Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pages for CTS

"STIKE THE POSE" 11"X14" scratchboard
2012 copyright Alan Bennett and BBVA

Hey there sports fans Al here with the latest: 

CTS #1, page 7

As of this posting I should have page 7 completed.  Colors and everything.  So the release of CTS #1 should be on target for Rose City show this year.  At least that is the goal.
OF COURSE this book still has to be edited and proofed.  Like all good books. And to me this is one of the better books I have worked on since Pandora's Garage volumes 1-5 on "Avatar".   I will say that a lot of the time I have been complemented on my story and set up by my peers but initial story that I have written is occasionally mired down by my own dialogue and narration .   The ideas are great but sometimes the execution doesn't always match up with the concept. 
I think that this is true for a lot of really talented artists out there. They have a fantastic idea but are SO focused on the illustrative end of things that the idea of writing almost becomes tedious once the piece of art is actually done.  This is the reason when you look at a lot of independent creators and companies at shows out there that they take a really long time to work on a protect.  Its one of the reasons I haven't cranked out another Corpse Cop story in scratchboard because of the length of time it would take to make.  Its not that I don't want to but scratchboard really  takes a lot of time.
So another Corpse Cop project will be in the wings waiting for a bit.
This is the reason why CTS was designed as only 12 pages and in full color than what I had done with the Vega books. 
Quicker turn around time for you the buying audience.  If my personal time wasn't taken up by two regular 9 to 5 hour jobs, I might be able to turn out 8 12 page full color cliffhanger books for CTS. This is still a feasible deal based upon sales of CTS.
I keep my fingers crossed on this.
If I win a lottery that might happen but not real realistic since I don't play the lottery.  
4 of the 6 5"x7" Prototypes for scratchboard

6 new pieces of work are on deck for illustration.  Now based upon recommendations from both Devon Devereaux and Dan DePaolo during this years show at Emerald City ComiCon I plan on doing a few of the Universal Monsters.   The Boris Karloff Frankenstein did real well for me so I plan on expanding on that concept. But of course there are the original pieces that I will have as well.
If the indication of scratchboard in sales is any indication (based upon recent sales by my friend Rosy) the 5"x7"s are selling very, very well.
So I have to crank out these little works.  Of course I don't believe that these are gonna be coffee shop worthy but Portland is a weird place and they might do very, very well.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

BBVA UPDATE 6/ 17/12

Hey there sports fans Al here with the latest: 
Johnny Vega #4, Page 5 2010
copyright Alan Bennett and BBVA
As of this posting I am hoping to have gotten to the half way point in the digital coloring .   Now mind you I still have the editorial needs on the book but i am excited about the look of it.
Johnny Vega #4 cover 2010 copyright
Alan Bennett and BBVA
When I completed the fourth installment for Johnny Vega "The Rock Apes of Xandar- The conclusion"  I realized that I had reached a plateau artistically (comic book speaking.).  I had made my version of a Marvel Comic that I would have bought and collected as a kid.
But as much as I love that character I still need to move forward and CTS does that for me.

Corrax the Seeker #1, Page 4 2012 copyright
Alan Bennett and BBVA
Work doodles for potential scratchboard show pieces.
Not to say that I have written Vega off just put him on the back burner.  He still appears in flashbacks for Corrax and good rich background history to literally draw from.

The scratchboard work that I am looking at for the next couple shows should be pretty cool.  If work continues the way it has been for the last couple weeks I should have 25 pieces in all.  That's not including the original 11"x14" work that I have gotten into working on either.

"GODZILLA" Toby Person Collection 2012
GODZILLA IS DONE!  Yes, the King of the Monster is finally done.  With so many things going on in personal life and other the work is done and now onto framing and delivery.
The end of this year should be pretty interesting.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Creative Process

Hey there sports fans Al here with the latest: 
You remember how I was saying that the production of work was going to slow down and the focus on presentation was the new thing to get into?
Well I lied.
Remember how I was also talking about the addiction to creating?  I guess I succumbed to the creative process like most artists I know. 
"STRIKE THE POSE" and a quick sketch from work.
2012 copyright Alan Bennett and BBVA

"HUNTING PARTY 2" 11"x14" scratchboard
2012 copyright Alan Bennett and BBVA

Uhnk 5"x7" clayboard

"DAWN OF MAN"  5"x7" scratchboard
2012 copyright Alan Bennett and BBVA
My reason why is the need to have at least 20 different pieces of scratchboard ready for the Rose City ComiCon this year and Jet City Comic Show in Seattle.
Theses of course are the 5"x7" s that I take with me every year and every show.
So thats where I stand right now with the artwork.  
OF COURSE this doesn't stop the creative process at all.  The latest piece of work was writing a story called "Superior Erectus".  
For me this kinda of story is a real messed up one and one origin of mankind with a twist of Poe and other such as Nigel Kneale.  All in glorious scratchboard as well.  
This would be sold in brown paper bag addition like NEOtrash Comix "P.F.B."  If you haven't seen or read that book you have no idea what to expect then.
But now it's onto the coloring of CTS #1 .

Sunday, June 3, 2012

BBVA Update for 5/3/12

Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest:
Now work continues on CTS #1 with the coloring and CTS #2 with transfer for finished pencils.
With all that you wonder is there anytime for anything else?
Well to answer that question is yes.
In the last week I have managed to transfer two images to a larger version of scratchboard (11"x14" to be exact) of last weeks smaller version of "Hunting Party 2" and the edition of War Ram "Decimation" 
"DECIMATION" 11"X14" Scratchboard
copyright 2012 Alan Bennett and BBVA

These I believe will be the last of the large scale scratchboards after a fairly interesting conversation I had with another professional artist and the realization that I said what I needed to hear. 
Limit production.
Now mind you I said production not creativity.  That will always be going on no matter whether or not you want to stop it.  To paraphrase the interaction i had with a professional painter at an art store I work at I said "as an artist its part of your job to know how to present your work.  This means learning  the art of selling yourself.".  Its not an easy task to pick up.  Most creators (regardless of how enthusiastic they are of their projects) never want to take the time sell.
EITHER its because of:
1). fear of success because now they have to produce work of the same quality on a regular basis.
2).  The artist in question is too humble in their opinion of their work and constantly undercut themselves in pricing of the work.
3). Feel as if they stop creating work it will never come back.
4). They are addicted to the creative process like a sex addict and can't stop themselves.
5). All of the above- to one degree or another.
I have in my time personally known artists that are much more talented than I but they constantly find ways of  sabotaging themselves by constantly correcting flaws in their work.  And they are no closer to getting the work out there because of this.
Truth is it will never be perfect.  You could work on a piece till the cows come home and it still wouldn't be done.
That is a crying shame.
So learning the process making cold calls to galleries around the area, the introduction of yourself, learning what their specs are and how and who to get a hold of.
But knowing it and doing it are two different things- I know.
The other thing that I wanted to talk about goes to presentation and the idea of scarcity.
One friend of mine says that scarcity of a image is the key to success.  I understand that idea but I don't agree with it. 
Artists seem not to really want to embrace the new technology that exists here in the 21 century.  Its a foreign language to most and they hope that someone will come along to help them.
Ain't gonna happen.
So to take matters into my own hands were the following I to came up with to promote the scratchboard:
1). Have a show of originals.  Run for a month.
2). Offer after show prints of same work but cheaper than original.
3). Offer another option of digital print a gleece for the cheapest value.
4). Digital download onto printer or desktop Kendal or Nook. 
And like print on demand on for comics everything is offered really really cheap. 
And to illustrate this concept lets say you have one original for $10,000.00
Then you offer 200 prints at $500.00 that = $ 10,000.00
OR you could offer to say
That I  have a website that is offering digital print called a giclee for $100.00.  That is potentially a million dollars or more.
So scarcity in today's ever changing collectors market is not  counted in decades or even a single year, its marked in days by hits online. 
So there you have it for BBVA.