I spent two hours and 48 minutes going from the first draft to the second draft of the image below for this six-part comic I’m making for an ENDLESS WAR contest. I had a blast! While listening to a podcast, I filled in the lines with basic colors. I may go back in for a third – and final draft – later on to fill in some details, but I also don’t want to spend much longer coloring.
This has been a good experiment and something that should yield good results.
Even if I don’t exactly win the contest, I have learned two major things. The first is that I now have a second creative outlet for expressing myself in situations where writing is less easy. I like writing because it’s easy for me to convey a scene like what we’re seeing below with a few words. I could say “Khan enters into a well-lit dining establishment where patrons are discussing various trivialities or eating waffles. He sees a familiar face, Zombiepaper, and waves.”
But knowing that I could draw something like this in a few hours is nice, too.
If drawing the wafflehouse took 40 minutes, and coloring took nearly three hours, and if additional details to make it pop takes an additional hour, then that time is worthwhile for the second thing I learned specifically during this contest, but also during the last: I can listen to more concrete materials while I draw. I can listen to podcasts I might otherwise stop listening to because, honestly, I have no interest in whoever the interviewee might be, but if the conversation starts off well, yeah, I can keep listening until the conversation dies off, then I can turn it off.
I could also listen to audiobooks from books I don’t care about.
That’s what I realized as the “major revelation” during this drawing session. I’m reading through One Hundred Years of Solitude for our bookclub, but I’m honestly at the point now where I’m not interested in studying it for my own writing knowledge. I’m just finishing the book so that I can learn what happens and expand my own knowledge in popular literature. Since the book is too surreal for my overall enjoyment, I don’t have much that I can steal and introduce into my own writing, so after I’m done with a few podcasts I want to listen to, I may switch to listening to this book to clear it off my plate.
I still have Crime and Punishment that I would like to read and study.
So this picture, and the others in this series, represent a turning point for me, too.
I don’t have the time or energy to give it my all and throw in all the lines that won me the contest last time. I’m fine with that. The most it really needs now, as I return to it for its third and probably final draft, is some textures along with some additional player-characters from ENDLESS WAR to fill things in. Maybe someone sitting at the table in the lower left? Maybe someone seated at one of the benches? Otherwise, I’ll go through and I’ll apply some texture to the tables, chairs, glass, and consider it good enough.
I like the idea of being able to do art like this in short-bursts.
What I’ll be doing more of, going forward, is shorter projects. It’s always good to experiment with yourself and your limitations. I thought I’d be doing a five-panel comic. I realized I needed a sixth panel, and that shouldn’t be too hard to draw later on. I won’t be doing so much going forward. Especially since I have some half-completed drawings I’d like to complete, along with other projects I want to work on, this big project isn’t something that I want to do again, unless I find myself with some long-term reward.
I don’t want to phrase it like I deserve much of anything from this.
What I mean, though, is much like how winning the previous contest enabled me to win some degree of social credibility within the community but more-so taught me that I can use my artistic talents to draw the characters for my own novels, what if I can take these talents to make money as an artist? The American Healthcare System is doing as much as it can to neglect me and such as much money from me as legally possible, so I need to start thinking of ways to avoid going into debt to save my spine.
Even if my drawing posture was good and helped me feel better.
I have practiced this posture, where I don’t lean up against my chair at all, for weeks now, but when I draw especially I get closer to the monitor so I almost subconsciously can’t use the back of my chair. It wears out my core muscles but it’s a way to go, I suppose. It’s not helping especially well, but when my health seems to be degrading rapidly, it’s nice to know that I have a few ways to regain some moments of relaxation.
I also like that I can include some player-characters here, too.
Two people liked their appearances so far, and others have told me they like my art, so it’s a nice feeling knowing that I’m part of a group of people that appreciate me for who I am and what I can contribute to the community. It’s not fully that they like that I draw their characters or anything like that, either. That’s just the icing on the cake. They, like me, enjoy a well-made picture. If I can learn to balance speed and quality, where I don’t spend ten-plus hours per picture, or even five-plus hours, then I can make a good amount of fanart for this weird community, and I can make my own art for Novel 02 and other characters going forward.
Even if I don’t win the contest, I won that information.
|Sources: My personal experiences|
|Inspirations: I drew until I was tired and then I wanted to write about what I thought about before going to bed.|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays.|
|Picture: Panel 3.|
|Written On: 2020 August 03 [3:13am to 3:39am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 August 03 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|