Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good Advice

At my last illustrator’s critique group meeting I had the pleasure of meeting comics artist and graphic novelist Eric Shanower. Eric’s work includes a number of books based on the Oz tales by L. Frank Baum. He wrote and illustrated Adventures in Oz, a collection of stories that take place after Dorothy’s first adventure in Oz. Last week the hardcover collection of Marvel Comics’ series The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by Eric and illustrated by Skottie Young, was #2 on The New York Times Bestseller list for Graphic Books.

Eric brought an impressive selection of intricate ink drawings for us to view (my hand cramps up a little just thinking about all that tight rendering). Just one issue of his latest project Age of Bronze, a retelling of the Trojan War in comic book format, has over 140 drawings (I know this because he gave us a copy and I counted them).

He knew from an early age he wanted to write and illustrate comic books, and his foot-in-the-door job after finishing school was doing the lettering for comics. He stressed that making contact with the right people can be the key to finding success, so his advice is to put yourself in a position to meet those people as much as you can.

After telling us a little about his career, Eric was nice enough to take a look at our current projects and offer some critique. Good thing I had my newly revised picture book dummy with me. He gave me some helpful tips to strengthen the composition in a few of the drawings, then gave me my favorite bit of advice so far – “Go sell it!”

No problem. When I go to Staples to get copies made, maybe I’ll pick up one of those ‘Easy’ buttons, too.

16 comments:

Keri Mikulski said...

Sounds like an interesting meeting. :) Have a great week.

LW said...

I agree with Eric Shanower, “go sell that book“.
I cannot wait to go into Boarders and get
copies for everyone I know. As I pen my Merry Christmas
inside and I will brag how I knew you when this book was
just a few drawings in a pad…

Louise

ICQB said...

What great advice! How fun it must have been to hear - especially from someone like that!

And why haven't I ever thought of the 'Easy' button??

MG Higgins said...

Ha! An Easy button. Yeah.

How cool that you got that helpful and positive feedback. And I absolutely agree with him that putting yourself in a position to meet people really works.

Bish Denham said...

Oooooh! What wonderful encouragement. You go girl, with wings on your heels.

Rena said...

Good luck, Adrienne. I love your style, so I have faith you will go far.

LOL @ the Easy button.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

How wonderful to hear that! And what a fascinating man to meet.

Kelly said...

And you will sell it! You are amazing! It's always wonderful and inspiring to meet with fellow artists!!

PJ Hoover said...

Love the advice. Go sell it. That is easy :)

Stacy Nyikos said...

Oooooh, yes, an Easy button. Do those work for authors???

adrienne said...

Thanks for all encouragement. I'll certainly try to follow this advice!

Louise - I'll keep that image in mind while I'm waiting!

ICQB - We didn't think of it because we didn't already have an Easy button to tell us we needed one. :)

MG - That idea always makes me hopeful - you never know when you'll bump into the right person.

Stacy - Sure! Right along with Magic 8 Balls and lucky pennies. :)

C.R. Evers said...

That's right. You go sell it, girl. You're artistic ability is amazing!

Ara Burklund said...

Want to go to the SCBWI NY conference? I'm checking airfare. Let me know if you're interested, because we could totally fly/room together to beat some of the costs.

Sandra Evertson said...

He gave great advice!
You have to risk a "no" for a "yes" sometimes but it's well worth it!
Sandra Evertson

adrienne said...

Christy - Thanks! :)

Ara - I'll probably have to stick to local events for now, but that is so tempting...

Sandra - It's true - they say in order to be successful, you have to be willing to increase your failure rate.

sruble said...

That sounds like an interesting talk and great advice. Grab your Easy Button and go sell it! :)