It's Okay You Haven't Experienced that Book, TV Show, Comic, Movie, etc

Over the weekend I told my co-workers about watching Silence of the Lambs for the first time and one 43 yo coworker kind of scoffed at my having never seen it and it reminded me how I'm going to stop questioning why people haven't seen a thing I love. It's not fair to them or to me. 

This one coworker seems to vacillate between being impressed with me then being a little bit snide about the fact that I haven't seen things he's seen. Not all of it has been within my realm of interest, hence my having not seen it. 

But, you know, instead of questioning the quality of someone's life for having not watched that movie, or having not seen that show, why not take pleasure in sharing it with them? I mean, I showed my friend Little Shop of Horrors and I was excited the entire time to share the movie with her. I wanted to see her reactions and I just plain had fun. I might have asked why she hadn't seen it, I hope I didn't. 

For every movie, book, comic, TV show, whatever I haven't experienced that someone else has, I've probably experienced an equal number of different movies, books, comics, TV shows and a whole other whatever. I'm trying to be less dismissal of what other people like when they talk about a show or something I don't care about. I mean, I love love love Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I love sharing it with people. A lot of people have told me they've heard of it but never seen it, or never seen it all the way through and I just want to be there to show them the entire thing. 

I'd rather rake joy in someone else experiencing something I love for the first time than harshly criticize why thy haven't experienced something. There's a lot of media out there and it's hard enough to experience and enjoy things without someone judging whether or not you've seen it then judging your opinion after. I'm trying hard not to ask why, I'm sure I'll keep failing, but I'm going to try to start asking "would you like to..." and then share the book, movie, tv show whatever if I have it to share. 

Comics and Cons 'n' Work

Oh hey there, I've been quiet. What with having my daily sketch blog and having somewhere where I write on a daily basis this has fallen to the wayside a little. 

This past September I went to SPX like I've done for the past 2 years and it was another fun year where I bought all types of great books and minis. I was an attendee but I still had some sketchbooks that I traded, gave away and sold (to friends) so that's cool. I put together a book of daily sketches and a book of Good Night and Other sketches. It was so much work and I wanted to smash my computer on more than one occasion but I made it, my computer is in one rattly piece and I have a cool thing to take with me places. 

My 'Appearances' tab has updated. I'm going up to Brooklyn Comic Art Fest again this year and celebrating my birthday in NYC with my family. I've also applied to table at PIX - Pittsburgh Indy Comic Expo. It's only one day, but still, I want to have something new to take. 

(This was half written in September, now I'm finishing it at the end of October)

I'm applying for CAKE in Chicago for next year right now. I need to get my newest completed comic "Adult" somewhere to show the judges and I need to have a self portrait, I don't like any of my other ones so I guess I'm drawing a new one :D

Because of the time that's passed from when I started this to when I'm finishing this I jumped over working on "Adult". It's about the first time I thought I was an adult, the quotation marks are part of the title. I wrote and drew "Adult" in just about two weeks for the Richmond Zine Fest, my first time tabling anywhere and I think I did okay. I think I'd do better at a comics show so I'm pretty hopeful about my prospects at PIX and if I get into CAKE then that too. I'm working on new comics to debut at both shows. I want a new Cinema story for PIX, it's roughly 30+ pages. I'm not sure what story I want to draw for CAKE, I'm considering a Close to the Sun story, but I'm not sure yet. Lawrence's Diary is being folded into a world I'm calling Big Myth Playground which has a greater scope than the initial LD world. I'm also thinking about submitting to Filthy Figments which means I'll have 3 different comics drawn in the next few months if I get in. 

We'll see how much work I have ahead of me. I know I'm in PIX so I'm going to focus on that one and get that story written. I'll know if I get into CAKE in January and for FF, I don't remember when they're getting back to people but I have another 3 weeks to submit my application, so I can refine my story and work on some figure work in the meantime. 

I have given myself a lot of goals and ideas on my creative plate. It's a good thing, I really did feel awful for just about all of 2013 because I wasn't really creating much. Even making videos wasn't enough, it wasn't the right type of creating. I need to be drawing and writing to feel at my best.

When I go through periods of depression I question the value of my existence because I'm not making anything. When I don't really draw anything for a while I feel guilty that I'm not drawing. Even now, when I've spent most of the year just doing my Daily Sketches I often felt I could be drawing something more, but I had no goals and poor motivation. I have goals, I have motivation and I have about 4 months to accomplish my first one so I need to step to and get some comics drawn. 

My Issue With Saying People Have 'Too Much Time On Their Hands'

I just saw someone describe a creative endeavor as the work of someone with “too much time on their hands” - fuck you HuffPo! Being creative is not a waste of time, talent or effort. Being creative is something to respect because creativity is hard. Making stuff is hard.

I’ve had many, many non creative friends and people express shock and joy over simple doodles that in my mind are mediocre, but they’re not described as being done by someone “with too much time on their hands”. It’s bullshit how often a long term project or art piece gets knocked down like that.

The person creating probably didn’t have any “extra” time and carved time out from sleeping or being social to make something amazing.

Don’t degrade creative work. Respect the time and effort and the actual WORK of the person who made it because you can’t make it and that’s okay. You have something you’re great at, something you’re passionate about and you make the time for it.

Creativity is not a diversion. Final pieces, drawings, songs, performances, everything are the end goal and a chance to show off all of the hard work someone put into something. Respect it.

Drawing Topics

Not long ago my buddy Kristen wanted to draw one of her characters but didn't know the situation so I threw out my favorite suggestion, ages, because it's a great way to explore what makes your character them but also it gives you, the creator the chance to add on to their personality and consider how they got to that point. Then I thought of a few other interesting ways to draw a character or even think about them. 

I guess these can also be used as writing prompts or character development writing prompts, whatever.

Ages: Draw them far younger than they are in the story, what did they look like? How did they act? Are they bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? Conversely, draw them older - whether they live to the end of the narrative or not, how were they affected by the events of the narrative? Who do they still hang around with? I think it's always fun to have the closet badass old character taking care of kids and teaching them weird, covert opts shit and their parents are like 'old, senile Mr Jenkins, he so cray'. If they die, pretend they lived, whatever. What type of crazy injuries do they have now? If your character is immortal speculate on the differences between them being newly immortalized versus they've been around for a few centuries, are they jaded? Are they bitter? Are they tired of seeing people they care about die? Do they only maintain relationships with other immortal individuals because of that? There are a lot of things you can learn about your characters when you play with ages.

Sickness: Draw a character sick. This would work well as a short comic or I guess microfiction. How sick are they? High fever? vomiting? Bone deep aches? Do they have anyone around to help them? I mean, I've been sick alone and man do I put off eating to sleep and wallow in pain and fever. What's this character like and the people around them? Even if they live alone, are they close enough to anyone around them, friends, neighbors whatever, to have this person stop by with some gatorade and cans of soup?

Injuries: Similar to being sick break a bone. How did they break that bone? How much did it impact their life? You don't even have to keep it canon, how would they react to having broken a bone? Or losing a limb. Are they an artist who has to learn to create with one hand or their non-dominant hand because it got mangled in a car accident? Would they, with their personality, overcome the injury and continue on? would they become bitter if they were a happy camper? Would they have a new-found sense of positivity because they're still alive? And like with being sick - who is there to help them? Do they have anyone or are they stuck using buses and taxis to get to the doctor? Are they hopped on on percocet taking the bus, and tripping balls into a weird adventure?

Flirting: spoken for or not, how would your character react to a stranger coming up to them and flirting? Are they open to flirt or go to bed with them? Is this stranger they type of person they find attractive? Where are they when it happens? a bar? A coffeeshop, the bookstore? How will the location affect how they respond? It doesn't have to be street harassment, it can just be someone being polite and saying they find your character attractive. Do this with their partner(s) around, how do they react. Or conversely, have your character see someone who gets them going and they go to flirt with them. How successful is your character? How badly do they lose?

Cooking: can your character cook? On what level from 'cereal combusts' to 'can cure global starvation' are they in the kitchen? Can they get better? Do they follow a cook book or wing it? How encouraging on their friends/partner? Do they have one thing they can make, but nothing else? Will they end up in the hospital from food poisoning or missing a finger before ten minutes have passed? - Your character has a goal 'cook the thing' and a ton of props at their disposal. Hell, give them a simple task: make whipped cream. Give 'em a whisk and a bowl of cream and do they succeed? I've whipped cream, shit's difficult if you're not used to using a whisk. If your character fails, how spectacularly do they fail?

Embarrassing/incriminating photo: this works well with ages, but is there a picture of an embarrassing moment from your character's life that they think no one should ever see? what is it? What happened? Who don't they want to see it? what happens if this person see it? It could be anything. Do their parents have a photo of them naked as a baby running around the house with poop on their butt, and they don't want their crush to see them? Is there an incriminating photo that they don't want the cops to see? Are they a big, tough badass who has  soft sport of kittens and they don't need the person their intimidating to know that they lose their shit over kitten sneezes? Are they a big tough badass but they had horrible glasses and braces as a kid and were bullied? Does this still bother them?

 

I dunno, these are a few drawing prompts I just came up with, but these give you more to work with than just 'gender bent' or costume based art topics. These can help you learn about your character, even if the information has no bearing on the narrative and it never comes up, it's good to know these things for yourself as a creator. It helps the character breathe. They can feel more real and human. 

If I think of any others maybe add them here, or make another post.