Archive for the The Dennis Miller Radio Show Category

Dave Dorman’s The 5 Essential Truths of Art Directing

Posted in Alpha Nerd Podcast, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Charity, Chicago Comic Book Artists, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Comic Book Art, Comic Book Artist, Comic Book Convention, Comic Book Cover Art, Comic Books, Darth Vader, DAVE DORMAN ART FOR SALE, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Del Stone Jr., Denise Dorman, Entertainment, Facebook, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, Hasbro, Holiday Gifts, Illustration, LinkedIn, Lucasfilm, Military, Military Art, Military Veterans, Nerd Culture, Painting, Pop Culture, San Diego Comic-Con 2011, Social Activism, Social Commentary, Social Networking, Star Wars, The Dennis Miller Radio Show, Transformers, Twitter, USACares.org, Wasted Lands, WriteBrain Media, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

After a lecture at Chicago’s Columbia College this past Thursday night for Dave P.’s character visualization art class, my wife Denise asked me to write an article on boiling down art direction to five essential truths. Below is what I came up with.  I sit on both sides of the desk, doing the art for art directors, and doing the actual art direction, so I have very definite opinions based on my 30 years of experience. I even taught a class for the Florida 4th District Advertising Federation on How to Art Direct the Art Director. All of you artists and art directors following me, let me know if you agree, disagree or have tips you would like to add to this list?

Dave Dorman’s 5 Essential Truths for Art Direction

#1. You MUST review the artist’s comprehensive portfolio. Don’t judge an artist by just one piece in their portfolio. Look closely at all of the elements.  Ask them to show you the pieces that aren’t online. Does anything contained within match your needs for your project? What are the strengths of the artist? What are their weaknesses? Do they or can they paint in the style you need? Ask yourself, “Is this artist capable of giving me the art I need for this particular project?”

Real-World Example: Someone looking at my portfolio might think I only do muscled super heroes or hyper realism, but truth be told, I did a lot of manga early in my career for Robotech covers, I did toy design for Hasbro,  and I did very loose children’s illustration for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings trading cards.

#2. Always provide a thorough review of the project with the artist. Ensure they understand your needs for the art and that they are comfortable in delivering the goods. An artist who does killer character design may be strong in creature art, but weak in landscape or architectural backgrounds.

Real World Example: Just because I did a detailed background on one painting doesn’t mean that I want to put that amount of work into every single painting I do. Personally, I hate painting architecture. If an art director wanted me to do a Stephan Martiniere cityscape, I would be up front in declining and saying, “No thanks. Here’s Stephan’s phone #.”

#3. A good art director should never ask the artist if they paint traditionally or digitally. First off, the art director’s eye should be trained to see the difference. There are effects you cannot get with digital, and there are effects you cannot get with traditional. Secondly, the final art is the final art, delivered digitally, no matter what tool(s) you used to get the final product. Any Star Wars painting I do with light sabers, I am taking into Photoshop to get that perfect glow on the light saber, although the original piece is oil on illustration board or a combo of oil and acrylic. Mind you, I could whip out my old air brush and get that same effect, but why go through the hassle when I can do it in PhotoShop?

Here's a painting with traditional and Photoshop Combined

With the plethora of art directors now being of the age that they came through their art education via digital art and very rarely–if ever–touching traditional media to produce their final art, I have seen a definite bias in those art directors to choose artists who work in the directors’ preferred medium: digital. The art should speak for itself regardless of the medium in which it’s created. I believe that if the art director is contacting the artist to do a project, then they are judging the artist by the art they see, whether it’s digital or traditional.

Real World Example: I had an art director call me once, absolutely raving about my Alien art. She had a big project for me, and I was eager to do the project, because it was right in my wheelhouse. Then she asked dreaded question: Do you paint digitally? I don’t, and the project instantaneously evaporated, despite the fact that my look and feel was a perfect match for her project. I believe this art director is short-sighted and I hope she has wizened up since then.

Graphic Novel Cover of Aliens: Hive by Dave Dorman

#4. Never, EVER assume an artist is outside of your budget. If you like someone’s art, speak with them FIRST about your budget before you strike them off of your list. Any freelancer can attest, we have months when we make a king’s ransom, and we have months when we go hungry. There’s rarely consistency unless you’re working on a videogame project, and even then, that consistent money can go away after a year or two.

Real World Example: As a traditional artist, I will often take on projects for little to no money, because I know I’m working on a licensed piece and I will have an actual painting that I can sell to collectors for top dollar once the project is completed. Obviously, digital artists are at a major disadvantage here! I once did a cover for the now-defunct but uber-cool GEEK Monthly magazine, for their San Diego Comic-Con issue. I was the first-ever painted cover they’d published. They were afraid to ask me to do a cover because they assumed they’d never be able to afford me. I did the piece for free. My piece was a modern day Transformer alongside a 1980s Transformer. I did it for free because I knew it was great publicity for the audience I wanted to reach, and then there was the value of the physical painting. I turned around and donated the painting to my favorite charity, USACares.org, to help raise funds for their not-for-profit, helping financially challenged active military families.

GEEK Monthly Cover I Did for FREE

Side note: I wish someone would revive a magazine like GEEK Monthly. It was brilliant, I never missed an issue and I miss it.

#5. As an Art Director, it’s your duty in fairness to your artist to have your project details organized properly. 

Real World Example: I once painted a beautiful sci-fi comic book cover, based on a major license you would all know. AFTER I delivered the piece, they broke the news to me that they didn’t have likeness rights. You can imagine my disappointment. I think the fans were less than satisfied with the piece, probably thinking to themselves that it was lame without the likenesses.

Another Real World Example: I painted a beautiful sci-fi cover for a major license you would all know, but they were in the midst of filming the movie, and they were afraid to provide me with photo reference of an actor I had never seen before, for fear it would “leak out.” First of all, that would never happen on my watch, and it was frustrating for me that they trusted me enough to paint their licensed characters, but not enough to provide me with proper reference. They literally provided me with a postage stamp-sized photo reference and I could not get the facial features right without decent reference.  Eventually they capitulated, but it took a lot of back and forth.

So…let me know your thoughts. I am interested to hear your frustrations with artists and art directors and your “master list.”

In other news, I think I will be converting my Facebook Group Page for The Wasted Lands to a Facebook Fan Page soon, so please watch for that. For those of you unfamiliar with it, The Wasted Lands is my own I.P. (Intellectual Property) – an alternate universe, adrenaline-pumping motorcycle western action adventure with Steampunk aesthetics. If you like it, let me know. Given the rate of growth of my personal page on Facebook, I will likely transition it over to a Fan Page soon as I’m going to hit the limit soon to people I can friend.

I recorded a 2-hour interview last night with Alpha Nerd podcast out of Australia, so I will be posting that link here as soon as I have it.

Well, I’m off to watch Godzilla v. Mothra with my son. It’s so much fun having a mini-me!

As always, thanks for reading,

Dave.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/davedormanartist

Twitter: @DaveDorman

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/thedavedorman

Website: http://davedorman.com and http://wastedlands.com

Publicity Firm: http://writebrainmedia.com | @writebrainmedia

 

We Honor You, Star Wars Girl Katie Goldman

Posted in BULLYING, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Denise Dorman, Dennis Miller, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, Katie Goldman, Lucasfilm, Military, Nerd Culture, Pop Culture, Social Activism, Social Commentary, Social Networking, Star Wars, Star Wars Girl, The Dennis Miller Radio Show, WriteBrain Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Today my blog honors Katie Goldman, aka Star Wars Girl.

As I told my gay friends and followers on the day we all wore purple to honor them, the bullying that occurs over our differences needs to STOP. NOW. Like Katie, my wife is also adopted. My wife is a geek. I’ve felt the wrath of being different as a kid – I was the painfully shy military brat moving all of the time…always the nerdy new kid in school, drawing comics silently in the back of the classroom, hoping no one would call attention to me. You might say we both identify with Katie’s plight. Denise was the one who brought it to my attention through a Facebook posting from ACME DESIGN.

We need to start celebrating our differences instead of clamoring to be the same. The Me, Too-ism Movement is clearly alive and well. Why else would women be financially challenging themselves just to wear the same overpriced designer brand purses, shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, etc. Why are men driven to buy luxury brand cars when the mechanical performance is often sub-standard? We’re all caught up in this endless cycle of sameness and trying to come off as too cool for school. I just don’t find it terribly interesting…or relevant.

I find individualism interesting. I find Katie’s bravery interesting.

Most of those “cool” celebs that everyone wants to be like? I’ve met more than my share. I’m usually disappointed. Leonardo DiCaprio sneered at me and wouldn’t stop smoking in a NYC elevator when I asked him. John Leguizamo talked shit about me–right in front of me–at the Telluride Film Festival. It turns out, he has some weird prejudice against sitting next to portly gents like myself. Dennis Miller is one of the few celebs who actually exceeded my expectations. He’s a class act. And he’s also a geek like me. Like us.

Today CNN.com picked up Katie’s story, but those of us in the know within the geek/nerd culture and Star Wars community have been following it online for at least 10 days or more. I think it’s very cool that  Star Wars: Clone Wars Padme Amidala voice actress Catherine Taber and  Her Universe.com founder and Ahsohka Tano character Ashley Eckstein took up the cause and very publicly showed Katie (and her parents) that Katie’s not alone.  Catherine’s online participation was the Tipping Point in giving Katie the credibility and social media support to thumb her nose at those know-nothing naysayers.

Apparently Katie’s classmates haven’t realized yet what every major movie studio knows, as they show previews at San Diego Comic-Con:  Geeks are the world’s taste makers. Geeks RULE.

So… all of those haters out there had better be nice to us or else their TV, videogame, book and movie options are going to suck. As for me and my house, we’ll be wearing Star Wars gear on December 10th to honor Star Wars Girl Katie Goldman. If you wear some, shoot me your photo and I’ll post it here on my blog.

Thanks for reading,

Dave.

 

    My Thoughts on Thanksgiving Weekend

    Posted in 501st, Amazon.com, AMC, Author, Christmas Gifts, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Cosplay, DAVE DORMAN ART FOR SALE, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Death Scribe 2010, Desperado Publishing, Entertainment, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, Hannukah Gifts, Hanukkah Gifts, Holiday Gifts, IDW Publishing, Jay Bonansinga, Lucasfilm, Military, Military Art, Military Veterans, Nerd Culture, Pop Culture, Project 52, Sandtroopers, Snowtroopers, Star Wars, The Dennis Miller Radio Show, The Walking Dead, USACares.org, WildClaw Theatre, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

    Dear Friends,

    I have so much to be thankful for this year, I don’t know where to begin. I’m thankful for those closest to me–my wife, my son, my best friend Steve Smith, my friend Charlie Athanas, my in-laws who have helped me out tremendously this past year, Colin Pritchard of Rocket No. 9, Kevin Sandstrom at Blick Art Supply, the 501st, (especially Chris Spice of top-rated Star Wars site Sandtroopers.com) the great art directors and editors I’ve worked with this past year, and also for all of you who take an interest in my art and are the reason I keep doing what I do. I am thankful for my U.S. military family, for USACares.org and  for The Dennis Miller Radio Show who has been kind enough to have me on to share my projects and my military art passion project, Project 52.

    I especially thank all of you who have purchased my new art career retrospective and memoir book, ROLLING THUNDER: THE ART OF DAVE DORMAN, by IDW Publishing/Desperado Publishing, either for yourselves, or for a loved one as a holiday gift. Even if the book wasn’t mine, I would enjoy 4.5 pounds of art in hardcover to peruse over my mulled cider during the holidays.

    Today I wanted to share another blog with you, written by my friend and fellow 501st member David Syczylo. David is the Snowtrooper who posed for me for this year’s Star Wars Celebration painting. He did an excellent job of explaining the poses, not to mention providing us all with a brilliant display he has created of my Star Wars Celebration prints:

    http://www.djsyczylo.net/chronicles/DormanHoth/DormanHoth.htm

    I hope you enjoy David’s blog as much as I did about how the Star Wars Celebration piece came about. The best part of this project? I have been very fortunate to get to know David over the past 6 months and he is a special person to me and my wife. You will never meet a kinder or more giving person. He drove all of the way to my home in northern Illinois from Indianapolis just to pose for me, and refused to take even  gas money. That’s the kind of guy David is. Ask him about his film career when you meet him. He has great stories.

    Thanks for reading. More to come. I just did a Captain Marvel this past weekend for the very first time in my career, but I have to check with an editor first to see when I can post it.

    Be safe this holiday weekend,

    Dave.

    P.S. I finally got to see “Walking Dead.” I’m hooked. What do you all think of it? Any of you watching? If not, check it out – let’s compare notes. My friend and fellow judge in the December 6th Chicago 10-minute horror play international competition Death Scribe 2010, Jay Bonansinga, is writing the novelization of the series and he’s an excellent writer.

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