Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pierre Speaks: Putting Things in Perspective

While I was re-reading my last few blogs to try to decide what my next one would be about.... I could not help but think that some of my past blogs might give the impression that I am a bitter old fart who hates certain creators.

I don't hate certain creators.

But it can happen that I hate some of their work. I don't hate Brian Bendis, Jeff Loeb.... heck even Joe Q just to name a few. ;)

But I do hate some of their work. It's nothing personal.... since I never even met those guys. They could be great guys as far as I know.

But I hated/was not too crazy with the work they did for Hush, Batman/Superman: Public Enemies, House of M, Secret Invasion.... and of course.... One More Day. ;)

Pierre no likey Hush

But I loved some of their work as well.

I loved Batman; the Long Halloween.

Pierre DID like Long Halloween

Batman/Superman; Vengeance (Batzarro was priceless), Sam & Twitch, Powers: Who killed Retro Girl,


and Sword of Azrael. ;)

I know that it is sometimes difficult for people to separate the man from the work.

And it is sometimes even harder for the creators to do so.

When someone says to a creator that his work suxxor, it is very difficult for most creators not to take it personally.

When you have spent countless hours behind your desk/drawing table trying to do the best possible work you can under the circumstances... it is difficult for some when all those hours spent end up with a crappy result.

It is even worse when the creator THINKS he did a great job.

Most have a tough time being objective when it comes to their own work, but I will stick with the artistic side since it is what I know best. Why is it so hard being objective??

It would probably take me a dozen blogs trying to come up with an answer to that one..... so I won't even try to.

But one trick I have picked up through the years is to look at the work of someone who you think is about at the same skill level as you are. Looking at his work objectively.... look at what he does well.... and look at the mistakes that he makes as well... then turn around and approach your own work keeping in mind the analysis you just made of someone else's work.

It does help to put things in perspective.

Sometimes it will help you spot in your work the same mistakes you just saw in his work.

I learned that while I was working on Bob Morane.

Bob Morane

When I was working on Bob.... one of the many things I ended up doing was "fix" other people’s drawings.

So one day.... one of the main designer with who I was friendly came to my desk and we started chatting. As we were talking, he picked up the latest design pack from my desk and started looking through it.

And as he was flipping through it, he could see some of the changes we had made to the various designs. As he was looking through the design pack, he kept on saying how the changes were fair, justified, necessary, even a huge improvement over the original design.

But that was as he was seeing the changes that was done to the work of the other designers.

His designs were at the bottom of the design pack.

It was an illumination to see his face as he turned the page and saw the first of his designs.

He was not happy.

Not happy at all.

And the more he kept on looking through the pack, the less happy he was, and the more he was literally swearing as he turned each pages.

We did nothing different in the case of his designs. We did the same changes/modifications/"improvements" no matter who the designer was.

And he thought we had done the right thing..... with everyone else’s work.... but not when it came to his work.

In his mind.... what he was doing was EXACTLY what was needed.

Every line was perfect and should not have been changed for any reason.

Although he could SEE how the work of the other designers had been "improved".... he could not turn this around and apply it to his own work.

But it sure helped me realize that I could look at my own work through the work of others.

Although I can understand some of his surprise.

A few weeks before, he was telling me how, unlike some of the other designers, he was never getting ANY revisions. He was telling me how his designs were always right from the start and how even some of the designers were following his lead.

But what he did not know was that he was not given any revisions because somebody else was doing the revisions for him.

So it gave him the ILLUSION that his work was perfect.

On some projects, some of the artists are not receptive to making changes to their artwork. So sometimes the supervisor/art director/director does not ask them to make revisions to the artwork. The supervisor/art director/director would either make the revisions themselves, or ask someone else to make the revisions.


It is sometimes easier that way.

When faced with an artist that does great work, but that will fight you every inch of the way if you ask them to make changes to their work, it sometimes will be decided to just let the designer do what he does as long as he produces great work, and have someone else fix the work.

So with that in mind, the last thing he expected was to have some changes made to his designs.

Heck, sometimes it was not even changes, it was just making the drawing tighter as we were cleaning it.

I have been put in the position of fixing someone else's work wayyyy too often.

It can be awkward sometimes.

Once also on Bob, as the director was telling me what needed to be fixed on a design, he had not seen that the designer was standing just 3 feet away from us.

When he turned around and saw the designer it was a little awkward.

Although in that case the designer did not know why the director did not simply ask him to fix the design since he would have happily done so.

But sometimes, it is not a matter of not wanting to make the changes.

In that case, the director felt that the designer would not be able to make what he wanted even if he asked him. Or he might be able to, but would need to change it and change it a dozen times to finally get it right.

So once again.... it was easier/quicker just to ask me to fix it.

That too is something that I can turn around to gain a new perspective.

Everyone has their work changed.... even me. ;)

Heck even Kirby had changes made to his work by the truckload.

But whenever I see the changes made to Kirby's work.... I can turn around and look at my own work and not be devastated if it ends up being changed.

Heck if the work of the "King" was "fixed"..... then so can mine. ;)

But also while fixing the work of many others though the years..... I would not think less of them just because I had to "fix" their work. I was not thinking that they were any less talented because I was changing their work.

But sometimes it did not match with the style of the project we were working on... or heck sometimes the drawing was fine but just did not match with the vision that the director had in mind (will have to make a blog about that one day).

It happens.

So using that, I can turn it around and apply it to me. I can use that to cut myself a little slack if my work gets changed/fixed.

To get back to the creator's I mentioned.... that too is something I can turn around to gain a new perspective.

If I can hate some of their work.... but not think less of them because of it. When someone hates my work.... I can also use that not to think less of me. ;)

I can use that to put things in perspective and not take it personally.

Until next time.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails