On Maintenance (Tools)

Best Practices, Fun With Tech
There’s a phrase I once heard from a somewhat famous Navy Seal/Motivational Guru* online somewhere that I had never heard before, but it’s a phrase I’ve always kind of lived by: “Two is one, one is none.” I’m a firm believer in having both a “Plan B” and, where possible, a “Plan C” for my own creative work.  You will be hard pressed to find me without a pencil, a pen, or paper in a workspace, even in a workspace in which I normally don’t spend a lot of time. While I tend to keep a pretty tidy work area, I have any nook and cranny around stuffed to the gills with supplies...because you never know when you’ll need an extra board, or a specific kind of brush for your…
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On Maintenance (Personal)

Best Practices, Work in Progress
Making comics can be brutal on a human body. Many artists spend up to 12 hours (some spend even more than that) a day sitting in place, making repetitive motions with one hand, and staring at a relatively bright surface while making art (and if you’re working digitally, you’re still sitting just as long in one place, albeit with an even brighter work surface in front of you). It’s not a healthy way to live. Even if you’re one of the few odd ducks who draws while standing (I can’t speak for his current working conditions, but at the very least, back in the 90s and early oughts, Frank Miller did a lot of work while standing), it’s not good for your health to stand more or less in place…
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On Limitations (Mental/Psychological)

Fun With Tech, New Projects
I would wager that there are people out there with much fancier and more expensive setups than I would ever consider purchasing, even if I made double annually, and that some of those folks do little to nothing useful with those setups. Some of that might be due to having too much freedom, or more plainly, too many options. Then again, you might be the most frugal cartoonist in the land, and still have issues with this. If you are having an issue like this, I would recommend the following: write out 3-5 rules about your prospective project that act as obstructions, and follow those rules for the entirety of your project.  If you do that, you’ll find that it stimulates your creative thinking, and it creates problems that you…
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On Limitations (Material)

Fun With Tech
I have to acknowledge that I am very fortunate to create comic art digitally in the manner I prefer. Most people are not so fortunate. Not that my workstation was wildly expensive; in fact, I built it on a fixed budget (a store-bought or customized rig would have cost me an extra $500). Still, I had to gather raw materials and software, and that was roughly $700 in total (the operating system license and graphics software were previously purchased). It should also be noted that I was able to afford my workstation due to a steady job that has absolutely nothing to do with comics. In fact, the reason I do so much work digitally is that it allows me to cut corners, as far as time goes. When you…
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