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Creating a graphic novel but stopping along the way to take some photos, eat some food and admire great art!

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Artwork of Jason Brubaker

Jason Brubaker is working his way through creating his first graphic novel (or comic). He’s provided a process piece as his showcase starting from a small thumbnail to the final image. The detail on his work is amazing and really shows up in the crop images (inked and coloured).

Full Process :
Jason Brubaker, Graphic Novel Art

Inked Zoom :
Jason Brubaker, Graphic Novel Art

Colour Zoom :
Jason Brubaker, Graphic Novel Art

So how did you get started into art?

I grew up in Idaho and Utah where artists are only considered “Starving Artists”.

I don’t have any sort of education beyond high school. My high school art teacher told me that I was wasting my time trying to draw comics. I saved up $3000 for college then wrecked my brothers car when he was on his honeymoon. There went my college funds and any chance of college.

I drew at Denny’s restaurant every night with my friends because we knew the waiters. We would get free coffee and Coke all night but usually left around 2 AM when the drunk cowboys came after the bars would close.

That doesn’t seem like a great start. So how did you get your break into the industry?

I got my break at the San Diego Comic con in 1996. I drew some illustrations for White Wolf. Rikki Rocket from Poison liked my art too. A storyboard agent from LA talked me into moving to California and got me work in movies and commercials.

How would you describe your artwork?

My artwork is basically a rip-off of everyone I admire. I wish I could say I was original, but every square inch of my style is because I saw something out there that I liked and wanted to imitate. I guess you could say that about every artist though. I’ve also been forced to imitate tons of artists while working in commercial graphic design. This was good because it showed me a whole spectrum of styles that I never would have studied. I learned a lot of lessons there that have influenced how I do things now.

So . . who are the people you admire?

Chris Bachalo (more of his old stuff), Joshua Middleton and Christian Schellewald are the big influences right now.

OK back to your work . .
Is there a place to check out your published works?

Here are some published books that I have illustrations in for White Wolf:
http://web.mac.com/jason_brubaker/Vampire/Books.html

I’ve self published “Phobos”, an old high school comic, and learned all kinds of things that I did wrong. I plan to release a trade of issues 1-5 in the next few years. It’s crappy art but I love the characters.

I’ve also storyboarded several movies and hundreds of commercials.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0115386/

What process do you for your artwork?

I draw my thumbnails really small. About an inch or two big and almost always in pen. If I use ink then I don’t get all hung up on changing and fixing it. If I mess up, I just draw another thumbnail.

Then I blow it up on the computer and print it out about 8.5 x 11 so I can trace it on tracing paper. (with pen)

Once I have the sketch blocked out on tracing paper I will scan it again. Then I print out each frame, one or two at a time and trace over it again on a light table. I scan my final pencils and then boost the contrast in Photoshop to make it look inked.

Then I give it to my flatter. Then I add painted textures in Photoshop that I created myself. Presto!

You mentioned you were working on project.
Care to tell more about it?

Well, reMIND has been a crazy ride for me. It started as a music video for a song that my friend and I wrote for fun. Over the years it took on a life of it’s own. At one point I was trying to make a feature length animated movie all by myslef for film festivals. But the story was broken and so I scrapped it all and just gave up on it. It was a really hard thing to do because I had worked on it for about 7 years (in my free time). It wasn’t a waste of time though because it’s the reason I got hired to do animation for my first animated job. My career exploded after that. So it searved it’s purpose.

A mentor/friend of mine suggested to make a graphic novel. I didn’t think I would ever get back into comics but after going to the 2006 Comic Con in San Diego, I got inspired and undertood why my friend said what he said. I figured, if I were to start over then I needed to have the story solid before I start any drawing this time. There were also lots of things that bothered me about the American comic industry and so I spend a while just trying to figure out what approach to take with the book. At first I wanted to publish it Hard Cover in three chapters, 40 to 60 pages each. But as I went forward I didn’t want to risk publishing the first book and then run out of steam half way through the second one knowing I still had to do a third one. Especially if the first one didn’t sell. So I decided to make it two books instead of three. My idea is that I’d rather have a nice thick hardbound book once every few years then have a 22 pager every 4 to 6 months. Plus it’s so hard to sell 22 page comics as an independant publisher.

I really wanted to make a book that was more of an art book then a comic book. Something that people would want to leave on their coffee tables in studios and at home. Something that you could flip through 100 times and still find something fun to look at. I have to admit, I don’t collect comics anymore. I do collect trades and graphic novels though. So it just seemed like a no brainer to make a graphic novel instead of a comic.

I just recently started the blog because I’ve had these pages sitting on my computer for so many years that it was getting frusterating talking to people about it. Knowbody believed me when I told them I was doing a graphic novel. So I started posting a page a week just so I can show something. I have to make it clear that it’s not a web comic though. These pages are going to change before it goes to print. It’s more of a look into the process of making a graphic novel then a webcomic. But for the most part, it’s pretty close to final. Who knows, it might totally change again. I hope not.

Thanks so much for your time!
Be sure to let me know when your work finally hits prints as I’d want a copy to check out.

Check out more of Jason’s work at :

Update on featured artist Sara Richard :

You can find Sara at the below conventions! Be sure to say “Hi“.

  • Anime Boston (April 2-4) Boston, MA
  • Boston Comic Con (April 10-11) Boston, MA
  • C2E2 (April 16-18) Chicago, IL.
  • Pittsburg Comic Con (April 23-25) Pittsburg, PA.
  • Granite Con (May 23) Manchester, NH
  • Big Apple Comic Con (October 7-10) New York City
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6 Responses to “Artwork of Jason Brubaker”

  1. A. Cline says:

    Awesome interview. Very insightful!

  2. lk77 says:

    To Sigmate,

    Ooo.. mechanical. More mechanical artists/designers please.

    lk77

  3. Dion says:

    Wow! Jason your art looks awesome. And I’m lovin’ the Remind story, keep it coming!!!!

  4. Mr. Rudd says:

    You’ll still never make it, you communist! Comics are for children!
    J/K Nice work, Jason!
    -R. Wood

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