Many thanks to Heidi Black for writing up this guestpost of the Skottie Young workshop.
At last weekend's Comics Art Forum, we were lucky enough to have the amazing Skottie Young join us here at SCAD. Not only is he a superb artist, he is also a super-nice guy and was willing to share quite a lot with us. (If you aren't familiar with his work, he most recently is working on the marvel wizard of oz books. They are quite fun, and I recommend them!)
At his workshop Saturday, Skottie started off talking about sketchbooks. At SCAD, we are told to have sketchbooks ready for observational drawing or the like at all times, but Mr. Young takes a slightly different approach to sketchbooks. “Its a place for failures,” he says. “I do a lot of searching for shapes. Its all feeling in the dark, making it up as I go.” As an exercise, he then had us create faces from abstract shapes – he says too often we get so caught up in the correct proportions and anatomy that we forget to have fun with the shapes. It was amazing to see that in a room of twenty-odd people, only once did someone create a face at all similar to another person's!
His biggest advice though was to have fun drawing. He says that when you have fun drawing, it shows. Putting your guts on the page, really drawing your heart out will surprise an editor – and when you surprise an editor, you speak to them. You turn heads with originality.
If you feel uncomfortable drawing something, don't necessarily do it. In his opinion, a bad art job is as bad as working at Wal-Mart. “Its scary,” he says,” because you've got to stay firm, but not everyone will understand what you do.” But at the same time, he advises to let some of the preciousness of your drawings go - “Just have fun! It doesn't have to be a home run!” And most of all, enjoy the journey – its what takes the longest.