i've been following shame machine, and i'm working my way through the love club right now. you are such an incredibly talented writer AND artist. how do you balance practicing and improving on both? i've always loved both writing and drawing but I've found it hard to consistently practice both, so my drawing skills have sadly been neglected these past years in favor of writing :/ could you share any tips with us on how you made time or got yourself to practice both generally?
God. I wrote a really long response to this that I’m going to try to condense as much as possible:
1. Drawing is more effort & more time consuming. No offence to pure authors, I know writing is hard, but that’s just a fact. If you want to be equally practiced at drawing and writing, you’ll actually need to spend much more time drawing.
For perspective: On an sm chapter, all of my writing makes up ¾ of the chapter content, happens over 3-4 weeks, and takes 10-16 hours. The art makes ¼ of the chapter content, happens within 1-2 weeks, and takes 16-30 hours of solid drawing. (concepting not counted.)
2. But you don’t NEED to be equally practiced. I would encourage you to draw & write anyway if you didn’t want to mostly draw. They are different kinds of being creative, and this has several benefits, such as:
- You can probably do one while blocked on the other (that’s what I do, anyway.)
- They give you different ways of looking at/creating a scene and therefore make you better at each practice
- Together they expand how you can tell a story because they are each better at expressing/showing different things
- It’s cool
3. as for actual tips, these are all I can really think of:
- if something is hard to write, draw it. If something is hard to draw, write it. That’s why I started writing in the first place. They’re better at different things. (example: draw music performances. Write conversations. Draw someone receiving devastating news. Write someone dissociating.)
- Find out where/how you best do each of those things. When I’m drawing, I am seated at my desk. I have a video on if I’m colouring/shading/doing simple lines, but if im sketching/lining properly i have music on and I’m very focused.
- When I’m writing, I’m usually in bed about to go to sleep, or im outside/in the livingroom. I rarely listen to music when writing. (i defs dont watch anything.) I prefer to be as alone as possible because I like to read things aloud to myself because that’s just super helpful for writing in general. (helps you tell if somehting is off grammatically/forces you to think about what to write next)
- Use one as an accessory to the other. Use drawing to help you describe a character in writing, or design a building, or clarify how a room is laid out (just to yourself). Use writing to put down scene ideas, important world building/character building notes quickly.
I think that’s all ive got for now. Hope that’s useful!