2014 and the art of overscheduling

2014nyblog

2013 has come and gone, which means I should see how I did with my artistic aspirations for that year. After a less than stellar 2012, I set more modest– and fewer– goals for last year, and came out of the year with a better success rate. Not 100%, but still better…

1. Keep my weekly webcomic schedule going: This one was meant to be an easy one, and not only did I achieve it, I was able to get ahead of schedule enough that when I went on vacation it didn’t cause a hiccup in the release schedule. Now to build that buffer back up, since I’ll need it again in 2014…

2. Get my long-overdue print comic output back on track! This was also a success, as I was able to release two new Watusi issues (including the second part of a two-part story that was creating a bit of a bottleneck). They both featured color covers, which I think made for more eye-catching comics. I should be able to more than match that in 2014, too! After that, I can move on to establishing a regular schedule for future issues…

3. Honor my new outstanding commitments to others: This was more of a failure; while I finished the logo project, I wasn’t able to complete the others. I made headway on them both, especially on the full-size comic story (more on that as it nears completion)…

4. Honor my long-overdue outstanding commitments to others: Here I lumped the completion of Double Dip #2, Doghouse Funhouse #2, and my backfile of Watusi jam comics. The only one I can say I had any success with were the Watusi jam comics … so much so, in fact, that it resulted in Watusi #29, which I hadn’t planned to be a jam comic issue!

While on the whole I felt I left a lot unfinished in 2013, I was pleased to be able to make substantial progress in a number of areas, not only on my print comic output, but also on improvements to my table presence at conventions. It felt good to get my work into a new market (St. Louis), too. And my current webcomic storyline– a whodunit– is probably my most involved to date, and I’ve been learning a new way to write as a result of that project.

One thing I didn’t learn in 2013, though, is how to realistically schedule the time my projects will take me. Looking at the schedule on the wall in front of me, I realize I need to finish more than one thing each and every day. And some of those are even as involved as inking and lettering a full size comic page, reformatting a webcomic storyline for the print page, or culling my comic collection to a more manageable size … all on top of my 40 hour/week job! Still, while I continue to dream bigger goals than my time to make them happen allows, I intend to continue working towards them. And these priorities for 2014 will help me reach those goals:

1. Keep producing work for my webcomic, even if I’m not able to get it into print in a very timely fashion. While I’d love to publish a regularly-released comic, it’s more important to me to keep making new stories than it is to format them for print. It only builds a better cache of material to draw from when I get the time to produce them.

2. Draw faster and less preciously. When it goes faster, it’s no rougher than when I labor over it … and I have more fun, too! I need to remember how little time the average reader spends looking at a comic panel. (And, no, I don’t intend to use this as an excuse to slide down the slippery slope to hackdom!)

3. Ink a story with a brush. This is a tricky way to also finish up one of my unmet commitments from last year, but after seeing how rough my “Draw Dollar Bill Day” cartoon turned out, I need to get those muscles back in shape!

4. Do a better job of getting my work out to readers. I’ve got some new consignment venues to tap into, and I need to look at distributing digital versions of my comics to reach the audience that would never think to mail order comics.

5. Network better with the working artists I know. And pick their brain for tips and methods to help me better visualize life as a full-time artist, so I’ll be ready for it when the time comes.

But enough about me … what creative goals do you hope to accomplish in 2014?

Advertisements

2 Comments to “2014 and the art of overscheduling”

  1. My goal is to get another issue of Samurai Slate done. I’d also like to actually get back into drawing mode. Too many projects are languishing, including at least a dozen postmark requests.

  2. There’s something to be said for having a simple, direct goal like that. I’ll try to do my part towards helping that Sam Slate comic get done! And even if you don’t feel like you’re in “drawing mode”, your PostKards come my way more often than most people I know finish products, so I think you’re doing better than you give yourself credit for!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: