Friday, December 13, 2019

A Year at the Drawing Desk

A work-in-progress of page 50 (or page 52… I've lost track)
Hello everyone! It's been close to a year since I last posted or shared my illustration work of any kind. Even in this post is only a work-in-progress right now. So why is this? What is going on? Why have I not been sharing my illustration work for this past year? Have I stopped creating new artwork, picture books, or mailers?

The answer is a definite NOOOOOOO! I have been constantly creating artwork this past year. Specifically, I have been creating the artwork for what I hope one day to be a published graphic novel, Artie and Merlo. As mentioned in my last post (from last year!), I finished writing and sketching this story for what will amount to be about 160 pages intended for a young middle-grade or all-age audience. Since that post, I started doing the artwork including inking and coloring each page. While I have been creating the artwork, I've also been sharing Artie and Merlo with specific editors and agents in the hopes of finding a publisher. While I have not found a champion yet to help with sharing my story, I fully believe in this story and these characters, and it is something that I truly want to share with everyone! I just love it that much.

Having said that, the task of creating a graphic novel is no joke. Aside from the writing and sketching, the final artwork is very labor intensive. Traditionally, in the comics world, the tasks of penciling, inking, lettering, and coloring are handled by separate artists because each task takes a long time. For me, I love doing all these tasks myself, but that means that it takes a while to make the artwork. On average, I'm capable of producing only two pages a week (inlcuding the penciling, inking, coloring, etc.). Ideally, if 2 pages were produced consistently, it'd take about 80 weeks to finish the work (or a year and a half let's say). However, I must also live life and in-between work, reworking artwork based on critiques, learning from mistakes, and living life to the fullest, I do not see myself finishing my graphic novel until the end of next year.

With this in mind, I thought it best to focus solely on my artwork this past year and block out social media and working on other story ideas that I have shelved. While I admire people who are very prolific in sharing their artwork on social media in real time, I feel that sticking to a strict schedule of any sort is an added pressure that I don't think would be beneficial to the work. I want my work to be as beautiful and wonderful as possible before it's ready to share with the world.

In short, as I continue chipping away at the marble for what I hope to be the first of many Artie and Merlo stories, I will remain on hiatus from social media and sharing artwork. When I am finished however, I will be very excited to share with everyone the story of Artie and Merlo and have that come out in any way possible!  I hope that it'll be a fun story filled with heart, cheer, and overcoming personal failures through friendship that everyone can enjoy.

Until then, season's greetings! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!