Reiku’s Musings: Moving Forward into 2017

image2I’m probably shooting myself in the foot by putting this out there but I’d like to put down into words what I aim to achieve in 2017. In my previous post I stated all the invaluable things I gained and earned from 2016 that I’ll take with me onward. I have a new sense of direction and goals that I’d like to zero on, so I’ll take a gamble by humiliating myself with putting myself out there.

Building an Audience: One of the more questionable objectives I have for the future is to gain more followers on Twitter. It’s one of the aspects I’ve been lacking but have been improving on in the last several months. I’ve been tweeting more and communicating outwards to reach out to like minded people. It’s my intention to gain a rapport to bounce thoughts off people and put my own work out there to gain feedback. This one is tough because this requires a great deal of energy.

I find myself working on my OOTD Project where I draw artists and YouTubers and it’s a great outlet. It replaced Webcom since Webcom took a lot of work but this takes just as much. It’s getting much better feedback however and has done well for my goals. However it does take a lot of focus away from what I’d really like to be focusing on, and I find my comic projects sitting in the dirt. Perhaps that’s why I’d like to improve greatly upon my next goal.

Organization, Focus & Project Completion: Focus and concentration are invaluable to me these days. I find it hard to sit still and pour my efforts at any given time and I’m guilty of a lack of discipline. Rather than putting on a YouTube video or marathoning a show in the background, I need focus based music and zero distractions. Going into the new year, I hope to push myself harder but at the same time give myself some space. If I work hard for an hour on my projects after an 8 hour work day, then I can afford to give myself relaxation time as well. One solid hour of proper work will deliver far better than when I have 3 hours of distraction filled sketching.

Because of this, I’ll be far more organized and can finish comic projects more punctually. Since my organization and focus is so scatter brained, it leads to delays. Delays lead to lack of content. And a lack of content is harming my outlook on my creative endeavours.

Short Comic Projects: When I started the Wedding Parties comic, it was based on an idea I had that snowballed slowly over the course of several years. The idea was vivid in my head. When I start making comics, this is the one to start with without a doubt. There wasn’t any second thoughts, I just did it. Once it started however (and it took a year to accomplish what I wanted to get out of the way right away) I realized that I bit off far more than I could chew. I was able to self publish my first comic but it was just book 1 of how many that I’d need to make in the future.

It took well over a year of development to get to that point and when I tried to sell it, no one wanted it. Through my discussions with comic artists online, it became clear. No one wants to invest in a comic that’s 1 volume that they need to follow. They won’t get closure and they’d need to invest their time following it. Fair enough. It’ll be a labour of love over time, but it can’t be full time. It needs to be gradual. I won’t give up on it but I do need to have something else to go with it.

Shorter comics that complete themselves. One offs. Short stories. This’ll allow me to learn proper story structures. Experiment with different styles. After all, I do have an old notebook brimming with ideas of stories that I never got to attempt over the course of a decade. Now is the time for them to be of some use. This will be the year of self education for my comic creation skills.

Practice: I’d like to sketch more. Improve my drawing skills.

Experiment and Expand: Finally I’d like to experiment with other mediums for fun. I’d love to make a 3D print of a digitally sculpted character or dabble in physical watercolour. I’m already lined up to do some abstract paintings for family so I’m well on the way. These ones are a little less focused and don’t have anything to do with my comic work but I think it’ll be good for a laugh.

Summary: In short, I’d like to take the good I took from last year and ramp it up. More communication through social media but also more focus on the work I really want to do. I want something for people to read and pay attention to but I also want an audience to reach into. That is what I hope to achieve in 2017.

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