Friday 6 May 2011

Trilobite Boy and his fans - WIP

Here's a work-in-progress for the Trilobite Boy comic series.  Our hero signing autographs for his tweeny fans. 

I was hoping to do a daily 30 minute sketch to tell the Trilobite Boy story, and so far that hasn't happened. I've been under considerable stress while looking for a new regular source of income - so now I'm hoping to do at least three of these a week.

Originally the idea was to do each in 30 minutes and practice getting smarter and faster painting digitally. The one above is taking longer while I mess with gradations and the selection brush in Photoshop Elements 6, and I'm okay with that. The point is to keep challenging myself on a regular basis while making a backbone of story images for Trilobite Boy - I don't have to follow a slavish self-imposed schedule. Above was 30 minutes, not including the pencil drawing.

You can follow the adventures of Trilobite Boy at - currently, he's skateboarding to the Royal Ontario Museum, and passing by Toronto's famous Crinoid Tower.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow


Darren Daz Cox said...

I love it! totally unique and satisfying to view (as always!)

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks Darren! Artists like yourself who are so loose and create such flowing brushstrokes are part of the inspiration for me to loosen up my style a bit. Usually I'll still stray toward the darker shadowy colours and tones, but here I'm going lighter.

For other folks, you can find Darren Daz Cox's excellent artwork at

lizziewriter said...

Ooh I love it too! I've never seen TB with his fans before. you're really creating a variety of moods in the various images. Good luck with the job hunt and the digital art thing. I must admit that I prefer conventional media.

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks Lizzie! Trilobite Boy is a minor Canadian celebrity. Popular with manga fans, skateboarders and begrudgingly with moody tween goths.

I'm hard-pressed to say whether I like conventional or digital media: at the moment, with the baby around digital is less messy and I don't have to wash oil off my hands to pick him up, though!

Rich said...

This isn't really about your work-in-progress comic, but more about art in face of the crude realities of life. You mention your search for a regular source of income. I find myself overwhelmed and consumed by the search, drained and lacking the will to do much, which is so horribly ironic because activity in something I love should be theraputic. I'm nowhere near an artist, in any usual sense, but I want to accomplish meaningful things. The other horribly irony is that I finally have the TIME to focus on what I want to, but that somehow all that time gets wasted away, and I find myself feeling like I neither accomplished much in my jobsearch nor in productive use of my time. What a waste.

Glendon Mellow said...

Rich, I know exactly what you're talking about. The distractions of being home can make it hard to stay focused and motivated (I shouldn't paint until I clear the diches, oh, look at that floor, okay, I'll rest after those chores etc.)

Job searches are really hard. Finding things through connections or plain old pounding the pavement literally can help, (if you're looking for service or retail jobs). I managed an art supply store (part of a big chain) for 10 years until last October. Before that, 4 years at a coffee shop. I've been working part or full time in retail and service jobs since I was 14. We needed the money.

I wasn't planning to go back to retail if the art worked out. I'm very grateful I have so much interest in my work in skills right now. But -and this is no insult to any clients- it's not a sustainable, livable income. The sciences are not flush with cash to buy illustrations and art. I paint weird things like trilobites that most of the populations scratches its head at. I found a niche, and it's small.

I don't know what advice I can offer you Rich, except for a couple of things. If you get unfocused or depressed in your search remember: tomorrow's another day. Start over every day. You miss a day feeling low, well, it's going to happen. Try to minimize those.

The other, is be bold. There's a company here in Toronto I admire who makes educational science games, heavy on history and art. I wasn't sure and second guessed myself about a portfolio. I made things difficult in my head for a few days. "Do I have some prints on hand? Do I wait until I have more prints? Do I bike down to their office to drop them off? Do I mail them when I have money for postage?

You know what? Screw that second-guessing brain of mine. I picked up the phone and cold-called them. Left my name, number, and said I admired their work and I was an illustrator who's done some books and magazine work, and would love to work with them some time.

Next day the president phoned me, and it sounded like he had already looked up my artwork. Asked for my c.v., a portfolio and will keep me in mind for freelancing on appropriate projects. It doesn't pay my bills today, but a cold-call may pay them in the future.

Be bold.
Each day try to get started searching before breakfast.

I hope something I said helps. But if I had the magic answer I wouldn't be a starving artist cliche like I am at the moment.

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Posts over 14 days old have their comments held in moderation - I've been getting an unusual amount of spam for a guy who paints trilobites. I'll release it lickety-split though.

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