June 18th, 2003

Drezzer cool

Okay, I Admit, I'm Proud of It :)

When I first started doing Suburban Jungle, I knew that my vision exceeded my ability -- i.e., my ego was writing checks my artwork couldn't cash. ;) Inspired in part by Sabrina Online (which, at the time, was nowhere near as raunchy as it is today), I had visions of gorgeous full-color pinups of a variety of characters, and building up a large body of nice work.

Unfortunately, my artwork was still very raw, and I was keenly aware of the fact. To get around this problem, I rarely did Tiffany pinups, and often wrapped her up in a heavy coat and floppy hat to hide my less-than-stellar anatomical skills. But one important thing I did do right, was to stick with it. I did some glamour shots, such as the "ROWR Magazine" shoot, and took what opportunities I had to make each one better than the previous. I think the first one that I was really happy with, was the cover of La Vida Panthera, and I'm still pleased with that one, even if I can see mistakes in it now with the benefit of hindsight.

Anyway, I have finally started to reach the level of profiency with my artwork that I feel like I can do Tiffany justice. Today's SJ image is an example of the quality of work that I had in mind back in late '98 / early '99 when I was still coming up with the strip. There's still room for improvement -- there always is -- but this is a piece of work I feel confident I can put up next to the work of somebody like Vince, Eric Schwartz, or even Herbie Bearclaw and not be embarrassed.

The key now, obviously, is to maintain that level of quality and build on it. I can't draw daily strips to that level -- besides the fact that they'd take forever, there's also the problem that each panel is less than half the size of the canvas I used for that image. (The original is something like 9" across.) However, there's nothing but the paucity of free time keeping me from doing more stand-alone pieces of art to that standard. Plus, every piece I do that is of that quality, will naturally filter down to the comic strip on a smaller scale. Each good piece I do teaches me a new technique or a new way of looking at things ... today's pic for instance helped me refine my coloring techniques and gave me some very useful practice with the female form -- something I always find tricky.

-The Gneech
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