With limited time and so many projects and self imposed deadlines something has to give…

For the last little while I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with a lot of different pressures that I have imposed upon myself. For example a weekly update schedule for my vlog and blog. As well as a drawing a day on instagram for Inktober and finding time to work on my comic. All of this is unsustainable, I know Inktober is close to an end and that brings some comfort.

Flaming Minotaur - Inktober 2017
I’m Burning out!

These past few months I have been weighing the time put into my vlog compared to the impact that I receive and it doesn’t seem worth it. There are parts of the videos that I need to improve on, like my narration and topics. For now I think all that my time would be better allocated to working on my comic. It is a slow process when tackling it all alone and I would like to see it done sooner rather than later. The longer it takes the more likely I am to give up. At least that is how it feels to me with time ticking away and only small steps being made.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you are screaming into the void and all you hear is your own voice. I have a few more vlogs planned and the I will take a hiatus to focus on The Pod. However I will make more videos, just not in a vlog format. I don’t know yet what that will evolve into. I just need a change, thanks to everyone who has watched and cheered me on.

As for everything, else that will remain the same for the time being. Evolution is a slow process I’m going to make one step at a time.

 

Inktober a Week in Review, is it Worth it?

Is it worth it? It’s too soon to tell but I’m digging it. So far I have kept on schedule with this challenge better than I anticipated. It seems the amount of rendering varies from day-to-day. My style seems to shift slightly depending on what I am drawing. The only real issue that I have lost some time working on my comic because of falling a little behind where I want to be on posts. I think a better use would have been an inked panel a day on The Pod, just to keep momentum on that project. Or maybe alternating between the two.

Although I wouldn’t have a collection of sweet monsters piling up if I did that. This way I do get to explore different aspects of my style and find things I like. So far that means spatters and textures, probably because over the last year I have been drawing in a relatively clean style to leave room for the painting. As you can see I’m a little torn and as fun as this is it is also exhausting. Depending on my workload I’m not sure if I would do this again, at least maybe not like this.

Here are this weeks’ creations.

 

The Strange Events of Building a Boogeyman

On this weeks’ vlog I decided to tell a spooky story in honour of all the monsters I’ve been drawing. This is the time-lapse of me drawing the motorized boogeyman that I posted last week. I’m really digging this challenge it is forcing me to just dive in and get something done. Each one seems to be better than the last. Enjoy.

The Build a beast challenge the Beginning…

It has begun, the Inktober Build a Beast challenge is underway. Although still too soon to determine its merits, Im happy so far. Knowing when to stop working on a drawing for me will be the key. Over rendering will surely be the death of this challenge. I decided that rolling dice would be better way to randomly choose creatures than picking out of a hat. Two 20 sided will work perfect with 39 possible options in each list. After it is impossible to roll a 1 with 2 dice.

The first roll was a Motorized Boogeyman.

Today’s is a Frozen Fairy.

Follow me on instagram to see daily updates. I’ll review what I’ve done next week.

My Inktober 2017 Goals and Fears…

In a few days I will start the Inktober Build a Beast Challenge and I thought I should outline my goals and fears about doing it. Overall I think it will be a good experience, my main issue is with my arch nemesis time. I don’t really want to put other things on hold while I take on this challenge and I know I tend to render more detail than I should at times. So it will be tough. I’ll post the first drawing video net week. In the meantime follow along on instagram. Almost done pages 14 & 15 check below to see where I’m at.

No Matter how much Effort is put in it is Never Enough!

Sometimes I feel like I’m not putting in enough effort on my comic simply because this is taking so long. With nearly 15 pages finished and many more waiting in the wings. I can see why most comics are done by a team and not painted. Doing it all myself is both rewarding and daunting.

So far I am happy with the results that I’m getting, but with limited time to work on such a large project it is very easy to get discouraged. I plug away a little everyday and it never seems like enough. Always picking the task that fits my window of time. So I have pages at various stages of completion. From rough pencils to fully lettered and everywhere in between, so many pages are perpetually unfinished. I guess I just haven’t reached any tangible goals yet.

Considering I work a full-time job and have a family, I suppose it is amazing what I’ve done with the time I do have. What you love will consume you and it takes time from those things that don’t matter. Over the years I’ve learned what I can give up to help achieve my goals. For me that meant TV and video games mostly, which for me was easy. My focus has shifted solely to my work in those moments when I’m not with my family. Being a parent takes a lot of time. It has forced me to find what was important to me in my life and art. I target that because it is very easy to lose your creative self in the day-to-day grind of a busy life.

One thing that has been bothering me a bit. I know I would be a little further along if I didn’t take on side projects here and there. Mostly I choose to do them to get a break for The Pod. It is nice to see something completed for a change instead of waiting forever for a small piece of satisfaction. But the price is that I have stolen some time from creating my graphic novel. It is a fine line to walk, just to keep my sanity.

I suppose this is on my mind because I am almost finished my first year of vlogging about making my comic. So far I am only halfway through painting chapter 1. I do have the pencils done up to the beginning of chapter 3 but the painting, clean up and lettering is what takes time.

I think I’ll start penciling again just to try to build my momentum up, after Inktober of course. It will be nice to get further ahead in that department. Initially I stopped penciling to catch up with inking and painting but it is apparent now that isn’t likely to happen. My painting process has become more streamlined over this past year but it’s not feeling any faster yet. I need to make more adjustments in order to speed up. Anyway just thinking out loud, time to get back to work.

My Best Tip For Painting Better

In this weeks’ vlog I break down my best tip for painting better. It’s very simple really, my best tip for painting is just sit down and paint. You will get better through practice and repetition. Over time you will learn what works and doesn’t work for you. Try techniques and abandon them, it’s about trial and error learning your craft. No matter how long I make art I know that I’m in a constant state of learning. There is no tangible end goal of how good I want to be. Therefore, I want to be the best artist I can be at any given time and that means I have to be better than yesterday. This episode has me working on pages 14 and 15 of The Pod, check it out and see how much I’ve progressed since last week.

Why I don’t care much for Superheroes these days

Alright I said it, I don’t care much for superheroes. Like most people of my generation I grew up with superhero comics and cartoons. A steady diet of Batman, Spiderman, X-men and Ninja Turtles. But, something happened along the way that changed my mind.

Why? Well, I believe it was the same thing that drove me away from comics back in the 90s. Killing off characters just to get sales, reseting storylines and each issue seemed to have multiple foil covers strictly for a collector market. I was always the guy who actually read my comics instead of just keeping them in a poly bag. So you can imagine my dissatisfaction with all the marketing gimmicks.

I got tired of all the crap and walked away from reading comics for years, sticking with novels instead. It was only when I found a copy of Heavy Metal years later featuring Skydoll, that I was given a new idea of what comics could be. Fully painted, weird, sci-fi and anything your heart desires, superheroes were just the gateway to get me in the door. It shouldn’t surprise me that I have moved on. Storylines don’t need to be rebooted and re-imagined every 5 years. A comic story can be self-contained like a novel, a revelation for sure. The birth of the graphic novel happened sometime while I was away and I may have missed out on the genesis of the idea but I’ve come back to see the future.

Over the last few years I have since gone back and read some of the classic superhero graphic novels. Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke among others but I can’t find the interest in following what Batman is doing now. I have gravitated toward different things like Preacher, Hellboy, BPRD, Conan and Saga. If the library carries it I will give it a try that way I’m not stuck with anything I don’t enjoy. No pressure to finish if the book sucks and only purchasing the stuff that matters to me.

I haven’t totally given up on superheroes just yet. The only two hero books that I read now are Invincible and Savage Dragon. The writing for Invincible is exceptional and Ryan Ottleys’ art is badass as well. Constant twists and turns all created by the same creative team that has a planned ending to the story. As for Dragon I have huge admiration for Eric Larsen, he writes and draws every issue himself and has done so since the beginning. Eric has set the story in real-time so the characters change, age and grow throughout the book. Just like Jack Kirby anything goes in his world. Superhero or not there must be a good tale first.

I guess my problem with superheroes is how they are handled by Marvel and DC. I would much rather read a creator owned title these days. That way you know there aren’t too many cooks in the kitchen messing things up. Story by comity just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. There is so many great books waiting to be discovered, I won’t be trying to recapture my youth collecting every Issue of X-men or Batman. Give me something different, that is pushing the boundaries of the medium.

My Rules for Inktober

As I said in my last post I’ll be participating in Inktober but under my own set of rules. On this weeks vlog I’m outlining the rules for anyone who missed out. All while laying in the under-painting on pages 14 & 15 of The Pod. Also I talk about some other projects I have on the go, like my short comic Low Fuel. I just need to finish the lettering and it will be updating on webtoons shortly.

Build a Beast for Inktober

This year I’ve decided to try my hand at Inktober. For those who don’t know it is a month-long drawing challenge created by Jake Parker. The idea is to do a finished ink drawing for every day during the month of October in order to get better at inking.

I was talking with a friend and we developed a plan to do something a bit different. I’m calling it Build a Beast in honor of Halloween. The same inking rules apply the only the twist is you randomly select a monster from the list provided. Then randomly choose a descriptor from a second list and create a drawing based on the combination. Finally post your creation on instagram with the #buildabeast hashtag.

I have provided some extra options to make for more strange combinations and options if something doesn’t work for you. If anyone wants to join in feel free to add or remove any beasts or descriptors.

I look forward to seeing what people come up with.