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Messages - JackOfArtAndProse

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Ain't that the truth.

Develop Your Story / Re: Arabic fantasy webcomic script
« on: May 12, 2019, 06:45:38 PM »
@Kagayaki-hime Oh wow. Thank you, that means a lot. I will have to state, however, that my script-writing style is hardly professional. It's only meant to be functional.

@suuper-san Glad to hear! I'll be writing more once the month ends(although I do have a more pressing project coming up soon-ish).

General Discussion / Re: Opinions of Collabs?
« on: April 24, 2019, 04:23:59 AM »
Yeah, definitely start small. It's hard to create a long manga if you can't even create something small succesfully and on-demand(emphasis on on-demand). A manga artist who wants to both write and draw their stories would need to learn about panelling, plotting and how to write banter... And if you are a writer, you'd STILL need to learn how to do all these three, seeing as some manga artists require the writer to direct the panel flow and how things work out on the page.

Plus, doing short collabs helps you to learn how to deal with people. You also learn how to recognize slightly less principled collaborators and sometimes even how to manage a project. These are useful skills for any kind of long webcomic/webtoon/manga project, nevermind a short collaboration.

Yeah, I've found the whole "I wake up one day and know what to do"-thing to be very true. We oftentimes underestimate our unconsciousness and its workings - in fact, I think that less than 50% of our learning is conscious(and I'm HEAVILY overexaggerating towards consciousness here). I think that we need to respect our daily art/writing practice more, since we never know when we finally reach "the day" - and until then, we struggle.

And then we realize that there's even more depth to the discipline... XD

Ah, I was using the word "cliche" in the storytelling sense, and was using a metaphor. I was not calling fundamentals cliche art advice.

General Discussion / Re: Opinions of Collabs?
« on: April 23, 2019, 12:30:16 PM »
Expecting someone to stick around for the whole run of a manga project is too much. Life and things happen which is okay as long there is communication. I'll consider it lucky if you get one chapter out of a collaboration.

When I said "never start a collaboration if you can't finish it", I was mostly referring to shorter collaborations. Although the rule does apply to longer ones as well - gotta have the right mindset if we want to get anything done in life.

As for work ethic, I find that those people who have a good work ethic regarding schoolwork/work in general tend to have a good collaboration work ethic, as well. It is a skill like any other - some people bother to train it, and others... well, they don't. Anyway, this is why I'd suggest collaborating with people who've shown that they can keep on working on a project of their own choosing - whether it's their own stuff or a long-time fanfic or whatever.

Develop Your Story / Re: Arabic fantasy webcomic script
« on: April 23, 2019, 08:48:57 AM »
cool so far. not much happens but the first half certainly leaves us wanting to know more.

Ah, that means that I pretty much succeeded at what I was trying to do. Sparking readers' interest was my first priority, and the pace will only pick up from here(this is basically the beginning of a prologue that will contain the instigating incident which will push the whole story into motion).

This is an important topic. It's something I have struggled with understanding in the past, and am managing to get over now. Also, hello everybody ^_^.

In essence, theory won't make you better at drawing. And knowing what the fundamentals are won't help you much either. To make a comparison, knowing grammar rules won't make you speak a language well. The speed at which an experienced and skilled artist draws exceeds conscious thought of rules and patterns, similar to that of a native speaker of a verbal language.

Throughout western society, we deconstruct skills and try to make sense of them. It's, truly, in a sense, academic. Teachers cheerily push concepts like "push the darks" because it is easy to objectively evaluate art in such a manner. However, it is completely ignorant of art that is beautiful with low-contrast values.

The usefulness of fundamentals is, in my opinion, quite limited to its ability to give names to parts of images. Such is the same with learning language, the parts of speech; being able to recognize what is a noun, verb, adjective, or particle is good. Such ability to comprehend the parts of language helps speed up the assimilation of natural grammar.

With images, you have the elements: shape, edges, line, depth, value, texture, color, saturation, hue. They just exist; they are. They existed even before you know what their names were. The patterning of the elements leads to principles: rhythm, variety, chaos, etc.

And the usefulness stops there, similar to the ability to recognize the parts of speech in a language. Knowing what the parts of speech are is hardly the key to making you a great speaker of language. So we make up silly grammar rules with a gazillion exceptions and weird cases, that in the end no real speaker of a language know. But we think the learner would benefit from knowing the rules ; (pro tip: it just leads them astray and make speaking more difficult and frustrating). Theory encourages invention of the wrong sort, the idea that if you stick to the theories you would end up with something good. However, it encourages near-nearsightedness and the foolhardy conclusion that if you stick to the theories you are conscious of, you will have perfect and beautiful speech. You end up, really, speaking in a language that nobody actually speaks...using words that don't go together.

In drawing there are a million invisible obstacles that no theory could ever articulate well, which can never be captured. They seem obvious to the highly skilled artists that "those two things just don't go together." However, if you asked them why they would have trouble to tell you (in most cases). Just as a skilled speaker of a language doesn't know why two words are not used to express a certain concept, which could be traced back to a grammar rule that the grammarians are conscious of.

What to do about this? Lay the theory aside. Let the fundamentals do what they can do, in its own charming and limited way. Accept things the way they are. Copy art you love. Draw the art you love. If you don't know what you love, follow your ambitions and copy your ambitions, no matter how cheesy or stupid they are. Drawing is a collectively held language. Style is collectively held. Someone out there is using the same stylistic conventions, the same compositional patterns that you are. Someone out there speaks a language in just the way you do. Your original touch is a small component. It will peer through.

Dare to be derivative. Separate from your frustration and allow yourself to do things that are just the right amount of interesting and engaging to you. Let your output follow your input. Your input, what you look at, what you copy, what you enjoy observing, whether it's real life or others' drawings, should have considerable impact on your artistic output. Input the same kind of information, over the period of months, okay. This isn't some hardcore repetition I'm talking about. I'm talking about over a very lengthy period of time, you come back to the same input, the same kinds of input (and do consider expanding what you input and output ;)). It's okay. Dare to do things that are comfortable, as long as you aren't bored. If you want to trace, trace. Just do whatever the hell you want as long as you're putting your eyes in front of art and images and you're not living within a wonderland of theory.

Borrow others' voices. Stand on the shoulder of giants. Everything you could ever ask for is already out there. All of the artwork, the visuals of our worldly existence, hold all of the secret sauce. All you need to do is to look, to continually draw, and allow your being to slowly be invaded by something greater than yourself. Because, in my understanding, there is no such thing as a rational reason as for why improvement in art occurs. I don't believe it can be explained with a phrase such as "I improved at art because I did a, b, and c." But, I do believe improvement cannot occur without the inputting and outputting of art. A truth that was inspired upon by the input-learning method for learning languages. That input of language is the absolute driver of assimilation of language and being able to speak well. And, I think, what we want to do as visual artists, as illustrators, mangaka, or comic artists, is to be able to speak in a beautifully authentic, true-to-our-genre fashion, yet minutely original and true-to-ourselves, in the way that we can't stop ourselves from being. Discovering our unique place within a genre, and having it come effortlessly. During all that copying, inputting and outputting, you will be discovering yourself. Because you make the choice of what you input, of who you copy, or whatever way you want to interpret this wall of mess. Eventually, you will find a way to fit it all together in a way that only you can. Our memories, they are merely flimsy reconstructions of our past. Because it is you that will be reconstructing your output, it is yours and belongs to you no matter how many stylistic conventions you use that can be traced back to a collectively used style, or individual artists.

This is no way to improve fast. But there is no way to improve fast. Fast improvement is artificial, limited. However, this philosophy I have elaborated on depth here also isn't difficult either. Reject boredom, and reject chronic frustration. Embrace fun, enjoyment, and stress-free, low-risk drawing. Fun easily trickles down to boredom because of fear of failure. You have to expand ever so slowly, whatever that means to you. Staying still can be dangerous. Looking at art consistently is a great way to insure you are sparked by the desire to expand your artistic reach whenever boredom starts to develop.

NOTE: This post is not directed to anybody in particular, but perhaps to individuals that are similar to how I used to be. To those who internally place too much emphasis on theory and having things spelled out for them in terms of 'why' this and 'why' that, as I once did. And to those with tendencies to spend too much time trying to invent their art. To those who wallow in a great deep sea of confusion, not knowing how to compose their drawings...or even what they want to draw, or how to make engaging drawings. It's better to have wholesome generic drawings, than empty unique drawings. This is all about language, it's communication. No one is going to get down on you for saying what somebody, and what everybody, is saying. Just go for it and be free.

Basically, you're saying that fundamentals are like cliches - even if you know what they are, you don't necessarily know how to apply the knowledge. One's understanding of a cliche needs to be instinctual for it to be of any use - and in doing so, the cliche is transformed into something that works, rather than being a dead cog in a narrative.

General Discussion / Re: Opinions of Collabs?
« on: April 23, 2019, 06:14:54 AM »
The biggest fear of ALL ARTISTS is working on something for weeks or months and never having it published + being buried in Non-Disclosure hell for all eternity.

This. Never start a collaboration if you can't finish it. Always account for extra time, as collabs are never as short as you wish they were. Acting professional with your collaborators helps you to build a good reputation. Also, the habit of not going with the very first artist who pitches their skills to you helps with rooting out the flakers. Honestly, as collaboration culture is right now, there's around 90% chance that they'll flake on you... So be sure to choose people with high work ethic to collaborate with, and be sure to have become such a person yourself, first. :D

Thank you for the tremendously useful lesson. I got a major revelation out of it. This is why we ought to share our experiences more often - we never know what the guy/girl next to us might actually need in their current situation.

I'll share my own experience: Just a short while ago, I realized that by conducting myself professionally, I could enter the sphere of professional people. I even managed to make professional contacts simply by maintaining high standards and not working with the first artist that came my way(that used to be my Achilles' heel...).<

EDIT: Also, I've found that all big realizations tend to come in similar ways; usually, I'd be struggling with a thing(writing or art or whatever else) for an extended period of time, and then I'd have a realization that changes the way I perceive that thing/discipline. That realization is almost like a "level up", seeing as it allows you to perceive the world from a higher - heh - level.

General Discussion / Re: Learn to draw or partner up?
« on: April 23, 2019, 04:27:37 AM »
Many skilled writers whom I know started by writing fanfiction. Can confirm, it is a legit strategy for learning writing. Just maintain a learning mentality and READ A LOT, and you'll get there eventually.

Develop Your Story / Re: Help with a plothole
« on: April 23, 2019, 03:17:42 AM »
"memory wipe sounds great. But if you mark the location on a map or write it in a diary you will still have that after the memory wipe. I had the idea to memory wipe the "bad people" in my story but not sure how that will go."

That's the thing. You could easily use that as a plot device - a villain who is in the habit of keeping diary finds the place, but gets memory wiped... but because he has his diary, he can gather all necessary information and later abuse the tower's power, having found a way to circumvent the memory wipe system.

Develop Your Story / Arabic fantasy webcomic script
« on: April 22, 2019, 07:23:48 AM »
Hello folks!

I'm JackOfArtAndProse, a new arrival to these forums. I debated a bit whether I should post the very first comic strip from my main project over here, to get some valuable feedback, and decided that I'd do just that. I'm posting this one without any preface, trying to avoid giving you any references so that I can gauge whether or not I can convey the story's beginning through its own merits alone. I will, however, state that this is written in scrolling format that is common to webtoons. Also, my script-writing is functional, but it doesn't adhere to the most conventional formula.

I look forward to hearing you folks' thoughts and ruminations!

Blood of the Immortal(WIP name)

Comic strip 1

[Panel 1: This is a scrolling panel that continues until all of the exposition is done. The panel is entirely black, sans the white text(this is subject to change; no one wants to read a webcomic that starts with a literal black screen as it is unappealing)]

Narrative: What is a Lifeblood?

(As the readers scroll down the black panel, more sentences appear)

Narrative: The Black Caps have struggled with this question for a millennia already.

Narrative: “Bloods' are items”, they argue, being correct.

Narrative: “Reflections of one's vitality”, they continue, stating but a simple fact.

Narrative: However, I know…

(some blackness in between)

Narrative: If someone were to claim that Lifebloods are something far more, he'd call upon himself the wrath of those who once lived in the shadow of the God-King.

(some blackness in between)

Narrative: You don't play games with the Church of the God-King...

Narrative: ...especially not cat and mouse.

[some black space in between)

Narrative:  Rilad Sylnera’s diary,
113 years after the demise of the God-king

(The black panel fades into whiteness, which fades into a view of a blue sky with an emphasized sun overhead to convey the heat. A distant plume of dark smoke is rising up into the sky.)
(The panel scrolls down, the sky slowly changing into high-rising buildings, then medium-sized buildings and a bazaar. There's people shuffling about and buying goods from bazaar stalls; fruit, roasted meat, all kinds of things. All the time, we can see the plume of dark smoke in the far distance. Then the panel continues down into the shadows of the Shadow District[a slum of sorts], showing two people[Elir and Sari, our main characters] walking down a heavily shadowed street. The high-rising buildings from before cast large shadows over the district, and the mood is somewhat foreboding, as if hinting at things to come. However, the sun is shining RIGHT on the two[we’re only seeing their backs for now, and Elir is walking slightly huddled as if he were assaulted by the heat from th)e sun]. Sari - the girl walking on the right side - has turned her head to look up at the plume of smoke in the distance, shielding her eyes with her hand. Elir - the one walking on the left side - walks huddled as if silently suffering under his cape.)

[Panel 2: Same shot as at the end of panel 1, but we're shown Sari speaking her first line in the whole series.]
Sari: The smoke still lingers.

[Panel 3: Camera cuts to Sari, showing her entire upper body and face as she’s looking upward from between her fingers. We're shown a few small glimmers of sweat on her neck. She’s frowning heavily as she peers into the distance, her gesture suggesting that she has a bad eyesight.]
Sari: Was it that bad…?

[EXTRA PANEL(added during editing process): Same shot as in panel 3, but Sari turns to look at Elir, lowering the hand she had used to shield her eyes.]
Elir(speech bubble coming from outside the panel): Sari...

[Panel 4: Camera pans to Elir as if we were looking from Sari's eyes. We see Elir looking at the “camera” from under his hood. We don’t see his eyes. It is clear that Elir dislikes the hot weather.]
Elir: You won’t figure out what happened last night even if you keep staring at the sky.

[Panel 5: A shot of Sari from behind. We're shown her holding her hand to her waist in a traditional "duh" pose, her other hand pointed towards Elir as if she were demanding for an explanation.]
Sari: Well, excuse me for trying!

[Panel 6: An enlarged shot of panel 5. We still don’t see his face. Sari is agitated, perhaps lifting both of her arms into the air as if exasperated with Elir.]
Elir: Your eyes are already bad as-is--
Elir(second speech bubble):--better not make them worse by looking anywhere near the sun.
Sari: You’re the enemy of all natural curiosity!

[Panel 7: A small shot at Sari who is lowering her hands and looking somewhat despondent. It looks like she’s emotionally overwhelmed by the unknown circumstance looming in the horizon.]

[Panel 8: Same shot as panel 7, Elir’s speech bubble comes from outside the panel.]
Elir: Come on. It’s not much further 'till the bazaar.

[Panel 9: A shot of Elir, showing his upper body.]
Elir: It’ll be cooler there.

[Panel 10: A shot of Sari inhaling deep, as if trying to control herself.]

[Panel 11: A shot of Elir and Sari from the side as they round a corner.]
Sari: You owe me a plateful of fruit.
Elir: Do you know how much fruits go for nowadays?!
Sari: Oh, I know.  And that’s why.

[This last exchange happens in the white space just before the chapter ends]
Elir: ...Fruit addict.
Sari: Numbhead.
Elir: Glutton.
Sari: Boor.
Elir: Blind princess who never does any housework.
Sari: I have to do research!

EDIT: Also, I might combine this webcomic 'strip' with the next one to make it longer and a more coherent whole. For now, however, this is the form that it has taken.

Develop Your Story / Re: Help with a plothole
« on: April 22, 2019, 04:23:56 AM »
Continuing on the "memory wipe with soul magic" idea, it could be that people HAVE been to the spire, but anyone who finds it and leaves gets their mind wiped. Thus, everyone believes that such a thing doesn't exist.

Talk about hiding in plain sight... Then again, I would combine this with the spire being in an out-of-way location - perhaps at the end of a cave complex at the end of the world, or whatever.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« on: April 21, 2019, 06:07:17 PM »
Aye, and trying your hand at lots of different things can help you to find new things you like, and new ways of doing things. But yes, I agree - specialization comes first, especially as a manga artist. For example, it might come into play by having to choose between sci-fi machinery and fantasy-esque landscapes(that is, of course, an extreme example).

...But if I'm honest, you might be the more hardcore efficiency afficionado(out of us two).

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