Friday, October 07, 2005

Ryan Estrada will make babies for me.

Well, I'm not sure how that'll work exactly, but there'll be babies made somehow. Or not. So why am I implying homo-erotic love involving someone that I just learned about? Ryan Estrada makes me want to do crazy things. Ryan Estrada reminds me what I loved about working in experimental film. Ryan Estrada is legitimately cool, in that geeky sort of legitimate way.
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I've learned, by talking to e-friends and what not, that a lot of people don't know who the hell Ryan Estrada is. This is blasphemy in webcomic circles, but I don't really travel in those too often and neither do a lot of folks. Ryan Estrada, of, is this guy who's running endurance marathons involving art. Now (as I've learned from webcomic circles), the idea of a 24-hour comic is nothing new...but it is to me. The idea is simple: You sit down and start drawing. 24 pages in 24 hours. 45-year old webcomic guru (as his site says) and sort of crazy/hippy/capitalist Scott McCloud came up with the idea about 15 years ago, but the idea really isn't that new. (By the way, Scott is crazy/hippy because he named his daughter "Sky." Sky McCLOUD. Jesus. If they have a son what are they going to call him? Stormy? Scott is also sort of capitalist because of his idea to charge a few cents per webcomic.) Artists are often slackers and the idea is to get off your ass and do nothing but create until you're done...with a deadline ticking ever closer.
So what makes Ryan Estrada special? He's done a few 24-hour comics but he's also pulled off a 175 hour comic. 175 hours. Christ. Awesome.
There's more to him so check him out if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about:
So why are my panties in a bunch? Why am I so freaking manic? Ryan Estrada seems to approach the whole webcomic thing with a passion you don't see very often. It's one thing to say you're passionate and create a conglomerate/forum to help support webcomics. It's a completely other thing to sit down and create, create, create! :sigh:
The whole thing reminds me of all that crazy crap me and the other film students pulled. Like when I hid in cardboard box for a day in the middle of the student union and only filmed people as they opened the box. Or that time I got deathly ill from being covered in green tempra paint. Or that time I made a film by stealing all the crap people had thrown away from their projects. Or that time I didn't sleep for a week and lived in an editing room the size of a bathtub, just so I could get my 16mm project done on time.
So, what am I going to do with this energy? Blather on and on and eventually do nothing? I hope not. I dug out my old folder and realized that all my painted storyboards might make a great comic book. Hell, my idea of an experimental/interactive narrative might actually WORK on the web. Why the hell hadn't I thought of this crap sooner? So am I going to do a 24-hour comic? Yes. Eventually. Right now I've got to clear my slate and finish illustrations for an opera book and a children's activity book. Damn, I hate artistic responsibilities. Luckily, they pay bills occasionally. But that'll all be done within the next 24 hours anyway. So, just to do something crazy and different here's what I'm going to do next week:

I've always said that I'd actually get good if I had to draw/paint the same thing over and over again...but that never ends up happening. So I made a simple, simple ink drawing (of a random guy) and Xeroxed it 50 times. At some point next week I'm going to start painting and not stop until I have 51 paintings in acrylic, watercolor, pastel, ink, ketchup, or whatever I end up using. 51 variations of the same drawing. No sleep, just painting and eating (and maybe going to the bathroom).
What's the point? The point is just to create. No fundraising, no attention grabbing (I don't plan on "announcing this" beyond what you see here, though I will make a post in the blog announcing that I've started), no reason beyond just seeing whether I run out of energy, paint, or inspiration first. Maybe I'll add in a time limit, but I think 50 hours is MORE than enough time. (I may be forced to eat these words later, admittedly.)

I think that's why the whole 24-hour comic thing strikes a chord: You're guaranteed to learn something about yourself as an artist. There's also that weird "I'm a psycho dedicated to my craft" rush in there somewhere.

So right now everything that's said here is just energy and manic whim. Ignore my "OMG I plan on doing blah blah blah" for the moment. Just check out Ryan's stuff and I'll let you know when the experiment begins. The hardest part of being really inspired by something is resisting the urge to do the same damn thing that whatever inspired you did. If you read this week's Batman article, you know what I mean.
“who doesn’t understand why he was called an Art fag in high school”


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