I have been consulting some people, and I have had long talks with some of them, most fellow artists, and I could see more clearly my weaknesses while drawing and in my attitude, what to change and what to enhance and improve...
It is unusual for me to ask opinion to others about what I do, despite being exposed publicly with my work here and on other networks such as facebook. Receiving criticism is hard for me, always has been. However this time I've been looking for it.
Some of the things they mentioned I could see them myself. Others not. It has been enlightening and I think from now on I will count more with the view of those around me. One believes that knows a lot about any subject, in this case drawing, but in a way is blind to many details. The help of others is necessary even when they say things we wouldn't want to hear.
Also yesterday I was looking for information about Yannick Paquette. I just discover him as an artist for his recent work in Wonder Woman Earth One and I was amazed with his drawing skills. I have had the opportunity to see some pages in detail, expanding the images a lot, observed the lines of ink used, and despite how clean everything looks normal size, they are faster, loose and even a little dirty (at least to my way of understanding inks). I thought a well done professional job in the world of American comics should be cleaner and precise. I had already seen it in Frank Cho (although he appears to be absolutely clean), and even in Garcia-Lopez works (when Inking himself), but had not paid enough attention: agile, open lines, not always connected to each other... dynamic! That is missing from my drawings! I leave everything so tied, all lines are so studied that the power is lost. My drawings look beautiful (I guess) but are lacking in grace. It's something that should start changing from now on!
Watching a couple of videos of Paquette and reading a couple of interviews in which he commented on his career I realized something. It's funny because it's something I have heard before, but until yesterday I did not see clearly: Yannick said his time making monthly series was very hard, but, and this is important, the speed a penciller should work to meet deadlines was what helped shape his style. Yes, it has influences as anyone, and that's important, but the daily work under pressure, which pushes to leave everything looser, simplify judiciously, but without thinking too much how each line is done, is what ends making a cartoonist really its potential to become a reality and that their drawings look as good drawings, not as someone's who has some idea, but that seems to be tied hand and uncomfortable, just my case.
I do not know if I managed to explain well, but I have it pretty clear now: we must draw a lot, A LOT (this is never insisted enough), and not do, as I do, an illustration a week studying each line I draw. You have to let the lines flow alone a bit, LET THAT HAPPY ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, and try not to be with the same job too long. Let's see if I can apply these teachings in my work!