Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why am I an Artist?

So I find myself wanting to answer this eternal question…..Why? There are a lot of why questions in life. So here is the one that I want to answer today. Why am I an Artist?  I could give the basic response to this and say, "Because I like to draw pictures!" But of course that would be the quick response.  I would assume most people like or have liked to draw pictures at one time or another.  The answer to this question goes a bit deeper.  Allow me to elaborate!

Like many artist I found myself scribbling on everything I could get my grubby little hands on.  Whenever I was board ( Which was quite often. ) I would begin to draw.  It intrigued me at a very young age.  Not only was drawing fun, it was a challenge.  My goal was to constantly try to take the images from my mind and put them on paper.  Every day getting a little closer and enjoying this imaginative journey.  

I also noticed something else about myself.  I was scared to let anyone see the work until I was finished.  I wasn't confident as an artist yet.  I would often times even draw things then hide them so no one would see how bad they were.  But, I hardly ever threw them away.  Why?  If it wasn't good enough to put on the wall for every passer by to see then why keep it?  Why?  Then it occurred to me.  I didn't want to throw them away because they were part of me.  No matter how bad that drawing was and how embarrassed I might be if it didn't win the approval of my peers, I couldn't simply dispatch of it.  It was a part of my journey.  A mental map of where I had been at that stage of my life.

I have accumulated boxes of these so called mental maps now.  And each one carries me to a moment in time instantly.  I can literally here the music that I was listening to while drawing the image.  Not always, but sometimes.  And that is better than a Polaroid picture any day! 

So back onto the focus of why? Why do we choose to be artist. What is the compelling factor to express ourselves by creating images?  I think it goes past the idea of choice.  I believe that it is a part of us.  I think that we are all artist in the beginning of our lives but something about the percentage of us that continue to do it are almost consumed by it.  In a good way of course.  ( My girlfriend wouldn't agree. )  I don't think I have a choice and I don't really want one.  I am passionate about creating art.  I am in a competitive race with myself.  Before my time is done on this hunk of rock, how good can I truly get?  One thing is for sure.  I will never tire of it.  I will never create something and then say, "That is it! That is my very best! I can quit now."  

I wouldn't quit anyways because the other reason I am an artist is that it relaxes me.  It gives me an outlet.  Without art I probably would have ended up on the streets way too often and the end result would have been a lot less positive than my life has turned out.  So in closing, I thank God for the gift of being an artist.  And to answer the question why?……….Why not?  ;)

Thanks for reading!

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics

You can get my comic book Blackstone Eternal at Indyplanet.com - Your support is appreciated!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Finding Inspiration to Draw by Robert Marzullo...

Hello fellow comic artist and art lovers. Here is an update into the world of Ram Studios. The Blackstone comic is being worked on when I can squeeze it in between commercial jobs at the moment. I have to pay the bills first so when a Storyboard job or a sign job come in, they get pushed up on the list. And poor Blackstone goes to the back burner! Sad but the hard truth of life. Which also brings me to the topic of this post, "Finding Inspiration to Draw!"

It is a very scary topic at times for Artist, Writers, Musicians, etc. How to get the creative juices flowing? Especially when you have to jump from project to project and style to style. What do you do to gain that passion for your own creative property at the drop of a dime? I am not going to tell you I have the magic potion but I will tell you my method for coping with this delimma.

First and foremost I read some of my favorite comics. I know that sounds pretty obvious but let me expound upon that idea. I go to the books that excited me to get into comics. For me it was the 90's. The art was at the top of it's game, in my opinion of course. The detail was amazing and some of the greatest artist were making a name for themselves and it really showed in their work. I was captivated by the intense detail they managed to squeeze into every panel. That alone set my art imagination a blaze. So I go back to that period in my life and reactivate that emotion to start. Secondly, I load in some good music and put on the headphones. Time to Jam!! I won't push my flavor of ice cream on you but I like Alternative Rock for  drawing. But different strokes for different folks so you go for what gets your blood moving. I think this is a big deal when drawing for long hours. It is too easy to become complacent so you have to get in the zone! Music does that for me. Third, I punch a kitten….J/k I would never pouch a kitten, unless he took the first swing. ( Then it is clearly self defense! ;) Third, if all else fails then I load up some good science fiction movies. Now keep in mind they need to be things you have seen a dozen times or you will find yourself looking at the movie more than your art. And that is 5th grade all over again. Scribbling in the back of the book when you should be reading it. I tend to watch movies that I can visualize just by hearing the story. I have watched Avengers so many times I can narrate the movie now. Now it's Guardians of the Galaxy by the way was Freakin Awesome! :)
So that is pretty much what I do to get the inspiration going and now my secret recipe for the motivation that also needs to be in the mix!

Here it is……the magic word………FAMILY! It isn't to be famous or loved by my peers. It isn't to have my work displayed in some fancy gallery. It isn't to one day to brag that I have a top selling comic book. It is to provide for my family. So I think of my baby boy Roman who needs daddy to put bread on the table. I think of my loving Jessica who puts up with my long hours of drawing. I think of my dear mother Rosa who always told me I was the best and to believe it. And I think of all my supportive friends that have had faith in me over the years. ( They are family too! ) All that combined give me fire to push and to excel. But all the motivation in the world still means diddly without the inspiration to create.

So there it is. I am not saying this is a sure fire way to get your creativity to ignite but this is my thought process on how I do it. There isn't anything worse that staring at a blank canvas and it staring back at you saying……Nothing! So give this a try or use this as a blue print with your own preferences and see  how it works. And if that doesn't work then one sure fire way to get things going is to collaborate with other artist. A convention will always get you fired up!

Keep drawing and keep having fun!

Robert A. Marzullo
Ram Studios Comics