Archive for USACares.org

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

 

Thanks for Listening to me on Dennis Miller’s Radio Show Today

Posted in 501st, Crowd Funding, Crowd Sourcing, DAVE DORMAN ART FOR SALE, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Dennis Miller, Entertainment, Facebook, Friend Casting, Friend Funding, Fundraising, Geek, Geek Culture, LinkedIn, Lucasfilm, Military, Military Art, Military Veterans, MySpace, Pop Culture, Project 52, Social Activism, Social Commentary, Social Networking, Star Wars, Transformers, United States Air Force, USACares.org, Veteran's Day, Viet Nam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

On Veteran’s Day, I thank all of the brave men and women serving in all branches of the military who sacrifice SO MUCH to ensure we continue to enjoy our freedoms. As the son of USAF Lieutenant Colonel Jack Dorman, I understand how much the military and their families sacrifice. Thank you also to all of you who were listening to me on The Dennis Miller Radio Show today. Here is the link on Dennis’ site to my interview: http://www.dennismillerradio.com/b/One-Of-A-Kind-For-Our-Military/-338762614549322936.html

Dennis and Christian were kind enough to let me come on and the share news about my military art project, Project 52, which helps to raise funds for military families who are financially challenged, given through USACares.org. Here is the link: http://www.indiegogo.com/Project-52.

Last year at this time we auctioned my Transformers painting, which was the first-ever illustrated cover art for GEEK Monthly magazine for their special Comic-Con issue, juxtaposing the “old school” Transformers character vs. the modern day version. I donated all of that money to USACares.org.

 

 

Dave Dorman with Dennis Miller

Dave Dorman and Dennis Miller with Dave's Transformers Painting We Auctioned for USACares.org

Today, I’m asking you to help me spread the word about Project 52. Please post it on your FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn accounts, and anywhere you connect with your social networks. On Twitter or Cinchcast, the hashtag reference is #Project 52. Please tell your military friends and your family about Project 52. For just $5, you or the person you designate will be mentioned in my Project 52 book, which I’m self publishing. For $1,000, you can own a Dave Dorman original oil military painting. There are tons of contribution opportunities and options between the $5 and the $1,000 range, but please contribute whatever is comfortable for you, even if it’s just words of support. The initial $52,000 we are raising will cover expenses for publishing the book, art materials, printing the limited edition signed and numbered lithographs and helping to defray costs for me taking time off of commercial work to focus on this project. Fifty percent of all earnings from the books and lithos will go to USACares.org. The remaining 50% of book and lithograph sales will go to the Make a Wish Foundation in honor of Katie Johnson (501st founder Albin Johnson’s late daughter) on behalf of the 501st Organization, for which I’m honored to be an honorary member. For those of you reading who are unfamiliar with the 501st, these are the great men and women worldwide who donate their time, wearing Star Wars costumes and marching in parades, visiting children’s hospitals and continuing to be good will ambassadors of Lucasfilm.

I thank you all for your kind words and moral support. I’m very passionate about doing Project 52 and ensuring it is done to perfection.

We are still in the throes of unpacking from our big move, and the other day I discovered the old reel-to-reel audio tape recordings of my father, from when he was serving on behalf of the United States Air Force in Viet Nam. We didn’t see my dad for an entire year, so we communicated with him solely by letters and tapes.  I’m getting these recordings made into CDs for my sister and brother, but if you  know of a military museum out there who might want some of these recordings, please let me know.

As always, I thank you for reading and following my work.

Dave

My First Friends Wearing Purple Today: Rhea Cutler and Gregory Canales

Posted in BULLYING, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Social Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

I want you see my friends who are wearing purple today, that started (for me, anyhow) as a FaceBook initiative honoring those young adults whose lives have been lost from bullying, especially gay, lesbian and transgender friends. Here’s me wearing my purple shirt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JApeCDgR7d4

I have asked my friends and fans to join me today in wearing purple. These are my friends Rhea Cutler and Gregory Canales, who sent me their images. Rhea Cutler and Gregory Canales, you are the best. Watch today for more of my friends to post their pictures in purple on my blog.

 

Dave Dorman Fan Rhea Cutler in Puple

Rhea Culer in Purple 10-20-2010

 

 

 

Dave Dorman's Friend George Canales Wearing Purple

Gregory Canales Wearing Purple on 10-20-10

 

Some Dave Dorman Horror Artwork: Too Scary for Busch Gardens!

Posted in DAVE DORMAN NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

This story is in my new book ROLLING THUNDER THE ART OF DAVE DORMAN, but I wanted to share this art with you in honor of October, my birthday month and everyone’s favorite month for horror.

A few years back, my business partner Stephen D. Smith, formerly the Editor-in-Chief of the well respected MonsterScene magazine and an authority on haunted and theme park attractions, was asked to come up with a cool haunt idea for Florida’s Busch Gardens. We talked it over and knowing they had an asylum aspect to their haunt, we came up with this really fun character named DEMENTIA. Unfortunately Busch Gardens’ focus groups deemed our character– and her back story of being physically and emotionally destroyed by an uprising in the asylum– way too scary. So without further adieu, I introduce you to our beloved DEMENTIA. If there are any producers out there reading this, we have a wonderful story and we would love to see this in film one day from someone like Ghost House Pictures, whom we know does horror right.

 

Dave Dorman's Dementia Pencil Illustration

Dave Dorman's Dementia Pencil Illustration

 

And here she is below, fully rendered. I was so passionate about this piece, I completed it in just 24 hours. There’s nothing I love doing more than creature, character and costume design. The backwards 13 in her forehead is the result of DEMENTIA getting her head smashed into the door of inmate room #13.

 

Dave Dorman's Dementia Painting

Dave Dorman's Dementia Painting

 

In other pop culture news, I picked up American Vampire yesterday at the comic book store in Schaumburg, IL. Denise and I are fighting over who reads it first. Only one of the two stories is actually Stephen King writing, which I think is confusing to many who think they are buying a solely Stephen King graphic novel. Still, it looks to be a lot of fun. Speaking of fun, I saw Resident Evil Afterlife in 3D the other day – have you all seen it? If so, share with me here what you thought of it.

If you get a chance, please check out my passion project, Project 52 – http://www.indiegogo.com/Project-52. I’m working towards my goal of $52,000 to make this happen for USACares.org. If you can give even $5, that guarantees you or the person you designate is mentioned in my new book. I would love to see you in there. My thanks to all who have already generous contributed and gotten us to the $2710 mark in just a few days!

Thanks for reading,

Dave.

The Most Personal Dave Dorman Project I’ve Ever Done: Project 52

Posted in DAVE DORMAN NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

Today is my 52nd birthday and today I’m giving myself a gift: giving back. I’m announcing my personal project, called PROJECT 52, which gives back to the brave military men and women and their families who sacrifice on behalf of our great country, the place I call home and still believe in my heart of hearts is that shining city on the hill.

I am painting 52 military paintings to be published in a fine art book, with a portion of the proceeds from the book going to USACares.org. I am also planning a Project 52 traveling gallery art show to be held at military bases throughout the U.S. Here are 2 paintings from Project 52, inspired by photos I’ve been collecting of our conflict in the Middle East – photos from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Dave Dorman's Project 52, Painting #1

Dave Dorman's Project 52, Painting #2

Depending on the dollars you donate, you will receive one of the following:

VIP Perks


Project 52 Supporter ($5 minimum)
You or the person of your choice will be listed in the Project 52 fine art book with your donation of $5.
0 Claimed

Dedicated Supporter ($25 minimum)
You may honor the special person or soldier in your life with a two-line dedication in the Project 52 fine art book with your donation of $25.
0 Claimed

Bronze Level Donor ($50 minimum)
You will receive a signed copy of the Project 52 regular retail edition fine art book when you donate $50 to the project.
1 Claimed

Silver Level Donor ($100 minimum)
You will receive a signed, dedicated copy of the Project 52 Limited Edition fine art book with your donation of $100.
0 Claimed

Gold Level Donor ($250 minimum)
You will receive a signed, numbered copy of the Project 52 Limited Edition Lithograph on acid-free, archival paper. This can be personalized if you so choose, as well as a signed copy of the Limited Edition fine art book.
0 Claimed

Platinum Level Donor ($1,000 minimum)
The first 52 people who give at the Platinum level will receive one of the actual Project 52 Paintings once the gallery tour of duty throughout the military bases is completed, plus the fine art limited edition lithograph, autographed and a signed, Limited Edition fine art hardcover book.
0 Claimed   (52 More Available)

I am humbled at this moment in asking you all reading this for this very huge favor. I’m unaccustomed to asking for money like this. I’m new to crowd funding, but I’m told for all of us artists, it’s the “new normal.” Basically, I’m asking everyone I know to donate at least $5 to fund this project. Even $1 would be helpful. Surely, I have 52,000 fans out there worldwide. Help me spread the word.

The goal is to reach $52,000, which will pay for me to take some time off from full-time commercial work, and to get this special limited edition fine art book published and distributed as well as the lithographs printed. Everyone who donates something receives something in return.

Here is the link to contribute: http://www.indiegogo.com/Project-52

I thank you all for reading, and I hope you join me on this “Team Dave” journey. I will be keeping everyone abreast of my progress on this blog.

I also want to mention that my autograph session at Blick Art Supply in Wheaton, IL is scheduled for Saturday, October 23rd from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. I will be there with a supply of ROLLING THUNDER: THE ART OF DAVE DORMAN books – 4.5 lbs. of my career in art and me blabbering on about my weird life. So, I hope you can all come out & keep me company there.

Thanks again for your interest in and support of my work.

Dave, the birthday boy.

Video of My New Book

Posted in DAVE DORMAN NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

I inadvertently discovered someone did a great video showcasing my new book, ROLLING THUNDER: THE ART OF DAVE DORMAN. This is a great way to see what you’re getting BEFORE you buy! Here is the YouTube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GALqAxFWs_g

They also posted a very kind and generous review of the book, which is here: http://parkablogs.com/node/4420

Now that you can actually SEE the inside of the new book, please let me know what you think of it. Remember, 20% of all earnings from my book go to USACares.org to help all financially challenged military families (I am a USAF military brat, so I have firsthand knowledge of what that’s like).

Before I forget, please be sure to join these two pages on FaceBook: Dave Dorman’s The Wasted Lands: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=116672708382673

and

Fans of Dave Dorman Art: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=45269533772

My friend and fan Mickey Thompson created these pages, but it’s always good to show Hollywood agents that you have a few fans out there, so please help me  grow these pages to more than 10,000 peeps.

If you’ve never seen my Wasted Lands site, here’s the link: http://www.wastedlands.com.

Have a great day,

Dave.

Yes, Dave Dorman WILL Be at Star Wars Celebration 5

Posted in DAVE DORMAN NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

I’ve gotten a lot of questions via FaceBook over the last week about whether I’ll be exhibiting at Star Wars Celebration 5 in Orlando this coming August 12-15th. Yes, I will be there, but not in Artists’ Alley. I will be in my own booth next to artist and friend Jason Palmer. 

I will also have a brand new print for sale. It will be in the same letterbox format as my previous Star Wars Celebration prints. My wife Denise will be photographically documenting the progression of my new painting, so once the show is over, I can share that with all of you on my blog.

I will also have with me at Star Wars Celebration 5 my new book, ROLLING THUNDER: The Art of Dave Dorman, which Denise co-authored. It’s 312 pages of my memoir, artwork and never-before-seen work and stories. I hope you all like it – it was a LOT of work, digging in my Indiana Jones-like warehouse of archives to compile it all. It is published by IDW Publishing in conjunction with Desperado Publishing, and it’s a gorgeous book. There’s a regular version for $49.99 and a signed, limited edition version with a separate cover for $79.99. I’m donating 10% of our earnings for USACares.org as I’m a former military brat who supports NFPs that support our military families.

I thank you all for your interest. It means a lot to me.

Dave.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,053 other followers