Behind the Legends of Sam & Max Fanart – Part One, Ginny N
On the Telltale Games Forums, there is a wonderful little thread called the Legendary Sam & Max Fanart Thread, where one whose mind has gone unsatisfied throughout the day can alight and take in the joys of the truly magnificent works of many of the forum community. I recently decided to interview several of the people from around the globe that have produced some of my favorite works. This is but one of them.
Relationship Status: Unknown
Number of fingers and toes: Unknown
But what we do know is that she produces some damn fine Sam & Max fanart! So, without any further ado, I present my mostly unedited interview with Ginny N, based in Chile:
CZ: What tools do you use to create your masterpieces?
GN: Tools, tools, toooollllssss… Pretty much depends on what I want to do more than the tool itself. More recently I use a lot of Photoshop, but I also use Illustrator and SAI Pro Shop some times. That’s when it’s digital, I also do some traditional work. In that case I use a ton of Fabell Castell Coloring Pencils I have inside a DSi Box and some Felt-tip pens for the lines. For the big Black parts I use Markers like what you’d use for CDs or the Whiteboard Markers. The idea of the pencils and the computer (Because I use a Laptop) is basically, those are transportable, and, since I don’t have a workshop, I can start a piece of work everywhere in every moment. I have to admit I’m not going everywhere with the Coloring Pencils or the Computer itself, but the Felt-tip pens and the Sketch Book are always with me, so I can start a drawing before class or while I’m waiting for something. When I’m already doing something, you can see me with the DSi Box, but those moments recently had become somewhat rare.
CZ: How long does it take you, on average, to complete a work of art?
GN: 4 hours? I think? If it’s one character posing, probably that will take 1 to 2 hours. If it’s the character posing with a decent background, a bit more. Always depends how complex is the composition and which tool I’m using. For example, Sameth and Maximus took about 3 hours (That was done in Paint. Yep, the same one is in Windows XP) and Bird in a Cage took about 2 days inking, but Samurai Sam took about 1 hour and half. And that it’s without thinking of the concept first. The concept can take a lot of time, because when I have an idea I usually don’t have any time and presto! The idea can be there for days and weeks until I have some time or motivation for do something. Just ask Movil Lagomorph Launcher: I got the idea in June, the Sketch in September and the inking plus coloring took about 5 hours in October.
But, in the ideal time with a forgiving and familiar tool, 6 hours average (I’m just guessing). But the concept is totally random, like these ones for example.
ED: I am proud to say that I have a full sized poster of the Movil Lagomorph Launcher hanging in my room right now
CZ: Have you ever had a poster made of your art or considered making it into a poster?
GN: Not really. I have considered the possibility but now I’m trying to frame the originals every time I can. Once I had some “posters” of work of mine in different museums as part of expositions about Chilean Comic Artists, as part of the New Generation talent. And once I sold small posters and postcards in a Comic Convention. (While I was thinking about do something like Graham Annable does in (his) the Grickle Store, but I’m not sure if something like that will work, do you?)
CZ: Is it difficult to do Max’s head?
GN: I think Max’s head is not THAT difficult as probably looks like. His head has some little rules you have to know, like the head has more width than height, and the eyes always goes in the line of the ears. Miss those rules by a little is not always dramatic and always will still looks like Max. Sam’s for the other side has some little rules I still cannot figure out too well and miss those little details become, at least for me, way more dramatic than miss some of Max’s. Now, I have to adopt some tricks for avoid Max’s face looks too flat. I mean, Max’s head can take two tries tops but Sam’s can take like 5 tries and suddenly I have to change his whole pose. Max’s face is a bit more “human” and I guess that’s the easier part of his face, but, since at the same time is really simple and iconic, can scare a little if you don’t investigate first.
CZ: What about Sam’s body?
GN: I learned to draw by imitating Sailor Moon at first, which mean my first characters were (And still are) really thin. I came across to another character before who looks really bad with my awfully thin typical body type, so I had to learn to do wide shoulders for that character. Then I came across with Sam, I adopted that wide shoulders type of body for him. Thank goodness he wears that clothes which are always too large for him, because I just recently figure out how to draw him overweight. I guess because Noir Sam doesn’t have the Jacket, I came across the necessity of figure out a way to draw him without that trick of his jacket been too big for him. Somehow.
CZ: How long does it take to think up a concept for an artwork?
GN: The Concept is just a flash idea. When I want to draw something. When it’s a request take a bit more time. But never takes more than a day. Sometimes takes less than a second in fact.
CZ: Did you teach yourself to draw, or did you get taught, or both?
GN: I taught myself to draw, but sometimes I ask for advice to my sister, who got some classes. Mostly because I never was really the arty type in my family or at school, I never asked for classes or never anyone recommended to me something like that. So I was always drawing because I liked and because I wanted do it for fun but never seriously or for a living. I must admit the art and the colorful thing in the images actually run in the family but either my mom or my sister (Or my ex-Art Teacher for that matter) likes my style, so, that was like an uphill battle I never wanted to fight. I got more confidence when I came to College, where people started to ask me why I was studying Computer Engineering instead of Graphic Design or something. I never changed career because I also love Computer Engineering, but that people is mostly responsible of what I’m doing today about drawing and art.
CZ: What is your honest personal opinion of most of your works?
GN: I love them for what I learned by doing it, but some are just plain embarrassing. But, the biggest problem I always have with all of them is there always ALWAYS a little detail I couldn’t fix while I was doing it. I always finish looking at the problems instead of the good things, especially when I did the drawing recently. So, there’s no drawing I really feel ok if I present it to someone. I upload it to DeviantArt by default (And, if it’s a Sam and Max Fan Art, to the Forum) and if someone react, then I keep showing the drawing to someone else. But, by default, I love my drawings but I think they aren’t good enough for the rest of the world. Then I do a test first. Just in case.
CZ: Do you prefer cake or pie, and why?
GN: Cake because when we have cake is for a special occasion while we eat pie for Tea Time when we want. Apart of that, in Chile, we don’t really eat pie. We eat Kuchen. Or Tartaleta. The only one which is actually Pie is the Lemon Meringue Pie. For some reason.
CZ: How old were you when you started drawing, and were these early “artworks” any good?
GN: What will it happen if I said I started to draw about 15 years ago or something? Ok, I think you can say I started when I was about 14 years old, technically, but I was doing doodles and weird sketches since I have memory. Those really old drawings I guess were somewhat good, because, when I was 14, I started to put more effort in the same drawings. You know, background, inking, coloring. People seem to like them, but I don’t have those really old drawing anymore. I have some which are like 10 years old, and sometimes I surprise myself about their good features. But I think my stuff now is better, thanks goodness.
CZ: Are you currently working on anything?
GN: I have a couple of webcomics in Spanish which come back and forward of been in hiatus or not. But basically: “Thousand Moon” is a Town of Adventure story but IN SPACE; “Tower of Time” is a mission-based tale about, supposedly, keep the history just like must happen and “Soul” is what happen when you try to do a detective story using a parody as a reference (It’s not really a mystery story by the way). You can see blatant “hints” of where I get the inspiration for all the characters in the three stories and, with “Soul”, those are so blatant I’m seriously thinking in change the design of the main character and another one. But, well, those are my personal projects right now. I’m thinking in doing a Fan Comic about “certain” series, but those ideas end up as fan art because I’m scared of not get the main characters right. I think of them as great but difficult characters to work with.
CZ: You have very interesting styles, would you ever part in search of a new style?
GN: I think, somehow, I came across with something special you can call my style, which is, far I’m concerned, not really common. I could start to imitate another style, but more for grab more tools for my own style, than for search a new one.
CZ: Finally, can you tell me what your favourite artwork of yours is?
GN: It’s like make choose a favorite child! But, if I have to choose something, I would choose some logos I did long time ago for a University Committee and a Computer Laboratory. I did those logos like a ton of time ago, and I still see them in the official main page or in announcements of both groups. The original guys for which I did the logos left both groups sometime ago, but the logos are still there, been adopted as part of them as a group for other guys. I don’t really know those new guys and probably they have no idea I did those logos, but those are now of them and not mine, and I’m so proud to see someone else adopt them. I want that been the destiny of my characters and my comics too, but I still have a lot of time and work to do for get something like that.
Thank you Ginny for your time! You can see tons more stuff by Ginny at her DeviantArt page, here!