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On Writing/Art: To Truly Be A Master, You Must Think Like A Novice

posted May 16, 2009, 2:36 PM by Vu Sleeper   [ updated May 16, 2009, 2:40 PM ]
Book Four
I'd been searching for the right words to begin this post, and "Amateur" and "Professional" don't quite fit the bill. But Master and Novice do.

NEW TEEN TITANS #38 (Jan 1984)
A novice can still act with professionalism. But what I wanted to address was the work itself ("work" applying equally well to any creative endeavor), and the process a creator goes though in maturing from a novice to a master.

Sorting out some old boxes, I came across three color pages I did for the continuation of the PRYDERI TERRA comics, which I hoped to publish through DC Comics' imprint Piranha Press (back in the good ol' days around 1987-88).

The pages were a long stretch better than the earlier work I'd done. After all, an entire YEAR had passed. I was getting better. And the coloring was decent - I was MUCH better at that, having been instructed by people like Mike Grell and Stan Sakai and Mark Wheatley how I should be doing my coloring. But the art styles were drawing on some very broad influences: one page was all George Perez (TEEN TITANS); one was Bissette & Totleben (SWAMP THING); one was Giffen (LEGION) crossed with Gibbons (WATCHMEN). And these were CONSECUTIVE PAGES.

That was pretty daring of me, I thought. I wouldn't take creative risks like that today. And then I wondered: when did I stop being daring?

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NEW TEEN TITANS #38 - Page 1 (Jan 1984)

Coopervale Art

Coopervale Art

NEW TEEN TITANS #38 - Page 2 (Jan 1984)

NEW TEEN TITANS #38 - Page 23 (Jan 1984)