#70 – If You Lived Here You’d Be Home
When you do anything out of passion, you will fall into slumps. When you have less experience, they will often be made of crushing feelings that you just aren’t good enough and never will be. When you’re more experienced, the feeling is more like boredom, or like you’re not accomplishing anything new or interesting. I went on hiatus because I had been feeling like this comic turned out to be a collection of failures. I didn’t really know anymore what I wanted to do with it.
Later I did some thinking. I remembered why I started. To create a collection of failures. It’s the ability to recognize that you will always eventually judge your own past work to be garbage, plus the drive to keep going anyway, that makes a good artist. That’s why I started, and why I think making comics consistently is a good idea. It’s consistent training. Every bit of training immediately burns away into the past to make your present and future burn brighter. I do know what I want to do next.
Even later than that, I did an archive binge. I tend to forget to look back. And as a result, I forget a lot of exactly what I’ve written or drawn. I’ll remember (most of) the rules I’ve set for myself, but I’ll forget specific jokes and visual gags and nuances and stuff. As a result of that result, when I go back, it can feel like a stranger wrote it. I know it, I’m very familiar with it and with that stranger’s style and sense of humor… but haven’t read it in a long time. That archive binge got me to laugh a few times, and left me with a good feeling. I wasn’t expecting that. So maybe I’ve done some things right after all, and there are successes in my collection of failures. Perhaps!
The artist is their own worst critic. That’s a good tool if you learn to use it and make it work for you. But it’s not the best or only tool, because it is only one way to be realistic about yourself. Discipline is not all about punishment. Being able to look at your own work as if it were someone else’s, detached from yourself, detached from your expectations of yourself, detached from what you were thinking and feeling at the time, and recognize what’s good about it as well as what’s bad about it… is actually something that’s only happened to me a few times before, and that probably nobody could do on command. But if I could learn to, it would be an insanely valuable tool.
So, yeah. I’m ready to return. Expect a comic next week and the week after and so on.