Archive for Alien

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

 

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

 

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.

Dave Dorman Interview on GeekTwins

Posted in DAVE DORMAN NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Hi Everyone,

Today Nigel and Maurice, the “Geek Twins,” posted my interview with them this week on their blog. Please check it out and show them some SEO love: http://geektwins.blogspot.com/2010/07/exclusive-dave-dorman-interview.html

What I liked about their interview is that they asked me questions no one has ever asked before.

Denise is going to post on her blog the mock interview amongst Alien, Predator & Dave Dorman she wrote a few years back for Matt Brady when he was still with Newsarama.com, so watch for that. Her blog is http://denisedorman.wordpress.com. That will give you a little flavor of Dorman gestalt during our blogging absence while we’re traveling to San Diego Comic-Con. We are bringing the Flip Camera (thanks to Christina Bouvier) and hope to have some interesting interviews to post online for all of you. Denise is printing out the “image release” forms as I write this.

I will have some other really fun and exciting news to announce, but I have to get permissions first, so keep checking back here. Until next time, thank you  for reading. If you’re at the show, don’t forget to stop by Booth #4500!

Dave.

My Thoughts & Prayers Are With Comic Book Writer Stephen Perry’s Family

Posted in DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

By now, you’ve likely read about the horrific, potential demise of comic book writer Stephen Perry.  For those who don’t already know, here is the terribly sad and grisly news, as posted today by Comic Book Resources: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/.

As famous as Stephen Perry was for ThunderCats, he was also a great writer for the Alien property, and I did a few covers for the Dark Horse books that he wrote.  I’ve been so wrapped up in my own life this past 24 months, I was saddened to learn I missed an opportunity to help Stephen. My friend and fellow Kubert School alum Stephen Bissette was raising money for Stephen Perry through Hero Initiative (a worthwhile organization helping out comic book legends in financial need that you must check out at http://www.heroinitiative.org ) and I was unaware of it. I would liked to have helped him in any way that I could. Stephen Perry was suffering from bladder cancer and struggling financially to raise a son, literally homeless at times. I’m in awe and admiration of how he and Hero Initiative proactively helped Stephen Perry.

I met Stephen Perry a few times at shows and he was a terrific talent and one helluva nice guy.  We respected each other’s work immensely.  I ask all of you reading this, please pray to whichever deity you honor, and send positive energy and prayers to his survivors.

Thanks for reading and sorry for such sad news on a Saturday,

Dave.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,747 other followers