Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Time Wasters and Ranting

I get a little upset when I make a complaint, a quite justified complaint, to be told that I am ranting. To be told one is ranting somehow reduces the severity of the complaint to the extent that one becomes classed as the one at fault rather than the injured party. The particularly annoying and dangerous aspect is that the party that caused the complaint in the first place can dismiss one's reaction as a rant and basically get away with all kinds of bad behaviour.

That is not really the subject of this post, just prepare yourself for a complaint... or, if you like, a rant. In an earlier post I bemoaned the fact that I do a fair amount of work that will never sees the light of day. This post is a follow on. About 3 weeks ago I was asked by my agent to do yet another sample. At the time I was short of work so I agreed even though it is not at all in any style I have done before. Of course the deadline was to be 24hrs, or some such short amount of time. I duly stayed up late to complete it, then later still when I realised I'd somehow overwritten the finished file with a much earlier one. (A problem I keep having.. even today I overwrote an entire day's work.) So I send off the image and get a cursory, "lovely, thanks" email from the agent. Then nothing. Even my agent does not reply for 3 weeks (probably off on some luxury holiday that I could never afford).

Bear in mind that I have exactly reproduced the characters and background styles from animation character drawings they supplied, so they have no reason to reject it as it fulfils the brief perfectly. I would accept any explanation. Perhaps they wanted the sample for some business deal that didn't work out, or they changed their mind on the characters, or even a straight "no thanks". What makes me rant with fury is the totally contemptible way they they cannot be bothered to communicate anything with me. It's the most basic common courtesy that is missing. It also reveals the fact that they do not value, at all, the contribution of the creatives without which their business would not exist at all. Bizarre behaviour yet sadly common.

There you go, now was that a rant or a complaint?

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Enid in Colour!

Cover for one of the Enid Blyton covers that I am currently working on for Award publications. For the first time I used Art Rage on a professional job. It's a great program that now has a nearly realistic watercolour paint system. I say "nearly", because although I mostly get good results, I still struggle to get the same flexibility that traditional paint on paper provides. Computer watercolour can't seem to match the way real paint mixes and merges. Perhaps Art Rage, Painter, Photoshop, etc. can manage it and it's me being incompetent in the use of the program. These days I don't think that is a reasonable excuse from the developers. A user should be able to pick up the brush and get painting straight away instead of grinding through tutorials and help files. Art Rage, of all paint programs I have tried over the years, comes closest to this ideal. Best of all it's so cheap, if you've never used it give it a go. Art Rage