When I started coloring comics professionally, one of my idols was Liquid. Liquid was a studio started by two dudes, Aron Lusen and Christian Lichtner.
Their work was mesmerizing and it took the industry by storm like hurricanes in Florida. Not to mention Liquid’s style led to more copy-cats and knock-offs than fake Louis Vuitton bags.
I had the pleasure of meeting Christian once at a con.
Trying not to geek out too much or take up too much of his time. I asked him for an art tip.
This was my moment!
I was talking to one of my idols AND he was about to share information. Not all pros do so this made our meeting special. What was the ninja-like advice I received?
Christian recommended a book. An art book.
I hadn’t studied painting that much back then so to be told to read a book on traditional painting didn’t, well, light my fire.
My local library had the book so I got it.
I was excited.
Till I looked inside.
I was expecting more ’how to’ information but the book was more about color theory.
I told my mentor Chance Wolf about my disappointment with this ‘color theory’ book.
I can’t remember what Chance said verbatim but I’ll recreate it in my words. He said, ’Adam, if he told you to get the damn book, it was for a reason. You know how many guys would kill to know about that book?’
Didn’t I just write recently about having issues with being grateful for stuff when I was younger?
That right there is the power of having mentors. Really good ones.
Anyway, I studied the hell out of that book.
It didn’t make me a painting virtuoso overnight but it helped understand the genius of Liquid and it taught me how far I needed to go.
But it also taught me the value of good ideas.
If it wasn’t for Chance I probably would have LOOKED at the book instead of STUDYING the book.
When you receive a good idea, whether it comes from you or from someone else. Treat it like it’s worth thousands of dollars.
And if you can’t make something out of the idea.
But when you judge an idea and don’t use it. It can’t make it’s impact on you.
It’s like firing a bullet with no powder in the chamber.