4 September 2012

Behind the Comics VII - Jean de Wet

Jean de Wet contributed the beautifully haunting comics 'Necropolis' to š! #11 'artventurous'. Lots of  readers were very captivated by his art and gave raving feedback. So we invited Jean to tell us how he created this story. As usual, first we shortly introduce the artist, before we let him speak.

Jean de Wet was born 1984 in South Africa. He is a freelance illustrator and artist based in Cape Town. He graduated with a BA in Information Design from the University of Pretoria in 2007, and moved on to focus on illustration, comics, books and art. 'Necropolis' published in š! #11 is his first comics in an international anthology, but almost in the same time one of his illustrations was also featured in Nobrow 7. Expect lots of swamps, haunted houses, extraterrestrials, cursed peasants and enchanted forests. Make sure to visit his website and follow him on twitter and tumblr!

Jean de Wet's artventurous insight:

I have various and fairly inconsistent ways of starting new projects and comics. I mostly draw on different scraps of paper (which I collect obsessively) or just start working and making notes in my sketchbooks.
I'll eventually move on and make some thumbnail sketches, mainly to resolve to the compositions and pacing, or just to get a feel for what the story wants to become.


I have lots of stacks of drawings, notes and scribbles that clutter my desk. Every now and then during a cleanup, I'll throw out the meaningless ones and attempt to collect the 'okay' ones in one place. After their immediate relevance expires, I'll then 'file' these in an envelope and put them in a box with the rest and refer to them later if I need to.

Although I like working with a large variety of mediums and materials, these are the ones I work mostly with. I especially love cheapish felt tip pens, mostly because they allow me to make a regular and consistent line, without interruption. 

I have lots of small sketchbooks, diaries and notebooks which I often add and refer to. I've slowly been working on an expansive 'reality/world' for a few years now, and I'm always making notes, sketches and drawings about specific characters, events, places, story ideas, chronology etc.

In the case of my comic for š!#11, I uncovered a sketchbook drawing I made earlier this year, which features this guy sitting at his workspace. I decided to elaborate on it further into a short story… something that would specifically fit the theme - 'Artventurous'.

Once i finish drawing a page, I'll scan it, and make some slight edits to the composition using a wacom pen in photoshop. I'll then add some colour if necessary.

I love collecting all types of things, and eventually they somehow find their way into my drawings. These are a few of my favorite old postcards. 

Mostly I just start drawing and maybe edit later, or do some pencil work first before inking.

Here's a stack of pages for a new story I've been working on for the last few months… an ongoing story which I'll be releasing.

 ...more information coming soon!

We are already excited to see Jean's next projects! If you haven't seen his comics in š! #11, you can still get it here: www.komikss.lv/books. Next Tuesday 'Behind The Comics' continues with Nicolò Pellizzon.

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