What Every New Artist/Writer Needs

October 15, 2011By jayart, story, Writing

In my last post, I wrote:

 

Don’t Panic…

Realize that you could be worse, but that you are striving for betterment. Don’t stop pushing yourself to grow, but don’t compare yourself to another. That will definitely cause you to become disheartened.

Look at the media that you are trying to break into, realize that there are artists already doing it that aren’t very good (but they are doing it), and then just start trying to get yourself out there and into it (whatever it is for you).

It seems a bit contradictory to write, “don’t compare yourself” but then to write, “realize that there are artists already doing it that aren’t very good”. Why would I do such a thing? Well, I meant both of them. But, I wasn’t clear on either. I rushed out that post (because I didn’t have a lot of time) and i didn’t realize that I had made that simple mistake.

What I meant by “don’t compare yourself” was don’t compare yourself to better artists. Many of them have been doing it longer, do it daily, or have a talent you might not. Don’t judge yourself by them. You will always find yourself coming up short and it is a recipe for disappointment.

However, following and learning from the aforementioned artist/writer will help you to build skill you need to grow. So, pay attention to their work, but don’t judge yourself by their ability.

On the other hand, when I wrote, “realize that there are artists already doing it that aren’t very good”, I meant this is a reality.
You’ve seen them. You know you are better. Okay, now move on.

So, you’re better, but they are doing the work. They are doing what you want to do. If they can, you can as well. Keep working. Publish via a blog, deviant art, dribbble, or some other forum (like ComicCons). It works. It might take some time, but if you keep working and growing you will, most likely, get noticed. The main thing is that you keep trying. Make your own way. Don’t expect someone else to make you successful.

Million dollar question: Has it worked for me? Nope, not yet. I know of others that have been successful posting projects in various forums and have gained well paying jobs.

Though it hasn’t happened to me yet, I am working on my art, writing my stories, and self-publishing. I have only been doing this part (again) for a short period of time. A year at the most. Really, it hasn’t even been that long. I know that opportunities don’t grow up over night. It takes time. It takes effort. And, it takes persistence.

Remember, don’t panic.

Just do it.

Artistic Insecurity

October 12, 2011By jayart, Writing

To the up-and-coming writer or illustrator (I’ll refer to us as artists henceforth),

Don’t Panic.

(I know that relaxed you a bit.)

You will figure out a lot, of what I am about to write, on your own. Though, I am writing you to tell you a bit sooner than later—hopefully.

We (artists) all suck.

Yep, really. Well, at least we all do in our own minds. None of us (but that select few that have been granted egos larger than their abilities) feel as if we are good enough.

It’s ok.

It’s part of the process.

Don’t give up.

This feeling that we share is all part of the impetus that we need to grow. Without it we would never become what we were meant to be (or, at least, get as close as we can).

I want to share with you my discovery: over the past few months (let’s call it a year), I have begun to see that even the big guys, the ones that I look up too, even they have their own insecurities. Let me share a Todd McFarlane quote with you that I found in the introduction of the graphic novel Monster Zoo by Doug TenNapel. Todd writes:

…Doug TenNapel does both, and what’s frustrating to a guy like me, who has to fight each page that I produce, is that Doug seems to pull it off so effortlessly…

There are very few artists that make me jealous every time I see their stuff. Doug is one of those artists for me.

We all have a Doug. Someone that we look at and think, “Man, if I could, just, be as good as so-and-so, I’d be happy.”

Another artist I follow, on Twitter, (and one who makes things seem so effortless) said, “I wish my sketchbooks looked like this…” and he shared a link. We all have wishes.

Don’t Panic.

Stay the course.

You might not ever become the artist that you want to be, but one thing is certain: if you give up trying you will never become the artist you were meant to be.

The more we use our skills the better we become. This insecurity will help you as you continue to strive for your goal.

Here’s one more quote from the intro to Monster Zoo. Todd continues:

I am glad Doug makes envious, because the day I stop having others that make me want to match them creatively, is the day I’ll begin to lose my interest in comics.

Here’s a cure all. Become happy but not satisfied with your abilities. Realize that you could be worse, but that you are striving for betterment. Don’t stop pushing yourself to grow, but don’t compare yourself to another. That will definitely cause you to become disheartened.

Look at the media that you are trying to break into, realize that there are artists already doing it that aren’t very good (but they are doing it), and then just start trying to get yourself out there and into it (whatever it is for you).

The cool thing is that to one person you might be the artist they are striving to emulate. Prove them right in doing so and then pass on this insecure conversation.

 

INKtober

October 4, 2011By jayart, miscelany, story, Writing

I began doing INKtober on Saturday. What is INKtober? It is an ink only challenge for October started by Jake Parker of Missile Mouse fame.

I am posting my drawings on my portfolio at mrjaymyers.com. I have begun (and hope to be able to complete) a children’s story called, Tiny Giant Island. If I am able to do this I will be posting a page a day. We will see. I am tweeting when post an image. I will generally not be double posting—both here and there.

UPDATE: Ok, so I leapt in too soon. I still need to do character designs. This has become more of a process. I will be showing the character designs and once I get that worked out I will begin the pages.