I've had a lot of different jobs to do related to my comics work this week. Public Education Volume 1 has sold out of it's initial printing and I've finished processing my first bulk order from Strips4. I've gained the most rudimentary understanding of color, and have begun flatting details on Maps. I even took a vacation and created a four page color comic from scratch!
With my first bulk order came my first request for an invoice. This was actually far easier than I had feared. I googled "free blank invoice" and chose a site called Rocket Lawyer. These guys were fantastic. Easy questions that fed straight into the document, it prompted me to download the digital file and print hard copies, and cancelling my membership during the free trial period could not have gone more smoothly. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
I am still not a fan of digital coloring. Flatting seems a painstakingly tedious process, though it's getting to be a faster one. Learning to use the tablet is what gives me a lot of my problems. I've actually found myself switching back and forth the stylus to the mousepad quite often. This isn't a problem, really, but it doesn't feel like the ideal set up either. The biggest boost to my speed was learning three Photoshop hotkeys "L" for lasso, "W" for wand, and "alt+backspace" to fill. The lasso tool lets me block out a section of the picture to color in, the fill command puts a solid color of my choosing into the selected area. If I want to highlight all of a certain color I use the magic wand, and then I can easily fill the space with a new color if I'm so inclined. "I" for eyedropper lets you select any color that you can touch. This makes it very easy to keep color consistent from page to page.
I want to talk about Vacation as well, but I think I'm going to save that for next week. A cartoonists work is never done.
- Jon O'Briant