At this year's upcoming HEROES CONVENTION 30th ANNIVERSARY (Woot!) in Charlotte, NC, there will be a 5K (3.1 miles) Fun Run which RICO RENZI (who lent his substantial coloring skills tot he promotional image above) is helping to organize. I think it's a brilliant idea which I am looking forward to participating in. On top of that, there will be a small modest monetary collection taken from the participants - the total sum of which will be generously given to a local charity. It's gonna be a hoot.
Onto the 'Portfolio Review' part.
For me, Heroes Con is a great convention to meet young, up-and-coming artists coming out of school looking for critiques about their work from the professionals attending the show. I'm excited to help as much as I can with whatever insight and advice I can give. But I've always believed that (just based on my experience with drawing actual comic books) there are other artists and illustrators who could offer up better, more applicable advice than I ever could. So I wanted to try something new. It's something like this:
New Artists, I would love to review your portfolio; 30 minutes at a time, all day Sunday, the day after the Fun Run. But here's the only caveat: YOU HAVE TO RUN ON SATURDAY.
In my effort to help any future illustrator who's chosen to have a semi/fully-sedentary lifestyle, whose chosen profession may lead to future health issues, I would like to help in changing their attitude and their culture towards health. I'm speaking from personal experience, folks. I was 5'5" and nearing 200lbs at one point in my life - all because I made poor choices regarding my health as it pertains to and contradicts with my art and my deadlines. It was/is a horrible reality everyone has to deal with in our industry: You're out of shape because you love drawing. If you believe as I do that the long term value of becoming a relevant artist in your craft is exclusively about only drawing, then you're not seeing the bigger picture, and you've already started down the path of the riskiest of futures. The word you need to pay attention to now is 'longevity'. While your 'art' will get you recognized, appropriated with accolades, and celebrated among your peers - your 'life' and the fashion in which you are living it as you are exploring that 'art' has a lot to do with proper diet and exercise, your attitude towards balance and outlook, and the ability to visualize what/where you want to be 5-10-15 years from now.
But that's a lot to take in and put into practice all at one time. So for now, let's focus on health, yes?
That said, if you'd like to have 30mins of my time where I carefully go over your pages/samples - panel by panel, if need be, then that's the standing, non-negotiable offer: 3.1 MILES GETS YOU A 30 MINUTE PORTFOLIO REVIEW. Jog, run or sprint- its all the same to me. But on SATURDAY, JUNE 23rd, you're on the starting line with me at 6:30 AM. There's plenty of time to prepare between now & then, and there's a plethora of ARTICLES online that will help you train for the event. Now it just comes down to your determination.
On a personal note: There are many things that we may not be able to control nor agree upon within the business of this industry. I'm being candid with you when I say that more than half of the things I read about what's happening with mainstream comic books leave me saddened and shaking my head because things have gotten this way. But I understand that's not really in my control and accept that I can't change those things. What I can do is try to live up to the MOEBIUS quote that's in the header of this blog. That I can try for.
I hope you will help me.