A writer writes. The first time I heard that quote was the classic movie, Throw Mamma From The Train. The same can be said of any artist. You need to keep creating.
In 2019, SJPL had the pleasure of hosting Image comic artist Nick Dragotta (East of West). He presented two workshops that dealt with deadlines. The first session was packed. Dragotta talked about drawing comics specifically for the comics industry. It ended with Dragotta assigning participants a task: come back with a newly drawn work of 8 pages or less and he would give constructive criticism.
The second session had a handful of attendees. This was something Dragotta expected, he said THIS was the big difference between an enthusiast and a professional. He explained that being able to produce work, especially under a deadline, is one of the most important skills for anyone who wants to make money on their art. This often means doing it when you have a creative block, when you’re busy, and when you just don’t feel like doing it. Another guest for the SJPL Summer Graphic Novel Contest series can talk more about that.
2020's guest creators told a similar story. Adam Wallenta and his son Makana self-published an award-winning comic called Punk Taco. During their presentation Adam talked about how they had to draw a little bit more every day. No matter how they felt that day, they both had to write and draw their comic if they ever wanted to finish it.
Not only do they create a little each day, they also talked about refining their work. They showed earlier versions of characters, rough drafts and pencil drawings they refined for the final comic. Your best work will (probably) not come out of last second panic. Schedule yourself to do a little each day. Start early enough that you can do revisions after it’s done. Comics and comic book movies rarely resemble the initial script! And who knows what great ideas you’ll get once you’ve looked at your first draft?
SJPL has many excellent books on writing comics, and lists of suggested reading for adults and kids. But that will only get you so far if you don’t produce the work. Keep writing and drawing no matter the time of year. SJPL also offers some young art programs this summer and some writing clubs that might help get your creative energy flowing and keep you going on your project. We would LOVE to see your project this summer, and give you a chance to see your work in our library catalogue!