I've been working on my new adult fantasy slow burn slice of life comic (genre listing is wild) MagicalMashup! conceptually for almost a decade now. I went from making cute sketches of these two just being fluffy and stuff,
bc I wanted to see more people of color (specifically black and plus size gals, shout out to seeing myself in the media I consume haha) getting some loving to making a whole dang comic.
This is how it got here.
Back in high school I met my first art friends and we'd all gush over each others OCs and have fun coming up with characters and prompts together. Eventually I started to get drawn to a few that I'd use a lot and I'd draw for comfort and fun. That lead to some character rp with friends and taking notes on character interactions. One of my gal pals Melon
was a head above the rest of us as she was drawing comics and making fanfics like it was nobodies business. After watching her work I started to try my hand at short fan comics and it was pretty dang fun. Time consuming as heck, but fun.
All us art buds took separate paths for college, but we all studied art in some way. The college I went to had studio art and design, but I had to finagle a few courses together and hop about the art and design departments to find remotely what I wanted. Why didn't I just go to an art school you ask? Y'all that shiz is expensive, so I went where the scholarship money was lol. It took a while for anything to click, but after learning about Wacom tablets and getting into photoshop & illustrator I found the wonderful world of digital art. I've been immersed since.
I still love traditional media, but the flexibility of digital is just so darn convenient. Through posting my art on Deviantart, Pixiv, and a few other places that no longer exist, I started getting a little bit of exposure for my work. I met some awesome friends in college and lovely folks online who were very encouraging and interested in seeing more of my OCs and it got me thinking about what direction I could take my characters in.
Well a cancer scare that hit me out of almost nowhere (well there were signs, I just didn't get what they were until it was way late) that put everything I was doing on hold for about 2 years. I had a ton of reflection time during all this as I had 0 energy for anything after class and couldn't think about anything that wasn't happening the next day. Once I went into remission (10 years and counting, so far so good) I realized how precious the time we have on this earth is and decided to focus on the things that bring me joy. I looked at all my ocs and started to world build. Junah and Kaelen beat my mermen Berry and Weedy by a small margin to be the first protagonist I'd work on for a comic, but the world I'm making is magical and big, so it's not like they all can't exist in it haha.
Even though I decided to do this, I didn't start actually thumbnailing for the comic until a buddy of mine, Treya, amazing writer and fastest reader I’ve ever known, realized I had been stuck in editing limbo on the writing side for about 5 years :V. She graciously offered to help me get organized and set deadlines to get me in motion. Deadlines is such a foreboding sounding word, but they can be extremely helpful when trying to tackle a task that will require a ton of time. From passion projects to on the job workloads, they can help you prioritize so that procrastination doesn't get the best of you and also help you to see just how much time you really have in day too. I know deadlines aren't for everyone as some folks just find them super stressful, but they've been working for me.
The original timeline had it so that I would have been posting my comic 2 years ago haha, but lots had to be shifted and changed as there were many factors either of us hadn't considered. For one I wanted more practice so I made a prologue comic using ClipStudio. I was tied to my desk and as I draw with paper and pencils first, I had to do a ton of scanning and editing before I could get to redrawing. I then had to figure out brush settings, color pallets, and a coloring style that wouldn't take 10 years to complete one panel and just @.@. There was a lot to consider. But having a schedule and timeline helped me stay calm and take everything a bit a time. Being able to be flexible also helps haha.
I'm glad I made the prologue comic bc it helped me figure out my work flow and and get used to having a scheduled time for working on my comics. It also gave me a frame of reference for how long it took for me to make a short comic and all the setup that happens when making pages. Another buddy told me to check out Ipads and the Apple Pencil, so I decided to try that out and found Procreate (what a name, I know). Fell in LOVE. Completely changed my workflow and amount of time I could work while not at home. The tablet made it way easier to squeeze in getting reference materials done like character sheets and locations, but through experimenting with other design programs like Affinity, I found a way to make my logo and design my own fonts. Those first 2 years I did a ton of experimenting and setting up. Totally didn't see it taking that long but it is what it is and I learned a lot.
Three years after that living room meeting with calendars, outlines, ideas and setbacks I started posting my comic online! Anyway, I'm curious to here about the road you all went on before you started sharing your work. Feel free to post it with your replies as well.
TLDR: How my Ocs went from fluff drawings to a whole dang comic after my cancer scare got me to appreciate the time I have on this earth and that I should be doing the things that bring me joy. With the help of a friend that helped me get organized I set forth on my comic making journey and through experiments, setbacks, and triumphs I'm making a comic! Tell me about the journey to getting your work out there if you are a content creator. If not, feel free to check out others journey.