I'm writing this a little bit ahead and scheduling it to post automatically, because I don't want to forget about it and I ought to be gearing up for the SC ComiCon in March. Also, I'm waiting on some news and it probably won't be a good idea to dash off my first thoughts about it when it arrives. So this post is about being an indie creator – not just comics, but any kind of creative endeavor, and still being in that space between isolation and finding an audience. Usually, this is a bit of an expensive space, either in terms of time or money, and it's tempting to look around at other people who are getting all kinds of support from lots of people even if they haven't actually created anything yet.
“If somebody would just give me a chance,” you may be thinking, “I could make something just as good, or even better!”
But you'd be wrong.
Your ability to create isn't in question. Probably, maybe even likely, you could create something just as good or better than the best efforts of whatever current creator is getting resources simply donated to the project. Perhaps even better than what's currently available from major corporate outlets. If you're passionate about your vision and you have the work ethic to create it to a solid, consistent standard, that's going to show.
No, where you're wrong is the part about somebody “giving you a chance.”
Nobody gives chances.
Those aren't free.
Whatever chance you get from someone is a very precious thing, and it's on loan to you. If you don't pay back this loan of the reader's time, attention, or money with interest, you will not be getting another. Whatever you create must be worthwhile and do what you advertised it to do.
If you are so lucky as to get a chance from a reader, your work should repay that reader above and beyond what they paid in. More entertainment, more value, more art than they expected to get. Make your characters compelling so they can capture your reader's imagination. Make your plots tight so they're good on the re-read. Make your setting immersive and intriguing so your reader isn't bored or thrown out of the story.
Treasure the reader who loans you a chance. Some aren't going to think it was a good investment for them, and that's okay. If you advertise exactly what you're offering, and then deliver higher quality than they hoped for, you'll get more readers who will be glad they offered you that chance. Those are the ones who'll give you another, and you can keep creating for them.
At this point, you may be wondering how you can make anything without a chance to get you started. That's another post, and I'll try to get it written up next.
My big goal for 2018 was to learn animation, so let's see how I did. I bought a good, comprehensive textbook on animation, I read it over the summer, I poked around a bit with Clip Studio Paint's animation features, I downloaded the new update to Clip Studio Paint with enhanced animation features... and on December 27th I finally had time to try to animate something.
And I hated everything I did!
I erased and started over about four times, trying simpler forms each time. Finally I just mapped the path I wanted my creature to take with just a dot that represented its head. Once I got the dot to move through space attractively, I put a spine on it. Hated how that turned out. I couldn't get the entire thing to follow believably from one frame to the next. So I went back and erased that, replacing it with a shorter, straight spine for the neck to the limbs. I thought about the placement of the limbs in relation to the path and motion of my creature, and ended up with... kind of a short-stemmed flying lollipop.
But that actually looked fairly decent. It moved in space, growing as it came closer, shrinking as it moved farther, dipping down as the wings came up, and appearing to be propelled up and forward as the wings came down.
Now, adding detail so that it actually looks like the thing I want it to look like... I am so far off model. I've missed something terribly important but I misplaced my animation textbook over the holidays. I'm considering changing my logo to the flying lollipop. I need to make it slow down at three key points, but I think I've reached the limit to the number of cels I can add to my timeline. So I have a few separate problems to solve – I think the off-model thing isn't so terrible, since I can redraw each cel and fix that, and besides, things do get a little stretchy when they move. But the slowing down and pausing needs more cels, and I'm not quite sure how to get the program to add them in for me.
All this and I haven't even tried to export or upload anything. Uploading can't happen quite yet anyway, but any day now the contractors will come out and finish connecting the fiber optic. I am beyond excited for this. I'm going to have to get over my nervousness about being on camera so I can actually make and upload videos.
So I'm going to keep plugging away at it and once it's possible to upload video without timing out, I'll post my logo intro on YouTube and link it here.
Hey everybody! 2018 was quite a year here in the OtherRealm. I was quite busy writing a new superhero novel, which was picked up by Silver Empire Press to be part of their Heroes Unleashed novelverse. It's scheduled for publication this year and you should be able to preorder it in a couple months!
Also, even though there weren't as many comic cons over the summer, I was still able to save up enough to contract Mia to finish the line art for the first issue of SoulBound! I had also been practicing my digital art skills and was able to color and letter the issue myself. So it's complete! I can hardly believe it.
I still have work to get it ready for print, and I have to somehow get the funds to do the remaining nine issues, because once I start the series run, I really ought to publish it on a regular schedule. I'm looking into crowdfunding it but I have to work out the logistics first – it's not hard to figure out my budget for production and print, but then there's shipping and fees to take care of. I kind of want to get some customized goodies to put in – custom pens are a standard item, but I've also seen some really neat stuff like keychain compass/whistle combos, lip balm, hand sanitizer spray (which would be awesome for comic cons) and even journals and hats. But I want to be sure I can pull it off before I get too deep in the catalogs of nifty items – so, logistics. I'd love to hear from you about what kind of nifty custom thing you'd like from OtherRealm Studio.
Another huge step this year has been getting into book cover illustration and more digital painting, which has been a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to doing more of these. I love how my new digital paintings are turning out, and I'm now one of Booklocker's recommended freelance illustrators.
Finally, something I've been waiting for a long time – fiber optic cable! Technically... I'm still waiting. There's yet another set of contractors who need to come out and actually connect the cable. But once they do, I am finally going to be able to upload video, and art, and updates, and all sorts of good stuff. I'm going to get to do art streams and podcasts and everything! I don't know what to do first! Any suggestions?
Artist, writer, creator of stuff. I just want to build worlds for you to escape to.