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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Comics Anonymous

Hello, my name is Adam. And I am a cartoonist.

I don't know about anybody else, but I tend to suffer from the torment of nonproductivity. It seems late at night between the hours of midnight to 2 am is when it tends to plague me most. When I'm lying in bed in the dark, watching the clock and thinking to myself "If I just fall asleep right NOW, I can still get 4 solid hours!", this is when I become painfully aware of how much time I waste NOT working on my comic.

I am not fortunate enough to be able to work as a cartoonist solely on a full-time basis. Like many others, I also have a full-time job. For most, the full-time job would be enough. Spending 10+ hours battling traffic and angry and uninformed clients before coming home to walk the dogs who have crazy energy to burn off because they slept all day you were gone, and finally cook and eat dinner with your significant other, this should pretty much round out your day. Nothing left to do but load the dishwasher and watch the idiot box until it's time to go to sleep.

Unless you're a cartoonist.

This is now prime drawing time. When the house is slowly winding down at the end of the day, that's when I can sneak away to my space and spend a few hours working uninterrupted on my comics. What luxury! In those few hours each night, I can get a greater sense of satisfaction and accomplishment or plain artistic frustration than all the other combined hours in my week! I draw. Sometimes whole pages, sometimes nothing more than a panel or two, but I'm in my element and I'm doing what I love to do.

Which is in essence why I do what it is I do.

It's certainly not the money that drives me. And although I get a kick out of telling people in business suits that I'm a comic book artist, it's not the prestige that drives me either. It's because I NEED to draw. It's that simple. I spend any and all free time that I can squeeze out of my day into making comics, and luckily for me, my girlfriend is a VERY understanding individual. She readily indulges my obsession.

Anyway, I apologize for the long-windedness of this entry, my next ones will be more to the point, I assure you. Here's my typical day:

5:30 - 6:00 am - Drag my ass out of my warm bed and shower, make coffee, etc.
6:00 - 7:45 am - Work on the comics
7:45 am - 8 or 9:00 pm - REAL LIFE
9:00 pm - Whenever I go to bed - Work on the comics

That's pretty much it. Of course I break it up every now and then, try to throw some change into the routine, but for the most part, I have two jobs right now: Real Life and the Comics. One day I hope to only have one job but until that day comes I'll keep plugging away and look to this blog for inspiration and motivation.



At 6:39 PM, Blogger Tymmi said...

You're lucky if you at least have a dishwasher.

I feel your pain. Somethings gotta keep the blood pumping through our veins and it may as well be cartooning. Anyway, there are far more damaging addictions out there.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger robyn said...

I hear what you're saying, Adam. It's tough. But for me, having a day job can be really helpful. There have been times when I was unemployed, these were not productive times. A day job gives my life structure, and it helps me know my priorities. I only have so many hours before work and after: how am I going to choose to spend them?
Plus after a long day of working for the man, I'm ready and eager to draw.
But I work part-time, it's something I recommend if it's at all possible.
And I'd recommend getting rid of the tv, or at least really limiting watching. Tv hasn't been a part my life for years now, and I don't miss it. There are ways to keep informed (radio being the best choice, since you can draw while listening.) I do have a set-up on my computer to watch dvds, and I'm just beginning to do this.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger adam said...

as much as i may complain about the 9 to 5, you have a good point about it giving you a sense of structure. because you have less time to spend outside of a work-environment, it can definitely give you a better regimented time frame in which to work on your comics. personally, i think that if i didn't have a day-job, i would probably find all sorts of other ways to waste my time during the day and not do any work on the in that sense, it is a blessing in disguise.

also, the tv is a huuuuge time waster. i don't tend to watch a lot of it because i find that my concentration is split, and i lose focus on what i'm drawing. the radio is great in that way because it's not a visual medium, you can just work away happily with the noise in the background. good points!

At 11:03 AM, Blogger effingcomics said...

My situation is very much the same Adam. I have tried to make the best of my day job, by funneling it into my cartoons. If you can keep your cartoon work on your mind, sustain that 3rd person mindset, the characters and situations that make up your day can be great subject matter for your work. It's a way to make life livable, while pursuing your creative goals.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Dylan said...


I havn't been a cartoonist for too long (only for about 6 months) but everything you said was just so true


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