the struggle

I struggled (for ten seconds, yes, yes, I'm hard done by) to come up with a name for this first blogpost. I initially typed out "Hello, world" before promptly lifting my right hand up and then giving myself an ice-cold crisp slap across the jaw. I knew I was wrong.

But 'the struggle' seems apt, especially when my main struggle for years has been keeping to any sort of content schedule.

I managed it for a little while with a webcomic called 'The Chronicles of Paliax' (read it if you like, but know that it's unlikely that I'll ever return to finish the story, I find it too hard to go back) at a thrice weekly content schedule that at the time seemed germane (germane?) to webcomics which to a certain extent was something that I wanted to do with my time.

Whilst working on Paliax, I also began work on another comic, 'Majestic 9,' with a friend of a friend. We created three issues of a series, and then I burnt out. At that point I was not only posting five full-colour comic pages a week (three to pal, two to M9), but I was also working a full-time job.

Burning out was to be expected, and altogether unsurprising.

Since then it's taken me a long time to get back on the horse of creation, so to speak. I've dabbled in serialising a short comic via the Funtime Comics Anthology* that launches a new issue each year, with two chapters in a story I've titled both 'Solheim's Curse' and 'The Transfiguration of Petyr' if only to confuse myself.

And then, because I'm an utter fool, I applied to be an exhibitor at the 2017 edition of the Chromacon Indie Arts Festival in Auckland, New Zealand.

And got accepted.

My tabled at Chromacon 2017. A little bare, for obvious reasons. I'm proud of it, though!

My tabled at Chromacon 2017. A little bare, for obvious reasons. I'm proud of it, though!

Now, you'd know that I'm an utter fool having read this post so far, as you'd know that I'd had artistic burnout for a couple of years and as a result had very little exhibitable art that I could show.

I'd have to make some. What happened over the course of January > March was a return to a level of artistic productivity I hadn't been able to do for close to three years. Hard deadlines are a dang important thing. In any case, in that timeperiod I managed to illustrate 54 unique playing card designs AND write then draw a 20 page comic book.

Photo taken by Zach Gage, who's game Scoundrel served as mechanical inspiration for this deck of cards.

Photo taken by Zach Gage, who's game Scoundrel served as mechanical inspiration for this deck of cards.

I'm a crazy person.

Which brings me back to the struggle. Hard deadlines appear to be a consistent way for me to be productive and maintain a schedule of sorts, and this is obvious having seen the complete lack of schedule I've followed since Chromacon came and went. I started a Patreon, and aside from the absolutely incredible $1 I receive from a friend each month, it hasn't grown and that's entirely down to my inability to keep it updated.

I think a big part of it is having consistent projects to work on that have demanding deadlines. Maybe I need to get better at committing to my own deadlines, as opposed to the ones being set upon me by others.

So that's where we are. I'm starting this progress blog as something I can set my mind to doing each week. Writing that new blog entry can be my new schedule. I'll need content to fill the blog posts (it won't be ramblings like this EVERY week, I promise) so that means I'll need to push forward on the art or animation projects. Hopefully the weekly writing and the art or animation can serve together as an Ouroboros, and keep me active.

Thanks for reading, this has been weirdly cathartic to type out, and now I'm going to go to sleep.

See you next week!

 

*Solheim's Curse appears in Issue 28 (2015) and 29 (2016) of the Funtime Comics Anthology.