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Meeting Tim Hamilton (original post 10/22)

Tim Hamilton is the author/illustrator of Fahrenheit 451, the graphic novel. He spoke tonight at the SB Public Library and was really interesting. Among others he has done work for MAD magazine (MAD keeps the rights to his artwork), the New York Times, Nickelodeon Magazine (the artist keep the rights to the artwork), which just went out of business this month, and a show (which didn't get picked up) on the Cartoon Network. Some of his early influences were PeanutsWizard of ID, and Calvin and Hobbes.

Tim showed us the process he goes through when creating artwork (boy I hope I am remembering all of this correctly). First he does research using art history books, photographs, and old art posters he does the initial thumbnail drawings in pencil or even sharpie. For example, he used works from Kathe Kollwitz
 and Egon Schiele as well as art deco for F451 and photos of his neighbors for Treasure Island. He pointed out that the research is to inspire his work, not for him to copy.

The next step is to do the drawings again in pen and ink or brush and ink (as he did for F451) and he adds in some work with Photoshop. However, he said only about 25% of the work is Photoshop.

Tim said his advice to artists is to have a day job that can pay the bills, but to make sure you continue to do work that is just for yourself, that you don't get paid for. You can see an example of his work and others at 
Smithmag, which gives writers and artists the opportunity to share their work. He also said when you start a project you need to make sure that you don't censor yourself; put it all down. Some of his best work was stuff he hung on to even though he thought they were failures at the time (flames in F451, for example).

When an audience member asked him how he collaborated with Ray Bradbury on this graphic novel, he said he spent about 2 months writing the text. Bradbury allowed him to take out a couple sections, but Tim wasn't allowed to change the order, combine characters, or make any other major changes. Ray Bradbury also got to see all the artwork.

1 comment

Tim Hamilton said...

Thanks for doing the nice write up!