On Limitations (Mental/Psychological)

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 have to solve, which will help you along on your book’s progress.

Here are some random examples of obstructions you might be able to use:

If you have ideas about an intimidatingly long book idea: the book has to be completed in 48-76 pages. Figure it out.

If you’re worried about how you’re going to color the book (or how much time it will take): it’s a black and white book. Figure it out.

Writing a story and having trouble staying enthused? Chances are, your protagonist is boring (or the plot is boring). Follow the story from another character’s point of view and make changes as necessary. If you want to double your bragging rights, make the protagonist the least involved character, and rewrite the script. Figure it out.

If you have no ideas to start out with: start by either walking somewhere in town (if you live way out in the country and this is impractical, turn on your television and continue along), and start sketching the first person you see (make it quick). Even if you recognize the person (or actor, if it’s on TV), pretend that you don’t, and come up with a name, a background, and keep going until you have a basic character. This is your next protagonist. Write a story around them. Figure it out.

There’s actually a film about this general idea (a pretty crazy one, too, at that). It’s certainly not a new concept.

In the end, you are your own boss, and you have to decide exactly what it is that you want. Remember: you’re only making comics if you’re actually making comics.