Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Balancing Act

Space Otter - Asteroid Comber
     Downtime can be a blessing and a curse. I sit in my studio, preparing a small collection (about 20) of illustrations to take to Seattle at the beginning of March for Emerald City Comicon. I spend my days thumb nailing what will be an amazing comic, and I wait for word on the latest project. The contracts out and you can either sit around wasting time, or use that time to your advantage. I'd like to say that I'm using it in a wise manner %100 of the time, but that's not so.

     For now, I content myself on dusting off a few "traditional" techniques that sit in the tool box. Waiting to remind me how cool it is to detach myself from a screen every once in a while, and enjoy the tangible experience of creating a physical piece of "art". Glad for the time, but waiting for the work as well...ah...well...for now, enjoy the space otter combing a piece of asteroid in search of a tasty treat. Enjoy the rest of your week.

-Daniel DePaolo-

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In The Works

Kids With Guns, Kids With guns...They're takin' over, it won't be long - Gorillaz
     January is moving right along, and personal projects meld with paid projects as I attempt to maintain momentum for 2013. I'm working on a variety of things for 2013, and thought I'd give you a little taste of what's coming through the pipeline.

     Baysmore Books has me booked for a few projects this year. First, I'll be creating the imagery and the book jacket design for a horror novella titled, "Humble Hill." This one is a bit of a quick project filling time between now and when I begin work on the upcoming title "Dingo and Willy Take Their Driver's Test." I expect this project to occupy a fairly decent chunk of time this year, as the publisher wants this title to be a full color children's comic or another illustrated children's book. I'm eager to continue my work with this particular publisher, even though we've never met in person, it has been a mutually beneficial collabortation.

     I'm also thumb nailing out pages, creating character designs, and generally starting to cook on my personal comic project "The Muscle" a.k.a. "Dino's with Guns." I will be writing and illustrating this title. I envision the first story being about 60 pages (penciled, inked, and colored). When it comes time to print/promote this piece, you'll be inundated with visions of a dystopian future where the long game of societal domination is played by corporations and the mega-rich, and the pawns are genetic human-dino hybrids. A bit of Sopranos meets Blade Runner, where the tough guys are muscle-bound dino thugs. Should be fun. I can't wait to share finished work from this one with you.

     In the mean time my first/only comic convention this year is quickly sneaking up on me. I will be tabling with my compatriots in Seattle the first days of March. If you live in the area and would love to get your hands on some nerdy stuff, cool comix, and original artwork(some of which I'll be posting on this blog), you should make it a point to come out to the Emerald City Comicon 2013. Hope to see you there. Well friends, family, and interested parties, it's time to get to work...Enjoy the rest of your week.

-Daniel DePaolo-

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Shape of Things to come - 2013

     It surprises me when another year comes to an end. Did it go by quicker this time? Or is my perspective on life changed enough to make it seem that way?

     For those who may not be "in the know", for the last year and a half I've been working my ass off, blazing trails and trying to kick doors down, translating my life long love of illustration and visual storytelling into something that pays the bills. Believe me when I say this, it is not easy. My perception of business has changed. As has the reality of making a "creative lifestyle" pay.

     From where I stand, it's a metaphorical process of kicking a ball down the road. You work so hard to not see that ball deflate before your eyes. Yet it naturally does, as you take bits here and there to pay rent, pay bills, and just live life. Your search for clients and eventual projects that pay begins to blow that ball back up. Your only hope in the long run is to be eventually kicking something larger in front of you, so that you may find the time to actually work on your own endeavors one day. However, for now, I'm taking what comes to me. Content that anyone should stand up and take notice enough to want to pay me for the work that I do.

     What I see ahead of me this year, only strengthens my resolve that this was the correct way to start living my life. It scares me as well though, because I never know when the lean times will come knocking. Where projects dry up, and life becomes a hum-drum of budgets and living within your means. Regardless, I've started a productive relationship with a small publisher in California, Baysmore Books, and I'm very excited to see my first (among many?) children's book slogging through the printing process and available soon for mass consumption. I'm also glad to know I'm doing something right, in that she has come back with more projects on the horizon. Adding bits and pieces to the ball so that I might get ready to kick it down the road again.

     I'm also compiling a list of comic projects of my own that are on the back burner. Slow cooking, so to speak, and hopefully developing into something tangible you will all see soon. There is hope friends, I feel it, and the only thing I can do is play a long game, while being conscious of the short game that life, rent, bills, etc imposes on us all. I hope you all have a productive and inspiring New Year. Here's to being able to make your own ball a little bigger before you have to kick it down the road.

-Daniel DePaolo-

Dingo and Willy's Donuts - Baysmore Books

Wow!! They really like donuts! - Dingo and Willy's Donuts interior page 11
     I’m pleased to announce the publication of my first children’s book, “Dingo and Willy’s Donuts”. A collaborative effort between the writer/creator Katy Allen and myself. “Dingo and Willy’s Donuts” is a book about two friends, whose search for tasty treats leads to an undiscovered love of donuts and the consequences of their over enthusiastic love. It’s a perfect addition to any young reader’s library with colorful illustrations and a bit of a moral when the book wraps up.

     It has been a few months in the making, and I’m excited to finally be updating my portfolios on the web to include the work from this new book. "Dingo and Willy's Donuts" is published through Baysmore Books, and will be available for purchase and distribution worldwide once all the printing kinks have been ironed out. Be sure to visit my gallery and various portfolios to sample some of the work. I can guarantee you’ll come away wanting more.

-Daniel DePaolo-