I'm a webcomic artist, or an online cartoonist.
It's a weird thing to say, but it's the most honest answer I can give when people ask me what I do. What I do is create free comics for the internet, twice a week, no breaks whatsoever. I also do occasional freelance work, and am contracted to produce content for my clients' use. This is my full-time gig. I'm self-employed, and thus, have some sense of freedom. It's a pretty sweet gig honestly, if you're able to deal with the long hours and whatnot!
Creating Berds & Nerds is an absolute pleasure for me, and I'm grateful for having the opportunity to work at bettering my craft.
I can deal with the long hours, and the frequent problems that roll along in every strip's development. It's my baby really (also Sozo's, let's not forget). Even with the occasional duds we produce and the mistakes we make, I'm proud of the process. So I hope that you readers find some form of pleasure from these bi-weekly strips.
While I do enjoy creating them 95% of the time, I'm always dealing with a constant sense of doubt.
Such feelings grow in times of solitude, especially without the distractions of TV, video games & social media. I am alone most of the time. Creating is time-consuming, and I often find myself distanced from my peers, in a bubble of my own design. I'm in front of my desk perhaps... 12-15 hours every day? Yes I do work from home, I can probably be in my PJs and work whenever I want, and wave my magic tablet pen and something appears on my screen that everyone loves.
If only it were that easy.
I work every day of the week. I don't play video games, and I rarely get the chance to see movies or shows. I schedule my errands & social outings as "breaks," so when someone spontaneously asks me if I want to go out to some super-special-awesome-fun-time party/movie/hangout/fun-stuff, I have to suck it up and say no. I don't want them to think I'm being flaky, it's just, this is the life I've chosen. Even if I wanted to say "FUCK IT I'M DRINKING TONIGHT," I can't, unless I've already gotten enough work done ahead of time to give me that momentary freedom. Thankfully I've had those moments, as few as they are.
I've joked to my friends that I'm an Art Hermit, but, it's true.
When I leave them I return to my cave, stand in front of my tablet, and work the day away. Every single day. This... this isn't exactly a sustainable way to live. This breaks you down mentally, and makes you reconsider your priorities. Can you do this and still feel fulfilled? Can you sacrifice the time you'd have for people that matter in your life? What are you willing to forgo in the pursuit of your craft? Who are you going to neglect in light of this? Can you tolerate the silence that greets you when you cast your creation out there, into the Internet Void? Can you work with little to no recognition for your efforts? Can you deal with people who undermine your work, your effort, and the sacrifices you've made because they just don't get what you do?
It takes a toll on you after awhile.
I could compromise on my work, or stop making comics altogether. I could instead have a "normal" life, where I could work, relax, and hang with my friends. I could learn how to make coffee, maybe attempt to become a DM for the local game shop I frequent. That'd be cool. I could celebrate Cinco de Mayo without a fuss and go to the kickass Midnight Movie event my friend runs because I don't have a deadline to meet. That actually sounds nice... but you know what's funny? Despite how tempting all that sounds, I just can't imagine not making comics.
It's an obsession.
I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't make comics. I don't know how I'd live if I stopped. So I'm really glad that I'm doing it. It's become an outlet for me, a way to express myself. I can do what I want here, and, I feel as though my voice can be heard through the imagery I make. It's a place where I can release myself onto the page, and find satisfaction in the final product. Anyways, I better stop blabbing, this blog is hellah long now. But thanks for reading folks, I'll get myself back to work! Got to make sure you get Monday's strip. ;)