Read this book over the last few weeks. And while I wasn’t that surprised over his findings, it did make me reflect on just how much my entire art career at this point has been fashioned from things I pursued on my own time (as opposed to things I learned in a formal class setting.) I picked up Photoshop, learned how to use a tablet, learned how to draw figures etc. because I thought it would be fun! As it turns out, that actually made my progress better. What a concept. Despite my lack of formal training, I feel I’ve been improving year after year because I’ve been focusing on getting better and mastering my craft. That’s been encouraging for me and I hope for all of you as well!
When I was a kid, I had a really hard time coming up with story ideas. Compared to my sister who seemed to come up with idea after idea effortlessly, I struggled to write up even a basic premise for a comic. I thought that was my shortcoming and that I just wasn’t creative or inspired enough.
It wasn’t until Polterguys came around and I asked myself why I was writing it that I finally started feeling like there was a fire lit under me. I was motivated not just because I thought the idea of a ‘ghost harem’ was cool but because I finally realized what I wanted to say with my work. I was constantly inspired by all these TV shows and books about strong women and I wanted to send back that same message out there. “Look at all these cool women being awesome!”
See creating something WELL takes a lot of time and effort. If you pursue it half-heartedly, it’s very easy to give up halfway. You’ll hit that point in the process where you feel lost, discouraged and overwhelmed, and you’ll definitely need something substantial to carry you through. If you’re not even sure why you make art, it might take you longer to find your way out of the dark. I think having a purpose to your work, like a guiding star, helps re-orient your thoughts and energies back into the project.
If you’re passionate about your work, it also ends up showing in the end result. People want to support artists who bring something good to the table. They also want to feel like they’re getting something that could have only been made by you and your unique vision.
Do you agree? Have you thought about how your creative projects are meaningful to you? If not, what would you like your work to say?
This post is part 3 of my blog post series, How to Run a Successful Kickstarter for your Manga.
If you happen to be in the A2 area this weekend, I’ll be giving a talk on How to Run a Successful Kickstarter for your Manga this Sunday March 3 1PM-3PM at the Fourth Floor of the Ann Arbor Downtown Library. (Also applicable to comics and other projects, really!)
It’s a pretty cool, laid back crowd. Should be fun. Say hello if you’re stopping by!
SIDENOTE: I’ve been totally preparing for this talk all week. And since I’m an anxious public speaker I decided to listen to this book, Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool. It’s about how people keep calm under pressure (like public speaking) and it’s just AMAZEBALLS! I had so much fun listening to the audiobook. I highly recommend picking it up if you’re into non-fiction stuff like me.
I’ve been listening to The Accidental Creative podcasts for the past few weeks and really enjoying the productivity tips and strategies Todd Henry shares in his audio posts and interviews with some pretty cool people like Seth Godin. In today’s busy and demanding world, creative people have to be brilliant, prolific and healthy to survive in the long-term but pursuing all three of those feels incredibly difficult!
There’s a ton of great info in his archives and I’m already eager to check out all the other books he recommends, too!