Overcoming long standing lazy habits

We are all lazy sometimes. By cutting corners, sleeping in and just plain slacking off. I try to accomplish at least something small everyday that brings me closer to my goals. That way I have a feeling of accomplishment to keep me motivated to keep going. My goals at the moment are finishing my graphic novel and getting better as an artist and writer. Lofty goals for sure but,… go big or go home. Am I right?

Over the years I’ve experimented to find what I can do to be more productive. I’ve said it before but waking up early works for me. I find getting some work done first thing is extremely satisfying, the feeling of accomplishment carries throughout the day. Although I do find myself being less lazy as I get older in general. Limited time gives the feeling that there is no time to waste. I’ve killed my share of time in front of a TV or video games but I no longer even have the urge to sit and turn my brain off. I have opened a  floodgate of ideas and it’s impossible to turn it off or finish them all.

Mainly it’s self-discipline that keeps me going. No one is going to tell me to get up and work on my projects. I have to be the drill Sergeant. If anything family and friends tell me to take a break. Which I do at times, usually when I feel burnout setting in. That doesn’t mean I don’t slip up. Sometimes I sleep through my alarm. Sometimes I miss a blog post, but I make myself get up and do it again regardless. I need to sift through my priorities everyday and address the most pressing items. If it is something that pays the bills or has a deadline those things get done first.

I’m not a machine. I know there are many ways I could be more efficient and improve. Planning ahead would go a long way but I have yet to develop a system that works for me. So for now I aim to stay focused on the tasks at hand and soldier on everyday when the drill Sargeant kicks me out of bed.

What I Learned Building beasts for Inktober

The Inktober build a beast challenge is over and I survived. It was a challenge for sure but I was always excited to dive into the next drawing. I found that if I could stay a little ahead, the pressure was off. It was manageable although some of my other projects lost a bit of attention. I was only able to ink a page and a half of The Pod and one small illustration. I was productive for sure but as always it never felt like enough. The creation is like a drug, a small fix is not enough and neither is a big one. It really says something about my personality.

What I learned was when the topic seemed hard or impossible I almost always surprised myself. As time went on It seems I tended to enjoy the looser drawings with lots of texture. My style would shift slightly depending on the monster that was chosen or perhaps due to the idea I had about where to take it. The more drawings I had under my belt the less daunting it became. I can see why a lot of artists lose their way or get behind during this challenge. Many follow their whims and if a new thing comes along it will always be more interesting, not to mention all the other life obligations. For me though It was either discipline, determination or just plain stubbornness that kept me on track. If I set my mind to something there will need to be a big obstacle to change my mind.

Another thing that I learned was creating a story in my head about the creature yielded better results. Forcing the mind to add little details to tell a story instead of just trying to create something cool. I’m definitely glad I did this and a little sad it’s over. One monster I didn’t randomly roll was Cthulhu and I am disappointed with that, so I think I’ll have to draw one this month. I have some ideas for a larger drawing we’ll just have to see where that goes. I don’t like every drawing I did but I do have some favorites. Perhaps I’ll make a zine of them in the future. Here are the rest of my creations for the month.

My Last Vlog?… At least for now.

A few things came about that made me quit my vlog. First off, making videos takes a lot of time that could be used to finish my comic. Also I haven’t been happy with some of the videos lately and I put them up for the simple fact that I was on a schedule. Lastly my camera broke, it was dropped at some point leaving a dent in the lens housing and now it wont focus. So until I fix it or get something new there wont be any filming.

Thanks to everyone who watched and supported me. I will put out other videos just not in a vlog format. Ideally I want to make some more polished videos, tutorials and cooler stuff.

Anyway gotta get back to being a dad. Thanks, Later.

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.