Here's another selection of some of my older manga, game or anime inspired artworks (originally posted on my Instagram and cropped). Let me know if you have a favourite out of these 🙂
I'm still currently working on my latest 'How-To' guide book due for publication in 2016. Here's a little preview of some of the characters budding artists will be drawing from the book.
The working title for the project- 'The artist's guide to drawing manga'. With so many how-to-draw manga books out already it makes the hardest part just trying to come up with a title which hasn't already been used!
In previous books I'd get some assistance- a few images contributed by other artists, help with parts of the text, or I might at least commission an artist to digitally ink a couple of the images to save me some time. I wanted this one to be 100% my own stuff, for better or worse! Since I'd used my my previous back-catalogue of artwork on Digital Manga, I'm having to create all new stuff within an 8 month deadline while having other projects on the go. A challenge, but already have 89 pages down, with 39 to go 🙂
Had an idea about drawing a robot holding a dying woman in her arms, so sketched out a quick doodle:
A few days later I was thinking about 'Quake 3 arena' - many hours of fun had playing that one on the Sega Dreamcast with friends, or solo when I was in my teens. Wanted to try sketching something up without starting with a line art like I usually do so did this:
It's now official. I'll be attending MCM Comic Con in London on 23-25 of October. First time having a table in the Comic Village and looking forward to it 🙂 I'll be selling original art prints and copies of my book Digital Manga.
For future reference, here's my ad for local art tuition in Kent:
One to One Tuition using Adobe Photoshop to create and colour character artwork by experienced anime and manga style artist and author Ben Krefta.
Ideal for art university students, anyone interested in digital art, video game art, manga, comics and traditional media illustrators. Students are expected to have a minimum basic understanding of computers and Photoshop. Students will also need to have their own computer or laptop with software and a graphic tablet. To practice techniques in their own time.
Location: At his private art studio in the centre of Chatham, Kent (or can travel to student at an additional pence per mile rate).
Cost: Lessons are £60 per 3 hour session. There are 3 sessions to complete the 9 hours worth of demonstrations. Students are expected to take notes during these demos.
For further information, please contact Ben Krefta. You can Google him, to see further examples of his artwork, or visit benkrefta.com
Here's a little walk-through of me discussing the artwork currently on my website.
Thought I'd share a little gallery of photos I'd previously taken and posted on Instagram. I usually just post art on Instagram, but sometimes you just come across something interesting and want to capture or document it.
Most designs you find at local retailers are boring, ordinary, common or look cheap and tacky- especially this recent craze for rectangle prints on the fronts of t-shirts which look like an uninspiring ink-jet transfer paper job. A design on shirts, any other clothing, or even tattoos on skin need to be placed properly. A top-heavy shirt with a design covering just the shoulders and chest or an a-symmetric piece of artwork can look great, but most companies just churn out the same, basic, small to medium sized square or round design slapped in the centre with no consideration to flow, composition or just trying to do something a bit different.
Recently I designed a full-print shirt with one of my doodle-mech designs after stumbling upon a UK company who can process full-coverage 'dye sublimation' shirts at small quantities. Check out www.sublab.co.uk for more info. I designed the shirt to fit the provided template, then sent it back as a PSD Photoshop file. Wanted a dark purple tee with contrasting orange for a while, so here's my opportunity to get one 🙂
There was no mention of shirt dimensions other than chest size on site at the time, so did a little research for "American apparel t-shirt" to get a fairly good idea of the size I'd need. Being 6'1" male, with a 40" chest and 35" waist, I went for a medium and it fit pretty well. Some sizes hinted at a large being more appropriate for me. Although I prefer a slightly tighter fit, so wonder if a 'small' (described as a 34-36" chest size) would have looked better on my frame? I wondered if it would be possible to find and supply your own shirts for printing to guarantee a better fit? If spending over £30 for a t-shirt, you'd hope for it to fit well as well as look good.
The design came out very nicely with colours nearly as vibrant as my RGB computer screen. Tonal contrast was lacking a touch in certain areas, which is worth taking into consideration when designing my next shirt. There wasn't enough contrast with the subtle greys on the inside neck logo, so would also look to make that darker for next time. Very fine lines don't show up so well- keeping things a little bigger and bolder is the way to go.
The biggest problem was the inevitable white creases around the seams and armpit areas. Patches, nooks and crannies where the print doesn't reach. I knew there would be a strong possibility of this happening and they looked pretty bad if the arms were raised. I manually filled these areas with a black Sharpie, which over time fades out to a grey tone. Took some effort but now looks A LOT better than it did upon arrival, and probably not noticeable unless pointed out. I'm hoping it'll hold up in the wash. I may need to try other permanent ink or fabric markers if not.
I like the idea of selling full front and back print shirt designs, but with my mark-up on top, I'm not sure people would be willing to pay £40-£50 for a single t-shirt? It may not be everyone's cup of tea, so for now I'll continue to create my own custom shirts from time to time for personal use and leave it at that. Many thanks to Sublab for providing the opportunity to try this. The shirt looks awesome!
Apologies for the poor photo quality of on my phone, but you get the idea 🙂
My old site Organic Metal- moved it to a new server today and half of it needed updating as the code was so out of date...
It is nearly 15 years young now, with the latest web design being around 10 years old. I still like it, but the internet has changed- people want relevant content and quicker. Most people aren't looking to read through 100s of pages of content on a single person. Especially now that nearly everyone who draws, paints and designs has some kinda web presence, be it on their own personalized sites, or through social media platforms.
I'm still planning to keep it up and running in the background for now as a testament to the 100s of hours and many months I'd spent creating then tinkering with it 🙂
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