t just meetings though! That night Natasha and I went down to Hollywood with Thaddeus Couldron (who worked on some my favorite scenes in the Spongebob Squarepants movie and is now working on an upcoming Cartoon Network show). We drank beers and talked about comics and cartoons. After my meeting on Tuesday I spent a little more time goofing off with Natasha in the Adventure Time studios before heading back down to San Diego. Here’s Natasha working on Adventure Time stuff…
One of the highlights of Tuesday was realizing that the new issue of MAD Magazine was out and then dashing out of Cartoon Network and running to a magazine shop in Burbank to see it. I bought two copies even though I knew there would be a few copies waiting for me in the mail at home.
Thanks again to Pen, David, Thaddeus, Patrick, Becky, Frank, Zach, Jamie, and Katie for either hanging out, showing me around town, feeding me, or all of the above. Extra special thanks to the delightful people that took time out of their busy schedules to meet with me (you know who you are)! And most of all a super mega double fancy THANK YOU to Natasha and her roommate Amanda Thomas (who works on Cartoon Network’s Regular Show!) for letting me sleep on their couch and stink up their apartment for five days.
Woo! This post is longer than I intended it to be. Time to go back into my drawing cave to work on MY BOOK! I really like saying that. MY BOOK.
hi phil. since u seem to know everything, how do we protect our drawing/designs? i've seen so many illustrator are quite upsetting their asses for stolen drawing sold in so many countries. do we really have to get design protect insurance for whole wide world? i mean, i wish the world is flat, but it'll still cost us - newbies, a fortune!! how do you cope with that. thanks.
To be honest, I really don’t know the answer to this. My comics and drawings get posted on tumblr all the time without any link back to my website or even any mention of my name. This happens to lots of people I know. If I’ve ever had drawings stolen and sold in other countries I’m unaware of it and wouldn’t really have any idea what to do about it.
Would you consider using your awesome influence to help me get People's Choice votes for this scholarship I am applying for? With $250K available, I'm just after a little to upgrade my computer to help me finish my novel and develop illustrations for a graphic version of it. (o:
PS: Your posts are awesome.
A very, very quick portrait of David Foster Wallace drawn directly in ink for a review on his newly published book in Newcity, an alt-weekly paper in Chicago. Unfortunately the budget for this project didn’t allow me to spend much time on the illustration, but that almost made it more fun. I’d love to do more portraits in the future.
My kickstarter campaign has come to a successful end! My most sincere thanks to everyone who helped by pledging funds or linking to the project. I’ll officially begin working on the book next week. I’m extremely excited!