Frequently Asked Questions...
Before emailing me to ask me a question, please make sure it's not mentioned here, or I'll simply ask that you read this page. Thanks.
- Q: May I use a picture or artwork from your web site for signature tags, web use, print, avatars, other personal use etc?
- A: I'm glad to hear you like my work and want to use it. I have no problems with that providing my work is used for personal, non- profit use and credit is given. I don't mind if my art's backgrounds are removed or if parts are animated providing it's done in a professional looking manner that doesn't appear to degrade the quality of my original work. Can you please make sure the following text appears on any image you use: © Ben Krefta: www.organicmetal.co.uk
- You do NOT need to ask permission, however if my work is used, I would appreciate a quick note just letting me know who you are, where your web site is and where my adapted art images can be found.
- Q: May I use one of your line art pictures for colouring in or CGing?
- A: Yes you can, be sure to give me credit for the line work if you later intend on publishing it on the web and make sure the finished work is not used for commercial purposes.
- Q: Can you please send me high resolution versions of your coloured artwork?
- A: I'm afraid I only exhibit low-res art on my website to help limit dishonest people from printing and selling it without my knowledge. If you wish to purchase usage rights of artwork on the site, let me know and I'll be able to forward high-res versions to you.
- Q: Did you get permission for using any other images on this site?
- A: Practically all graphics on the site were created solely for Organic Metal and should not to be used on other web sites without permission (or see above). Some graphics, i.e. Avatars were adapted from other artist's work. Since the few bits and pieces I have on Organic Metal are already freely available within public domain, I'm sure no one will complain at me for using such images for non-profit purposes.
- Q: I want to learn / draw manga. Any advice?
- A: When learning anything, the more you practice the better you get. I don't wanna put off any aspiring manga artists, but it does take years of practice to get good and even longer to get great. You have to at least enjoy drawing to be able to stick at it long enough to see improvement, but once you start pumping out stuff that you're proud of, it makes it all worth it. If you want to learn a manga style of drawing, check out existing manga art which you like and try to imitate it. An instructional book might be a good start too, but ultimately a passion to create something cool is the most important thing in learning
- Q: Can you please email me art tips or write me a tutorial?
- A: I'm afraid I often don't have the time to email specific tips or write tutorials for anyone who asks. Best thing to do is just practice and experiment lots. It'll prove more useful in the long run.
- Q: Here is a picture I drew *attached*, can you please give me feedback / tips / solutions?
- A: See above. You'll be better off posting your work on a web forum and getting it critiqued by people who are there to help! Or you could try comic book conventions and show your portfolio to pros who are also there to give advice.
- Q: Send me pictures.
- A: It's surprising how many people demand silly things like this. If you want pictures, try surfing the net or looking in magazines or something. *shrugs*
- Q: The music playing on the web site - where is it from?
- A: It was created by James Cobb - an old buddy of mine and a talented song writer and composer. Cheers James
- Q: Please email me.
- A: I never know what people expect me to say to this question. If you want to discuss something specific or ask me a question, I'll reply to your email. If it seems you generally just want me to write to you for the sake of it, I probably won't bother.
- Q: I'd like to do a school project on you as an artist- is that ok?
- A: Yeah- that'd be cool! I'd imagine you'll be able to find enough info about me or my work on the site. If you want to know anything specific, let me know. I would really appreciate it if you could show my your project when it's done as it'd be of great interest to hear your thoughts or see art based on anything I've created.
- Q: What sites do you visit when you're online?
- A: These days I go online to check my emails, to buy stuff from online stores, read news feeds on video games, technology, psychology and get info from one of my favourite sites- Wikipedia. I used to have an online presence at a select few art, anime, video game or various other message boards and forums. It's cool to be part of an internet communities but it's pretty low on my priority list these days. Occasionally I like checking out artwork on sites like Deviantart or trying my hand at some oekaki . Sometimes I check out sites like Youtube if I want a laugh.
- Q: How long have you been drawing?
- A: Since I was I baby scribbling on the walls at home with a crayon! As far as drawing cartoony/anime stuff goes, I've been doing it on and off in various shapes and forms since I was about 8, then started drawing a little more seriously when I got to 15. I don't draw continuously. I usually put my artwork on hold for anything from two weeks without picking up a pencil - two months or more! It's all a motivation and inspiration issue. If I always stayed motivated to want to draw and worked constantly, I'd be 10 times better than I am now, but I like doing lots of other things which take up my time.
Read my profile for more info.
- Q: How much time do you spend drawing each week?
- A: It varies a lot. In my spare time I might only sit down and draw for a few hours each week. Sometimes my time's taken CGing using the computer. If I have a job project on the go, I might work on it for five or six hours each day or depending on the deadline. I'm not a big fan of drawing too much in one go, especially if I don't feel in the mood.
- Q: Do you have any training in art or web design?
- A:I have an Advanced GNVQ in art and design, A level in art and a BA Degree in Graphic Media, but I'm mostly self taught as far as anime art and web designing goes. I think any training you can get will help, but at the end of the day, a lot of self motivation and hard work is the key to accomplishment.
- Q: Are you the guy that did 'The Art Of Drawing Manga'?
- A: Yes. For those that don't know, it was a 4 month project to create a 144 page how to draw manga book. It turned out pretty good in the end and has become a success despite many behind the scenes problems. There's several versions of the book which have been sold worldwide and translated into languages such as Spanish, German, Polish and Hungarian. If I knew it was going to get so much exposure, I would love to have made a remastered, updated version, but I guess it serves a purpose for the time being
- Q: What's the deal with the TAODM cover?
- A: I was presented with an image by the publisher of a girl holding a gun. I was asked to re-work this image for the cover, but without a gun appearing in the image, as the American market is sensitive towards guns on covers. The rest of the world isn't as concerned about the level of censorship, so I was then asked to edit the "open hand" image to include the gun- to look like the original image I was given. The fact the cover used for the book was a re-worked image of another artist's picture lead to a lot of unjust ill feeling towards me. I was accused of being an art thief , incapable of creating original art. However, I simply carried out a brief given to me and no rights laws have been broken. Initially I attempted to submit an original illustration for the book's cover but this was rejected, as the publisher was adamant on using an adapted version of the existing illustration Had it not been rejected, I would not have had any hastle over this issue.
- Q: But what about art inside TAODM which is copied (Goku's hand)?
A: TAODM's hand tutorial was taken from an existing image of Goku. Originally Goku and five other existing anime drawings were to be used in a separate book on how to draw anime characters. My job was literally to copy these characters for the book and then create step-by-steps showing how they can be created. The book's publisher however was unable to get rights to re-produce half the full character images so the book never went on sale. It was the publisher's decision to use part of the Goku image created for the anime characters book in TAODM. It was only a small space filler so I let them run with it. As with the cover, I never thought some of the readers would have had a problem with this. But in hindsight, there should have been a note in the book to mention this- that's why I've mentioned it here. Gomen nasai.
- Q: Are you going to do any more books in the future?
- A: I was called on to do another book called "Step By Step Manga" aimed at kids and young teens. That's available to buy now. If I did another, I'd prefer to develop it myself from start to finish. For my previous titles, I was more of an artist for hire to draw for the publisher's books. Some of the desisions on themes and content used wasn't nessasarily down to me. So rather than work to briefs, if I could just come up with my own concept for a book idea and follow it though to creation, that might be pretty cool. Trouble is would the market want what I'd want to do? Currently I have no plans to work on another book in the near future.
- Q: What did you use to make your web site?
- A: For the pages themselves mainly a software package called Adobe Dreamweaver. It can create the html for you, so you don't have to waste time writing out code manually. If you're serious about web designing I'd recommend it but it will set you back a good few hundred bucks. Although I can't endorse it, I'm sure a lot of people will know how to download a version without the handing over their cash. My site as a whole isn't just Dreamweaver made. Some of the java script and html was hand written, so Dreamweaver won't be able to do everything you see on my site. The animation and navigation were created with Adobe Flash. The image/graphics I have used (for example the girl on the left) were made by using a graphics/photo editing package called Adobe Photoshop.
The PHP back-end parts of the site such as form processing and mailing list were written specifically for Organic Metal by Rik Nicol. Cheers Rik
- Q: I have Dreamweaver, Flash and Photoshop, but I still can't make a good page, any tips?
- A: You can have the best and most expensive tools in the world, but they won't magically make you a good web page. The key is creativity and knowledge of 'what looks good' design-wise. Think of a theme, colour combination and ideas to base your site on. Look at lots of different sites, see how they do things and experiment. Use other's sites to help influence the design of your own, but do not directly copy them.
- Q: Will you be my new best friend?
- A: I appreciate the offer, but probably not I've already made more than enough web buddies and can't keep up with them, let alone anyone else!
- Q: Do you want to exchange links with me?
- A: I don't do formal link exchanges with banners and I wont pressure people I decide to link, to return the favour with a reciprocal link. Please don't ask, but by all means, e-mail me your site so I can check it out
Also, if you have linked to Organic Metal, Let me know and I'll add your site to the "sites that have linked me" list in the links section next time I get around to updating them.
- Q: I wish to submit some guest art to be displayed on Organic Metal, what are the guide lines?
- A: Organic Metal no longer exhibits other artist's work, If you do any cool fan art of one of my existing characters, let me know and I'll post it up.
- Q: Which web server hosts your web site?
- A: I'm with a company called One & One, which is paid for by my cool buddies / ex-work mates at Optimim Fitness. These days web hosting and domain registration is pretty cheap, so a little Google research and you can be set up in no time.
- Q: I'm currently working on my own project. I was wondering if you'd help out by doing some work for me? (This includes logo design, one-off illustrations etc.)
- A: Sure. Please visit the Commission Me page for more info.
- Q: How much do you charge for commissions and freelance work?
- A: My costs reflect standard industry rates here in the UK. What those costs are vary a lot depending on what is required and how the artwork will be used. If you like my stuff and want to work with me on your project, the best thing to do is email me a detailed brief, and I'll email back a quote.
- Q: Ben, what's your Email Address?
- A: It's ben @ organicmetal . co . uk (without the spaces). Before emailing, please make sure questions haven't already been answered in this FAQ or elsewhere on Organic Metal. Thanks.
More FAQs to follow as soon as they're asked!