I'm almost half way through my fifth Inktober project and I thought this would be a good time to write about something I've been thinking about for a while.
For various reasons, this year I've gone through patches of struggling to get into a groove with my side projects. Sometimes I just didn't know where to start, sometimes I was overwhelmed by the mammoth task of writing and creating my first long-form comic consisting of more than 4 pages. Probably the most crippling of all is imposter syndrome.
As I've gone through dry spells of not producing any art, nor have I published a finished comic yet, I feel like calling myself a comic artist is being a bit of a fraud.
Of course, this sort of negative thinking left unchecked is self-fulfilling. I had to do something.
One of the main issues I've had is time. Life just has other ideas sometimes and I struggled to find time to do anything substantial. But therein lies another problem. I was fixated with this idea of substantial amounts of work.
I follow many artists on social media. Some of my favourites are pros, so naturally they'll punch out far more work than I do but this contributes to my feeling the need to produce substantial amounts, like I need to keep up. Again, I feel like a bit of a fraud because I'm not in the same league.
Getting myself out of this mindset has boiled down to one thing:
More than yesterday...
I've been reminding myself of this for quite a while and it's beginning to help. It applies no restrictions, no minimum amounts of time or work. Literally anything fits the bill. If I'm having an issue with a page layout or a paricular panel, sketching a couple of ideas for 30 seconds, even if they don't solve the problem and requires more though, I'm still making progress. I'm a step closer to a solution than I was the day before.
Inktober by it's nature encapulates this. If you stick out the project, you create more work than you did the day before. But for me, Inktober is the one month of the year where my wife picks up some of the slack at home so I can do the project, so it's not fair to keep the same momentum going the rest of the year so I always suffer from the issues mentioned above, not being able to devote enough time or produce enough work etc.
That's until I started to employ more than yesterday.
The teeniest victories are still victories. Over time, those victories soon build up.