Archive for the Transformers 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

 

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Thanks for the Birthday Wishes & Dave Dorman News

Posted in 501st, Action Figures, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Comic Book Convention, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Facebook, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, GI Joe, Hasbro, Horror, Horror Play, Horror Play Competition, Illustration, LinkedIn, Lucasfilm, Nerd Culture, Painting, Pop Culture, San Diego Comic-Con 2011, Social Networking, Star Wars, Transformers, WriteBrain Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

Thanks to all of you who have emailed or Tweeted or called today with birthday wishes. I stopped having birthdays at 39, but someone at AARP must’ve lost the memo. A special thank you to my G.I. Joe enthusiast/collector friend Joao, who even sent a special gift that arrived today that my whole family will enjoy. Joao came up from Florida to visit me last month and added some fun pieces to his G.I. Joe art collection:

My Friend, G.I. Joe Collector Joao Paredes

Last week I did a demonstration at Blick Art Supply in Wheaton, IL (a special thanks to Kevin Sandstrom for arranging this for me) during which I started a Boba Fett painting. I decided to do continue with the live painting demo during the Detroit show last weekend and the fans really liked seeing me work, so that was gratifying. Here is the painting I did (below), already purchased by a collector:

Star Wars' Boba Fett by Dave Dorman 9-2011

I was very happy to get my copy of STAR WARS: COMICS by Abrams Publishing this week. Here’s a picture of me with my new book:

Dave Dorman Star Wars Art on Cover of New Abrams Publishing Book

I want to remind everyone that next weekend, October 8-9, I will be at the Dallas Star Wars Fan Days Show and I hope to see many of you there. My friend Jose from Puerto Rico will even be attending, so it’s really pulling people from all over and should be a great show.

On Monday, October 10th, I will be attending the fund-raiser for my favorite horror theater group, WildClaw Theatre. If you can join me there, that would be great. Here’s a link: http://bit.ly/qESwCT  If you can afford to support amazing horror performances, please contribute to them.

WildClaw Theater is still asking for people to turn in their 10-minute horror plays for DEATHSCRIBE 2011, their annual international competition. If you’ve never attended this event, it’s a must-see. Chicago actors perform each winning play live on stage like an old timey radio show, with a foley artist, etc. It’s one of the most entertaining events I attend  and I look forward to it every year. A special thanks to my friend Charlie Athanas for introducing me to WildClaw Theater.

It was Charlie Athanas who gave me the heads up that my KLOUT.com score was at 70 this past week, which was higher than Trent Reznor’s or Olivia Munn’s. Mind you, I have no illusions that I’m a bigger household name than either of those pop culture luminaries, but it just goes to show you the power of social media. It is all due to the tenacious hard work of my wife’s PR firm, WriteBrain Media, who handles all of my social media and PR for me.

For those of you who read Imagine FX magazine, it’s one of my favorite magazines and I’m honored to be in there again for the newest issue during a quick chat with Editor Claire Howlett at San Diego Comic-Con this last summer:

Dave Dorman in 9-2011 Imagine FX Magazine

I thank all of you reading this for your time and interest in my work. If you want to connect with me aside from this blog, here’s how:

Facebook.com/davedormanartist

Linkedin.com/in/thedavedorman

Twitter.com/davedorman

My Creator-Owned Series: http://wastedlands.com

My Wife & Publicist: denise@writebrainmedia.com

Email: dormanart@yahoo.com

Have a great week. I’ll be posting some fun art from my son this week, so forgive the indulgence. He’s just 6, to set your expectations, but he’s crazy good for his age.

Dave.

 

 

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