Starting at the bottom. Climbing the passion mountain.
Deciding to make something when you have none of the skills to accomplish the task at hand is daunting. Building a house, creating an apple pie from scratch or in my case making a graphic novel is a scary prospect. But I think this is one situation where ignorance is bliss.
I had no idea there was so much to creating comics. I’ve just finished the first 10 pages of my upcoming project Death of the Commons. From figuring out what to write about all the way to how to letter a page it has been over 12 months of non stop learning.
The motivation to create something can come from many different ideas and perspectives. Some create for the sake of it, some to explore a theme or to better understand themselves. Mine was all of these but it started with anxiety. I look around and see the negative impacts we are having on our little blue rock. From environmental destruction to pollution to over population, us humans are doing our damnest to destroy our home. I had to do something with this frustration and anger. I'm so happy I found a way to channel it into stories. Sidenote: If you face the same problem. Mix things up. Try new things. Do anything to try and find what you love. It will come to you when you least expect it.
They say getting started is the hardest bit. I think looking at this process as a chain of events is somewhat true. For me it was always going to be tricky to actually finish. Getting bored or not having motivation isn't my issue, it is being satisfied. I’m a tweaker. I’ll move stuff around, rearrange, re-draw and redo. Over and over. I have to learn to just stop and accept that my art and story isn't the best in the world and that is okay.
The first page I created took me just as long as pages 7 and 8. I'm hoping the increase in speed continues otherwise I’ll be working on this one book for years.
A year flew by and I've learnt many different techniques and exposed myself to many different perspectives. I'm a mountain climber at the base looking up at the peak. This mountain is made of broken pens, crumpled paper and acrylic paint. Now I can see the top, see what I need to achieve to get there. Before I was wandering around in the mist, tripping over ideas and passions, trying to find my own.
So as I look down on my hundreds of post its all with scene ideas for the remaining 150 pages, I smile because I know I'm happiest working my bum off trying to create something.
Another great post on this subject is “The Crossroads of Should and Must” by Elle Luna. It is fantastic give it a gander.
Originally published at blog.trenthoward.net on December 10, 2014.