ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yes, Veronica, there are Idiots out there.

"Hey little boy, c'mere."
Veronica wrote a brilliant tome on HOW TO BE A HAPPY FREELANCER-- which includes my philosophy that if your studio is in your home it needs to be a place that you go ONLY to work, not to hang out in, not to have fun in, but to work.

You wouldn't go to your cubicle at work on your off hours to read a magazine or work on a craft project would you?  Your studio needs to be the same way to promote a positive work enviornment that doesn't encroach on your home area.

One of the things she didn't mention about freelancing or being an artist is the cold hard fact that in this world there exist idiots and unfortunately, despite the fact that they are indeed idiots, they have somehow been able to penetrate the anti-idiot force field we all hope to have surround us so we do have to deal with them.

A few years ago I was at a convention and a fan asked if I could sketch something for him.  I broke out my blue pencil and did the construction lines lightly then went to a regular pencil to tighten it up, then inked the piece and erased the regular pencil lines.  The blue lines stll faintly there.

The fan was horrified that you could see the construction lines.

I was mystified by this.

I collect original art myself and one of the things I absolutely love to see is the process of the work.  In some cases this means extensive WHITE OUT used, in others maybe an area has been scraped by a razor blade.  Still others it's the blue line pencil-- I like to see how the piece was built.

But this fan was horrified that it wasn't what he considered a finished published clean piece of artwork.

I had a client once email me a photo shoot with a model wearing a hat in one of the shots.  This was the only shot of this particular model and when he called me he said they decided they didn't want him wearing the hat and could I "just remove it in Photoshop?"

I agreed and asked what color he wanted the model's hair to be.

"Oh, just whatever color it is when you remove the hat."

I am not making that up.

Another time I did an illustration for the Department of Healthy Eating or some other such nonsensical government agency.  What they wanted was a poster "in my style" of a bunch of vegetable people dancing across a stage "like a Bugs Bunny Cartoon".

The pay was enough that I took the gig even though I knew this would be a tough one.  My first sketches were deemed too scary-- and remember they said in my style-- which tends to be scary-- so I went with a very cartoony more conservative looking group of vegetables dancing across a stage like the Rockettes at Christmas.

"We got the illustration, it's great-- but where is the banana?"

"What Banana?"

"There needs to be a banana.  We always wanted a banana."

"Okay, but you said vegetables and a banana is not a vegetable."

"Well, so what, can you add a banana?"

No problem, add the banana who now parades across the stage with a carrot, an ear of corn and a celery stalk.

"Okay, we love the banana, but we have a problem with the carrot.  It looks like it has a penis."

I look at the illustration-- the carrot does end in a point, and it has legs, but the pointed end of the carrot ends almost at its ankles.  I'm wondering how this woman's husband puts on his pants if this is what she thinks a penis looks like.

"It does?"

"Yes, it's got the long protuberance."

"You mean the end of the carrot?"

"Yes, we'll need to change that."

"Okay, well, what about the banana?  That has a protuberance too."

"Well, that's ridiculous, banana's don't have penises."

I fixed the problem by putting overalls on the Carrot.