Well well well.
Happy New Year everyone, it’s time for the January update. Or, according to my posting frequency, the 2018 update!
Joking aside, I’d like to reflect on the last twelve months. Personally, 2017 was an exceptionally turbulent year. There were many moments of heartbreak, existential crisis, dread, and feelings of futility. However, there was also celebration, reunion, charity, and hope. For me, a particularly bright spot to come from all of it was my successful completion of Inktober.
I assume that if you’re reading this, you know a little something about my Inktober endeavor from my Instagram feed. I had decided to do a thematically linked series of 31 images. There were many hours put into that project. If anything, it opened my eyes to a new dimension of work, as I wasn’t only planning a narrative, but actively drawing it and trying to link it both visually and from a storytelling point of view. Each day of drawing a new scene in a roughly 36 square inches was exciting, rewarding, exhausting, and daunting all at once. It more or less confirmed my opinion about comics: 99% toil, 1% sheer joy of completing a story.
All in all I’m glad that I did it. Towards the end of that October, I was inspired by a fellow artist to create a memento of the event by compiling the artwork into a bound book. Writing and designing that book became my next project, which took just as long to complete as the original Inktober drawings. But complete it I did!
This was a great gift for myself. The bound book is a personal treasure, for sure. But in the long run, the gift was printing a book — a proper, physical book — with my name on it. The gift was in taking all the steps necessary to complete the book: scanning and balancing the images; designing the layout; writing the preface and the back matter; compiling the bonus material from my archives; creating the cover pieces; and honing my technical layout skills. The gift was in completing that project and realizing that after the entire thing, I really do enjoy creating books. It’s a gift to yourself when you realize your dreams and set yourself up with great expectations for another year.
It’s easy to knock yourself down when you struggle with something, so every now and then why not give yourself a reminder of what you can do?