One of the biggest drawbacks my love of comics and webcomics has is that it fills me with lots of ideas for webcomics of my own. The issue there is that I lack drawing ability; which is a shame because most of the ideas I have would only work as comics, so writing them as a book isn’t really a good alternative.

I’ve come close to doing comics twice. The first time was when I got into sprite comics as a way to work on my ability to storyboard and put together a comic without necessarily being able to draw it. That went fairly well, my plots made sense and I was able to successfully harness my somewhat slanted and dry humor to create a rather funny set of strips. Eventually I got busy with life and dropped the webcomic. However, during the production of that comic I started to practice drawing.

In a crude way I started drawing single character sketches and began to refine a bit of a method while starting in on one of my old comic ideas. It was a pretty worthless method, but it was working OK and allowed me to start exploring with better methods. My characters started coming together, so I drew a series of 5 strips as a pilot idea for a comic that I called “Inner Child.” At that time the drawing was pretty horrendous, and looking back even now I cringe. However, over about a six month period, I continued to practice and refine, and it started to come together to a point where it began to look nearly good, or at least began to approach a style that could undergo a final refinement before being ready to go with. I produced two more strips and redrew one of my previous strips with the newer method. At that point, I got busy and had to set it aside. And I have remained busy for the last 6 years, or at least have not had the gumption to pull out my drawing pad again.

I very much want to be able to draw, but I realize that it takes a lot of work to get good at it (indeed it’s suggested that you need 10,000 hours practice to boast proficiency at something). Not only that, but I learned bad habits during my trails of teaching myself to draw. So to start again I must necessarily tear down my method and replace it with a more robust and repeatable method (such as drawing out character positions with representative shapes before going back to flesh out actual features). That’s a long road that I realize will take a few years of my life of daily practice to approach something similar to a working proficiency. It’s something that I really want to do, and something that I know can be done with constant practice and work, but I have a toddler and many other pursuits that I like chasing; so the idea that I’ll suddenly find an hour or two a day that I can use to noodle around with a pencil is somewhat unrealistic. Yet, I will continue to pine for the skill to give shape to my ideas.

-Confusion is a state of mind.

Advertisements