Visits and habits

Finishing visits

So, I’ve just finished my latest autobio comic, Visits. I’m quite happy with it. You should read it if you haven’t already.

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I had a lot of fun making this comic. I explored some new techniques, including overlaying traditional Edo patterns within the panels. I also watched all of Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV series, which will forever be associated with this comic for me. Probably a weird combo to anyone else…preview115p15

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This is my third comic exploring my Japanese heritage. I felt a little guilty leaving it on an open note, but then again I feel like I’m still growing and learning about this aspect of my identity, especially at the moment.

It still feels weird to be doing autobio stuff. I feel oddly selfish putting myself in the centre of my work and getting people to look at it. I worry it’s not something others will understand or be able to access or see any value in. But it’s very cathartic material to make and it’s helping me to process a lot of things lately, so I’ll keep going. If you read and enjoy my autobio stuff I really appreciate it, so thank you. <3

Habits

After five or so years of making short comics I’m starting to get a good feel for what kind of a storyteller I want to be. I’m learning what habits and patterns work for me, and I’m pretty happy with the work I’m producing. I’ve got a good in-production flow going. But there’s always areas where I can improve.

Whenever I finish something I inevitably get sad about it. The thing I was making is now Done, and there’s now nothing in the space where there once was a big all-consuming or nearly-all-consuming something. Sometimes once I’m Done, I can struggle to pick up and start on the next thing, and I end up in an overlong phase of art-lethargy. My drawing output drops and I throw myself into my self care, which lately has been TV and games and not much else. I revert into sponge mode, and not the useful absorbing and learning sponge, just the soggy, sedentary sponge.

This time I didn’t want to drop all the way to 0. So while I’m giving myself some well-needed mulling time to plan my next comic I’m working on ways I can improve. Mostly this involves spending time on sites like posemaniacs, or going through material like Andrew Loomis drawing books (good content, but steeped in sexism and racism. I find the non-racist diagrams useful). I’m also reading. I’ve got a lot of really wonderful books and comics to read through.

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It’s working. I feel like I’m learning a lot while still getting a break from the intensity of making a comic. I’m sure whatever comic I end up working on next, whether it’s more in my autobio collection or something else, it’ll be informed by all the good learning I’m doing now.
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