Last week I taught a comics class at the Animation Workhop in Viborg. This week’s podcast is a summary of some of the things I taught – and learned myself! The main theme is choice: what kind of choices you need to make before you start drawing, and what you can do to make the process easier for yourself. As usual, your host is writer/artist Palle Schmidt.
Tip of the day: PLANNING
You know the term KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid?
Today I invented the term PASS – Plan Ahead, Stupid, Stupid. (Well, it had to be four letters I think). That note is going up on my wall.
I’m kind of between projects at the moment, and I did the mistake of NOT having anything planned for today’s work.
So what happened?
Kitchen talk at the studio for half an hour and the wasting an hour on YouTube. Saw some great clips with comedian Ricky Gervais, but how does that help my work life?
So my Tip of the Day is a no brainer, something I usually practice: Plan ahead. Know what you will be working on next day, have a prioritized to-do list. An empty desk and an empty calendar is not very motivational and even though I have PLENTY of stuff I COULD do, I end up spinning the wheels all morning, going nowhere.
Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself. But who else is gonna be, right?
Talking Bad Karma with Seth Peck – Comics for Beginners podcast episode 12
At NYCC I talked to Seth Peck about the Bad Karma writing collective, the succesful Kickstarter campaign behind the book Bad Karma Vol. 1 and about the importance of having partners in crime. For more info on Bad Karma and to get books and merchandice go to http://badkarmacreative.com/
Tom Lyle and his Inner Voice – Comics for Beginners podcast episode 11
We’re often told to listen to the voice inside ourselves. But what if that voice is preventing you from working on the thing you love most? This morning I went back to the New York Comic Con to talk to Tom Lyle (tomlyle.blogspot.com), comics artist known for his work on Spiderman and Batman & Robin and teacher at the Savannah College of Art & Design (https://www.scad.edu/). And I was surprised and encouraged by the fact that this 28-year comics veteran also hears voices. So it’s not just me!
Give it a listen and leave comments below.
Getting stuff done – Comics for Beginners podcast episode 7
Most of us struggle with finding time to work on our comics. In this episode I go over some productivity tips and mind hacks to help you get more stuff done. Let’s go to work!
Better to Start Small than Fail Big
When you are starting out in a new field, like making comics, it’s a good idea to start small.
But what about that big, epic graphic novel you have in you? You want to make an impact, right? True. But if you want to have even the slightest chance of succeeding, you need to pace yourself, get better before you throw all you’ve got after a 120 page graphic novel.
You don’t start your running with a marathon. You run a mile. Then, when that starts to become easy, you run two. You slowly build your running skills.
And skill is not the only thing you build. Confidence is equally important. If you start a huge project and don’t finish, it will feel like failure. You did not achieve what you set out to do.
If you set small goals, the chance of success is much bigger. And success is what builds your confidence, which again builds your skills.
You’ll never make it to the finish line, if you don’t build some muscle first. You need skill, dicipline and craftmanship.
Even with a five-page story, you will no doubt want to redraw page 1 when you get to page 4. This is a good thing! It means you are learning, getting better. But I urge you to move on, finish it. And take whatever you’ve learned and apply it to your next project.
And when you DO finish, share your achievement. Put it online or get it out in a fanzine. Take pride in your work, however small. And always be improving, learning, gaining more and more confidence.
The way to do that is to start with something you can actually achieve. Something small.