Monday, May 10, 2010

Inking is a Binary Art...

While I've been working on my comic strip (it's coming, I promise), I started thinking about inking. I tried an experiment during the inking phase of the strip - in short, I've used a different pen for inking each strip, and I came to the conclusion that every cartoonist who's created black and white line art has come to eventually.

It doesn't look any different.

Sure, pens can have different thicknesses, they can have differing properties, but at the end of the day, what you're left with, especially if you're trying to get a particular appearance, doesn't look any different. It's black ink, on white paper. Most cartoonists colour their art by computer (that is, digitally), so your black and white image you have created will eventually be reduced to computer data - in short, numbers.

Computers think in terms of numbers. In fact, everything that a computer does, eventually gets reduced to 2 numbers - 1 & 0. A computer brain is essentially a series of electrical switches, which have 2 states, on and off, which are represented by the numbers 1 (on) and 0 (off) - this system we call Binary.

Thinking along these lines, we can say that inking is a Binary art form, where Ink is ON, and no Ink is OFF. Therefore, with my pen, I'm already creating digital art.

So I say this to all cartoonists who's end product is eventually reduced to a computer file. Stop worrying about pens. It doesn't matter if it's waterproof, washable, gold plated, limited edition, expensive, cheap, nice smelling or foul. The art comes from within, not from the pen. Use a pen that you like the feel of, that you feel happier with, and your artwork will show the difference.

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