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Don't forget to have fun

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, June 3, 2023

Recently I’ve been struggling with finding the motivation to draw. In part, it’s because I have had to deal with covid once again. However, the drive to work on our comics was diminishing prior to coming down with covid again. As the focus has shifted from having hobbies to having “side hustles” it’s easy to slip into the mindset that everything you do should be done to make some form of money. These expectations are further perpetuated online with inspo videos, IG posts and blog articles touting buzzwords such as, “Rise-and-grind”, “productivity” and “grindset”.

I came to the realisation that in order to feel justified to spend the amount of time I wanted on my comic projects I had to couch them under the guise of “work”. Prioritising “work” over everything else is applauded, respected. If I was seen to be taking it seriously, as seriously as I took my actual job, then I could be left to work on it in peace.

The issue arose however that, much like work, I found myself not wanting to do it. No longer were comics a way for me to decompress and be creative, they were now, well, work. A slog. Something to get done. This sentiment was further amplified when I got sick. Gone was an activity I would use to help me distract myself from how awful I was feeling. Now, creating art went into the “too hard basket”. And once there, it has been difficult to sift it out.

There is nothing inherently wrong with taking your comic work seriously. However, don’t forget to take time to foster the joy of being able to use this skill in the first place. Scribble for fun. Create something that doesn’t matter. Go beyond touching grass. Draw yourself touching it. Then follow it up by drawing yourself being abducted into outer space with an astronaut who turns out to be an elephant.

Draw for fun. Draw for you.

How often do you draw something that is just for yourself? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!

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Jason Moon at 8:05PM, June 9, 2023

I wish I could draw some monsters pull them out of the paper into reality and send them to Trump to eat him up. So sick of that dude.

PaulEberhardt at 3:15PM, June 4, 2023

Once upon a time, I calculated how many comics I'd have to sell each year to make a living of it - just for kicks. I'd only ever draw for fun anyway, because that way I can draw what I want instead of having to draw what some publisher wants me to, but ever since I did this thought experiment I also know I'm right in doing so. The thing to remember is that having fun doing something you love is nothing to feel guilty about. (Unless your idea of fun is really pervertedly sick, but we're talking about comics here, and doing art out of passion is just about the healthiest thing I can think of.)

RobertRVeith at 8:18AM, June 4, 2023

Thanks for this. Literally, just yesterday I was driving town having this same conversation with myself. Even though I know that wealth and fame are hollow goals and I resent the pressure to "side-hussle," it feels baked into my culture. I've been thinking about how I've done a third of Volume 3 of Civilized Lands and if I keep grinding on it, I could actually finish the third book by the end of the year. And maybe once there are THREE books in the store, people will buy them. And… and… and… "What does someone gain by all the toil toiled under the sun? What has been is what will be and there is nothing new." (CF Ecclesiastes chapter 1). You're reminding me that I started making comics because I love to make comics and that should be enough.

J_Scarbrough at 10:17PM, June 3, 2023

I literally have never done any of the things I do for money. Never. Would it be nice to get paid for my work, or even monetize? Sure. But realistically speaking, I know that I don't have the audience or reach to justify monetization . . . and I can't use anything like Patreon, because you're expected to give your donors some kind of perks or incentives in return for their donations, and I have nothing to give. Nevertheless, nothing I've ever done has been for money or fame (recognition yes, fame no), I just do it for the art and out of a passion I have for such. My only problem is that sometimes, I can get so immersed into a certain project that it'll consume me to the point that I end up becoming a slave to my work, then I don't even enjoy anymore. This is why I've had to learn to pace myself - one of the reasons why I gave myself such a huge buffer while working on the current season/chapter of VAMPIRE GIRL.

skyangel at 12:05PM, June 3, 2023

Lovely article and it hits at something I've always felt a lot of comic makers miss out on. Most people take art to be a form of self expression and making comics is no exception, the more of you there is in it the nicer it feels to be doing it and the nicer the responses feel when you get them as it does feel personal. It's a wonderful way to unwind too and my own comic saw me through two close family bereavements and Covid as a much needed escape from the harsh realities of real life. Lovely to see an article by you again btw, it seems too long! XD

Andreas_Helixfinger at 5:43AM, June 3, 2023

I'm no exception from this struggle. I feel like I've stepped into this weird middle-realm of "this is my legacy! Gotta get there! Gotta get there!" and "Come oooon, man! This is silly crap! Do when you like, when you can and just let it all fall however it may! No one's holding it against you except you yourself". Sort of half-serious, half-fun kind of attitude . And I've began to explore other ideas that tickles my imagination lately, that might make it into a different stuff, which helps break things up a bit. I'm hoping to become a little bit less ambitiously attached to it all with time, as I know that time is too precious to be all hung up on one thing, however passionately involved you may be in it.

plymayer at 12:27AM, June 3, 2023

It's been so long....I've forgotten, how does one join in on the Quackcast?

plymayer at 12:19AM, June 3, 2023

I too, have been experiencing the drawing doldrums. Work and life sometimes drag me down and make me procrastinate. I LOVE drawing and making comix. It is part of who I am. When I get like this, it often feels forced. While my upload has been slow lately, I have been having fun drawing with my 8yo buddy. She has a talent for art and it inspires me.

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