Drew Pocza | pocza
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I recently had the pleasure of meeting a new client through another illustrator who is moving on in another direction. The new client is a German economics teacher who likes to publish his own books. I found it very interesting so I said I would love to help out.

The previous artist has a great style, but we have no similarities. I had my fears that the client wanted me to replicate the other work. One rule I apply to every project is to NOT imitate another artist. I’m simply not the kind of artist who can rmimic another technique with ease. It has taken me years to craft my style and so I only take on work that I can apply myself to.

The first hurdle was the language barrier. The thought process was hard for me to interpret, but I came up with a sketch based off his art order. Easy enough. The different illustration style worked out and the client was very happy with the new direction.

Once I got approval I had two visions on how this could work out. So I sent the style I wanted to push. It wasn’t what he was hoping for, but I needed to take that chance. So I went back to my signature style and redid a character for approval to do all the others. Second style for the win! I’m OK with that. Ultimately, he has to be happy with it. As much as I wanted to try the retro inky look, I think he made the best decision. Just because a client contacts me for what I do, it doesn’t always mean I am right.

One thing he really wanted was to keep the magic of the sketch. Often fun sketches get too cleaned up and it misses that “something”. He was persistent in wanting that look. So I tried hard to go line for line over the sketch. gain, good call.

Once all the outlines were done, it was off to coloring. Exploring some simplicity in colors, we opted for full color. The image was created in Adobe Illustrator and is ready for print. The brilliant thing I love about i is the flexibility in size output. He produces books in print and digital and he can engage images for his class as big as he wants!


Lesson learned: Communication is king. My goal is to communicate both orally and artistically to help clients get what they want. Simply put, “It is exactly what I wanted” is how I wrapped up this project for the client.



It’s pretty clear by my work that I love comics. Comic books, strips, and animation has all had a big impact on me. I grew up in the 70/80’s with lots of options for Saturday morning cartoons. Yes, they actually had a morning devoted to cartoons. We didn’t have the luxury of several cartoon channels. Then I discovered the newspaper comics and was in complete awe that people made them. Of course Peanuts, Bloom County,  and Calvin and Hobbs were favs. I started reading Heavy Metal magazine for exposure to all kinds of wild artists. And then there was Epic Illustrated. Epic introduced me to Vaughn Bode. I’m a massive fan of anything Bode. Mark, his son carries on the style like no other. Tons of imperfect lines that mesmerized me. I was on a scavenger hunt for Bode stuff, it wasn’t as easy as searching online. Ya had to know people who knew people who had this crazy underground stuff. I would go to dark ally way head shops looking for this stuff. And it was hard. Ok, I ‘m going off on a tangent. Gotta focus.

I love comics. I have tried to make a few strips over the years. When I was laid off from a gaming publisher, I found myself on unemployment, looking for work. What better time to try a strip. I wanted to do a strip to help me keep the creativity flowing while lout of work. So I took all the strips I had done and mashed them into one. It was like finding my own comics jeet kun do, taking the best from each strip and making one. And Pokeweed was made. I try to put into the strip all the crazy stuff that I like. From fart jokes to conspiracy theories and more. I have been doing the strip for a few years now and gained decent exposure to new fans and even clients now. I continue to do the strip “as I can” while on the constant hustle to find work. And when I get busy, the strip sadly sits on the back burner. Why do I still do it? I like to. Simple as that. I love the little world I created and when I am actually making the strip, I find it to be my “happy place”. Are the numbers where they should be or where I would like them to be? No. But I still believe in the strip. Even if it’s for a temporary escape. More and more cartoonists are reaching out to their fan base for $$ help to keep their dream alive. I’m no different and am considering a kickstarted or patreon campaign. My thinking is this: If I can get enough backers to help me alleviate the work load, that will free up time for more comics. It never hurts to try.

Not only am I designer/illustrator, but proud cartoonist. The cartoons and illustration have been working hand in hand. If you haven’t read Pokeweed I hope you will. My love for old bw, newspaper style comics will be noticeable.