January 23, 2014

Long Term Project #2 - Sketchbook Archive

Okay, I totally thought I talked about this, buuuut apparently I did not. (I searched through my archives for information on it, and came up with nothing) So either my I wrote it and hid it in some other post, or I never talked about it. SO YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR ABOUT IT NOW. Or maybe again. I can't remember.

For those unawares, I have drawn A LOT. (Not the alot, though)

And this was only MOST of the books....this size.
Most of these drawings have actually been in relation to the characters I played in tabletop RPGs or comic ideas I came up with. (I really rarely EVER draw fan art, strangely enough). In case you missed the previous post, these drawings are directly in relation to the By the Roll of the Die artbook project I'm working on currently.

Part of the reason that project came to be was actually because of THIS particular project. I call it the "Archival Project" because I'm taking all my old sketchbooks and scanning them in, so I can make them searchable without having to worry about destroying the old books. They're starting to come apart at the spines, and I'd really like to not lose pages (and keep them in a nice cool, dark spot so they don't deteriorate too badly).

Basically, I take my sketchbooks, put em on the flatbed scanner, scan a page, flip the page, scan a page, flip the page. I don't bother editing the color/texture on the images, I'm just scanning raw images at this point. If I were to edit each one... egads, I'd be here forever. And since I'm not doing this project full-time, that's time I just don't want to spend.

This is my scanner. It's just a little Epson flatbed.

I don't use any sort of special equipment. Just a regular flat-bed scanner.

It's also at this time I will digress momentarily and beg all of you who are doing artwork that you want to scan in (like finished works - sketchy linework/thumbnails don't necessarily matter for this): please invest in a stand-alone flatbed scanner. I find that the stand-alones have more options and can usually get higher quality scanning (like 600 dpi, 48 bit color) than those pesky 3-in-ones. You also get the bonus of not having to worry that your scanner won't scan cause you ran out of ink!

In a related project, I'm slowly trying to organize all my files, because you see, after 4 computers my files are ALL OVER the place, and duplicated in weird folders because I'm so bad at remember how I did things on the previous computer.

So in an effort to organize all my old artworks, I created an archive folder for my sketchbooks.

And I still have 10+ more to go in THIS SIZE ALONE.

The folder is listed by the size of the book, followed by the year (so I can organize em all when I'm done - I'm scanning them sometimes out of order).

Remember when I told you about dating your artwork? Did I tell you about dating your artwork? Well I'm telling you now - SOMETIME SOMEWHERE in your sketchbook put at least a year on a page, or an image, or in the cover. SOMETHING. It doesn't have to be the date and time you made a piece, but at least give yourself a flag when stuff was made. YOUR BRAIN WILL NOT REMEMBER THIS LATER.

*coughs* Not that I'm relating by personal experience. NooooooOOOooo.... *coughs*

Then in each folder, I have the images labeled in a same manner (I may change this with a bulk renamer, but we'll see). Each book starts with scanning the cover (I put artwork on my covers, so it's sometimes easier to find a certain book when I'm looking for a certain cover), and they're always numbered starting with 001. Just in case I hit 100 at any time on these books.

And that way they're always guaranteed to be in page order.

On average my books will have 85 pages scanned.
That's almost 1200 separate scans, and it's still going strong!

This is something you can do in your spare time. (Don't laugh! You can do this while eating a meal at the computer. Or talking to people on skype, or looking through facebook!)

It's definitely been an interesting journey, as I'm looking at where I came from compared to where I'm at now. I had some pretty cringeworthy old artwork, and some really splendid pieces. It's fun to notice your trends changing as you draw - because you won't think of it when you're drawing it, but you change with EVERY picture you draw.

Hence why the piece of advice I see given out the most is : don't stop drawing.

Even if your output has slowed down over time, don't stop drawing. Every doodle, every tiny sketch is one more step in your artistic journey. (And all of you have the right to tell me this when I get down and depressed about my own art!). While sometimes disheartening or frustrating to look at old art, it's also uplifting knowing how far you've come. And sometimes you'll find an awesome idea you totally forgot about.

In archiving, you'll find old characters you liked, old characters you want to redo, and of course, not knowing what anatomy is.

There's a reason I give a panel on body proportions at conventions.

TL;DR version

Archive your work! You never know when you'll wanna look back at things, and let me tell you doing it as you're drawing it, is MUCH easier than having to scan a backlog of 20+ sketchbooks. :)

Oh. And make sure to put a date somewhere in your sketchbooks. IMPORTANT.

No comments:

Post a Comment