Last week I decided to be indulgent and explain where I came from as a webcomic creator and this week I am finishing that story, at least up to where I am now. It was so lovely reading all your comments about your origins. It is very easy to look at the greats and be discouraged as to where they are now. By looking back, we have that perspective and that can be incredibly encouraging. So thank you all again for taking the time to comment.
I finished off the last post talking about how I had started a webcomic called Puppets and Strings, the key point here being, “the first time”. That’s right; part way through I hit a dead end and decided to leave it be till I could think myself around this problem. Now either one of two things happened at this time, but you’ll have to excuse me as my memory of the timeline of events might be very muddled.
Either I ended up deleting it, or the unthinkable happened. Drunkduck went down. For some time.
Everything was wiped.
One day I would love to go through the history of Drunkduck, particularly as we begin planning for the redesign, but for now all I can say is was that without it, I wasn’t sure what to do.
It was some time before I came back.
One day, at school and very bored in the library, I remembered about my beloved community and decided to wander the internet to see if it was still alive. And lo and behold there it was in all its glory. But, when I searched for it, I lost my archive; all that work gone like that. Yet, this did not depress me. I had a fresh start again! So getting to work that day, I began rebuilding the second version of Puppets and Strings; in fact the very one that is still alive today (albeit a bit slow on the updates.)
I had left school at this point, as I had decided to finish my schooling at home, so I had more time for art and comics. I updated Puppets and Strings every week, continued to experiment and even had the good fortune to work as a colourist on Simply Sarah. But, again, time has a way of pulling you in strange directions and, the moment I started a university, I stopped illustrating.
I stopped illustrating for six years.
I would do the occasional piece here and there as I trained to be a graphic designer, but all in all I lost that passion. Up until this point I had been proud of my progress and whilst my style was still developing I didn’t think it was bad but being in university made me realise that all that practice and progress was not enough and that, in spite of it, I was still woefully behind. That was a large blow to my ego, I’m ashamed to admit. It had become a core part of my identity and I was a small fish swimming in an ocean I no longer felt I belonged in. So I changed my colours and swam to a different one.
On one hand, I had left behind something was my way of communicating to the world and I always felt I was missing something. But on the other, I expanded my skill set way beyond that of a illustrator, which, now, has really begun paying dividends. I had the incredibly good fortune to have excellent mentors who assisted me in honing my design skills, how to build a community of social media and market yourself and how website are designed, implemented and managed from behind the scenes. I also learnt how to construct a better narrative, build fleshed out characters and write strong dialogue.
But it was still some time before I came back to my home.
Ok, so this was originally supposed to be a two piece article but there is one more part to go and I did not want to pad this out to be any longer than it is already. I promise, my indulgence will end soon!
Next week I will finish up with how one of my lowest points in this journey lead to one of the best. Till then, leave us a comment below! Let us know if you encountered any challenges or “bumps” in your journey as an artist/comic creator.
Until next time lovelies!
Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Jan. 26, 2018
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