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Thread: A discussion about a sense of personal empowerment

  1. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    A couple of things that I would like to cover that would definately help the process:

    *How open are they to communication? Some people flee from any conflict or are afraid to ask questions. Better to try and sniff this out ahead fo time. I'd like my artist collaborator to know he/she can pick up the phone or e-mail about ANY questions they have. (Perhaps my script description is unclear or they have a better angle to help a panel "pop.")
    *What do they like to draw. If your story is about a zoo and your artist can't stand drawing animals, you may not get his/her best. If I can incorporate their likes into the story in some way/shape/form, I'll do it.

    -----Bret
    Thanks, Bret.

    These are all good topics for consideration...but are you adding to somebody else's list, or is this your whole list?

    Well, folks, we have the weekend to discuss all of this.

    If you think it's done with a few posts and some good suggestions, it's not.

    Each of these brave gentlemen has offered his personal approach for examination and critique...just like a story. They've put it out there for each of us to consider.

    But have we yet tackled the full depth of the questions?

    Have we created a flexible paradigm that allows you to consider how to build the best possible/most constructive collaboration?

    I'm going to leave that for you to answer for a day or two...because if I just tell you what I think then the answer won't mean anything.

    Like any good story, you have to work at it.

    --Lee



  2. RonaldMontgomery Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeNordling View Post

    But have we yet tackled the full depth of the questions?

    Have we created a flexible paradigm that allows you to consider how to build the best possible/most constructive collaboration?

    I'm going to leave that for you to answer for a day or two...because if I just tell you what I think then the answer won't mean anything.

    Like any good story, you have to work at it.

    --Lee
    Lee,
    I know I've already answered, but I suspect there's some confusion about the next step...
    When you ask about creating the best possible collaboration, I suspect it's a hierarchy. At the bottom of the hierarchy are the basic needs for the collaboration, like terms of work and expectations that ensure communication and meet the needs of all parties.
    If we take it a level up, we're approaching artistic collaboration...the sharing of ideas, improving/fleshing out/adding to/revolutionizing what the writer's brought forward. An example of this is your collaboration on the DWPFF story, and how through a character sketch, your artist helped turn a short story into something much bigger and drawing on more influences.

    SO...the next step seems to be facilitating collaboration.
    We've gotten past the awkward first dance, the shuckin' and the jivin', don't put your hands THERE, mister!, and now it's slow dance time and...it takes two to tango (even though a tango isn't a slow dance, and I've totally stepped on my partner's foot, and...oh, forget it!).



  3. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by RonaldMontgomery View Post
    Lee,
    I know I've already answered, but I suspect there's some confusion about the next step...
    When you ask about creating the best possible collaboration, I suspect it's a hierarchy. At the bottom of the hierarchy are the basic needs for the collaboration, like terms of work and expectations that ensure communication and meet the needs of all parties.
    If we take it a level up, we're approaching artistic collaboration...the sharing of ideas, improving/fleshing out/adding to/revolutionizing what the writer's brought forward. An example of this is your collaboration on the DWPFF story, and how through a character sketch, your artist helped turn a short story into something much bigger and drawing on more influences.

    SO...the next step seems to be facilitating collaboration.
    We've gotten past the awkward first dance, the shuckin' and the jivin', don't put your hands THERE, mister!, and now it's slow dance time and...it takes two to tango (even though a tango isn't a slow dance, and I've totally stepped on my partner's foot, and...oh, forget it!).
    There is a series of considerations, which we'll discuss next, Ronald.

    As I mentioned last page,we are creating a paradigm for learning how to actually work with people who have a different area of expertise in a collaborative process.

    Answers to these questions are going to give each of you a library of important considerations that will be necessary for you to build successful collaborations...

    ...if more people answer the questions I posed, as have you and Storme and Bret.

    I don't think my questions are confusing; I do think folks may not know where I'm going, so they stopped playing...but I have yet to fail to deliver, and the work is important.

    The questions may require time and effort to answer, but what professional SHOULDN'T know the answers their answers to these two questions:

    1. What information should you convey to somebody for a project you'd like to work with them on...and in WHAT order? (Each situation is different is evasive and doesn't count; show us a template for what you should do and why.)

    2. What questions should you ask in an interview to find out their interests? (There's more to that, actually, and feel free to stretch the boundaries of what you can ask and why...as long as you can state reasons; don't just say, "I'd ask him if he'll let my wife have a vote" without explaining WHY you asked that question. Sometimes the reason's obvious, and sometimes it's only obvious to you, so don't assume we'll know what it is.

    I think there's a tendency by people to look at the lists you guys have put up and think, "Oh, good, I don't have to spend time or energy thinking of any other answers," but then new ones pop up.

    Here's the thing, there are a million missing questions and considerations. There are a ton of ways to develop considerations, and yours probably won't be mine, which won't be Storme's, which won't be Brett's, which won't be many belonging to everybody not addressing the question.

    The more others contribute, the more everybody is getting in tune with all the potential answers to these questions, and that becomes a previously uncatalogued library of information.

    In my next column, I'm going to aim folks back at this thread for answers, which may or may not be here for them. If they're not, it'll be because not enough people came up with enough variables.

    Last week, this week, and next week are an instant basic course in "how to package projects like a professional," and they take the kind of diligence you've been showing.

    I can explain HOW to ride a bicycle, but unless folks try to get on the bicycle while I'm here, they're likely to fall harder when they try than they would have...and many won't try again.

    I'm not trying to be glum or critical, folks; everybody's spending the time they think they need to or can afford to, but for some it is just not going to be enough.

    And I'm simply trying to warn those of you who think you'll pick this up later that you're not as likely to without some guidance.

    I am grateful for those of you who are sticking with it.

    I'm still here and with you.

    I'd like to see some added effort answering these questions before Tuesday.

    And I'd like to see people creating their own lists, not adding to others' lists.

    It's important that each of you consider your own answers to these questions, and that you answer comprehensively.

    And if I ask you questions about aspects that might be missing, if you don't think they're important or relevant, let's discuss it.

    This isn't quiz time; it's learning time...and this past two weeks was the only way I could figure out how to approach this material and get your wheels turning.

    Tuesday will reveal the paradigm, probably around 12:01 a.m., then I'll start moving away from this topic, which has been like wrestling an alligator, not that I know what wrestling an alligator is like, but it's more interesting an image than herding cats.

    --Lee, who shouldn't watch House M.D. before posting
    Last edited by LeeNordling; Monday, February 01, 2010 at 03:42 PM.



  4. Bret Guest

    So I’ve taken a mix of what others have suggested and added my two cents.
    I’m trying to dig deeper here and in an order that COULD work.

    *An interview with the artist to see if they even enjoy the material we’re about to collaborate on. Perhaps those conversations role into personal interests, professionalism, fave movies, books, career plans, favorite things to draw. (Probably not religious or political talk—although that could set a tone positively/negatively.) Depends on the project I suppose.
    *Other time commitments. Does our project move to the backburner if “The Big 2” offers work?
    *Size of the project and projected deadlines.
    *Publishing plan all the way through the promotion of the book.
    *How will both sides promote/web interviews/advertising?
    *References and track record.
    *Process. Draw one page at a time, then review? Five at a time? Layouts first for approval? Does artist get say-so in inking if it’s not him/her? Coloring? Lettering?
    *How often will we communicate? How to handle questions/input/problems both personal and professional.
    *Money if applicable/agreement—pay schedule. How much per page? Cost for a cover? Penciling? Or both penciling and inking? Cover logo design? Percentage of royalties if it’s a shared ownership. Percentage of original pages given back to artist after project is complete.
    *Confidentiality. Who can we share/not share details/scripts/information/artwork with before project is complete?
    *Discussion of corrections—if needed—and how much the artist is willing to redraw panels or pages if necessary.
    *Start date of project/timeline.
    *Gentlemen’s paper agreement or hire attorney? What if major dispute occurs?

    Whew! Okay classmates, feel free to critique or add to the list.

    -----Bret



  5. RonaldMontgomery Guest

    you + list = awesum



  6. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    So I’ve taken a mix of what others have suggested and added my two cents.
    I’m trying to dig deeper here and in an order that COULD work.

    *An interview with the artist to see if they even enjoy the material we’re about to collaborate on. Perhaps those conversations role into personal interests, professionalism, fave movies, books, career plans, favorite things to draw. (Probably not religious or political talk—although that could set a tone positively/negatively.) Depends on the project I suppose.
    *Other time commitments. Does our project move to the backburner if “The Big 2” offers work?
    *Size of the project and projected deadlines.
    *Publishing plan all the way through the promotion of the book.
    *How will both sides promote/web interviews/advertising?
    *References and track record.
    *Process. Draw one page at a time, then review? Five at a time? Layouts first for approval? Does artist get say-so in inking if it’s not him/her? Coloring? Lettering?
    *How often will we communicate? How to handle questions/input/problems both personal and professional.
    *Money if applicable/agreement—pay schedule. How much per page? Cost for a cover? Penciling? Or both penciling and inking? Cover logo design? Percentage of royalties if it’s a shared ownership. Percentage of original pages given back to artist after project is complete.
    *Confidentiality. Who can we share/not share details/scripts/information/artwork with before project is complete?
    *Discussion of corrections—if needed—and how much the artist is willing to redraw panels or pages if necessary.
    *Start date of project/timeline.
    *Gentlemen’s paper agreement or hire attorney? What if major dispute occurs?

    Whew! Okay classmates, feel free to critique or add to the list.

    -----Bret
    Interesting set of components.

    Questions:

    Do you think it's wise to discuss deadlines before finding out if somebody is on board, and what their schedule might be? Sure, if Dark Horse expects something next week, there are issues. If an anthology has a deadline, you've got to find a collaborator who can meet it. But, if you have your "wish list" deadline, does it make sense to start closing the door on possible collaborators? In short, does this get mentioned before finding out your potential collaborator's availability?

    Deadlines before publishing plans?

    Can you rethink some of this from big to small?

    --Lee



  7. Bret Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeNordling View Post
    Interesting set of components.

    Questions:

    Do you think it's wise to discuss deadlines before finding out if somebody is on board, and what their schedule might be? collaborators? In short, does this get mentioned before finding out your potential collaborator's availability?

    Deadlines before publishing plans?

    --Lee
    Lee, I wasn't specific enough with my answer on this. I was thinking deadlines as in 'what is their ability to meet them?' How well have they accomplished that goal in the past? If I have a project that should take three months to complete and they say it would take them nine months--cause they're super slow, then our conversation may be over. Or I'd have to plan/schedule that extra chunk of time in the creation process.

    The start date/timeline I'd put lower on the list is where we'd get down to the biz of actual dates and planning.

    And it just occured to me that I didn't include anything about the cost of tools. Bristol board and ink ain't cheap.

    Ronald: thanks for the props.

    -----Bret



  8. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    Lee, I wasn't specific enough with my answer on this. I was thinking deadlines as in 'what is their ability to meet them?' How well have they accomplished that goal in the past? If I have a project that should take three months to complete and they say it would take them nine months--cause they're super slow, then our conversation may be over. Or I'd have to plan/schedule that extra chunk of time in the creation process.

    The start date/timeline I'd put lower on the list is where we'd get down to the biz of actual dates and planning.

    And it just occured to me that I didn't include anything about the cost of tools. Bristol board and ink ain't cheap.

    Ronald: thanks for the props.

    -----Bret
    Glad this is helping.

    Observation: Other than start date/time line, do you think the order makes sense for discussing with a prospective collaborator?

    Is this how YOU would want information unfolded to you?

    My personal answer would remain the same, go big to small; hit the big ideas before filling in the details; create a structure that will allow somebody to get the big idea first, get excited about the possibilities, then be impressed by how well thought-through the rest is. But that's just me, so I guess I'm asking why you have the order you have? What's the reason why you think it works. Yep, it's Devil's Advocate Time!

    Question: why is an artist's cost for paper and supplies important to you? Do you believe the cost of your computer is important to them? In short, if it IS important, this might be one of those things you should let them point out...and if they do, to quote Elmer, "Be wewy, wewy caweful."

    --Lee



  9. Bret Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeNordling View Post
    Glad this is helping.

    Observation: Other than start date/time line, do you think the order makes sense for discussing with a prospective collaborator?

    Is this how YOU would want information unfolded to you?

    My personal answer would remain the same, go big to small; hit the big ideas before filling in the details; create a structure that will allow somebody to get the big idea first, get excited about the possibilities, then be impressed by how well thought-through the rest is. But that's just me, so I guess I'm asking why you have the order you have?

    Question: why is an artist's cost for paper and supplies important to you?
    --Lee
    Lee, I really do like your big to small perspective. And the list is a rough draft to be fine tuned. But let me hit this from the other side. Maybe I want to start small with the details and build the suspense--get the artists mouth watering a bit--then bash him/her over the head with the "big idea" once they get excited about the project. It would be a fun experiment to try.

    And to answer the paper question: I've actually heard of writers dealing with details like this. But the art job should include the tools.

    Bret



  10. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by Bret View Post
    Lee, I really do like your big to small perspective. And the list is a rough draft to be fine tuned. But let me hit this from the other side. Maybe I want to start small with the details and build the suspense--get the artists mouth watering a bit--then bash him/her over the head with the "big idea" once they get excited about the project. It would be a fun experiment to try.

    And to answer the paper question: I've actually heard of writers dealing with details like this. But the art job should include the tools.

    Bret
    Hey, Bret, it's your process...but in my experience you really shouldn't discuss the artist's tools unless the artist brings it up.

    If you like discussing the small stuff so that an artist will start wondering what the big picture is all about, it's your process...but, again in my experience, discussing details, without somebody having a context to apply them to, is just begging for trouble and miscommunication.

    That said, if you have found it to be nothing but successful for you, if you've been able to work problem-free with collaborators and gotten the results you both agreed to, then keep it going.

    I'm just warning off others from trying it, because you've obviously managed to accomplish something that most people WOULD fail at.

    So, for others, I recommend playing the odds and going big-to-small, and eventually you'll figure out the spiel that works for you.

    --Lee



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