Dilemma on trying to pursue a career as a comics creator seriously

ArroceeArrocee Registered User regular
Hello,

This is my first time posting here, but I have to ask all of you for some advice. Actually, I was thinking of posting this thread in the Advice forum, but I felt like the topic here is more specialized for my specific concern (even though I have no self-made comic to share). If this thread actually belongs to the Advice forum, sorry for the mistake and feel free to move it for me!

Basically my concern is whether I should take a gap year from my random-bachelor's degree education to learn how to draw (ta-da, that's why I'm asking you guys). Knowing that many of you consider yourselves people who've seriously dedicated themselves to making comics, I thought it would make good sense to ask you if taking a gap year to "learn how to draw" for comics sounded like a reasonable choice in your guys' minds.

Some of you might ask why (if I want to "seriously dedicate" myself to comics) my education isn't related to comics/learning how to draw in the first place. I could do studio art, but the program here isn't really great (the focus is on theoretical highbrow stuff and not so much on technical skills-building) and if I'm not going to get a solid foundation out of it, it would scare the crap out of me to graduate with a fine arts degree and not have anything serious to offer --> starving, useless artist.

What that points out is that I don't really have an art foundation in the first place (with or without the studio arts program). I can draw all right from observation, but basically all I know is self-taught and some vague, general guidelines from some drawing books. It's always an abstract, strange process when I try to shade any of my life drawings and kind of tortuous even when it mysteriously works out. I doubt I'm really going about that like I should be, and likewise for a dozen other aspects of drawing... Drawing characters free-hand I'm an absolute beginner at (the "doodling" stage).

But since I want it to actually seem like I'm serious about one day being able to put comics out there, I want to take the time to learn how to draw. Unfortunately, the way I am I can't do both academics and learning how to draw at the same time. So, I thought I could take a gap year. Here's what that would entail:
- I would try to get a job in the summer first, and if by the middle of summer I'd have something secured, I could let my school know I plan on taking a year of absence.
- I would work at least part-time (20 hrs/week = $640 a month). This would barely cover my rent ($400 a month) and food while staying the same area as my school.
- Drawing: I kind of want to take a drawing course on the side, but failing that financially I could at least practice on my own. Somehow I would practice enough until I magically became actually skilled at it.

The way I see it, if this actually works out I don't have much to lose. I'll still have my degree to go back to once the year ends and my plan entails not dipping out of my savings (which I do have, but I'm reserving to pay back my debt for education). The only thing is that I'm not pursuing some leadership positions I could because I might end up doing the gap year, and it does put my mom through inconvenience I can't go into.

Two risks that do exist are
1) if I get a part-time job, I will lose it somehow and have to take out of my savings after all.
2) even if I manage to keep my part-time job, nothing will come out of trying to learn drawing so it will all be a waste of hardship anyway.
I actually have what feels like a track record of failure (like learning how to draw over summer, or studying well enough to do pre-optometry) when it comes to doing things.

But I'd rather try and fail than not try at all.

That's is my rationale for taking a gap year, but for some reason I still feel threatened like I'm thinking of doing something foolish. When I bring up the gap year to other people, they advise me to "talk more with other people about it" and "think about it longer." My mom seems opposed to it, and that matters a lot to me. Ultimately I fear that I don't have the talent or seriousness in me to bring myself up to a professional caliber, or that even if I do it's not a guarantee of success.

I guess I just want people to tell me if I'm being foolish or not, but at least from people who actually think about making comics as an actual pursuit. Could you guys offer me that input? Sorry..., I know that I write in a prolonged manner so this post is lengthy, but I really do hope to get some advice from here.

Posts

  • ArroceeArrocee Registered User regular
    Sorry, it looks like there's two threads and I don't know why! D:<
    Here are some examples I have at hand of where I am right now in terms of drawing... although not sure how much this affects any input on my question:

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    621721_481566975186876_1187572825_o.jpg

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2013
    If you are that dedicated, I would recommend trying some comics on your off time (whenever that is) before you switch your life around for it. Eventually you will need to commit some large blocks of time to it, yes, but having five hours a day to dedicate to drawing does not always equal you actually doing five hours of drawing. If you sit for 2 hours a night, you can make a strip or two every week. Its not going to be easy but, personally, I think that's a more responsible sacrifice to make. If you get to a point when you feel like your comics are getting a positive response and you want to pursue pushing them forward, that's a better time to start taking part time jobs and pursuing it with more time on your side.

    I say this mostly because, while your drawings are pretty good, and you probably have talent, the amount of effort it takes to convert that into an art job is going to take longer than 1 year. You might as well start to figure out how to just draw at every open opportunity you have, even if you're a little tired and you don't want to.

    Iruka on
    Red RaevynSiegfried
  • ArroceeArrocee Registered User regular
    Thanks for the input Iruka! Although I'll be honest, that wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear (haha...).
    I know I should already be just drawing every night, but I find it hard. I'm pretty disorganized at my studies so basically I'm always sleeping, studying inefficiently (I take a lot of time), or supposed to be studying. It's something that I've been struggling with (not very successfully) for a while, so I pretty much know I can't try to do two things at once. On the other hand I could just make a rule and dedicate a few hours a night.. but the idea of that is pretty stressful to me. The gap year is like my way of working around that, but maybe I need to hear that it's not the responsible way of facing the issue.

    I don't expect to be able to get an art job just after doing the gap year, but I would like to at least get a "head start" (it's really more like a catch-up) on drawing so that by the time I graduate I can pursue comics easily enough on the side so that it's doesn't seem like a complete pipedream. Sometimes I feel like when I graduate I'm going to end up in a random career or in grad school and I'll be 28 or 30 before I work myself into a situation where pursuing comics is feasible, if I don't gain the basic skill set now. And I don't really want it to be like that... Does that make sense? It's because I don't expect I'll practice art at all without the gap year that I feel like I have to take one, but again, maybe I need to change that.

    I hope you don't mind me asking, but is there any other reason why you think the gap year's a bad idea (other than the need to be able to practice continuously)? Does it sound a bit unfeasible?

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Your talking to someone who sunk a lot of money and time into art school for essentially the same reasons. It certainly not unfeasible, but when I hear things like "I have a disorganized study schedule" It makes me wonder. I mean, I went to school with all types, and I knew people who worked jobs and pulled ridiculous hours who were just as good, if not better, than the kids who had the privilege of just focusing on art. Time management is a huge part of it. Can you sit down and draw like its your job, everyday, even when you don't feel like it? Right now it sounds like a hobby/escape from what you already do, what happens when you sit down and improving is frustrating and you cant see how to push forward?

    Its never too late to start a comic, and thanks to the internet you can start slowly putting yourself out there rather than disrupting your life for it. I wouldn't really stop you from just taking a year off, but then again, I just feel like if you cant commit an hour a night, you may have a hard time when you get to the actual grind of practicing. Its rewarding and fulfilling, sure, but it isn't any less tedious and difficult than studying, and it has way less job security. Whats to stop you from doing this for a while after you graduate? if you can squeeze time in now, you'll be ready with good time management skills and really make the most of that time when you have it. Just my opinion, though.

    squidbunnyNibCromDMACRed RaevynScosglentapeslinger
  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    I agree with Iruka. I don't think anyone NEEDS to go to art school to become a better artist, but you do need to have the discipline to keep working at it, even when you don't feel like it. If you were to take a year off to focus on it, do you have any sort of plan or schedule in mind for self-improvement? Would you start a Webcomic and try to improve it over the course of the year? Buy some "How To Draw" books and work through them?

    bombardier
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    Pursuing comic art as a career is an insane thing to do unless you’re so driven that you can’t stop drawing. There’s too little work and too many artists. It makes a lot more sense to study design and illustration work that involves a lot of drawing. Would you rather be a starving guy trying to get hired to draw comics, or a guy who gets paid to do creative stuff and draws come comic art on the side?

  • Red RaevynRed Raevyn because I only take Bubble Baths Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    If you're truly getting a random degree (e.g. "Eh I'm already halfway there I guess I'll get a psych/journalism/English degree"), that's a reason to rethink how you are investing your $50-100k.

    But that has nothing to do with drawing.

    I don't think this is a good idea and I don't think it would work. It sounds like you don't have the passion to draw all day every day, and even more so do not have the self-discipline to guide yourself productively for a year. If this is something you won't make time for unless you have nothing else to do and doing it for a summer didn't work, why would dedicating a year? It isn't going to be easier if you take a year off, it's going to be harder. You're going to have to spend more time doing it and if you want to actually improve, you're going to spend more time being frustrated. But you won't be able to just say "Well it's been an hour I'll work on it tomorrow", because you've dedicated your life to it at that point.

    Furthermore, what happens at the end of that year? You just stop drawing because as you say, you aren't the kind of person who can do education and art at the same time? You aren't going to be done, no one is ever done learning.

    The kind of person I'd say "Yes, it sounds like you need that" to would be one who is drawing all the time, not only doodling but serious efforts as well. They are gobbling up books on technique, studying others' art, and pushing themselves. They are getting everything else done in their life as efficiently as possible to make more time for drawing, but just can't fit enough hours in the day.

    That is a far cry from everything you've said so far. It sounds like you want to be a committed artist, and think taking a year off will somehow magically make you one. It won't.

    Red Raevyn on
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    "I can't do both academics and learning how to draw at the same time" does not compute to me. I'm a new mom, a self-employed freelancer and I do a comic on the side, on a weekly update schedule, which right now means working on it every night and weekend, because I wanted to do comics. So I guess I'm basically echoing what everyone else has already said: if you're not making time to draw, now, with an academic load, you will probably screw off for the entirety of your year long drawing sabbatical.

    header_image_sm.jpg
    NibCrom
  • SiegfriedSiegfried Registered User regular
    I agree with a lot of what's said, and very specifically want to emphasize something Iruka mentioned: just start making comics now. Even if you did take a year off to draw and did improve, by the end of that year would you really like your stuff any more than right now? Learning to draw well takes more than just a year, and in reality you will always want to be better than you are now. Just start and work out the kinks as you go, because if you don't think you're ready to start you probably never will.

    Everyone should want to put out the best possible product they can, that's totally normal. But you should at least put out the best work you can now, and then get better from there.

    Portfolio // Twitter // Behance // Tumblr
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  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    The only way I could see that year off working is if you set specific deadlines/challenges for yourself and absolutely stuck to them no matter what. Either starting a blog that you would update with new art EVERY DAY or a comic strip, no matter how terrible it is to begin with, that you would update at least 3 times a week.

    You would probably still be better off doing a reduced version of this right now. If you can't update the blog 3 times a week or put out at least one strip a week, you probably don't have the discipline to make this year off work in any real way.

    If you don't want to "go public" with your own site right away, try starting a thread here and making sure you post new work on a regular schedule.

  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    Part of my response is going to tread the same ground as Squidbunny's post, but just to reiterate:

    Personally, I have a wife, a kid, a full-time job, I regularly volunteer at church… and I still find time to draw everyday and make two comic strips a week. It means I give up a lot of time that I could be browsing the Internet or watching a movie or spending time with my friends. Or just relaxing or sleeping. But I choose to draw and do comics with the pockets of free time I have BECAUSE I WANT TO DRAW AND MAKE COMICS. If you're looking for the perfect opportunity to practice for a dream job, it may never come.

    Now, I have heard of people that have committed themselves to just art for a long stretch of time and succeeded. I read an article a few years back (sorry I haven't the faintest idea of where I read it) that talked about a guy that basically secluded himself for a year or so and became really good at art. By the end of it, his work was undeniably good and I believe he became a professional and got his dream job. That being said, and my memory is kind of fuzzy on this, but I believe the guy basically became a hermit and just did illustrations all full-time. And when I say full-time, I don't mean 40 hours a week. I mean he dedicated all of his waking hours to practicing art and getting better at illustration. I don't think he spent much of his time doing anything else, including hanging out with friends or having a social life. If THAT is the kind of dedication you are talking about practicing on this year-long sabbatical, if you are so committed to drawing that you would spend ALL of your free time practicing, I say go for it. But if you don't have that kind of discipline, I would probably continue on your current path.

    I didn't see what you are currently studying, but would your future career allow you to do comics in your free time? If you were well-compensated at a job that gave you free time to work on art, I wouldn't see anything wrong with that. And I wouldn't necessarily see it as a consolation prize either. Some people have jobs where they are working on something that they love, and other people work at jobs that they like and that allow them to pursue something they love in their free time. And either of those two scenarios is much better than working at a job you don't like, that doesn't allow you to pursue the things you love when you're not working.

  • ArroceeArrocee Registered User regular
    I might reply more in depth later, but here's my basic reply:
    To clarify, I don't want to make comics art alone (i.e. work as a comics artist for others). What I really want is to be able to execute the stories in my head by learning how to draw. And the ideal would be to publish my own comics/webcomics without affiliating myself with an outside firm. This is kind of related to why I don't want to start at 30, or start by working on it by the side... I guess it feels ambitious like establishing my own product out there, and doing it "on the side" doesn't really fit into what I really want unless doing it on the side is temporary.

    My random major is politics (I think). I have to declare soon; up till last semester I was working on pre-optometry but I figured out that I really didn't want to package myself for optometry school. Politics interests me intellectually but career-wise I wouldn't know where to go with it. I could become a labor organizer or work for some other NGO but I'm not sure I want to invest myself so emotionally and physically even if I care about those issues. I could become a teacher. I could also perhaps do graphic design.

    It seems like a lot hesitation based on whether I would really dedicate myself while taking the gap year. .__.ll
    On one hand I have had difficulty following through on commitment in the past (e.g. learning how to draw, every summer). Even when I set goals or a basic structure, I don't really follow through. Sometimes drawing is really intimidating and frustrating... yeah....

    You could interpret it as not being actually invested enough to learn how to draw. But this is how I am with everything. I don't know if it's a matter of commitment, because whatever I do I do at least spend all my time on it, omitting an hour or so every day. But I'm very inefficient at the same time. Drawing (in the goal of being able to do comics ) out of all my options is what I actually want to achieve the most... That's why I'm willing to pause everything and at least try to achieve a certain level by taking a gap year.

  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    As has been mentioned before, if you can't find any time to focus on art while you're in school, what do you see happening when your art year is over and you go back to politics? Are you going to put it on hold until you finish your degree or do you expect to suddenly find time that you don't have now?

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2013
    The likelyhood that in the end you will be doing art along side of another job is high, even if you are great at it. I work part time and freelance, and freelancing is spotty for me. When freelancing sucks I pull more hours at work, but I still come home and put three-ish hours into my personal work.

    I just want to make a couple points here:


    -It may seem like we are being overly cautious and discouraging, I would try not to think that way. We have a lot of people on the forum who are dedicating all of their worth into their art, and this is a super encouraging bunch, but also a very realistic one. No one here wants you to do anything but succeeded.

    -It may seem like time management is directly tied to doing something you don't want to do, but let me tell you, I've never met a person who somehow managed their art career perfectly but couldn't manage studying. Having an art career on the internet these days is also managing a social presence, promoting your work, improving always, finding new contacts, doing your complicated ass taxes. You must have these skills, no one will do these things for you.

    Comics, especially, are highly demanding of a good work ethic. Even 30 pages can really, really hurt, when it comes to time spent. Its pretty much just slightly under animation when it comes to tedium, and I've done both.


    -When it comes down to it, you probably aren't going to listen to us, and you're probably going to take the year off. Do it, but don't do it without a plan. Make time management the top priority. Sure, improve your art, but don't just do it "generally" Make a plan for drawing daily. Post your progress online either here or somewhere else, and keep yourself accountable. Hold yourself up to a standard of working, and don't back down on the hours. Its hard, but I promise you, this is going to be the root of the issue.


    I hope you stick around, and I hope you take the points being made to heart, and figure out how to maximize your time and improvement.

    DMAC on
    FugitivesquidbunnySiegfriedbombardier
  • ArroceeArrocee Registered User regular
    I want to start off by saying that I do recognize what you all are saying and appreciate the honest input. However, now I gotta respond to all the points where I felt like protesting (while also acknowledging where there is real concern) just because, you know. :'D this is just a knee-jerk reaction, to defend yourself...

    In the process of defending myself (I'm coming back from in the middle of writing this monstrous composition to recognize this because it's going to be super confusing otherwise:) I'm going to run into a lot of ideas I hinted at so far but will probably hit you in the face now because I've avoided fully going into them until now: the defining ideas in which I view myself as a person with a lot of limitations. These limitations I perceive form the context of my rationale for taking a gap year, even while most of you have picked up the gists of what I've implied of these limitations as reasons not to take the gap year. Uh. I'm sorry, that probably didn't help at all. Well, maybe you'll get an idea of what kind of person I am and the way I think just by reading the... complicated explanations I have to offer that follow.



    I. "If you can't draw now/during summer, why would you be able to draw for a whole year?
    If this is something you won't make time for unless you have nothing else to do and doing it for a summer didn't work, why would dedicating a year? It isn't going to be easier if you take a year off, it's going to be harder. You're going to have to spend more time doing it and if you want to actually improve, you're going to spend more time being frustrated. But you won't be able to just say "Well it's been an hour I'll work on it tomorrow", because you've dedicated your life to it at that point.

    if you're not making time to draw, now, with an academic load, you will probably screw off for the entirety of your year long drawing sabbatical.

    It sounds like you want to be a committed artist, and think taking a year off will somehow magically make you one. It won't.

    Regarding summer - There are some contingencies about trying to do things during the summer that makes things a little complicated. I have to be honest and admit as I already have that I normally have trouble getting things done, but summer is especially hard because I am at home and living with my mom. I wouldn't say that my mom looks down on art, but she doesn't think of me as someone who should be particularly trying my hand at art because I haven't developed myself thus far and when I work on my drawing skills it often becomes a drawn-out process without much visible result. Because of this it seems like a futile and lame effort to her. I've brought up my interest in developing art skills to her before (in part as explanation for the time I would spend on my feeble attempts to practice) and I think she considered it, but ultimately she dropped hints about this guy and that guy she met who's an unsuccessful, unrecognized, poor artist. She was/is concerned about it to the point of bringing me to meet those people as first-hand examples I can judge for myself. Since I recognize her unvoiced opposition to it, I feel very self-conscious spending time on art at home. In other words, it's hard for me to learn drawing during the summer because I feel judged by the lack of progress my mom would perceive.

    This is mixed in with simple emotional difficulties since we have relationship conflicts and they come up when I am living with her. Maybe that would drive some people to simply delve themselves deeper into what they are doing, but because I relate trying my hand and outwardly failing at art (among many other things) to my position in her eyes, for me, it often feels tasteless to continue trying art while undergoing these conflicts with her. One of the reasons why the idea of a "self-sufficient" gap year is so appealing to me is because I could eliminate the extra problems I face trying to do art at home.


    --OK, but that all probably sounds like just excuses. After all, apparently the basic problem in that situation is that I don't practice with enough discipline to show results. And when I live away from home at school, I still find it "too hard" to do art and homework at the same time.

    So, the real issue and why the gap year makes sense in light of that - what I want to point out is the specific situation where I do at least try to do something but fail to make much headway. It might be that I didn't have enough discipline to practice enough to actually show results when I tried to draw at home, and I got discouraged too easily. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's partly the case. But the other part is that I did spend a significant portion of my time during summer and it simply didn't seem to do anything for me. This is the same problem I have with coursework that prevents me from working on art. I don't know whether it's a lack of inherent drive, or discipline, to work with the focus necessary to make reasonable headway when I'm spending my time on something; or if it's some unidentified disorder; or taking the wrong tacks all the time; or the way my convoluted thought process messes things up when I handle a task; or a confluence of all those messy things. With art it might've just been taking the wrong tacks. But I do spend a lot of time on whatever I'm doing (i.e. prioritizing) in the moment without getting where I'm supposed to arrive.

    Still, I continue to aim at a certain level of achievement at whatever I'm trying to do at the moment, so I compensate by spending as much time as possible. That's what's happening with my studies and why I can't do art while I'm studying (unless I'm willing to have my academics slip into complete disarray with a lot of incomplete assignments). This also happens to be my coping mechanism with whatever I try, hence a gap year on art = as much time possible to focus on art and at least make some headway.



    II. "It doesn't seem like you have the relentless drive/perseverence necessary to get anywhere, so the gap year's a waste of time and effort."
    Can you sit down and draw like its your job, everyday, even when you don't feel like it? Right now it sounds like a hobby/escape from what you already do, what happens when you sit down and improving is frustrating and you cant see how to push forward?

    I don't think anyone NEEDS to go to art school to become a better artist, but you do need to have the discipline to keep working at it, even when you don't feel like it.

    It sounds like you don't have the passion to draw all day every day, and even more so do not have the self-discipline to guide yourself productively for a year.

    If you are so committed to drawing that you would spend ALL of your free time practicing, I say go for it. But if you don't have that kind of discipline, I would probably continue on your current path.
    OK, this might be a little confusing and contradictory because I'm going to say two things at once. One is that--you guys are right. I do tend to become discouraged at various points of just one task, to the point that even I can recognize that it's part of the problem amidst all the other confusing factors which may or may not have an influence. Sometimes when I'm working on something, I'm extremely listless. I'm worried and insecure about the lack of progress in a way which causes the problem itself. Hmm... I know this has been a problem before when I've picked up my pencil and tried to draw.

    But the other thing I'm going to say is that, despite all the doubt-inspiring contextual clues I've given you so far, I can sometimes work with drive. When I get past the hurdle of paralyzing fear/despondency (usually when the deadline's really looming) I become very absorbed in my task. Sometimes this is a good thing, but a lot of times it's so extreme that I spend too much time on one detail rather than getting the whole thing done. You could call it being extremely detail-oriented, or maybe analytically obsessive, or just simply unreasonable. (by the way, if you haven't notice, the same process is going on in this reply. geez, :(, what is with me. ) This sometimes compounds my lack of progress. The worst scenario is when I'm suffering from listlessness but being obsessive at the same time. But... sometimes, when I have a lot of time and I feel comfortable like I can address all the details I'm thinking about, I go through the absorbed state I mentioned earlier. So theoretically I'm hoping this will happen with the gap year, although really it's not that likely an outcome based on my track history with drawing. With computer graphics I slip into a one-minded flow more often.



    III. "If you want to make comics, realistically speaking you need to be able to time manage."
    Time management is a huge part of it.

    It may seem like time management is directly tied to doing something you don't want to do, but let me tell you, I've never met a person who somehow managed their art career perfectly but couldn't manage studying. Having an art career on the internet these days is also managing a social presence, promoting your work, improving always, finding new contacts, doing your complicated ass taxes. You must have these skills, no one will do these things for you.
    This is something that hurts and something I can't refute. Whatever you make of my prolix waxings of theory so far, it all comes down to me being able to work on this or that but not in a reasonable time-frame. But if I could at least establish basic proficiency at drawing through a gap year, maybe time management would no longer be as much of an issue when it comes to the actual production of comics.



    IV. "Do you even have a structure planned for yourself?"
    If you were to take a year off to focus on it, do you have any sort of plan or schedule in mind for self-improvement? Would you start a Webcomic and try to improve it over the course of the year? Buy some "How To Draw" books and work through them?

    The only way I could see that year off working is if you set specific deadlines/challenges for yourself and absolutely stuck to them no matter what. Either starting a blog that you would update with new art EVERY DAY or a comic strip, no matter how terrible it is to begin with, that you would update at least 3 times a week.
    I wouldn't start with a webcomic right off. With my clueless-ness about how to draw what specific figures I have in mind, I would get stuck (unless you want me to draw stick figures, but the point would be to learn how to draw, not circumvent it). I would mostly start off with life drawing and basic exercises to familiarize myself with perspective and the human body. I would try to do at least one exercise a day. I mentioned earlier that I had hopes about taking a drawing course, but failing that I would borrow books, get them online, and use online guides. (including what I've gleaned so far from this forum, which seems helpful).

    When it comes to "hobbies" or at least working on a passion like this, I kind of go by deep-seated urges in my mind to incentivize working on something. With drawing in general, I always imagine being able to draw pretty girls with flowing hair and nuanced expressions (OK, I know, I'm weird... haha...). With the gap year, I get excited about being able to execute a pretty, whimsical blog with cute girls drawn as illustrations for the layout. erm... so yeah, I was planning on a blog to document my progress, my psychological travails, and etc. in a way that wouldn't hurt my head. I might have trouble actually starting it off, though, because I've always balked at starting a blog without designing the layout by myself, etc etc. But it's simple enough to start off with basic HTML code and put in your diary entries and doodles and whatever, and elaborate it as you make progress.

    Even though I'm not sure I'm doing the gap year yet, I got carried away a couple days ago and bought a domain name for 99 cents ~w~. hehehe... orz.

    An imagined structure doesn't always work out for me. I imagined following a structure during the summer, too (one watercolor a day. actual = none).




    V. "What's the point of learning for one year, if you're not going to be able to continue later?"
    Furthermore, what happens at the end of that year? You just stop drawing because as you say, you aren't the kind of person who can do education and art at the same time?

    As has been mentioned before, if you can't find any time to focus on art while you're in school, what do you see happening when your art year is over and you go back to politics? Are you going to put it on hold until you finish your degree or do you expect to suddenly find time that you don't have now?

    Basically. One gap year to fit in the learning, then back to school like it all never happened. Only I guess I have this idea that once I've attained a certain level of skill, it will be easier for me to practice off-hand. Kind of like a sport, how it's difficult to learn how to coordinate your body at first (e.g. the strokes for swimming) but once you've spent enough time to establish the basic skill it's a matter of maintenance. Of course, that's a convenient way to think of it for me...

    But the main thing is that I at least have that basic skill so that when I graduate, I can start making comics and pursuing them. Versus never learning and doing it at all.




    VI. "Your ideas of just diving into comics making is unrealistic."
    The likelyhood that in the end you will be doing art along side of another job is high, even if you are great at it. I work part time and freelance, and freelancing is spotty for me.

    I guess this is something I was trying to sort out when I made this topic, because I've always been conflicted over how "foolish" my fantasies of putting my own product out there have been and I haven't had much to go by to know the reality. The one person I met and talked to seriously about making my own comics was a successful comics-maker herself, so probably without realizing it I took that as a reference point (so long as I get to the point where I can actually make the comics as I envision them in my head, people will appreciate and buy). Meanwhile I've always had my insecurities that if I tried to go for comics full-on, I would maybe be able to make them, but not actually succeed in making them an actual product in the market. The replies in this thread have pointed out to me that a lot of people have to do it on the side, and otherwise may be the exception than the norm.




    VII. "Opportunity cost-wise, you should get a college degree with an actual career in mind."
    If you're truly getting a random degree (e.g. "Eh I'm already halfway there I guess I'll get a psych/journalism/English degree"), that's a reason to rethink how you are investing your $50-100k.

    I often think about doing comics because sometimes I think about why I'm doing college and it's not my actual dream. However college makes sense for me. With a generous financial aid package, I will graduate with 25-30k in debt, but my savings will amount to about that much because of the way I save and my choices for housing arrangements. But the gap year doesn't harm my prospects unless I end up having to dip out of my savings. I still go back and complete my degree. The only real cost is the time and effort if it amounts to failure, which is why I'm a little surprised everyone has been so opposed.


    All said and told... it's obvious I'm not the most confidence-inspiring figure to go for a year on art, but I have my limitations in mind. And to me it seems like the gap year is going to get me farther than anything else will, although I know everyone so far has felt otherwise. Anyway, this is my absurd and elaborate defense but the truth is that I hear what you guys are saying in some ways and I'm not certain I'm right. I don't know whether I will go on a gap year after all, which is why I posted in the first place... but I definitely want to.

    ....I would wrap this up more on a solid conclusion but I've run out of focus and will. haha... (sorry if this whole thing was incoherent. haha <_<U).

  • cocoyamcocoyam Registered User new member
    Hello all!
    To make things more complicated, I'm Arro's twin she didn't mention who is hoping to do this with Arro (we go to the same school, would rent the same place). We have pretty similar goals, and I appreciate the willing insight everyone is offering here for free.

    To be honest, I had the kneejerk reaction Iruka was talking about when I read the responses. I thought the responses as a whole might have been close-minded and condescending, but with a second read I can hear realistic skepticism being expressed. It's dejecting to hear a lot of discouragement for something we're kind of invested in, but if we didn't want your honest opinions, I guess we wouldn't really be being realistic either.

    It hurts (I don't want to be using strong words, but it's an instinctive emotional reaction) to hear questions on commitment and discipline, but it's the honest situation, so I would like to get additional perspective by offering some more background which may be relevant to the issue and the idea of taking a gap year in this instance. So, please bear with me while I add a sentimental passage.

    It may sound like an excuse, but Arro and I have always had issues multitasking, regardless of what it is we are tackling. This is definitely an impairing characteristic to have in life, no matter what career we end up pursuing. In high school, our objective was getting into a good college or actually getting into a good enough college that would offer us a full scholarship based on financial aid or merit, which to us meant a solid emphasis on academics. (In fact, we disparaged the idea of taking arts as an elective because it was outside our vision of a college-appealing transcript.) I think this is important for me and Arro to emphasize: for most of the things Arro and I attempt to pursue, we find that we encounter significant struggles and spend more time than others on trying to complete tasks involved. It is a quirk of ours and is definitely something we try to navigate and overcome in gradual phases. For freshman, sophomore, and the first part of junior year, we spent every second doing homework. Every assignment took us longer than our peers and we didn't completely understand why nor how to fix it. We crashed and burned by the middle of junior year, transferred, and went to a hybrid charter/home school program to finish up our high school career.

    When we started applying to colleges, we asked ourselves what we really wanted to do, besides get a solid career, get into a good college, make an impact in the world etc. etc. It was then we realized that what we would honestly prefer to do is to pursue a career in the creative arts. That was what was closest to our hearts after being inspired and carried away by stories delivered through various media in our childrenhood (books, anime, manga, visual novels, video games, cartoons, all things we cherished but dismissed as trivial). But although Arro applied to some competitive art programs with a portfolio she magically conjured a few months before the application (reading how to draw books, etc), none of them matched the financial aid of the school we are currently attending. We ended up going to our college to see if we could give the media arts / art programs here a spin. But perhaps we are inflexible and have unnecessary standards, because neither of the programs felt like they matched up to expectations and were suited to our true goals and wishes. More information on this can be provided if requested.

    If it felt like we should make use of our $50,000/yr education (mostly funded by finaid though) here by actually majoring in something the school was good for, in small words, we were OK with that. One other characteristic is that we have broad, broad interests. About everything liberal artsy is interesting to me and there are majors here that are intellectually satisfying to me. Like others here have expressed, our thoughts were that we could find a solid career and be able to dedicate our time outside of our careers to devote to art as a hobby or side career. But... idealistcally, we ourselves think that we should be able to spend time on art and devote time to build up our skills in it while doing our whatever career college education thing. Unfortunately, while that may be intensely difficult and involving a lot of sacrifice but possible for others, that was not a realistic possibility for us within our realm of experience. We aren't like others. While we might idealistically reach for that goal and be willing to sacrifice a quality in our grades, what that would actually mean for us is overextending and finding flotsam out of our classes and personal lives. I know this may sound alien to others, but think of us as minorly disabled kids with ADD. That's not what we have, in fact we don't really know what our deal is, but we are certainly not-well-put-together individuals. Maybe that's all we are and we need a while longer than other people to figure it all out--organizing, time management, priorities, life skills, life, whatever you want to call it. Yes, discipline and commitment, you can name it, those are probably life skills.

    Meanwhile though, we have hopes and dreams. We keep on putting it [art] on the back burner because for the meanwhile, we can only handle one thing at a time and try and learn baby steps to handling the many things involved in that one thing or to juggle different aspects of life and our goals. And, like I said, we are content to major in something else than art for a degree. But meanwhile, going through these four years, it feels like this vague sensation of wasting time. Having never addressed our dreams, never built up a foundation or a true start for delving into these underexplored interests, there's a terrible insecurity that we'll grow old, get sidetracked by career and pragmatism, before we really tackle anything or maybe never really tackle anything in the end. Ideally, we could give ourselves a hard time and try and really learn to "time manage" (quotes I've heard a lot to my ears, which is why I framed it as a quote) and sacrifice to deal with real life situations like balancing a commitment to art and our other dilemmas at once and hope we don't end up on the sidewalk, instead making it a turning point for growth in personal capacity and characteristics. But I wonder if for us, that is really "realistic." Should we really just keep on ignoring it and try and steadily incorporate it into our daily life in the small, tiny manners we can? Because that feels like the wimpier tack, in the end...

    For us, what might be "realistic" is recognizing that how we can actually achieve our goals is clearing out all our other commitments and fully dedicating a span of time to that something. Life skill? Practical/ideal? Definitely no. But that's how we've functioned so far, to be honest. High school? Academics. Get a good SAT/ACT score? There's our whole junior year summer. Try and get a job? (failed, but at least we managed interviews) senior year summer. Try and become independent? College. I'm not at all saying we will succeed and there's a reason past summers have gone by with resolves to learn art but without much progress. We can't focus when we have multiple things to attend to. But we can go on fully dedicating ourselves to academics/what we are pursuing right now, or we can switch tacks and give ourselves a chance and switch to fully dedicating ourselves to a secret ambition of ours for a year. Ridiculous as it sounds, this may be our best chance to get a jog on something we may never otherwise get to really try out.
    The best thing is, there is no real risk involved. You call it a disruption to our current track/life, but all it is is a gap year and a stab at something. If we fail to get something productively done by the end of the year, to make any progress or headway on our goals, at least we tried and can say we attempted it rather than quietly tucking it aside for 2 more years, and we have the experience of the attempt as a reward. And then go back to school. My secret belief is that we would make headway and get to build up skills, not some unrealistic belief like we'll become amazing comic artists and turn out some comic by the end of the year, but that we'll be closer and have tried. Someone suggested that it will be much harder and there will be no choice but to keep on going when you are frustrated because you threw away your life (for us, for a year) to do this. Isn't that exactly the point? Maybe that's just how it works for us...

    Whoops! I wrote so much and it's probably too much. I may sound like I just want to hear an answer that I want to hear. But truthfully, I just want to give the full story for what I want to hear and hear what you have to say. If you could bother reading through all of that, I wonder if you could offer some insight.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Honestly, I don't think any of my advice really changes. Multitasking is important for most jobs. If you don't take on that issue, managing an art career is going to get overwhelming before you can blink an eye. Like I said, you are probably going to do this anyway, so whats important is that you realize what you need to focus on, not so much if you should do it or not. Mental blocks or no, you are going to have to learn to deal with the issue. Maybe you can find a way to be successful focusing on one task at a time. Maybe you can find a way to trick yourself into thinking that you are only doing one thing, when you are just heavily regulating your time spent on each task.


    If you feel like your mental state gets in the way of you accomplishing basic life skills, though, perhaps you should seek therapy. Its not a catch all for everything, but its helped my friend manage down his OCD in a way he couldn't have done without professional help.

  • cocoyamcocoyam Registered User new member
    The great thing about college is that you can usually get therapy and academic services for free(-ish depending on how you view your tuition/fees going into that). Seeing counselors and academic specialists is something we have/are doing. It's not a magic bullet, but at least it's one thing we can do to address something that has been going on for years for us. The other thing besides just trying to keep trying on balancing things and manage our time better gradually (if you have suggestions on how to do this rapidly, please offer :3) is neuropsychological assessment, which happens to be quite expensive. We're getting by in our classes all right at the moment and gotten better with social life and extracurriculars, although we definitely have a harder time then our peers in general and are limited in taking on more than we can handle. Nonetheless, our mom wants us to undergo it, so I'm trying to arrange that at the moment.

    I hope it doesn't sound like I/we are rejecting your advice. I think no matter what kind of response we get, all of your perspective help broaden our own and inform our decision. But it may sound a little trite (but needed, so ty) when we are told that multi-tasking, life skills are important no matter what we do (I know it applies to art especially). This is a fact we are intimately familiar with due to the struggles we've undergone having this kind of characteristic (disability, deficiency, personality trait, whatever people want to call it). Learning how to deal with it .is. our everyday struggle with it, but it's going to take years for us (because it already has taken years). Again, I know this is foreign to others and probably is perceived more as a "just get your life together" and "do things normally" kind of thing, like maybe we're just hyping it up, but to us it's an incontrovertible facet of our lives and our own personalities we have to learn with deal with. I wish figuring it out could be done on the moment or with immense effort, but to be realistic it is more of a find coping mechanisms/how to apply yourself best to the things you do and over time you will get better sort of deal. And it can be hard to hear that we have to put dreams on hold or on the back/down-low in order to "learn how to deal with it." Maybe it is more practical, since we can technically do a gap year after college as well, but this definitely is our best chance to do things in our own way, dysfunctional as our way seems. Or to address our dreams in the moment.

    To us, it doesn't seem like there are a lot of consequences of taking a gap year--to the contrary, we don't necessarily expect success, but think it will be a fulfilling attempt anyway that we can learn from. Maybe this is just because we face failure in most things we try and have learned to cope with it, ha-ha. But also because even just holding part-time jobs for a year and being self-sufficient for us will be something new to build up our experience, regardless of how well our art ventures go for us putting off a year. I can sense from others the sentiment that we are just being sentimental, spending time unwisely and need to be more practical and conventional rather than doing things our own way. I think we needed to hear that other perspective, so thank you. And always, if you have more to respond to or insight to give, please feel free to add while we consider the option.

    P.S. Arro is a different person so she may say something else to the thread I'm hijacking. ><

    Geth
  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
  • jwaddjwadd Registered User regular
    I'm in the same boat, but I've been planning my current comic for at least 2 years, have been taking art classes for 10 years prior. I'm still an amateur but I believe that I can produce something that looks like a "professional" comic. And I know that if my first comic doesn't work out, that one of my backup drafts might, and that in the process I will learn a lot. I've already learned a lot about drawing digitally with a tablet and working with scanned art in photoshop... its only up from here.

  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    As someone who did the whole drop-out-of-school-to-hang-out-and-draw-comics thing, I'm not sure I'd recommend it.

    I left college 2.5 years in, because I hated it, had no interest in what I was studying, and was terribly depressed. I worked some odd jobs for a while, went back to school to study art, hated it, and dropped out again. Luckily, I didn't accrue much debt, during this time.

    Then, I got laid off from my job, and decided to take a break from work and school, to focus on making comics. Three months and a few thousand dollars in savings later, I'd done maybe one comic page, but watched a lot of Netflix. Turns out it's really hard for me to make comics, when I'm worrying about having zero monthly income.

    So, I got another crappy job, got really depressed, quit that job, and got another crappy job.

    At some point, I started getting serious about making comics again, while at said crappy job. Then, I got two promotions, each eating away at my time a little bit more. But, I'm still making comics. I'm currently wrapping up a 20 page thing I pencilled, inked, screentoned, and lettered. I finally put up a website for my various comics, after a long period of just throwing them out into the internet ether. When I have time, I try to do stuff for various art blogs, to get my name out.

    I work anywhere from 45-50 hours a week at my day job, but every night I come home, and chip away at a comic. Sometimes I might get a few panels drawn, sometimes I just letter a page, and that's all I have the energy for.

    I guess I say all this, to impress upon you the idea that comics don't need to be a full-time pursuit, and that trying to make them one, can be really difficult. I've been approached by published comic writers twice, to collaborate on stuff. But, each fell apart. One project eventually saw print at Image Comics, with another artist. Such is life.

    If college isn't a good fit for you, leave. There's always ways to make a living. I make more managing a restaurant, than many of my degree-holding friends. But, have a real plan. Write a budget, write a schedule for what you're going to produce, have a plan in place for how to market yourself, etc. Be prepared not to have enough money to buy things you want, or do things you want.

    Honestly though, if this means so much to you, why aren't there any comics in this thread?

    squidbunnytapeslinger
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    Munch wrote: »
    Honestly though, if this means so much to you, why aren't there any comics in this thread?

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    yew stole mah line

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    My advice would be finishing your degree, getting a job, and drawing in the time you have left beyond that. I can understand the reluctance to focus on drawing while you are studying (although we all know that's honestly when we have the most free time, ever), but when working a job, focusing on art can be a great way to cope with work-related stress, whilst progressing and developing as an artist.

    Don't take a year off. It won't be long enough to get good, and you won't do nearly as much as you think you will.

    I work a full-time job, and I draw anywhere from 20-30 hours a week. I draw at work when I'm working evening shifts, and then I come at home and I draw some more. Oddly enough, on days where I'm not working I'm more likely not to do anything.

    This might be helpful for you, it's a website made by someone who took 3 months of work to hone his concept art skills: http://t-89.blogspot.se/

    This guy already had been drawing for quite some time, and was dedicated. As soon as he started, he found it hard to stick to a schedule, had medical issues and social life interfere, et cetera.

    Life has a way of fucking with you when you make decisions like this. My advice is simple enough, finish your studies, and work. If you hate it, it will only make you pursue a comic career harder, and you'll have an actual income.

  • ArroceeArrocee Registered User regular
    lol @ Lewis Rice.

    Hmm....
    it's tough to hear all this but in the face of season experienced it's hard to ignore too.
    I know I want to do the gap year. It's not like I hate school (until nothing works out for me) and I actually get gratified every once in a while by being treated like a good student (but I'm not actually, people just have no idea what a mess I am until I turn in my final project a week late). But it's just feeling like I want to do something like this and not actually working on it that makes me compelled to take the gap year. I know that if I just work at doing it while at school (for the reasons I described above) it won't really change how I feel because I wouldn't get far. But you all are saying the same thing about the gap year too. As I said before, I'd rather try and fail than not at all but

    Since this refrain about being able to work on art no matter what else is going on I might try to start up my blog now and see how far I can get while at school for the remainder of the year. Might as well see if all my protests about not being able to work on the side are true. It's hard because I want to keep the gap year still in my options ---> intensively applying to internships and part-times to start in the summer and extend into the next year. Plus I view myself as a more limited person than others. but w/e, we'll see if I get to it today after my appts and getting some work done.

  • ArroceeArrocee Registered User regular
    p.s. to the people talking about doing comics alongside work; I see your point but I feel like trying to do comics on the side means never actually being able to switch off to comics. Which I guess is what you guys would argue anyway (that doing comics as your main career isn't feasible). I just wondered how you would respond to this article because it influenced me a bit to think about actually pursuing comics at all:
    http://www.fastcompany.com/45909/what-should-i-do-my-life

    On the other hand I know that the points made here are true:
    http://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2012/11/19/pursue-your-dream/

  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    I get my doctor to write medical excuses for 1 - 2 week extensions, usually its just an exaggeration of my hoshimoto's disease which I nip in the butt with supplements anyway, but it helps with the extensions, which are the result of lack of action because i think too much. I'm in my fourth year of a three year graphic design course. I constantly resent it. I've got one more semester to go after this one with only 2 more units, and yet this entire week has been taken up with me thinking about giving up, its 5 weeks into semester and work is beginning to pile up.
    As well as this I've got a weekly submission for a graphic novel, two pages a week, to a publishing company. Usually that means I'm staying up on a Sunday night into the wee small hours to get the work done before 8am monday morning. Sometimes I resent this job too, though I'm getting paid to draw a comic.
    Most of the time I try to think about it to get started and that just kills any feeling I have for my work/art/whatever you call it. Usually my thinking eventually breaks down into abstractions and I gotta distract myself from the yawning chasm with entertainment or advice from my lovely family.
    While rollins is good fun, its also food for thought, sometimes thinking can get in the way of action. When I do start work, I'm on fire and nothing can stop me, after a day of working I realise anything is possible with affirmative action. It's closing firefox, its opening photoshop, its tearing away from the computer entirely and looking at a journal page, filled or with room to draw.
    This is your thread so I'm sorry if this is really self reflective, but reading Munch's post it reminds me some of the best advice is the knowledge you've gained from your own actions or inactions as it were. I'm working in the comic industry, I should be pretty excited! and I am when I'm working. But there is always that anxiety, It's mainly reserved for moments when I think i SHOULD be doing work and I'm not. None of those feelings have gone away for me, not unless I'm channeling the energy that fuels them into my work, but like you I am terrible at staying committed. There are a number of stories/realities I can tell myself to get over this, that, why I would sometimes like to believe I am tortured artist, most of the time I'm just a wuss wasting time and I should act the way I want to be, which is prolific and confident. There are instances where problems are problems and you can't just DO IIIIT, but, for me anyway, I somtimes have to act like a tough guy and punch the mostly dominant self image of angst out of the way.
    I think you can do comics and uni, while exploring your own train of thought and research you can also be made aware of a vast array of knowledge you wouldn't even have touched had it not been for a lecturer or another student! And on top of that, even though everything is changing in our world, that doesn't mean the title of a degree doesn't come in handy every now and then!
    I don't think much of anything you've described is particular to you, maybe I'm surrounded by deadbeats, but most everyone I know, myself included, is infected by hesitation, distractions and the occasional prolapse into terror/not living up to family standards. I think it might be part of the human condition that we make our anxieties and troubles with our selves immoveable truths, when in fact if you will it they can be torn down. Think with the page, not with your head!

    P.s.
    I should be drawing/writing a report right now. YOU SHOULD BE TOO.

    Lewis Rice on
    m3nace
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    Arrocee wrote: »
    p.s. to the people talking about doing comics alongside work; I see your point but I feel like trying to do comics on the side means never actually being able to switch off to comics. Which I guess is what you guys would argue anyway (that doing comics as your main career isn't feasible). I just wondered how you would respond to this article because it influenced me a bit to think about actually pursuing comics at all:
    http://www.fastcompany.com/45909/what-should-i-do-my-life

    On the other hand I know that the points made here are true:
    http://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2012/11/19/pursue-your-dream/

    My point isn't/wasn't that it's impossible to make a living at comics; I am myself inching toward that becoming feasible (but I've been doing comics since 2004, and seriously since 2010). My point, and I think most of the people in this thread saying similar things, is that if you purportedly want to do this really badly you will make time to hone your craft alongside whatever else. It is incredibly telling; it speaks volumes about your level of passion and discipline. These don't -- at least for the time being -- seem up to snuff to making comics for a living, which is intrinsically a longshot. You are wading into a giantass fucking sea of creators. It's like the joke about everyone in LA having a movie script; everyone on the internet has a comic. And most of them have the drive to start theirs alongside work, school, family, etc.. It is hilarious to me that you think "doing comics on the side means never actually being able to switch off to comics". Scott Kurtz wasn't always a full time cartoonist. Jerry and Mike used to do PA alongside their shitty Circuit City jobs. I don't actually know anyone who just fell, fully and immediately, into life as a successful comic creator.

    By all means you should pursue your passion -- no one's trying to discourage you from trying your hand -- but test your passion and commitment first. Again, why are there no comics in this thread? We are assuming, based on this, that you haven't actually done any, which means you have no idea what actually doing comics is like (it is a miserable pain in the ass 95% of the time, incidentally; I was emotionally done with mine when I finished writing it and now it's virtually all drudgery/tedium, to be quite honest, but this is a separate topic). Would you drop everything to try your hand at being a pro basketball player without first shooting some hoops after work or on the weekend to see if you even like playing basketball?

    Take your gap year, but know that, as others have said, a year isn't a significant amount of time to develop, from scratch (again, I am assuming from scratch based on the lack of comics in this thread), into a pro comic artist, especially if you're not buckling down and Doing the Work. And when that year is over you'll either be in love with comics and struggling to figure out how to shoehorn them in alongside a job/school/whatever, anyway, or totally over them and possibly kicking yourself for wasting a year (although if you really do draw all year it won't have been a waste, comics or no, and hopefully you can remind yourself of this and not be a bitter remorseful ass like I tend to be.)

    header_image_sm.jpg
    tynictapeslinger
  • ArroceeArrocee Registered User regular
    squidbunny wrote: »
    By all means you should pursue your passion -- no one's trying to discourage you from trying your hand -- but test your passion and commitment first. Again, why are there no comics in this thread? We are assuming, based on this, that you haven't actually done any, which means you have no idea what actually doing comics is like (it is a miserable pain in the ass 95% of the time, incidentally; I was emotionally done with mine when I finished writing it and now it's virtually all drudgery/tedium, to be quite honest, but this is a separate topic). Would you drop everything to try your hand at being a pro basketball player without first shooting some hoops after work or on the weekend to see if you even like playing basketball?

    Take your gap year, but know that, as others have said, a year isn't a significant amount of time to develop, from scratch (again, I am assuming from scratch based on the lack of comics in this thread), into a pro comic artist, especially if you're not buckling down and Doing the Work. And when that year is over you'll either be in love with comics and struggling to figure out how to shoehorn them in alongside a job/school/whatever, anyway, or totally over them and possibly kicking yourself for wasting a year (although if you really do draw all year it won't have been a waste, comics or no, and hopefully you can remind yourself of this and not be a bitter remorseful ass like I tend to be.)

    Hmmmmm.... all right. Yes, I know making comics can involve a lot of drudgery, just based on how drawing can be or even just working on an illustration/3D art piece. I've focused less on the drudgery than the deep-seated desire to express the sort of stories I have in my mind (i.e. as long as I care enough about that, the painful process is something I'll be willing to go through). But it's true I haven't really tested out the compatibility of the process of making one (as to whether I ever made any comics, only one or two really elementary ones for my publication I did in high school. those are more like American-style comic strips than the type of graphic novel comics I have in mind).

    I wouldn't try to make comics without being able to draw what I have in mind first, because the drawings are a really big part of the comics. Trying to take the gap year is trying to take the first step to making my own comics, but I know you are saying that I shouldn't take the gap year before establishing that I actually want to make comics.

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Draughtsmanship and drawing skills are an incredibly important part of making comics. But they are only one part. Writing, timing, panel and scene layout are all also important, in the case of writing probably more so. And they all need to be practiced as well, just like drawing. If you don't feel you're good enough yet to do justice to the narratives you've devised, then practice on smaller, less precious stories - but you need to practice. You won't be able to spend ages studying drawing, say "ok now I'm good enough," and then transition immediately into a kickass comic. There are a multiplicity of other skills which you also need to learn, or teach yourself, and that takes time. So yes, start making comics now. Today. This minute.

    tapeslinger
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    You know, the story won't be ruined by the fact that your drawing is not on par with your writing (or how you perceive it anyways.) What if you discover your writing is crap once your drawing skills have "matured" enough? What then? Are you going to write scripts until you're confident enough to draw again? Fuck that, just. do. comics.
    Write scripts, draw them. Practice both writing and drawing. Start this second, no more shitty excuses.
    Submit the scripts for critique in the Writer's Block part of the forum, submit drawings here.

    squidbunnytapeslinger
  • RichardTauberRichardTauber Kvlt Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    "Don't try" as that old dirty man Charles Bukowskis gravestone reads.
    So You Want To Be A Writer by Charles Bukowski

    if it doesn't come bursting out of you
    in spite of everything,
    don't do it.
    unless it comes unasked out of your
    heart and your mind and your mouth
    and your gut,
    don't do it.
    if you have to sit for hours
    staring at your computer screen
    or hunched over your
    typewriter
    searching for words,
    don't do it.
    if you're doing it for money or
    fame,
    don't do it.
    if you're doing it because you want
    women in your bed,
    don't do it.
    if you have to sit there and
    rewrite it again and again,
    don't do it.
    if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
    don't do it.
    if you're trying to write like somebody
    else,
    forget about it.
    if you have to wait for it to roar out of
    you,
    then wait patiently.
    if it never does roar out of you,
    do something else.

    if you first have to read it to your wife
    or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
    or your parents or to anybody at all,
    you're not ready.

    don't be like so many writers,
    don't be like so many thousands of
    people who call themselves writers,
    don't be dull and boring and
    pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
    love.
    the libraries of the world have
    yawned themselves to
    sleep
    over your kind.
    don't add to that.
    don't do it.
    unless it comes out of
    your soul like a rocket,
    unless being still would
    drive you to madness or
    suicide or murder,
    don't do it.
    unless the sun inside you is
    burning your gut,
    don't do it.

    when it is truly time,
    and if you have been chosen,
    it will do it by
    itself and it will keep on doing it
    until you die or it dies in you.

    there is no other way.

    and there never was.

    RichardTauber on
    tapeslinger
  • jwaddjwadd Registered User regular
    kevindee wrote: »
    This might be helpful for you, it's a website made by someone who took 3 months of work to hone his concept art skills: http://t-89.blogspot.se/

    This guy already had been drawing for quite some time, and was dedicated. As soon as he started, he found it hard to stick to a schedule, had medical issues and social life interfere, et cetera.

    Life has a way of fucking with you when you make decisions like this. My advice is simple enough, finish your studies, and work. If you hate it, it will only make you pursue a comic career harder, and you'll have an actual income.
    hah this guys blog looks like the future of my art blog (see sig) .... it's funny to think my idea wasn't original in the least.

  • MonkeybreadMonkeybread Registered User new member
    Hey All, I'm monkeybread aka Amit Dutta IRL, who is actually the guy who started that t-89 blog to document my 3 months off work to work only on developing my art. I only stumbled upon this thread from my web stats as I wondered why Penny Arcade was shunting so many people off to my blog. lol.
    Anyway I don't know if people will see this as the thread seems dead but as Kevindee wrote, things did indeed not go according to plan in my time off. I learned a few great lessons on the way and one of them was that I had to do it and go through it to learn them. I haven't read the full goings on in this post but if the original thread starters would like to message me to get some insight on how a gap year or time away might work for them I'd be happy to share what I know. I probably won't check this forum often because I signed up especially to post this, but hit me up on my blog http://t-89.blogspot.com or on my facebook page

    I am currently back at work 4 days a week, but I am still working on the side on video game concept art, a CGMA course in environment design, random illustration projects and also more importantly my first 20+ page comic. Be happy to share the little of what I have learned with anyone! :)

  • MonkeybreadMonkeybread Registered User new member
    Hey All, I'm monkeybread aka Amit Dutta IRL, who is actually the guy who started that t-89 blog to document my 3 months off work to work only on developing my art. I only stumbled upon this thread from my web stats as I wondered why Penny Arcade was shunting so many people off to my blog. lol.
    Anyway I don't know if people will see this as the thread seems dead but as Kevindee wrote, things did indeed not go according to plan in my time off. I learned a few great lessons on the way and one of them was that I had to do it and go through it to learn them. I haven't read the full goings on in this post but if the original thread starters would like to message me to get some insight on how a gap year or time away might work for them I'd be happy to share what I know. I probably won't check this forum often because I signed up especially to post this, but hit me up on my blog http://t-89.blogspot.com or on my facebook page

    I am currently back at work 4 days a week, but I am still working on the side on video game concept art, a CGMA course in environment design, random illustration projects and also more importantly my first 20+ page comic. Be happy to share the little of what I have learned with anyone! :)

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