As summer approaches, a young artist in DuBois is preparing to embark on a great artistic adventure: selling his art at comicons.
Aaron DeWyer, a 2012 graduate of DuBois Area High School, has showcased his art online and sketching caricatures for weddings. He currently works as a graphic designer at a local business. However, this weekend will be his first shot at selling his art at a comic book convention. For Dewyer, that meant ordering a banner showcasing his art and choosing creative prints to sell.
Comicon may be a stepping stone, but it was also where he first realized what he wanted to do with his life.
“I never really thought of drawing as a career for me until I went to my first comicon in 2013,” DeWyer said. “I remember the moment where I said to myself, ‘This is what I want to do.’ Since then, it’s become less of a hobby for me and more of an endgame.”
DeWyer started sketching dinosaurs when he was little, which morphed into drawing Godzilla and other monsters. He credits Godzilla for getting him going in the art world.
“I got a book called the Official Godzilla Compendium with illustrations by Arthur Adams,” he said. “I would take that book just about everywhere and I’d try to replicate his drawings. I just kept with it from there.”
At a recent convention, DeWyer got the chance to thank Adams and have him sign the battered book that got him started.
From Godzilla to figures, DeWyer pieced together an education to help him move forward.
“I took drawing courses from Marrianne Fyda of The Peaceable Kingdom when I was in middle school,” he said. “The fundamentals they taught me have really helped. Shading especially. DuBois Business college helped me get a feel for the digital aspect of this field. For a while, I really loathed doing figures. Now, if you asked me to draw you a monster, no problem, but human anatomy was tougher to grasp. I’ve worked on it for years now. I’m no Jim Lee or David Finch, I feel like that’s definitely an area where I’ve vastly improved.”
This year, 3 Rivers Comicon will be his show debut. 3 Rivers Comicon will be Saturday and Sunday at the Waterfront in Homestead. The con, hosted by New Dimension Comics, gives DeWyer a chance to sell some art and get more information. The convention organizers are bringing in some publishers, like Valiant, Action Lab Entertainment, Source Point Press, Aftershock Comics, and more. Some publishers will do a portfolio review, allowing DeWyer to showcase his talents and get some feedback.
He has already gotten feedback from some legends in the industry.
“I took a course taught by comic legend Jim Steranko,” DeWyer said. “He taught me so much about narrative and how to portray it on paper. Things you would never imagine opening a comic book and reading through: what draws your eye here, subliminal foreshadowing, things the reader doesn’t necessarily have in mind while reading, but is vital for the artist to include to get that point across.”
And 3 Rivers Comicon is just the starting point. DeWyer has a clear goal in mind: to work in comics.
“I’m excited to see if people take a real interest in my work,” he said. “It’s a big opportunity for me to network and gain some valuable feedback so I can make changes.”
More about 3 Rivers Comicon and the artists there can be found at www.3riverscomicon.com. DeWyer has various social media platforms where he showcases his talents, like Art of Aaron DeWyer on Facebook or Art of Aaron DeWyer (@kaijugroupi84) on Twitter.