RickColbert:It really boils down to as to why you are creating your work. Webcomics, as a rule, are really for hobbyist. Most of us will never make a penny from what we do on the web, and most of us, are ok with that.
If you are looking to turn your art into a source of income, printing is presumably the ideal way to go. If you are printing your comic to make a buck, be ready to spend some money, invest a TON of time trying to sling your work and hope to find a following.
I personally make my comic for myself, much like Mr. Plymayer, I feel compelled to draw a tell a story. Will I ever print my work? eh, maybe, but not for money, simply to have a hard copy of something I have put so much time and effort into.
Also, Plymayer, I am a fan of your work, and I appreciate what you do!
I think having a hard copy of something I put so much into is the #1 (at least to me)reason for printing. And maybe to give to friends if I have any copies sitting around. I needed to hear that today. And thanks to everyone who posted here. I think I'm getting the hang of this forum thing :)
Have any of you fellow artists ever felt like there was only one format for the work you do? In these times where some comics are scanned and then posted/read online, does anyone really feel the need to have a print comic?
I ask this because quite frankly, I feel much better if I post my work online only, and not even sweat about print. Here on the web, money is not a barrier to people who want to see artful comics. I knew of a friend who did a spectacular comic series titled "Acrobat" on Drunk Duck and Cranky Octopus. He had amassed quite a following, and his series spans an awesome 30 issues. Some said his first issues were a bit lacking art-wise, but man, seeing this guy grow as an artist...if that didn't inspire people (myself included), I don't know what would. And he was doing it for free!
Looking back, I've used many printers for my work, but the fact of the matter is, I am not a business person. All the various printings of my work (from Amazon, Lulu, Ka-Blam, Comixpress) kind of make me feel frustrated at myself (I must confess, Ka-Blam was the only printer that nailed my work quality wise). I've been to many stores, whether they are bookstores or comic shops, and it is clear to me now that print-and-sell doesn't work for me anymore. I mean, I can't market, I don't have a thick skin (though I'm working on it), and I don't even price my work properly. Worse, I can't drive, so getting to conventions is out too. Something tells me I should ditch the Amazon storefront I have, for several reasons I can't discuss here. I'm even consider just tossing the surplus copies of my work. It hurts, but what hurts even more is the fact that it reminds me of how delusional I was when I had them printed.
Anyway, back to the point. I'm sure there are print lovers, but for beginners (like myself), I think digital's (even if it has to be free) the best way to go.
What say you, fellow artists? And if you do offer your work freely on the web, how do you stay motivated?
Kupocake:Hi everyone! I started Cans of Beans one year ago. 54 comic pages later, and here I am now.
Anyway, this is less actual shameless advertisement (although it is) and more just a big thank you to everyone here on ComicFury. I would not have been able to do this without you guys or this wonderful host. Thank you for having my little comic here, and I hope I can keep entertaining you guys for years to come!
Congrats K-Cake! It's always a wonderful feeling when you reach the 1st anniversary of a creative work =)
FPB:Perfectionism, procrastination, consistency, other hobbies, and trying to stop comparing myself to people who are much more skillful than I'll ever be.
I have this same problem. It's getting to a point where I have to ask those all important questions: "Why am I doing this?" and "When is enough enough?"
I have to remember that art is supposed to be fun, thus my work looks actually less professional than the stuff I hand out to publishers and the like (at least to me in that regard). But doing those pieces is where I can relax and just be myself and create. So they actually are my best works.
So I’ve been having this problem lately…I can’t seem to let go of my art! And I can’t seem to understand what the best course of action is for growing as an artist. Now let me be clear, I don’t mean let go as in “never draw again”, it’s just that every day I’m spending time living in the past. Yesterday I announced I was going to colorize my old series Lil’ Hero Artists, but then I’m thinking…is it really necessary? The reaction to the first issue (b/w and color, both on Indyplanet) was overwhelmingly positive, and I felt that I should build on that. But I’ve spent lots of money on this one project…promoting, printing, even getting stocked into some local bookstores. This is all great, but now I’m torn between carrying my work everywhere I go to promote some more, or putting it aside and doing something completely new.
My friend and collaborator Nick Vollmer (bless this guy, he’s awesome) has encouraged me in the past to draw for myself first and an audience later, but he has also told me that sometimes we have to part ways with our work and revise if necessary to improve. I must admit, I was skeptical of that idea in the beginning, but I sensed some truth in those words over time.
I don’t need to mention that I was obsessing over this so much that I have so many copies of books at home that I was afraid to part ways with in the past, but now am dying to clear out even if I have to sell them below cost price (making a loss) or even give them away.
I just feel kind of trapped by my own hobby in that regard. But I know that if all else fails, I can lay it to rest, and move on. My other friend here on CF, vwyler (The Unthinkable Hybrid) gave me so much great advice. Nick also pitched in to help with his words of wisdom. In the end, I can at least feel comfortable that I don’t serve the art. It’s the other way around.
Just writing about this alleviated some of the pain. What do you guys think about letting go of your art so it doesn’t “control” you?
Kupocake:Do something you wanna do, don't ask us what we want. Everyone's got a million different personal tastes, and it's impossible to satisfy us all. Just write/draw what interests you the most, and people who are interested in what you're interested in will jump on.
Not to mention that if you do what you wanna do most, you'll probably be much more passionate about it. Good luck!
Owen (Odmo) MacRae:Codename: Odmo Serial Number: 11456B.. (can't remember the rest)
Occupation: Comic artist and wannabe wiseman and philosopher. Disclosed Characteristics: Semi typical young heterosexual male diagnosed with autism. Driving influences: Cartoons, webcomics, the 80's, 16bit video games, dolls, fairies, princesses and giant robots Qualified Skills: Character design, some animation, and semi professional draftmanship. Current Goal: To influence the world and express his beliefs through his artwork and storytelling ability.
Current response: "Good day to you!"
Disclaimer: Has been on Comic Fury only weeks ago and apologizes for not introducing himself earlier...
Welcome to ComicFury! I'm sure this goes without saying, but if you hadn't come here with your work, I would not be as inspired to follow my art dreams as I am now! =)
Fubar:Rebooting is something I'd suggest doing once, at max, preferably never.
See, the thing with rebooting is, you're stuck in a loop if you keep redoing it to meet your current skill level.
The mistakes from your work will be the basis for your next piece, you have to be able to actually FINISH things. The thing is, knowing how to actually finish a story is just as important of a skill in writing as is say creating a premise. Finishing a piece or a story will also give you that sense of accomplishment which will fuel your motivation to keep at it.
And the thing is, you learn less from constantly rebooting a story, than telling a story, then telling another one and attempting to not do the mistakes you did previously. That's because you're making incremental improvements when you tweak a story, but you learn a lot more, and more important lessons when you start a new one, because it forces you to see and examine the big picture. Fixing endless details in a story can also blind you from mistakes that might be more general and long-spanning, at the core of the story.
There's a reason the majority of artists and writers recommend finishing a story over endlessly tweaking it. And besides, those minor flaws in your work might actually be a part of it's charm for some.
For lack of better words, this is true on ALL grounds! Constantly revising means, at least to me, that you are stuck in the past, and can do you more harm than good. I have been there before, and it did make things difficult. To me, finishing a piece is for better than to continuously change it for the sake of looking professional to others. It seems there is a reason why some (not all, just some)publishers scouting for talent out there say that they'd rather have a finished book or installment, than half or a quarter of an issue, as having finished something shows you have the ability to complete what you start. And most importantly, saying no to endless revision means you are accepting that you are human, and that you do make mistakes in even what you consider to be your best work. And really, aren't we all?
Thanx Fubar, this is exactly what I needed to hear (read?) today!
Wow, we are approaching the end of Dexter? I hope you have another story arc with these endearing characters. And best of luck for your dream of animating it. It's definitely cartoon series material! =)
This is precisely what I needed to see and hear today. To the one who started this thread, thank you! I haven't read any of Gaiman's works, and yes, I know I'm missing out. But all the same, what he said was completely sage advice. Every artist of any kind (music, dance, comic artist, etc) should take it to heart.
Apparently I’m really poor at marketing myself, judging by the way of things. But what the hey, I’m still happy to announce this.
Lil’ Hero Artists (The ComicFury version with some edits) should be available from Amazon at the price of $5 (plus shipping and handling) soon. The CreateSpace store already has it at this price (It was previously $7.50). This version had its birth with New York Times bestselling publisher Alterna Comics, and was received well at DriveThruComics.com with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was compared to the likes of Jeff Smith’s BONE series (one of my favorites btw), and called “an exceptional comic of high standards” by EMI C (Puppets and Strings). This version of the comic has a preview of a new alternate LHA story written by my collaborator Nick Vollmer. The first three chapters of this alternative arc are presented in their own collection, Lil’ Hero Artists: Manga-Ized (B/W Version). This new LHA story goes for $4.50 (plus shipping and handling) from CreateSpace (and Amazon, soon)
What I’d like to ask though, is if anyone has taken the path of printing their own work before, and what channels they used. Like, has anyone sold by the person-to-person strategy? I’ve heard that is the most efficient, as it cuts down the # of middlemen. Is a permit required for such an endeavor? I sold some of these at a convention once, managed to move 12 copies. Any advice or pointers is greatly appreciated.
And the current story arc will still be running here at CF, of course =)
vwyler:I don't agree that you should always push yourself. That is the demon of our ultra-competetive culture and one of the reasons our society is in such a mess. ._.
If you're burned out, take a break. Come back when your strength returns. Working when you're frazzled is no good for you or your work, regardless of what Ira Glass, or anybody else says.
This doesn't mean giving up. That is such an over-used phrase these days... like accountability and responsibility. To me, these are just code-words for the whip-crackers.
Everybody thinks they suck from time to time. All creative people go through dark periods. But push therapy is not a solves-all-problems solution. Sometimes, you just gotta chill. It's no crime, in spite of the contrary propaganda being paraded around these days.
Your confidence will return shortly, along with your drive. It rarely deserts you completely, unless you're severly depressed, in which case no pep-talk would help.
In short, work steady while the inspiration is with you. Rest when it isn't. This doesn't mean there won't be work involved. If you start a story arc, you should probably finish it before taking a break. That's the way I do it, anyway. Works for me. ;)
Sage advice, vwyler! I remember when you told me the same thing during my hard times with my comic.
It's no good to force yourself to draw something if you don't want to. Another thing to remember is to never, ever, compare yourself to others based on their success. Do what feel right when it feels right. Otherwise you'll just burn yourself out and produce something you won't be proud of. But that's just me.
Hey, its JasonDeroga again, with another comic that is moving from DrunkDuck to here. It's called Sneakers' U-Force. As of now, its a story about a group of Animals that band together to fight against mankind who has returned from seclusion to start a new world order. This new order involves trampling over environmental issues the animals are trying to address (Like Global Warming, Vanishing Pollinators) I guess you could say think Captain Planet, but with animals. I did the first as an assignment for school, and finished a majority of it in about a week (I had a deadline o_o) Anyway, its here for your viewing pleasure.
Tukari Silver:With Crimson and Cobalt, given the opportunity, I'd like to develop into a show or video game really, it just always seemed to have that feel with those two.
As with Suns and Shadows, despite the project size being absolutely, mind-bogglingly and sometimes DANGEROUSLY large, I have no real intention of expending it further than the internet, to that extent, a fan base would be a nice thing to have (I'm actually terrified of the possible consequences of mainstream tearing it to bits ahaha that's not going to happen any time soon or EVER for that matter), but I'm just happy people who already follow it's movement appreciate it. I have a story here, and I'm not going to stop until I finish it.
Both comics are something to do while I search for a DREAM CAREER in character design or illustrating perhaps, thought that won't happen until I move to the BIG CITY.
I feel the same way about my comic Lil' Hero Artists...mainstream has already destroyed it.
Really, for me anything beyond just sharing the comic and growing a fan base is unrealistic. I've tried the whole self-publishing DIY route, and although I've learned a great deal from it, I don't think it's something I want to do again. Chances are, at least for me, that readers will come if money is not a barrier. When money's thrown into the equation, I think it drives the bar higher, and you really have to put your best foot forward every time you publish something, unless you're some sort of prodigy. I don't think I can do that, at least not until I truly believe I'm ready.
Honestly, I'm just happy I finished my comic, and the 1st chapter was even featured in a comic book magazine by a small press publisher. It was given 2 offers of publication by 2 different companies, but I turned them both down to stay true to my vision.
I was struggling to find a printer for this comic, but I think Createspace was a good option. Now that the webcomic is complete, I'm thinking about selling online. This book got a five star rating on DriveThruComics.com, and a fellow named Michael S Bracco compared the book to Jeff Smith's Bone (a personal favorite of mine). Emma Clare (Puppets and Strings) also supported this story in its infancy back in the DrunkDuck days. I guess that is incentive enough to sell this book, but for as low a price as possible. The sale price is $5.00 + S&H for the 136-page long book: The whole miniseries, with some edits (namely an explanation of the Artilouix that was "felled" by Terry the Professional) and a 31-page preview of a manga/anime style rendition of Chapter 1 written completely by Nick Vollmer.