Illcraft.com started over a year ago after I did an interview about drawing comics in Adobe Illustrator.
Some people seemed pretty excited by the potential of drawing comics with this amazing program. I was just going to answer questions that popped up on a message board. But the threads turned into a discussion about the moderator and his dislike of me for being the “first” to draw comics in Illustrator and they were shut down.
Why the drama?
He went off the handle and attacked me for claiming to be first and a whole bunch of other things I never said. Then the people who wanted the info on drawing in Illustrator attacked him and pointed out where he was wrong. He shut down the message board threads before I had a chance to reply to the questions about Illustrator let alone his attacks against me. I won’t name the moderator *coff*coff*coffman*, but he was a real ass on that thread.
But without his jealous tirade I would not have had the desire to talk to the people about art without a moderator’s editorial censorship.
So that started the hamsters on the threadmill in my brain and I quickly came up with the idea of starting a website to discuss this stuff and let the conversations continue there if people wanted. and best of all the discussions would be unfiltered! Assholes need not apply.
Slowly I began putting up information on different aspects of what I was doing as I came up with them. Illcraft turned into a good size blog for the niche market of comic artists using Illustrator.
Not as huge a demand for this information as planting shrubbery or something, but at least some folks needed the info. And I love putting the info out there. I’ve spent a few years reading other peoples tutorials online about different aspects of web design, graphics, photoshop, and illustrator tuts that gave me a good working knowledge of this program. I thought I should “pay it forward” and do the same for others.
I’ve spent some time working for Antarctic Press doing the How To Draw Manga series and I love contributing to artists. I know how hard it was for me growing up trying to study art. teachers at our public schools had a religious bias agaisnt us studying anatomy. My teacher thought skulls were demonic and we were not allowed to draw them in class. That could have been because of all the Heavy Metal guys drawing Motley Crue flaming demon skulls but still! Anatomy is anatomy.
I could only afford one art book growing up and that was How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way .
I know how important it is to study art but it can be difficult at times to find good information. It was especially difficult growing up without the resources to learn what I needed. I spent time in the school library after school looking through black and white hard bound Batman comics by Neal Adams. That was a real benefit to me and it led me to study more of the masters of classic art.
So here I am in a position to give back and I feel I am limiting myself by just focusing on Illustrator. Now I want Illcraft to expand into more tutorials on drawing comics and good storytelling. There are a lot of books out there that do this just fine. hell if you go to the art section anymore there are hundreds of drawing comics books that will teach a lot of stuff. But looking through them the other day I noticed there was not near enough information about the things you really need to know about drawing comics.
I think I can help out there.
I’ve been working in comic studios for a decade and I’ve learned a lot. A lot of information and studio secrets that i think will really benefit the struggling artist.
So now I will focus the next few years working on a website that will give you a solid knowledge of comics and illustrating that you may not be able to get otherwise. By all means, if you are in a position to study at the kubert school or other graphic sequential classes then you owe it to yourself to take those courses.
But Illcraft.com will be a great chance to learn a lot of stuff without having to pay for courses or more books you don’t need.
I’m working on a new website for illcraft.com in my spare time with plans to launch it early 2007.
When I started thinking about what I want this website to be a number of ideas came to mind that I think will help out the artist. I think Illcraft does a great job of presenting ideas and tips for the artist to use Abobe Illustrator to make comics. But I want this site to be more than that.
Really, in 10 years will you still be drawing with Illustrator 10?
Will that program be as effective a few years from now?
If I am going to put a lot of time into tutorials would you get more out of tutorials for comics art or drawing in Illustrator?
I think you can benefit by both. I won’t stop doing Illustrator lessons. I can see myself still using this program in 5 years. But the drawing lessons can be used over a lifetime.
So Illcraft will be expanding and I am working towards that. It’s unfortunate at the moment that I can not share all of the new things I have learned until my new comics work ships.
But it won’t be much longer now. I hope you can stay with me until then. You won’t regret it!
I appreciate your patience.