100 Days of SPREY – 61

There must be a reason why I’m uploading a winter holiday piece in February. I better have a pretty good reason!

I started this piece in December. It looked like this and then I didn’t touch it again:

I was in severe creative crisis mode. I hated everything I did, I was very insecure, especially about how I drew my characters, I hated my inability to create any sensible environment, yet I somehow pushed through the rest of this stretch of chapter 2 of the comic in January and then just collapsed. Not literally, but in my head a door closed, daily comic work was suddenly out of the question. Maybe a reaction like not putting weight on an injured leg.

My will to brush it off and continue was there, a nagging voice in the back of my head to not risk any hiatus, but everything else just intuitively went out into the world to see and try new things and let the overstrained comic muscles heal. Time heals that. And now the period of healing is coming to an end as I finally could finish the christmas piece today in one go. It did not hurt. The enthusiasm for SPREY was back and then some.

In hindsight and only in hindsight this break was the absolute right call. I experienced and learned so so much. I just wish it was somehow less chaotic and didn’t let the readers hang in the air. But I must have been in such a bad shape in January that I wasn’t really capable of doing anything elegant about that. I want to go back into SPREY and finish it with passion. The smallest scope is big enough if burning love can flow into it!

But of course, I can’t have that without obstacles. The decisions of old me led to a situation where I have to finish other tasks first before I can jump back into SPREY with full force. This doesn’t mean that I can’t do anything, it is just an interesting dance to get anything meaningful done. I would love to say I can allocate a reliable time and workload to SPREY within two weeks. I don’t want to go back to the daily upload schedule. Not because I can’t pull it off, but because I think I will not deliver my best work this way. The daily upload scheme leaves little room for editing. My friend Shellpresto (I’m so grateful, thank you so much!) suggested a weekly upload of about 7 panels and I’m starting to like the idea. A lot. Maybe it’s even time to go for comic…pages as I know a lot more about layout and design than even a couple of weeks ago now. Just an idea.

I’ll start by reviewing the new script tomorrow. I feel like my first draft will break under the first stress test like a dry tree twig. The true massacre will not happen in the comic itself but when I try to cut the script down. I tend to want too much, more than the essence of the story would require.

See you next blogpost!

Art report 25

I took a break! It was a special break. I was marching on my way like I always do, and then I stumbled and fell and walked somewhere else. Only later did I realize what had happened as the landscape changed. Have you ever wandered off into the void?

If you were in a place of absolute quiet and darkness, what would you create to fill it? And how much of it until you realize that everything is perfect as it is?

I can only speculate that I was fighting off a cold and just …snapped after Rapid Viz. I was not available for any creative endeavours in days, then I could only write on my comic, only slowly the visual channel is returning.

Did anything change? Absolutely. Let’s use a rich Windows Update as a metaphor. Suddenly I’m thinking in camera angles and shot types like I always wished I would. Suddenly the thought of drawing 5 times over the same thing until it’s as decent as I can get it right now isn’t scary or tedious at all. Suddenly I like my crooked lines and enjoy that at least they’re alive. And now I’m returning to creating and it’s probably not a different world than before but some small changes that will stack over time. Why the hell am I making rapid progress on my portfolio now?

Breaks are important. If it is necessary, a two week break or even longer is valid. And every creative crisis or art block is a huge chance to unlearn things, a lot of things that you thought were natural to you or somewhat never to be questioned.

I did unlearn quite some bit. And then there’s room for new things. For me it was watching a ton of movies of different genres for getting a feeling for camera work and shots. In the future I hope to learn more about light and color the same way. And then editing. Not everything at the same time, but like 3 or more runs.

Shot studies from the movie “Scarecrow” (2013)