Josh Latta, (@JoshLatta) is a cartoonist & illustrator based in Baltimore, MD. This discussion covers how he got started in art, his daily workflow and routine, and making a name for himself on the Internet. We also dissect the difference between a cartoonist and an illustrator, and question the use of hand-drawn vs. typeset lettering in comics.
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- Download The Busy Creator Podcast, Episode 5 (MP3, 34:13, 33.2 MB)
- Download The Busy Creator Podcast, Episode 5 (OGG, 34:13, 32.7 MB)
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Show Notes & Links
- The Brimstones, Josh’s new comic series
- Ads, commissions, apparel — some of his other work
- Not so much with logo design or commercial work
- Avatards, an ongoing caricature project for the Internet
- Josh still draws by hand
- Informal education — dropping out of high school and take an apprenticeship
- Took a while to develop a creative rhythm — “it’s just so un-punk rock”
- Josh is naturally skinny, but his fiancée wakes up early to work out.
- Head-nod to the day-job warriors. Josh works at a coffee shop in addition to drawing.
- The Oatmeal, a successful web comic
- The Brads, a very funny web comic
- XKCD, a widely-known web comic
- Harvest and FreshBooks, online invoicing tools to stay organised
- Josh loves hand-lettered text in comics, hates computer fonts
- Drawing tip: put the hands and feet in first, for better energy and dynamic pose
- The Busy Creator mascot, tentatively called “Buzz”, but we’ll see what the lawyers say
- In art, “90% of the time, you can use your mistakes.”
“You might think it’s crap, but that crap can become fertilizer.”
- Adobe Photoshop
- Blue pencil, especially in accordance with dark ink and a scanner
- PayPal, the much-aligned online payment system
- Harvest, online invoicing and payments system
- FreshBooks, a competitor to Harvest
- A lightbox, to trace drawings and see detail
- Wacom tablet for drawing and colouring in Photoshop or Illustrator
- Ames Lettering Guides
- Comic Book Fonts, a website with massive selection
- Use tracing paper, copy paper, cheap bit pens
- First an idea, then a few sketches/doodles
- Scan to Photoshop, print out enlarged. Trace the printout and add inks. Scan again.
- Use two pencil tones for logo design
- Avoid debt to avoid having a day job
- Promote yourself online, even if it feels awkward
- Use calendar reminds for online/social media promotion
- Use a whiteboard to keep a list of “what’s next”
- PayPal keeps track of incoming payments
- Draw the construction of a cartoon, action lines
- Find a formula that works, even if it takes years
- Wake up early if you better work in the morning (night time is for TV-watching)
- Do something in the morning
- Illustrators should try their own typeface or lettering
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