5th - November
This line of work isn’t for everyone, but then again aren’t all jobs kinda specific to one’s skill set? I’ve decided that this type of work (creating graphic novels) isn’t for everybody, but the repetitive nature of it sure works for me. Somewhere along the line my husband went to a work event and at that work event was a speaker who had helped write the book Designing Your Life. My husband kindly passed along the information to me as he had seen me struggle year after year with work and what I liked or disliked about what I did for money.
I won’t discuss this book too deeply for this journal post, but it was one of the books that helped me note what moments or actions in my life that gave me joy and fulfillment. It’s important to make note of those moments, because those are some of the qualities that make you, you. We all obviously change over time, which is what is so great about that book, you keep going back to it, adjusting from what you learn and sorting out what path fits you best at that moment in time.
Through years of work, I have learned I am one of those people who can repeat things over and over and actually find them to be quite meditative. (Which is one of the reasons I am afraid of AI replacing those so called mundane parts of a job). I enjoy seeking perfection in a simple task, and then learning how quickly I can efficiently achieve it. At first, with my graphic novel, I struggled with laying out and designing the pages of Mycos, but the more I kept at it (my desire to learn how to make a graphic novel overpowered most things in my life) the more I fell into step, and the more I realized the steps are quite repetitive. This is one of the many points in the marathon, where people loose hope, desire, they ache, and want to throw in the towel. But as we all know, if you wanna survive out here you’ve gotta know where your towel is :)
Most professionals will tell you to start out with a small comic or zine. If you can make a small zine, then you should try a 32 page comic. And if you can do that then try several more, and at that point you pretty much know you can make a graphic novel. There are also those people that can just do anything (which I have never categorized myself in this crowd) so I guess I have learned the hard way, that I can make a graphic novel. I’m way past 32, 50, 150 pages now and since I’m so close to finishing, I better just finish it up. No, I’m excited to finish it up! I feel so proud each day I chip away at the mundane repetitive tasks. Today I spent the entire day re-typing every word, because I hand wrote it thinking that was cool. Until my parents, critique group and others mentioned how difficult it was to read. (Side note, I showed my printed first chapter to THE William Stout at a lightbox convention, and he LOVED that I hand wrote all the dialogue this was a epic moment in my life and now I hope he won’t be too disappointed with the final look, my guess is he has forgotten my name already.)
So my take away is this:
If you like drawing the same character over and over, re-writing and typing up scripts over and over, drawing and placing speech bubbles in hundreds of small squares, coloring in the same shapes, re-drawing the same page because the text changed, or redrawing your character throughout the entire comic as you discover and learn who they really are along the way, then THIS work is FOR YOU. Give it a try, maybe start the right way with a zine, or a 32 page comic. And feel proud when you finish it. I should have done that first and didn’t.