A couple of times growing up I got on the wrong school bus.
More than once I’ve taken the wrong exit on the highway.
One time I got so turned around, a trip down the street almost had me going out of state.
Point is, I get lost on occasion. It’s embarrassing and wastes a lot time. However, I’ve found shortcuts, new restaurants, etc all while going the wrong way.
So maybe getting lost is all part of discovery?
I’ve been barreling toward trying to do comics for over a decade. “This small thing will lead to something bigger” has been my motto for all this time. In a lot of ways it has. I will admit my own personal set backs have kept me from getting to where I am sooner.
My wife has changed my perspective on just about every aspect of my life. Not through telling me what to do, but allowing me to be myself. She was the person in my life to really say “if you can make any money as an artist, why aren’t you focusing on that?”.
So for the last two years, that’s what I’ve been doing. Freelancing myself out to just about anyone who’d hire me. Again, gotten lost here and there, but I’ve made my way.
This past year I’ve started turning down jobs more often than not. All due to time, my not feeling like the right fit, and generally not being interested.
The thing I’ve found is, I don’t really like comics anymore. Looking back, I’m not sure I ever did.
I read very little. I pick up a few things that catch my eye, but it’s usually the art and I don’t get involved much in the stories. As for drawing them, I enjoy short stories, and little personal stuff, but I’m in no way interested in those long form multi-issue things. I don’t care to read them so why do I want to draw them? (Answer: sometimes they pay me.)
And not only the stories, I’m burnt out on the standard 6x9, left to right zig zag format. I’m really good at telling a story like that, but my style right now doesn’t work well with innovative or radical designs. So maybe like the gifted kid in an average class, I’m acting out because I’m bored? But just like when the put me in the gifted class, I didn’t fit in there either.
I enjoyed comics growing up, more so comic strips and cartoons though. I’ve drawn most all my life but generally I’m just creative. I think comics seemed like the logical course and I pursued it. But outside of relationships and day jobs, maybe my disinterest is the thing that’s held me back most of the time?
So what does interest me? I’ve really enjoyed the couple of young adult illustration jobs from A-Z Learning. Short stories with about 12 color illustrations. Rekindled my love of Little Golden Books and kids books in general. I spend less time in comic shops and more time in the kids section at book stores. (I try to bring my wife so to not look creepy.) I’m digging through my Edward Gorey and Dr Seuss collections more and more. The biggest thing that’s caught my attention is Gris Grimly’s Sleepy Hollow adaptation. It’s a wonderful combination of text, illustration, and sequential work. He took his style and used whatever serves to tell the story the strongest. Neat!
I’ve always been interested in animation. It’s seemed like an impossibility growing up, but the technology and software has allowed anyone to make cartoons. I love stop motion and cut-out stuff. With my recent hand trouble making a puppet to move around is a lot more appealing.
Sculpture and figurines have also grabbed my attention. It’s challenging and the results are more satisfying. This is probably more of a hobby, but I’m not against looking into doing a gallery show or something.
To wrap up this long and rambling post: where am I now? I wasn’t paying attention and I missed my exit.
I’m not a comic artist. I’m an artist. My only goal is to make a living being creative.