100 Days of SPREY – Day 07

That one is worth a blog entry. Before and while drawing the panel of the day I felt dissonance. The environments I can draw with reference for my daily studies look so much better than anything that I can currently design myself and put into my comic. But it is enough to get the shots done at all. That is of value as well. I just have been bitten by the ambition bug and would wish to do better. I start having a clue how to get there, but I‘m afraid the path will lead through many many more environments that do not turn out like I would desire they would. I guess I should also use the references I use for the studies more loose, change up angles and try to invent other views. I‘m already inventing different light and color all the time, why not experiment with more? That will train my brain to be more agile with construction (hopefully). We shall see how that turns out!

I‘m also very happy that today saw the release of another blogpost of the restructuring series. Only one to go and one key thing of phase I of this challenge is through! I really can‘t complain! But I always want more.

See you next blogpost!

100 Days – FINALE

Above: to the left – original first post-it for the challenge, drawn in colored pencil. To the right – redraw done today with same medium reflecting the current state of creator and blog comic team of fictitious characters.

It is done! Today is day 100 of my 100 days of making comics.

Unfortunately I haven‘t gained superpowers or completed a whole graphic novel. Even worse, some of my problems as a comic creator persist while other new problems joined.

But on the other hand there is this:

1. I have stopped doubting whether I CAN make comics at all. Yes, I can do that.

2. I failed at what I originally set out to do. Of course I did. But I was lucky enough to understand the reasons for it after spending weeks on other, smaller projects. So I learned a lot out of it.

3. I have learned how to „start small“ by doing a series of „Mikiko“ shortcomics in this very blog, focussing on the adventures and comments of my virtual assistant Mikiko.

4. I have started an interactive webcomic with a story that means a lot to me. I am more than a chapter in by now – so it‘s past the first bump already.

5. I have a much more grounded, realistic view of my actual skills and means and what to work on. Constantly working on one long term project like a webcomic is A LOT already.

6. I met a lot of great people on the road and appreciate those that were with me already, looking at them through new eyes. Although I can behave quite reclusive, I have learned that even I am not an island. We are connected and help each other and influence each other all the time. Thank you, everyone, and a special thanks to my husband, whose patience had no end.

edit: 7. Editing is important.

Above: I’m currently doing my best to improve my environment drawing skills. I usually fill in a row of 5 thumbnails a day with studies. The first reevaluation is at 200.

Accountability

The blogposts instead of videos worked out fine for me as means to keep myself accountable. They were especially effective in the beginning. Having to make a blog post about the day later might have saved one or two days. In the last days of the challenge I combined a couple of days into one single entry. The daily work got done either way by then. I will most likely not stop the webcomic anytime soon.

And what is next?

I will continue working on my comic with the same schedule as now (at least one panel a day), but other than support my husband with his „Your Land“ videogame as much as I can. It soon will be ready to publish! I hope I have built enough endurance during these 100 days to keep my humor and get things done, no matter what.

Will I ever do this or a similar 100 day challenge again?

Actually yes! If it was not for constraints such as time and other responsibilities, I‘d simply add 100 more days of making comics right away. But it‘s part of the artist‘s toolkit to know when you better take breaks, even if you don‘t feel like it at the first moment. I have some other things to build and maintain right now. I‘ll be back in time with new announcements. It depends on how the game launch will go, honestly. If there is a lot of bugfixing and changes to do within the next weeks that might be my project for the rest of the year.

For now, thanks to all of you. Your company has made my journey even more worthwhile and I hope my documented stumbling through 100 days has given you something, too. See you back on the road soon!

Above: what better way to end this than with an interactive choice in the comic? Quick, go to the respective discords I’m sharing that post with vote buttons or to instagram and cast your vote until tomorrow(23.11.2020). For more context – you can read the whole comic on this website. Check out “PREY”.

100 Days – 96

I can’t believe how quick the week is passing! I was so hungry for more studies that I did a whole sheet in one night. Also I caught myself thinking “yeah, I’ve drawn a panel for the day, but this is not enough”. It is. A couple of more complex panels are coming up. The next one is already in work but I would not want to risk missing today’s update window just for this gamble and rush it. Also that dummy simple looking over the shoulder panel took me 3 attempts that nobody will ever see or acknowledge, haha. That is art and the dirty behind the curtains work of it sometimes. All part of the game.

100 Days – 93, 94, 95

Another joint blog entry for three days. While I didn‘t stop drawing and creating ever, a short but intense migraine kept me from blogging properly the last days. The training with those environment thumbnails is hard, but it seems to pay off already. Creating the new panels was definitely last pain than last week, or let‘s say different pain as I‘m noticing different things to fix or improve on. Especially building in good-looking details into the environment seems like a distant goal. But I will be patient. So far, that strategy has paid off.

I have multiple days behind me where I was fortunate enough to create more than one panel for the comic per day. Roughly a hundred days ago I could not have dreamed of even having a running webcomic. I might have been a different person, in any case a different creative. And I‘m determined to make PREY happen. There are many firsts in terms of problems that have to be solved on the road coming my way. This weekend was particularly dense with them. For the first time, I have drawn several panel variations …that failed. So I have drawn even more panels for the comic than those that you see here, but they were failures, so I put them aside and either edited them the next day or drew new ones. That really never happened to me before. I know that it is good practise to have several options in thumbnails and even work out several of them roughly if it is necessary to unveil the best version of a shot. And you have to be prepared to make cuts.

Then a new idea hit me. For a very long time I was aware of quite some rules and best practises without ever being able to put them into use. The world of my mind and the world on canvas stayed separate. And for a very long time I had no idea why. Apparently, I just didn‘t have the skills to translate it. And I count the trainable parts of my endurance and focus towards those skills as well. I must have wanted too much, just like every other inexperienced beginner. Last Monday‘s environment catastrophe was a blessing in disguise as I actually got a hold of my personal limits and am now in touch with them and building on them every day. That should be this way. Everyone could tell you that this is how you train. It is just hard to actually pull it off like with many other simple things. So the failed panels showed me that I must have improved indeed as the speed of failures accelerates alongside everything else.

As I‘m not in the best state today (but as long as it is enough to hold the tablet pen and at least draw the dailies), I‘ll leave it at this for today. That could be the first summary of my 100 days of making comics experience: I found out where I‘m really at with my skills, found a way of making comics that works for me and grew as a creative in the process.

100 Days – 91

Today is Friday the 13th 2020 – and the day was surprisingly balanced for that. Good things and bad things happened. I started to draw quite late but still managed to do my current daily tasks. I’m drawing at least 5 environment thumbnails per day. These have the potential to change you like every drawing exercise that is repeated rapidly.

I dreamt about geometry and characters in perspective tonight. Apparently my characters did exist outside of a space ruled by perspective for the sake of getting them done at all when all my fundamentals were weaker. Sure. In the beginning you cannot take care about everything without overwhelming yourself. But I’m not at the beginning anymore, so it’s time to make the jump and update my process. It might happen that I have to break my style of drawing characters another time, just to make everything work in my developing desire for having perspective in my artworks. I could not have planned for all of this and I feel like there was no way of avoiding years of struggle and confusion. What counts is that I’m here and that I’m pushing myself for growing further. And again, it just might take a while until what I came up in my head ends up in my hands. Creating this simple background in today’s panel was pretty much faster and felt “easier” already.

I also started setting up a discord that I’ll be glad to share with you all soon. It will house some of my collected knowledge from my journeys into art, a place for the community around my webcomic (gotta have one, gotta build one!) and a general hangout. Relaxing and having fun between working sessions is very important. That’s another first, setting up a discord like that.