I don’t know what I’m doing.
I’m making it all up as I go along.
As a father, a husband and as a cartoonist. Luckily I have a wonderful wife who helps me figure out the father and husband stuff most of the time.
As a cartoonist?
I've basically stumbled my way up to this point.
Brain Teaser Comics is now in its third year. Artistically I am still exploring styles, drifting from very cartoony to more illustrative/realistic renderings, depending on my mood and the nature of a gag. Brain Teaser’s one-off format is perfect for this.
Brain Teaser was itself an accident, born as a side project to another project that I incompetently murdered before it was ever released. Like I said, I don’t know what I’m doing.
I had a few comics projects under my belt (Major Spoilers Adventures, Spoiled!, and Discordian Quote Comix), all educational and formative experiments that didn’t really ‘count’ in my mind.
I decided I wanted to be a ‘real’ cartoonist so I conceived and started work on a newspaper style continuity strip, intended to come out three days a week. Think Archie meets Better Off Dead, the classic 80’s John Cusack teen film. I began writing strips and building my buffer, but my digital only, full color process was slow, unwieldy and grew into something more chore than fun. I was never going to be able to release three strips a week with this workflow, I’d be lucky to get one out.
While I was slowly strangling that project to death by over thinking it, I was also doing side sketches and drawings. I threw some captions on them and began posting those as Brain Teaser Comics, almost as a goof. The longer I slogged away at my continuity strips, the more the very idea of that particular comic became suffocating. I found myself stepping away and drawing the gag panels, because I was having a great deal more fun doing them, making it up as I went along.
I eventually noticed work on my ‘regular’ strip stopped completely while I worked more and more on my strange little panel comic.
I felt like I’d failed. I felt like I’d failed for several months, all while producing a comic I really enjoyed. Again, I don’t know what I’m doing.
Because I’d focused so much on the thing I thought I should be doing (and not even working on), I was ignoring the thing I was actually doing (and really enjoying). I had developed tunnel vision. I thought I had to do my comics in a certain way. I thought I had to do them the way others were doing them if I was to be a cartoonist. I weirdly thought there was an expectation of what my comic would be, even when I had no comic and no audience to read it. I don’t know what I’m doing.
It took a while, but I figured out that I’d been doing what I wanted to be doing for quite a while. I was drawing silly stuff, and putting it out into the world for all to see.
I’d become a cartoonist.
I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m making it up as I go along.
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