As promised, more Patrick Fillion to take in for the week.
This week, Patrick shares some secrets to success in the world of comics and gives us a forecast for the future of Class Comics.
PATRICK FILLION: Art & Comics
What is your favorite part about drawing?
"Drawing is actually quite restful...and it's total "me" time. I can just dive into what I am doing and it's all very "zen!" LOL!
I also love the inking stage. When I've just completed pencils I am really pleased with, committing a drawing to ink is such a joy."
Which part of drawing do you like the least?
"Believe it or not, the inking stage. LOL! Sometimes, I wish that I were a bit faster. I like to get things done and move on to the next project."
Who were/are some of the biggest influences on your artistic style?
"The most notable mainstream influences on my artistic style are probably Alan Davis, Daerrick Gröss, Steve Lightle, John Byrne, Michael Golden, and Ray Schultze in terms of male erotica. That man can draw a mean penis."
Which of your characters is most like you?
"They've all got a little of me in their personas."
Which of your characters would you most like to be?
"Either Camili-Cat or Zahn... it's a close tie between those two. I think it would be awesome to be Cam because he's just so freakin' hot and beautiful. And I think it would be fun to be Zahn because he's also very hot, but believe me when I tell you, he's also INCREDIBLY powerful. Maybe I could take turns being them? That would ROCK!"
Is there anything you don't like to draw?
"I've always pretty much believed that you have to challenge yourself when you draw. You should force yourself to draw things you wouldn't normally be interested in drawing in order to push your skills further. I think for me the things I dislike drawing the most are technical backgrounds and mechanical objects, like buildings or vehicles. That being said, I do draw them when it's necessary, because it's part of the job, and I always feel really good when I complete the drawing and it turns out. That's kinda cool!"
What projects are you currently working on?
"Oh- Boy! There's always so many at once.
Here goes: my new hardcore art book, published by Brüno Gmunder, called 'ilLUSTrations: The art of Patrick Fillion.' #1, Zahn #2, Stephane's Funhouse of Fornication #1, Boytoon Adventures #2, Cube: After DarqueNaked Justice: Beginnings #2 (as writer), Ghostboy and Diablo #1 (as writer), and a few other little things here and there. See what I mean - when I say I don't sleep much! LOL!"
It feels like you're launching a new book, title, or artist by the day. What's ahead for Class Comics?
"There's a lot of really cool stuff ahead for Class Comics...of course there are more wicked comics and artist coming up, but there's also a few cool new developments.
Fraser and I are currently in the midst of looking into producing the official Class Comics action figure with a great toy manufacturer. Being a huge collector of toys myself, I've always dreamed of the day when I'd see my characters as action figures. I can't tell you how excited I am about this.
Another cool thing we're developing is a Class Comics app for the iPhone or android phone.
And that's just the start of what's ahead. I'm really looking forward to all the terrific new books we have planned. There's some great stuff in the works by a lot of really creative folks!"
Do you have any tips or tricks for overcoming blocks in creativity?
"Yeah - when I feel artist block coming on, I try to 're-discover' my passion and love for what I do by taking the time to go through all the previous projects I've worked on and remember the fun I had on those. I also find that nothing gets me eager to draw more than looking at the works of some of my favorite mainstream and male erotic comic artist. It's all about immersing yourself in your love of the genre. If that fails, nothing breaks artist block like an impromptu trip to your local comic shop. It's a nice distraction and usually by the time I get back to the studio, I am good to draw again! It's like 'chicken soup' for the artist's block. For me, it works every time!"
I admire how successful you are as a self-made artist and entrepreneur. Do you have any words of wisdom for those of us aspiring to make a career for ourselves in the comic world?
"Awww! I'm blushing!!! Mighty kind of you! :0)
Words of Wisdom... lemme see...
Be yourself - find your own art style and focus on what makes you, well, 'you.'
Everybody has influences and other artist whose work they admire, but above all, I feel it's important to develop your own art identity. Also - and I don't mean this to sound harsh, but trust me...years of running Class Comics has taught me that you either got it or you don't. Find out which it is.
Look, I'd like to say never to give up on your dreams and absolutely, you never should...but it's important to be realistic and know whether or not you have true talent and have what it takes to make it in the industry. Wanting to be something really badly doesn't automatically make you a likely candidate for success. Buuuuuuuutt...I do believe in hard work and persistence. Drawing is a talent, but it's also a skill which can be honed and developed. There's a lot to be said for perseverance."
What would you consider your biggest challenge in starting your own erotic comic company and how did you overcome it?
"I think it was being taken seriously by other comic artist and companies. There is a certain stigma that accompanies the 'adult' label. It's like people sometimes think that because you draw and publish gay erotica, you're some big pervert or something. Also, a lot of folks seem to think that because you draw adult material, you're either not a real artist, or you're somehow less of an artist. That's tough. It's also bullshit!
How did I overcome that? With perseverance and by sticking to what I love and do best. I still get the occasional 'bigoted' reaction now and again, but it doesn't phase me the way it used to. I know what I've accomplished and how hard I've had to work to get there. I just don't need to justify myself or my art to them anymore."
Patrick Fillion, folks. Ya gotta love him!
I can appreciate how 'snobby' and/or judgmental talented people can be, especially when they are successful - which is why I love Patrick so much! Patrick has to be one of the most humble and helpful people I've met in this industry.
I'm sure at least half of you reading this have had an experience where you've sought out tips or advice from someone you admire and only got half-assed or generic 'advice' in return as if they had something to be threatened by in helping you become a better artist. Patrick Fillion just shared his experiences and offered some very useful tips without any hesitation. On top of that he encourages the success of other artist on a regular basis by recognizing them on his blog, Boytoons Magazine. I have the greatest respect for Patrick Fillion.
This week I shared his wisdom with you. Next week I'll share the hard on he gave me!
Yup! Which is it? Top or Bottom? How big is too big? What turns him on?
Find out next week, in the creamy conclusion of this 3-part Q&A with PATRICK FILLION!!!
I love you guys!