Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Finding The End Part 1: Excuses

Finding the End will be a new series of posts following a new project of mine. Before we get to that, I'll answer the question some of you may have. "What happened to the last OGN you were working on?"

About a year ago I started posting videos and posts about working on an original graphic novel. I worked thru the outline, writing the script, rewriting the script, designing characters and finally, I finished almost 30 pages of art on the book. 124 pages written, 30 pages of art finished... and then you heard nothing.

What happened? A few things. My schedule for Ozma of OZ was tighter than any of the previous series so work was heavy last year. Fatherhood. There's a time management issue that comes into play when you're trying to work all day and see your family as much as possible. But most of all, I lost the motivation for the actual book.

Let me clear this up. I didn't lose my motivation to create or work on my own book. I lost motivation to work on THAT book. I made the mistake of thinking about the market before I thought about who am I am as a creator. I had some fun with the concept but once I hit page 30, I already felt that I had drawn everything I wanted to draw and I just hit a wall. I was bored. I was bored on page 30 of a 124 page book. I love fantasy, action, adventure stories and here I was making a story about kids in junior high. Again, it was fun but it just didn't feel like me. I thought about taking it to more of the book publishers like Scholastic or Harper Collins and I was trying to force content to what I thought they would like. Obviously, that was not a smart thing to do on my part. 

One day I listened to an interview with my dear friend Jim McCann as he talked about his and Janet K Lee's OGN Return of the Dapper Men. He was thrilled to be creating his fantasy adventure and there I was drawing lockers and lunchrooms. That was the day I put the project on pause. Some may say I can blame Jim for it, but I thank him for it. For reminding me to tell the stories I want to tell instead of trying to predict the market and letting the business side of my brain get the better of me.

I spent the rest of the year working on Ozma of Oz at Marvel, raising my son and thinking about what to do. I felt a little defeated and let that beat me for a bit but I filled my time. I released 2 art books, Junk One, and Stuff, started a daily sketch blog with Scott Morse SKOTTIESCOTT.COM (which is in the process of evolving into a story blog) but spent many, many days throwing around story ideas with my buddies Jason Howard, Ryan Stegman and Jake Parker

Needless to say, I've finally regained the motivation, and NEED to get going on my OGN. So I will be updating my blog under the title of FINDING THE END. I'll be posting at least once or twice a week on the process. The ups and downs and hopefully getting rid of the excuses. I failed last year. No matter what the reasons for stopping, I stopped and failed. That's ok. I'm able to admit it, learn from it and try to be better this time around. Hopefully getting you all involved will help keep me honest and working. So thank you in advance.

Next up I'll let you in on how I came upon my story. 


Ben said...

Awesome. Good luck on the next project. I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Ktop said...

The only way one can fail is by not trying. You've grown and evolved from the experience. Maybe this is what you needed to put you on the right path.
I'm an artist and I've followed you for years. There's something about your drawings that I just love. You can draw the simplest thing and I find it appealing.

Kids are amazing!

JTR said...

Sometimes the hardest part of creating something is realizing it's not your best and learning from it and moving on. Stoked to see what you come up with!


Fitzzz said...

Skottie, Finding The End Part 1: Excuses was very interesting. Looking forward to your future posts, your artwork is beyond award winning... it's awesome!

clarkkers said...

Great honesty. A graphic novel that you are passionate about will always do better than one produced mechanically. I'm looking forward to your new work!

KMB said...

This is really exciting. Looking forward to following your progress.

scott said...

Right on, Skottie. Great post here. I'm always fascinated with "the process". And I certainly relate to some of what you're expressing.
Bring it on, son...:)

kobaltorange said...

Oh man, do I know exactly what you're going through... New kid, trying to write and draw your own Graphic Novel. Insanely busy day job (although for myself, switch comics, for animation. I'm a modeling supervisor). I ended up picking up mine a couple weeks ago, after I put it in the ground almost a year ago, and now I'm completely reworking it.

But good for you, for getting back up and starting again, and I'm looking forward to your posts. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is pick up a pencil after a long day.

Victor Preato IV said...

I think it's great to hear professionals tell it like it is. It's a little scary, but refreshing to know that seasoned artists can run into the same troubles younger ones do. Makes me feel less alone when I run into problems.

illustar said...

Every writer hears advice about not writing to the market, but nothing drives the lesson home so much as trying to write something that doesn't make you happy. I'm a big believer that whatever it is that you love to write/draw, there are people out there who will enjoy it. Best of luck to you in this creative process! I'm excited to see what you come up with!

David Ritchson said...

Excuses is synonymous to procastinate and I do it all the time. Just focus more and you'll be good.

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