Forward Progression - Achieving your Goals

Today’s thought/theme/idea, whatever you want to call it, is making forward progression on your goals. Do something today that gets you one step closer to achieving your goals. This is different then checking an item of your endless to do list. You will always have to-do’s and 99% of them probably just maintain the status quo vs. moving you forward.

First step, really think about what your actual goal is - the big picture one and not the immediate “what I want to do Saturday” plan. Think long term and think hard, listen to your heart and not your head on this one.

After you have that goal squarely in the forefront of your mind, think about things you can do TODAY to get closer to it. Do not make a to-do list. We all get stuck in to-do lists, so today try thinking about those things you can do to get closer to that goal and just do one of them. It doesn’t matter what one you choose, the important thing is that you are doing something, anything, that is actually progressing you one step closer to that goal. This is just the first step but the hope is that if you do something today that actually moves you forward, that will hopefully build confidence and be encouraged to take further steps tomorrow and every day that follows.

Have you heard of SMART goals? This might be a good time to introduce them, it’s something that company HR people often talk about but they are actually pretty helpful. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant (or Results Oriented), and Timely. So a non-SMART goal would be: I will publish my own art. A SMART goal would be: I will publish one page of a web comic by the 15th of August. See the difference? If there are specifics listed then there is something you can measure and work towards. By the 15th of August you can say to yourself - did I meet this goal? Just saying “I will publish my own art” is too open ended, there is nothing to measure or work towards.

Here’s a couple “real world” examples (hate that phrase by the way):

Brett’s goal - to get a web comic started and published by the end of September. His step today - create a panel that will determine the style, look, and feel of the comic.  Something like….

Julie’s goal (aka wife) - create a wordpress platform to host the web comic on by the end of August. Today’s step - spend several hours on wordpress working with the comic easel plug in to determine if it is feasible that she can build this on her own, and if not, find a freelancer who can build it for her - decision must be made today so that forward progression can happen. Background - she has been struggling with this for weeks and delaying the process of getting this project actually completed.

Hopefully some of this has inspired and helped you in your personal quest.

And finally, Brett wants to thank everyone for all the likes, comments, and reblog’s - it’s not easy to reach for your goals when you are a freelancer working from home in his own “bubble”.

- Julie and Brett Bean

Cobain: Montage Of Heck

I just walked out of the theatre speechless. Walked to my car and started crying. It took a long while to control myself and calm down.

No other documentary, movie or anything has ever made me feel like this; sad and happy and empty all at the same time.

Montage of Heck was incredible to say the least. It was brutally honest view of Kurt through his thoughts and the eyes of the people who cared about him the most. It was beautiful and tragic. It was inspiring, just like Kurt was and still is to many, including me.

It will take a long time to process everything I was fortunate enough to see.

Director Brett Morgen on Portrayal of Heroin Use in 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
  • Vanity Fair: You mentioned when introducing the movie that Courtney Love pretty much gave you free reign to do what you wanted with the film. Did the rest of Kurt’s family offer any input about what should be included in the film and what shouldn’t?
  • Brett Morgen: I think the drug use is something that [Kurt’s mother and sister] Wendy and Kim would have been very happy to have left on the cutting-room floor. I don’t think they liked seeing Kurt represented that way. But I feel that everyone knows Kurt did heroin. And yet they never had access to what that really was like for those who were close to him. So in a way, [fans] have been glamorizing it all of these years. I felt the inclusions of the scenes of him would alter that perception.
  • I had a discussion with Kim Cobain where she said, “My brother was so embarrassed by his heroin use. Do you really think he would want that in the film?” And I said, “I understand, Kim, but, more importantly, what you told me in the past was that your brother didn’t want to do anything that would encourage other kids to do heroin.” I never thought of this before now, but there is a chance that that scene could end up saving a life. To me, that is a much more powerful legacy than a song. This is a film that we needed to be honest. It wasn’t about tearing down our heroes, it was about making him our friend. And understanding him as a man and not a deity.
  • Vanity Fair: It seemed like an especially brave decision to include the home video where Kurt is holding Frances while Courtney is giving her her first haircut, and he is clearly on heroin.
  • Brett Morgen: That scene to me is so difficult because you see the struggle. He is trying to be a good father, desperately. He is doting on his daughter. He is singing a 'Sesame Street' riff. And then he nods off and is about to drop her on the ground. And you want to look at it, but you don’t want to look at it. I understand why [Kurt’s mother and sister] don’t want it in the film, but let’s stop glorifying this and look at the reality of what this is like and what it was like for Frances. And I think it was important for her to see how much her father loved her, which he truly did. But I don’t think she had ever seen that [footage].
Farewell Rocket and Groot

It’s time for me to announce that issue 6 will be my last issue doing writing Rocket Raccoon and Groot. With I Hate Fairyland, covers and a new project i’ll mention later in this long ass post, something had to give. And while I love that little furry fool and his big barky pal, I feel that I did a lot of what I set out to do with them. So it felt like a natural time to hop off. 

This past two years have been so fun and I’ve learned more than I could have ever imagined. I’ve been able to make a bunch of comics with one of my best friends, Jake Parker. I’ve been lucky enough to talk a bunch of other monster artists to join me in on the fun. Filipe Andrade, Aaron Conley, Jay Fosgitt and Brett Bean, and of course continue to work with my right hand colorist, Jean-Francois Beaulieu. 

And who could forget one of my favorite people at Marvel, the great Sana Amanat. She’s been my editor longer than anyone at Marvel and I loved working with her. Sana and her team stuck with me for many years and always went to bat for me on anything I needed. I can’t thank them enough. While I might have only worked with him on six issues, I look forward to teaming up with Jake Thomas again sometime in the future. He’s a great guy with a sharp mind and I really enjoyed brainstorming with him.

So, now what? I’m writing and drawing I Hate Fairyland at Image and that is my main focus on the comic front. It’s ongoing and i’m having the time of my life on that book. There’s those covers I do every once in an while. And then there’s this new project I’ll be doing that… well, I can’t really say much yet. It’s Marvel related and something brand new. If you like my covers or my Little Marvel Series, then chances are you might like this. Who knows, it may not even be a comic. I do know it’s going to be a blast.

Thanks to everyone for reading and supporting Rocket while I was driving the spaceship. It was fun! See you in Fairyland! 

anonymous asked:

Brett! There is too much to learn and too much to do and not enough time to do it in. I am trying to teach myself illustration, but I'm frustrated because I also see so much being produced and I can't be making things and learning things at the same time, can I? I wrote down a list from writing-anatomy-perspective-web design-plein air painting-photography, etc that is a whole page long of what I want to get better at, but how do I even go about DOING any of it? I keep getting sidetracked. help!

Shhhh, the baby is sleeping…..

I’m writing this as my son is sleeping in my work room in his stroller.  So keep the clickity clacks down huh?

I can quietly tell you this:  You aren’t building art, you’re building an artist.  A problem solver and a human.  Not just a painting.  So everything you are doing in life works towards that.  Oh crap he’s waking….

(30 seconds later as I sit still like he’s a T-Rex who only registers movement)

So while you are learning, or making, or both, or walking around thinking of ideas, it’s all in service of the artist.  Not just one silly painting.  So relax.  You will forever be in a mental state of teacher and student, especially if you want to be great at it.  So realize that.  Own it.  Be OK with the thought that each step is part of the process to get anywhere you want to get. 

Shhhh, shhh, it will be OK…. Now you might be asking if I’m talking to you or my sleeping son.  Quite honestly, doesn’t matter.  It will be OK.

Don’t let the idea that you want to be better create a stalemate on where to start.  Just pick the basics and move from there.  Pick solid foundations like anatomy, perspective, etc and just have at it.  When you make anything, it’s making something.  It’s helping make the artist.  That’s the goal.  Not the art, the artist.  You never know what assignment, or what cause, or what direction your life as an artist will take.  Just be open, be honest with yourself, and try. 

Many people have lots of things in their way to discourage making art, getting better, and just… well just trying for something more. 

  You just put one idea and a little energy towards one of those things.  Then tomorrow, do it again. And again. 

I can tell you there are thousands of things I want to be better at.  At the end of my life I hope to have accomplished 65.43% of them.  And I think that’s aiming high.  I try to pick the ones that give me more bang for the buck but I think most successful people have many things they want to accomplish and get better at.

Here’s my actual new years resolution list I tape to my bathroom wall every year.  It reminds me at least twice a day.  Maybe it helps put this all in perspective.

There will be lots of things to be better at your entire life, and vastly more important ones.  But EVERYTHING you choose to do in life echo’s through your art.  I guarantee it. 


Yeah, I’m coming.

I know baby, we all need to be changed….

Just pick a few things to start with, your whole life is ahead of you.  The production will be there.  If you have the internet and the means to type on it then you have amazing opportunities many will never get.  The journey is our destination, have at it.  Yeah, being all cheesy, I know but I believe it. 

Hope that helps.



The Start of a Creative Day - Brett Bean’s Morning Routine

Ever wonder where all of Brett’s morning warm-up sketches are done? He wakes up his hand and his creativity at a little eclectic coffee shop in Pasadena. The day begins too early to admit (thanks to a 15 month old at home…). He sits in the same seat everyday - the seat with the best people watching view of course.  To the bustling sounds of the coffee grinding, chatter, glasses clinking, and the occasional annoying cackle, he hunches over and starts to draw. Does he already have planned what he will draw? Usually not, it is just whatever comes to mind or whoever walks in the door.

We are going to break down the different ways he gets going in the morning. 

Observational - Someone who catches his eye walks in. Either their overall shape, the textures and patterns of what they are wearing or even the way they walk stands out to him. Based off of that one thing that he likes about them, he will base all other decisions off of that one idea.

Shape Exploration - Depending on his mood he will either do this by holding his pencil in a different way then normal to create big shapes he wouldn’t normally create or he will take the big wide Copic marker and create big bold shapes and then find the design within that shape.  As artists we naturally gravitate towards what we know and constantly use shape wise. This is a way to push yourself in a direction that you might not have otherwise gone. 

Idea in the Head - some days he wakes up with an idea already in his head; a memory from a dream, or or something that is contributing to an original IP. These ideas he puts to paper at the coffee shop and then adds to a separate journal - one that no one but he sees. He loves using repurposed journals to store all his ideas in. To him, it reminds him that it is not supposed to be precious at this stage - it takes the ego element out it knowing that it is only to explain his ideas to himself.

How or where do you start your creative day?


I read a short blurb about certain tribes of native Americans explained that little demons lived in Corn and when you disrupted their homes they got mad and popped, and that’s how they described pop corn.  I thought it was a great fun little short story so I did a quick 4 page over Xmas Holiday.  I had writing and words and as I created the comic it seemed like I could get away with no words, just a fun exercise.  Happy 2016!

ericwilliamsart  asked:

As a character artist that has been drawing traditionally since the beginning what is a good way to start transfer into painting digitally? I feel as though I don't have many portfolio pieces because I don't have them finished to the point of being digitally painted and that hinders studios from considering my portfolio. Is that true? Also I wanted to say I am truly inspired by you and when I get into a artistic slump one thing that always helps is your interview with Chris Oatley. Thank you.


The way to start is to honestly quit reading this sentence and begin painting, Period. 

In fact, you shouldn’t even be reading this sentence right now, what are you still reading this for? 

Stop.  GO paint and come back in a few hours…I’ll wait here……

No really… GO

OK.  Back?  How was that?  Sucks huh?  You aren’t there yet.  What’s in your head isn’t on the digital canvas yet.  But it will be.  Given time, energy, and patience.  It will.  You’re learning workflow.  Lighting, where you like to start, if you enjoy working from a sketch or a blank canvas, what colors you enjoy seeing next to each other , and so many more ideas as you screw up, adjust, and paint some more.  It’s all building up steam.  But it just takes time and effort.  Things many artists don’t like to hear.  But the few who do?  They have careers.  Remember, the only difference between a professional and an Amateur is not quitting.  Well that, and meeting your deadlines….. being personable…. giving the client what they want….oh and  having a business sense…. well you get the picture.

For me, drawing is the first stage of a 4 part play. 

I think a brilliant draftsman can get a job and keep it.  But those people are rare in this industry. They’ll also have a certain something they add to their craft.  Like Glen Keane is a brilliant draftsman and animator, Nico Marlet adds a tone and light pencil to his design work, etc etc.

But people identify with you as an artist if you have something to say with your art.  Either it’s humor, sophistication, horror, story telling, etc.

It’s less about what do they want to see and more what do you want to show them.  If you want to be a line art guru than own it.  Learn a ton.  Cross hatching, variations on pencil tone, strokes, thick to thin. 

But don’t just “do something” because you think it will get you a job.  What if it doesn’t?  What if you spend the next 4 years doing it and you hate it and still no one hires you?  So now you’re broke and hate painting……That will really suck.  Learn to paint for the right reasons.  If you want to be a better painter and it will help you become a fuller artist, that’s the right reason.   So again…..quit reading this right now and paint…

We’ll wait here……