< Piro >
Friday - April 9, 2004
[i posted the best of yesterday's meager efforts over on fredart - a small unfinished sketch of Asako and Mami. Not good enough for a DPD, but postable on fredart, i guess - piro]
Ever have one of those days when you look back at it and wonder what the hell happened? Yesterday was that kind of day.
It's now around 9am and I'm sitting here sipping reheated coffee (yum, love that bitter day later in the microwave taste!) wondering how the train wreck that was yesterday's effort to produce something meaningful happened. There were many casualties -- my schedule, 4 to 20 unsuspecting pieces of paper, a good quantity of lead, a little bit more life shorn from my poor little click eraser, and worst of all, what little bit of pride I had started to eek together having been able to produce at least 3 comics per week for the past month or so.
Surprisingly, I didn't sink into my normal drama-filled whine-fest about my blockage yesterday (a fact for which I know Seraphim is very grateful)... in fact, I've been remarkably low key about it, feeling surprisingly ok about things. That's not good, I think -- I think it's an indication of the problem that I am dealing with.
It's rare when both writer's block AND artist's block afflict me at the same time. Usually, I can use one or the other to bust my way forward and get things rolling. It's really quite common to find myself stuck with the finer points of what I want to do with a script, so I turn to the art and start drawing. After drawing for a while, the strip comes together because the drawing part helps loosen up some of the writing ideas. Many times, it's just the opposite. I'll have a script and I'll be ready to go, but the artwork just isn't coming. Sometimes, I'll sit down and write some more, usually on the balance of the chapter. Most times, overcoming writers block or artists block just requires some discipline to force yourself to keep working at it till something breaks. I don't know how professionals deal with it, I know everyone has their own methods, but this is mine. It works, most of the time.
Sure wasn't workin' yesterday.
First the script wasn't coming together. Then the drawings weren't coming together at all. I tried to go back to the script, then the drawings. Around 11:30 I decided that I was wasting my time. I figured that doing a DPD of some sort would clear my head, let me focus on something else for a while.
Sheesh. I couldn't even manage that. How sad is it when I can't even swing a decent Dead Piro Day drawing? I suppose that the problem with doing a DPD is that they usually work when I have other ideas creeping around in the back of my head interrupting things. A DPD is a good way to get them out of the way. I was having a lot of trouble coming up with something to draw that I could put some life into. Sure I did pages and pages of drawing starts, but none of em had much of anything worth finishing.
I can hear the "post them anyway!" emails I'll be getting already, so please don't. ^^;; I mean, the whole idea of doing art is that there has to be something in it that gives it life or meaning of some sort. Dead pencil lines that don't mean anything to me aren't worth the time to scan. Seriously.
I look back at my lack of drama about it all last night and I wonder to myself if that wasn't part of the problem. Normally, I hit a bad snag like this, my vocal admonishments of myself and claims of eminent doom, disaster and desire to set fire to the bookshelves drive Seraphim to the point that I get the deadly "one more whine and I'll hurt you" look. This usually mollifies me, and then I sit quietly and start drawing again, usually working my way thru the blockage (note how important she is to my creative process :P).
I seriously think that, for me at least, getting past writers block and artists block always involves the release of some sort of built up frustration and angst that finds its way out, and once it's cleared and out of the way I'm able to move on. The complete lack of this angst peak last night really bothers me.
I guess it just means that I haven't worked my way through it yet. Writing this has been a bit of an angsty output of sorts. As much as I am sure you'd rather have a comic than read this low key whine-fest, at least you know I'm not sitting on the couch playing FFX XI (hah! I don't even own it!).
I think I'll go make a fresh pot of coffee, and see what I can do to muddle my way thru this today. I am sorry about the lack of comic today -- hey, this is a webcomic, there are always going to be missed days. My goal this year is to miss as few as possible. I might even find myself doing a comic later today, I don't know yet. I might do a DPD, I might just wait to post something till Monday. In a professional environment, this kinda stuff wouldn't effect you, the reader, because pros are a few weeks ahead, and slipups like this get absorbed and passed over. Web comicing is like performance art, I think, and that's part of what gives it some of it's energy and vitality. So we all miss a day or two (or 52 or 200 or so, if you are me). It's part of what makes us human.
I'll post some stuff later, let you know how it's going.
Oh, in closing, I do want to mention two things. First off, the Dark Horse re-issue of book one should be finally finding it's way to bookstores and whatnot pretty soon. I've already seen it in local comic shops (Otherworlds here in Ann Arbor, for instance). Secondly, the fine folks at Wizzywig are in Boston this weekend at Anime Boston. As usual, they have a nice selection of MT swag and stuff, so be sure to stop by if you feel the need to get some MT stuff. More on the Megatokyo convention schedule next rant. :)