About two weeks ago, Prof. Eli invited members of Ink Club to his class to see and meet his guest lecturer, George O’Connor. George is a comic artist and creator of the hit comic series ‘Olympians’. He talked about his path to where is his now, his process, and gave incredible advice’ that hopefully we can put into words here.
George talked about how working in a children’s book store helped him meet people and publishers who craved certain books that weren’t really available at the time. He filled the market himself, creating books like ‘Kapow!’. Having met publishers, he knew who to present his work to in order to get it funded and out in the world.
“Do your research: find out the way a publisher wants submissions, the standards for publication of picture books, comics, etc.”
He encouraged students to create their dream projects and to get started now. Like right now. “Get your work out there. What are you waiting for? Do it!”
We were able to see some of his concept work for his character designs, thumbnails for his comic pages, and see his process. George said he never likes to erase, and would rather redraw something 5 times to keep that energy of his pencil marks.
“If you eradicate your mistakes, you can’t learn from them.”
George explained his months of research that goes behind all of the ‘Olympian’ books, explaining that he always had a love for Greek mythology, which ultimately lead to this series. This helps inspire his character designs, drawing them in every way he can think of until he’s satisfied that’s com up with all options.
Overall, he expressed the importance of creating work and getting people to see it.
My favorite line of his:
“A book is better than a business card.”