I’ve found over the last few years that I’m making a richer connection with customers and new readers not at traditional comic shows, but at reading festivals and art events. This is not so surprising, really, considering how cosplay-centric most cons have become … but I can be a slow learner at times. Or maybe just hardheaded, I’m not sure. Either way, I’m finding them to no longer be the best venue to connect with readers interested in original comics, especially those that are as far from the superhero genre as mine are.
With the intention to better present my work to art enthusiasts, last August I participated in an Open Crit at Crosstown Arts. While my hope for that critique was to get feedback and tips on how best to present & price my work for the Memphis market, I left with lots of food for thought and ideas on how to develop my work in a more “fine art” direction. I’ve been working towards that goal with a lot of recent drawings (some posted here, others on my Instagram account), and will likely continue to stay busy producing them during the month of October. Even though for a lot of artists all across the web October is better known as Inktober, since I already get plenty of inking time producing my comic pages, I’m kind of playing along from the sidelines, using the 2017 Inktober themes for my pencil drawings. I’m still a pretty deliberative artist, so thus far most of my drawings are really just character studies until I figure out how to mix them into larger, more developed compositions, most likely as acrylic paintings.
While comics continue to be my true creative love– the mixture of words and pictures in cartoon storytelling just feels like the richest form of my art– I am finding the art community here to be more welcoming of my work than the comics scene has been. And indeed, I had a better (and more financially successful) time at the recent Cooper-Young Festival than I would have had at that same weekend’s Memphis Comic Expo, at least judging by my experience there in 2016. Bringing my cartoon artwork out of the printed page and onto the wall as “art” is a challenge that I’m finding creatively energizing, too! I hope you enjoy this peek into another side of my artistic practice …
[January 2023 UPDATE: this post originally appeared on my now-closed Patreon page.]
One thought on “Drawing for the joy of drawing”
These are really fun, Dale! I especially like the one with the cosmic ray bombardment!