I went to an amazing Guardian Masterclass in That London last night called 'How to create successful comics and graphic novels', run by the wonderful (and sickeningly talented) Karrie Fransman.
The class reinforced a lot of things I'd shakily started to figure out about the comics industry on my own, and also encouraged a few ideas I'd been having about where I could push myself (and my work), but hadn't really been brave enough to admit to myself.
My favourite section of the class was when Karrie got us to write/draw a list of three things:
-Things I am proud of achieving
-Things I'd like to improve/change
-My goals/wildest dreams
It sounds like a very simple thing to do - but it's not something I would ever have thought of sitting down and doing by myself. It was really useful to put things into perspective though. I am excellent at always panicking about a 'what's next', about who my next client is going to be, what my next story will be about, which project I should be concentrating on - I hardly ever actually look at what I've achieved and allow myself to feel proud. And when I looked at everything I was proud of it then made it easier to see things that I'd like to work on and improve.
Here's my (very messy) three lists for those of you who may be interested (click to make bigger):
Sorry if you can't read some of my writing!!
Karrie also got us to draw a comic in 15 minutes using different prompts as we went along that made the story go a different way. Mine ended up being about an angry lion in lingerie, here are some of my fave panels. Some of my best work, I'm sure you'll agree:
So yeah, despite my lion silliness, it was a really inspiring start to the year. It reminded me what's expected of me as a comic artist (I have a helluva lot of work to do!) and made me realise how useful looking back and taking stock is.
Thank you, Karrie!
Now - watch out, 2015!