Sometimes I don't feel like a very nice person. I'm lucky enough to have friends that are awesome with their big hearts and inspiring with their amazing art. Yet, sometimes, I feel rather jealous of their talent and fame. And then I feel bad for feeling jealous. Go figure. I wanted to be a comic artist my whole life, and more and more, i'm seeing that 3 things are really required to make it. Talent, work and luck.
Talent is the obvious first criteria. It doesn't really need to be talent in drawing itself. I've read comics that have really moved me. The story was amazing, but the art was just okay. A good comic artist should have talent in drawing, or storytelling, or both. True talent will get noticed, and will make a lasting impression.
That's when the second criteria comes in - work. Talent is nothing without the work. If your goal is to be a comic artist, you need to a work a lot, and mostly for free for your first few years. You will work to produce pages. You will work to improve yourself. You will work to connect with other artists and readers. The amount of work needed often varies depending on the amount of talent. There's some people out there that turn everything they touch into pure sequential gold. And often, for those people, the work required to accumulate readership and interest is smaller, since the work speaks mostly for itself. But there is still work needed. Nobody likes a lazy person, and lazy artists don't produce.
The last required element is luck. You can be talented, you can work hard, but a certain amount of luck will define where the work goes. Take webcomics for example. You can have the world's greatest webcomic. You can have ads all over the internet. But you still need luck if you want people to click on it. You still need luck for another comic artist to mention you on their blog and such. Luck helps you be at the right place and time. It's like a little pat on the back the universe gives you. And the more you work, the more luck you seem to accumulate. If you network a lot, chances are you'll meet some amazing people who know other amazing people, etc, etc.
So all these elements really depend on each other.
A fourth elements I kinda want to add is confidence and/or knowledge. Which is where I think I fail.
I work hard. I'm fairly talented (I think). And i'm pretty lucky, generally (as mentionend at the top, I met some pretty incredible people. I want to hug all of you so much!). But I have very little confidence and knowledge. As in, "I don't know what i'm doing and it terrifies the crap out of me". I'm always the type of person that would have a list, or a plan. I'm terrified by how little I actually know about the comic world. And this lack of knowledge makes me very uneasy and really wrecks havoc on my self-esteem (that is, let's admit it, really small and meek to begin with!)
I wish I had a mentor, a guide or something, who owned a book titled "Sequential art and marketing for dummies".
But watcha gonna do. The best I can do is stay calm, be proud and try to learn by trial and error gradually.
I'm hoping to learn things this weekend at the TCAF. Learn things and meet people. Learn things from people. I look forward to this. Well, that and buying a pile of comics of course!
Anywho. Enough talking about insecurity and such. Time to focus on work!
Have a Namesake sketch :
I’m amused that most people seem to adore these two already on Namesake and yet they have barely interacted. :D
You guys are on to me, or something.
This image isn’t really official. Not part of the comic. Just a little doodle. Might potentially become a wallpaper.
Emma looks pretty badass with a sword, no?