Comic Talk and General Discussion *

How Do You Recover After Failure? (AKA I accidentally took a month off oops)
tinchel at 10:38AM, Sept. 6, 2020
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I'm trying to come back and work on things finally but I accidentally took August off. It started with losing pages I'd already worked really hard on and went downhill from there. Legitimate technically issues bled into my inspiration and I didn't really know how to break out of the downward spiral.

I don't think I ever really got over losing the stuff I'd worked on. Even though I tried to work on stuff I just started feeling worse and hating everything I was doing. I could've just put up what I did even if the quality wasn't where I wanted it to be, but I didn't want to do that either.

So I got stuck in this feedback loop of trying, failing, hating what I've done, hating myself for failing and just doing worse and worse until I just had to step away from it for a while because the stress was too much. I've learned that the answer to my inspiration problem is NOT to just try to keep working and pushing myself to my breaking point. I think maybe I should have just taken a week or two off up front instead of dragging it out on accident. At least, I think that's the answer – but I've also been wrong before. Also, I have this irrational fear that I've ruined everything and everyone will hate my work now because I'm inconsistent. I'm aware it's “catastrophizing” but I have a hard time not feeling that way.

TL;DR: I failed but I wonder how many of you have had similar experiences? How do you bounce back after that? Am I taking it way too seriously?
Avart at 1:54PM, Sept. 6, 2020
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Hey, don't be so hard with yourself!

Everybody makes mistakes, and we all have technical issues from time to time. If I would wait to have all my stuff arranged and planned I'm sure I wouldn't never published any page of my comic. I mean, we are doing this for fun and we all understand that as creators we could get stucked either creatively or technically. It's ok to take a few days off (or weeks, or months, that's up to you) because that could help you get new ideas, freshness and feel better.

Even though I'm not publish pages frequently, that doesn't mean I'm doing nothing. If I get a bit tired or uninspired to work on my comic, I make some illustrations or sketches or other things until I feel better to work on my comic.

Are you uncomfortable with what are you doing in your comic? Is there a way to fix it? Or is definitely better to scrap what you've done so far and start over? I've been through this questions a lot of time since I get to draw again a few years ago (I was on a 15 years hiatus) and it was hard, but the worst thing you could do is to give up.

Just my two cents ;)
tinchel at 2:16PM, Sept. 6, 2020
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Avart wrote:
Hey, don't be so hard with yourself!

Everybody makes mistakes, and we all have technical issues from time to time. If I would wait to have all my stuff arranged and planned I'm sure I wouldn't never published any page of my comic. I mean, we are doing this for fun and we all understand that as creators we could get stucked either creatively or technically. It's ok to take a few days off (or weeks, or months, that's up to you) because that could help you get new ideas, freshness and feel better.

Even though I'm not publish pages frequently, that doesn't mean I'm doing nothing. If I get a bit tired or uninspired to work on my comic, I make some illustrations or sketches or other things until I feel better to work on my comic.

Are you uncomfortable with what are you doing in your comic? Is there a way to fix it? Or is definitely better to scrap what you've done so far and start over? I've been through this questions a lot of time since I get to draw again a few years ago (I was on a 15 years hiatus) and it was hard, but the worst thing you could do is to give up.

Just my two cents ;)

Thank you for your two cents, I appreciate it.

No, I like what I've done so far and I'm still happy with what I have planned/thumbnailed already. I'm just running into a block when it comes to actually finishing pages. Mostly it feels like trying to run in quicksand. These are pages I finished and then lost. Nothing I do lives up to how much I liked what I did before. On top of that, my whole buffer disappeared overnight. I thought if I just forced myself to redo it even when I didn't feel like working on it that it would solve the problem haha.

I think I've learned that I have the most fun thumbnailing/planning.
Honestly, I feel guilty if I draw other things when I should be working on my comic. But if I want this to not feel like work, then you're right and I should ease up on myself.

I won't give up!
kawaiidaigakusei at 5:58PM, Sept. 6, 2020
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Excellent, sage advice, Avart!!

Tinchel, your post brought me back to the nights I had been working on coloring a comic page for four hours straight and all of a sudden, I saw the dreaded “Virtual Memory Low” message appear, my fan turned on full blast, and then my computer shut down without any page recovery or auto-save.

Those nights were the worst because of all the time spent getting pages just the way I wanted it. It gets even more power consuming when you learn more advanced techniques and layers take up a lot of space. Oz taught me the importance of saving work on several different harddrives throughout the process because crashes do happen.

I guess the best thing is that it happens to everyone. Avart is right, when you hit a road block on your own comic pages, just take out a pencil and a piece of scratch paper, and start sketching a still-life of your breakfast. It keeps you actively practicing your free hand drawing skills, but gives you a break from the repetition and characters in your story.
( ´ ▽ ` )ノ
last edited on Sept. 7, 2020 5:35PM
Ironscarf at 6:57PM, Sept. 6, 2020
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I lost a couple of pages on my first webcomic years ago and wasn't able to get back on track, so I can definitely feel your pain. I got stuck in a similar loop, ended up ditching the comic and starting a new one. Switching to a different style got me out of the rut and I learned a whole lot of new techniques along the way. I think I came out of it a better artist.

Fast forward to today and I just lost everything I've been working on for the past year or so (some people never learn!). Some things can be recovered, but not my full size graphic files. It's a much bigger set back than the previous one, but experience has taught me this could be an opportunity to learn something new again and maybe up my game. I'm not taking it so seriously this time.

I completely understand where you're coming from and sometimes it's good to step back and take a break. Trying to force it never works. Relax, do some sketches, go back to what inspires you, trust your instincts not your own worst critic. You've already said you won't give up, so as far as I can see you didn't really fail at all.
last edited on Sept. 6, 2020 6:58PM
Ozoneocean at 8:53PM, Sept. 6, 2020
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I get the running through quicksand thing.
From updating weekly years agog I'm lucky if Pinky TA updates monthly or even in 3 months!
For me It comes from a crippling disease of perfectionism and a lack of confidence in the work I produce.

I love my previous stuff and I'm glad I have it but often I'll look back at previous work and go “jebus, that's so damn good! How can I ever live up to that again?” And it's a real disincentive. It's very weird.

You've just got to have the confidence in your work to know that it's good enough and keep moving ahead. That's a hard thing to do.
One thing that does help though is looking at the work of other artists, I find that inspiring and motivating, whereas looking at my own work isn't.
BearinOz at 1:24AM, Sept. 7, 2020
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Ironscarf wrote:
I lost a couple of pages on my first webcomic years ago and wasn't able to get back on track, so I can definitely feel your pain. I got stuck in a similar loop, ended up ditching the comic and starting a new one.
A laptop died. I took it to a computer guy and got most of my photos and comic creation stuff back … except … my Birdman stuff, over and above what's already there. Individual panels, as well as completed pages, all ready to post up and close off the story. So IT died too. I just couldn't bring myself to re-do it, especially as I'd been really pleased with my improved/improving art. Totally demoralised and demotivated.
I guess many of us have been there.

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