Comic Talk and General Discussion *

The feeling of "coming full circle"
Andreas_Helixfinger at 3:40AM, Sept. 6, 2020
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Hey there fellow ducklings, how's it hangin'?

For those of you who don't know I've been on a bit of a summer hiatus with my comic updating to focus on writing my webcomic scripts. Yesterday I kicked off again, a little bit prematurely, but close enough to the designated mark, and I'm doing this new forum thread to not only share with you what I've gained from this summer hiatus, but also how it ties in with the entirety of my writer's process and how I feel like it has all now come “full circle”.

You see, ever since I learned how to read and write back in elementary school, something I learned very fast, and wrote my first hand written story project which was basically a recolor story of a video game I played at the time (The first of many that I wrote in those days. Go figure^^), I had this dream of becoming a novelist author.

I spent many lunch breaks at school scribbling in writing pads, and drawing some poor concept art, short stories and ideas that I basically got from video games I played and movies I watched (The Lord of the Ring movies was huge influencer on me wanting to write a great fantasy epic). Throughout my early twenties I would start writing funny or wannabe-epic stories that were always started and never completed (Yup, I've been a hardcore procrastinator in my time)

Then in my mid-twenties I decided I wanted to write and draw stories for comic books, and this is when I first began to write story arcs from start to finnish. It was meant to be a superhero comic, I was never wholeheartadly a fan of Marvel and DC but I did admire their works. It was meant to be a series, but the tone and story arcs overall would be written and then abondoned for other ones.

First I wanted it to be dark and really serious, but that became depressing and kind of off-putting in a sort of “Dark Age of comics” kind of fashion, then I tried to emulate the more upbeat and bright tone of the earlier Marvel comics, using the early Spiderman comics as a reference, but that became too cliché, I realized I was just reiterating what had already been seen in these comics before.

I then started to jump between all sorts of inspirations like, TMNT and the Age of Darkness in RPG (Vampire the Masqurade, Werewolf the Apocalypse etc. I was never a fan of Roleplaying Gaming, but I had played some with friends in the past). You can probably tell by now that I'm a very impressionable person, who at this time didn't really have any ideas of my own.

Then in my late twenties I left the path of writing and drawing comic books and jumped back onto the novelist author path. At this time I started to draw some new influences from novels I read like Lovecraft, Frank Herbert's Dune Trilogy, Thomas Ligotti's Song of a Dead Dreamer/Grimscribe and a lot of self help litterature that I read at the time.

I also read Steve Aylett's “Heart of the Original”, which is a funny, though hard to digest, little novel that is a sour, though also funny, rant about how “true originality”, in Steve Aylett's words, is hard to come by and generally frowned upon and how creators need to think spatially in order to locate it. All this stuff sort of helped me locate original ideas that I wanted to turn into stories in novel form

But the novelist scene, even the self-publishing side of it which I was going for (I even participated in Camp Nanowrimo, I think it was summer 2018, just to meet other self-publishing novelists), came off to me as too restrictive.

For a short time I thought I'd discovered my novelist place looking at the Bizarro novelist crowd, only to soon discover that that scene too was kind of bogus, laid out to me by a Bizarro writer who made a youtube video about how the Bizarro novelist scene had kind of degenerated, because of politics, and wasn't much worth the effort anymore anyway and he was gonna shift to comics instead.

That inspired me to jump right back to comics again, and that's when I discovered The Duck Webcomics and writing and drawing webcomics. Which leads me to the summer hiatus revelation. The thing is that I had during my late-stage-author-ambition developed this delusional mentality that I had to create something that was mind blowing, that was gonna push the envelope and influence people in a big way, and all these pretentious thoughts.

And that mentality had followed me and stayed with me during my time here on DD up until this summer. After being exposed to the opinions of some of our beloved creators here on this site, and after another one of those scribbling runs of mine, once again coming to that blissful, but insidous, point where I thougth I'd organized all of my story ideas to perfection, a handfull of perfectly woven series or somehing like that. Then I suddenly noticed how nedlessly serious and kind of outright depressing it all looked.

I was still acting on the intention of creating some kind of “masterpiece” only to realize, that I–didn't want to do it anymore. I was struck by this sense of “wait a minute, this can't be it, this can't be me, this can't be what I want. A lot of this stuff starts of with this weird kind of comedic tone and then the tone slowly shift into becoming too serious and depressing. This can't be the progression I want. The times we live in are serious and depressing as they are, who am I to shove in more of that.”

I decided that I needed to go back to why I started to write to begin with, I needed to, as Yoda puts it, “Unlearn what I've learned”, and start to simply have fun again. And so then I feel now, that I've come “full circle”. I started as someone who wanted to write just for the fun of doing it, yet had no ideas of my own, to having ideas of my own, but also having this faulty kind of “Wannabe gravitas-novelist”, back to writing and creating for the cheer entertainment of it, and now having this trove of fun, imaginative, original ideas to just go nuts with.

This is my conclusion. I was never meant to become a serious writer, I just needed to go through the process of such a writer for a while in order to locate those original stories that I wanted to put out. Fun and entertainment, with stuff that is original and imaginative, but never all that big or all that important, and certainly not all that serious, seems to be the genuine way for me to go.

Phew, I think that's enough, sorry for this ridiculosuly long thread, but I felt, once again, I just needed to vent. If anyone here was able to suffer through all of this text, then I would love to know if you've ever had any experience like that as a creator. Have you ever had this “coming full circle self-realization” kind of moment in your creative process, like such as the one I've described here. Feel free to let me know.
last edited on Sept. 6, 2020 3:43AM
bravo1102 at 4:44AM, Sept. 6, 2020
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I may have come full circle, but it's not the same place because the journey has changed me.

Besides coming up with something truly new is over rated. No one will appreciate what you're doing until others have copied your original idea, put their spin on it and get called original and creative for aping what you already did.
Andreas_Helixfinger at 6:21AM, Sept. 6, 2020
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bravo1102 wrote:
I may have come full circle, but it's not the same place because the journey has changed me.

Besides coming up with something truly new is over rated. No one will appreciate what you're doing until others have copied your original idea, put their spin on it and get called original and creative for aping what you already did.

Yeah, you're probably right, Bravo. The word orginal is something I like to throw around a lot, but it's a word that means different things to different people. I guess the only reason I throw it around is because I like how it sounds, but I don't really have a clue if what I make now is anymore original then those video game recolor stories I made back in school. It's better to not give too much heft to these fancy adjectives and simply just settle with “making a story”. Case closed.

As for Steve Aylett, and authors like him, who like to regard their stuff as “truly original”, I take their words with a grain of salt (Still, “Heart of the Original” is a fairly entertaining read, and what it says kind of goes through one ear and out the other anyway due to Aylett's disruptive writing style).

I have a suspicion that readers and reviewers who praise and look up to these authors tends to be these “wannabe-wine-tasters” who don't praise it because they think its good, but because they like to show off how keen and refined their taste in things are by praising something that is unusual and obscure. My suspicion could be wrong though^^
Andreas_Helixfinger at 7:05AM, Sept. 6, 2020
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Actually! Now that I really think it all through. Na! My stuff isn't really all that orginal at all, but what the heck, I still like it, and that's all that really matters in the end😁
Genejoke at 8:30AM, Sept. 6, 2020
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That was an interesting read, in many ways like someone searching for god and finding it inside themselves.

Anyway, originality is something of an impossibility, especially if you follow the rules of writing. I think the important thing is to find your voice and you do that by creating what you want to create. Being impressionable can make it harder, perhaps short stories are a solution?
Andreas_Helixfinger at 9:20AM, Sept. 6, 2020
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Genejoke wrote:
That was an interesting read, in many ways like someone searching for god and finding it inside themselves.

Anyway, originality is something of an impossibility, especially if you follow the rules of writing. I think the important thing is to find your voice and you do that by creating what you want to create. Being impressionable can make it harder, perhaps short stories are a solution?

Actually, Genejoke, that is kind of how I experience this whole thing^^ One could maybe look at it and think it was all for nothing since it all just kind of brought me back where I was from the get-go, having me look everywhere only to find out the answer was right there the whole time.

But I don't think so. Some of us simply need to be in another place, or another mindset, to truly come to terms with where we are, who we are and what we do with our time.

And yes, that is actually what I'm kind of aiming for from this point forward. I am far to impressionable to weave any greater story or series (I've tried to do that so many times for so long now and it has always falled apart, although it did give birth to a lot of cool ideas). Short stories seems to be the only solid way to go for someone like me, who have far to many ideas and nowhere near enough focus to stick around with any of them for a long period time.

I also gotta say one more thing, approaching these story ideas non-seriously, treating them more like adventurous comedies, and simply just focus on the funny hijinks and punchlines that I can work into it, instead of trying to figure out how to make them more “clever”, has actually made it more fun and relaxed for me to actually write the stories themselves instead of just scribbling ideas for them all day long.

I should have just sticked with writing funny, instead of clever, the whole time, go figure😆
hushicho at 9:37PM, Sept. 6, 2020
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Oh, I needed this. I needed to read this. In many ways, I've had some similar experiences, and sometimes the feeling like I need to make some super-serious masterwork can strangle any fun ideas from being explored.

Thank you so much for putting this into words. I hope many people will see your post and realize that they might be hamstrung…by themselves!

We should at least enjoy what we're doing. It's so easy to burn out because we hold ourselves to standards that we don't even want anymore. I'm so glad to have this reminder.
Andreas_Helixfinger at 12:36AM, Sept. 7, 2020
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hushicho wrote:
Oh, I needed this. I needed to read this. In many ways, I've had some similar experiences, and sometimes the feeling like I need to make some super-serious masterwork can strangle any fun ideas from being explored.

Thank you so much for putting this into words. I hope many people will see your post and realize that they might be hamstrung…by themselves!

We should at least enjoy what we're doing. It's so easy to burn out because we hold ourselves to standards that we don't even want anymore. I'm so glad to have this reminder.

Hey, I wanna thank you as well, Hushicho. You're youtube videos where you tackle things like storytelling and the mistakes that writers and storytellers fall into, actually helped contribute to me coming to this important conclusion. I guess we've ended up aiding one another in the end, which I think is awesome😊

It is kind of like what philosophical entertainer Alan Watts, who's audio recorded lectures I listen to on Youtube and Soundcloud from time to time, which also has inspired me greatly, once said in a lecture.

Quote:
“For it to happen, two things are important. First, you must have the technical ability to express what happens, and secondly, you must get out of your own way!”

End of Quote

Us creators often do have the ability we need to create what we really want to create, and yet I think we tend to lose sight of what we really want to create, because we get ourselves derailed looking at all of these other more “succesful” creators, that we admire and look up too, and what they're doing and saying.

The reason I wanted my work to be clever and serious and important, until now, wasn't because that was what I really wanted to create, but the opposite, it was because I lacked confidence in what I really wanted to create, and so thought it had to be serious and clever and important. I believe that in the end, we must all learn to have confidence in what we create, no matter what it is, and allow things like “success” to be whatever we want it to be.

So!

I say, deliver me from what I've seen and heard, deliver me from what all of these more established creators think is innovative and/or original art or storytelling. Let me stay and settle with the heart of what I'm doing, let me go with the flow, let me watch where it takes me and most important of all–let me have fun with it all.
last edited on Sept. 7, 2020 1:08AM
Andreas_Helixfinger at 12:59AM, Sept. 7, 2020
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Oh, and–congratulations to making it into the DD Horror Anthology, all three of you guys. I hope you'll have lots of fun with this project, and I hope that this anthology becomes a smashing hit that will bring glory to this already glorious website😉
hushicho at 3:07PM, Sept. 10, 2020
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Andreas_Helixfinger wrote:

Hey, I wanna thank you as well, Hushicho. You're youtube videos where you tackle things like storytelling and the mistakes that writers and storytellers fall into, actually helped contribute to me coming to this important conclusion. I guess we've ended up aiding one another in the end, which I think is awesome😊

I apologize for how long it took me to read and reply, the last week has been just…very rough, and I'm very sorry for the delay.

Thank you so much for your very kind words about my videos. I often would wonder if anyone got anything useful or helpful from them, and to know that someone has is really so satisfying to me. It helps me to feel like I can be of help to creators, which is really what drives me to continue.

It's funny, I didn't even make videos until I appeared on a friend's (much, much more successful and more watched!) series. I couldn't even stand hearing my own voice. I'm glad to know that my little videos can be helpful to people in the creative community. That means so much to me, more than I can really express in words.

Thank you again, so much, for letting me know.

And I'm so excited for the anthology! I hope very much that it will bring a lot of eyes to the site. This is the only creative site I'm really still on anymore, actually!
last edited on Sept. 10, 2020 3:08PM
Andreas_Helixfinger at 1:16AM, Sept. 16, 2020
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Hi again!

I just wanna harp on this subject one more time. You ready? Here it goes (Takes a deep breath before speaking)😁 It is indeed prentious to flaunt a sense of depth and/or insight one clearly don't grasp, or haven't even genuinely been exposed to.

I do however wanna make it clear that I do not, by saying this, have anything against anyone showcasing anything of that nature in their story, if it is done in a manner that isn't exploatative and would come out in the form that it takes on regardless of who reads it.

I don't think there is such thing as a seperation between the art and the artist who creates it. There is no art whatsoever that you create that does not reveal something of who you are. Even in the world of fanfiction and fanart, a creator still lends something of themselves to what they create. It can be as subtle as looking at the way an artist draws a line of ink.

What I wanna ultimately say with this to everyone who reads this is this:

Don't worry about your art not being expressive enough, or not being relevant enough or not being YOU enough. It is YOU, regardless, if you simply just focus on creating what you really want to create. If you have things you want to say, if you have things within you that you want to share, relax, it will come out of you somehow. IT will find a way to come out for you, for anyone who sees it. In fact, it may have done so already. Chances are that you're already doing it.

To be artistic is to expose oneself and the world we live in regardless of how it is depicted. That is what art ultimately is. Exposure. And it is fundamental that we have people in this society who are willing to expose themselves. To take whatever is about and/or within and project it, so that it may be experienced on the outside, where one can put it in clear perspective, be it one that is informative, moving, amusing or just plain fancy. And it is something we artists do by simply creating whatever we want.

In other words, there really is nothing else for you to do then to create what you really want to create. That which you enjoy to create. That which you would create regardless if you had an audience or not. And no matter what it is it will be YOU regardless, for that is everything it can be, and that is everything it needs to be.
bravo1102 at 4:25AM, Sept. 16, 2020
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And it can be a part of you that you otherwise would never express and you can surprise yourself and your therapist will nod knowingly. 😆

Andreas_Helixfinger at 4:53AM, Sept. 16, 2020
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bravo1102 wrote:
And it can be a part of you that you otherwise would never express and you can surprise yourself and your therapist will nod knowingly. 😆



Indeed, Bravo😆 Indeed😁 Believe me, there's stuff in my story-writing that I could never express in any other way, without probably sounding like an escaped mental patient. Those who read my webcomics will likely find that out soon enough, if they haven't already😉
hushicho at 2:35PM, Sept. 17, 2020
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Hear, hear! It's so common that people don't understand how much artists and creators make themselves vulnerable, open themselves up for a connection, which is necessary for any creative work. The reader has to connect to it and provide, in part, their own elements to it and their own interpretations of it. It's a very intimate connection, and sometimes it surprises or shocks people.

Wonderfully written, and agreed wholeheartedly!
Andreas_Helixfinger at 11:54PM, Sept. 17, 2020
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hushicho wrote:
Hear, hear! It's so common that people don't understand how much artists and creators make themselves vulnerable, open themselves up for a connection, which is necessary for any creative work. The reader has to connect to it and provide, in part, their own elements to it and their own interpretations of it. It's a very intimate connection, and sometimes it surprises or shocks people.

Wonderfully written, and agreed wholeheartedly!


You said it, Hushicho👍 I too feel that we live in a culture that still misunderstand, and a lot lately even shame and detest, the endearing and relatable vulnerability initiated through art, and the artists who get out of their own way to initiate it.

It is as if they think it invites chaos and madness into their lives, when in reality it invites a golden opportunity to engage themselves and others, to explore themselves and others, and understand themselves and others better, something that can drastically expand and improve their outlook on life and their lifes in general in turn.

Generally I think it's awesome what we've seen from creators and viewers alike in the 21st century. How passionate viewers and creative people have taken illustrative entertainment that were meant to be nothing more then glorified commercials, like cartoon series in the 80's and 90's like TMNT or He-man, and reframed it into something much, much more then that, carrying it across the ocean of the internet and across all of the fan circuits.

Using what was intended to be a pre-packaged, commercial template, and transform it into something far more individual and relatable. Inviting and enabling people to form new and self-actualizing connections, exploring personal and sensitive themes and subject matters that would have never seen the light of day within the near impenetrable, flanderization-circulation that is most, if not all, of the mainstream.

I think it is a much needed disruptive move against the morbidly stiff and rigid megacorporations, who want all art and entertainment to be nothing more then souless advertisement, to fuel their, in my opinion, increasingly ego-driven, increasingly masturbatory need for more wealth (let's call it “affluphilia”^^), upon the beyond insane amount of wealth that they and their shareholders already gush themselves over.

I say, long live the bravery that is the artist's initiation of vulnarability, openess and connection through art, long live exposure, and long live artists and art-lovers everywhere❤
last edited on Sept. 18, 2020 2:03AM
Andreas_Helixfinger at 2:37AM, Sept. 18, 2020
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Damn! I think I'm starting to break my paranoia about me drawing, writing and publishing fanart and fan fiction. Cause now I kind of wanna make some^^
last edited on Sept. 18, 2020 2:40AM
dragonsong12 at 8:34AM, Sept. 24, 2020
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I can empathize with a lot of this. I went through a similar journey myself. Spent years going to school and taking classes and spending every single free moment drawing and writing and practicing.

…now after several decades of hard work I've come to the unfortunate understanding that hard work and passion just aren't always enough. My art and writing will never be anything above mediocre no matter how hard I work at it. It was a depressing realization.

…but not one that made me stop or even slow down what I was doing. Creating makes me happy. In this messed up world it's basically the only thing that does. I don't think I could stop now even if I wanted to because my life has basically revolved around my comic schedules for decades. Even now I have two comics that I've created that aren't posted to the Duck - one that's hidden away on my website where no one can really see it and another that I haven't posted anywhere. I just enjoy making them, even if no one reads them but me (which would still be the case even if I DID post them which is kind of why I'm keeping them under wraps. XD )

Dreams die hard, and it's definitely a sad thing to see them go, but there's a certain amount of freedom in the realization that the joy is just in creating something.
bravo1102 at 11:53AM, Sept. 24, 2020
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dragonsong12 wrote:
I can empathize with a lot of this. I went through a similar journey myself. Spent years going to school and taking classes and spending every single free moment drawing and writing and practicing.

…now after several decades of hard work I've come to the unfortunate understanding that hard work and passion just aren't always enough. My art and writing will never be anything above mediocre no matter how hard I work at it. It was a depressing realization.

I've read this post somewhere– I used to do posts like this all the time. Few likes, a tiny Cadre of readers. It was so true. Or so I told myself.

Then someone told me to stop beating myself up so hard. That what I did was read and appreciated a lot more than I gave myself credit for and that I was my own worst critic.

If you only knew the desperate pleading I had to do just to get 15 likes and 20 was a dream.

Do what you love and love what you do. The passion will shine through and there will be people who appreciate it even if you take pictures of dolls instead of more traditional media. And one day my comics all had over 20 likes and my jaw dropped.

They're still garbage but they're what I do. I'm not here for fame and fortune just to tell stories the best I can. Beating yourself up isn't worth the pain. Just do it and love it because not doing it is so much worse.

last edited on Sept. 24, 2020 11:56AM
Andreas_Helixfinger at 12:06AM, Sept. 25, 2020
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Yeah, look! I don't wanna see anybody beat themselves up just because their stuff couldn't be as grandiose or as popular as they would have originally wanted it to be. I don't. I think that besides having passion and confidence in ones work, one should also take pride in ones work.

If your doing it the way you want to and you're givin' it your best, there is no reason not to be proud of it. To tell the truth, I still kind of wanna treat my art and my stories as if they are nothing less then their own respective masterpiece, even if non of it is from an objective standpoint. Doesn't matter however if it's entertainment, or it have some kind of message to convey, or if its just a simple outlet.

I feel now that I made this thread because I needed to ground myself and put what I do and how I percieve what I do in perspecitve, because a few events had made me think that I maybe was delusional about where I was taking all this stuff.

And some of it I recognice was a bit delusional, but the rest of it I think now was just there to keep my spirit and confidence going about my storytelling. Honestely, I don't know for sure how it all is gonna turn out and trying to define it beforehand doesn't seem to work no matter how I spin it.

I should probably just stop worrying and just try my best to focus on making it happen, and I like everyone else to do the same. Let's just rejoice in the fact that each one of us here are contributers to something awesome and important, which naturally make each contribution awesome and important. It is so to me anyway^^
last edited on Sept. 25, 2020 5:11PM

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