Getting paid to draw in Manga style?
Since you're a freelance, is it difficult for you to find companies in the UK interested in manga drawings and style?
Its harder to find work compared to a more mainstream style (which I also have for customers who want an alternative to manga). However there is often a company or organisation who will find and contact me specifically asking for manga style artwork for a Japanese themed promotion or event. Speaking of events for example, Hitachi Europe (based in the UK) were exhibiting at a trade show in Holland a few years back and they had opted for a Japanese themed area that year to display their products. These included interactive large screen pen displays. To add to the Japanese flavour, I was hired to draw manga style art on the displays during the event in real time. I would never have expected that kind of work to come about, but goes to show there's a call for manga, even at non-related events. Having this website is the main portal for connecting me with customers. If you haven't already, make one of your own and then attempt to funnel as many prospective employers to it as you can.
Are you a fan of Comic Cons? Do you participate in any of them?
I really enjoy them, although attending lots throughout the year isn't economically viable for me.
I've participated in 17 cons here in the UK to date. If you're an artist interested in participating in any comic conventions, check out my extensive UK Comic Con article.
Should I sketch my designs before converting them to digital format?
Several years ago it was typical for me to sketch out all my work in pencil before scanning it in and colouring it digitally. To this day there's nothing wrong with that. These days a lot of people are drawing and sketching digitally with a graphic tablet as well colouring, rendering and painting over the top digitally- myself included. The main reason being time saving. The best thing to do is to try different methods and see which works best for you.
How long should it take a designer to design a 300x400 banner?
That question is too open ended to give a simple or specific answer.
If the designer needs to create an intricate illustration, rendered art or animation as a part of that banner along with time for research, idea development and input or changes from a client, it might take 20 or 100 hours+ However a simple text banner created by someone who knows their way around Photoshop or Illustrator might take 5 minutes.
Clients need to consider their briefs in detail when hiring an artist or designer. Basic questions like "how much do you charge?" Or "how long does art take?" Are equivalent to "how long is a piece of string?"
What inspired you to get into designing?
Growing up on a diet of visual entertainment- cartoons, video games and fantasy movies along with a love of aesthetics and a drive to create something of my own.
At what age did you first design a marketable graphic?
The first time I took on a paid commission online was in 2001 when I was 19. I created an album cover for a rock band featuring the 4 band members as comic book characters. I think I earned around £80 for it. I had been paid to draw a few times before then while at school, painting a little graffiti style character for my teacher's grandchild and a painting my friend's mum's cat!
If there's a question you'd like answered relating to art, or digital illustration, feel free to contact me or leave a comment. Check out Art Q&A #1 for more.