One of my favourite podcasts out there (besides Seth Godins Akimbo ) is Andy J. Pizza's Creative Pep talk . Each Wednesday, he puts out an episode that is pure inspiration and fuel for creative ideas. If you're someone that is looking for some inspiration, or a little push to get out of a creative rut, go and listen to this show, and you won't look back.
Showing posts from September, 2021
I've always been a big proponent of sharing work as freely as possible. My first zine 7 Pages was distributed freely, thanks to a free use photocopier at University; that only lasted about 5 months before the administration realized people were abusing it). It's also the reason I love sharing my work online and avoided putting my work behind paywalls or subscription-based services. My venture into digital publishing has raised a few questions. On one hand, I think it's important to value your work, and I think that if you make quality creative work then it deserves some form of reimbursement from the audience. But then another part of me sides with the general consensus of the internet which is, everything should be free. To be more precise, everything should be initially free and don't bother the audience with how you support yourself. Usually, this takes the form of advertising or the sale of related products.
For one reason or another, I used to have a constant unease with my inking practice. I have spent a long time trying to decide on the best tools to ink with even though I know it doesn't really matter, you just have to choose one. I keep coming back to my trusty tech pen. It's what I draw the most with and it's what I enjoy drawing the most with, but there's a problem. When I pencil and then ink the page with this pen I'm unhappy with the result, the lines are a little too stiff and there's not enough detail...but if I draw a comic without penciling then I am happier with the lines overall. For the most part, I try to always draw without a pencil, I have more fun with drawing, and I can be surprised by the result. But when I'm drawing a comic this approach only gets me so far, especially if the scene to draw is complex in some way.
Around this time two years ago I launched my new website spare parts press. Initially, I intended to use the site to publish my own anthology comic under the name of spare parts. Spare Parts would be a publication that collected my ongoing comics. I released the title under that name, and as I was working on the second, with most of the content written and about a 1/4 of it drawn. Then the pandemic hit.
About a year ago I started a new comic with characters I had been working on for a few years. I'd been working up to writing a story with these characters, by exploring situations through one-panel comics. I was walking a delicate balance of carefully developing these characters and being too precious with them, scared to actually develop them further.
There is a certain type of drawing technique in comics, that makes me grind my teeth whenever I see it. It's when an artist fills in the background with black, but they don't take the ink right to the edge of the linework. Instead, they leave this white glowing edge. IN some ways it feels like a stylistic choice, but I find it jarring. I think it's jarring partly because it feels like the artist didn't want to take away from their line art, it feels like they're being a little too precious.
I drew this quote from Seth Godin at the end of 2019. I've tried my best to follow this advice for the past two years and it has worked well for me. Using this mentality I started the first incarnation of my Spare Parts Press website, I was able to get started on my comic Bored in Space. More recently it helped me write and draw a new 32-page autobiographical comic (more on all of these things soon).
I’ve had this idea for an erasable ink pen for a couple of years now. It looks like a yellow wooden pencil and even has a pink plastic/rubber piece on the end for erasing. It has all the benefits of a pencil with no need to sharpen or smudging. I finally decided to draw it up in the hopes it might will it into existence.
A few years ago, I was extremely excited to hear about the new Star Trek series Discovery. I started thinking about all the ways I wanted the new series to be. For example, I felt like we already have this flashy over-the-top Hollywood, explosion-filled Star Trek movie. Which are fine, they're entertaining. But I felt like it would be neat to see a more down-to-earth character-driven story that deals with Gene Roddenberry's original ideals of the show.
I miss the old days of finding unique material in weird places. Walking into a comic store, an old books store or a zine library and finding something weird and unique someone had made. It was then a further challenge to find more of that person's work. It was exciting. While it is true that you get a similar thing with the web, the same kind of serendipitous discovery, it is missing the same excitement, there is less of an urgency to try and track someone down. Maybe it's because we feel that if it's worth seeing or knowing, it will have some sort of presence on the web. A quick google search of any artist and you will instantly get a smattering of their work.
I was recently trying to come up with a new name for a comic. I've always found naming artworks or projects difficult. I'd rather the work speak for itself and for that reason I tend to lean toward generic names. In the past I have also been keen on using terms that have multiple meanings or are a play on words. But this can comes across as at best jokey, and at worst too cutesy.
I was reading about the idea of ‘Adjacent Possible’ in the book Where do good ideas come from . I'm halfway through the book, and it has an amazing amount of insights into the creative process. I love books like this. Adjacent possible is how new ideas develop by exploring the edges of what is currently possible. This often means that we can’t make giant leaps in progress. Because progress happens by exploring adjacent possibilities. The podcast Radiolab discussed a similar idea about ' incremental changes '.