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3 Lessons After A Year of Comic-Making

Updated: May 15, 2021

Because I just wrapped up the last page of chapter one of my webcomic TUJEC and will be sharing it with you in the coming days, I thought this would be a good time to reflect.

Here's what I've learned from working on chapter one of TUJEC over the last seven months:

1. Brain Breaks versus Procrastination

Did you catch that? It's been SEVEN LONG months of working on just one chapter of this story. That is a hell of a long time to work on anything without losing interest. And, honestly, some days, working on it is a real struggle.

Sometimes, finding the drive to get up early before work to finish that page I was working on is just non-existent. Recently, I've been coming home from work so burnt out that I haven't had the brain space to work more on comic pages in the evening.

Occasionally, I cut myself some slack and find something else to do; read a book, play a video game. But, when it comes down to it, it's really been all about getting myself in the studio to do it whether I feel like it or not.

"Brain breaks are necessary and healthy, but there's a difference between taking a constructive brain break and procrastinating. "

2. Passion versus Growth

I don't love it. I don't love or get lost in comic-making the way I do in other projects. Outlining, story-boarding, paneling, penciling; it is a difficult, painstaking, frustrating, exhausting process.

I'm selling this really well, I know. But, hear me out! When I do need to take a brain break from the comic and I dive into creating a new illustration, I'm 100% more pleased with how it turns out.

Illustration work is where my heart is and what I'm passionate about. My hard grind-work on my comic means daily/constant practice with figure drawing, character expressions, composition, lighting, perspective, settings and environments. This translates clearly into more effective, better-composed, and more technically competent illustration pieces.

"Daily practice and consistent hard work on a project I'm not as passionate about translates into better, more competent pieces that I love doing."

3. Growing a Portfolio versus Shouting into the Internet Void

Sharing your work with and growing a community online on social channels is a large aspect of being an artist in the 21st century. When I share my illustration work on my social platforms, it gets a lot of engagement. The return on investment is clear. Illustration shares equal more followers, more eyes on my work, a larger circle of influence. PLUS, I'm creating portfolio-worthy work.