My Imaginary Life - Nathan Rackley Posts

Okay. This is something that I really need to talk about. Although this is mainly geared towards people breaking into the comics industry, the concept is also very important for anybody interested in illustrating or working with digital images. If you are that type of person, listen up. We’re gonna do some learnin’!

All right. So there are two subjects that are really rather inter-related, and these are image resolution and antialiasing.

Image Resolution vs. Image Size.

A lot of people get these two things mixed up, and a lot of software doesn’t help with this either. Image size is not always the same thing as resolution.

Image Size – The physical dimensions of an image, particularly when the image will be printed. This is often defined in terms of inches or centimeters. This can be anything you want, as long as you know it is set to the maximum size you will want to print your image at. Unless you have no other option, do not determine your image in terms of pixels unless you are specifically creating a graphic for use on the web or in video that will not be used in print.

Image Resolution – The resolution of an image is related to the pixel density, or pixel count, given in a particular image. This is traditionally defined in terms of DPI, or Dots Per Inch (The metric equivalent being Dots Per Centimeter or DPCM). DPI is defined in terms of print or video resolution in which the number represents the number of dots that can be displayed in an inch. The higher the DPI, the more detail is stored in an image. This resolution also comes into play when you are scanning in an image.

Update: As one of my readers commented below, the proper term for resolution is actually PPI, or Pixels Per Inch. But this is typically used interchangeably with DPI.

Art Technology Tutorials

The best supplies can't fix poor art.
Even if supplies don’t make the artist better, they certainly make the job easier.

You’re out of town and about to meet up with an artist friend. You realize you forgot your art supplies. What do you do?

You check the local directory and look for someplace to go. There’s a Walmart (or a Target) nearby and possibly a hobby store. Budgets are tight, but if they have the right supplies, you might be able to scrape together enough for a basic kit. So… what do you do?

Art Life

The art of giving a good critique is not a simple one – however it is one of the most useful skills you can learn to have as an artist, no matter your focus. It will help you to interact with other artists and collectively improve your craft. Giving feedback to artists is a tricky business for both parties. The person looking at the artwork needs to be able to formulate their thoughts and comments in a way that they can express to the artist. The artist needs to learn how to listen (or not listen) to the feedback that they are getting. There are chiefly three forms of feedback that you can receive as an artist: edits, comments and critiques. The first of these often refers to pointing out grammatical or other technical errors that need to be fixed in a draft of a piece. I would like to focus on the latter two of these today, as I have noticed that a lot of times people get these confused.

Art Life Tutorials

I would like to talk to you all today about artists.

Firstly, welcome to my art process journal/art essay series! For those of you who don’t know me or are recent viewers, my name is Nathan Rackley, and I’m an independent comic artist and freelance illustrator. I often go by the online handle of Droakir (also known as Dro, Dr. Dro, or Doc on various internet sites forums), so if you see me on another site, feel free to drop me a line! 

My time on deviantArt and the artist/social media circle in general since my return in late 2012 has been a whirlwind affair. You guys have all been so incredible and welcoming and open that it’s been a wonderful experience for me. And for that I am eternally grateful to all of you.

Anyways, now that the introductions are over, let’s get down to business. I’ll be posting this blog both here as well as over on my deviantART account. Eventually I’ll translate some of these blogs into journal-style comics for easy reading, but I figure these topics are important enough that I want to talk about it.

I have a lot to share but I’ll try to keep these short, so they don’t fall into that TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) category.

Not all art is created equal. Nor are all artists.
Not all art is created equal. Nor are all artists.

Up until a few short years ago, I never really considered myself an artist. 

That probably came from the fact that I am predominantly a cartoonist, which is often considered to be “low brow” by other “fine artists”. Most people look at it and say “Is it writing? Is it art?” The realm of literature would say that it isn’t writing, but art, even though comics are published in books. The artists say that it isn’t art, but writing, despite the fact that each panel has to be meticulously illustrated. It’s a stigma that’s been attached to comics and cartoons for almost a century now.

I bought into it. I constantly looked at cool art and would think to myself “Wow – I wish I were an artist like those guys,” or I’d think about doing an drawing, but then I would stop. “Why would anyone want to see what I draw?” I would ask myself, “After all – I’m no artist.” So I never considered myself artist. I was merely a cartoonist. A hack. Not anybody worth noting.

Art Life

…arises a brand new blog and portfolio site! Welcome to My Imaginary Life! Yeah, I know. Placeholder text. I’m working on getting everything put together. But what I really don’t…