Archive for The Wasted Lands

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.

 

 

Dave Dorman Quoted in Christian Science Monitor Today

Posted in Amazon.com, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Denise Dorman, Geek Culture, Nerd Culture, Pop Culture, Social Commentary, Social Networking, The Uninvited, Wasted Lands, WriteBrain Media, Writer, Zombie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

Through my publicist/co-author wife Denise, one of the reporters in Christian Science Monitor (Gloria Goodale) wanted my take on how pop culture has slanted our public perception of radioactivity, so I was happy to provide a response. I used to live THISCLOSE to Fermilab, so perhaps I’m less fearful of radiation than the average bear, but I don’t like to use it as an easy crutch in my plot development when I’m working on my own stories. I give steampunk author Cherie Priest a lot of credit for creating a unique ploy–outside of radiation poisoning–to create zombies in her book “Boneshaker.” (If Boneshaker cover artist Jon Foster’s work seems familiar to you, yes, he is the very same artist & friend who did the cover art and some interior art for my Wasted Lands stand-alone novel, “The Uninvited.”)

So, here is the article with my quotes in it, posted today in Christian Science Monitor for your reading pleasure.

As always, thanks for reading! I welcome your comments. Remember, I am happy to link with you on LinkedIn, I’m @DaveDorman on Twitter, and I’m all over Facebook!

Dave

Dave Dorman Paints Frank Frazetta Tribute in this Step-By-Step Post

Posted in Amazon.com, Author, Brom, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Del Stone Jr., Denise Dorman, Desperado Publishing, Eglin Air Force Base, Entertainment, Facebook, Fan Culture, Frank Frazetta, Geek, Geek Culture, Holiday Gifts, IDW Publishing, LinkedIn, Lucasfilm, Military, Nerd Culture, Pop Culture, Rolling Thunder: The Art of Dave Dorman, Simon Bisley, Social Networking, Star Wars, United States Air Force, Wasted Lands, WriteBrain Media, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Hi there.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season this year. Freaky current events connection alert: I’ve been on that Sugar Loaf ski lift that snapped recently, with one of my best friends, Phil Burnett, whom you will read about a lot in my new art book. That news story shook me up a little. Like me, Phil is a military brat, and the main protagonist in my Wasted Lands series, Thomas, is named after Phil’s son, whom we all lost way too soon. Thomas is forever in my thoughts and I immortalized him in my story.

Quick, quirky Phil Burnett story: Phil lived in Iran for a time as a military brat, and during Star Wars Celebration 3, an Iranian TV station interviewed me on the floor while Phil was there working in my booth. Imagine their surprise to see Phil, my blond, light-eyed Caucasian friend translating for me!

So Christmas this year was really wonderful at our house despite my father-in-law being hospitalized. Thanks to all who kept him in your prayers and on your prayer lists. My wife spoiled me via Amazon this year. Here’s my fulfilled wish list: Donato Giancola’s Middle Earth, Drew Struzan’s new collection, Stephen King’s The Little Sisters of Eluria, illustrated by Michael Whelan and the book of Hammer Movie Posters. I bought three F. Paul Wilson books for my wife, which I will also enjoy just as much. My writing partner, award-winning author Del Stone Jr. was also very generous to us and if he’s reading this, his gifts are still coming. He bought me an amazing t-shirt commemorating Eglin Air Force Base, and a really cool night light for my son, which shines the planetary system on the ceiling at night. Jack is very impressed. A special thanks to Julie and Dean Feece (RPG Gift Cards) who had us over for Christmas dinner.

What was special to all of you this year? Did anyone receive my new book, ROLLING THUNDER: THE ART OF DAVE DORMAN, as a gift? If so, send me photos of you with my new book – I will post them here. Please take the time to review the book on Amazon – it makes a world of difference to me.

This past fall, I saw a call on Facebook for artists to contribute to a Frank Frazetta tribute show judged for entry. Judges include taste makers like Spectrum’s Arnie and Kathy Fenner, Brom and Simon Bisley. Since Frank Frazetta was one of my greatest art influences, I had to jump in. Below are the step-by-step images showing my progression of this painting, titled “Attack in the Snow.” Please let me know what you think.

Dave Dorman Pencil Rough
Dave Dorman Pencil Rough of Frazetta Tribute Painting
Pencil Rough #2 by Dave Dorman

Pencil Rough #3 by Dave Dorman

Pencil Rough #3, More Refined

Dave Dorman Pencil Rough #4
Dave Dorman palette for Frazetta Tribute painting
My Color Palette
Dave Dorman Laying Down the Background
Laying Down the Background Paint
Dave Dorman Adds Figures
Adding Main Figures in Foreground
Frank Frazetta Tribute Painting by Dave Dorman in Steps
Adding More Detail to the Main Figures
Progression Nears End for Dave Dorman Frazetta Tribute Painting
More Detail Rendered, Nearly Completed
Final Image in Progression of Frank Frazetta Tribute Painting
Final Image, Frank Frazetta Tribute Painting “Attack in the Snow”

Thanks, everyone, for checking out the progression of my art. I look forward to reading and responding to your comments. If any of you are on LinkedIn, Twitter (@DaveDorman) or Facebook, you can find me there and I’ll be happy to connect with you. Be sure to follow my wife, Denise Dorman, on Twitter, as she sometimes post things going on here that I’m in the thick of and don’t have time to post. She’s @WriteBrainMedia.

Have a great day and I’ll be back soon. The logistics of the holidays and visiting my father-in-law sort of got in the way of me posting a lot lately, but I’ll be better about it now that things have settled down somewhat. I want to thank those of you who wore Star Wars gear to celebrate the Star Wars Girl recently. That was right in the midst of the chaos here, so I didn’t post your pictures as I would have liked to in a timely manner. My apologies for that.

Take care, everyone,

Dave

 

Some Dave Dorman “Gone-to-the-Dogs” Art…and My Upcoming Appearances

Posted in DAVE DORMAN NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

I just came across these pieces & am posting them, just because.

Dave Dorman's Alien-Meets-Dog

Dave Dorman's Alien-Meets-Dog

This one’s always been a fan favorite and people love to see it in person.

Here’s another:

Wasted Lands' Anna Leigh

Dave Dorman's Wasted Lands: Anna Leigh & Dogs

This piece was a published book cover and is also my character Anna Leigh, from The Wasted Lands. BTW, if any of you are on FaceBook, would you and your friends please be so kind as to join the FaceBook page “Dave Dorman’s The Wasted Lands”?  Here’s the link:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=116672708382673

I really need to show strong fan support for my own comic book series property.

DAVE DORMAN’s UPCOMING APPEARANCES:

I wanted to let you know about my September appearances in case any of you can join me. Both will be in Northern Illinois.  On September 9-12, 2010 I will be joining the Chicagoland Entertainment Collectors Expo, and here’s a link for time & location: http://www.nonsportcardexpo.com/ It will be held at the Holiday Inn on Gary Avenue in Carol Stream, IL, which is a Chicago suburb about 45 minutes west of the city.

My 2nd appearance in September will be a book signing for my new book, ROLLING THUNDER: THE ART OF DAVE DORMAN on September 26th from 1-3 p.m. at BLICK ART SUPPLY in Wheaton, IL.  The address & phone # are as follows:

Blick Art Materials

79 Danada Square East (Northeast Corner of Butterfield Road & Naperville Road)

Wheaton, IL

Their phone # is 630.653.0569. Ask for my good friend Kevin  Sandstrom, who is the manager there.

Note: Don’t be surprised is you see some Stormtroopers on guard.

For those of you waiting on books & prints, I’m doing the sketches this weekend. I’m still finishing up my World of Warcraft project, so this is the reason for the delay. I’m always thankful for a holiday weekend – although it’s never time off for me!

Thanks for reading,

Dave.