A couple of weeks ago at Pac Con I was asked to speak on a panel about designing and illustrating monsters. It turned out to be a panel of one without a moderator. I don’t know how that happened but I jumped on the opportunity to assume total power over a group of diverse individuals. After all, these people had come to this panel to hear my words, to absorb my wisdom, to catch a spark of light from the vast inferno that is my encyclopedic knowledge of all things monstrous! I think some of them also had tired legs from walking around all day and just wanted to sit down. I would have to strike a fine balance to maintain my hold on them.
Back in high school I was given the chance to travel to some of the local elementary schools and teach some drawing to the kids. It got me out of school early and helped the district save some money from their dwindling art budget. I loved teaching the kids and this experience at the convention reminded me how much I enjoy encouraging others to explore their interests.
When I found out that I would be doing the panel I decided to sketch something up to illustrate some of my points, and I naturally delved into some Lovecraftian inspiration for a play off of the deep ones. I took the sketch along to the panel to show how messy and all over the place these sorts of things can be and I transferred most of what I liked about the sketch to a finished drawing so that I could demonstrate how to clean things up and arrive at something more polished. I had originally planned on painting him up with some background elements but I found I have too many more important things to work on right now so I ended up just scanning it in to Photoshop and dropping some texture over it with a little tonal work.
I had a great time on the panels and in particular the monster one. It scratched that teaching itch that has been nagging at me for a bit. I’ll have to see if there are other ways to get involved with class room settings. If nothing else the sense of power was very gratifying. As Jack Handy once said “I think in a past life I was a king because I like people to do what I say.”