Announcement – 100 Days of STREET PREY

edit: I have just decided to change the working title of my webcomic from just “PREY” to “STREET PREY” to distance it better from the awesome videogame series it has nothing to do with. The new nickname of the project is SPREY, a word that apparently doesn’t exist. Well, now it does.

I have an announcement to make! I will embark on a new 100 days challenge tomorrow! One of my favorite options was simply adding another 100 days of making comics on top of the previous ones. If something seems to work, why change it? But then I found a way to slightly pivot this into a more personal direction. Fellow artists Grant Roberts (his IG: grantrobertsart) suggested I could focus on my webcomic. First I was surprised…how to focus more on it? I was doing SPREY since weeks already!

But then it dawned upon me – was I really doing everything I could do in my power? No! Not in the slightest! Other friends keep calling me out on that, too, (and I‘m endlessly grateful for it, thank you all), but what kept me from acting differently in the past was that I simply didn‘t have more time and energy that I could invest into SPREY. I already did what I could.

And why was that?

SPREY had to share my attention with other projects such as the Manul Project and constant worries and confusion about where to go, what to do, what to commit to as a creator. The confusion was so bad that I was barely moving forward at times. I must have been quite unfocussed in the past and sneakily changed during the 100 days challenge. Working on SPREY daily has become my nature enough that I find it harder and harder to divert myself into working on more than a maximum of one thing on the side per day. I must have done that in the past a lot! A lot of hopping all over the place. And then being unhappy that I wasn‘t getting exceptionally good at anything or even…finishing things. And now I couldn‘t imagine being like that. I will admit, I still feel the echo of it though, whenever I turn another opportunity or new challenge down. I cannot do everything that sparks my curiosity for SPREY‘s sake. I feel, with this project I finally have the chance to go my personal path and I should not risk losing it again.

RULES

The 100 Days of SPREY is my very personal continuation of the original 100 days of making comics challenge and not connected to the challenge or it‘s official rules anymore.

But in order for it to be a challenge or a similar vehicle for transformation over time like the original 100 days, it must have rules.

1. I will continue updating SPREY daily, one panel at a time.

One panel a day seems like a working formula that I should not disturb.

2. I will blogpost at least once a week about it, Sundays, with a filled out report card.

While I love to blog and hold myself accountable over it, I might not have exciting things to say every day. So I will not blog and ramble just for blogging‘s sake. I also feel that sharing my daily panel is not that newsworthy anymore after it‘s working since more than two months now. My daily warm-ups are even less interesting unless I make a big technical discovery. They happen like a force of nature.

I have created a report card for the challenge using my experience from the first 100 days, where I can tick off the daily comic panel and other tasks related to my journey every day. You will meet it for the first time this Sunday and I will also share a blank with you so you can use the report card for your own projects if you like it.

3. Sunday itself is a compulsory rest day where the only art related work allowed is a single panel update on the SPREY comic.

This might sound like a stupid rule to you, but makes a lot of sense for me. I am a workaholic and no, that is not a cute quirk, that leads to long term problems, if left untreated. My sleep problems of recent might be a result of working seven days a week and never resting, not a bit. It is very important to relax and practise relaxation. You need breaks and that is not only for having new ideas when you allow yourself to disengange with work. I want to create all my life, so I need to stay as healthy and balanced as I can. In my opinion, a rest day like this is a great idea for a start.

4. The first phase of my challenge is to continue narrowing my focus on SPREY – „breathing out“ (approx. 30 days)

I will finish still running unrelated projects such as the Manul Project and not start or continue things on the side. Only exceptions are continuing the work and support on „Your Land“ and my freelance gigs. I hope to take no longer than a month (30 days) for this phase.

5. The second phase of my challenge is to actively grow SPREY – „breathing in“

I have a wishlist of things to try, look at, build and develop here, but this comes into play once I have created the room for it after working through phase 1.

See you tomorrow!

100 Days – 90

Panel 3 needed 2 attempts, too, but I’m one step closer to being back in my daily schedule. I already started panel 4 with the reject I didn’t take for this one. Let’s see whether I can use it.

And to this one – today was another first. The first time I had to add a second shot to an existing one and repose and recolor an equally sized figure in 2D… and I did an okay job. Not entirely happy with it, but not so far away that it insults my eye. And I have the suspicion there are still many firsts ahead.

Today I’m also not hopelessly tired from drawing, so I will work on something different after a break. The passing of time does not make me love this webcomic less. It seems like I love it more every day. Sometimes I’m not content with what I’m doing, but I’m so living for telling the story. I think beginner me was afraid it would become boring working on the same thing every day for months or probably years…but at least so far it’s only gotten more exciting. Or this project is just the right project for me.

Art report 23

Some focussed exploration work for my comic. I had a great session doing this yesterday, but hit a limit with how fast I can give basic renders to line drawings. Yes, my new feelgood process hit a limit and suddenly did not fit for rapid exploration sketches. This is a fascinating experience, as shifting my mind towards process is more important than the result seemed to be quite hard already. To also find out that the process also is changing during a lifelong art journey and to understand and feel what that means, that is a little but uncomfortable, too. But given that I will probably be surprised by many things on the road ahead, that’s just another decision to make, another adaptation. How can I work to become faster with exploring? Leave the lines and start with the form already? Or is that what everyone is doing already and I didn’t notice because my understanding of tonal values isn’t that good yet? How can a line indicate form rather than itself? Is the whole secret thinking in light and shadow?

Yesterday’s drawings taught me another thing, that might be useful for other comic beginners too. Your existence is frustration already. Everything does not fit. Every decision is too big and could be the absolutely wrong one. And it will probably never get done, at least not how you imagine it to be without having a clear picture in your head. I mentally prepared to having to draw out a whole world before I can even storytell scene 1 of my story, because that would probably the right thing to do. But then, as I was drawing, I was wondering…would it be really the best choice to make? Imagine building a world for 2 years, always teasing your potential audience until they are numb and move on. And then you draw scene 1 and realize everything was a bad idea and your thing is a bit boring. Good looking, but boring. You could not have known this because you aren’t an experienced storyteller and your friends and beta-readers weren’t either. And then you are sitting there. Overprepared by maybe 22 months. There will always be ways to turn a failure into victories, but you depraved yourself of half an eternity in which you could have actually told your story and learned to storytell in general by telling your story. In my opinion storytelling outweighs the visuals in the end, so go to that stage as quick as possible and gain experience. And this is really hard coming from someone who is such a visual creature like me. But I have made this mistake of focussing on developing my visuals overall for years. I dread all the inevitable beginner storyteller mistakes I will make, but this is a path I’ll have to walk to arrive where I want to be.

So for The Fearful Creator, oh this ironic title, this means I will prioritize getting episode 1 drawable and drawn as quick as possible. Quick is relatively of course, as I cannot draw what I have not designed and have no picture in my mind for yet. Yes, it would absolutely be preferrable if I wrote a clean script, from start to finish, built my world, from start to finish, to have it 100% consistent and developed, and then drew the perfect run of finished pages. But it would be madness to let me do this as a beginner. I would possibly procrastinate for years because I have no idea what “good” is, when something is finished vs overprepared and general, an insecurity that is probably harshest before you have the first comic out.

This one is unrelated to my comic. I tend to end my reports on pictures of men as sort of fun personal ritual. I painted without using any underdrawing here. I’m surprised it worked. I should be worried if it didn’t, as I’m deliberately grinding the fundies. But as you can see here…no feeling for adequate contrast (yet). This will take time and many botched value ranges ahead.