I’ve been pretty quiet for the past year because I’ve been so busy trying to complete a big project. I’m a very patient person, so my original plan was to just illustrate all four 22 page issues and then figure out the marketing and distribution later. As a result, I had a sort of tunnel vision focus on just illustration. I wanted to get everything done in a year, but I was still new to lettering and colouring (and drawing on a cintiq) so I’m now a year and half into it with a couple of months left to go. It also didn’t help that I work a nine to five and only really have the chance to work on this is on nights and weekends. Throughout that time, there was a lot of trial and error, start and stops, redoing portions of pages and just a lot of refining my process. All the while I was trying to take enough time to make myself happy with the work, but still work at a quick enough pace that I’d be able to get it done within a reasonable time.
Striking that balance between producing work that I’m happy with but at a quick pace was very difficult and I still haven’t quite found it. If I were ever hired to do freelance work, this would definitely be a big hurdle for me. Especially considering the bulk of freelance work being published today is what I coin as ‘deadline work’. Whenever I hear someone comment on how a certain artist on a particular comic is terrible, I try to give the artist the benefit of the doubt and acknowledge that it could just be ‘deadline work’. At the end of the day, the work needs to be delivered wether the artist is happy with it or not. I’m very envious of artists like Stuart Immonen and Chris Samnee, who seem to produce fantastic work at such a regular pace.
A big help during the last year I was working on this project were Jason Brubaker’s and Nate Simpson’s blogs. Their blog’s proved both inspiring and educational. I believe that Nate Simpson’s writings in the past couple of years have a universally relatable quality for artists. I found myself relating to a lot his struggles and I highly recommend reading it if you’re working on a long comic project by yourself. I also appreciated Jason Brubaker sharing his learnings throughout the production of his comic. Considering most comic artists tend to sit alone while producing their work, it’s much appreciated that someone took the time to write honestly about their process.
My goal this year is to be better at marketing myself and just get my work out there. I plan to outline my process for producing this comic sometime over the next several months as well as get it up as a webcomic and eventually start documenting the production of my follow up project. In the meantime, I’ve posted a preview page of this project.