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Submitted on
November 19, 2013



Pursuing a new outlet.

Journal Entry: Tue Nov 19, 2013, 8:07 AM

A while back I decided that I would try focusing on one project for 30 days. That was back in the summer. I took it further than 30 days and stuck with it all the way through October.

Now I'm more comfortable than ever with the decision to put it aside once and for all.

I can't do the comic anymore. It simply doesn't hold my interest. I tried really hard. I got to page 24 of Jet Dancer's comic last week. Then I started getting more commissions that I actually wanted to do (mostly color jobs but some illustrations too), commissions that had me putting the comic aside. And between commissions, I found myself working hard on my WCL project again, not only the tabletop game but also the story and character bios, which are nearly finished.

I just feel like it shouldn't be this hard to make a comic. Yeah, it should be hard, but it should be the kind of hard that makes me enjoy the challenge, not the kind of hard that makes me look at the comic the same way I look at my day job.

So I'm going to follow my heart and shelve the Jet Dancer comic. I'm going to post all of the pages I've done so far on, and I'll repost them here as well. I'm not all that concerned about selling or monetizing the comic because I don't think I'm ever going to finish it. But I DO care about Jet Dancer as my character. I feel I probably built the wrong story around her, one that doesn't really appeal to me or suit the character as I originally envisioned her--she needs a reboot of some kind (haha...'boot'). I'll find a use for her yet, but comics aren't it.

Maybe it was just a clash of values. I don't know if the problem was the story I wrote for Jet, Jet's character design in general, or if comics themselves are the problem, but either way, I wasn't enjoying what I was doing at all, so I stopped.

At least now I know that little bit about myself. I've always suspected it (after all, I hadn't finished a comic I started since I was 18 years old), but I wanted to make certain. I wanted to put real effort into a comic before I made this call, and I think 24 pages is enough to know for sure.

Maybe I'll change my mind later when I finish with another project. I'm not going to delete anything. After all, I started the Jet book in, what, 2009? But right now, I'm just not feeling it and I don't think that's going to change. I'm searching to renew my artistic identity, and I feel like if I don't like what I'm doing, I should just do something else.

Dancing in Freefall by Dualmask Jet...Alluring by Dualmask -BrandX- by Dualmask Hot Mage by Dualmask My Beloved Weapon - Nia 2012 by Dualmask -Kyanos- color by Dualmask Christiana 2012 by Dualmask Fallen One by Dualmask When a problem comes along... by Dualmask Shining Fighter - Full Color by Dualmask
  • Mood: Artistic
  • Watching: Heaven's Lost Property
  • Playing: Dragon's Crown
  • Eating: Granola bars
  • Drinking: Coffee
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wbd Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It may not be exactly alike, but I can understand where you are coming from with comics. Sometimes when I sit down to draw a comic a tremendous weight seems to fall onto my shoulders- and I'd rather do anything else but draw that comic. There are probably deeper issues about it- maybe it feels like I'm doing so much work for so little gain, or that I've done bad comic work before, so what's going to change this time?  It's not that the comic material I'm working on is bad, but something inside me that's holding me back.

What's nice about my current project is that it tells a story much like a comic, but the construction process is totally different- almost like I'm fooling my mind into not noticing how it's the same thing.

So, I'm glad to hear that your other projects are both interesting and entertaining for you. It could be that there's something much deeper going on in them that's worth exploring. At any rate, I'm interested in seeing how they turn out.
Dualmask Nov 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
You hit the nail on the head. I think it's just starting to become clearer that, at least for me, comics are a lot of hard work for no real gain. If it's about expressing my characters and stories, there are more interesting, more compelling ways to do it (like trying to make video games).

You seem to have found a way to scratch your storytelling and character development itch without going the comic route. I want to do the same. I think it's simply a matter of accepting that times have changed and I changed as well; my desires are the same but the methods with which to pursue those desires has to evolve with the times.
wbd Nov 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The one nice thing about comics versus my current project is that I can do one page at a time- and put them out onto the site when I get them done. With this Flash project, I have to get it all done first. My big worry is that I'm losing the interest of watchers by all this delay. I'll have to look into ways to keep people's attention.
Dualmask Nov 21, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That's been on my mind as well. But maybe...the time has come to spend less time worrying about maintaining the present audience and more time focusing on creating a product that will potentially develop an even stronger audience. After all, if you have to put aside your passions and projects to maintain your audience, you have to wonder where your priorities really are.

At least, that's what I've been thinking lately.
Soulbrotha Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, comics weigh on you like that. I go back and forth between motivated and burnt out a lot. I have to take a break and work on something else every ten pages or so, but after awhile I feel like I miss the story and want to start drawing that again. But I agree wholeheartedly that I never want drawing to feel like a job.
Dualmask Nov 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
For me it's not burnout. I could work on the comic, I just literally don't want to. The only difference between the comic and my day job at this point is that I get paid to do the latter. They feel virtually the same as far as how I approach them mentally. Got tired of telling myself I'll work on games or study digital sculpting or draw more pinups or finish my character bios as soon as my comic is done, while having the most fun diving into those other things while feeling that heavy weight when telling myself it was time to work on the next page. Gotta trust what my emotions are telling me.
WolfGriffin Nov 19, 2013  Professional General Artist
Question, have you taken a break from art all together?  You might be in a slight artist block. Just a suggestion, sometimes it is good to get away from art completely. Think of it as taking a vacation from your day job. Give your mind a break. Take some time off, play some games, read a book, watch some movies. Put it down for a second and let yourself rest. When you return, you will find yourself with a new spirit and outlook on not only yourself, but your artwork.  You like myself have a lot of things going on at once as far as projects and person projects that you would like to complete,  and we are all guilty of this. We try to do them all at the same time! Nest thing you know, one project turns into 20 and you have to decide which comes first, which is more important, and which one your personally want to do for yourself. Now you begin to panic, when your mind is scattered, your work will suffer. Now I am not saying that that is what is happening to you, but to me, that is what it sounds like. Just a suggestion, finish your promised commissions of course, then take a vacation.

Then call me in the morning
Dualmask Nov 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I'm not having an art block. I'm extremely productive when I'm NOT working on the Jet comic. I've been extremely busy these last couple of weeks doing lots of commissions (I'm not posting most of what I'm doing these days) and developing my board game. The only time my art brings me down is when I try to make the comic again.

In fact, publicly announcing what has been on my heart for the last couple of weeks feels liberating. I'm relieving myself of the self-inflicted pressure brought on by trying to finish a comic book I don't care about when there are so many things I'd rather be doing.
WBLUnlimited Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Sometimes people just need a break to try new things.

Or maybe a reboot is in order.
Dualmask Nov 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, I think something was lost within me between the time I first brought Jet out and now...the fun faded away somewhere, which makes me think I took the wrong approach with the character.

It'll come back, maybe. Just not now.
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