Hi! I really like your comic and your style and I was wondering: do you have any tips for people like me who would like to make their own comics? I've tried before but I never seemed to reach the 5th page without giving up.
Hiya! I have a few tips. I’m not trained or anything these are just some of my personal methods. it might not even work for you since everyone is different but it might help? They’re not really in a particular order either haha.
1.) Like what you’re making. This one is kind of obvious but really if you’re not completely invested in the story you’re making it’ll fall flat due to a lack of interest. Make your comic about things you like! Not like fleeting things like actual things you’ve enjoyed for awhile generally. Like spooky things, or cute things for example.
2.) Make alot of rough drafts. All at once. Flesh out an entire chapter really roughly. I mean real rough. like gesture drawing rough that takes like fifteen minutes or less a page. I’ll make about seventeen rough draft pages at once, simmer about it for a few days, and then go back to add more if im satisfied OR i’ll redo the chapter entirely. If you have a whole chapter roughed out it’ll be easier to work on it later because its already there for you.
3.)double back to check the pacing. Sometimes its weird in the rough drafts so you gotta throw some panels around or add an extra page. if it feels a bit off leave it and the come back a few hours or days later. youll find it out pretty quick after a break.
4.)dont be afraid to fix mistakes. If something looks weird or clashes with the page when you’re still doing lineart, go back to the roughdraft layer and fix it. zoom in and out of the page and check to make sure the drawing isnt tilted oddly or disproportional. i myself have issues with proportion so im constantly fixing bits and pieces using cntrl+T haha. It’ll save you trouble if you do it early instead of later when all the layers are in the way.
This next one is a little bit counterproductive to #4 but its for after the page is done.
5.) accept mistakes. You’re making alot of art for one page. you’ll notice looking back on finished pages that theres gonna be a lower quality over it bc of sheer quantity, but you’ll fall into a rhythm and realize you’re making a steady incline in quality overall if you keep moving forward. once you declare that a page is done, leave it.
6.) just do it. Youre gonna be afraid to start, wondering how its going to be received, wondering if its good enough. You have to shove the anxiety down as violently you can and draw it as if you’re your only audience. Do it for yourself, because you know that you’ll improve your skill and even yourself by making it.
7.) keep your files organized. I label every page for recovery as RECOVERY and then a number–for example, RECOVERY2.17 is for recovery chapter two page seventeen. your files, if placed alphabetically, will all be in a row for an easy browse. keep it all in their own place for easy finding.
8.) make a palette and references. Consistency is IMPORTANT. I drew Will a few times to get a feel for him before i started the comic, and used the eyedropper tool repeatedly so the colors were consistent in the comic. (I didn’t do the same for the pine twins and it shows if you go through the comic a bit fast lol) The palette doesnt have to be fancy, just make sure you know what everything is for. Also make sure you know your kerning and leading settings so the panels are consistent as well. (mine is below!) make a checklist if you need to for the math stuff, i use the stickies app on my laptop for a checklist of things to make sure to add before i say im done–like shading, for example, that for some reason i always forget. Also the font type, gen font size, details like tattoos and quirks.
9.) HAVE FUN. Inject some humor into your drawing to keep yourself entertained when you work–for example, i label my layers in puns and quips. the skin layer is usually called “skiiiiiiiiin” and copies are usually called “___ 2: electric boogaloo”. when i made homestuck drawings id label them with a character quirk instead haha. Also its good to listen to podcasts or music when you work. I listen to music, The Adventure Zone, Welcome to Night Vale, Game Grumps or The Yogscast when i’m working. Audiobooks are also a good idea! Have it in a playlist so you dont have to stop drawing to change it.
10.) Don’t let yourself get distracted, but take breaks when you need them. Food and hydration as well as bathroom breaks are v important. You cant survive to draw if you dont eat, and keep in mind that being dehydrated gives you headaches and messes with workflow. eat that food. dont die. not eating messes with your psyche–youre more likely to be depressed/make it worse/stope working if you dont eat so do that shit. keep some snacks and a waterbottle handy. also lower the caffeine shakes are good for some styles but not others lmfao.
also: avoid tumblr when working. give yourself a set time/timelimit to work. you’ll realize that once you start its easier to keep rolling but you cant be interrupted or itll be harder to get back to in the middle when scrolling the many delightful distractions of the internet. be brisk in your breaks.
11.) i have depression so this is especially important–REMEMBER TO TAKE YOUR MEDS IF YOU HAVE ANY. p self explanatory. i go through withdrawals if i dont and get the worst migraines so i mean keep on top of that shit.
12.)Uh hhhh thats all i got OH WAIT reward yourself for finishing pages. Be it a treat or a nice bubble bath or some videogame time. Whatever you want. just reward yourself for working. even if its work you weren’t entirely satisfied with, have something to look forward to when you finish, and tell yourself you did well because you just did a fuckton of work. BE PROUD <3
(also some people say to tell other people about what youre doing so theyll check up on you to make sure youre working but?? i kind of feel like im being nagged if thats the case so that just depends on you lol. )