The other night, Spanner main character Shira pretty much forced me to draw her. (She does that to me occasionally.) So I blogged about it and posted the sketch. That, of course, means I'm drawing again. I'm now teaching myself how to draw comics again, and at my Posterous blog, I'm posting a daily report of my progress with at least one complete page of practice sketches. I'm improving one of my drawing skills each day. Of course, this brings up the subject of what I'm actually going to do with my drawing skills. That is, what are my goals for my comics this year?
There's just over half of 2010 left, and there's a lot of drawing skills that I'll have to either relearn (human figures) or learn from scratch (inking, screentones, animals). Many times during the 17 years I kept my project notebooks, I vowed to improve my drawing skills to the point where I could draw the first issue of Spanner. Actually, I made that vow every year from 1999 to 2006. However, I never came through. I kept stopping after only a few weeks. I've never drawn more than character designs for Spanner to this day.
About a decade ago, about the time when blogs morphed from link collections to online journals, I wanted to have one of my own. However, I wouldn't have been able to sustain one for the same reason I failed to sustain my own website: I felt I had nothing to say, because I wanted to say it in comics form. My skills sucked back then, and my archenemy, procrastination, made it even worse. Everything I had to say and draw, I did in my private project notebooks from 1991 till 2008. Now that I've resumed my self-instruction, I've decided to do it in public by blogging it. I've come full circle.
Shira seems to have infected me with her own enthusiasm; the next morning, even though I only slept 2 or 3 hours, I felt I was fully awake, enough to whip out a whole page of sketches, which of course I posted in the next blog entry. Yesterday it was ears; today it's eyes; tomorrow it's noses. I have no idea if I can sustain this, or how long. But I hope that doing it in public will help me sustain my commitment. If I falter, maybe some of my new online friends (and some old real-life ones who have online connections with me) can nag me.
Now for actual comics goals. For 7 years, as I said, that meant the repeated New Year's resolution, "I will finish Spanner #1 by the end of the year!" I won't go that far this time, unless my skills improve faster than I expect. Instead, I intend to post my first complete character designs — that is, not just pencilled, but inked and colored as well. Also, before I start pencilling my ambitious series, I want to do some preview strips, including backstory pieces. I'll start work on the series itself only when I feel I'm ready.
I don't have a very good record in keeping my promises to myself and achieving my goals. Anyway, here goes...
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