Gallery Night

Ghost Rider Samurai
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
For those that attended Gallery Night at Springhill Elementary and took one of the cards off my table, I hope you learned a little from the answers I gave to your questions. I know it's scary talking to grown ups you don't know, but I appreciate you coming by and looking at my artwork. I hope you enjoyed it.

I'll try to answer the questions again so you can read it and maybe understand a little more without being scared of being at a table talking to someone you don't know.

For those that weren't there, last night I was a guest artist at LMA and G-man's school. The event was to show the artwork the kids had done and was displayed throughout the school. There were vendor's there as well and i believe sales went toward a fund raising venture, but I'm not sure. In one area there were four guest artists and we were all quite different. I was presented as a cartoonist. There was a lady who worked with pottery, another who did sculptures and another who painted. I brought laptops to show a slideshow of my work and the YouTube videos from Robot Portraits. I also had my old comic book, a portfolio folder and a robot sketchbook.

Each child had a piece of paper that had questions on it and they were to ask each artist one question and have us sign the paper. They'd get something from their teacher if they got them all signed.

So here are the questions and the answers I gave. These are a little more in depth as I wanted to make sure I gave short answers in person.

Q) How do you use math when you create your art?
A) When drawing cartoons and comic books, there's a need to sometimes draw buildings and rooms and objects. These need to be drawn in perspective. Especially city streets and buildings must look realistic, so you need to understand how to draw and measure shapes and distance, something you learn in geometry.

Q) How do you use language arts when you create your art?
A) Especially in comic books, I need to be able to write what people are saying. I have to know what they sound like, what language they use and how to put that down on paper correctly. If I spelled the words wrong or put them in the wrong order, you wouldn't understand what they were saying. That would make it hard to read and hard to enjoy.

Q) How do you use science when you create your art.
A) This was a tough one. I have to understand colors when creating art. I have to know what colors make other colors and how they work together to be pleasing or jarring to the eye. This comes from an understanding of how our eyes see light which is a part of spectroscopy. Knowing how colors work together is called Color Theory.

Q) Who influenced your decision to become involved in the field of art.
A) The short answer I gave was that my Grandpa was an artist and the older I got I began to really enjoy his work and wanted to be an artist too. The longer answer is that I never stopped drawing from the time I was a child. All kids draw, they all want to draw, they draw to communicate and express themselves. Artists just never stop doing that and along the way they are influenced by other people. My influences include my Grandpa, but also other comic book artists like Jim Lee, Larry Stroman, Ron Lim and Joe Quesada. I have a few friends and acquaintances like Len Peralta and Adam Koford and Mike Peterson and Jeremy Dale and Olli Hihnala who have also been a big influence to how I draw and what I want to draw.

I got a lot of people telling me they have kids or brothers and sisters who draw and are trying to get into animation or comics or just love drawing manga or super heroes and I really tried to encourage them to stick with it. One lady said she had a graphic design degree but got it right as we went to war and was unable to find any work. I don't see art as a way to make money, but a way to express yourself. Kids don't draw because they want to start a business, they draw because they like to. The longer you can hold on to that, the happier I believe you will be as an artist. If you can monetize that, then you get to let it work for you.

Sadly I gave up on a lot of opportunities to continue being an artist by trade. I tried a few times to do comic books but the returns weren't something I could live with. It's a struggle being an artist when you need to pay bills. I do commissions now but it's a hobby and not a business.

So if you're still in grade school and are reading this, my advice would be to draw as much as possible, but work hard to find a way to make your art work for you. If you really love it, find a way to do it for the rest of your life and you'll be happy. As soon as it becomes a chore, find something else to do.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by. Again, if you were there and wanted a comic book, just email me your address and I'll mail you a copy.

ben (dot) lifeinaustin (at) gmail.com

Carry on.

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