Tuesday, July 17, 2007
In a Past Life
So, Kermit up there? He's from my past life. I was a licensed character artist for cartoon merchandisers for many years. First working at a T-shirt company for 5 years and then freelancing for lots of other people. I was mostly a concept artist. I rarely did the finish work. Which was great for my brain, bad for my portfolio. I have boxes and boxes of sketches and comps. All hand done. The computer only played a part the last few years of my doing merchandising artwork. I have mixed feelings about this period of my life. I got to draw my favorite characters from Mickey to Peanuts.... I pumped out a lot of ideas every day... I learned a lot , BUT I ran screaming from that world. By 1997, the cartoon characters that I was really passionate about were just products people were schilling and no one seemed to care about them but me. At least not the folks in charge. It was all dollars and sales figures and how can we dress up Bugs Bunny as a rapper again... Also, the companies like Warner Bros. and Disney stopped letting artists like me draw their characters. The model sheets became style guides..the style guides became the artwork. I was far too talented to cut and paste and draw clothes on their artwork. So, getting pregnant was an out. And I don't want back in. Fellow artists are always saying to me how I could easily get work in Licensing. Even licensed childrens' books. No Thank you. I spent too much time drawing other people's characters, I'm ready to create my own.