The Importance of Reference

Whassap y’all – I hope the long weekend was productive and that y’all weren’t relaxing TOO much! It’s just after Labour Day, and we all know what that means – it’s GO TIME! Back to school for some of us, the last cottage weekend for others, but for me , I took the name of the holiday rather literally and busted my ass on trying to get a lot out of the way.

This involved things such as:

  • scanning in a ton of half-completed, likely-never-to-be-finished sketches
  • uploading a number of photos that have just been sitting around doing nothing
  • using FreeMind to develop a mind map of all the random ideas that I often seem to have floating around
  • sketching like a fiend so that I could get rid of a ton of reference material that I seem to carry with me EVERYWHERE

And then Damn Terry Dam went and said, “Reference material is always a good thing to carry”.

Okay, yes, I totally agree with this statement, but what I think Terry didn’t realize is who exactly he’s talking to. When it comes to getting a job done, I tend to get a little OCD at times and really go over the top.

A couple of years ago, I’d put the word out to a few communities that I was part of online that I was looking for that I was looking for donations of old magazines so I could slice pages out of them for reference material. This was gonna be on TOP of the magazines I was already getting rid of for the same reason! I figured I’d just be able to draw things out one page at a time to improve my skill and the range of things I’d know how to draw.

Great plan, but I severely underestimated the response I’d receive from my peers!

This is the box that holds all the reference material I gathered from that exercise:


The Big Ol’ Box of Reference Materials

So as you can see, it’s quite a bit. In fact, I had problems even managing to squeeze it all in said box. So I’ve got my work cut out for me as I’ve now gotten to a point where I’m actually attempting to go through the box and USE the reference. My method goes a little bit like this:

  1. Grab handful of sheets from box
  2. Stuff in whatever knapsack I’m carrying with me that day
  3. Pull a sheet out on the subway/at the girlfriend’s/during lunch
  4. Sketch like a madman
  5. Recycle reference page
  6. Return to step 3 until all sheets are gone
  7. Then, return to step 1

Eventually, I will get through this box, and at that point, I’m hoping that my work will be far more awesome. But until then, I’ll follow Damn Terry Dam’s advice.

–case p.

Author: Casey E. Palmer

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey‘s spent the last few decades in pursuit of creating killer content. From novels as a kid, comics as a teen, to blogs and photos once he could grow a beard, he’ll use whatever’s around him to create amazing stuff. When he’s not creating, he’s parenting, exploring and trying to make life as awesome as possible for everyone around him. Because a boring life’s not a life worth living!

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