Marc Alan Fishman: Oh My God, I Like Drawing Again!
A funny thing about Unshaven Comics: at the conventions I have always felt out of place. Kyle over the years has become a one man sales force. Matt? A commission-churning machine. Me? I used to laugh as say “I’m in marketing.” Mainly because like everyone in marketing… it meant “doing everything that isn’t actually selling.” I networked with other professionals. I people-watched. I tallied our money, made change, and added polite conversation when the paying customers wanted to chat (and Kyle, in complete shock to them, only wanted their money…The cur!). And then, as is his way… Matt threw down a gauntlet.
“Dude. Just draw something.”
On paper? Without my computer? And Wacom? And the internet to guide me? And no digital references? What kind of hell was he inviting me to!? And, as a joke, I drew Domo-Kun. Domo, a Japanese TV mascot and popular-with-the-hipsters-and-kawaii-crowd character. Everyone at the table giggled and laughed. They egged me on to do more. I however looked at the scribbling and felt ashamed. I would not do another Domo for at least a year.
For those unfamiliar with my life story (because I ain’t good enough fer’ a Wikipedia entry like everyone else on this site…yet.), I do actually know how to draw undigitally. I majored in print making. I took years of life drawing. But the allure of the bells and whistles of Adobe’s Creative Suite was a siren’s song I could not fight. Shortly after receiving my BFA, I’d all but forgotten by pencils and pens. And by the time Unshaven Comics had formed… my tool box was built not of plastic, but of pixels. And with years of rust forming over my natural line—smoothed over by implausibly perfect vector lines and filters—my return to ‘original art’ was much like my foray into sequential art: done with my kicking and screaming all the way.
Until a few weeks ago.
While attending our first Gem City Comic Con in Columbus, I got an itch to produce Domos again. Perhaps it was because the show offered me little to do “marketing wise.” Perhaps it was a way to pass the time a bit. Perhaps it was kismet. I doubt it, but hey, it could be. This time, I really took my time. I slowed down, and paid attention to the details. I forced myself to remember those skills I’d long ditched for an Intuos. And then something really odd happened. Someone walked up and wanted to purchase one. And then another. And another. Call it a boost of confidence on the smallest scale, but it did wonders for me. With C2E2 going on as you read this… I figured I’d “come out of the closet” as a full blown commission-taking Domo-Maker. I’d offer to draw more… but the fans on our Facebook told me no.
To that point: I started posting up my Domos on our Facebook. Since doing it? We’ve gained 117 fans at the moment of me writing this. Far be it from me to doubt when the Internet tells me to do something. Of course by that account my next 4 articles will be about Star Trek, Pro Wrestling, and 2 slamming DC Comics. But I digress.
This week, I put down my digital pen, and vowed to fill up my “example book” of trading cards, as well as work on actual commissions asked of me prior to the show. In doing so, I’ve been prescient of a change within me. During time at the ole’ day-job, I’ve found myself scribbling in the margins. A fad I’d long dropped in Junior High School. As I drove about town on errands, I found myself yearning to get back to the board to draw, ink, and color. An e-mail declaring a “half price sale” at the local art supply shop was not immediately spammed and trashed. Yes indeed my friends. A latent love of mine has bubbled to the forefront of my life again.
My name is Marc Alan Fishman, and I can draw again.
SUNDAY: John Ostrander
MONDAY: Mindy Newell