I drew various things while in childhood and high school (actually, mostly dragons). After an art hiatus, I decided to try drawing comics. From July 2014 to April 2017 I drew pages for the comic "Concerning Rosamond Grey". Currently I'm writing the script and world-building for my second comic, and improving my art technique.
With my comics, I have two goals: one, to improve my comic art to a professional level; and two, to achieve this goal using only traditional methods. I get my inspiration from the works of Osamu Tezuka, Hagio Moto, Shigero Mizuki and Keiko Takemiya. I would also like to try having no physical or digital screen tone.
The picture above is my current progress in my coloring course, Learn Coloring. The images were drawn by Christopher Kerry, and I am merely following his course and learning the mechanics of color. Color is a lot more complicated, but also more systematic, than I originally thought.
First of all, I have a confession: due to life circumstances (I am in the process of looking for another job) and other things, I have not been working as fervently as I would like to get the sequel comic off of the ground. I have made incremental progress in the sequel comic script, and in learning anatomy, but the enthusiasm isn’t present like before. I have wondered if I am “merely” depressed, or perhaps I am stressing myself out: I have a long list of things I want to accomplish, and when I’m stressed, I get less done than I usually do. Plus, the aspect of marketing myself, and trying to figure out how to improve my art so that it would market itself, has been
tiring exhausting. Marketing in general looks like an overwhelming amount of work: do I have to spread myself onto dA, Facebook, Instagram, SmackJeeves, Patreon, Tapastic, Webtoons, and more that I haven’t yet considered? Do I have to network on each site and hope that people would discover my comics?
I generally do not share my spiritual life on the Internet, but since this is directly related to my comics, I thought this was relevant. I have known along that God wanted my comics to burst in popularity, it could happen: I look at the sad art of Attack on Titan and the (original) One Punch Man, and I know if the content is there, the art won’t prove too much of a hindrance. Yet despite my efforts to show the comic to people online and real life, I haven’t gotten the breakthrough.
Lately, both the art making and the marketing has become a chore. I find myself making much faster progress in French, for example. I wondered about this: am I done with comics? Was I only supposed to draw Concerning Rosamond Grey, and call it good? Was I trying to force something that isn’t there? I recall a time when I tried to force a story into being, and I came up fruitless. At that time I felt God was telling me to take a break from story-making, and the fast lasted about a year. Was it time for another “break”? But I don’t have to force any story for the sequel comic: I am actually bursting with ideas for that, and I already know how it begins, what's in the middle, and how it ends.
But why am I lacking the fervor and enthusiasm to work on my comic, in any aspect? I prayed about this: something wasn’t right. Finally, in a couple of different ways actually, I felt God was telling me: “what if it is My will that your comics will never be famous?”
My immediate reaction was: “…But then what’s the point?”
Well, that reaction’s telling, isn’t it?
When I started my comics, I had the attitude of “Lord, if only a few people benefit from my comic, I will have accomplished my goal”. With a little bit of marketing on dA, I got a few people to read my comic, and I was astounded that people would even be interested in it. My thoughts changed from simply humility to ambition: “if I got a few readers, what can I do to get more readers?” Perhaps ambition isn’t bad. If you’re like me, you daydream about people admiring your work, and getting general accolades and being interviewed. I think God could and does bless such individuals with success. But the early enjoyment of putting a story on paper changed to “I have to do all of this: I have to draw better, I have to market better, I have all of this, I have expectations to satisfy, I have to, I have to”.
But what if I don’t have to do anything? What if I don’t have to spend so much time marketing myself, and just enjoy the process of drawing and creating again? What if I can be free from the pursuit of successful? If God wants multiple people to find and enjoy the comics, what if He can do the marketing Himself?
I want to apologize for my lack of anything to show: but at least you know why I haven’t been very active artistically. I hope and pray that I find the pleasure I once derived from having my characters come alive on paper.