Sunday, March 08, 2015
Moebius: 18 tips for comics artists
"A brief manual for cartoonist"
1. when you draw you must clean yourself of deep feelings (hate, happiness, ambition, etc)
2. it's important to educate the hand, attain obedience, to full fill ideas. but careful with perfection, to much, as well as too much speed, as well as their opposites are dangerous. to much looseness, instant drawings,aside from mistakes, there's no will of the spirit, only the bodies.
3. perspective is of sum importance, it;s a law of manipulation in the good sense, to hypnotise the reader. it;s good to work in real spaces, more that with photos, to exercise our reading of perspective.
4. another thing to learn with affection is the study of the human body, the positions, the types, the expressions, the arquitecture of bodies, the difference between people. the drawing is very different when it come to a male or a female, because in the male you can change a little the lines, it supports to have some impressions. but with the female precision must be perfect, if not she may turn ugly or upset. then no one buys our book! so for the reader believes the story, the characters must have life and personality of their own, gestures that come from character, from their diseases; the body transforms with life and there's a message in the structure, in the distribution of fat, in every muscle, in every fold of the face and body. it;s a study of life.
5. when you make a story you can start with out knowing everything, but making notes (in the actual story) about the particular world of that story. that way the reader recognizes and becomes interested. when a character dies in a story, and that character has no story drawn in his face in his body, in his dress, the reader does not care, there's no emotion. and then the editors say: "your story is worthless, there's only one dead guys and I need 2) or 30 dead guys for it to work" but that is not true, if the dead guy, or wounded guy or sick guys or whomever is in trouble has a real personality that comes from study, from the artists capacity for observation, emotion will emerge (empathy). In the study you develop an attention for others, a compassion, and a love for humanity. it's very important for the development of an artist, if he wants to be a mirror, it must contain inside it;s consciousness the whole world, a mirror that sees everything.
6. jodorwosky says I don't like drawing dead horses. it;s very difficult. it's very difficult to draw a body that sleeps, that's abandoned, because in comics you're always studying action. it;s easier to draw people fighting thats way Americans always draw superheroes. it;s more difficult to draw people talking, because there are a series of movements, very small, but that have a significance, and that accounts for more, because it need love, attention to the other, to the little things that speak of personality, of life. the superheores have no personality, all of them have the same gestures and movements (pantomimes ferocity, running and fighting)
7. equally important is the clothing of the characters, the state they;re in, the materials, the textures are a vision of their experiences, of their lives, their situation in the adventure, that can say a lot with out words. In a drew there's a million folds, you must chose 2 or 3, but the good ones.
8. the style, the stylistically continuity of an artist is symbolical, it can be read like the tarot. I chose as a joke the name Moebius, when I was 22, but in truth there's a meaning to that. if you bring a t shirt with Don Quixote, that speaks to me of who you are. in my case, I give importance to a drawing of relative simplicity, that way subtle indications can be made.
9. when an artist, a drawing artist goes out on the street, he does not see the same things other people see. what he sees is documentation about a way of life, about people.
10. another important element is composition. the composition on our stories must be studied, because a page, or a painting, is a face that looks towards (faces) the reader and that speaks to him. it's not a succession of panels with out meaning. there's panels that are full and some that are empty, others that have a vertical dynamic or a horizontal one, and on that there is intention. the vertical excites (cheers), the horizontal calms, an oblique to the right , for us westerners, represents the action heads towards the future, and oblique to the left directs action toward the past. points (points of attention) represent a dispersion of energy. something places in the middle focalises energy and attention, it concentrates. these are basic symbols for reading, that exercise a fascination, a hypnosis. you must have a consciousness about rhythm, set traps for the reader to fall on to, and if he falls, and gets lost and may move inside them with pleasure because there's life. you must study the great painters, the ones that speak with their paintings, of any school or period, that does not matter, and they must be seen with that preoccupation for physical composition, but also emotional. in what way the combination of lines on that artist touches us directly in the heart.
11. narration must harmonize with the drawing. there must be a visual rhythm from the placement of words, plot must correctly maneuver cadence, to compress or expand time. must weary of the election and direction of characters. use them as a film director and study all different takes.
12. careful with the devastating influence of north american comics in mexico, they only study a little anatomy, dynamic composition, the monsters, the fights, the screaming and teeth (grin). I like them as well, but there are many other possibilities that must be explored.
13. there's a connection between music and drawing. but that depends also on the personality and the moment. for perhaps 10 years I've been working in silence, and for me the music is rhythm of the lines (the music he listens to). to draw is sometimes to hunt for findings, an exact (fair, just) line is an orgasm!
14. color is a language that the artist (drawing artist) uses to manipulate the readers attention and to create beauty. there's objective and subjective color, the emotional states of the character influence the coloring and lighting can change from one panel to the next, depending on the space represented and the time of the day. the language of color must be studied with attention.
15. especially at the beginning of a career, one should work on short stories but of a very high quality. there's a better chance to finish them successfully and place them on a book or with editors.
16. there are times when we are headed to failure knowingly, we choose a theme, an existence, a technique that does not suit (convene) us. you must not complain afterwards.
17. when new pages are sent to editors and see rejection, we should ask for the reasons. we must study the reasons for failure and learn. it's not about struggle with our limitations or with public or the publishers. it's more about treating it like in aikido; the strength (power) of the attack is used to defeat him with the same effort.
18. now it is possible to find reader in any part of the planet. we must have this present. to begin with, drawing is a way of personal communication, but this does not imply that the artist must envelop himself in a bubble; it' communication with the beings near us, with oneself, but also with unknown people. Drawing is a medium to communicate with the great family we have not met, the public, the world.
august 18th 1996 compiled by Perez Ruiz, translation by Xurxo g Penalta
Posted by ***** at 11:05 AM