Focusing on one thing vs. variety to keep things interesting

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Focusing on one thing vs. variety to keep things interesting

Postby sentiashinou » March 28th, 2017, 12:31 pm

I find myself having four different "modes" I can choose from when I sit down to work on comics:

1. Inking the upcoming page for Celestial Mirror (my currently updating comic). This is pretty mindless but I can focus on the details of the picture I'm drawing, one panel at a time.

2. Sketching future pages for Celestial Mirror. This is kind of exploratory... I have an idea for what's going to happen, but I don't write scripts beforehand.

3. Working on a second comic, written by a friend. This is very analytical and involves a lot of back-and-forth with the writer.

4. Working on a third comic, which ... Calling it a comic at this point is kind of generous. It's a collection of script snippets and character designs (and/or placeholders for characters I need to design). This is the most open ended project I have that's concrete enough to call a project.

At first I was worrying about lacking focus, dividing my attention between too many different things, but it's actually working out pretty nicely. For the most part I bounce back and forth between the first two, but when I need a break from CM, it's nice to have other things to fall back on for a few minutes.

I'm curious about other people: which is more of a problem for you, getting scatterbrained with too many ideas, or getting burned out from focusing too much on one thing?
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Re: Focusing on one thing vs. variety to keep things interes

Postby eishiya » March 28th, 2017, 2:47 pm

I think both are significant issues. I split my time between multiple projects to prevent burn-out, but only one of them is a comic. I do have some other comic projects I'd like to work on in addition to my current webcomic, but most of the work is sketching/thumbnailing, which is tiresome no matter which comic it's for and I can only do so much of it each week, so I tend to put that energy into my current comic to make sure I always have pages to pencil and ink.

Inking is nice and mindless, and I like doing it in batches when I can, just spend the whole day working on a few pages. Unfortunately thumbnails hold me up and I often end up only having 1-2 pages I can work on >:

As long as you leave yourself with enough time to work on your main project, it's definitely good to have side projects. What I definitely wouldn't want to do is have two or more simultaneously updating comics (unless all but one were finished prior to being posted), since that would mean having to work on the same aspects of multiple comics - it's not a break from inking comic A if I'm just doing inking for comic B :/
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Re: Focusing on one thing vs. variety to keep things interes

Postby Oly-RRR » March 28th, 2017, 9:31 pm

I have that too! And I think those two problems come hand-in-hand. At one point I used to have multiple comic projects (all in about the same stage) and that ended up really frustrating for me, so eventually I decided on a comic that could fit in A LOT of different themes and characters. I still feel bad about not making any short comics for months (for example) but at least I feel better about it than if I had an entirely separate story being on hiatus.

But I still end up with multiple things, even if at the end of the day they are related. Let's see:
1) the big comic
2) shorts (occasionally)
3) doodles (it's ridiculous but drawing my characters doing random stuff that doesn't justify a comic helps me brainstorm)
4) keeping an illustrated journal (it the most low-key art thing I do, and I do it on and off but it's relaxing)

I'm considering doing something that would still be storytelling but... not really a comic but I'm crap at actually making it happen, and I figure I have enough stuff to work on for now anyway.

And even with the comic, it's like my brain has different modes for different parts of the story. It sucks when it doesn't correspond to what I should be drawing at the time.

So yeah, definitely scatterbrained. I think the only burnout problem I have is when I keep focusing on one thing while switching to something else for a bit would be smarter. I'm crap at registering those moments (but I'm still cooking)! :mrgreen:
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Re: Focusing on one thing vs. variety to keep things interes

Postby JoKeR » March 31st, 2017, 1:09 pm

I'd say ...both.
And John Cleese can explain it.

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