Forum > General discussion > Bad advice from non comic people
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12 days ago, 8:51 PM #21
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Yes, I've had a lot of these that have been echoed in here. Special shout-out to the rephrasing of "your work doesn't belong in a gallery setting" one though. Thank you for making sure I feel like I never belong.

"If you followed my advice you would get hired by [insert company here]!"
I have also noticed you have never been hired by [insert company here] nor know anyone personally who is.

"Why do you charge so much if you can draw so fast?"
"I've seen you draw faster! Why are you taking so long on this piece?"

It's like I need money to survive the days I can't work as well.

"what are you on, I want some"
"You did this while on [drug] and thus its not real work"
"You would draw better if you weren't on [drugs I actually need to fucking function]"

This one is a special pet peeve. I don't do recreation. I don't have the kind of body to enjoy that stuff. For those who enjoy getting their inspiration from drugs, that's nice. But because I look and act like I'm on [insert whatever the heck is popular in insert location here, but 90% of the time people think weed] apparently all of my "talent" or lack of talent is just me under the guise of drugs. I've had art teachers also do this to me.

"[Insert culture here] doesn't produce real [insert any median here]."
"You can't be inspired by [insert anything here] in order to be a real artist you have to [regurgitate, usually a western idea here]."

Tell me more about your racist tastes thank you.

"No one acts like this, this isn't realistic." -says your neighborhood ableist straight humanoid.

"[insert something related to only being capable of either goofy or serious work and thus shouldn't dive into the other]"
For some reason, depending on the theme/work someone gets introduced to me to they think I am only capable of doing one thing. In work settings I understand thinking I only do the "one thing" because hey, that's why I'm here. But online and on sites where you can easily look at the wide variety of trash I create it creates this awkward moment where, like, the evidence to prove otherwise is right there?
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12 days ago, 9:59 PM #22
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Lutzbug:"Whaddaya mean, you don't know how to do that and there's entire Bachelor's degree tracks that teach people how to animate? Isn't there some cartoon button you can push to make it move?"


These are no doubt the same people that hand an artist a photograph of someone facing away from the camera and ask them to "Photoshop it so that they're facing toward the camera."

Merged Doublepost:

borzoiteeth:
[i]"Why do you charge so much if you can draw so fast?"


"Can you draw? At all?"
"Well... no..."
"Do you like what I've drawn for you?"
"Yeah..."
"Then why does it make the slightest difference how long it took me to do it?"

Or:

"Can you draw? At all?"
"Well... no..."
"Do you want to practice for years and years and study and sweat and suffer through self-doubt and isolation and hone hone hone your skills until you're good enough to draw like I do?"
"Well... no..."
"Then that's what you're paying for, asshat."
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12 days ago, 10:13 PM #23
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Firefly Jelly:"Can you draw? At all?"
"Well... no..."
"Do you want to practice for years and years and study and sweat and suffer through self-doubt and isolation and hone hone hone your skills until you're good enough to draw like I do?"
"Well... no..."
"Than that's what you're paying for, asshat."


Oh I've definitely tried to have this conversation with someone and their response was something along the lines of "I could draw this better than you without the years of training". To which my usual response is "then do it" and then they suddenly get flustered at the thought. Groan.
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12 days ago, 10:30 PM #24
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Songdog:"You should try to print and sell this" or any variation of "why are you putting so much time into something if you're not trying to make money off of it".

I get that a lot of people do patreons or prints or what have you, but not everyone does and I don't want to mix money with my hobbies : (

I don't get much shitty advice but "SELL IT! MONEY IS THE ONLY REAL METRIC OF SUCCESS!" is really the last thing I want to hear when I share my work with someone. kinda skeeves me out when "this is beautiful! I love it!" leads directly into "where is the cash flow"

also not advice, but "are you okay?" gets to me. I don't like it because it's ignoring my hours and hours of hard work and all the love I put into it and focusing on how I gotta be pretty fucked up to write the things I write.

"add more fanservice/sweet moments" "where is the smooching" "is this going to get explicit"
even wholesome moments are a slippery slope. they're fun and all but the story is more important and I can't sanitize my characters to give them an acceptable mainstream romance because no one who's asking for it actually wants that. relationships are compelling because the characters are flawed. supplementary content can be sweet and nice, but watering down the main content in order to pander to mainstream audiences gets boring fast. (not referring to things that are sweet and wholesome on the tin, obviously. this is for stories that are very much featuring flawed, morally grey characters, that eventually start pandering and lose what made them distinctive in the first place.)
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12 days ago, 10:37 PM #25
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I'm also in the "you could make money doing this" recipient crowd

1. I can't
2. Other people maybe could. I can't
3. If I did commissions I would hate every single moment of it
4. No seriously no one is paying to read my niche crap!!! I've gotten a few $$ in donations over the years but more as someone leaving a tip than anything else


I've mentioned it before but "you should switch to digital so it looks cleaner"
Yeah but I really don't need a reason to be around eletronics/looking at screens more than I already do also lol its not like changing into a different t shirt that's a ton of work* to learn something very different


*most bad advisors don't recognize these preceding 5 words
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12 days ago, 10:51 PM #26
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i also don't like when people tell me to make money with my drawings.
Just, no. i don't want money from this, money tends to corrupt artistic freedom and I just want to do what I want.
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12 days ago, 10:55 PM #27
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Hmm I don’t like unsolicited advice in general tbh. Sometimes it’s not even constructive it’s just passive aggressive or weird lol. It’s rare but I’ve gotten some weird dms (not here) and the tone doesn’t come across as helpful more like demanding/controlling?? One time someone wanted me to draw nsfw a character that’s obviously under 18, instant block!

Again rare though :) , I’ve also gotten the animated thing LOL. I don’t take offense I’m flattered but yeah..all types of animating take longer than comics go xD. Though digital stuff makes it much easier, point stands it’s a diff beast.
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12 days ago, 11:00 PM #28
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Money would just stress me out. What if I made no money? Then it'd just be "oh no, no one wants to pay me for this thing it has no value : ( " But then if you make money it's just, a feeling of obligation to make those spenders happy? Like it's just my paranoia but I don't want to tie monetary value to it, personally. And I dislike that mindset of 'if you're not making money it's a waste of time'.

tsuri:

also not advice, but "are you okay?" gets to me. I don't like it because it's ignoring my hours and hours of hard work and all the love I put into it and focusing on how I gotta be pretty fucked up to write the things I write.


Ugh this. Maybe I just associate it with being younger and that sort of wanting to be edgy and 'look at messed up this is' but now it's like. No everything is fine. This isn't a cry for help it's just what I wanna draw.

Also the whole idea that 'true art comes from suffering', this sort of romanticization of suffering and trauma. No likey.
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12 days ago, 11:25 PM #29
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"I deserve free art for some reason even though I would never expect my plumber, landscaper, or lawyer to work for free."

"Even though I don't pay you it will get your name out there and be GREAT PUBLICITY for my self published book with no social media platform or name recognition."

"I won't pay you NOW but it will be WORTH IT when I pay you back 50% of the royalties you may or may not see."


"My comic is for a good cause so you should work on it for free. It will be a great opportunity for you."

((The above goes for children's books as well.))
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11 days ago, 12:14 AM #30
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MK_Wizard:"You won't get far writing a comic like this (Jekyll and Hyde) while being a woman. You should write stuff that people expect of you."


Um? WHAT? Who dares? Who the hell thinks that gender defines what you write? FRICK, I'm an adult female, and I'm writing a sci-fi superhero story for kids. Does that mean a male should be writing this story? NO OF COURSE F***ING NOT!

It's about experience in the genre and passion, not about gender! (this is the point where WynautWarrior, in pure rage, went spiraling into the sunset.)

Anyway, sorry for quoting but that one really struck a chord.
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11 days ago, 12:34 AM #31
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I also have some others to add:

“You do realize women don’t do well in the comic industry?”
“If you draw more realistically, your art will be better.” (As if anyone looks like a cartoon)
11 days ago, 12:41 AM #32
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I've been on the receiving end of a lot of the bad advice here (especially the money one), but probably the one advice that irks me the most:

Make [character] doing [this action]. That's not advice, that's a command.

But it will make you more popular! Not sure where you got the impression that drawing non-popular stuff is a surefire-sign that my goal is to be popular, buddy.

But I wanna see [character] doing [this action]! You could do fanart, man.

But it's better if someone else makes it! You could commission an artist, or seek an artist who's doing requests, to do fanart of what you want. :P
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11 days ago, 3:35 AM #33
loved birds way before they were the word
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Here’s a birthday message I got on Facebook from a college friend’s boomer mom. I remember it word for word.

Happy birthday! Hey, I have an idea for a children’s boo and I want you to illustrate it. Where do I start???


I was so tempted to reply with “you can start by spelling the word ‘book’ correctly” but I stopped myself.

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11 days ago, 4:42 AM #34
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Whaaaat? Is there really such a mindset that women shouldn't write men characters and vise versa? I mean, I'm aware of the mindset, but to tell a girl to only write girls is so bizarre to me. Darn, should have made an all-dude cast for the giggles

I must have gotten lucky or stayed under the radar enough to dodge these because the only one I remember receiving was constantly being urged to write childrens' books and maybe a couple suggestions to have my comic printed (neither are necessarily bad pieces of advice, imo, just not helpful in my current situation)

Merged Doublepost:

@Lutzbug I think there's an assumption that childrens' books are easy, though from a friend and former client of mine, she told me that childrens' books are actually not very lucrative at all (sort of like comics, there's always that small smaaall chance you become huge and make bank, but for the most part, her books have yet to pay for themselves in terms of what she spent to have them illustrated, formatted, and printed. She and her daughter have also written novels, and THOSE seem to sell just fine. I honestly expected the opposite, that childrens' books would sell well and novels were a dime a dozen with everyone wanting to write their own, but no, apparently novels are where the money's at!?
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11 days ago, 11:58 AM #35
loved birds way before they were the word
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@NiaNook
I’ve heard the same thing about children’s books not being a big money-maker. It’s something I wish these people knew, because like you said, there’s this perception that they’re “easy.” I’m surprised that novels are as lucrative as they are, though! I thought it would be the other way around, too, but I guess they’re not.

The thing is that I actually could illustrate children’s books professionally, but I want to be represented by an agent before I try it. Every single person who’s approached me to work on their “children’s book” idea has been shady and expected me to to all the work for them without paying me much, if anything. I haven’t accepted any offers from these people.

If someone approached me to illustrate their children’s book and they had the whole thing written, understood what they needed from the illustrations, communicated openly, knew about their publication process, and were prepared to pay fairly, I’d be more than willing to do it. But so far I haven’t come across that prospective client yet.

Edit: phrasing
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11 days ago, 2:24 PM #36
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Lutzbug:A lot of people think of children’s books as being watered down and simplistic, which leads them to think that they can write whatever drivel they want, underpay some friend of a friend to illustrate it, and make millions. Never mind that children’s book publishers often have child psychologists on board to help with editing or anything like that.


One of the biggest misconceptions that non-writers have about writing is that doing children's books or YA fiction is "easier" than writing "adult" novels. In fact, it is much harder. Basically, you're trying to convey all of the nuance and emotion and concept but you're restricting yourself to 75% or 35% or even 10% of the available vocabulary. I liken it to swimming with one arm tied behind your back- you can certainly do it, but it it really easier? The same goes for authors who write science books for laypersons. You can't crack out the jargon you'd use with your colleagues- you have to explain a subject it takes decades of schooling and experience to master and boil it down for an audience that doesn't know a quark from an igneous rock. Easy? Hell no.


WynautWarrior:Um? WHAT? Who dares? Who the hell thinks that gender defines what you write? FRICK, I'm an adult female, and I'm writing a sci-fi superhero story for kids. Does that mean a male should be writing this story? NO OF COURSE F***ING NOT!


NiaNook:Whaaaat? Is there really such a mindset that women shouldn't write men characters and vise versa? I mean, I'm aware of the mindset, but to tell a girl to only write girls is so bizarre to me. Darn, should have made an all-dude cast for the giggles


I feel this attitude is much more often directed at women than it is at men, i.e. women get criticized for writing guys more than guys get criticized for writing women (both are wrong- write whatever you want to!) The easy explanation for this is that comics were traditionally dominated by male creators and this is an artifact of that. I don't know why it persists, though.
Generally speaking, I've found women's portrayals of men to be more fair and nuanced than men's portrayals of women, both in SF / fantasy writing and in comics.
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11 days ago, 2:42 PM #37
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Yeah. I'm going to jump onto the whole "children's books aren't easy" thing and add to that. I'm not a psychologist so I may be wrong so don't credit me on this.

What a lot of people don't take into account is that these books are for children. Y'know, developing human beings. Whatever you're writing better be a freaking good, because children will remember whatever they read. If your story is shit, they won't read your story again. They'll only think, "Hey that story sucked. I'm never reading it again.". A lot of popular children's stories are only popular because of how good the storytelling is. Why do you think "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is a renowned children's story? Because it teaches counting and has simple but good story.

TL;DR: Children won't read your dumb story unless actual effort was put into it.
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11 days ago, 3:14 PM #38
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I am really surprised about the "a...WOMAN?!" type comments. I can't believe people still say crap like that! I never encountered any negativity about being a woman


@Lutzbug

I've worked for some select clients on children's illustration and a comic project (mostly self published or independent publisher books) and they all have been wonderful and patient people who paid for the work. Some I found and some found me (through Craigslist). But believe me, when you are LOOKING for an illustration job, you have to go through at least 10 "No Pay or I'll Pay You When It's Published/Half Royalties" ads to find a real paying client.

I've found that most of the paying people are doing their project out of love, for family, or fun/hobby and don't expect it to be the next Harry Potter or Hungry Caterpillar...while the people who *aren't* paying think they are not going to pay the artist a dime up front as they have written the next "Cat in the Hat" bestseller and it will be TOTALLY worth it for the artist in the end.

(...and probably goes without saying, but the projects from the "No Pay" crown tend to be pretty bad.)
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11 days ago, 3:39 PM #39
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"You should quit your job to make art full time!"

First, not only my job pays the bills, it's also a really good and motivating job and I'm not quitting it.
Second, even the most successful professional artists have to struggle with staying relevant and advertising and dealing with difficult clients and one should be ok with a stressful job if they want to do art full time.
Third, having a life outside of art feeds my brain, if I cut out whole chunks of it I'm sure my art would get worse.
Fourth, all the art pieces "you" (the person with the bad advice) saw were done out of the love of creating. Drawings done by order won't come from the heart, they won't all be that inspired.


Also, any advice that boils down to quitting.
"You should stop and read up the theory before trying again" *pastes google results of print books about the medium*
Look, anyone who'd think of advising anyone that. After a few months of not touching a new artform, one will simply lose interest in it. That's how the human brain works. Any "improvement" process that involves no hands-on exercise at all amounts to quitting.
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11 days ago, 3:54 PM #40
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I'm sorry to hear discrimination against female writers is still present. I'm a little shocked to hear it's even increasing in some areas. I knew of a collective for women comic authors with some good stuff on it, but sadly it closed down years ago. It had two of my favourites on it; Galaxion survived but Compass did not. (It was so long ago, I'm not even 100% sure I got Compass's name right.) Both were sci-fi of about Star Trek's level of seriousness; just a little bit more fun than hardcore.
Forum > General discussion > Bad advice from non comic people
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