I remember when I was a kid, I'd record Saturday morning cartoons, play them back, pause the image, put a piece of paper over the screen and trace my favourite characters.
Now this was really hard in the VHS era, because a paused image on a VHS is usually either broken up or shakes so much that you’ll have some kind of fit if you look at it too long, it depended on how cheap and sh*tty your machine was.
But I worked really hard at it, man. I spent ages getting the linework just right, I was so careful, and when I peeled the page from the static cling of the bulbous, cathode ray tube screen, the character looked exactly right on the page. And you wanna know what I took away from that endeavour? What all that effort taught me?
Jack f**king sh*t.
You don’t pick up or develop any skills by tracing. You don’t devise and perfect your own methods by tracing. You do not progress as an artist by tracing. All you get is a loss of credibility, especially in this day and age, because even if you rip off the work of a lesser-known, hack-cartoonist like me, someone’s
gonna spot it and call you out.Really?REALLY?!F**KING REALLY?!