Have you ever heard about the famous „Just draw“ advice? If things are troubling you in art, you don‘t know where to start building your skill or how to get to where you want to be…well, the two words are always there for you. „Just draw“.
I am someone who took „Just draw“ literally for many years. It keeps you productive, I can‘t complain about that. But frantically doing something and hoping something good will come of it is not a strategy.
In my opinion there comes a point where „Just Draw“ alone doesn‘t carry you anymore. As I keep stating in this blog, a beginner can start anywhere with anything and will be equally successfully average until they have built themselves up to understand what is happening and how to make things happen. That is the realm of „Just Draw“. Get the mileage you need until the muscle memory, visual library and knowledge of the craft have caught up to you. And each time you start learning a field such as anatomy in depth you are back at the beginning, first of all busy getting that mileage.
But then, there is a trap. You may miss the point when you should tackle different challenges than just bring yourself to draw daily. When you are even competent enough to grasp a field, subject or technique fast enough to become at least average quickly. Then you could be everything but aren‘t anything, if you don‘t focus on one thing in order to become proficient enough to be SOMETHING. If you miss that point, you will feel like you are doing everything right but still don‘t get anywhere with it.
What is the remedy? Setting goals and working towards them. Putting something on your to do list is not enough, that is only saying something. You have to do it, even if it is 10 minutes a day. 10 minutes a day compounds over time. That might even help you making your studies more effective. You can adjust studies and explorations towards your goal(s) as well, and that will compound over time, too.
That‘s exactly what I‘m doing with the 100 days of SPREY now. Just doing …something…every day that roughly counts as comicmaking doesn‘t cut it anymore. And we might see more successful attempts to narrow the focus in the future. 100 days ago I would have set truly focussing on one thing is not my strength. But so far I keep going. Even if it is not there from the beginning, it is something that can be learned. You can do it, too. And if you lost your trust in yourself, you can regain it, too.
So far the 100 days of making comics seems like the ultimate „Just Draw“, challenge. And for me, it has been worth it. I‘m grateful I went this path and I‘m excited about what comes next during the 100 days of making Street Prey.
This is the final entry of the restructuring blog post series after the first 100 days of making comics. Now that challenge is truly a thing of the past.